Essential Oils: The cure-all for everything?

MDW Laughs

by Elizabeth Rago


My coping mechanisms to help me live through an overly chaotic day include tea, a lot of deep breathing and inhaling stress-fix concentrate from Aveda. When lavender, lavandin and clary sage disperses onto my skin and into my nose, life seems a little more manageable.


One particular day proved to be uncontrollably difficult. I found myself pulling out my stress-fix wand every couple of minutes to bring me out of a tight knot of stress and back to a calm, cool, collected Aveda-smelling mama.


As the day wore on, so did my desire for this magic wand of essential oils to fix everything. After all, if I could be instantly soothed by the power of pure essential oils, couldn’t others be rid of their anxiety?


At the checkout line at the grocery store, two employees struggled to troubleshoot an unruly register and as they discussed, I secretly waved my magic wand in the air. The mood instantly began to lighten at the mere sniffle of essences, and with the machine fixed, I knowingly grinned at the power of my magic wand.


By late morning, I felt invincible. Wafting the mix of lavender and sage under my nose, I gracefully fell into a spin, raising my wand into the air. The children played in the sweet serenity of silence on the floor as I pushed the calming scent on my pressure points. Taking in the peace and serenity in a bottle, I pursed my lips with confidence, reminiscent of Mary from Downton Abbey.


Tucking my enchanted roller ball into my pocket, I realized I had yet to test the true power of essential oils. Would the aroma (which is clinically-proven to relieve feelings of stress) tame the loose cannons that surrounded me?


Of course, I speak of the children.


We would see if Aveda had, indeed, created magic.


11:45 AM

Sibling Argument 1 – I immediately pulled out my wand and confidently stirred the air with peace. The children seemed confused and, eyebrows raised, stared at me in silence. The aromatic ceasefire drew the hostility out of them and wrapped them in a warm blanket of tranquility.



12:30 PM

Meltdown Over Horse Ranch Set Up Destroyed by Toddler – Coming down to their level, I approached the mess of horses strewn about and knew I would diffuse this bomb of screaming. As I brought out my wand, the furrowed brow of my 4 –year-old met the wand and like a master of the dark arts (or something weird from Harry Potter) the 4-year-old cast down my magic with one simple sentence:


“That stinks, mama.”

Stinging defeat! I retreated back to the kitchen like a spider running from the bottom of a big shoe, cringing at the sound of her words.


I bit my fist and thought,

What power, she has and wields against my magic wand!


1:56 PM

Lunch Not Eaten = No Treat – A simple command was given to my underlings, “Eat your lunch,” but the 6-year-old took fate into his own hands. “I will not eat all this food, and I will have a treat.” Ignoring this obscene display of defiance, I snuck up behind the boy, this strong-willed lad, and secretly pierced the pressure point behind his ear with my magic wand.


“Ouch!” was his abhorrent reply, followed by equally dramatic, “You hurt me! You stung me like a bee!”

Falling back, I winced at the realization that my magic wand had (yet again) failed to put an end to this disobedience. Appalled, I thrust my magic wand up to my nose and as the wave of sweet lavender rushed over me and the children melted down around me, I began to admit I was defeated for the day.





Demoralized, I felt tempted to do something drastic.


But, what?


My eyes crossed as I looked down at my fingers, desperately clutching the vessel of oil to my nostrils. Intoxicated, I wondered why this scent did not coerce the children into harmonious obedience…


I had failed and needed immediate comfort. Gazing around the room, I closed my eyes to rid my ears of whining and screaming.


The urge to jam the agitation-free baton into my mouth flitted into my head and as I opened my lips to taste the untroubled essence of my once placid life, my husband walked in the door and caught me (almost) licking tranquility off the plastic rollerball as one would indulge in raw cookie dough batter off a spoon.

“Need a break?” the spouse said to me.
“Yes,” I whispered, not embarrassed of what almost happened.

After all, dealing with chaos sometimes comes to drastic measures…


About the author:

Elizabeth Rago is a mama, wife, and the creator of The Modern Domestic Woman (MDW). Starting with silly beginnings writing about home decor and DIY projects, Elizabeth found MDW to be a happy distraction from her stressful life. After a series of unfortunate events including job loss, a car accident, bankruptcy, and a physical and emotional breakdown, Elizabeth felt compelled to shift the primary focus of MDW from pretty pictures and goofy memes to a space of honest support for the modern woman.



This article was originally published on Parenting Without A Parachute at ChicagoNow.

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