I was listening to a podcast yesterday where a couple of moms were discussing how crunchy (meaning natural) they are. They joked that in some areas they started out super crunchy and then became soggy over time. It got me thinking about areas that I am most crunchy and how in other ways I am not following holistic natural living at all. So I came up with a list of 6 ways I don’t fit the hippie mom stereotype (soggy)and 6 areas where I definitely do (crunchy).
- Conventional toiletries
I am extremely low maintenance so I don’t use a lot of beauty products. But I can assure you the shampoo, soap, and toothpaste that I use are pretty much whatever is on sale at the grocery store and are probably chock full of chemicals. One area of great distress for a lot of women that want to use natural products is finding a deodorant that is effective, but free from aluminum and parabens. Here is a secret of mine that I have never shared before. I rarely wear deodorant. I may have stinky breath or smelly farts, or a number of other disgusting things that plague me, but I haven’t bought deodorant in years because I don’t sweat much and unless it’s a really hot day where I am doing a long bike ride in a short sleeve shirt then I generally do not get stinky.
2. Conventional cleaning products
I use regular dish soap and multi-purpose cleaner’s that contain bleach. It’s not because I am so clean because I obviously I am not, but it’s cheap and convenient. In a different stage of life I will probably go the natural route.
3. Health food stores
Again the frugal me often beats out the green me. I can’t afford all organic food and supplements.
We have a minivan and an SUV. Could be worse on gas, but definitely could be better. This is another thing that I would put in the “maybe later” category, but we need to be able to haul a trailer and a gaggle of kids so there is no Prius in the near future for us. My parents have one though and I love it!
This is a really controversial topic on natural mother forums. There are people that consider you a child abuser for circumcising. After all, it isn’t natural.
This is NOT something I am passionate about by the way, so by all means don’t circumcise your boys, but here is why we chose to. As Christians, we do not feel it’s something that is part of your salvation, but it is a symbolic part of our religion’s history. It’s been a part of my husband and my own families culture for generations and I know it’s an awkward topic, but it has never been a setback or something anyone has resented so we never felt led to change it. The history of male circumcision is really fascinating and it’s neat that in Genisis 17:12 Abraham is instructed to perform the procedure on the 8th day which is when vitamin K levels are naturally high in infants. This allows blood to coagulate and makes the procedure safer. These days they just give boys a shot of vitamin K, but it’s Pretty cool that God gave these instructions thousands of years before medicinal research would discover this truth.
We actually had a Mohel with our first son’s circumcision. It wasn’t a bris, and we aren’t Jewish, but it was still special. There was no medication involved and we were right there. It wasn’t gruesome at all and he seemed comfortable the entire day. Similar situation with our 2nd son except the midwife performed the procedure.
6. Essential Oils
This is another one for the category of “maybe later”, but we are on a really tight budget right now.
1. Home Birth
I’ve had a variety of births- home, birth center, hospital, car. They were all natural though and it’s something that I really loved and wouldn’t change. You have to be pretty dadgum crunchy to consider home birth and I did it with great excitement and anticipation.
My home was hands down my favorite place to give birth. I was born at home too, so in this case the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. I know it’s definitely not for everybody and if I had any unusual or high-risk birth situations I wouldn’t have been a candidate, but if it’s something you ever wondered about it’s worth researching!
2. Cloth Diapering
Cloth diapering is close to home birth as far as being for the highly committed crunchy momma. The routine is not for the faint-hearted. I cloth diapered all four kids, except I only did with Ezie at the very beginning because then we lived in an apartment without a washer and dryer. We recently got a front load washer and it’s trickier to get them clean. I thought about quitting, but decided to go 6 more months which will be close to when Elle will probably be out of diapers. In 6 months I will save about 120 more dollars and then can sell the diapers.
Often times my frugal side goes hand in hand with my crunchy side. Such is the case with breastfeeding. There are lots of reasons to breastfeed, but I am embarrassed to admit my favorite is the fact that between all four kids I have saved roughly $6,800 by never buying formula. I know not everyone can breastfeed, but it’s been a nice experience for me and I generally wean at 2 years old. Notice I am using a cover in the photo. That gives me crunchy point deductions because a true hippie momma would nurse openly. I am not offended by it whatsoever, but unless I am at home I personally feel much more comfortable covered up!
My husband and I love composting and recycling. We actually moved our compost pile with us when we moved to the new house. I geek out about composting. I also just realized I am babywearing while composting. That’s crunchy bonus points!
Co-sleeping is something I definitely did not plan on with my first baby, but it happened and I had a co-sleeper next to the bed at the time. From then I preferred it and have kept each of my babies in bed with me or near me. Some of them never even used a crib and went straight to the bed. Some people love it, some people hate it, but with nightly feedings I do believe it saved my sanity on many occasions. So far each of my children have gradually tapered off waking up and crawling into our bed. In the scheme of life this little bit of extra snuggles is just a blip on the radar.
6. Delayed Vaccines
You might be a crunchy mom if you get banned from your pediatrician’s office. Yeah, they called before Elle’s 6 month appointment and told me not to come in because she hadn’t been vaccinated yet. For the record, all of my children had the DTaP by the time the next baby came and they are all caught up on vaccines before starting school, but I guess my schedule wasn’t aggressive enough for that doctor. It’s not an easy thing to decide to take a firm stance on, but I have done a lot of research including reading books, reviewing the CDC guidelines, talking to doctors and parents. So despite the irritating claims, I did not get my information from some blog quoting Jenny McCarthy. Really people!? Anyway, our new pediatrician and local health department have been wonderful.