Monday, August 9, 2010

What is a Crunchy Mama?

Notice the yummy papaya from Whole Foods in her mouth & then the Cocoa Puffs in the background. We definitely find ourselves somewhere in the middle...
I'll admit that I've just recently heard the term "crunchy." According to Urban Dictionary, the term refers to anyone who has "adjusted or altered their lifestyle for environmental reasons." It is a derivative of the word "granola," which I actually have used before to describe things. A crunchy mama would then, in my mind, just be any mom who chooses to follow more environmentally conscious efforts with their children.  According to Urban Dictionary, and I guess many others, "crunchy mama" refers to a mom who "supports homebirth, breastfeeding, baby wearing, cloth diapering, co-sleeping, gentle discipline, etc. One who questions established medical authority; tends to be vegetarian and/or prepare all-organic foods."

Well, I consider myself to be fairly environmentally-friendly, but I'm not sure I can consider myself "crunchy" by these definitions. We make all kinds of efforts with Isis including organic foods, making our own baby food & cloth diapers. The only thing is that not all of these decisions were made specifically because they were environmentally friendly. Cloth diapers had much more to do with cost, as did making our own baby food. Organic foods definitely has to do with being environmentally friendly as well as just more natural in general. There are so many additives, preservatives & chemicals that have been added to our foods & our materials just in the last 40 - 50 years. We don't know the long-term effects of these things yet because they haven't been around long-term. Lewis & I just find it to make sense that keeping Isis & any future children as chemical-free as possible can't be a bad thing!

I chose to breastfeed because it just seemed like the natural choice for me. It was never really a question in my mind. Sure, it's environmentally friendly, but it's also proven to be great for your baby regardless of environmental factors. We don't co-sleep & I don't really see what this has to do with being environmentally friendly. And what is "gentle discipline?" I didn't have a homebirth, but I did have a natural birth using a nurse-midwife in the hospital- would this make me crispy, not crunchy? I'm confused by some of this!

While I definitely feel that environmentally conscious living has gotten way too political, I still see the benefit in being a "crunchy mama." But I also find myself shying away from labels as a whole. I don't fit in a category & even this crunchy mama category is one I can't fully say I fit in. I am proud to make decisions based on what is best for us. I am proud to make every effort I can to live in a way that is conscious of my place as a part of this world & I hope to teach my children the same. It is so important to be conscious of the effect you can have on the world around you, but based on each individual family there are a lot of variables as to how easy it is to be "crunchy."

What about you?
Do you make efforts to be a crunchy mama?



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20 comments:

A Little R&R said...

I totally agree that being concious of our environment has become way to political. Its almost as if those who make an effort to be good stewards of what God has given us are lumped with extremists.

I am with you - I breastfeed, make my own babyfood, cloth diaper, use cloth wipes, have no chemical cleaners at all in my home, and make my own laundry detergent.

My choices are based more on what is best for my family; what is safe, healthy, and economical. We recycle as much as we can, avoid lables (of course, living here you'd almost go bankrupt paying attention to lables), and I have chosen to work-at-home.

I am happy with my choices. If I didn't live in an apartment I'd garden. It's my dream!!! Oh - and with gardening, of course, would come canning. I'd love to try that!

Cameron said...

Sounds like you're doing great!! I think it's the effort that matters! I would love to hang my clothes to dry outside, but I can't because we are in a townhouse. We don't have room to do that & I don't think the neighbors are big fans. So we do what we can! It's really all you can do!

~Lisa~ said...

I love this post Cameron! And you're doing a great job. Gentle discipline would be very similar to attachment parenting methods, which seems like you're doing this method. I don't like labels it makes things, well, stereotypical. Natural ways are good. And I'm a firm believer in moderation. Thanks for a enlightening post mama!

Livy said...

I don't really like labels myself. I pick and choose what works for me and for my family.

It's kinda funny because I do a lot of things completely different from how I'd pictured myself doing them before I had my baby.

I always was kind of grossed out of BF, now I love it and dould picture myself doing nothing else.

Ditto on the cloth diapers. Still don't, but might be convinced in the near future.

I thought I'd be letting my baby CIO. Can't do it.

The list goes on.

Crystal said...

I too was wondering how co sleeping or 'gentle' discipline would be environmentally friendly- especially since I can't figure out what effect spanking or sleeping in a crib would have much negative impact! Those are certainly 2 things that preserve my own sanity actually! (Not that I like spanking, but it has helped my daughter realize many times to take me seriously when I say "NO!".)
But maybe with our next baby I will attempt to be a 'crispy' mommy. The cloth diapers I wouldn't mind trying, I would love to breastfeed if I can, and I think making your own baby food is a great idea and much more cost effective!! Though I never knew there was a term for this kind of mommy- but I am definitely not giving up my epidurals during childbirth, what can I say, I am a wimp!

Crystal said...

I too was wondering how co sleeping or 'gentle' discipline would be environmentally friendly- especially since I can't figure out what effect spanking or sleeping in a crib would have much negative impact! Those are certainly 2 things that preserve my own sanity actually! (Not that I like spanking, but it has helped my daughter realize many times to take me seriously when I say "NO!".)
But maybe with our next baby I will attempt to be a 'crispy' mommy. The cloth diapers I wouldn't mind trying, I would love to breastfeed if I can, and I think making your own baby food is a great idea and much more cost effective!! Though I never knew there was a term for this kind of mommy- but I am definitely not giving up my epidurals during childbirth, what can I say, I am a wimp!

Jill said...

Middle of the road for me too. Funny enough, papaya is the ONLY food my son has ever rejected!

Asashia said...

I say that I'm a crispy mama as well. Breastfeeding, cloth diapers, making own baby food---check. Working on better cleaners, soaps, and lotions. But in all of these choices, I wasn't thinking about the environment, just what I thought would be best for Little Bit. In the back of my mind, I know that one day he eat chips and drink soda *gasp!* But he has so many more older years than younger. I'd like to instill some good habits now that I hope he'll carry with him then.

vanita said...

wow, i guess i'm a soggy mommy.
Gave birth in the hospital with the epidural and pictocin.
Formula fed all 4 kids.
Is baby wearing the same as putting baby in a Bjorn? Cause I did do that. Only Natasha though.
Luvs diapers. I can do the 27 cents a diaper if it means less laundry time, especially since i don't have a home washer.
I am co-sleeping, but only because I can't get Damian out of my bed and I just can't spank my babies, but I can yell at Damian when he touches the stove or takes things out of the trash.
Semi-Soggy?

Ms. Mayra said...

I follow what my maternal instincts tell me is best for my little one. I am still breasfeeding, used to make my own baby food, co-sleep, among other things.

I do try to use eco-friendly cleaning supplies, products.

Graet post!

flyrish said...

Crispy! Love it. I'm a little bit crispy as I've made my own baby food but not all the time, tend to feed him mostly organic, use natural household products, etc. But I don't use cloth diapers with Q and I Ferberized him at 10 months old. I wanted to be more attachment-style but he was never into the sling. This balance has worked well for us, though.

Karli said...

Oh my goodness, your little one is WAY too cute! Those eyes! :-) I'm a bit crunchy myself, green cleaning products and the like...but I always equate the term "crunchy" to someone that might not bathe on a daily basis. LOL! I have no idea why...I just always think that! :-) Thanks so much for your sweet comment on my blog. Have a great week! :-)

Sugar Mama said...

I'm just kind of a Mama... not really in any type of category. I'm just Sugar Mama ;o) I do use re-usable bags at the grocery store, but I also use a ton of ziplock bags for school lunches. I do try to buy some foods organic, but I also let my kids drink Kool-Aid.

I'm all for moms doing whatever works for their family. And it sounds like you are doing exactly what is right for yours. :o)

Mama Hen said...

Hey Cameron, this is a great post. I like the crispy/crunchy line you used. Hmmmm, I would say that I am sort of crunchy or maybe crispy. I try to do the healthier approach with things things and be environmentally healthier in as many ways as I can. But I also do not go too over board where it would just become too much for my family in todays society. So I think I have a cruchy/crispy balance! Ha! This sounds funny! Have a great night!

Mama Hen

Mama Smors said...

i love this post!! i am not a fan of labels either.... i think you are the best mama you can be. you make decisions that you feel are best for isis and you are passionate about motherhood! :)

Heather said...

Yeah I do my best to be crunchy. I have my weaknesses though. I actually when I get my shipment in, I'm switching to cloth menstral pads. Yep, I think that along with diapers is probably one of the biggest landfill items and to think that a baby only uses diapers from 1-3 years and child bearing women use pads and tampons for 20 to 30 years! Crazy!! I'll probably do a blog post about how my switch goes...

Come by and check me out, I saw your blog featured on SportyMamaSays!

http://mommyonlyhastwohands.blogspot.com

E. Hurst said...

I agree with PP that it gets too political. Too many moms worrying about how crunchy everyone else is. I will make decisions for my family based upon our values, needs, etc.

Although I am still "cooking", I plan to breastfeed, cloth diaper (once her stump falls off), slowly move into cloth wipes, research making my own food, conserve as much energy as possible around the home, line-dry as many items as possible, RECYCLE, and research homemade cleaning products.

Non-crunchy things include strict discipline, routine, medical interventions as needed, and (dang it) taking a longer shower.

Loving the "crispy" adjective.

adriel, from the mommyhood memos said...

this is a great post! i, too, think it's wild that so many things are lumped together... cause really, what does breast feeding (or formula feeding) have to do with how we put our kids to bed or how we keep their little bums clean? so "funny" that all this stuff gets lumped together. {sigh} but i think that's why you're the ingenue mom - not being confined to fit in a box!! or maybe you are a 'crispy' mom... ;) i like that. and me? since i've used disposable and cloth, breastfed, used a sling and a stroller, done sleep training but not cio, tried natural birth but ended up with a zip, make my baby food and i eat meat... i guess i'm just a scitzo mama. ;) do what you want and what works! :)
p.s. i'm from oregon and have been an avid recycler for years and years... way before it was ever cool. isn't that enough to make me a little bit 'crunchy' anyway? heh heh. ;)

Vickii said...

Co sleeping isn't due to the environments best interest but for the childs. Children sleeping away from their parents is a very new concept that is why sleep training is so difficult. It isn't natural. Spanking is definitely a no no. Would you spank your spouse or friend for bad behavior? Then the answer should be the same for your child.

Vickii said...

Co sleeping isn't due to the environments best interest but for the childs. Children sleeping away from their parents is a very new concept that is why sleep training is so difficult. It isn't natural. Spanking is definitely a no no. Would you spank your spouse or friend for bad behavior? Then the answer should be the same for your child.

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