The older I get the more I am realizing that I am more crunchy than not. I mean, compared to many of my fellow San Francisicans I guess I might be slightly crispy, but here, in Tulsa, I am definitely considered more granola. Here's a fun little quiz to see where you might score on the spectrum. I scored 108. That puts me in the "Mmm! Love that whole grain crunch!" category.
Here's what makes me a sorta-crunchy mama:
1) Exclusively breastfeeding for the first 6 months and then introducing solids around 6 months using "baby-led weaning." Will plan to breastfeed at least until 12 months and probably beyond.
2) Bed-sharing for now and will transition to co-sleeping soon (she'll stay in our room, but not in our bed)
3) We're using cloth diapers and wipes and wash them at home. I use the clothesline to sun them about once a week.
4) We practice babywearing.
5) Following the principles of Attachment Parenting.
6) Refused certain vaccines at Libby's birth.
7) Attempted a natural birth using the Bradley Birth Method and used a doula.
8) Libby's clothing and nursery is 99% recycled items bought via consignment, Craigslist and eBay.
But for really granola, tree hugging folks I would probably be considered more conventional than not...we buy organic when we can, but we don't eat organic foods exclusively. We're not vegan or even vegetarian although we do try to eat as healthfully as possible, avoiding processed foods and choosing whole grains like quinoa. That doesn't mean we don't enjoy pizza delivery from time to time or breakfast at our local greasy spoon complete with bacon. We recycle. We bring our own, reusable bags with us when we shop. We try to stick to eco-friendly cleaning supplies and personal products. But we also leave our electronics plugged in 24/7 and use modern conveniences like a dishwasher and microwave oven.
So we're "in between" and I think that's okay. The only weird thing is that I am too hippy-dippy for most conventional-types and too-conventional for the more hippy-dippy folks. I know that I am not alone, but sometimes I feel that it has to be "all or nothing" to feel like I fit in somewhere. Especially when it comes to parenting choices.
In general, it seems that if you choose something that is in opposition of another's parenting choice, then it can become a bone of contention. For example, if I cloth diaper, then I must think parents who use disposables are wrong. If I chose to breastfeed than I am judging the mom who chooses to use formula. If we want to bed-share then we must think parents who put their baby in a crib are neglecting them. None of this could be further from the truth! I know there may be some folks who feel this way, but not me. The beauty of parenthood is that there is no one right way to do it. Only the way that is best for me and my family. And if that's different than what other parents chose for them and their family, then so be it. I just wish more people could be okay with that. But I guess as long as there are people who are insecure in their own choices, there will be those who pass judgement on others. As long as people have to feel right there will be squabbles over things like this. Nothing is black and white though. Especially not parenting.