I’m not one to pigeonhole myself into a box, however it’s becoming clear that I am currently the more ‘crunchy’ branch of the DILAM tree. I’m loathe to put myself in this box because there just isn’t any one parenting style I feel I fit 100% – as with everything if life there is a spectrum and we take what works from different approaches….however I definitely fall more into the crunchy side than not!
So ‘what the heck is crunchy anyway?’ Well, I found load’s of definitions online and they varied from gentle, to condescending, right through to laughable! I think the best description I’ve been able to find is this – “A crunchy mom is a woman on a quest for more information. A mom who is environmentally, health, and socially conscious. She cares enough about her family to question the status quo. She recognizes that there are a variety of approaches to individual problems and refuses to be locked into a single perspective. She seeks to learn more about why things happen and tries to discover the root cause of the problems she observes. With this knowledge comes responsibility, to our families, other moms, and our communities. When we know better, we do better. She is not afraid to speak her mind when necessary to help or protect someone. A mom who fosters a strong, positive bond with their children through natural living. “ (Thanks www.crunchymoms.com). Or as my friends and family might say of me (in what I hope is a loving way!)… ‘an eco-warrior / hippy mum’
Crunchy is going to look different for everyone – I guess for me it encompasses: empowered birth, homebirth, breastfeeding, bedsharing, babywearing, cloth nappying, choosing barefoot friendly shoes, shopping locally and ethically where possible, actively trying to reduce our waste and eco footprint, using natural remedies where possible, providing gender neutral options for clothing / toys / books etc, exploring alternative education options and generally questioning if ‘normal’ is best for our individual family – often it is, but not always. For others it may also include placenta consumption, elimination communication, growing produce at home/an allotment, vegetarian/veganism and more.
At first I was worried that letting this out would quash our super cool, approachable, and open to everybody vibe at DILAM. Fearful that people would see this as me preaching, or thinking that I would be judging them if they didn’t have an interest in making the same choices that I am… But what I am doing is working for us, and I figure that aspects of it will work for other families too if its is brought onto their radar.
And for the record – there is no judgment. I’m well aware that some of the stuff I do (at least initially) requires research and/or planning ahead, commitment, and can be more time consuming – and in our busy lives as mothers, we have to focus on what is most important to us and our families! At the same time, the more I speak about the things which are important to me, the more I see sparks of interest amongst people who currently feel that these choices are out of their reach for various reasons (when usually they aren’t!). My aim is to talk about what works for our family, and other families, and give you ways to make these things easier to try, should you want to.
I also want to point out that although there are choices I make to try and live in alignment with the way I feel about the world, that I’m far from ‘perfect’ at it, if there is such a thing. I’m just your average mother who is busy working and raising a family whilst also growing, learning and changing our families habits slowly as I go, because that’s really the only way. I understand that not everything here will be for everyone – there are so many things which on paper are great but do not work for our family, at least right now, so don’t be afraid if not everything works for you either. Cherry pick and enjoy the experience! Once the initial barrier is broken, most changes are super easy to maintain (trust me it’s true – I don’t have the time or energy to add difficulty into my life!)
So here’s to discussion, questioning, alternative approaches, reducing waste, raising our babies in a way which is ethical, collaboration and supporting each other in the process. Lets Do It Like A Crunchy Mother!!
I’m currently available for Private Hypnobirthing Courses in the Southend area to support you on your journey to an empowered, positive birth.
For Pregnancy Relaxation Saturdays 11-12 at The DILAM HQ in Chalkwell.
And for Cloth Nappy Workshops which run one Saturday a month 1.00-2.30pm at the HQ.