The label “crunchy mom” has been getting a lot of bad press lately, and frankly, it’s bumming me out.
Confession: I am a self-proclaimed crunchy mom, meaning I strive for a holistic, mindful, and eco-friendly lifestyle. I breastfed into toddlerhood. I purchase from natural food stores. I buy organic when I can. I support local stores instead of corporate giants. I make my own herbal syrups, personal care, and cleaning supplies. I buy natural equivalents of conventional products. I use cloth diapers. I tend to go the herbal route instead of the antibiotic route.
But, you know what? I’m also human, and I’m still Team Mom.
Mom-ing is hard, y’all. We’re ALL on the same playing field – honestly, we’re all just trying to get through the day unscathed. Yes, I too wear mom buns, ripped (and stained) leggings, and run on cold coffee. Just because I frequent the co-op more than Wal-Mart doesn’t mean I don’t struggle financially. Just because I shop with my canvas bags doesn’t mean I don’t contribute my fair share of waste. Just because I make my own mineral bath salts doesn’t make me a holier-than-thou hippie.
“Crunchy mom” doesn’t mean perfect mom.
You may have seen me nurse my rambunctious toddler and judged me, but you didn’t see me struggle to wean at a year. Nursing a 15-month-old is about as fun as wrangling an emotionally unstable chimpanzee.
You may see the pile of cloth diapers in my daughter’s closet and roll your eyes. In reality, I use them because they were hand-me-downs (and mostly as swim diapers). Yep, we totally use disposables 99% of the time.
You may scoff when I grab the organic canned tomatoes instead of the non-organic, but you can bet we have a stockpile of frozen chicken nuggets in the freezer. In fact, my kid actually prefers them to my “clean” meals.
You may not understand why I’d pay more for an all-natural product, but little do you know, I coupon and get a killer employee discount. I am a savvy shopper and always find things on clearance and stock up.
You may think it’s a waste of time that I make my own cough syrups, face masks, all-purpose cleaning spray, and bone broth, but it saves me hundreds of dollars a year…and it’s fun for me! We haven’t had to buy any of those products for years, which means more money for fun things.
Yeah, I still eat Oreos, frozen pizza, and – gasp – GMOs. My kid would rather eat processed meat and ice cream than a fresh farm salad, and that’s just the way the cookie crumbles (pun intended). My daughter may be well versed in gardening, homeopathy, essential oils, and chemical-free products, but it doesn’t make her better or more well-rounded than any other child. It’s just one way to parent – and there are a million of them out there!
Things don’t always go as planned, but I try. I’m not a “crunchy mom” to appear as some sort of hippie with a superiority complex. I don’t look down or mom shame anyone because they parent differently than I do. I shop and live this way because it reflects my values. It’s not always the most convenient, cheapest, or easiest, but it’s something I’m passionate about and dedicated to. If it’s not your cup of tea, that’s totally cool. But, please don’t judge or label me as being perfect, because I certainly don’t claim to be. There is no perfect mother on this earth. I’m just a mom trying to do the best for my family the best way I know how.
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