Thursday, September 10, 2009

Crunchy Mama

Please enjoy these definitions from urban dictionary - I only picked out the ones I liked.

Crunchy Granola : a person who is into all that all natural crap and eats tofu and does yoga and hugs trees.

Granola : An adjective used to describe people who are environmentally aware (flower child, tree-hugger), open-minded, left-winged, socially aware and active, queer or queer-positive, anti-oppressive/discriminatory (racial, sexual, gender, class, age, etc.) with an organic and natural emphasis on living, who will usually refrain from consuming or using anything containing animals and animal by-products (for health and/or environmental reasons), as well as limit consumption of what he or she does consume, as granola people are usually concerned about wasting resources. Usually buy only fair-trade goods and refrain from buying from large corporations, as most exploit the environment as well as their workers, which goes against granola core values.

Granola Girl : Modern hippie woman minus the heroin and STD's. Socially aware and active with a penchant for hemp and sodium-free soap. May eat tofu for breakfast and sweeten food with agave syrup. Is determined to save the world.

Crunchy Mama : Mother 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. See also crunchy and hippie.

Hee hee ... hope you were entertained by those!

I don't fit ALL of those descriptions, but certainly most of them. I'm not left-winged, and I don't eat much tofu, and so far I haven't done any yoga but Matt and I want to start up soon. :) Also I think agave syrup is disgusting, so I use honey instead (raw, locally produced honey, mind you).

I LOVE being crunchy. The more "all natural" I am, the better I feel about everything. We use all-natural plant based soaps, cleaners, detergents, and deodorants. (And as soon as our toothpaste tubes run out, the replacements will fit into the all-natural category too.) We eat mostly organic food, and if not organic, then at least as natural as things can get. I am still breastfeeding my 16 month old as often as she wants, I regularly "wear" her in my Sleepy Wrap instead of putting her in a stroller, I plan on homeschooling my children, and our family rarely goes to doctors. I *WISH* that I could homebirth, but alas, due to my abnormally small inner pelvis bones, I cannot birth children naturally and must have c-sections. *sigh* We definitely co-sleep with our babies for about the first year, and then they move into a room of their own, but Mommy is never far away. If our babies (or toddlers, or preschoolers!) get scared or sad or upset or hurt or worried or needy or whatever, even 8 times in the middle of the night, we are there to comfort them and make their world secure. We don't do the cry-it-out technique, because the way we see it ... we are the baby's only source of comfort/support/love/nurture/EVERYTHING. If we don't answer them when they need us, who else will? Trying to teach a tiny baby (or toddler) that you "must fend for yourself" is the most ridiculous, western, anti-nurturing thing I can think of. UGH!

I guess I've become a bit of a conspiracy theorist. Yes, the easiest and cheapest products to buy are ones that have been mass-produced and are laced with TONS of chemicals, pesticides, and Lord only knows what else. But what are they really doing to our environment?? You think that all those chemicals that get dumped into our public water are actually being completely filtered back out?? Think again! And unless your water bottle says "spring water, bottled at _____ mountain spring source" then it is actually nothing more than tap water, which has sometimes been filtered and sometimes not. If your water bottle says "purified" or "filtered" or "drinking water" on the front, then you can bet that it is actually nothing more than tap water!! Seriously, it comes from "municipal sources" - ie, tap water!! Some brands, like Sam's Choice brand, is typically not even filtered another time before being put into bottles and sold at 10x the price of tap water. So around here, we drink spring water, or artesian well water. (And sometimes, even wells, aquifers, and mountain springs have been contaminated (but usually much less so)!! We are killing ourselves!) Read more about water and the cancer-causing chemicals found in our water supply here. Another thought is pharmaceuticals in your water. Every time a girl on the birth control pill (or any person on ANY pharmaceutical, for that matter!) goes to the bathroom, those chemicals get into our water supply. There is currently NO regulation for the filtering out or testing for these chemicals. The problem is especially bad in highly populated areas, and has even been cited for one of the causes of precocious puberty! Read more about pharmaceuticals in your water, here, and what the ENN (Environmental News Network) is trying to do to raise awareness and get some laws passed to actually start monitoring/filtering out these harmful chemicals in our water.

In addition to all the crap in our water, I think that most of us, as Americans, CHOOSE to be ignorant about what's REALLY going on behind the scenes in our country. We just want to assume that meat comes from a grocery store (instead of an animal being abused/injected/treated cruelly/slaughtered) and that all food is nutritious (when practically everything on our menu is tainted with corn, high fructose corn syrup, pesticides, chemicals, and genetically-engineered products) and that Western Medicine and doctors in general have all the answers (when in fact it's illegal for them to say that something natural like garlic can heal your infection faster and better than an antibiotic - I mean, God forbid that you actually take something that's natural and cheap {and isn't sold by a pharmaceutical company} and that boosts your immune system instead of tanking it, like antibiotics do) and that pharmaceutical companies and FDA really ARE out for our best interest (when I'm pretty sure that MONEY is the biggest reason behind a lot of our country's medical decisions!) ... There are a few really great things out there that can open your eyes to what's really going on in our food system -SuperSize Me, Food Inc, and 4 Year old Hamburger - so you should check those out if you can. Yeah, so, I can really get on a soapbox about this whole set of issues here, but we'll save that for another post.

About 3 weeks ago, I decided to go vegetarian. Although I guess I'm actually a "pescetarian" because I still eat fish. I still eat/drink dairy products, but only go with the organic, free-range, grass-fed type. More on this in my next post. I feel healthier, more energetic, and just cleaner.

I am thoroughly enjoying that some of the styles of the 60's and 70's are coming back in right now. Mmmmmm! I love the browns and greens and earthy colors, the headwraps, the flowy dresses and shirts ... right up my alley. I have several flowy dresses and skirts right now (and I LOVE them, which is so weird because I used to hate dresses!) that I just can't get enough of. I am hoping to go to thrift stores and/or garage sales and find a bunch more on clearance somehow. What would be even better is if I can finally learn to sew. I have a sewing machine around here somewhere (a Christmas gift from my wonderful mother) and I desperately want to learn how to use it. Then I can just buy bolts of cute organic cloth, and make our own clothes! WOO HOO!

I used my Sleepy Wrap at church Wednesday night, and everyone was like, "That's so cool!" because they hadn't seen one before. Yes, my child is 16 months old, and I still do the "babywearing" thing!! Maezie hadn't gotten a nap today, and was in desperate need of one, so I knew she wouldn't tolerate being in the nursery very well. So I strapped on the Wrap, put in her in, walked around and patted her back for about 5 minutes, and she was OUT! Slept through most of church.

Ahh ... I love being as chemical-free as I can, as organic as I can, and as all-natural as I can. It's a liberating and empowering feeling. ... Yep, that's me. Crunchy Mama. :)


Niecey said...

you're my crunchy sister :)
I love ya

wrensmommy said...

i almost agree with almost every bit of that. :)

minus the environment... minus the crying it out... minus the vegetarian...

but pretty much everything else! haha!


Kristi said...

Isn't it funny how everybody is so different in their parenting styles? I love to compare notes.

Our baby has always slept in his own bed, but we get up as many times as he needs us in the night. It feels wrong to just let him cry himself to sleep, so one of us rocks him every night.

I am scared of some things in water and I eventually want to get a cooler thing in our house so we can buy the big bottles of RO water.

Home delivery is for pizza and chinese food--not for babies. And c-sections save lives ;)

Breastfeeding is wonderful and I feel so blessed that I can do it.

These are things that work for us--those are things that work for you. We should be careful not to pass judgment on people who do things differently than we do--most moms do what they think is best for their own families.We're all just doing the best we can with what we have.