After having my now sixteen-month-old, I joined a few different “crunchy” mom groups because that is what I thought I was. I joined these groups because I felt often judged and alone in the world due to what are generally “crunchy” parenting practices such as bedsharing and breastfeeding. I’d get comments from “normal” moms, and more often than not, women who didn’t have kids but felt they knew what was best, such as, “Well, so and so only breastfed until six months” or “When are you going to get him to sleep in his own bed?”
I quickly learned in those groups that I am not actually crunchy!
Besides attachment parenting and trying to use more natural products when convenient and possible, there are a lot of things about how we live that are not crunchy. Definitely kudos to those who have the motivation to homebirth or that have natural birth in the hospital, but I am quite content going in for my scheduled repeat c-section at the hospital. And how I wish I had the motivation and energy to cook my family healthy meals each night, but with a toddler and being seven months pregnant, I don’t. Who am I kidding? Even when I’m not pregnant, I don’t. Some nights, the closest thing to a healthy dinner is a tuna sandwich from Subway. Other nights, it’s fast food or something frozen from Publix. Though some nights I do cook!
Don’t get me wrong; these groups have been very helpful for support with the part of me that is crunchy. I know I can ask questions about bedsharing with a toddler and a newborn, or about natural remedies for illness when I want to add that on top of any medical treatment (again, the not so crunchy part of me). But I still feel out of place at times with posts about practices that I wouldn’t personally follow.
So, what actually am I?
I’m not “normal” and I’m not “crunchy.” That’s when I searched and found out that I am apparently “scrunchy” or also known as “sort-of-crunchy.” It was kind of a relief to have a name to go with my beliefs. There are several groups for these “scrunchy” moms too! Though the tricky part with these groups is that the moms are crunchy in different ways; some are crunchier due to their healthy lifestyle, but they use the cry-it-out method and not attachment parenting, and others are the opposite, like me. So you have to be careful to not be offensive or come across as judgmental to those who don’t follow the same crunchy practices as you. Though I am grateful for all these groups and support, it still leaves me feeling like I am kind of in limbo.
I think what is most important is to treat others’ parenting styles with respect and without judgment. Whether a child grows up bottle or breastfeed, sleeping alone or with mom and dad, or definitely no matter which way they were born, they are most likely going to all turn out fine and end up being well-rounded individuals. Everybody thinks their way is best — that is a natural human instinct. I’ve been guilty of that too before!