I've been crunchy for a long time, now. I guess working part-time in a health food store for eight years will do that to a girl. During that time, I became pregnant with both my first and second children, so they got a pretty full dose of my crunchiness, and in all its glory. Yup, I was a hippie mom, and there are certain struggles only hippie moms can understand thanks to our unique lifestyles.
Please understand that all of this is tongue-in-cheek, to a certain degree. I mean yes, I had a home birth, chose not to get an epidural, and didn't want my kids to have plastic toys. I tried my best to keep my daughter away from sugar and processed foods in her early years. But now? Well, now she eats Goldfish crackers with the best of them, and her favorite food "in the entire world," is pizza. I waved my white flag in the air a while ago, but I remember being a slightly obnoxious hippie mom in the beginning. (OK, looking back, I was pretty obnoxious.)
Honestly though, I wouldn't change a thing. I stand behind a mom's right to make choices that buck the trend and require more thought and care than just going to Costco (although I love my membership, personally). You do you, girl. Yes, it is challenging to do things differently without coming across as judgmental about other parents' choices, even when you're not judging and simply doing what you know is best for you and your family. It's not impossible, though. So, with that in mind, here are 10 struggles only hippie moms can understand:
I don't think I'd mind explaining this choice as much, if it weren't for the look of incredulity that usually accompanies the question. The people who don't understand your home birth, if it wasn't an accident, are going to be the ones who question pretty much everything you do. While there's nothing wrong with having a few questions and being genuinely curious, you may just want to explain that some people do things differently, and that's OK.
I gave up on this one fairly early on. I just didn't feel good giving my family and friends such drastic parameters on what they could and couldn't give my kids. If I could go back in time, however, I'd tell myself to suck it up and do it anyway, because I would do anything to have less plastic in my home, especially right now.
I have always ended up saying that I couldn't deal with getting a needle in the spine (and having to hold still during contractions, while the anesthesiologist figured out where to puncture me). The truth is, all the potential side effects for both mother and baby were what bothered me. How do I say that to all the friends who did choose an epidural, though?
But that $250 wrap is so adorable, and it matches your favorite shoes so obviously you have to get it. Plus, you were getting kind of bored with the other three baby wraps you had. Really, you just need to become a spokesperson for a wrap company, so that you can get discounts. #DreamJob
Clearly, this is tongue-in-cheek because you would never let something like this happen, obviously. There's some in your deep freezer, in the very back corner.
Part of the reason I'm so thrilled to be almost done with co-sleeping is that I'm tired of talking about it to my friends and family. I can't say it was something we chose to do because we're crunchy, we kind of fell into it, but as we continued to do it, it's been hard not to feel judged, at times.
When I see baby products that are made with ingredients that, when combined, create formaldehyde, I kind of want to scream. This isn't something everyone understands, necessarily, but it's shocking how nasty some of the ingredients in standard baby brands can be.
There are plenty of good reasons to allow occasional exceptions to the rules of eating you enforce at home. Your kid can't completely avoid parties, or walk around feeling deprived at them, right? But it's nearly impossible not to shudder when you stop and think about the crap that's in the pepperoni on the the pizza your kid is eating.
Perfecting the tri-fold is not for the faint of heart, no matter how easy the YouTube videos tell you it is. Nope, if you want someone else to change your baby's diaper, it's going to be a disposable one, my friends.
This is honestly the hardest part. It can feel like everyone is rolling their eyes behind your back when you try to explain why you choose to do things differently than a widely-accepted status quo. It can also feel like you're placing unreasonable demands on others, which is why I have become more about balance, rather than enforcing my own parenting choices in situations I have no control over. And let's face it: as a child of the '80s and '90s, I spent plenty of time eating chemical-laden food and playing with plastic toys. Look how well I turned out!