We've all had moments, hopefully not too many, when we found our parenting styles criticized by people who really have no cause to criticize, right? People who take any deviation from their opinions and conclusions as a personal offense, somehow and for some reason? I have, be it in person or a comments section, and it's never fun. Those people, plainly put, are haters. Today I want to talk about a particular kind of hater — those who have some sort of vendetta against hippie moms — and the things hippie moms should say to the haters.
Before we begin, however, first let's break down the headline a little bit. Am I a hippie mom? Depending on who you talk to, I could be considered either the crunchiest Earth mama they've ever met, or the silkiest princess mama ever to mince her way through parenthood. It's all about perspective. I usually see myself as "Jamie." I don't really label my parenting, because, taken as a whole, it's a mix of this and that and some random things in between, some of which could be considered hippie, some of which would not. But I have to admit that among the things I've found myself criticized for the most, it's been my "hippier" choices that have taken on the blunt force of judgment trauma.
Secondly, when I say "should say," do I actually mean it? No. In fact, I would encourage you not to say the following things,because they're rude and you don't want to become that which you hate. So when I say "should say," what I mean is "would really like to say" or "if they said would be sort of funny and deeply satisfying but not polite." Sometimes (read: most of the time) it's better to simply think the following things while you find your way out of an uncomfortable situation.
"Nama-Stay Out Of My Business"
I'm going to try to meet your hate with humanity here, but for the love of kombucha, you are making it difficult! When you begin to prod and interrogate me and my choices right off the bat, that's what we call a rough start. I just want to sit here, enjoying the oneness of nature here in the park, nursing my baby without you asking me when I'm going to stop breastfeeding and wondering if I'm giving them some sort of Oedipal complex. Shoo!
"You Are Pushing The Limits Of My Pacifism"
All creatures on this earth deserve dignity, respect, and a life void of violence. I don't like feeling negative feelings, and I pride myself on my calm, live-and-let-live approach to life. However, you are so aggressively annoying that the voice in my head telling me that violence is never the answer is being drowned out my the voice in my fist that wants to punch something.
"I Think Applying Coconut Oil Might Fix Your Bad Attitude"
I mean, it works for everything else. Just go ahead and slather some right up your root chakra.
"I Only Nurse Babies, So Get Off My T*ts"
Penis-havers have "get off my d*ck" as a way to tell people to back off and, and, I gotta tell you, I want to see "get off my t*ts" become more popular because it is just so damn useful. It also really gets the point across, don't you think?
"I Was Planning On Burning Sage Later Anyway"
You know, just cleansing the whole house of any residual negative energy that may have accumulated. I know you will be bringing proverbial buttloads of bad karma along with you, and I just wouldn't have the time to go through the whole place burning sage and chanting twice, so this actually works out really well. Yay!
"I Want To Swaddle Your Mouth"
In addition to quieting you down and not having to listen to you drone on and on about how "concerned" you are that we co-sleep, I feel like it would also chill you out. That's how it works for infants, anyway. You'd probably feel better: your mouth all bundled up and secure and not talking. Yes, I know it looks an awful lot like a gag, but it's so totally not. It's a swaddle.
"You Must Be In The Pocket Of Big A-Hole"
I didn't always realize that's a thing, but, like Big Pharma and Big Tobacco, it must be. Because only pernicious corporate machinations could produce such prolific assholery as you demonstrate, time and time again.
"I'd Love To Put You In A Sling... Shot"
Maybe I could fashion my Moby Wrap into some sort of enormous trebuchet, large enough for me to launch you out of the general vicinity and this conversation. Don't worry: it's all organic cotton, so aside from being violently flung hundreds of feet you'll be totally fine because I draw the line at unnecessary toxins, damnit!
"This Conversation Makes Me Want A Doula"
Your haterade is really, really painful and I could use someone in my corner defending me, supporting me, guiding me, and telling me everything is going to be OK. I could also stand for someone who has more experience in this arena than I, because most people just let me do my hippie mom thing. You, for whatever reason, are being unnecessarily rude. I could turn to drugs to help me cope with all this, but I'd much prefer to get through it on my own and I think a doula could help me with that.
"Are You The Medical Industrial Complex? Because You're Making Me Feel Uncomfortable And Violated."
Seriously, I didn't ask for literally anything you are insisting upon foisting on me, and every time I voice an objection you assure me you know better than I do and I don't know what I'm talking about.
Dude, at least the medical industrial complex is full of people who have degrees and years of study to back up what they're saying. You have nothing to go on other than your own opinion, which is fine for you, but hard pass over here.
"I Don't Eat Meat, But I Will Bite Your Face Off"
I don't even care if you're not local, GMO-free, or organic.
I think we all know I'm going to say exactly none of these things: they're snarky and peevish and not up to the traditional zen, flower-child standards hippies like to uphold.
Still, when confronted with someone who is being unnecessarily snarky, confrontational, or prying, it's hard. Let's turn to the angels of our better nature and rise above the noise by skipping the snark, taking a deep, cleansing breath, releasing a resonant "Om!" out into the Universe, and smiling a serene smile that masks the volcanic, seething rage bubbling just below the surface.
"This Isn't About You"
Really, this is what it all comes down to: my choices aren't about pissing you off, or judging you, or anything other than my personal preferences. Me doing my hippie-dippie thing is not some coded and highly elaborate way to tell you I think you're wrong. I'm just being me. You be you. It's cool. There's even a civil and pleasant way to discuss or even debate our different choices. Honestly!
Let's ask each other questions, because we might learn something useful from one another. Let's always remember that we're just two people doing our best and reaching different conclusions about what that means. There are multitudinous options out there.