Until recently, I had no idea I was a "scrunchy" mom. However, having realized that I tend to combine pieces of certain parenting philosophies and leave the rest behind, and definitely after learning I've dealt with more than a few struggles every scrunchy mom knows all too well, I have to admit: I am "scrunchy" mom, through and through.
Now, I realize new "mom identities" seem to be popping up left and right and on a constant basis, so here's a break down of what it actually means to be "scrunchy" mom. A "crunchy" mom prefers so-called natural approaches to childbirth and parenting. This is the mom who probably had a home birth with zero interventions, uses cloth diapers, bed shares, and breastfeeds on demand for an extended period of time. A "silky" mom, on the other hand, uses advances in science and technology to her advantage. She's all about a hospital birth with an epidural, she uses disposable diapers, and she feeds her kid formula. So, as I am sure you can guess, a "scrunchy" mom is a gentle combination of the two.
I've found many moms are scrunchy moms, only because life doesn't usually fit into neat little boxes. You might plan to breastfeed, but encounter difficulties that make that impossible. You may plan to let your baby snooze in a crib, but find out they sleep way better when they're in your bed. Usually, and at least in my experience, you have to compromise some of your parenting "ideals" when confronted with the reality of caring for a newborn.
Of course, whatever type of "mom identity" you associate yourself with is going to come with its own trials an tribulations. However, if you're a "scrunchy" mom, you've probably been through the following struggles a time or two:
When You Think You've Found Your People...
Lots of moms try to make new "mom friends" after they have a baby. It's wise to keep people in your life who loved you before you became a mom, sure, but it also makes sense to extend your friendship to a circle of women who are going through similar struggles and triumphs.
However, making new friends as an adult can be really tough, especially if you don't follow all the "rules" of a particular group.
...Only To Realize You Haven't
In my experience, unfortunately, mom groups have the ability to turn a little judgmental. If you are a "scrunchy" mom, you might find it difficult to find your place in traditional mom groups with a "take it or leave it" philosophy regarding certain parenting decisions.
I joined a few attachment parenting groups when I first became a mom. I believed in many of the tenets passionately, then an argument would erupt and I would find myself totally at odds with the majority of the group. I just couldn't agree with all the practices.
When You Feel Like An Outsider
Online mom groups can be especially isolating when you disagree with what can only be described as "the pack." Seeing people negatively reacting to the way you choose to parent can be particularly disheartening, and especially if you assumed you were among like-minded moms.
When You Have To Constantly Explain Your Choices
When your parenting philosophy doesn't fit into established group's, you can spend a lot of time explaining yourself.
I always felt torn, as though I wasn't really pleasing any side of a particular argument. The crunchy moms were unimpressed with my pro-vaccine stance, but the silky moms were bemused when I "still" breastfed my growing toddler. Honestly, it's just exhausting.
When You Have To Compromise
So many of my ideals about parenting started when my baby was still just a bump. I read a lot of books and did a lot of baby-related research, so I thought I knew how every stage would go and how I would react to each and every one. Then I became a mom and realized "compromise" was the name of the parenting game. Co-sleeping didn't work for my partner and I, but extended breastfeeding did. We decided against cloth diapers , but my partner and I were big fans of babywearing.
In other words, I realized parenting wasn't an "all or nothing" situation, and my partner and I could pick and choose what worked best for us and our baby.
When You Realize Nobody Likes A Moderate
Being between two, often opposing groups means you never really make anyone happy. I was always the one voice piping up in the middle of two groups, and that wasn't really all that fun. I would try to offer an alternative view, only to realize I was alone in my opinion and people were shutting me down without so much as considering another viewpoint. Ugh.
When You Constantly Confuse People
To most people, it seems, my husband and I are something of a contradiction. We wore our baby often and I breastfed on demand, but we transitioned our son to his own room and used sleep training methods before he turned 1 year old. This seemed to simply confuse people, who couldn't really pinpoint exactly where we stood on certain parenting issues.
When You Confuse Yourself
I always understood why people were confused by my parenting practices, though, because I'm always a little confused, too.
Whatever parenting practices you follow, the groups you join, or the rules you follow, we're all moms and we all love our kids. Honestly, that's all that really matters.