I've only recently learned that I fall into the "silky" mom category. If you're unfamiliar with the term, a "silky" mom would grab disposable diapers over reusable, bottle feed over breastfeed, and typically relies on medical professionals instead of natural remedies. In other words, a silky mom is the opposite of a "crunchy" mom. While I didn't go into parenting with the intention of meeting those qualifiers, here I am. In fact, there are some things this silky mom wants crunchy moms to know, because at the end of the day, we're all just moms, right?
I was raised by what's now known as a "scrunchie" mom, which is someone who's a combination of both silky and crunchy. My mother breastfed but eventually went to a bottle, used both types of diapers, and never made homemade baby food but was adamant about vaccinations and the like. Back in "her day," there were no labels that defined any parent (which I kind of envy), though. They just did what they thought best, and that was that.
After having kids of my own, I had similar intentions. I wanted to stay home, give my babies all that I had, and be as "natural" as possible in my parenting. However, it turns out none of it fit my personality or my lifestyle. I tried to be that "crunchy" mom but, in the end, I'm OK with knowing I chose what worked best for me and my family. There's a lot of prejudgments and shaming going on with just about everything that's parenting related, though, and regardless of whether or not your unique choices are actually what's best for you. I'd love to set the record straight from a place of understanding and compassion. With that, here are some things this silky mom wants crunchy moms to know:
I Envy You
How do you find the time to do all the things I failed at doing? I mean, honestly? Tell me your secrets.
During the early days of new motherhood, I committed to breastfeeding, making healthy baby food by hand, using natural alternatives, and buying reusable diapers. Instead, thanks to my schedule and my anxiety level, I morphed into a silky mom. Because my plans fell through and I had to adjust, I honestly do envy all the crunchy moms of the world. Whether it's your devotion to maintaining your lifestyle or your seemingly endless joy in caring for your children in a particular way, I wish I could do what you all do on a daily basis.
I'm Just As Dedicated To My Children
However, being a silky mom doesn't mean I don't put as much effort into my children. I think it's the opposite, actually. Aside from the time I spend on my career (something that's important to me), choosing to breastfeed or make my own baby foods — not to mention the sound sleep I have because my kids are in their own beds — actually allows me to spend more quality time with my children. I'm not saying crunchy moms don't enjoy the same benefits, I'm simply making a point to the common ground we share —devotion to our children, however we manage it.
Parenting Isn't A Competition
It feels like everything in life is a competition. From my career, to friends, to how I raise my kids. But why? Can't we all stay in our own lane while cheering one another on? It's exhausting to constantly feel like I have to be a person I don't want to be, do things I don't want to do, or take part in things I'm not capable of, just because of the people around me. I'm comfortable with the choices I've made, but it hasn't always been that way. Once I drifted from the so-called crunchy mom lifestyle to a more "convenient" lifestyle, I felt like I failed. It wasn't until I started seeing how my kids remained fine throughout, regardless of what I did, I accepted the kind of mom I am. You know, the kind who's always doing her best.
We Can Learn From One Another
When I first switched from breastfeeding to bottle-feeding, a lot of people criticized me for not giving my baby what she needed. What they didn't know was that I was battling severe postpartum depression (PPD), or how devastated I was going to the bottle when breastfeeding didn't work for us. At that time, I didn't need judgement. I needed understanding.
Even if you don't agree with all my choices as a mother, it's our differences that help us evolve as people. In seeing what I do, and why I do them, and me doing the same with you, we might learn a thing or two and those things may benefit our children in the long run.
I Have Doubts About My Choices
No matter how confident I am, I will doubt any, and every, decision I make when it comes to my kid. I think that's part of the deal. Just because I do things differently than the crunchy moms, doesn't mean I immediately think my choice is the absolute "right" choices.
In other words, just because opt for convenience (most of the time, anyway) doesn't automatically make me feel confident.
A "Silky" Or "Crunchy" Decision Doesn't Define Me
There are times when I still choose to make crunchy mom choices because I don't think either side is necessarily right, best, or the winner. While mostly silky, I tend to fall into that scrunchie middle ground every now and then, because I don't believe in the labels boxing me into one specific way or parenting.
I Love My Kids
The most important message I want crunchy moms to know is, no matter what silky moms do regarding their parenting choices (whether you perceive them to be good or bad), it doesn't ever negate the love we have for our kids. We're doing whatever it is we do from all the love in our hearts. Period.
We're More Alike Than Different
One might look at the differences between silky and crunchy moms and think there's no common ground (aside from loving our children), but I disagree. Whether you choose breast or formula, disposable diapers or store bought, or crib or co-sleeping, we're alike in how much consideration we put into how we can give our children the best lives possible. Those choices aren't on a whim; we're thoughtful and thorough. No matter which amazing side you lean.