My Experience In Being A “Crunchy” Mom
My Experience In Being A “Crunchy” Mom
Part of my mental illness is being over analytical. I research EVERYTHING. With Ezra being my first child, I was over thinking everything and seeing all these articles on the horrors of modern day parenting made me feel like I had to reinvent myself as a mom.
“The number one ingredient in most formulas is corn syrup”
“Babies are receiving toxins and overloaded with vaccines”
“Crying it out is cruel and causes trauma to a child that’s young”
“Do you really know what’s in the bath care products you’re using”
So many things. I will say that I agree with a lot of stuff I read and a lot of the opinions in this group that I am apart of, but I was overwhelming myself. I am grateful for this phase because it has shaped a lot of who I am as a mother, but I was letting myself feel pressured to be the “perfect” natural mom. I had to find organic formula for Ezra, I had to make his baby food, I had to scan all the products I thought about buying to put on his skin, I shouldn’t use Tylenol or medication before trying natural things, I had to research everything and anything I was going to do for my child. It was becoming overbearing.
What Broke Me
Some things work for your child, and some don’t. The first time I started realizing I need to make my own calls instead of posting in a Facebook group was when my son went through a month of having a double ear infection, had an upper respiratory infection, and was teething super bad. I had to avoid Tylenol at all costs. My son would NOT sleep. He was in so much pain. He wanted to sleep so bad but couldn’t because the pain was keeping him awake. I remember going to my closest natural medicine store to buy chamomile, natural ear drops, essential oils. I let him chew on ice cold rags, rocked him for hours, baths. I spent SO much money (being a natural mom is NOT cheap when you’re child is sick and you’re new to the whole thing and don’t know what to buy. You want to try everything). I went through a week of taking advice after advice and nothing was working. I was getting no sleep. I just wanted my baby to feel better. After 8 days of torture for both of us, I gave him Tylenol. And he went to sleep in less than an hour. He slept the whole night. He was a different baby. I let him finish out his antibiotics after getting advice not to. And in less than two weeks, he was completely better and I had my happy baby back, with his first tooth!
That experience made me realize I need to sloooooow down. Being a crunchy mom is great. But there needs to be a balance. One size does not fit all. Sure, I will try natural methods and avoid medications if I have to. In the end though, I need to do what’s right for my family. If I’m judged, so be it. We’re all judged no matter what we do as parents anyways. Sadly.
Again, I am not bashing the “crunchy” mamas. They are amazing. To those that it comes effortless to, I applaud you. But I will no longer run a marathon trying to keep up with them. I want to enjoy my baby, and be in the moment with him, instead of him playing and me being on the couch researching everything under the sun.
Being A “Crunchy” Mom Did Change Me
There are many things I agree with (that will be in future posts). I co sleep with Ezra. A lot of that is me being a full time working mom though and that is when we bond. Sure, he may not want to sleep in his crib ever, but I’m okay with that. I believe in gentle products for him, but if Johnson and Johnson is having a sale and I’m tight on money until that Friday, you best believe I’m going to buy it. I’ve been making healthy meals for Ezra, but some days the day was long and I’m so tired, so I give him non organic peanut butter toast with some bananas and call it a day.
As first time moms, we often look to everyone else for guidance, especially with all these mom groups. But the best thing I’ve learned is to trust yourself as a mother. God gave you this gift and opportunity to be a mother and learn who you are as a parent through EXPERIENCE, not a group on Facebook. Of course, we need guidance sometimes, we need support, but don’t feel obligated to take the most common advice. Weight the pros and cons, take everything with a grain of salt, and make your OWN choice. Trust yourself as a mother, and know that when you see your smiling, clothed, fed baby that you are doing a wonderful job and don’t need to think so much.
This is journey. We can’t be perfect parents. We won’t have perfect days. We will have perfect moments. Where time stops and you feel that warm love in your heart for your babies. Cherish those. Don’t waste the time we have.
I still consider myself a “semi crunchy mom”. If that’s even allowed. I still research. But I don’t let it get in the way of time with my son. I see both sides of issues and make a choice based on my own opinion. I am grateful for my natural parenting phase, but I am happy I’ve let it go.