I was pretty excited when Xza asked me to be a writer for TMD. After all, I wanted to be an original writer way back when she first started the blog plus I was an un-chosen finalist for the contest that was held a few months ago. I had been rejected twice and to be honest, my ego was a tad bruised. When she asked me the beginning of last month to share myself and my family with the blog, I believe my response was something along the lines of yes, but I was afraid no one would like me. She assured me that she liked me and if I enjoy writing nothing else would matter. Let me tell you a little something about Xza that you all probably know- she is an amazing person. She has so much passion and it is inspiring. We’ve been friends for awhile now and I am pumped to be working with her on this project. The beauty of this blog is that it’s really for all types of parenting. Even those who feel like they don’t fit in.
I feel like I don’t really fit in with any “labeled” parenting group. I’m not your typical conventional parent, yet I am far from being totally 100% crunchy. I do NOT consider myself an attachment parent, which I know is like one of the biggest no-nos in the crunchy world. I didn’t breast feed, I’m not a full time baby wearer, I’m pro-circ and although we do do a delayed schedule, I’m pro-vac. When I see people label their profile on Instagram or Facebook groups as “Cloth diapering, anti-circ, NO vax, home-birth, and if you don’t agree with me and do exactly as I do I’ll judge you every second of your entire life” I get a little intimidated. Of course I am totally exaggerating and teasing, I have many close friends (including my fellow bloggers) who feel confident enough to label themselves. I am NOT knocking anyone who does this by the way. While I practice many of those elements of natural parenting; I just cannot label myself like that.
Sure we cloth diaper (part time because we use disposables at daycare and when we travel), baby wear when Brody doesn’t feel like being in a stroller, use natural skin care, don’t eat meat, shop organic at the farmers market, and hate pharmaceutical drugs but I don’t like to label myself as such incase I don’t live up to the standards. I think no matter what type of parenting you do, whether you are totally conventional or hardcore crunchy granola, you can feel judged or intimidated. I’m not going to lie, I have my moments when I cringe on the inside when I see certain things. But I need to remind myself I am FAR from perfect and need to let that child’s mom do what they think is best.
I started my semi-crunchy journey after a horrible birth experience with our first son. I had two failed inductions, 56 hours of miserable, drug induced labor that ended with a c-section. The whole thing seemed totally unnatural to me. My first week as a parent I witnessed a chemical burn on my son’s backside from the netting of a popular name-brand diaper, his whole body completely peeled from using a popular baby wash (J&J. Not to name names…) and I felt a TERRIBLE guilt over not breast feeding. After one short week being a parent I was absolutely disgusted with that types of products that were being offered to moms. We immediately switched to a Pure and Natural disposables and I returned $100 worth of J&J products to Walmart to exchange for Burt’s Bees. About one month later I bought my first cloth diapers and have been obsessed ever since.
I am vegetarian so naturally our son is too. In fact he is a dairy free vegetarian. I am totally that weird mom at daycare. I’m sure the workers talk about me but I try not to think about it. While the other kids get fruit loops with whole milk, juice and chicken nuggets to eat I send Brody with mushroom and asparagus millet, almond milk, date pieces and organic edamame. I have certain “rules” for them.; no meat, no dairy, no juice, no diaper cream, no crappy sunscreen…. And it goes on. One of his teachers told me that he is starting to notice his lunch is different than the other kids. I do feel bad that he may eventually feel as if he is an outsider. I think when he’s older I will turn my head if he wants to eat meat or dairy outside the home- because I’m sure he’d do it anyways. At home we will be meat free.
Now that I am pregnant with our second child I get a chance to do things I wish I had done with Brody. You’ll read more about my desire for a mid-wife assisted water birth next week but I knew I would not have another c-section. I am a lot less selfish and way more educated this time around. I feel like I really have a chance to make better choices for our new baby and myself. I look forward to sharing this pregnancy, birth, and after with TMD readers. I have been a huge supporter of this blog since day one and am glad I have the opportunity to hopefully inspire others like I have been inspired.