Judging the other mother

Who I Am: I’m Atticus’ mother, Kevin’s wife and my own boss.

I live for morning yoga on the beach, kombucha in a glass jar, and have been known to skip brushing my hair for a few days.

I breastfeed my 18 month old, had a baby out of my vagina (oh come on now, you have to say vagina if you want any crunchy street cred) with no drugs, toddler-wear (take that babywearing) and cloth diaper. Heck, I’ve even considered family cloth…

I also like shoes, nail polish, eyebrow waxing, and nothing beats rubbing coconut butter on my freshly shaved legs.

I’m crunchy, but I wear ridiculously fancy shoes, and I am proud of that. I love my earth mama friends just as much as I adore my Louboutin wearing glamour girls. I love when mama’s defeat stereotypes, especially in the parenting realm. I believe that we undervalue the importance of mommies embracing themselves for who they are.

You don’t have to be an unshaven, dread headed, free spirit hippie to be crunchy, and you certainly don’t have to be “crunchy” to practice some of the more instinctual parenting practices such as; babywearing, breastfeeding, natural birth, and cloth diapering.

What I try to convey to all moms, especially within this crunchy little world of ours, is that each and every caregiver that practices the instinctual parenting practices I touched on earlier; is important to the cause. The mom who has perfectly manicured nails, impeccable hair and babywears is more important to the Babywearing movement than she probably realizes.

I remember meeting a former Miss Arizona at a MommyCon Playdate and thinking to myself, this girl is stunning. I am so glad she’s here. The more society see’s mainstream moms practicing natural and instinctual parenting practices, the more prevalent things like babywearing, breastfeeding and cloth diapering will be in our culture.

Us crunchy moms can sit here with our tough exteriors and judge the bystander, but we need to quit it and embrace the mother who isn’t like us, but is trying out these practices for the first time.

Remember, if we want to see more families breastfeed, wear their children and cloth diaper; we must support all mothers in their parenting journey.


About the author

Xza Louise Higgins is the founder of MommyCon, creator of The Mommy Dialogues, and punk rock mom to two year old Atticus in the great city of Chicago, IL. She is incredibly passionate about birth options, human rights, and promoting gentle parenting practices.

No Comments

  1. Molly -  June 22, 2013 - 2:18 pm

    Yes! Although I don’t see how cloth diapering is an instinctual parenting practice like breastfeeding or babywearing 😉

    • Xza Louise -  June 22, 2013 - 2:29 pm

      Good point! haha. I guess that would go under the eco-concious side of things, but to me they are all intertwined.

    • Aradia -  June 22, 2013 - 4:53 pm

      Yeah– clearly, elimination communication is the instinctual parenting practice. ;-P

  2. Destiny -  June 22, 2013 - 2:19 pm

    Is that a sloomb forage obf on that baby? 🙂

    • Xza Louise -  June 22, 2013 - 2:29 pm

      Why yes, yes it is. We are a teeny bit obsessed with Sloomb in our house.

  3. Rebecca Loesch -  June 22, 2013 - 2:28 pm

    Can I just say how much I love this!! I am crunchy in most ways. I cloth diaper, breast feed, baby wear, make baby food from my garden, use only natural products, and follow my instincts to raise loving, honest people. I’m also very much a fashionista. I’m a makeup artist and I do fashion shows on the weekend, and I wear ridiculous things I saw on the runways. I don’t look crunchy but looks are so deceiving. Mothers go through so much judgement already we don’t need to judge each other too. We should support each other.

    • Xza Louise -  June 22, 2013 - 2:30 pm

      I think I remember you were wearing Tory Burch sandles with that Didymos Indio in Austin… hehe!

  4. Destiny -  June 22, 2013 - 2:31 pm

    *whispers so no one hears about my crazy* us too lol we have a stash of snapless and *cough* wayyy too much wool if there was such a thing 😉

  5. Sarah Thornton -  June 22, 2013 - 2:50 pm

    I love this posting. I defiantly do not think of myself as crunchy. I love taxis, manicures, going to black tie events, and other such things. Yet since having a kid, my hair is in a pony tail, my cloths slightly rumpled and my view of eco-conscious widely expanded. I am still breastfeeding at almost 2. So never thought that would happen. Cloth diaper- all i can say is land fills- by day and yes disposables at night. Sorry ladiess. Beach loves being worn…sounds odd saying it….yet at 30 pounds he still goes on my back. I had a home birth, no drugs all natural. Out of my close friends, I am the only one that does all these things. What is nice is they each have done one of these things and we talk about what else is best for us as individuals.

  6. annie mccourt-makaron -  June 22, 2013 - 3:28 pm

    I breast-fed until well after they were three, night was the last to go. I wish I knew when each of them were going to suckle for the last time. I would have stared at them more, memorized it so to speak, tried to perfect the art of perfect recall. I miss it even now; however, when they were done, they were done. No grande’ exit, the boobs just left the building.
    I also wore them both long into childhood for as long as my back could handle it. Further, we still have a family bed (although we are thinking of transitioning now that they are six and eight and all knees and elbows).
    I like to look adorable or sexy or swash-buckling or put-together—– or whatever mood I am in that day. My toenails are always painted and my nails are filed and clean with a clear polish (no color as it is gardening, cultivating, picking season).
    I have a question though, does, “exclusively breast-feeding,” mean that you don’t feed your child baby – food, only mama’s milk? Or does it mean: no formula? I’ve had several discussion with other mothers about this?
    I wish all mamas could just embrace each other as life-bringers. Save the fight for when we have a real opponent! Republicans, just kidding. We waste so much valuable mental real estate! xoxoxox I am for all Mamas!

    • Xza Louise -  June 22, 2013 - 5:24 pm

      For us exclusive breastfeeding meant not introducing solids (or in some peoples cases formula) until after 6 months. My son will be 19 months old in a few days, and he still breastfeeds for the majority of his calories. Even now, he still doesn’t like “real food.”

  7. Auriya -  June 22, 2013 - 4:04 pm

    I love the concept of not judging other moms. I have gotten my fair share of dirty looks from some moms.

    You see…. I tried to breastfeed, but neither of my children would stare at a boob for that long. They wanted to watch the world while they ate. So after pumping for as long as possible I was forced to switch to formula when I couldn’t keep up with their demand. Going through a month of latch, suck, pop off to see what just moved, scream, fight going back on, latch, suck, pop off just to make sure nothing was moving, scream…… even in a quiet room all alone. Yea. No. Just, no.

    And I am physically incapable of baby-wearing. The weight of them being held by my shoulders and chest sets off my horrible asthma and leaves me breathless and faint. So I got dirty looks for being the mom with the stroller from some people.

    Cloth diapers were a nice idea that we tried, but they always came out of the covers on my son and soaked him and his clothes and bedding and me with poo juice and pee. After three weeks of more laundry than anyone should have to do we said no thanks. Maybe I was doing it wrong, but we are a Pampers family now.

    In trying to encourage people to try these lovely ideas, it is important to remember that unless you are in someone elses shoes, do not judge them. Don’t glare, or shake your head, or make tisk tisk sounds. You don’t know what they have gone through to get to where they are.

    Oh, and I don’t wear make up unless it is a special occasion, I rarely paint my nails and could care less about fashion and what the world think looks good. I live in sports bras, tank tops and skirts. I am fat. I wear clunky shoes with insoles. I shop at thrift stores and garage sales. I eat only Non-GMO food, avoid HFCS, and am debating going gluten free. I’ve had ONE manicure in my life. I don’t think I am crunchy or anything other than me. I am a mom, a wife, a best friend. I am just me doing the best I can in any given moment.

  8. Amanda M S -  June 22, 2013 - 4:11 pm

    So glad you posted this Xza. There is no perfect way to parent and we all have to be respectful of each other. If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s mommy snobs.

  9. Stefanie -  June 22, 2013 - 4:18 pm

    Yes. Yes. I am a home birth, cloth diaper, coconut oil loving mom who wants to make the world a healthier place, and support good businesses with my hard-earned money. I also love to dye my hair purple, wear a variety of styles and get mesmerized when I enter Sephora.

    Because I was only able to produce 1/4 of my daughter’s calorie needs through my own breast milk, I began to realize how easily I slipped into judging others. I struggled with what I perceived as judgment from others. I struggled with wanting purple hair and to be a “crunchy”‘ mama.

    No one really gains anything by labeling. Don’t label yourself, don’t label others. Love yourself and love others. One of my dearest friends brags about how her house smells like bleach. I love that mine smells like essential oils. We are both good moms.

  10. Nina -  June 22, 2013 - 4:19 pm

    Good read!!! I’m one of those crunchy mama’s except from the fact that my home births has ended in cesareans. Sometimes I feel “thrown out” of the cult because my births didn’t go the ideal way and because the fact I wear high heels sometimes. None of those things should define me as a mother though, I can still be an attached parent 🙂

  11. Jill -  June 22, 2013 - 4:34 pm

    Thanks from the crunchy mom who aspires to be a bgirl. Was just telling my husband today that I just don’t fit in anywhere. 😉

  12. Kim -  June 22, 2013 - 5:01 pm

    Not breast feeding is sometimes not in natures plan. I wanted to be this kind of mom but my body didn’t get the memo. So lets judge you don’t know why some choices are made.

  13. Ashley -  June 22, 2013 - 5:03 pm

    I think this post is ridiculous. Why do moms have to be “crunchy, posh, glam”? Aren’t we all just MOMS? You nurse your 18 month old AND like wearing Louboutins?!? Way to break stereotypes *eye roll*

    Get over yourself, you’re not doing anything a billion other women haven’t done before you. If you want to baby wear it doesn’t make you a hippie, you’re doing what you feel is right for you. Stop labeling yourself & people won’t feel the need to label you.

    • Xza Louise -  June 22, 2013 - 5:20 pm

      Hi Ashley, I’m guessing you are new here. If people feel like labeling me, they are free to. I think you missed the point behind this post, and that is to encourage other mommies to embrace the more natural side of life even if the people who are usually represented in that practice are different from them.
      It can be pretty intimidating going into an environment that is foreign to you, especially when you are a new mother. Breastfeeding for many is a foreign environment, and so are those that have mastered the practice in modern society.

    • Amanda -  June 22, 2013 - 5:39 pm

      Someone must have missed the point of this post…….

    • Jessica -  June 25, 2013 - 10:54 pm

      You might be the only person here who didn’t miss the point of this post, Ashley.

  14. Dawn -  June 22, 2013 - 5:19 pm

    I can’t agree more. I remember when I was just learning and the judging was the only real thing stopping me from fully embracing it back then. I could have learned a whole lot more a whole lot faster if I had been learning from someone who was judging less.

  15. Louise O'Neil -  June 22, 2013 - 6:07 pm

    I just stumbled onto this page by accident…I am 55 years old, had my last baby girl 6 MONTHS ago! at home with a midwife, breastfeed with a supplementer as even though I didn’t produce enough milk I was determined to breastfeed. I carry my little Abigail in a front carrier, live out in the boonies and don’t ever wear make up. Sometimes I do wear shoes (g)…should I be judged too old to have a baby, or too old to have a baby at home?

    • annie mccourt-makaron -  June 22, 2013 - 7:59 pm

      I adored the midwives I had the pleasure to meet in rural WV. Mothers in remote and rural places really rely and support one another. I think you are fabulous!

  16. Xza -  June 22, 2013 - 6:39 pm

    Louise, that’s pretty amazing right there! I know women who “can’t” have home births, because they are over 35. As long as one is well versed in the pros and risks, mothers should be able to make the best informed choices for themselves. Thanks for stopping by!

  17. Louise O'Neil -  June 22, 2013 - 6:53 pm

    We live very rural and believe it or not, not one local OB doc would take me on. They wanted me to drive 2 hours to the city. Our local midwife never batted an eyebrow!

  18. Cheri -  June 22, 2013 - 7:55 pm

    Wonderful article. As a woman of 53 years, I enjoy the progress in this world of breastfeeding. I give much credit to the brave women of the 1960’s, and their persistence. They paved a bumpy road,and now you are smoothing it out further. I can say I have seen such progression in this realm, and we still have a ways to go. You point out this is a “woman” issue, across the board. Whether we choose to wear expensive shoes or go barefoot.Whether we vote as a Democrat, Republican, or not. We are almost all mothers that have a choice to breastfeed, and a fantastic choice that is. I continue my involvement in these campaigns, as we still have far in these areas to go. As you travel this road, and become grandparents, you too, will see the efforts come to fruition.
    I have learned so much more today, about the baby wearing, and the crunchy ladies! Let’s continue to be as individual as we can, with one common, denominator.
    Oh, and we can leave the labels to the fruit and veggies.

  19. Meaghan Noel -  June 23, 2013 - 7:55 pm

    What does “crunchy” mean? I always used it to describe the loud noise food makes when you chew it….
    How does it relate to a personality type?

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