The Next TMD Writer: Cristin Shares Her Story

“SHUT UP!” These are the words that came out of my mouth and typed into facebook chat simultaneously, when another TMD follower (and friend) told me that I was a finalist for The Mommy Dialogues. How is that possible? Why me? HOLY FREAKEN CRAP! I submitted my application and instantly, I thought, “shoot! I should have said so much more about _________(fill in what you wish you would have said).” I am still stunned that these ladies chose ME as a person of interest. Knowing that triggers my always present anxiety. I am NOT interesting. I am not someone people would ever read about, or follow on twitter/IG/fb/a blog. What can I write about and put out into the world that people will read and come away feeling like theyʼve learned something, or connected with it? I thought all night about what story I could come up with. What would make me stand out among the other finalists? I began to think; Maybe thatʼs the point. Maybe they picked me because I donʼt stand out in any special way: Maybe they picked me because I am average and relatable. Maybe they picked me because they believe that I am exactly like everyone else who follows TMD. Maybe I am way off here, but I believe that most the of TMD readers fall somewhere in the middle of natural parenting. There are some who practice EC, AP and homeschool, baby wear, cloth diaper, eat only organic, donʼt vax or circumcise etc. Then there are others who never got into babywearing, who turned their child FF at one, who didnʼt breastfeed into toddlerhood, and even formula feed. And, itʼs okay! In fact, itʼs awesome. Thatʼs exactly why TMD is such a useful resource. We arenʼt all practicing the exact same style of parenting. We are all doing it our own way and learning from each other as we go. We are dedicated and trying our damnedest to do what we think is best. In the process raising these little humans to be healthy, loving, happy, well adjusted adults. Right?


I wasnʼt always dedicated to a natural lifestyle. In fact, before I had kids, I couldnʼt have cared less where my food came from or what my lotion was made of. Becoming a mom changed me in a drastic way. That happens to most of us, no? After having my son Madden (yes, like John Madden and no, not named after him, 3yrs) my world became a different place. A scary place, with pesticides, chemicals, vaccinations, high fructose corn syrup, red dye 40. How am I supposed to keep him alive and healthy?! I started small. Committing to a year of breastfeeding before he was born, and when the time came choosing to make my own baby food. It was satisfying knowing exactly what ingredients were (and more importantly WERE NOT) in my sonʼs food. I vaccinated, and circumcised him. Not without hesitation, and not without a lot of late night research on my iPhone. But, at that time, that was what I decided was best. I donʼt regret either decision. I also understand why other parents choose not to and I think that they are incredibly brave to make that choice. Then came my sweet girl, Harper, 18mo. Now I have TWO humans to do right by. TWO! With the second child came more research (the internet is a dangerous place), and wouldnʼt you know it- the world was still scary. There were new things for me to be afraid of, hormones in milk and meat, learning about how detrimental disposable diapers are to my children and the Earth being the main two for me. So, on October 1st 2011, I became a vegan (*GASP*). I thought my husband was going to cry. He is a SUPER carnivore with an occasional grain and vegetable mixed in for fun. He wasnʼt hip to the idea, but I wasnʼt asking him to join me so he allowed tolerated it. What started as a one month experiment became one of the most profound changes I ever made in my life. Both of my children are vegan as well. It makes me proud to know that I am not only doing what I believe is best for our health, but also for the Earth and in the process not killing animals. I am not a crazy animal rights activist. I wonʼt ever lecture anyone on the subject, promise! Second,came my cloth diapering revelation. It started with a cloth diaper trial. I didnʼt stick with it. I went back and forth from cloth to disposables for months and months. I never felt like I could shell out the upfront cost to get myself a stash. I did it part time and felt good about it. These days, I am full-time cloth and LOVING it. I still consider myself a newbie and I definitely see the addictive quality that cloth diapering holds on all of us.

I am always striving to be a more natural person and parent. TMD has been so helpful in that journey. I am so thankful that I was introduced to The Mommy Dialogues, and I am now thankful that I was considered interesting enough to learn more about! Whatever becomes of this “competition”, I am thrilled to be a part of the experience.


No Comments

  1. Chantal -  December 9, 2012 - 2:59 pm

    Love this post in so many ways! Incredibly relatable. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Amanda M S -  December 9, 2012 - 3:50 pm

    You’re an awesome friend and mommy! Great story!

  3. Cristin Lehnert -  December 9, 2012 - 4:27 pm

    Thank you, ladies!

  4. Michelle -  December 9, 2012 - 7:53 pm

    I remember when you started that cloth diapering journey : ). Great post. You are interesting AND relatable!

  5. Ali L -  December 9, 2012 - 7:55 pm

    I love how humble you are! And it’s refreshing to read about your non-judgmental and honest journey through parenthood. Very cool that you won!

  6. Cristin L -  December 9, 2012 - 8:33 pm

    Thanks, Michelle and Ali!! I didn’t actually win anything. I am just a finalist. 🙂

  7. Cyndi -  December 9, 2012 - 9:14 pm

    I feel like I could’ve written this myself! I’m a fan! Thanks for sharing! It’s really nice to know I’m not the only one parenting in this way. Well, except for the vegan part 😉 haha I am not there yet!

  8. Cristin Lehnert -  December 9, 2012 - 9:35 pm

    Cyndi- thanks so much for your kind words!

  9. Liz G. -  December 10, 2012 - 2:54 pm

    Definitely loving the non-judgmental attitude! LOVE how honest you are. Go girl! 🙂

  10. Steve D -  January 28, 2013 - 7:07 pm

    I was going through open tabs and found this; it looks like it’s been a while. Still, I wanted to say something: You are interesting and one of the few people I would follow-for-the-right-reasons. You’re honest and that comes through in your writing. And it comforts us. You also care–not in the surface flashy way–but in a deeper, natural sense that reveals itself a little in all the things that you do.

    While I may not be the target audience here, it’s easy to understand how others can connect with your message.

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