When did I get so crunchy?

April 1, 2011 at 6:13 am (Deuce, Junior)

If you’re not familiar with the term “crunchy”, I’m referring to my new-found hippieness.  Somewhere between growing up in small town suburbia, my rebellious stint living in the big city, becoming a mom and moving back to suburbia, I found my hippie side.  If I had my way, we’d buy a modest house on a good chunk of land, grow as much of our own fruits and veggies as possible, raise our own meats and spend our days playing on the land.  I’d can jams and jellies every summer, make homemade sausages, maybe even smoke my own Christmas ham.  Not that there wouldn’t be trips to the supermarket, but living off the land as much as possible sounds perfect to me.  That’s all just a pipe dream for now, but I still seem to be finding myself with some crunchy tendencies these days.

My crunchy side really seems to shine through when it comes to my kids.  Somehow, I became this cloth-diapering, co-sleeping, breastfeeding, baby-wearing mom.  To be honest, I knew little to nothing of those traits before I was a mom.  I would have labeled myself as pretty mainstream in the parenting department, until I became a parent.  Although the biggest changes happened gradually and have really taken hold now that Deuce is here.

I assumed I’d breastfeed because it’s cheaper but thought, hey, no big deal if it doesn’t work out.  Instead, I found myself in tears giving Junior a bottle of formula when he was a week old because he was still hungry and I had nothing to offer him.  I spent weeks trying every trick in the book to get my supply up.   And I did it.  I figured if my body made him, my body knows how to feed him what he needs.  It’s free, it’s always available, I don’t have to wash or sterilize bottles, it’s always the right temperature and there’s never a midnight run to the store because there wasn’t quite enough to make it through the night.  I cried the day I realized my milk was gone for good when he was just a few days shy of 11 months old.

Hubs was out of work for a while, so I decided to give cloth diapering a shot.  Hubs wasn’t fond of it (well, he actually hated it) and switching back and forth just never worked.  I gave in.  While I was pregnant with Deuce, I decided it was all or nothing.  We made the decision to go cloth and I haven’t looked back.  The cost savings was a huge factor for us, but now that we’re using them, they’re so much more.  They don’t stink like disposables do.  I’m not putting my kid’s butt on chemicals all day.  And I’m not throwing out some nasty huge bag of dirty diapers every week.  It’s a win-win in my book.

Co-sleeping.  I swore I would NEVER co-sleep.  Even with Junior, I refused.  But he slept great in his crib.  Deuce is a whole other story.  This kid isn’t content being an arm’s length away from me.  He’s got to be right next to me.  And you know what, I love it.  I love his sleepy smiles.   I love when resting my hand on his chest is all he needs to feel safe and secure.  I love his smell.  I still think I’ll be ready for him to go to his own bed before too much longer, but for now he’s my little baby and I want him close to me.

I don’t think I’d ever heard the term “baby wearing” before Junior was born; now I do it daily.  I’ve got a soft structured carrier, a ring sling and a wrap carrier.  Not only that, but I know what they all are and how to use them!  When Junior was a baby, I enjoyed putting him in the cheap carrier we bought on Ebay.  One of those big name brand ones that you can pick up at Walmart with your groceries and an oil filter.  I hate it now.  Now that I have a clingy baby who wants and needs to be held, I had to find ways to free up my hands.  Thus a ton of options.  They all have their different purposes, but more than anything, it keeps Deuce right next to me.  Just like co-sleeping, it feels great to know that being close to me is all he needs.  As he gets older, I’m looking forward to his independence, but for now, this works for us.

Maybe I’m not crunchy because I’m out to save the world or something, but at some juncture in my life as a mom, I found a path that works for us and I’m loving it.  Even if I’m not quite as mainstream as I thought I was.

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