Crunchy, Granola, Neo-Hippie, Green, Earth Mama… All words that represent a similar lifestyle choice to be more natural and health conscious.
I had never heard of the term crunchy mama until someone thanked me on Instagram for posting pro-vaccination news reports despite being a “crunchy” mama. I was thanked because crunchy mamas have the reputation of being against childhood vaccines so it is important to show that you don’t have to skip out or go against your pediatrician’s advice (science) to follow the modern day hippie crowd.
Of course, I instantly searched the terms on Urban Dictionary and was pleasantly happy to be defined this way.
Urban Dictionary: Crunchy Mom
“A member of an increasingly growing group of moms who are neo-hippies.
They generally believe (for varying reasons) that there is something bad or less beneficial about buying mainstream products or doing other common activities in the mainstream way.”
Urban Dictionary: Granola
“An adjective used to describe people who are environmentally aware (flower child, tree-hugger), open-minded, left-winged, socially aware and active, queer or queer-positive, anti-oppressive/discriminatory (racial, sexual, gender, class, age, etc.) with an organic and natural emphasis on living, who will usually refrain from consuming or using anything containing animals and animal by-products (for health and/or environmental reasons), as well as limit consumption of what he or she does consume, as granola people are usually concerned about wasting resources. Usually buy only fair-trade goods and refrain from buying from large corporations, as most exploit the environment as well as their workers, which goes against granola core values. The choice of not removing body hair (see amazon) and drug use are not characteristics that define granola people, and people, regardless of granola status, may or may not partake in said activities. This definition is sometimes confused with hippy.”
Urban Dictionary: Neo-Hippie
“Someone who is interested in several of the following things:
vegetarianism/veganism, the environment, animal rights, gay rights, mild recreational drugs, feminism, New Age spirituality, or organic produce.
Stereotypical neo-hippie attire includes loose, comfortable clothing like peasant tops, skirts and sandals. Homemade clothing is common among the truly hardcore, as it appeals to their anti-capitalist sensibilities. Long hair is popular with both males and females.”‘Did you see the new neighbors? They have a daughter named Marigold, and they’re meditating in tie-dyed tunics on the front lawn. What neo-hippies’
While I do not participate in recreational drugs nor do I skip out on shaving my legs and armpits, I do have quite a few crunchy granola mama tendencies…
Baby Led Weaning. I am currently testing out this baby led weaning trend. I pureed some baby food already and my son only likes the sweet potatoes. I am going to focus on giving him steamed veggies and bits of fruit so he can learn to chew food first rather than just slurp it down like milk. I will continue to breastfeed for as long as he wants, within reason. My breastfeeding goal is anywhere between 12 months-24 months and essentially, what works best for my baby. Since I am a working mama, I pump… which means I need an additional freezer for all that breast milk!
Nom nom watermelon… Fox boy is eating well!
And drinking well while mommy’s at work.
Babywearing. I am almost obsessed with babywearing. Unfortunately, I only manage to carry my baby in my handmade, hand-dyed Osnaburg woven wrap (another crunchy quirk) a few times a week. I also own and love my Moby Wrap. The most frustrating thing about babywearing is convincing people it is okay to carry my baby around instead of using a stroller. No, it does not bother me. No, it does not hurt my back. Yes, it is hot. No, I don’t mind. Why do people try to make me feel stupid about this? It’s not their baby. End rant.
Coconut Oil. I have a separate category for coconut oil because it is simply amazing. I have been using it as a lotion since I was 36 weeks pregnant with my last baby… making it about 7.5 months total now. It does not perform miracles such as ridding stretch marks but I just love it on my skin. I use it about 3-4 times/week after showering or as a massage oil. It works wonders as a hair mask mixed with honey. And it works as an excellent, healthier cooking oil.
Composting/Recycling. Since I attended Michigan State University, I have wanted to start my own outdoor compost pile and actually recycle. When we buy a house, this will be incorporated into our family lives. It’s necessary for the environment and I feel guilty that I wasn’t raised to understand the importance of recycling. A compost pile would just be awesome for my garden…
Co-Sleeping. I enjoy sleeping with my babies in the morning. Both my three year old and six month old end up in my bed around 6am due to the little one’s early morning feeding. My husband leaves for work super early so we all fit comfortably. However, we do not all sleep in the same bed or bedroom all the time! I could never sleep all night long with my wiggly toddler. Also, my husband works in emergency communications and has heard terrifying stories of babies suffocating to death in their parent’s bed. There is no way he would approve of sleeping with an infant all night long. It is important to have a safe co-sleeper bed attachment if you want your infant to sleep near you. I kept my babies in a bassinet right next to my bed. It was very comforting and helpful for nighttime feedings. I almost moved his crib into our bedroom when he outgrew it but decided against it due to lack of space!
Cloth Diapering. I was inspired to cloth diaper my babies in order to be more sustainable and help reduce waste. This was something I was passionate about before I even thought about having babies. I also wanted an easy way to save money while starting a family. I started using gDiapers and then sewed some of my own. I found that using cloth wipes are also much easier with cloth diapering. I am not perfect though… I shamefully still use disposables in the mix because I have no more patience to try to explain to babysitters why I find cloth diapers important.
EBF (exclusively breastfeed) until six months. No formula ever. Nothing but liquid gold breast milk until six months. The grandparents think I am depriving my kid. My pediatrician says it’s great. (I gave my first baby formula and I completely blame WIC for giving me free formula and making it easy for me to give up on breastfeeding. I wish I could do that over but it’s too late.)
Essential Oils. I have only recently bought some lavender essential oils to add to my homemade beauty products.
Gardening. I have had a small garden for several years now. I am currently growing tomatoes, chili peppers, stevia, orange and apple mint, chives, oregano, strawberries, and some flowers. When we buy a house, I am going to try to make a garden large enough to sustain our family for the entire year. (Just like my red-head-auntie is currently doing!) I am slowly gaining more and more knowledge about gardening and making homemade food products each and every year. I’d like to have a small greenhouse for herbs within the next two years. This may seem obvious, but I only use natural pesticides as needed.
Grow baby grow… so I can turn you into SALSA.
No matter how terrible of a gardener you are… you can never kill mint! It’s like a weed.
Healthy Food. Coconut Oil. Olive Oil. Flax Seed. Chia Seed. Hemp Seed. Tofu. Clean Meats. Quinoa. Almond Milk. Organic/Local/Home grown fruits and vegetables (sometimes). Currently, I have all of that and more in my kitchen. I am always trying to incorporate more vegetarian meals into our diet. (My husband is actually okay with this as long as we don’t eliminate meat entirely.) My favorite meatless meals are tofu stir fries and black bean/rice/quinoa Mexican food.
Miss A enjoys snacking on hemp seeds… and they taste alright in a salad.
My Fox boy loooves blueberries.
I love fresh spinach!
Smoothies with flax seed, almond milk, strawberries, and blueberries are delicious.
Homemade/Natural Beauty & Household Products. If I can buy it, I can probably make it myself… or at least that’s my philosophy. I make my own laundry detergent, vinegar/water kitchen cleaner, natural shampoo/conditioner, body scrubs, and hair/face masks. I am currently working to eliminate beauty/household products containing parabens, phthalates (synthetic fragrances), petrochemicals, and other not-so-nice ingredients. You should check out the amber teething necklace product review I recently posted. They are super cute on them babies!
My newest natural shampoo trial consists of rye flour and water. It is WAY better for your hair compared to using baking soda and the obvious mainstream commercial shampoos.
I just bought some natural, non-aluminum deodorant (that actually works) and glycerin soap made with beeswax and honey at a local shop.
Homeschooling. Even my husband wishes we were in a financial situation to home school our children. With everything you hear on the news about school shootings and bullying, it’s no wonder more people don’t home school their children. Most likely, our children will be going to public schools though.
New Age Healing & Spirituality. I have always been interested in learning about spirituality, angels, crystals, tarot, meditation, psychics, healing herbs, yoga, mysticism, astrology, hypnotherapy, massage, acupuncture, acupressure… the list never ends. I love it all. I even minored in Religious Studies and took one course called Magic & Mysticism. Awesome, right? Totally.
Yes, those are tarot cards in a hand-sewn silk bag. And I just have no clue where this random box of “new age things” came from. Must have been hiding under my bed for the past dozen years…
I promise not all of these books are about spirituality and new age ideas…
Raising Animals. If everything goes as planned, we will be buying a house soon and next spring we will raise chickens for eggs. I wouldn’t mind raising goats for milk (and pets!!) in the near future. With raw milk, I could make cheese… I love cheese.
Sew Own Clothes. I don’t sew my own clothes… yet. I do sew cloth diapers, wipes, inserts, burp rags, blankets, crib sheets, comforters, pillow cases, curtains (soon), kid’s pajamas, doll clothing, and more. I am working on sewing my own clothing but haven’t been too successful yet.
Now that you know this about me (if you hadn’t already), you probably find me odd or strange. Maybe you think I’m snobby? I promise I am not trying to act better than the rest of you all. I get bored and ambitious at the same time so I’m drawn to new and different ways of living. I am not 100% crunchy/granola-ey though, probably not even 50… 60% and I’m definitely not perfect at everything involved with the crunchy lifestyle. You can see some of my non-crunchy tendencies/thoughts below.
- Circumcision. I am not against circumcising a baby boy… or piercing a baby girl’s ears… Don’t care either way.
- I Cheat on the Healthy Food. I love chips and cheese, all beef hot dogs, and bacon. I wash my pesticide-covered, imported fruits/veggies and hope for the best…
- Medicated, Hospital Birth. While a home birth and drug free birth sounded appealing, there was no way I was going to skip the epidural and hospital setting.
- No Breastfeeding Pictures Online… or at least none of me showing off my beautiful nipples. LOL. I am definitely not against trying to “normalizing breastfeeding” but I am uncomfortable doing so. Props to those who do it.
- Not Breastfeeding til the baby goes to preschool. I’m not judging those who do breastfeed small children. It just won’t work for me.
- Not Vegan. I don’t think I can go without animal products and be vegan. I love milk, cheese, and butter too much, but I will do my best to make sure I am not supporting the evils of the dairy and meat industries. Though sometimes I pretend I am…
- Pro-vaccines. I am adamant about parents vaccinating their children according to the regular vaccine schedule. It’s important that we maintain herd immunity to keep out preventable life debilitating diseases.
My baby has two little neon yellow bandaids where he got his six month vaccines recently. He only cried for five seconds, no side effects whatsoever! He is my little healthy boy!!
- Rice Cereals. I give rice and oatmeal to my baby.
- Spankings are acceptable on occasion.
- Oh and I dyed my hair using chemicals today… Next time I am using henna though because I felt guilty for two weeks after making my appointment! If there are any other natural hair dyes out there… please let me know!
I guess I’m only a SCRUNCHY MaMa… or so says Krystle K at thesnapmom.com. (Silky=traditional mom + Crunchy=> SCRUNCHY)
~Peace, love, and chili peppers~
Update 10/10/14: I have officially been a vegetarian for 7 weeks now thanks to the Food, Inc. documentary. If you haven’t watched it yet, DO IT!
Update 3/11/16: Still a vegetarian. 🙂 We limit dairy a lot, but still consume eggs from our chickens that we did indeed start raising. Chickens are the best.