This first blog post of ours is important. I’m writing it to you all, so that you hear something important from me about this organization and our groups, and I want you to really hear it, deep in your soul.
I posted the same question in 5 different Crunchy Mama groups. “What does being ‘crunchy’ mean to you, in terms of motherhood?”
The answers I got were amazing.
So many of us see being ‘crunchy’ as so many different things! Some focused more on Green living. Some focused on babywearing, breastfeeding, and natural remedies. Some focused on what they think people look like when they imagine a crunchy mom (Birkenstocks, anyone?). The responses were across the board.
This, to me, is imperative to the mission of Crunchy Mamas. It is important to note that we do not all fall into the same definition - and that is ok.
It took me a few drafts to write this blog post without resorting to profanity. I say this, because I want you to understand how passionate I am about this issue. A few nights ago I read a blog post on a blog about natural parenting that broke down moms that claim they are crunchy into a few smaller segments. I’ve heard of these ‘sects’ of crunchiness before. I’ve heard “Scrunchy”, “Silky”, “Crispy”... whatever. And I gotta tell you, I am totally and 100% against them.
Let’s acknowledge this here: moms face incredible challenges. We are tough and strong and each day we make sacrifices people will never know about. We need support from other women, other moms, to help us continue on the blessed and yet difficult journey that is parenting. We need to stand with each other, and by each other, and be together.
Now, the irony of this is not lost on me. I understand that by creating an organization for “Crunchy Mamas”, I am creating a divide. I understand that members of my groups are somewhat set apart from other moms since I am working to support a specific angle of parenting. But I don’t believe that parents who parent differently from me are wrong, and I don’t believe that moms can’t support each other in general in other ways. I do recognize that moms who seek to do things in a natural way are a smaller group that are less mainstream, and they need to find each other to help each other out! We need to have each other’s backs.
So why, then, do I banish the thoughts of scrunchy and crispy and the like? Let me give an example. A blog I once read stated that her friend thought of herself as a crunchy mom, but she was not - simply because she didn’t fit all the ‘criteria’ for being crunchy. Instead, the blogger claimed that her friend was ‘scrunchy’ because she was only part way up the sliding scale. And the blogger criticized her friend for claiming to be one thing when she ‘clearly’ wasn’t.
Excuse me? We are rating each other now? Judging on how much into natural things we are?
Why in the world are some moms so intent on placing people in a rank, in order to define order in their lives? Why in the world do we need to compare each other, and put each other down in order to validate ourselves?
Look. I get it. We are somewhat different. That’s ok. But I encourage our group admins to go out and find members who might need some help. We go to breastfeeding support groups. Guess what? Some of the members who join ONLY BREASTFEED and don’t do anything else remotely ‘crunchy’. Awesome. If we can help those moms in their nursing journey, I am happy that we have helped them. Sometimes, we meet members at birthing centers. These women birth outside of a hospital but they don’t breastfeed. Ok. That works too.
I don’t believe that crunchy moms are only moms that follow a certain list and follow a specific doctrine for their life. I don’t believe that we are better than other moms. And I don’t for one second believe it is okay to shame another mother for parenting differently from you.
What if you can’t babywear due to a musculoskeletal disease? What if you are dealing with physical, psychological, or emotional abuse that makes you uncomfortable to nurse? What if you have medical reasons that make you need to birth in a hospital? Are we saying these women who literally cannot do these things are bad moms? Are we better than them for reasons out of their control?
What if you eat fast food, take Tylenol, or send your kids to public school? Guess what? If it works best for you, it works best for you.
If you want support, education, and resources to learn about ANY of the crunchy ways of life (and then, from there… who knows?), then you have found a great place to be. We welcome you. We encourage you. We want to share with you and help you grow and be the best mom you can be. But we will never hate you, judge you, shame you, or ridicule you because you do things a little differently from the way someone else does. And if you join one of our groups, you pledge to never do those things either. You pledge to support your local mama tribe, and be the best crunchy mama you can be.
Hold each other up. Don’t draw lines to divide. Provide support. Help others. And above all, do your best to love your family. Some days that’s a lot. Some days it’s a little. Some days, we need our friends to help us.
And that’s ok.
LOVE you guys,
Emmie, The Crunchy Mama who started it all, who has heard it all, and who has done close to it all. ;)