For those wondering, a "Crunchy Granola Mom" is one of those hippy dippy, earthy type people. They play an over active role in their child's life (can also be a helicopter parent) and when they are not breastfeeding, they are co-sleeping and/or feeding their kids 100% supposed organic foods. The majority of these moms seem to choose natural births (which was my original plan until it went out the window due to complications), some don't. Some cloth diaper, some don't. Some vaccinate, some don't. It is a broad description but apparently to some people, I fell under that category with the decisions I made, meh, I sort of saw myself as one at that time but never put much thought into it until now.
When I became pregnant with my son, I set out to breastfeed and carry my kid in a sling as much as possible. I guess the universe had other plans for me because breastfeeding didn't work out and the sling only got used a handful of times, mainly because my son projectile vomited while I was wearing it and I got puke all over me. I never wore the damned thing again. In fact, not long after, I got a baby swing and that became our best friend!
Like many bottle feeders, I felt the guilt of not breastfeeding. I was made to feel that there was something wrong with me, that I wasn't trying hard enough where in fact, I did my best. I just didn't have any milk supply. I tried the herbs and all that junk they fed me and it still didn't work. There is nothing more stressful in life knowing you are unable to feed your hungry child. I was also accused of being a bad parent because I decided to break down and give my child a bottle. I remember rebutting"I think a bad parent is one who refuses to feed their child, whatever method that may be". Why make an infant starve because your milk hasn't come in? What kind of logic is that? I am not going to resort to child abuse. Bottle feeding isn't child abuse, starving your kid (after all your milk will come in - mine never did) for the sake of breastfeeding/peer pressure is!
I was consumed by so much guilt over this that when it was time to introduce my son to solid foods, I proudly announced that I was going to only buy 100% organic food and I was going to make the food myself. This is great. I was still on maternity leave and had time on my hands.
I quickly learned by going to these organic food shops that there was a "dirty dozen list", how BPA in plastic bottles are bad for you and to make sure to only purchase BPA Free bottles a long with a long list of potential health hazards.
Here in Canada, maternity leave usually lasts for about one year so when I went back to work - at a new job no less, I continued purchasing 100% organic food (that shit is super expensive). In fact, despite holding down a full time job, catching "daycare Ebola" (getting sick all the time from Philip bringing home germs - first year of daycare is hell. We caught everything!) I still trekked half way across town to do groceries. Not only that, while I chose the daycare for it's premium education program, they did not prepare organic food. I prepared meals in advance all week to make sure he was getting the "proper" nutrition and sent him to daycare with the "Mommy food" I prepared.
By the second month, I was exhausted and I complained to my friends about all the hard work I was doing. In the end, I was convinced that perhaps my take on this was wrong. In the end, I let him eat the damned daycare food and he was happy because he ate what everyone else ate! He loved it and he didn't die because of it. A friend of mine talked me into taking him to Mcdonald's because according to her "every child deserves a happy meal". You know something? He is not obese today because of it. In fact, today he knows that Mcdonald's isn't healthy but it is ok to eat it once in a while. He is not a picky eater either! Looking back at my early days as a mom and I have been doing much of that recently since my baby bat will be starting kindergarten next week, I can't help but laugh. I really wasn't being me and I tried too hard. I had very good intentions but knowing what I know now, I wouldn't have been so hard on myself. If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't beat myself up over the breastfeeding issue and I would most probably still make homemade babyfood but I wouldn't trek half way across town to get it either! The idea of me as a crunchy granola hippy dippy mom makes me laugh! That is so not who I am!
|First Mcdonald's and he is still alive|
|WTF do I do with this, mom?|
I recently blogged about how I was able to go out guilt free and be childless Sylvie once in a while and today, I want to emphasize on that. I was never a "hippy dippy" person. I highly respect the mothers who are because I once knew the amount of dedication and hard work it takes. My hat's off to you! Again, It is just not for me.
I found a perfect balance for my family and we are ALL much happier. I want to put this out there, and although I said it before, I am going to say it again, there is so much pressure for young moms nowadays to be the perfect mother. There is no right way, really. As long as you love your child, do what is best and not abuse them, I say we are on a good path!
What kind of mom do I see myself as? Well, definitely not the crunchy kind! I like to say I like to relate to Morticia Addams because she is the strong matriarch in her family. She loves her children, finds time to be an awesome wife but stays true to herself at the same time. Her husband is ever supportive and I love how they both are active in the upbringing of their children, there are no stereotypical gender roles! Since becoming a mother, she is one of my role models.
Speaking of Morticia Addams, just as I was finishing up this very post, I decided to do some blog reading and I noticed that Lucretia from the blog Lucretia's reflection posted about Morticia as well. She even put up a link to a very interesting article about how Morticia can be considered a Feminist Queen Who Has It All. That article highlights everything I wrote in my last paragraph and perfectly sums up on the kind of parent I see myself as! Thanks Lucretia for posting this and for your excellent timing as well as for the added inspiration! You're the best!