Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The crunchy mom

Disclaimer: I have nothing against " Crunchy Granola Moms" but these are mainly my personal thoughts on the subject. Before anyone gets offended, the point of this post is to mock myself, not anyone else. I have nothing against "Granola Moms",  personally, I am not one but I used to be!

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!

13 comments:

  1. "I'm just a modern woman trying to have it all" :) I love this, I also used to label myself a "crunchy" mama but I've relaxed a lot as my kids have grown.

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    1. Yeah I hear you. There is nothing wrong for wanting the best for our children but sometimes the best thing we can do is let our hair loose and just be!

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  2. Thanks, Sylvie, you're sweet! I'm glad you enjoyed my post and the article. :-)

    I enjoyed this post very much, and BTW, I think you're a GREAT mom! I wasn't able to breastfeed, either, because Stuart was a preemie and they frequently won't or can't suck hard enough, so I ended up having to bottle feed him. He also had pyloric stenosis, so LOTS of projectile vomiting before having surgery to correct it. Ain't it fun??? ;-)

    My generation was also pressured to be perfect moms; we were told we should be able to "have it all" by being full-time parents AND working full time jobs! How stupid is THAT??? I don't think any parent is ever perfect, but if we use our common sense, keep our sense of humor, listen to our kids, establish boundaries, and take care of our own needs as well as our family's, then I think we are doing the best we can. And the best we can do is the best we can do.

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    1. You're welcome. I laughed when I read your post because I was editing mine! Perfect timing! Ha! I am sorry to hear you had difficulties too with Stuart. I have a theory, I think our babies instinctively knew there was something wrong, which is why they didn't latch properly (Philip did the SAME thing!) and I think oour bodies knew too... I remember how hard those first few months were and I am sorry that you went through a similar situation. Not only was I sleep deprived, I was worried about my kid and had loads of laundry/cleaning to do! I see things have not changed much from your generation - there's still pressure to be the perfect mom and holding a full time job. Its not easy! I agree, we are doing the best we can and we should celebrate that!

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  3. The Addams are truely the best TV family out there! I understand that all you wanted was to be the best mum to your child and it is great that you learned that stressing out about things like organic food does not neccessarily make you a good mum. And I realised that I'm pretty granola; I use BPA free bottles and organic meat for myself! ^^

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    1. LOL I still choose the BPA free and I miss organic meat. It tastes really good! I just cant afford it at this time.

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  4. I love the relationship Morticia has with her children and husband! I cannot even begin to imagine myself as a mother but I appreciate and look up to mothers! I'm sure you are doing a splendid job dear! <3

    unknownprettylies.blogspot.com

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  5. Jeez, becoming a parent is one big judgment, huh?
    My sister-in-law's milk didn't come in either and she experienced all the guilt and crappy advice that you got. She went to her knees before she finally said 'fuck it' and reached for the bottle.

    Love your new banner!

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    1. Thank you! I am sorry your sister-in-law had trouble too. I remember when I went through it, I turned to the net and blogs to find comfort. I felt like such a loser mom for not being able to breastfeed and it was comforting to read about how other people felt like that too, which is one of the reasons why I wrote about it here!

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  6. This was a really great article but now I have got to the end all I can think of is screaming and running if I ever meet one of these women, or someone asks if I am having a baby, ha ha!

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  7. excellent post
    GFC you want to follow and keep in touch?
    let me know and I follow back!
    http://www.mosaictrends.com/

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  8. Crunchy mom. Thats a new word to me but sounds like it would be trying too hard... I am sure the balance you have these days is great :-)

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