Crunchy mom (with a penis)
Over the years I've slowly become acquainted with the term "crunchy" mom, AKA "granola" mom (AKA "hippie"). You probably know a few, even if you aren't aware of the name "crunchy".
Here's the mental image for you: She's probably barefoot a lot of the time, buys "organic" products, wears earth-tones and natural-fiber clothes, always has the baby in a sling, breastfeeds everywhere and for what you might consider "too long", talks about being "in touch" with her body (and not usually in the exciting way), might homeschool, etc. Mental image forming? (Here's a quiz)
Now, given my lack of mystical beliefs, my love of science-based knowledge, my general skepticism, and my lack of ovaries, you might think I'd have issues with that kind of crunchy-based, touchy-feely, new-agey parenting. But surprisingly, when I started examining things, I found out I'm actually pretty crunchy.
My crunchy attributes
Here's what I have in common with those of the crunchy persuation:
- Think babies should be breastfed for as long as possible
- Would never circumcise
- Would like to use cloth diapers next time
- Made baby food
- Timeouts and "gentle" discipline
- Considering homeschooling
- Would even consider "unschooling"
- Think most "mainstream" parenting ideas are bunk
- Farmers markets
- Buy mostly "whole" and "natural" foods
- Make most meals at home
- Make my own bread
- Make my own cleaners
- Have had and will again have a garden
- Think make-up is unnecessary for women (and men)
- Think shaving is unnecessary for women (and men)
- Think fashion is unnecessary
- Barefoot when possible
- Outside when possible
- Very little TV (don't have one)
- No "organized" religion
- Few over-the-counter medications
Not bad, eh?!
My non-crunchy attributes
However, being "crunchy" can include other things. These vary from "harmless differences of opinion" to "Wow, that's actually dangerous".
So, here's where I differ from those of the crunchy persuation.
- I don't believe giving birth or having ovaries grants a person special knowledge on child-rearing.
- I don't want to be Amish.
- I'm not into vegetarianism, veganism, all raw food, etc.
- I think most non-mainstream parenting ideas are bunk (everybody is guessing and hoping).
- I see no evidence that "artificial" ingredients are poisonous or dangerous (though I still prefer not to have them).
- I would totally use an epidural if I was giving birth, maybe two!
- Homebirth seems rather unnecessary (though the risks in absolute terms are not large).
- I'm not a New-Ager, a new-age Christian, a Unitarian, a Wiccan, a moon-watcher, or mystical in any way.
- I acknowledge the evidence shows alternative/herbal/natural medicines are mostly bunk.
- I acknowledge that the evidence shows vaccinations work, are a very good thing, and are almost certainly not harmful.
It seems my main important divergences seem to be where beliefs and evidence conflict. The evidence for vaccinations being a good thing is virtually bullet-proof. The evidence that "natural" medicine works is not (some might work, but most have no real evidence that they do). I can't be religious or mystical because I've seen no evidence those things are true. etc.
But, all in all, I'd say I'm fairly crunchy.