Editor’s Note: All of the pieces in our Confessions Series are anonymous.
I’m not entirely crunchy, instead I fall somewhere in-between; we’ll call it a crispy kind of Mom. This identity comes from the choices that our family makes on a daily basis. For instance, my family and I don’t wear organic hemp clothing, I shave my legs, and I believe that God is our creator, not Mother Nature. I do enjoy mainstream shopping and a great Target bargain. However, I do exhaust my Tula, my favorite choice for baby wearing, on a daily basis. My baby wears cloth diapers, is exclusively breastfeed, but I carry a Coach diaper bag. We choose to eat gluten free and as organic as available. My children don’t eat refined sugar, food coloring or artificial flavors. Actually, none of us do. They aren’t upset when we go to a birthday party and they can’t have the cake or candy.
People feel sorry for them but I don’t. I’m teaching them to make healthy choices. Of course we cheat every once in a while and they are allowed a gluten free cupcake or an organic sucker, but truth be told they’d rather eat an entire bowl of freshly cut watermelon and I’d rather not deal with their atrocious behavior (the after effects of eating overly processed food). Our family loves being outdoors, but sometimes our family just needs to zone out in front of Netflix for awhile to recuperate. I try to not spank my children, but at times the hangry (anger derived from hunger) yelling Monster Mom comes out; I’m not proud of her! Oh yeah, and we also try to find natural solutions to health problems by utilizing the Chiropractor and essential oils before we try any mainstream remedies.
Having our third baby intensified my road to crunchiness. We attended Birth Boot Camp classes to prepare for the birth, had a doula, a completely unmedicated birth, didn’t circumcise our son, and I took my encapsulated placenta religiously afterwards to help get rid of the baby blues. And no, I do not vaccinate. So basically I don’t quite fit in with either the mainstream or fully crunchy Moms.
Some may say, “Co-sleeping is so dangerous! You are putting all of us at risk for not vaccinating. You don’t use birth control?? Oh… it’s because you’re Catholic. Then you must believe women don’t have rights. How do you know your Son is actually learning what he should while you homeschool?” The list of judgmental questions, sometimes made up in my head, goes on and on. Add to it the fact that we move roughly every three years, and I have to search out similar minded folks and accommodating stores, and well frankly it’s exhausting. What I know is that after extensive research it is the healthiest and most educated decision that my husband and I have chosen to make for our family. It didn’t just happen overnight. Through a lot of prayer and a desire to try something different I have evolved into this less than crunchy more than crispy kind of Mom.
Every outside opinion is minuscule in comparison to how critical I am of myself. It is difficult to feel satisfied with a days work when there is no one there to award you for a job well done. Especially when all you want is one minute to pee by yourself, but you’re too busy cleaning up some little person’s poop to remember that you had to pee in the first place. I worry every day that because my son hasn’t learned how to read yet that I’m failing him. At my husband’s squadron there are specific awards and positions where their only job is to recognize accomplishments on paper. My husband is able to go to work, add a bullet point to his OPR, have someone polish the rough edges, and “Bam!” instant recognition. The only way I see that happening at home is if the kids attend normal (or as we call it, “real”) school and I can allow someone else to assess them and assure me that I haven’t screwed them up for life. That in itself would take a lot of trust on my part. Perhaps I’m too prideful, but how could I trust that that person had my child’s best interest in mind when teaching and evaluating them? What standards would they use? The common core? That’s a much bigger issue. I digress….
All of this being said, I’m not out to convert someone to homeschool or cause their child to fall ill. I mean, if you believe the vaccines you are giving your child are in fact protecting your child, then shouldn’t I be the one scared? I just want to create a safe, Christian-based environment for our family. Currently there is a lot of hate and immoral behavior in this world and I feel it is my job to shelter them from that. We don’t have cable TV or “rabbit ears” aka an antenna. We do rely on Netflix and Amazon Prime, but the kids know what they are and are not allowed to watch. I know as they grow older I’ll have to monitor them more closely. Really, I would like it better if we kept the TV off all day, but sadly it becomes my daily babysitter for a couple of hours here and there allowing me to finish housework or steal away a second to maintain my sanity. Seriously what did they use to occupy young children before TV?
I long for a simpler lifestyle. “Let it go, Let it go…” Less toys, less waste, less spending; just focusing on the present and my precious children. To focus on God and His plan for our family. It’s so easy to get caught up in the daily grind and the fear of the “what if’s” that I find myself unable to just be still and connect with the children. I suppose that means I just need to pray more!
In the midst of cleaning up more poop, endless laundry, planning homeschool lessons (or better yet actually completing a lesson), cooking and cleaning up three meals a day, tending to our six 4×12 raised garden beds and moderate chicken coop, plus errands…the list goes on forever; I just want to feel like the choices we have made are correct and are making a beneficial impact on our children and that they can in turn learn how to make well educated decisions for their future. In the end that’s what it’s all about. Right?
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