Did you know there’s a type of parent that’s called “crunchy?” Crunchy as in “like a hippie,” not crunchy as in crispy like a cracker. I only found out about two years ago that “crunchy mama” is an actual term, that it means someone who tries to raise their kid in a natural environment marked by organic, chemical-free foods, cleaners, and personal products. They also tend to reuse/repurpose items and are generally trying to keep a healthy, low-impact home.
I think crunchy people used to be called hippies, in a pejorative sense, but now the term crunchy is more positive.
Thank God, because I think I’m kind of becoming a crunchy mom. Sort of semi-crunchy, like a graham cracker left on the counter during the summer.
I never thought I’d be like this … but here I am jumping on the “coconut oil is good for everything bandwagon and all that. Here I am … are you crunchy, too?
When I was a kid, if you got a sunburn maybe you got some aloe rubbed on your burn to soothe it … then again maybe you just waited until it peeled and moved on with life. Now, any time I or my kids burn (and they burn very rarely, probably due to the SPF 50 sunscreen – paraben-free, nanoparticle-free, carcinogen-free – I lather on them anytime they’re in bright sun for more than half an hour) I smooth coconut oil on the burn.
(And hot damn, by the way – coconut oil is the ultimate salve for sunburns, who knew … thanks for the tip, sis! That takes the redness away overnight!)
Maybe one day coconut oil will cure cancer – maybe right now some people think it might? – but for now crunchy moms everywhere use it for everything from homemade sunscreen to a butter replacement in cooking to homemade lotions. It’s kind of a parody … but also kind of true.
I grew up drinking the milk that was available in the grocery store; there was no choice. Now scientists and activists and so many others have learned what hormones fed to cows do to the milk produced for people. You can readily buy hormone-free (rBST-free) milk, which I insist on. But I don’t buy organic milk, even though I feel guilty about not getting it every time I “just” get the rBST-free milk. Should I? Is that a bit sad?
We use paraben-free, sulfate-free, phalate-free shampoo and lotion for my kids, but we use regular soap for our hands and dishes
I buy organic carrots, spinach, and apples but our strawberries, green beans, and everything else are laden with pesticides, I’m sure.
I bought naturally-dyed sprinkles for my kids (because they love sprinkles on their weekend bagel, crazy kids) instead of the terrible horrible no good sprinkles laced with Red #40 etc., just so they don’t get ADHD and all that’s predicted if they’re inundated with artificial food dyes.
Whenever I can, I make toys and crafts for my girls – partly for cost reasons but also so we don’t end up buying cheap, plasticy-smelling crap made in China. I also don’t want our home overtaken by toys. Yes … mostly this is a pipe dream, but the intentions are there.
Is it enough?
I think parents always think that, don’t we? I think this “crunchy mama” movement has come about because we’re trying so hard to give our kids the best they can get. (And let’s face it – we know what wins the pesticides vs. no pesticides game.)
Maybe I resent the term because I don’t want to be thought of as a hippie. I’m more rural recluse than berserk Berkeley. I just want to be healthier and raise healthy kids. (Don’t we all?) I guess, maybe based on my childhood experiences, that I’d never be like this. (And who knows what I’ll be like in five years?!)
While I don’t want anyone to call me crunchy, I’ll keep trying to buy organic when I can and get or make natural products. Raw, local honey, anyone?!
Where do you stand on the crunchy spectrum? Are you soft or crunchy? Do you like where you stand?