Lately I've been thinking about you. Yes, that's right. YOU. All of you cloth-diapering moms who who have "liked" Thirsties on
Facebook and have often commented on my blogs. Ok, ok, I know I am not being PC and I really should be asking "Are you are crunchy cloth-diapering parent?" I don't want to leave dads out, but since I am pretty sure most of you are indeed moms, I'll take the risk. Now, when I ask if you are a crunchy mom, I don't mean "Do you wear long skirts, layered-tanks tops, have unshaven legs and wear Birkenstocks?" (But if you do, that's cool!) What I am really wondering is this: Are cloth-diapering families more likely to recycle, to garden, to eat organic and local, to walk or ride bikes instead of driving? Are they more likely to compost and garden, to make home-made baby food, to co-sleep, to breastfeed, to wear their babies? Or are cloth-diapering moms just as diverse as disposable-diapering families? So what I'd like is this--I'd love to hear how you compare to the stereo-typical Crunchy Cloth-Diapering Mom and if you are the polar opposite, I want to hear that too! There is no judgement here--we all have parent and diapering in common--but it's fun to hear our differences once in a while too. I'll go first.
- Well, first of all, I do shave my legs--though many a time, I've gotten out of the shower and discovered that I shaved the same leg twice because I was interrupted by a child. No one ever interrupts my husband while he is shaving. Hmmmmm.....strange.
- I don't own Birkenstocks but I used to in college...now I wear flip flops all summer and my Dansko clogs all winter (I think those are kind of crunchy).
- I rarely wear make-up because I never go anywhere very exciting and I certainly don't have an extra five minutes in the morning to put any on--but honestly, I probably should. These days I am lucky if I leave the house with a bra on.
- I am an avid recycler. I cringe when I see plastic or glass in the trash. It weighs too heavily on my conscience. In fact, we were recently out of state and went to a game a huge sports arena. I was horrified by the fact that every single bottle, can and cup was thrown in the trash. Boulder is big on recycling and it's become a bit of an obsession with me.
- We do have a small garden, we do NOT compost (I am not crunchy enough to tolerate the sugar ants it attracted even though I had in a sealed container!).
- I have co-slept with all three of my children for varying amounts of time. Cooper is finally in his own room which is wonderful because I couldn't stand the crooked neck from nursing all night any longer!
- My husband does ride his bike to work when he can, but I have to admit, I am all about the car these days. I just can't get anywhere with all three any other way.
- I do NOT make my own baby food. Again, it's the time thing--or at least that's my excuse--but I have nursed all three for a minimum of 16 months.
- We eat organic and local when we can--but it is pricey and I have to take that into account.
We cloth diaper, but Grandma refuses to when DD is there and I don’t push the issue. We exclusively breastfed DD until 11 months when she went straight to table foods, so, no I don’t make my own baby food. I baby wear up to six months, and then borrow a stroller from the grandparents when we’re going somewhere. We have two co-sleeping / one bed-sharing part-time. We have a small garden, but it’s our first attempt and we don’t compost. We do recycle, but only sort of half-heartedly. We buy local when available, especially local services, meaning local restaurants instead of chains, local hardware and pharmacies instead of box stores, etc. We just bought a house and chose it on its proximity to the park, library, church, and school. So we walk when we can (who wants to get everyone loaded up into carseats anyway?), but it’s limited. Oh, and I shave my legs every time I shower and wash my hair every third time.
I realized recently that being crunchy isn’t about just wanting to be a “crazy hippie” as my husband likes to call me. It’s more about doing what’s best for my kiddos. The light bulb flicked on the other day when my 5 year old brought me the recycling bin and asked to do a project with the stuff in it. We cloth diaper, recycle, make baby food, the basics. This blog post made me stop and tally up what we actually do and the list was much longer than expected. On picnics we pack our food in reusable containers, we bring our own bags to the grocery store, we reuse and make as much as possible (bubble solution in an empty milk jug, play dough, etc), and just try to make as little impact as possible. I also LOVE maxi dresses and long skirts, but with 3 kids 5 and under the practicality of shorts and a t-shirt wins out (however, my Tevas are securely strapped to my feet), my hair is usually braided and tied back with a headband or scarf, and make-up is for when I have more than 5 min to get ready. The list continued to grow with things like gardening, rain barrels, cleaners, etc. I also feel it’s important to not push anyone on these issues and for it to be a personal choice. It makes me nuts when people judge others for not doing one or all of these things. In fact, I use disposables and purchase baby food when things get too crazy and I miss my SUV (a mini-van was required to fit all of the car seats). :)
Currently not as crunchy as I want to be. This has to do with being exhausted from trying to figure out this whole mom thing (just gave birth to my first child 13 days ago) and also with the fact that my son is too small for the cloth diapers and the baby carrier that we purchased, so we are currently using disposable diapers and I just carry him in my arms a lot or we put him in a seat that my husband made from a motorcycle helmet (he put a five point harness in it). I do plan on using cloth diapers as soon as his legs and waist get a little bit thicker and baby-wearing as soon as he gains enough weight to meet the minimum weight for the carrier we bought. I am breastfeeding, but he has had a little bit of formula, hope to nurse until one year or stop sooner if baby starts biting me, and then pump and give breastmilk in bottle/sippy-cup until baby is 3 years old. We bedshare, but not all the time, won’t do it if I’m exhausted because I’m not as alert as I’d like to be. Hope to make my own baby food, plan on delaying solids until one year though. Plan on using cloth wipes after we run out of all the disposable ones that were gifted to us. Don’t garden, mostly because I can manage to kill almost any plant (I once made an aloe vera plant turn brown). We recycle and up-cycle. Buy used a lot. I do wear long flowy skirts, don’t shave my legs very often, very rarely wear make-up, don’t use styling products in my hair (I do brush it a lot though because knots really annoy me), and I don’t mind if I only get 2 or 3 showers a week. Don’t know what Birkenstocks are, but I do wear flip-flops a lot. Prefer to buy organic foods, but can’t afford it very often. Like going to farmer’s markets, but usually don’t buy anything at them, lol.
I have the best intentions, but at the end of the day I’m just semi-crunchy!
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