I once had a friend tell me that she noticed Moms getting feisty about who was ‘crunchier’ in an online community that she was part of. This was before I even really knew that there was a term for Moms who cloth diaper, feed organic foods, co-sleep and practice gentle guidance/attachment parenting. I know now that the term for these things and others combined is ‘crunchy’ and I have now seen this war between Mamas, so to speak, with my own two eyes.
Take for example, a Mom who is commenting on a parenting blog post. She mentions that she doesn’t feed organically or that she vaccinates because that’s what’s right for her family. Another Mom swoops in and puts her in her place, shaming her for not being ‘as crunchy’ as her and everyone else who’s participating in the post. Personally, I get it. I mean, people are competitive in this world. But to feel like we must be competitive when striving toward a common goal, which is lifestyle that might look different for every family, is ridiculous in my opinion.
Not to sound like Miss make-love-not-war, but shouldn’t we be accepting these Mamas, who are like us in so many ways (‘crunchy’ or not!), and learning gently from then as they receive the same from us? I remember a day when I was very much so a mainstream parent. I gave birth at 16 and took everything at face value then, listened to what was said and then did as I was told. It took one person to show me a new way. One person to use gentle guidance to steer me toward a better life. As I went down this new path of finding my own parenting style and breaking away from the pack, I made many changes along the way. Some through my own research, some through trial and error, and some through the gentle guidance and advice of others. If someone presents new pregnancy, birth or parenting ideas in a threatening way, my receptors are closed for business. Aren’t yours?
So before we decide to get in a mommy-war of who does this more naturally than the next person, remember that most people who engage in conversations about pregnancy, birth and parenting are open to suggestions and advice. Don’t throw that opportunity away, because it might be the one thing that person needs to read or hear that leads them further down the path of self discovery and enlightenment.