I think in this post I’d like to address something I tend to get a lot of negativity about-
Our parenting style.
In my opinion, It seems as if people feed us negativity about our choices because they are not what they’re used to. Not because they are bad choices necessarily, but because they are out of most people’s comfort zone in this non-instinctual, modern world. And thats okay! I understand.
I’ve had many different labels thrown at me over the years ranging from “crunchy” to “freaky, gross hippy” and they have all given me quite a laugh. But its human nature to generalize other humans. To sort them in your mind into either a “safe” category or an “unsafe” category. Its how humans have always been, and it won’t ever change. Unfortunately, anyone who seems foreign in one way or another is often placed in the “unsafe” category. So here I am! I embrace it rather than fight back. (I have three kids I have to fight with daily. I choose my battles wisely!) But in today’s society there are so many labels, especially for mothers. So many that I have a hard time keeping up with them myself! You have your “silky” mothers (formula fed, disposable diapers etc.) and you have your “crunchy” mothers (breastfeeding, cloth diapers etc.) you have your “granola” mothers (a more extreme “crunchy” mom) and the list could go on for quite a while. But rather than label myself, let me just put this out there-
I parent instinctually, intelligently, and with as little of modern culture as possible.
I try to take on motherhood as our ancestors did. Before our culture went ice cold, and unfriendly.
I try to teach my children to love themselves first and the Earth second. That we are a part of nature, just as much as the moon and the stars. I believe in teaching them (especially my daughters) that their bodies are beautiful creations and they should never listen to what this society deems “acceptable.” Also that they aren’t meant to be shamed for showing skin either. I don’t believe in gender roles. I believe in teaching them to give their thanks and appreciation back to the Earth in whatever way they believe is right, whether its in the form of a ritual, or just not using disposable products. I don’t force beliefs on them, I let them believe in what they feel is right. I give them the tools. I look at it as planting a seed and watching it grow. I don’t force them to study, they learn through hands on experience and play. I baby wear, I use cloth diapers and cloth products to replace paper, I breastfeed, I wet nurse, we eat organically. We don’t regularly use medications. We use essential oils. We use crystals. We believe in the power of yoga and meditation and practice it almost daily. We are a part of a few sister tribes. We are a feminist family. I could go on and on.
And you know what?
None of those things make me a bad person, or someone to be feared or threatened by. (Although we have a running joke in my family that I’m secretly a witch) With every single choice I make, I do extensive research on whatever it may be. I weigh the pros and cons, and then make an informed decision. Its just who I am. I am VERY opinionated, but I also keep an open mind.
Now I know, I don’t have to explain myself to anyone. They’re my choices. But I feel like giving a bit of an explanation may really help those that struggle to understand how other mothers like myself think. The stigma of natural parenting sucks. That none of us know what we are talking about, we don’t care, or that we just want to seem “better” than conventional parents. False. The vast majority of people like myself are extremely informed and up-to-date, hence why we make the decisions we do. We only want what is best for our children. And that is not saying that conventional parents aren’t making the best choices for their children. Every child and every family is different. What may be a great choice for a more natural family may not be the best choice for a conventional family and vice versa. That’s okay.
But with everything else set aside, my blog, but more so this post specifically, are to help others understand our lifestyle and how we parent. Not to degrade others who don’t practice a natural lifestyle.
Love and light!