Friday, June 17, 2016

Why I don't feed my baby puffs, and other crunchy observations

I am a crunchy mom. I won't deny it. I didn't know I was this crunchy until I popped out a baby and had to start making so many decisions about what goes into (and on) another person's body.

If you are crunchy like me, you might relate to this post. If you are might be offended. Oh well. We all make decisions for our own offspring, and these are the ones I make for mine. Every mom gets to choose...but I will say that I honestly don't understand mainstream, silky parents. You probably feel the same way about me. (Also this post is full of sarcasm. I don't think I'm a better parent for being ultra-natural, but perhaps a more informed one?)

For one, I cringe whenever I see another mom feeding her infant child puffs. First of all, those things are full of sugar, soy, and artificial flavors. I wouldn't even eat them. I wouldn't even call them food. In the past few years we have thrown out anything artificial from our diets--and now, you know, we eat real food. Real food. And the last thing I am going to stuff into my child's virgin gut is a bunch of genetically modified "puffs" whose first ingredient is rice flour, a grain that holds exactly zero nutritional value. Instead, I've chosen to give my baby peas, that he smashes into his eyebrows and throws on the floor. Clearly a better option. If anyone knows how to get smashed pees out of the crevices of my son's plastic highchair, please leave a memo in the comment box. Also, feel free to leave me a hate comment about how I place my child in a plastic receptacle to nourish him, but turn up my nose at puffs.

I also don't understand people that pierce their infant child's ears. I can't fathom your thought process? Hey, lets put holes in my child's body that he or she might be stuck with for life before they can consent to such a process? No thank you. I mean, besides the unnecessary expense, I don't want any weird metals in contact with my growing child's skin for months. I'll pass.

Other things I don't understand: toothpaste with fluoride, petroleum in skincare products, taking your baby with one tooth to the dentist, slathering sunscreen all over a baby before setting foot outside, pureeing your babies food, dying your hair while pregnant, letting your child cry in another room and not holding them, trying to force your child to sleep through the night...

all that nutrition served on plastic...
Sometimes I feel like a walking advertisement for crunchy parenting. We cloth diaper, I am against routine circumcision, for natural remedies when sickness hits, love to breastfeed, pro attachment parenting, baby-wearing, baby led weaning, extended breastfeeding, bed-sharing...have I hit all the points? The thing is we just fell into it naturally. It made sense to me. I am sure every mom feels the same about their choices, so I really try not to judge.

I really am for every mom being free to make the choice they feel is best for their own children. I know this might have come across as pretty judgemental, but I am honestly tired of having to explain myself to mainstream parents. I know parenting is not a battle or a war, it should be a sea of different moms all making different choices and supporting others to choose as they see fit. I just see so many divisions in our culture, and I think many professionals only present one side of the story of parents, leading to so much misunderstanding. Not all pennies need to get their shine from the same oil, you know: other methods can be used. Same for kids: not all of them have to be raised by one standard.  

I don't think it's wrong to ask questions, but so many moms are out there thinking their lives and choices should be the guidelines for every other mom. Or that the choices one mom makes are meant to be critical of another mom, when honestly we are all just making choices, and not running on enough sleep to think of others, much less ourselves. So many moms also squish their inner voice and follow what their doctor or best friend tells them because they "have a degree" or "have been there before".

But they don't know your baby. Only you know your baby.

So I'm here to tell you, rather you are crunchy or silky or somewhere in-between, or maybe you don't even know what those terms mean--you've got this. Do you love your baby? Are you trying to shift thought all the noise and make right choices for your baby? That's awesome. I support you. Let's be friends.

But I might ask you why you feed your baby puffs.