We all know that being a parent brings an immeasurable amount of joy. We also know that the happiness we feel is often accompanied by fear or guilt. At least I hope you all know this, and I’m not the only one who feels this way.
I personally feel it’s important to share the ups and down of parenthood. This is an absolutely insane roll-a-coaster we’re all on, and the more open we are about it the easier it is. I’m hoping this post will inspire you all to be more transparent. It’s okay to share your parenting mistakes, and regrets with others.
I’m writing this post mostly for myself, but also for the parents who feel just like me. I constantly see photos of perfect little families, and I wonder why parenting seems so easy for them. In order to not fall into that same cycle of only sharing the good stuff, I’m airing out my dirty laundry. Here it is folks, the main reason I regret calling myself a “crunchy mom”
1.I put myself in a box
Being a new mom is terrifying. It’s even harder when you’re young, and there’s no one around you who really understands what you’re going through. I knew I wanted to raise my son differently than how I was brought up but I didn’t know how. Then I discovered attachment parenting and all the other “crunchy” parenting advice. I latched onto the term crunchy so much that I didn’t give myself enough wiggle room. I started to stress about every little thing, and I felt disappointed when I would turn to less natural options. Now I realize that it isn’t all or nothing and that it’s okay to not be perfect. Yes, I’m trying to give my family the healthiest things I can, but it’s not worth losing my mind over. Now I’m trying a more balanced approach to parenting and life in general. There are certain things I will never compromise on like bed-sharing, or giving my son candy. Other things I try not to stress about too much.
2.I opened myself up to A LOT of negativity
I’m sure this goes without saying, but people can be pretty shitty. I’m not sure why this increases when you have children. It’s like people come out of the woodwork with their unnecessary comments. People told me I was selfish for having a home birth because my baby was most likely going to die without a doctor present. I can’t even begin to tell you the horrible things people have said because we don’t vaccinate. Choosing to parent outside of the norm has opened my family up to an unbelievable amount of hate. If it weren’t for the like-minded families I have to lean on I don’t know how I would get through it.
Before you say “well who told you parenting would be convenient” just hear me out. There are times when I understand why so many parent choose to parents a more “conventional” way. In some ways, it seems a lot easier. There are times when I understand why parents sit their kids in front of the T.V, or why they use disposable diapers instead of cloth. If I’m being perfectly honest there are times I wish I was a “normal” parent, because I wouldn’t have to constantly defend my choices. However, my partner and I choose to do thing differently because we believe it’s what’s best for our family.
If I’m being completely honest I can’t imagine myself not parenting the way I do now. The only thing I truly regret is labeling myself. Defining myself as a crunchy mama made me feel like I needed to hold myself up to unrealistic standards. And when I couldn’t meet those standards I felt like I had failed as a parent in some way. My advice to parents who are feeling the same way I was is to be gentle with yourself. No one’s a perfect parent, and that’s okay.