GrowingSlower blog Shannon Brown
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I’m a Crunchy Mama, BUT…

Welcome to the second edition of the “I’m a Natural Parent – BUT…” Carnival This post was written for inclusion in the carnival hosted by The Artful Mama and our feminist {play}school. During this carnival our participants have focused on how mainstream society has affected their natural parenting and how they have come to peace with this.

It can start to feel a little overwhelming when you read blogs about green and natural parenting. We write about how we cloth diapershop at farmers markets, have home births, and make granola and even our cleaning supplies from scratch. It’s easy to think, I could never find time for all that! and quickly give up. 

So let me tell you, I may be a crunchy mama now, BUT…I haven’t always been that way. 

I was thinking about the trip we made to visit my in-laws in the South a couple of years ago. My mother-in-law was cooking up Easter dinner in the kitchen. I was vaguely aware that she was peeling, chopping, and boiling potatoes. Ok, I thought, mashed potatoes. Then we were all sitting down to eat and BAM, the epiphany of a lifetime: not mashed potatoes but potato salad! Let this be no comment on my own mother’s cooking. She makes lots of yummy things from scratch. Somehow though, in all my twenty something years up until that point it had never occurred to me that it was even possible to make potato salad at home. Imagine if I could go back in time and tell myself I’d also be making bread, granola, chicken stock, and yogurt at home too!

I’ve come a long way since then. 

I still have a long way to go. 

My inspiration for becoming a more natural mama.

So in the interest of encouraging you to crunchy greatness, I’ll make a few natural parenting confessions. 

When we go on road trips, I try to pack lunch or dinner. Sometimes that doesn’t work out though, and yes, sometimes we stop at Burger King. Cringe.

When we have to fly, we use disposable diapers instead of cloth. Part of my love of cloth diapers is saving money compared to disposables. That advantage disappears when you are paying $50 to check a bag full of cloth diapers. I still hate sending those sposies to the landfill, but luckily it’s not often that we travel. It reminds me how much garbage is created by just a few days of disposable diapers. It gives me a renewed enthusiasm for my diaper laundry once we get back home. 

I love LOVE Ghirardelli brownies out of the box! I’ve tried to find a recipe that’s the same, but nothing so far comes close.

There are many more natural practices that I someday hope to get to, but haven’t yet. I haven’t adopted mama cloth or family cloth just yet. 

I haven’t completely switched to paperless billing or been able to get rid of all the junk mail. 

We don’t have a garden or any chickens yet. I forgot to feed my sourdough and it died. At this point in life I’m having a hard enough time remembering to feed and walk the dog. No other creatures should be allowed under my care! Don’t worry. I always remember to feed and walk the baby. 

See, I don’t have it all figured out yet. You don’t have to right away. We’re all on this journey toward a greener, healthier, more natural lifestyle. The important thing is to keep taking baby steps forward. That’s what GrowingSlower is all about!

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This post is linked up with VitafamiliaeFrugally Sustainable, and Simple Lives Thursday.

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  1. I think most of us never suspected we could be this green. And then there always seems to be a greener topic to tackle. Can we ever get green enough? :-)

    • There does always seem to be one more thing! Sometimes I think the simple life isn’t all that simple at all!

  2. Lovely! Thanks for sharing. I appreciate the spirit of acceptance and meeting ourselves and others wherever we/they are. We also do disposables while traveling and my daughter just started an in-home daycare/preschool that doesn’t want to deal with cloth. I was disappointed but I also think that it’s possible they will get her out of diapers earlier than I would, so maybe we will save some washing water, too!

    • I do feel the spirit of acceptance for other natural mamas, but I’m as for truly extending the same to myself…well I’m working on that. :)

  3. I am guilty of the fast food trips as well. I was on the phone the other day with Code Name: Mama and had to pause the conversation to put my order in. We joked that I was “confessing early” and had a good laugh over our shared fast food runs.

    • Too funny! I loved the post about getting organic soap to divert attention away from her non-crunchiness.

  4. I love this Carnival, and especially this post!! It’s true, you can definitely get overwhelmed with having to do it ALL. I think it’s a great point though, that you didn’t get your mainstream values over night, so you’re certainly not going to re-think and make a new fit for you, over night either….. PS – The second someone tells me I can’t have my Ghirardelli brownies out of the box and be a Natural Mama too, I quit. I’ll take the brownies.

  5. Totally agree that the little things add up. It’s a journey. I still do all sorts of non-crunchy things. But I’ve taken so many baby steps in the last few years. And there are plenty of “mainstream” things I simply don’t WANT to give up.

    • I love how when you look back, all those little baby steps add up to a big change!

  6. We use disposables when we travel too. I figure we make up for it in a ton of different areas though. It’s all part of finding our ways and we can’t be perfect 100% of the time. The intent and the journey are what matters.

  7. We’re all on a journey! We never really “arrive” because there are always new things to learn!

    Ahhh, confessions…good for the soul. :-) I once blogged about pregnancy confessions–you know all those things you are not “supposed” to do while pregnant like eating sushi, wearing high heels, or flying in your third trimester. I got tons of comments of mommies fessing up. :-) It was great!

    • I love the idea of a pregnancy confessions post. So fun! I definitely would have lots of confessions to make including the sushi. I just couldn’t live without it for 9 months!

  8. A Natural lifestyle is not meant to be a stressful one. Great job finding what works for you that takes patience and wisdom!

    • You’re so right! It shouldn’t be stressful. It’s too easy to focus on what we’re not doing instead of all the positive changes we’ve already made though.


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