Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What Is Crunchy?

What is Crunchy?

People ask this fairly often, and for some reason it always kind of stubs me how best to explain it.

Crunchy is.... a slang term for someone who is natural-minded. Someone trying to live a greener, healthier lifestyle.

Crunchy is considered to be neo-hippies by some. Granola is another, older term.

A crunchy parent is one who goes beyond the mainsteam to do what is biologically, instinctively normal and natural for their child(ren). The main one quote or "battle cry" that I think to be crunchy, you must believe in is- "Breastfeeding for all, circumcision for none". Now, yes this quote is bluntly one way is the right way, full-stop. But it's the IDEAL. Just the ideal. Moms who try to breastfeed and "fail" or are failed? Moms who where ill-informed and didn't even try, or didn't know to succeed? Moms who supplement with formula?  Parents who where ill-formed and circumcised their child (female or male)? It's not like they will be "kicked out of the club". As long they're not advocating against the natural, normal ideal (breastfeeding=good, circumcision=bad) anymore. I supplemented with my son, and hated every ounce of formula that I gave to him. We wouldn't have had to if NICU hadn't given him a bottle preference after giving him formula against my written& stated wishes, if even the LC's had known he should be cup, not bottle-fed. 

And of course, any adult male who chooses to be circumcised is free to do as he wants because the whole point is he IS consenting then! The VERY RARE instances that circumcision is medically necessary for an adolescent? Of course.... after everything else has been tried. People make mistakes. Sometimes, very bad ones. It doesn't make them bad people. It doesn't mean they don't love their children. It doesn't even make them bad parents. You can be a very loving, appreciative parent... and still make a horrible mistake.

Beyond this, what is crunchy and what is crunchy parenting is up to interpretation. I don't really consider breastfeeding or bringing home babies whole as crunchy actually. Now, full-term breastfeeding is definitely not mainstream but it is the biological normal.

Crunchy parenting can be following the attachment parenting theory, or gentle parenting or progressive or positive or playful or free-range.... or most likely, a mix of any or all of those. Homeschooling or un-schooling. Baby-wearing, co-sleeping, believing in natural birth. Avoiding ultrasounds, using midwives, laboring or birthing in water. Cloth diapering, cloth wiping. Family cloth. Green household cleaning, trying to make as much homemade products as possible. Eating organic, or local or homegrown. Gender-neutral childhood. There is SO much, no family does it all, no family does the exact same way. But it comes down to trying to raise your children in the natural way, with as few toxins as possible and trying to teach them to see society and the world is not just the mainstream would have it be. 

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