Family Magazine

Yes, I'm Crunchy and I Know It...

By Suvenchow
Yes, I'm crunchy and I know it...
Yeah, I'm crunchy and I know it. How crunchy? Well, preeeeeeetty crunchy if you ask me. And if I had to tick off boxes based on Are You A Little Crunchy Too's "What is Crunchy Parenting?" post, I'd fare quite well. LOL. Let's go through it and find out.
  • Attachment Parenting checked
  • Co-Sleeping checked
  • Baby Wearing checked
  • cloth diapering never there 
  • Elimination communication barely there
  • natural birth checked
  • home birth never there 
  • water birth nearly there but didn't get the chance
  • delayed cord clamping checked
  • breastfeeding checked
  • extended breastfeeding checked
  • delayed vaccination checked
  • selective vaccination never there 
  • vaccination exempt checked
  • holistic medicine checked
  • alternative health checked
  • Veg/Vegan never there
  • Tree Hugging drug free Hippy Mama nearly there
  • Homeschooling/Unschooling checked - alternative schooling
  • Natural Products checked
  • Toxin Aware checked
  • Plastic Free barely there 
  • No Cry It Out checked
  • No Spanking checked
  • Peaceful parenting checked
  • Minimalist checked
  • Free Range Children checked
  • Child Led learning checked
  • TV Free barely there 
  • Limited Media half way there
  • Eco-Friendly Home barely there 
  • Buy WAHM checked
  • Buy Small Business checked
  • Buy Local checked
  • Travel Green (On foot or Bike or bus)checked
  • Organic Gardening Never there
  • Buy Organics First half way there 
  • Poison Free Homes nearly there
  • Midwife Care checked
  • No Circumcision I have no sons but I don't agree with circumcision 
  • Handmade checked
  • Activism checked
  • Human Rights / Animal Right checked - vaccination rights 
  • Active Parenting checked

Now that's quite a few "checks" there and add the "half way/ nearly there", I realised I have somehow unknowingly fallen in to the "phenomenon" of crunchy parenting. To be honest, I never knew there was an actual term for parents like me, until I keep sighting the term in one of my parenting forums. My parenting style has always been a "controversial" topic within my family - extended breastfeeding (26 months and counting), baby wearing, refusing vaccination, choosing alternative health care over medicinal care, and the list goes on (refer to above list). But over time, I've learned to trust my maternal instinct. I didn't just decide to jump on the crunchy parenting bandwagon, but most of what crunchy parenting depicts are what I've been practicing all along anyway. I was having a meaningful conversation with a dear friend today and we got into the topic of parenting. She asked, "how do you know if you're doing the best you can for your children?" If I was asked this question a couple of years back, I would have pondered on it, come up with a thousand 'what ifs' and begin doubting my capability as a mother. Fast forward two years, after numerous ups and downs in my parenting journey, I answered her without a second thought, and I said, "There is no perfect parenting, you just have to do your best to nurture them according to their nature, and that's the best you can do for your children." And I think that is exactly what crunchy parenting is about. 

Yes, I'm crunchy and I know it...Babywearing at six months 

All those baby wearing, breastfeeding, no crying it out, etc are really about nurturing according to nature. Babies are born to be loved, cuddled close to mom (or dad), and drink human's milk (of course there are unfortunate incidence where a mother has medical complications that prevents her from breastfeeding, in which case she should not feel guilty about not breastfeeding because life is never perfect). I've been told I'm spoiling my baby, and not giving her enough nutrients (apparently nutrients in breastmilk depreciates after six months. Well then, everyone should stop drinking cow's milk because cows are milked for more than a few years in average). 

Yes, I'm crunchy and I know it...
Co-sleeping is one of the best thing we've decided to do
Eating organic? It's not that we're being hippy or OTT, it's about going back to what is natural, what is basic. Our ancestors have always eaten organically grown produce from their own farm, it wasn't until not-so-recently that farm crops became heavily sprayed with unnaturally harmful chemicals and pesticides (and you wonder why more and more people are dying from cancer). If you ask me, I'd rather pay the farmer for health that comes naturally than pay the doctor for health that comes in a bottle or syringe.
Unschooling/ homeschooling/ alternative schooling. Why do crunchy parents aim to stay away from common education systems? Reason is because our mainstream education system does NOT nurture according to nature. It's a one size fits all, and all size fit one concept. Ken Robinson said in his famous TED talks on education, that schooling kills creativity. Why? Because mainstream schooling is about learning within a specifically set boundary. Unschooling/ homeschooling/ and some of the alternative schooling systems like Waldorf, offer a wider scope of learning experience. These "other" schooling methods actually nurture according to nature, embracing that each child is different and that it is best to work according to the child's passion and interest so that they will become the best they can be in whatever they chose to be, instead of being a jack of all trades and master of none, like most mainstream school children are. 
Logan LaPlante @ TED talks on hackschooling/ homeschooling

Last but not least, with regards to holistic medicine or alternative health care, I find from my personal experience that alternative health care practitioners are generally more concerned about your health than medical doctors are. No offense to doctors out there. It's not that medical doctors do not care, it's just that they are not equipped with adequate knowledge about preventive health care. They are trained to treat, not prevent. Many doctors think it's absolutely fine to take paracetamol (acetaminophen) for everything, and I mean EVERYTHING. I clearly remember (when I didn't know better) the nurses at the hospital prescribed me twenty strips of paracetamol to help me with my postpartum recovery. My father is a retired doctor, hence I grew up taking paracetamol for a lot of things and it just didn't occur to me that twenty strips of it is actually CRAZY! Too much acetaminophen actually causes liver damage according to a Forbes article (and numerous other scientific studies). And to think that I finished almost all of it except for one strip. Sigh, if only I'd bother to read a bit more on my own instead of relying on medical professionals who almost always view our body's natural immune system as flawed when in actual fact, it can be almost perfect if you know how to care for it. 

Yes, I'm crunchy and I know it...

Crunchy parenting is, in my opinion, overrated because really, it should be the basis of all parenting practices. Why? Because crunchy parenting is what feels natural, it is a way of life according to nature. Dr Andrew Wakefield once said in a radio interview, "Trust your instincts, maternal instincts in particular. The reason we're on this earth now, is because of maternal instinct. It is one of the most powerful forces of nature. It has equipped us for survival, far more so than any public health, medicine, or anything like that." My maternal instinct tells me I'm on the right track being crunchy, and to see my little angel growing up healthily and happily is all the indication I need to know that I am truly being the best crunchy mom I could be for her.
Yes, I'm crunchy and I know it...

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