Have you ever looked at another mother or woman and thought,
"I will never do that kind of stuff"
"I will not discipline my kids that way?"
Have you ever looked at a woman breastfeeding a toddler and thought,
"That is just weird and I will
not do that?"
Chances are, there is at least one thing that you are now doing as a mother that you probably never thought you would have been doing if someone asked you about it prior to having children.
For me personally, I am doing quite a bit of things that I'm not quite sure I ever expected to be doing. Never in a million years did I think I'd use cloth diapers (although really I didn't know anything about them prior to) and while I was pregnant I didn't really plan on nursing my baby past six months (although my goal was always a year of having her on my milk).
has a lot changed.
On Thursday my daughter will be one and when I look back at the year I am sort of surprised at all of the things that I have done and accomplished. My "crunchy" journey began soon after my daughter was born when I discovered that the beloved Johnson and Johnson's brand was tainted with carcinogens and toxins. Even though I was using the "natural" Johnson and Johnson's already, my curiosity about the products and the toxins left me sitting there researching for hours about these issues. Skin care research evolved into natural household cleaners and then eventually I made my way into cloth diapers. Breastfeeding hurdles came and went, and by the time my baby was six months old I laughed at the thought of discontinuing nursing.
Why on Earth would I give up something I so cherished just because I "thought" it was what I was supposed to do?
And by that, I mean because everyone else did.
Having a child can change you in more ways than one. For some, like myself, there may be more changes that take place and more self discoveries than ever imagined. Bringing a child into this world is the absolute most amazing and beautiful thing there is; however it is also the scariest thing there is. A mother's need and drive to protect her child and give them the best and healthiest upbringing can sometimes lead to all sorts of crazy tactics from banning the television as much as possible (I mean, I don't need Mickey to babysit for me) and even changing out every beloved brand you once used to clean the house with (fair well Mr. Clean) and replacing it with stinky ole' vinegar.
It is easy for us to look at another woman, another mother, and think she's crazy for doing the things she does. We may think she's over paranoid for not having left her child overnight yet and we may think she's a mean, health nut for not giving her one year old a cupcake. Some may think that because one mama does these things that she then judges all of the other mamas out there who doesn't. Quite frankly the bottom line is that we judge too damn much and we worry about everyone else.
I don't really pay attention to the fact that your child watches Mickey all day and eats Cheetos, so why should you worry that mine doesn't get to do those things?
(P.S. she does watch TV sometimes, sometimes I just need a 20 minute break)
See, we all judge too much.
One day all of those things that you once thought were weird, over paranoid and too "crunchy," may actually become you. Motherhood has a funny way of doing that to you; it sure did that to me. While I've always been fascinated with the natural and organic things in life, I never had the motivation to truly evolve into
person. No one wants to be the weird person that's sitting there collecting their recycling and composting their food. No one wants to be the one who washes diapers full of crap and breastfeeds a baby with seven teeth who can chomp down at any freaking second.
I didn't quite have the balls to be that person. Not until my child was born and I felt a strong urge to protect her did I become that person (guess you can say my balls dropped). Not until I sat down and did a little research on my own, did I discover that there was indeed changes that I wanted to make to make our life healthier. I wanted her start in this world to a good one.
Don't we all want that for our children?
I love the journey I am on and while sometimes I myself even get slightly worried over what others think of me (like really dude, I don't care that your kid is in disposables), I know that I am just doing the best that I can. I'm always evolving and I'm always looking at ways to live our life better, more natural and healthier. However I am not perfect and I never claim to be. I recycle but I sometimes throw away plastic bottles on accident and I use reusable totes yet often I forget them in my car. My TV stays off all day but occasionally I want to pull my hair out, so I turn Thomas the Train on and when I go to a restaurant and my kid won't stop screaming because she thinks it is funny, I give her puffs to entertain her.
Sure maybe I take things extreme and maybe I worry too much, but sometimes I think we need more of that in the world. Childhood obesity is a growing situation and cancer hits us all like the common cold unfortunately; so maybe there is something to this "crunchy" journey after all. Maybe,
, this journey of trying to live a little bit more naturally can inspire at least one person to do the same. Maybe just by making a few changes in your lifestyle, you can save your own life without even knowing it.
So before you go ahead and think that you're never going to do those things as a mother, just stop yourself. No one really knows just how motherhood is going to change them. No one really knows how strong the desire is to protect their child until said child has actually arrived safely.
You just never know.
Motherhood can make you do all sorts of crazy things. But we do it all out of love, joy and to see that sweet child of ours healthy and happy. Most of us have a little bit of "crunch" somewhere in there and for those of us that don't, it's totally okay. Maybe you still just haven't discovered your inner "crunch." Chances are, you're doing a fine job anyway (Cheetos and all).
How did having a baby change you?
Thanks for reading, Sasha