Thanks to all the wonderful blogs I've been following the past year or so, I have gone all hippy. Cloth diapering, cloth mama pads, thinking of homeschooling, using slings, breastfeeding baby #2 if I can (and for longer than six months, thank you very much.) It has been so gradual that I hadn't noticed it much. And then I talked to old friends and realized how much I've gone over to the crunchy side!
Number One: Slings. A friend of mine is very pro stroller, and I respect that. I was trying to tell her how awesome slings are and how babywearing is so great for the baby. She just isn't into it. And then she found the warning about bag slings and said for sure no. Not for them. I thought back to when I was pregnant for Ingrid and I'd never even heard of a sling. I spent hours and hours researching strollers, it was an obsession! And then we got a front pack and I never used our stroller anyway...And then we got slings and carriers and I just loved them so much. I loved the feeling of having Ingrid right there, she'd lean back and look at me and smile, I'd kiss her every five steps.
Number Two: Cloth Diapers. I have tried to convince so many people that it's really not that big of a deal! Again, when I was pregnant I thought about using cloth but the upfront costs really made it seem impossible. It wasn't until I started really looking at things that I realized that you can do it pretty cheaply, and you can do it part time, and you can get a stash little by little, you don't have to have all 20 diapers at once. And washing and poop, they are not a big deal. You get used to it. And after spending $600 on disposables, I cringe thinking of how many awesome organic diapers I coulda bought with that money!!
Number Three: Paper products in General. I use cloth pads now. It's just a given that with using cloth diapers I suddenly saw how silly it was to use disposable pads. We also don't use paper napkins--I have cheap washcloths we use, and I just started thrifting some cool old cloth napkins. I used to think they were for fancy dinners, I don't know why it never occured to me to use them every day! We also don't use paper towels, which doesn't seem like a big deal to me. We haven't used them in years. But a maintenance man came to fix our dishwasher and asked for a paper towel. I said we don't use them and he gave me such an incredulous look! But I thought about it and duh, why would you use papaer to soak up a spill? We don't dry ourselves off with paper bath towels do we??
Number Four: Breastfeeding. I did not breastfeed Ingrid. I don't regret it one bit. She grew and grew and she's smart as hell, and she hasn't had a lot of sickness at all. But...for baby #2 I am going to do everything in my power to breastfeed him/her. For one, it's so much better than shelling out $20 for a can of formula that smells and stains everything! And it's easier to stick a boob in the mouth than fumble around for a bottle and measuring the formula at 2 in the morning. And one thing I got defensive about with my friends was extended breastfeeding. I have to admit that when I first saw people nursing their toddlers and tandem nursing, I was freaked out. I just never saw it before. It was weird to me, it was different, and I just didn't get it. But after seeing it around it seems normal to me. Like why not nurse past six months? Why stop it at one year exactly? What's wrong with nursing past what someone deems normal? This was something not one single friend of mine agreed with me on! They all thought it was gross, and the mother being selfish not wanting to give it up. And unneccesary, why not just give the kid "real" milk? I was really quite surprised, as my friends around here in MI nursed their kids as long as they wanted, they never seemed in a hurry to stop, and were actually sad when it did stop. It seems strange to me to just stop it and give a kid cow's milk instead of human breast milk...
So there you go, I'm a crunchy hippy and I am proud of it!! Thank you so much to Sarah and Gina and Sunnymama for showing me a different way of being a parent. It has helped me be the kind of parent I want to be!