Mothers Not At War: Mainstream and Crunchy Living in Harmony

I think it is really important that mothers be able to band together regardless of their differences.  As a lactivist, I’m not against moms who formula feed, I’m against the formula companies misinformation and dirty marketing tactics.  As a co-sleeper I’m not against cribs, I’m against misinformation by the crib industry and the lack of useful information provided on the normal sleeping arrangement practiced throughout the world.  I am against the practice of routine vaccination but I’m not against vaccinating mothers.  I’m against lack of informed consent and strong-arm tactics (sometimes outright lies) to deny exemptions.  I’m against spanking and…well, I just think that is wrong.  But I think society condones it and doesn’t provide alternatives and until it does I can hardly vilify the average parent who uses hitting in a moderated manner.  I choose to live a (poor) single-income family but I don’t blame (and sometimes I’m jealous of) mothers and fathers who choose daycare and a career.

When it all comes down to it no one wins if we make our fellow mothers the enemy and we ensure that we will never be able to band together for significant change.  So what can we do?

  1. Have a sense of humor.  Embrace the word crunch and use it with humor (see example below).  
  2. Know when humor is inappropriate.  “poor baby got bunches of shots” might be funny.  “you injected your kids with poison” no so much.
  3. Don’t label or accuse.  Calling a mom lazy because she didn’t breastfeed is beyond rude and really just ignorant.  
  4. Stick to the facts.  “Breast is Best and this is why.  Also, here is how to get some support.”
  5. Know when to stop.  Your friendship and camaraderie is more important than your soapbox.  If you want a soapbox get a blog (teehee).
I had a great example of this today on a mommy message board I love.  The thread was about occasional cosleeping with a non-cuddly baby.  By the time I got to the thread several people had cautioned against the habit of bed sharing.  This is a paraphrase of the conversation between another mother, who I consider a friend, and I:

Other mom:  DON’T DO IT [cosleep]

Me: I usually agree with [Other mom]….but…COSLEEPING IS THE GREATEST THING EVARRRR!

Other mom: Yeah well you’re the crunch hippiemama!

Me: E.V.E.R.  Crunch, crunch, crunch!

Other mom: Quit getting crumbs all over the board!

It was a really funny exchange.  And I hope that it establishes that when I do share cosleeping successes or hints I’m not being judgmental.  And when she shares CIO techniques (she does very gentle CIO) I don’t feel judged for “coddling” my baby.  When you judge someone you’ve cut off all lines of communication.  When we cut off communication we all lose.
Now, join in with the crunchy hippiemama…Kumbaya…


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6 thoughts on “Mothers Not At War: Mainstream and Crunchy Living in Harmony

  1. HAHAHA, love it!!

    It’s so true, we as mothers just need to step back and respect one another and how we choose to raise our kids. Oddly enough, it’s the non-mothers I have the most issues with (IRL)

    Like

  2. Thanks for posting this! I wanted to blog about this very thing. Twice in the last two days I have been the odd (wo)man out when answering questions on our board. They were topics that I feel pretty strongly about and while I know a few of the other girls agree with me, they didn’t speak up. So I kind of felt like a loser. Though I shouldn’t. They are my opinions and the way *I* feel *I* can do the best for my kid.

    It wasn’t that I felt like the majority was bringing me down it was just that I felt like the people who would normally agree with me were absent (either on purpose or because they don’t go on the board 237 times a day like me.)

    I wish it was more acceptable to just do what you feel is right for your family and your baby. Instead of “Who cares what the pedi recommends. All the cool kids are doing it…”

    Anyway, thanks. Looking forward to tomorrow. Hope you have something good for us!

    Like

  3. Kuparstwn: Awwww don’t feel bad about posting your opinions!! Sometimes it’s way cool to be the person that goes against the grain!!! :) It’s boring when you’re like everybody else. hahaha

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  4. LOVE THIS POST!

    i am the “mainsream” non-breastfeeding, non-cosleeping, vaccinating mom. and i’m ok with it. clearly.

    i just wish other people in the world were as understanding as you when they chose to do something different in rearing theri own children

    Like

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