There are tons of labels for moms these days: fit mom, crunchy mom, helicopter mom, the list goes on. I already settled into my role as a fit mom, if for no other reason than I love health and fitness … and well … it just kind of happened. At some point, I decided to try my hands at being a “crunchy mom.” And I failed. Miserably. But I did learn something.
When my oldest daughter was born, I swore my kids would never watch television. I swore they would never eat McDonalds or junk food. I convinced myself they would eat ONLY organic whole foods.
BOY, was I wrong.
My husband often laughs at my hairbrained ideas to try out on the family. Some of them end up being quite successful (like when I decided to become an obstacle course athlete or move 10 hours away from my friends and family.) Others, not so much. The biggest fail has been being crunchy.
Fail #1: Organics
I love organic foods. Well — I love the idea of organic foods. After researching on GMOs, I decided I wanted my family to avoid them. My grocery budget didn’t increase that much so I thought “GREAT!”
Until, I tried some of them.
Okay, so I know taste is going to be a little different when not filled with all the preservatives and sugar and what not, but some of the organic substitutes I found were just not for me. No really, who is taste testing these things?! I love food, not cardboard.
And PSSSSTTTT… the fast food chains that save your tush when you’re trying to run errands and you’ve got two kids in the back insisting they are starving to death. Fast food may not be crunchy, but you what it is? A life saver. No, for real. If all it takes is a few chicken nuggets to calm them down for the next hour or six that I need to run errands, then, yes, my children will have a darn chicken nugget.
Fail #2: Co-Sleeping
This was one of my favorite ideas about being a crunchy mom. I loved snuggling with my baby in bed. Then my youngest was born. Hubs insisted she sleep in the bassinet. He’d often wake up in the middle of the night to me saying “it’s okay, here, climb in with me.” This irritated my husband. Not the snuggling time, but the fact that “our” bed became the “family” bed. This also led to minimal sleep at night as the littles quickly took over. Luckily for him, the girls transitioned very well to sleeping in their own beds.
Now my girls are 7 and 5. They don’t come in and snuggle as often as they used to. Part of me misses it. Last night, my oldest asked to come into bed with me. I was happy to oblige, until about a half hour later when she couldn’t sleep and started talking to me about this and that. After awhile she fell asleep, and I rolled over and attempted to sleep as well. Between me, the husband, the 7-year-old, and our 6 month old puppy, sleep was out of the question. I ended up on the couch instead.
Fail #3: Screen Time
I swore up and down my children would not watch television or play video games. They needed to learn how to play outside, make friends, use their imagination … yada yada yada.
My oldest wasn’t much older than a year when that went out the window. We loved to snuggle and watch movies together. I wish I had the video of her wiggling her tiny hiney at the sound of the music. So cute.
As they got older, we’d have our special moments where we’d watch movies. But no more. I limited the screen time. And they played, used their imagination — all the amazing things I wanted them to do.
This past Saturday, my oldest woke me up at 6 a.m. I’d worked the night before into the wee hours of the morning and I was exhausted. When she wanted me to get up with her, I handed her the remote and said “watch TV” …. and drifted back off to dreamland for an additional two hours of uninterrupted sleep. Best mommy moment ever? Probably not. But, hey, if it means I got some much needed extra rest and won’t be extra cranky when it’s time to feed the little buggers, I guess it will do.
My kids still don’t play video games, but do play some games on their Kindles. I still try to limit how much time they are on them, but the silence is enough to allow me to breathe for a total of ten minutes.
In the End, It’s All Good
At the end of the day, I learned it’s okay to try new things. It’s okay to jump into various labels of the mom world. You don’t know what will happen until you try.
I discovered there were bits and pieces I could take from this mom genre. Some taught me what I should be doing, others what won’t work for my family. Every family dynamic is different. What works for some won’t work for others. At the end of the day, I just have to be truthful to what works for us.