September 11, 2013

Misty Watson: My mix of crunchy and practical

Misty Watson

— I have become a believer in the healing powers of coconut oil.

It’s the new duct tape — solver for so many problems.

I find myself joining forces with those who ask “Have you tried coconut oil yet?” in response to a question about a mom developing thrush or about a baby developing relentless diaper rash.

It seems like I’ve taken yet another step toward being a full-time crunchy mom. The longer I’m a mom, the louder I crunch.

Crunchy moms are new-age hippies. We’re the ones who wear our children strapped to us facing inward (outward facing carriers can cause hip dysplasia; best to stay away from those!), drink things like almond milk that we’ve made sure is carcinogen free, and we make things like homemade granola. (Do you hear the crunch yet?)

I was late jumping into the crunchy mom circles. I think Sophie was three months old before I started leaning that way. I even gave birth in a hospital instead of a birthing center or at home. Gasp! And I used disposable diapers until she was about eight months old before switching to cloth out of financial necessity.

So maybe I’m not as crunchy as they get — yet, anyway.

There have been some videos and blog posts circulating my mom groups online that proudly share some of the phrases you hear crunchy moms say. They’re done in a good-humored, let’s-make-fun-of-ourselves kind of way. We often come across like this is the only path for parents to take, but it’s usually because we’re so excited we’ve found something that works so well, not because we look down at other parents.

Just realize we know how silly we sound sometimes, and we’re able to make fun of ourselves.

None of the posts seem to capture me, my mix of crunchy and practical. There are M&Ms in my bag of trail mix along with the healthy nuts and dried fruit. And I’m not a fan of kale chips, though I’ve tried them more than once just to make sure.

I’m not exactly planning to eat placenta anytime soon or give up my Dove shampoo in place of something I made at home. But should I choose to have another child, I would consider a home birth.

I have been known to ask “Have you tried baby-led weaning?” The phrase refers to a way of introducing solids based on giving the child real food (not purees or rice cereals) in a way they can easily handle. Think roasted carrot or zucchini sticks. Yep. We’re the ones that give our 6-month-old babies half an apple and let them figure it out on their own. We’re the ones with babies who love to throw mashed potatoes on the floor to hear the soft plop sound, and we are happy because that means she’s interested in sound. It also means it’s good to have a dog in the house to assist with cleanup duties.

I actually found myself saying to someone the other day, “We don’t use the word ‘no’ very often.” I realize what the other parent must have thought: “Her kid is going to be a brat!” I hope not. I really don’t use the word “no” often, though. Instead, I get up off my rear, go to her and say “Let’s do it this way” or “Let’s look at your books” or “Let’s chew on this ring instead of a DVD case” as I redirect her. Actually, now that I think about it, I should have lost more weight as much as I have to get up and move. Why didn’t that happen?

I’m the one that uses terms like “full-term breast feeding” in reference to nursing your child for at least the first two years after birth. Some of you just cringed at the thought of a toddler nursing. I know you did. I’m the one that gently urges moms to pick up a crying child and remind her you’re there for her always. Yes, even at 3 a.m. when the lack of sleep during the last two weeks has turned you into a chocolate-eating zombie.

But I also let Sophie eat Goldfish crackers, drink juice and watch limited amounts of TV. Some super crunchy moms are horrified by reading my daughter has all those preservatives and sugar, and that we even have a TV in our house. They are considering revoking my crunchy status right now.

I guess on the crunchy scale I’m only about a 6.5.

Now, who has seen our amber teething necklace?

Murray County native Misty Watson is a staff writer and photographer for The Daily Citizen. You can share all your crunchy sayings with her at, or on Twitter, @mistydwatson.