Read carefully, there is going to be a test at the end. :)
I was a semi-crunch mom before I even know what "crunchy" meant. Fourteen years ago I didn't have internet, there were no birth clubs or baby boards or websites or any of the information available on the internet today. I just did what felt right for me. I had never heard the term Attachment Parenting, but looking back I realize I probably fit into that category.
I breastfed my son as long as I could, which wasn't long but it was all I could do.
I was worried about vaccines way before it was an issue; I just didn't feel right giving him a bunch of vaccines at the same time. So I worked out a schedule with my doctor that we both felt comfortable with. He is fully vaccinated (I think they are important) but he didn't get 3 or 4 vaccines at the same time.
We didn't co-sleep, but he slept in our room in a bassinet until he was too old for the bassinet. Then he moved into his own bedroom. Sleeping has never been an issue for him, and we were all happier for it. When he was about 9 months old I let him "cry it out" for two nights. (VERY un-cruchy!) It only took two nights and sleeping was never an issue after that. He knew how to put himself to sleep, I didn't rock him or feed him until he fell asleep.
I didn't "wear" him that much in a sling or wrap because the various wraps and slings we have today weren't really available back then (if they were I didn't know it). I had an old school carrier that I wore, and it worked for awhile when we needed it. But I by no means wore him around the house or anything like that.
I held him when he cried.
I let him play on the floor.
I used disposable diapers.
I don't home school, but he does go to a private school.
I had been teaching preschool before he was born, so I was very into positive discipline. I wasn't big on spanking, but it was used in extreme situations. Like when he was three years old and ran into the road you bet your ass I spanked his butt. (He never ran into the road again!) I always gave him choices (do you want the red shirt or the blue shirt) and told him what the consequence of his actions was going to be (if you throw that toy again I'm going to take it away).
I was pretty picky about what he ate. Fruits and vegetables were very important to me. If I did feed him commercial baby food, it was an organic line that featured simple recipes. (Apples and Chicken had apples, chicken and water. No ferrous sulfate or dried cheddar cheese in my kid's food- just didn't seem right to be feeding that to my baby.) Because I had to feed him formula I was picky about the type I gave him. No soy. I never gave him the powdered stuff. When he was old enough for juice I always mixed it with Nursey Water. I think I was the most crunchy when it came to what he ate. I really was picky.
What I find interesting is the effect the way I parented has on my son today. He's almost in high school now and I can see the results of being a crunchy mom.
He loves vegetables. He eats carrots and broccoli as a snack. He likes nuts and fruit. He's conscious about what he eats. I think the conscious part comes from my husband and I because we are conscious about what we buy, but there is no doubt the way he ate when he was younger effected his palate today. He likes cookies and cake, but if I have them in the house they are not the first thing he goes for. Nine times out of ten he'll eat a carrot before a cookie. I think it's because I've always given him the choice. Cookies weren't off limits, but they weren't a free-for-all either. By not banning sweets they weren't as intriguing as they would have been if they were banned from our home. Allowing him to have them took the mystery out of them. I always felt it was important to allow him access and show him the way to eat without over indulging. So far, he's doing well. He makes smart choices with food. The thing I find interesting is that he doesn't like food that is "mixed". No casseroles or stews or anything with multiple ingredients. I've always wondered if that's because I fed him simple foods and recipes when he was younger. Or it could just be what he likes, I'm not sure!
The other thing I find interesting is the way the positive discipline approach affected him growing up. When I was growing up if I would hit my brother my mom would make me apologize. Well, when my son was young there was a big movement not to force your child to apologize. The theory was that if you make them apologize when they weren't sorry it was like forcing them to lie. Instead, parents were supposed to correct the child for hitting, and not force the issue if they didn't want to apologize. My son never wanted to apologize and I didn't make him. Now he's 14 and I can't think of a single time I've heard him say "I'm sorry" without being prompted. He does not see the importance of an apology. I'm talked with him about it, but he just doesn't get it. My husband and I are quick to apologize when necessary, so I know it's not a lead-by-example issue. If I could go back, I would make him say I'm Sorry. Because sometimes you don't mean it, but it's the courteous thing to do.
How about you? Go take the How Crunchy Are You test and let me know how crunchy you are.
This post is part of the A to Z Challenge.