I never imagined when I asked a simple question about cloth diapers on a local kids stuff b/s/t page that the mamas who replied would instigate such a radical change in my way of living and thinking. Deep down, I have always been drawn to nature and tried to buy healthy, non-toxic products however I have come to realize how very different “natural” is to various companies, and especially among people. I always believed that I was doing the very best for my family and with the information I had at the time, (that I either felt I properly researched or more common, that I felt ‘everyone’ did and therefore, it was the ‘right’ or ‘best’ thing to do) I was absolutely doing what I knew to do.
In the last few years, since my question spurred a new natural parenting group on Facebook, I have learned so many things, some were eye-opening and I accepted immediately, others took some convincing, or caused outright fights online. I didn’t take well to my entire paradigm shifting and I realize now that I had a *serious* case of cognitive dissonance! Some of the mamas were less than tactful in their approaches to my questions, and a couple definitely crossed the line into full on mommy wars bullying which was extremely hurtful and that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I am however thankful for the information that they presented me with (or beat me over the head with! I wasn’t exactly easily swayed from believing I did the right things for my older son…) and am extremely grateful to have learned so much from a group of veteran natural parenting mamas. After a particularly hurtful exchange, I decided that I wanted to introduce mamas to natural living and parenting in an entirely non-judgmental way, I have always been a very firm believer in “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it” and wanted those new to natural parenting (or those like me who’ve been living naturally for a while but simply choose not to *always* be super anal about choosing organic/non-gmo/natural options) parents (and others!) to have a safe space to explore the possibilities of natural living. A place they can be free to admit to taking their kid for a hike, lunch at McDonald’s and out for local grass-fed cow based gmo-free ice cream (does that exist? Tell me where!)
When I started looking into natural parenting, I kept coming across it being referred to as being “crunchy” or “granola” and many conversations revolved around just how crunchy one lives their life. While I am quite natural in many ways, especially in comparison to who I used to be and to mainstream options, there are probably very few who would consider me and my family to be “crunchy”, that’s how Chewy Granola Mama came to be. I decided to expand from a Facebook group into a blog to be able to interact with more like-minded individuals. I am looking forward to meeting more people who think like me, to let you know you’re not alone and to hopefully be a resource for your family. I want to offer a look into the life of my ‘chewy’ granola family and perhaps offer a new perspective or just introduce a new idea or way of looking at certain things. I want to emphasize that while I personally believe (as all parents do!) that my ideal choices are the best options available, I do not judge those who do not make the same decision (in most cases anyway! I do have a few areas in which I am very firm in my beliefs but I will always be civil so long as it’s reasonable to be) so long as you do not judge me and my choices and while I have a few things that I unwaveringly do or avoid, no matter what; in many cases, if I’m being truly honest, I don’t always choose to do or buy the *best* option. Sometimes it’s an actual choice (mine, my husbands or both) despite knowing what the best option is, many times it’s due to financial constraints, however one wonderful bonus to many ‘green’ options is that they are cost-effective especially in the long term. I believe in limiting our families and especially our children’s exposure to environmental toxins but as there is no possible way (unfortunately!) to completely eliminate all risk, I do not choose to make myself crazy trying to do so. I still want my children to experience a typical American childhood (in some ways anyway 😉 ), we just limit those experiences to special occasions (i.e. we eat fair food at the fair) while it may not be the *ideal* or crunchy choice, I feel that it’s more important to teach my children to think and choose for themselves. I want them to learn how to self regulate and to associate those things as a treat now and then vs. a regular occurrence or attempting to abstain completely and risk them rebelling once they are on their own. We try to instill healthy eating habits (an interesting proposition for my 12 year old who at 4 announced he wouldn’t be eating his carrots because he is a carnivore,and he still won’t touch veggies… but we’re still trying, I’ll consider any advice other than forcing or starving for that in the comments too!) and teach them to read labels and figure out for themselves if it’s a good choice not only for them but for Mother Earth as well and if it’s not, what a better choice would be. It’s not just about our food choices either. We attempt to instill in our children a thirst for knowledge, for truth, no matter where that path may lead. I want them to speak out if they feel in their heart that they’re right (but I want them to have the skills to back up their statements as well!) even if they’re the only ones speaking in a squeaky voice with wobbly knees.
So, all that being said, there are several goals/purposes for this blog:
- Following the life of my family with stories, pictures and experiences
- Giving honest reviews of products we buy (or are given) as well as any DIY projects we try
- Full instructions for any DIY projects we create or alter
- My opinions on various issues
- Natural solutions you can try in your family
Thanks for reading! I am looking forward to hearing from you in the comments!
Do you feel you’re ‘chewy’ granola as well?