Have you ever had a moment, where you suddenly realized, that – as unique as you are- a shade of you technically fits into one of those societal stereotypes? Have you ever had that realization while you were watching a Youtube video making good fun of those stereotypes? Because that is exactly what happened to me the other day.
On my quest to find out more details about cloth diapers, I came across the video “Sh*t Crunchy Mamas Say” and let out one of those really awkward full-throttle laughs just seconds in. Earlier that week, I had explained to my husband what a Doula was, a dad’s role in catching the baby and/or cutting the cord, the different options for a placenta and cord at the time of birth and the benefits of cloth diapering. So, after having a good laugh to myself, I watched “Sh*t Crunchy Pregnant Mamas Say” and “Sh*t Crunchy Dads Say” and laughed a few more times. I think I took a little more of Asheville with me when I flew to Canada than I realize sometimes. But in other ways, I find, I very-much swing towards embodying a modern, digital-age neuroscience-oriented lady. Although their outward images seem distinctly separate in stereotype embodiment, they aren’t as incompatible when housed inside of the same human being.
I value both the warm, emotional safety of the “natural” and the concrete, intellectual safety of the “technical”. With one, you feel and the other, you articulate, and both provide a level of satisfaction and understanding. One is emotionally-driven, while the other, cerebrally. And, I find that they play nicely with one another when (1) the emotional is balanced by the factual and (2) the factual is eased by the emotional. Where one is vulnerable to “dramatic results”, it is important to fact check. Where fact-checking nosedives into a rabbit hole of inefficiency and perfectionism, it is important to let go.
So, how does that manifest on the exterior? Although I use a “natural” deodorant stick and a Diva-cup, I believe in vaccination against viruses like chicken pox, measles and whooping cough. I believe in asking about each other’s days over dinner, and I am not very impressed by the overblown claims of amber teething necklaces I’ve seen on the market. I want a Doula for emotional and mental support, but I also want to give birth inside of a hospital or birthing center, instead of a home birth, in case of last-minute complications; I trust my body to know what its doing and I also trust competent medical professionals who also know what they are doing should anything go awry. And, I’m excited to muse about being able to do both delayed cord clamping and cord blood banking for future medical use, stem cell research or donation; I’m on the optimistic side of the possibilities of future uses, even if the practical outcome only results in donation to research. I am pro-GMO, but also pro-GMO labeling with emphasis on education and ethical responsibility of how GMOs are being used worldwide. I think that organic and non-organic produce are better than Annie’s organic white cheddar crackers (although they are cute little crackers, aren’t they?), which is to say that I like to get as close as I can to my food source but don’t judge myself for liking something that adds more in novelty value than nutritional. I believe in outdoor play, but also see value in educational game-like apps for childhood learning. I want to try a BabyPlus while pregnant, but also find it important to seek out calm, quiet time so that baby can develop at his or her own pace.
So, playfully speaking, does any of that really qualify me as “crunchy”, or some sort of hybrid, like “modern with a side of crunchy”?
I prefer to stay in the realm of all things actually real and natural, using science and math as the languages through which I understand the patterns that exist in nature. And, I try to do as much as I can do without allowing perfectionism to drive me into the ground. There will always be some process that isn’t as efficient as it could be or some way to improve upon something already in existence. I learned a long time ago what I could, as one human being, change or improve upon in this lifetime and decided then that I could and would be enough. I think the biggest hope that I have, venturing into motherhood, is that my child, whether he or she prefers to be more “crunchy” or prefers a totally “modern” outlook, will understand the intention behind my choices and appreciate the coupling of the logic and sentiment that went into each step. And that, where I saw holes that I could cover, I covered them myself without hesitation. And when I could not, I tried my best to prevent myself and others from falling and twisting an ankle.