Crunchy, But Not Crunchier Than Thou

February 26th, 2012 by Dionna | 36 Comments
Posted in Carnival and Special Series, Compassionate Advocacy, natural parenting

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Welcome to the “I’m a Natural Parent – BUT…” Carnival

This post was written for inclusion in the carnival hosted by The Artful Mama and Natural Parents Network. During this carnival our participants have focused on the many different forms and shapes Natural Parenting can take in our community.


I have a confession. When my NPN friends visited me last fall, I had fun beforehand stocking up on these pretty organic soaps, lotions, and body washes to put in the guest bathroom.

Here was my reasoning: when my friends peeked into my cabinets and saw the processed food, when they saw me roll my eyes or heard me raise my voice when Kieran freaked out at their children playing with his toys (some of which are plastic and many of which are sold in large, brightly-colored stores that feature backwards R’s in their name), when they reached for a compost bin and found a trash can . . . they would remember my pretty organic soaps and body washes and think, “aw, it’s ok, she’s still one of us. She has organic soap!”

It made sense at the time.

Seriously, though, I know I’m not the only one who gets stressed out wondering if my crunchy friends will think I don’t have enough crunch. Sometimes, I’m merely chewy.

But why do we spend so much time worrying if we’re going to measure up to all of our friends? There will always be someone who excels in ways that you and I do not. Someone who only throws away a bag of trash once a year. Someone who lovingly sews, knits, and carves every one of her family member’s toys and clothing. Someone who raises her own organically hand-fed, cosleeping cow for meat.

I’ll let you in on a secret, though: you’re crunchier than some of your own friends, too. {gasp} I know! And do you judge your friends for not doing everything that you do? Let’s hope not! We’re all working with the tools we have at the moment. No one has the same information, the same resources, the same income – we’re not the same people, so we’re going to do things differently. And that’s ok.

So go ahead, give yourself permission to be as crunchy as you can for right now. And the next time you find yourself starting to judge someone for doing things differently, remember to be crunchy, but not crunchier than thou.


I'm a Natural Parent — But … Blog CarnivalThis carnival was created by The Artful Mama and Natural Parents Network. We recognize that “natural parenting” means different things to different families, and we are dedicated to providing a safe place for all families, regardless of where they are in their parenting journeys.

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

36 Responses to:
"Crunchy, But Not Crunchier Than Thou"

  1. Melissa Vose   WhiteNoiseWoman

    Beautiful post. I love this carnival, and I love your post a lot!! Cosleeping cow, indeed. That’s what i often feel like myself, is a cosleeping cow. Moo. xo =)

  2. Sarah @ Parenting God's Children   Sarah_the_doula

    ha! I LOVE your thought “It’s ok, she uses pretty organic soap!” The justifications we use are awesome! I think you’re pretty darn crunchy, even if you don’t compost! <3

  3. Tat   muminsearch

    Some months ago I gave up on updating my other blog “Cloth nappies are fun”. The main reason being that my kids are now toilet trained, but also I felt like an impostor writing about green topics. Sure I was using my green bags to shop, and I recycled and I had a compost bin, but I also had plastic toys, non-organic food and a top loader washing machine that used 150 l of water per wash! People were doing so much more than me, what could I possibly teach them? I’m loving this carnival and I now feel so much better about myself. I might even start up that blog again, when I have another baby :)

  4. Rachel @ Lautaret Bohemiet

    Great post! I really enjoyed it.

    I like the title of your post. I wish more people could get on board with it, and even step out of their teeny tiny little worlds for long enough to see that even being “crunchy” is only a badge of honor amongst an very small group of people. Once people get to the point where they are content not being “the crunchiest” and realizing it’s okay, maybe they can transition to the phrase “Human, but not more human than you.” If we ever get there, I say a hearty high-give to all mankind!

  5. Excellent point, well made. I did not notice your organic soap, btw. I was immediately impressed, as you know, by the Family Cloth! I also noticed several recycle bins. I think I even joked that if you just started for the event, then you pulled off looking like you’d been at it a while. ;-)

  6. Lauren @ Hobo Mama   Hobo_Mama

    Ha ha! I still get nervous around natural parents that they’re peeking in my diaper bag or my food stash or my medicine cabinets. But thank goodness for this carnival, that I got to get it all aired out, huh?

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