I am very excited for my Crunchy Mama series to begin. I have met so many wonderful mamas who have shared their stories with me when I do their product reviews but I can never tell their whole story for lack of space in those posts. I always wish all my BeachBums could hear how awesome they are. And learn from them too! So I’ve decided to spotlight these mamas every now and then to let them tell their stories in their own words on how their crunchiness began.
Today meet Kitty…she is the proud owner of Heirloom Wooden Toys.
My path to crunchiness probably started when my husband and I became vegetarians in about 1991, as a result of some involvement with the Sierra Club and a desire to make some personal changes to help the environment. Then when I was pregnant in 1994 with our daughter, I did a little research on different childbirth classes. Of the two main ones, Lamaze seemed to be all about distracting you from the process and just getting through it, while Bradley seemed to take the opposite approach: really experiencing what was happening, and trusting nature and your body to do its job. That just felt “righter.”
Our Bradley instructor was also a La Leche League leader, and although we had already planned to breastfeed, we got a lot of information and support that helped the process tremendously.We did manage a drug- and intervention-free hospital birth and I was amazed at how healthy the baby was and how quickly I recovered – so the Bradley theories seemed right for us. We started breastfeeding, and then it didn’t feel right to wean, it didn’t feel right to let the baby cry it out, it didn’t feel right to have her sleep in the other room. So we ended up with the family bed, nursing toddlers, vegetable gardens, organic food, attachment parenting, natural toys, cloth diapers, homemade jam. That stuff all felt right!
Our son was born 3 years later in a birth center, which was an experience that left me in awe of the process. That felt right too. Both kids nursed until about 2 1/2, slept in our bed until about 2, and went to a very crunchy co-op nursery school where we were surrounded by other crunchy families and hippie preschool teachers. Lots of their early childhood was spent playing outside, singing, reading, playing with blocks and wooden trains, gardening, doing arts and crafts and cooking with me. Our kids are now 16 and 13, and are bright, happy, sensitive, friendly, and fun to be with. They are also independent and self-motivated. Is this because of crunchy parenting? It’s impossible to know for sure or how much, but it feels like it must be a contributing factor.
Part of the motivation for Heirloom Wooden Toys is to help other families bring a little “crunchiness” into their lives – to just slow down, enjoy the early years, connect with nature, spend lots of time together – and let the kids really be kids and play like kids, which is different from how adults spend their free time. I always encourage parents to give their kids the gift of time to play – time to figure out what they like to do and how they like to do it. My unscientific conclusion is that crunchy kids are happier!
Yay Kitty! Thank you for being my first Crunchy Mama!
Kitty is generously offering $50 to her store in Eco-Friendly Toy Week HERE ~ you will also find a discount code so hurry!
Check it out ~ it’s a great store run by a great mama 🙂
Are you a Crunchy Mama?