Sunday, May 20, 2012

Why I might be considered a "crunchy" mama.

There has been a lot of talk about attachment parenting and parents being "crunchy." I guess I might fall into those categories a little bit, and I'm totally fine with that. I want to preface this post by stating that these are our family's preferences and I know every family differs. If someone chooses to do things differently from us, I am not going to judge them. These are all things that work for OUR family.

I cloth diaper. We decided before Eli was born that we wanted to cloth diaper to a) save money on buying disposables and b) send less diapers to a landfill where they will stay for 500 years. Plus, cloth diapers are just too cute! I love putting Eli into cloth diapers because I know they are soft against his skin and don't contain any of the chemicals that are used to make disposable diapers.

I breastfeed. Again, before Eli was born we decided that we wanted our child to be breastfed for many reasons. Breast milk has the best combination of nutrients and antibodies for my baby. It is easier for my baby to digest and it helps protect against disease. Breast milk is free. Yes, I did have to buy a few nursing bras and a manual pump (which was actually a gift), but in the long run it is cheaper than buying formula. Breastfeeding is convenient. I can feed my baby whenever he gets hungry and not have to mess around with a bottle. This is especially convenient in the middle of the night! Also, I am comfortable nursing him in public with a cover so it doesn't bother me when we are out and about and he gets hungry. Plus, breastfeeding is good for my health too because it helps protect against certain cancers and diabetes.

I babywear. I love putting Eli into one of the carriers I own when we are out somewhere or just around the house. It is so much easier to put him into a carrier than mess around with our stroller. I like our stroller and am glad we have it because we do use it when we take family walks to the park and I intend to jog with it when Eli gets a little older, but it can be bulky in certain places. For example, I go to our local farmer's market on Saturdays and I see how hard it is to push a stroller on the busy sidewalks. It's also easier to just put him into a carrier when I run errands rather than carting his car seat in and out. Eli also likes being close to me, even when I am doing everyday things around the house. He is usually in my ring sling while I cook dinner. He also is in a stage where he loves to look around and take everything in. With him strapped to me he is in the center of what is going on!

Those are the three main things I do as a mother that some would consider "crunchy." I'm not really sure why, but so be it. I also try to be eco-friendly at home too. I use cleaning products that don't contain chemicals (for the most part), use CFL lightbulbs in all of our lamps, use a low-flow showerhead, and use an energy-efficient washer and dryer. I also am trying to buy locally more often and purchase meat and produce at the local farmer's market. The one thing I really miss is recycling. Recycling was free in Ashland and they picked it up from our curb. We have to to pay for it now in Columbus if we want it picked up or take it to a recycling bin ourselves. I might try to start taking it myself again, but it became cumbersome after awhile.

So tell me...what do you do that is considered to be "crunchy?"

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

For anyone who has ever asked a stay-at-home mom...

"So, what do you do all day?"

I'll tell you what I do all day. I work. Hard. Anyone who thinks that stay-at-home moms have it easy is either a) not a stay-at-home parent or b) has never had children. Yes, I understand that I do all of the same household chores as those that have full-time jobs, but I also have a baby at home all day with me. A baby who needs fed, entertained, changed, and loved. One might think I am online all day long, but a laptop is a glorious thing to have with a nursing baby who likes to eat...a lot. Or who sometimes does not like to nap unless he is on his mama.

I no longer have an entire Saturday to clean our apartment. It gets (somewhat) clean throughout the week during nap time. That is, if Eli is napping in his swing. Otherwise, I am browsing Pinterest. Hey, it happens. There are some tasks that get put off...sometimes indefinitely. I will probably regret this the next time someone decides to just drop on by. However, there are a few key chores that need to be accomplished on a daily to weekly basis. The ones I would like to address today are the dishes/cooking, the laundry, and cleaning off the dining room and coffee tables.

We still have to eat. And I'm not one to use paper plates. So, the dishes pile up every single day. A former task of unloading and re-loading the dishwasher that used to take 5 minutes can now take 15 minutes while I keep an eye on Eli while he's playing on his activity mat. Was that a cry or a happy squeal? I'm the one who has to check it out. Meals take much longer to prepare when wearing a baby who doesn't want to sit in his bouncer or who decides to get hungry half-way through chopping veggies for a stir-fry. Sometimes it's a miracle that I even get dinner finished at all.

The laundry, oh the laundry. Eli definitely gives our washer and dryer a work out. Babies create a lot of laundry for one tiny person. Between diaper leakages and spit up, he can easily go through a few outfits a day. Throw in the cloth diaper laundry and I am easily doing 3 loads of just his laundry per week. I've been known to wear my jeans probably a bit longer than intended since our laundry can get put on the back burner. Sacrifices, people.

No matter how hard I try, it is almost impossible to keep the dining and coffee tables completely cleared off. The dining table is where we put the car seat, diaper bag, mail, and all the other random items that go in and out of the apartment on a daily basis. I have tried to stop this. I have. But it's just too convenient when it's the closest thing to the door. The coffee table is usually stacked with board books and rattles that entertain Eli throughout the day, not to mention my ever-present glass of water, a plate with a half-eaten sandwich on it, and assignments for a class I am finishing to renew my teaching license. And oh yeah, my camera to capture all of the cuteness that happens around here on a daily basis.

Since this post has turned rather long, and I have yet to tell you the rest of how days are spent as a SAHM...there will be a part 2 sometime soon. You know, when I get a free minute.

Since this post has a lot of words in is a cute picture for you!

Someone has found his hands! 

Oh, and before anyone jumps all over me about having a full-time job plus having to do all of these things with children...I know. I am just writing this from where I am in life right now and my experience. I am by no means telling anyone that I have it much harder than anyone else! I am just answering the question about what I do all day. :)