When I heard the term “scrunchy momma,” I was highly tickled. A melding of the words “crunchy” and “silky” moms (one inclined to use nature-based babycare while the other not so much), I’ve found this term quite fitting as I reflect on this past year of life as a mom.
As my daughter turns one, I recall everything I thought I would do as a new mom. The reusable diapers, mason jar bottles, no sulfide baby shampoos, and definitely no scent in my baby’s lotion *chuckle*. I’d tell myself I didn’t need my daughter to smell like baby powder, but in the dead of night would be trying to cook up something to extinguish the sour milk smell (my lovely little one had a bad bout of acid reflux, so we ran through bibs like it was going out of style).
Although my partner and I were able to do much of the above caring for our daughter, we’ve found that when we communicate what we do to others, there’s something like– a barrier. Socio-culturally, I believe we are in an evolution of unlearning. In the West, we are re-evaluating what we have eaten, how we perceive youth and our general lifestyles. The younger generation is attempting to change the current lifestyle to one with a trajectory heading towards optimal self-actualization. For many before us who, with all they knew and what was available to them, did the best they could, this different paradigm seems so… “picky.”
In the West, I believe we have both strayed far from nature but also marketed it back packaged and palatable for those who do not look to engage with it. As my partner and I unlearn what we have learned about the commercialization of pretty packaged, unhealthy products and engage in more educated buying habits, I acknowledge that we must also access what we can in the States and buy what is affordable.
As many of us individuals and parents lean into a more natural way of living, it is essential not to fall into what I’ll call “crunchy guilt.” It is our responsibility to ourselves and our little ones to do the best we can with what we have, to grow and keep going.
Cheers to this scrunchy journey!
Portia Ingram is the Director of Smart Start Suffolk for Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, developing and coordinating early childhood programs. She owns Mind Align Solutions, LLC, a consulting company that creates and runs workshops on holistic planning and life skill development for children and adults. She has also worked and advocated for the disability community for over ten years in various positions ranging from clinician to policy advocate. She continues to share and provide resources to those in the community, working alongside politicians and non-profit organizations around Long Island. She is the author of the workbook The Helpful Planner and the young adult self-help book How To Survive Your 20s.