I have not always been a “hippie.” Maybe the definition of the word is different for everyone. In the dictionary, it is defined as what it originally was created for; a stylish, hip person from the 60s who was a freethinker and anti-establishment. They had a specific style, like flowing fabrics and beads and flowers as accessories. Sounds great to have your own mind and simple, natural style, right? Nowadays, the term has broadened to people who are in touch with natural and earthy ways of doing things. It is also used as slander, although the person using it as such doesn’t realize the original meaning or that it isn’t bad to be loving, peaceful, compassionate, empathetic, accepting of all people and cultures, natural and a critical thinker. Yes, you can still shower and no, you don’t have to use patchoiuli! What is sad to me is things like breastfeeding, making homemade food (especially for baby), cloth diapering, co-sleeping and baby-wearing are not more popular. They are looked at as a new fad, yet they are things that were originally done before our society became a people of wanting things quick and easy in the
WRONG ways. A lot of my blog is about making things quick, easy and cheap while still doing things the right way. Parenting is no exception.
I understand breastfeeding isn’t always possible. Some women can’t produce enough, which is why years ago women had wet nurses. Did you know a lot of women who have an abundance sell their milk? Some people think that is weird. If you feed your kids processed formula or cow’s milk, how can you think another woman’s breast milk is weird? At least it is the same species! Oh how I wish I could have taken advantage of that! I made the mistake of not pumping right away after my little one was born. I was scared if I pumped and she needed to eat, I wouldn’t have enough and would need a bottle. I went back to work when she was 2 months old and was working 3-4 nights a week and was pumping like a mad woman with little success. I fought it, but finally caved to supplementing with formula when she was 4 months old. I first tried organic, when I was still on that kick, but something in it made her break out! I found a giant canister for $16 at Costco. By 6 months old, I was producing less and less although I kept pumping, hoping I could increase my supply. I’ll never forget the morning she stopped wanting me. By then, I was only feeding her in the morning, and one morning she realized she could get more from the bottle and pushed me away. I cried so hard that day. I’m getting misty-eyed thinking about it! I wasn’t ready to stop completely and I realized right then and there that our special bonding time was over and it killed me. So for awhile, we were going through 4-5 canisters of formula a month…do the math! So expensive! Even when it went down as she ate more regular food, it is an added expense. Even for working moms, pumping is still cheaper in the long run, and you have the pump forever. I was lucky enough to be given the Medela system, the Cadillac of pumps! I mixed BM with the formula for a while, but your body knows when you aren’t breastfeeding and your supply goes down. I tried tricks to increase my supply and even after I was done found more tricks and products that increase your supply, so here’s to the next kid. I beat myself up over it because even her birth wasn’t as natural as I had wanted. I thought I was a hypocrite who talked all this stuff about being natural and couldn’t live it 100%. Do you know what though? I TRIED! Do you know what else? My little one is healthy, happy and growing up beautifully. I have to be proud of that, right?
It is so hard to be 100% natural and ecofriendly in the world we live in. I know most people like me with the best intentions can’t do it 100%. Buying and using natural isn’t always easy, effective or feasible and sometimes we want to satisfy a craving over being mindful of health…that’s okay. We only live once, so splurging should not be frowned upon, as long as everything is in moderation . We must all try and influence society and companies to do the right thing, so when we want to splurge or have to buy things like formula and diapers to be quick and easy, there are better options. We will leave our little ones a great legacy: do what you can and speak up for what is right, even if it is unpopular or “weird.” Things can and will change. Steve Jobs said it best: