I have a confession to make.
I tried really hard for a long time to be a crunchy mom, but I have come to realize that I honestly just kind of suck at it.
Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of things about being crunchy that I do; we babywear, I am breastfeeding a toddler, we bedshare, I even used cloth diapers on my oldest son. We are for sure pretty into gentle parenting as well.
I'm not great with organic food, though, or keeping everything super healthy or grain free or dairy free or all of that. We eat pizza at least one night a week and it is never gluten free crust with only veggies as toppings. We are pepperoni kind of folks. I love babywearing, but honestly my double stroller can make my life with two kids under two a little easier so I can wheel them both around and no one feels like one is getting something the other one isn't. I don't use all natural products. We keep the TV on most of the day, and honestly the littles are into watching Project Runway with me because I don't just leave it on super educational kids shows. We very much are pro-vaccination. We started bedsharing mostly because we like sleep and it was easier with constant breastfeeding. I believe very much in gentle parenting, but I'm not going to pretend I don't raise my voice or sometimes get weary of talking everything to death, especially to my almost two year old who isn't really absorbing the message quite yet about why it isn't kind to smack his dad in the crotch.
All of those things are totally okay and there is nothing wrong with it all, but I'll be real with myself and with all of you; I felt a lot of guilt for a long time that I just couldn't seem to hack it with some of that stuff. In the age of the internet and social media it can feel like you are constantly up against holding yourself to someone elses standards. You'll be part of all the mommy Facebook groups where herd mentality is real and you'll start to question why you aren't like everyone else. Even when you are the sort of person that marches to the beat of your own drum, like me. Those messages can still sink into your skin and before you know it you are wondering if it is okay that your kid ate half a bag of veggie straws for dinner because they wouldn't eat anything else.
Spoiler alert; it's all okay.
Somewhere along the way I made peace with the fact that there are simply things that I am not, that I am not going to be, and I don't have to measure myself to any standards other than the ones that I set for myself. You don't have to be one type of mom or follow some sort of rigid set of rules to be able to do this parenting thing.
That is when I kind of figured out that I am a gummy bear mom.
Sounds funny, right? Hear me out on it, though.
My favorite kind of gummy bears are the ones that are a little bit chewy; they may even hurt your teeth just a tiny bit, but they are yummy anyway. They are just sweet enough and taste vaguely of fruit so they give you a sense that you are eating something healthy-ish, but deep down you know you're ingesting pure sugar and that is plenty okay with you. They are a delicious little paradox.
My parenting style is this; there is no real style. I'm a little of this, and a little of that, and a whole lot of still trying to figure it out after thirteen years in the game. No matter if you have been a parent for a hundred seconds or a hundred years, I feel like we are all just trying to figure it out as best we can. I think getting super caught up in styles and labels doesn't allow for the nuance of what it means to be a parent and the responsibility of ushering these tiny humans towards adulthood.
So next time you are online and you are on Facebook, or Instagram, or whatever social media you follow, and you get yourself caught up in your feelings about how you aren't 'enough' or good at every facet of a particular parenting style? Just think about how you are a gummy bear mom. And how I am right there with you, saluting you as I drink my third cup of coffee of the day and my kids eat peanut butter sandwiches on cheap white bread for lunch.
I am more than enough and so are you.