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When Your Parenting Style Goes Against the Grain

by Tiffany in parenting

When Your Parenting Style Goes Against the GrainI recently read an excellent article in a parenting magazine. I related deeply to an article on “Being a Parenting Original”. I have often times been made to feel that I my methods of parenting are kind of kooky and bizarre. I have been relegated to that alternative group often referred to as hippie, crunchy, granola, or in some cases just plain weird. I am a true parenting original and yes in the beginning it was hard to feel different but now my confidence in my choices is solid and strong and I am proud to go against the grain.

The well meaning advice and thoughts of naysayers just don’t bother me anymore…well, okay sometimes they do…like when they insinuate that my choices on vaccines or positive discipline border on child abuse or neglect…then I have a few choice words to say. But usually I just ignore the negatives because I know that all of the research I do, all of the intense examination, and all of the effort that I put into be the BEST mom that I can be and making the BEST choices I can for my children is usually far and away more than that of the naysayers.

I have to admit that when I had my first child I was not much of an “original” parent. I didn’t question anything…I just went with the conventional and mainstream. But when I got pregnant with my second child, everything changed. I decided to use cloth diapers even when my own mom thought I was off my rocker. I quit my job so that I could exclusively breastfeed. I breastfed shamelessly in public places. I decided that co-sleeping was the best arrangement for us. My kids were attached to my hip with a sling and I never let them CIO (cry-it-out), if they cried…I held them…always. I made by own baby food and delayed solids. We started drinking raw milk. I started sewing clothes and cloth diapers after ten years of neglecting my sewing skills. I decided to refuse all vaccinations and forgo those unnecessary “Well Visits”.

And yes I had to deal with those who found reason to criticise these things. Well meaning friends and relatives thought cloth diapering and my refusal to birth with drugs was martyrdom, they thought refusing vaccinations was neglectful, and that extended breastfeeding and co-sleeping were indulgences that would raise spoiled brats. Positive discipline was sparing the rod and was actually a form of un-parenting. Eating organic was throwing my money away. And living “green” was buying into politically motivated hysteria. My attention to eliminating all the toxics in our home and life is considered by many to be hysteria too. My latest decision to homeschool has met with some rolled eyes and references to my being unqualified to teach. I also get a fair amount of nasty comments on this blog from people who question my choices.

If I listened to all this criticism I might surely think I was up for the worst parent of the year award right? A sad but true fact is that many moms like to criticise other moms. I guess it makes them feel better about their own choices. But I like what Kelly Dinocia had to say in that Mothering article…

I knew that one day our healthy, intelligent, kind, and well adjusted daughter would silence the critics.

Yes, I have faith and confidence in my parenting decisions. I didn’t come to them lightly and I know I am doing what is best for my children. But what do you do in the meantime?

*Find a supportive doctor that agrees with or at least supports your decisions to extended breastfeed, not to vaccinate, and not to medicate unnecessarily.

* Join groups of like minded parents. Le Leche League, API International, and the Holistic Moms Network all come to mind but there might also be small local groups for you to join too. Do a yahoo groups search for attachment parents, homeschoolers, etc. There are plenty of other parents out there just like you…so hang out with them.

* Keep doing your research. Keep reading books and the latest studies about the the benefits of breastfeeding and co-sleeping, the danger of vaccines, the rewards of homeschooling, positive parenting, etc. One of the biggest confidence builders is to keep having your choices reaffirmed and trust me they are are constantly reaffirmed…even if mainstream parents choose to ignore this.

* Get used to being different! Be compassionate about why others see things as they do but you can be respectful AND stand your ground. You KNOW that you are making the right decisions…just trust your mommy instincts. And trust me your complete confidence in your choices will make others start to second guess themselves. You’re an original baby…be loud and proud!

So what about you? Are you an “original” parent? Do you constantly run into naysayers? Are you one of the naysayers? :)

As soon as you can say what you think and not what some other person has thought for you, you are on the way to being a remarkable man. — James M. Barrie

  • Michelle

    My family thinks I am weird as well. Too bad. You do what you know is best no matter who opposes you. I got more than eye rolls from my school teacher mother when I starte homeschooling my three girls. I get eye rolls and more from my sisters when I recommend alternatives to mainstream pharmaceuticals. They all thought I was nuts when years ago was warning about Trans fats. And now look!

    Michelle’s last blog post..Weight In

  • i liked that you had to say about this article. I’m going to have to go and read it. I’m definitely one who goes against the grain a bit. I try to do the same things you mentioned. I constantly read books that reinforce my decisions, and one other thing I do is frequent blogs of like -minded parents.

    Dawn’s last blog post..Easter Bunnies

  • Lisa

    I loved this article in Mothering Magazine as well. I am the “granola” of my family and am constantly questioned for my decisions. If I took every eye-roll personally, I wouldn’t speak to any of my family anymore :)
    Thanks for all the great posts.

  • I haven’t gotten to that article in Mothering yet, but can’t wait to read it. Although I have found a great group of local moms that share my alternative parenting lifestyle, I am still regarded as strange. My mom couldn’t believe I would cloth diaper either even though she did it with 3 out of 4 of us kids. My family thinks that breastfeeding my daughter until she was 4.5 was gross. My homebirth decision with my second child was met with many “I’m so worried about you” and “What if x happens?” comments, it made my head spin.

    But I take comfort in making the decisions that are best for my family and honestly, sometimes I like being different. How else are people going to learn the joys of wearing your baby or that nursing your toddler can stop a tantrum in its tracks?

    Jenny’s last blog’s only been a week?

  • Yes definitely one of the unconventional ones. Offline I tend to keep my choices to myself and I try not to talk too much, because I find that no matter how respectful I am, others become offended – as if my choices condemn them somehow.

    Vive la difference!

    Carrie’s last blog post..Salad Saturday!

  • I can really relate to this post! We are a family that generally doesn’t swim along the “mainstream” and have gotten flack here and there for various things. I am confident, though, in our choices when I see how our girls are thriving and growing. I will check out that article next time we visit the library.

    Michelle Lane’s last blog post..Oh, one more thing!

  • I don’t think I’ve ever been a conventional person, so being an unconventional mom is just another piece of the puzzle. LOL

    Summer’s last blog post..The Next Twenty Years

  • We live in Seattle where being ‘granola’ is pretty common and people do not give a second glance to public breast feeding. My family (who does not live in the area) is pretty used to me doing things that aren’t mainstream since I’ve been like that for most of my life. The reaction I got from babywearing, cloth diapering, etc., was, “Oh, that’s neat!” The choice we have made to never leave our little one to cry has probably gotten the most negative reaction from all of our family; they all say we’re going to spoil him. It kills me that this idea was so successfully ingrained into our society!

    On a sidenote, I just found your blog a few weeks ago when looking for reviews on BPA-free sippy cups. Your product reviews are so useful to a new mom like me. Thanks so much!

    Miss Kris’s last blog post..Clock watching

  • I am in the middle. I feel that I stradle the fence on traditional and “granola” parenting. That is partially from a lack of research on all topics (it can be so overwhelming) and partially based on decisions I have made after researching. My friends thought I was weird for using cloth diapers and breastfeeding until 22 months. I did not care. Most do not know that we stopped vaccinating. It is just a hard topic at playgroup.

    Christy’s last blog post..So what is your opinion?

  • It wasn’t until my eldest was in kindergarten that our family took the intuitive leap and moved our kids out of the public school and into the Waldorf school. Finally, we were in a place with like-minded parents. I realized that where my children were being educated wasn’t only about their education (though it was major) but also about the people, the other parents and how I related to them. No matter how different you feel that you are eventually I think you end up finding your tribe. And what a great feeling that is!

    Stacy’s last blog post..C is for Cookie

  • Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.
    What your blog does for all of us is quite clear. It helps me remember that in the worldwide scope of things, we are not a minority–rather a majority! Really, our culture is one that has forgone and pushed aside mothers intuition–for what? Convenience? To be part of the American norm? Your blog is a reminder that the cost is too high to listen to the negative voices around us–instead encouraging us to listen to the only important voice there is. Our own inner voice- prodding us to self educate, until we find what we feel is right for our children.
    Mesa, AZ

    Emily Childers’s last blog post..Unexpected Kindness

  • I often forget that I’m not mainstream, mostly because I just don’t pay attention to what others do. I do what is right for our family. Of course sometimes I’m reminded that I’m kinda different. For instance, I had a friend visiting this weekend and she was shocked that I breastfed my toddler in a busy restaurant. I just looked at her and said, “Yeah, you don’t want to see my son’s reaction when I deny him the boob! It will be a much bigger scene!”

    Ewokmama’s last blog post..What?s your favorite baby stage?

  • I have found I offend both sides with my choices. I choose to not vaccinate, I chose natural birth, I breastfed my first exclusively until she was 8 months old before slowly introducing solids, I cosleep, visit an infant chiropractor and buy organic. So with those I find favor in the “crunchy” moms. But I make non crunchy moms squirm at times.

    But, in the same breath, I don’t wear my children. I let them cry it out a little. I don’t want to homeschool. And, I use Pampers. So, with that I frustrate the granola moms.

    So, I have learned to not judge any mom on her style and I tend to get a long with most moms and people where other people would turn their back because they did not share the same “values”.

    Sarah’s last blog post..the art of crockpotting

    • Nicole

      Sarah – I feel I am in the same boat as you – floating from one side to the other. I adopted my three boys, so breastfeeding was not a choice for me, therefore, I used formula. I did use cloth diapers with all three, and wore all of them in carriers a lot of the time. I do not co sleep, and homeschool for preschool, and then send them to public school. My boys don’t watch much TV and when they do, it is not the shows that most boys their ages are watching. I find it difficult not completely “fitting in” with either group. Any suggestions?

  • I think at first when I decided to go against the grain as a parent I thought I was alone, but now I look around at all my friends and how we do things so similarly and we feel like we are in the majority!


  • julie

    I can say I go against that mainstream grain, too. I still do some things that aren’t too crunchy, like use regular diapers (even though, honestly I’d love to do cloth). I had my first child when I was only 18. I naturally had a parental instinct to co-sleep, breastfeed, and not CIO. I have always pretty much been this way. I get more and more “crunchy” each year, I guess :). This year I plan to visit more chiropractors with my children, and try to get into meditation. My daughter’s friends are usually in awe when they visit because we don’t have soda, snack cakes, chips or other junk in our home.

  • julie

    I am confident in the decisions that I make as a parent. I may or may not be a “granola” mom in all aspects, but I do what I feel is best for my family. I certainly don’t judge how mothers decide to parent. You can always learn about something from someone else, even if you don’t agree with everything they do…..

  • Oh yes, I can identify with this post!

    Just as one example, when my daughter was little, I didn’t give her candy or sugar at all. I didn’t believe it was healthy for her and I didn’t want to encourage her to develop a taste for sweets. So for Easter and Christmas, she never got candy in her basket or stocking. I had to remove things that other family members would give her when they ignored my requests to refrain from the sugary treats. They harassed me for years, calling me names and giving me all sorts of grief for my unwavering position.

    But like the mom in Mothering said, my daughter’s calmness, focused study habits, healthy weight, strong teeth and preference for fruits at snack time instead of cookies or candy is all the evidence I need that I made the right choices.

    Trust yourself in making your own parenting choices!

  • I’m with Sarah (#12 comment) because I probably couldn’t fit into any category, crunchy or traditional. Anyway, even if I didn’t agree with someone else about their parenting style (even if it was a close relative), I certainly wouldn’t tell them they were doing it wrong, and I find it really offensive when people do act like they’ve got everything figured out. NOBODY has everything figured out, and if they say or act like they do, they’re lying. I say do what you feel you need to do, be the best parent you can. That’s all you can do!

    Abigail’s last blog post..Abigail’s Bento #67 – Good for Your Heart

  • Laura

    Thank you so much for the reaffirmation of everything I’ve been doing with my family. My mom always gives me a weird look whenever I tell her about the organic foods I’m eating, or cloth diapers, or even breast feeding for over a year with my daughter. I now use chlorine free diapers instead of cloth diapers, it became too much of a juggle with college and an infant. However, I try not to let it bother me because I know the decisions I make for my family better their lives and it will all be proven in their health and happiness, which is all that matters.

  • Tara

    Great post, but I especially love the fourth paragraph. From going to the birth center to choosing a Waldorf school and then homeschooling and “throwing our money away” on organics and integrated health care, we’re the black sheep in our family. I do my best not to let it get to me anymore. Nice to know there are others feeling the same way. I’ll have to check out that article.

    Tara’s last blog post..Turning Twelve, Bollywood Style

  • lovelilacs

    I consider myself to be anti-mainstream. One thing I do though is vaccinate my children, and in these types of circles I actually feel very criticized for it. My husband is slowly getting used to things I do, but is not very supportive of any kind of change. (Any tips to win him over?) I usually don’t worry what others thing, but I am also not sure what to do about Grandparents as far as healthy eating and unsafe toys/gifts. They live a day away so the eating thing is not quite such a big issue, but my husbands parents will stuff french fries/candy/sugary drinks down them any time I am not around (or try to when I’m there). I don’t think we have received one toy from them that is age appropriate. I have narrowed down my kids toys to basics, mostly handmade dolls (that I make) and wooden toys, or toys that have been tested lead free, etc, and I’m buying (on everything, not just toys) only made in America. Any tips on how to work this with grandparents? Do I just let them give gifts, and then take em away later (I don’t want to be cruel to my kids) or do I like say, I have to approve all toys? I would love to find a happy medium.

    • mdoud

      I am the first in my family to live a lifestyle described above but my husbands side of the family is very familar with it and has lived it for generations. I just do my thing and let them watch. Sometimes actions speak louder than words. My oldest child (of 5) is now 17. Of all they grandkids on my side of the family, mine are the healthiest, best behaved, considerate, etc. They still make comments about me making laundry soap or deoderant or increasing our Vitamin C & sleep if we feel a cold coming on instead of popping pills. It takes years to hear them make comments positively but to be honest, I don’t care because I feel I am doing the right thing. When we go to grandma, they kids know they are going to “eat a ton of sugar and crap” but it gets to a point where they say no I have had enough junk I would rather just have an apple & orange juice. I have had to lecture the older ones on behavior related to overdosing on sugar. They (my kids) actually see the difference. It is a good learning lesson for them. They like being spoiled but in the end the older ones at least, understand why we do the stuff we do, and lately have been choosing those things by themselves.

  • juinlily

    It’s so encouraging reading posts and comments like these. My parents also want the best for their grandbaby so they’ve also gone entirely organic and natural whenever we visit. I’m lucky.

    I’m not worried about opposition as much as I am about misinformation since there is no designated teacher for this type of living. I’m glad there’s people like-minded out there that I can model and learn from instead.

  • Many ancient cultures respected and revered their elders, giving them the most sacred task of playing with the children, while those learning to become good elders worked hard to feed the village. ‘We’ seem to have lost touch with this simple but fundamental aspect of social life. Parents like those who gather here are performing the tasks of both parent and grandparent at once. Our parents did this also.
    I’d love to involve my elders in my children’s lives more, but unfortunately, like lovelilacs, I can’t trust them to make basic life affirming decisions all the time. The generation before us suffered so as children, they seem to have arrested development, and instead of seeing the wisdom of our choices, seek to rebel against our lifestyle. (Sneaking sugar into the kids when they see them). An elder is not simply an older person. An elder has consciously accumulated the wisdom necessary to be trusted by his/her community. (My kids grandparents are not all ways this). Best we can do, dear Nourishers, is to consciously develop over this life a wisdom that will be respected by our children so they will trust us to care for theirs.
    PS. Tiffany, great post. Thanks for entering it into the Carnival of Nourishment

    The Nourisher’s last blog post..Going Nuts, Mentally and Organically

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  • Natural Woman

    when it comes to parenting, i always say follow your gut. i think we know, most of us, what to do, but often times look for approval from others.

    Natural Woman’s last blog post..Freedom of Speech, My Asterisk*

  • Brooke

    I read that article also (first time I ever purchased mothering mag actually but the articles this month just look awesome) and I related to it so much. I am very lucky to have a supportive partner and I have found a support group in my local community. Sometimes it’s hard though, the most difficult thing has been saying no to vaccines. Actually at my daughter’s last appointment while I said no to the hep A vaccine I didn’t say no to the other vaccine I didn’t even know she was supposed to be getting that day, I was scared to death for hours that she would have a reaction. This time I actually noticed a reaction; she stopped eating solid foods, slept constantly and her behavior completely changed. I don’t think I can get her vaccinated again. My doctor seems flexible, but I have a hard time standing up for my parenting alone….I need back up! My MIL has been hard to convert and my APish sister told my partner behind my back that we needed to buy a crib and start feeding my daughter more animal proteins (we are raising her vegetarian, but she is sensitive to dairy and soy, so it’s hard). Anyways…it’s not easy!

  • Tristain

    Thanks for the post. It makes me feel better knowing that there are other mothers out there like me. My mom has always been very supportive of alternative medicine, breastfeeding, and less vaccinations, and has given me reason to do more research on everything that goes on or into my baby. However, I have met with some opposition from my Mother-in-law. She is a nurse, and has showed obvious disaproval of my vaccination choices, as well as other aspects of my parenting. It’s very hard to feel like you have to be on the defensive all the time. I have people question me quite often on why I choose to go Organic for skin care, and why I’m so “paranoid” about plastics. I know what I’m doing is the best, and right decision for our family, but there are definitely a lot of people around me who would disagree. I’m glad to hear that there are so many other mom’s out there who do their research, and who choose not to go mainstream with all their parenting choices.

  • JHS

    Thanks for contributing this post to this week’s Carnival of Family Life, hosted at This Full House. Be sure to stop by on Monday, March 10, 2008, and support your fellow participants by checking out all of their wonderful contributions.

    JHS’s last blog post..Photo Hunt: Different

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  • I loved your article. I definitely feel “different.” I use such an eclectic approach to life that I don’t fit very well into any group of people. I can say though that I’m more alternative than conventional. I actually THRIVE on being different and letting others know that I feel differently. It’s not to put them down but more just because I enjoy diversity. It can be a lonely place to be in though at times.

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  • Brenda

    I hear you! I agree and am glad that I am not the only one. Thank you so much for posting.

  • AH

    It’s funny because you say your parenting style is different and against the grain. You just need to move to Santa Barbara, CA. Everyone parents like you do! We call it ‘attachment parenting’ over here. I found your blog because I was looking up “alternative parenting” to THAT type of parenting! lol Guess it all depends on where you live. Maybe I should move to where you live and then I would parent like everyone else…

  • terry skovronek

    There is nothing more outside the main stream than attempting to raise a child to view the world and herself as a noble being, and nothing will interfer with that effort more than contemporary media, and almost no one comprehends this. Even in the Waldorf school system where media is advised against there is the misunderstanding that if it’s not violent it’s ok, You know the type of non-violent storyline I mean: there’s a sarcastic pre-teens, a ‘bitchy’ girl (always portrayed by a blonde), tits and ass for the 12 year crowd, . Ya know what? I can’t even finish my thought. I’m so sad that what most pp consider GREAT i consider garbage that I just gotta go to sleep and hope my dreams are sweet.

    • Nicole

      I totally agree, Terry! Our solution to these types of shows was to get rid of cable. We now only have basic channels. We find what we want to watch on DVD at the library or online. Now there is not the opportunity (at home anyways) for my kids to see these ridiculous shows

  • AB

    Forgive me, but I don’t think cloth nappies, breastfeeding, making baby food and holding a crying baby makes someone an “alternative” mother. It has actually been done that way for many, many years.

  • Brittany

    I love this post!!! I bet you can just imagine the looks I got from people when I told then I quit using my microwave… But to me it was the best decision, I see all my friends in their early 20’s sick and can’t hardly eat things that they are “allergic” too, to me this says way too many pesticides and way to much preservatives and defiantly the way we cook our food affects that too!! Seeing so many people with health troubles being so young (like my 4 year old nephew who has diebities) has encouraged me to take a step back and really think about whats best for my family! Thanks I feel empoweered by this and now I feel stronger to stand up for what I belive in about how I raise my family!

  • Julie

    I guess that where I live, this is not really an “unconventional” way of parenting. It seems everyone in my neighborhood is babywearing, cloth-diapering, breastfeeding, etc. If anything, I often feel judged by other moms because I DO vaccinate.
    It would be nice if none of us moms (“crunchy” or otherwise) would judge each other.

    • Rose the Forest Elf

      Yes! We all do what we truly believe to be best for our children and we should have the right to do that without judgement. I’m happy you feel this way even though we are in different worlds :)

  • Nicole


  • abdecoteau

    I love your comment “I knew that one day our healthy, intelligent, kind, and well adjusted daughter would silence the critics.” We too just had to “wait it out” for family and friends to see that our kids are happy, healthy, and well adjusted children. For us as well, homeschooling was the last debate especially with our families. But, they have come around on that too! I say always trust your instincts as a parent. You know what is best for your child and family!

  • We’re probably going to run into some of what you describe in our homeschool group. We’re new to it, but already I’ve seen hints here and there of many being the “spare the rod” types, while others seem to fall into the “husbands and fathers are the ultimate rulers in the home” paradigm. We don’t. At all. So we continue to quietly raise our children as we see fit and enjoy them. So long as no one tells me that if I don’t use violence I am not a fit parent, we’ll all get along just fine. LOL

    On the other side, we’re not “crunchy” enough for other parents. The ones who’ve abandoned toilet paper, use solar cookers and don’t eat anything that was ever looked upon by an animal (okay, being sarcastic… sort of). There is no way to “win” so we just carry on. You have to be confident when swimming against whatever stream you find yourself in. And you’re right, you need to find good support with like minded people.

  • Cara

    Love this article. Thank you. Makes me feel much better. I breastfed my daughter until she was over the age of 2 – we are only a month and a half not breastfeeding. she was ready but I do miss it sometimes. We cloth diapered, made our own baby food, laundry detergent, and I am planning to home school for a little while anyway. We try and cut out as many toxins within the home as we can and Im sure I have much more to learn. We have been doing an alternative vax schedule that I have been very happy with. We eat organic whenever we can, yes it’s more expensive but it is so much better for you! She loved the ergo carrier and still rides in it today. I also never let her cry it out. sometimes I was nursing her every hour or bouncing around the room for 45 minutes but that’s what she needed from us. She is very smart, very independent (even though we practiced attachment parenting) and she is great with other children even though she has never been in day care. Again, thanks for the vote of confidence and I hope there are many other Mama’s out there like this.

  • a mom

    I have to say that while I respect your right to parent any way you wish, I’ve found that those who follow this parenting style to be just as judgmental as those they rail against.

  • Amanda

    The photo of the VW bus reminds me of my childhood! My parents brought me home as a newborn in one and then my Dad drove one again when I was in high school. In many ways my parents veered a little to the “alternative” compared to my friends in the suburbs. I was mortified when Dad dropped me off at school in the old VW but I survived. My kids will too, minus the VW! LOL It probably makes me more conscious of not necessarily appearing to go against the grain but still doing my own thing. We are unconventional in our neighborhood and with in-laws for breastfeeding, baby-wearing, not letting baby cry it out, no “formal” preschool at age 3 & 4, eating vegetables and whole foods (usually cooking vegetarian), letting each kid pick only 1 organized activity outside of school, etc. My MIL has said my kids are spoiled because of these things! Thank you for posts like these to remind me I am not the only one! My kids are living proof that this is the right way to go!

  • Tc_rides

    I think you seem like a great mother that loves her children. You have spent time researching the way you want to raise your children. It may not be the same as others choose but that is your right as a mother. The prescriptions and half the drugs that doctors decide to push onto children these days are horrendous. I myself was asked by a doctor if I had a drug problem because I wouldn’t let him give my child a prescription (with brain damage being a side affect) to my child of 4 months for eczema. Yes she had a rash it didn’t bother her, it wasn’t bleeding or spreading. It was just little red bumps. Why would I take that risk; when in a couple weeks her tooth came in, it went away. I feel like you are taking the less traveled road. Most people don’t go that road because in all honesty it is more work. Trying to clear your home of toxins, using cloth diapers, exclusively breastfeeding, homeschooling, etc. all of these take more time as a parent. A lot of parents barely take interest if their kids have homework. They are pacified by electronics and don’t get the attention that they need or deserve. Kudos to you and your decisions to better your families life. Good Luck.

  • Tc_rides

    I think you seem like a great mother that loves her children. You have spent time researching the way you want to raise your children. It may not be the same as others choose but that is your right as a mother. The prescriptions and half the drugs that doctors decide to push onto children these days are horrendous. I myself was asked by a doctor if I had a drug problem because I wouldn’t let him give my child a prescription (with brain damage being a side affect) to my child of 4 months for eczema. Yes she had a rash it didn’t bother her, it wasn’t bleeding or spreading. It was just little red bumps. Why would I take that risk; when in a couple weeks her tooth came in, it went away. I feel like you are taking the less traveled road. Most people don’t go that road because in all honesty it is more work. Trying to clear your home of toxins, using cloth diapers, exclusively breastfeeding, homeschooling, etc. all of these take more time as a parent. A lot of parents barely take interest if their kids have homework. They are pacified by electronics and don’t get the attention that they need or deserve. Kudos to you and your decisions to better your families life. Good Luck.

  • Madeleine Booth-Smits

    Good on you. Hippie parents are great!! Love your blog.

  • smallerfootprints

    Reading this post makes me feel a lot. Last year I made a major change in my life that had been brewing in me for awhile. My boyfriend thought I was crazy, but being the supportive sweetheart that he is, patiently watched as I rid our home of cleaning products, plastic wraps and anything I found offensive to my new goal.  The truth is though, as convicted as I am, I still tend to keep it on the down low to avoid hearing negative comments from friends and family.
    Now my boyfriend and I are expecting and it will be harder to quietly live out our chosen lifestyle. I am terrified and already anticipating a barrage of criticism. For some reason people are freer with their opinions when a child is involved, and I don’t expect a lot of support. For example: the baby shower! Is it acceptable to ask guests to buy gently used items, and refrain from plastics and synthetic materials? Or should I just be grateful for what we get ( a stance I am positive most of our family will take)? It doesn’t help that we are a very low income family and as my mother constantly tells me, I am “too poor to have standards”!
    It is hard enough being a first time parent, but doing it without a solid support system is scary. I’ve run across many blogs (this one is so far my favorite), but if anyone knows of any message boards or online communities that I might find helpful, I would so, so, so appreciate it!

  • Angelaroberts

    This is the second time that I have read this.  Thank you so very much!  You just gave me the much needed reinforcement that I needed on a very tough day :)

  • Dreadle

    I think this a fantastic blog and refreshing to hear others with similar ideas on parenting, I am a nanny and at the moment do not have children of my own, but by observing and listening to parents i will hopefully equip myself to be the best mother I can.
    The Kelly Dinocia quote sums it up nicely, these little people wont be children forever, we are preparing them for adulthood. Happy, loved children, are happy, loving adults.

  • Heidi Jo

    Love this post – love your blog. Thank you for sharing!

  • Lanajoseph@Baby Shower

    Everyone has their own style of parenting and no one’s perfect.

  • Rose the Forest Elf

    Thank you so much. I am currently pregnant and I know I will face a whole lot of judgement. I will be going to much further extremes than you, but then still it is comforting that you found this strength. I’ll be a bit better at finding this strength on my own now. As for the extremes: I live in a cave in Spain, a country where I am not born or registered at all, and I don’t want to register my child. I will be raising it as naturally as I can, using natural medicine, homeschooling and breastfeeding. It is scary to say these things on the dreaded internet and that is why I do it. I have to get over this fear asap.