I sometimes refer to myself as a ‘hippie mama’, or a ‘crunchy granola mom’. The terms are a sort of short-hand way to tell you something about who I am. For example, I cloth diaper, breastfeed and babywear. I buy organic produce at my local farmer’s market, and grow a vegetable garden. I bake my own bread and opt for ketchup in glass bottles over my husband’s protests. I consider myself a feminist and a pacifist. I subscribe to Mothering magazine and my kids listen to a lot of Raffi.
However, one mama can only be so crunchy, you know? So, today, I am going to share with you the many ways that I am not such a hippie mama after all.
1. I hate camping. Hate. It. I was a Girl Guide for 12 long years, and I’ve done my fair share. I’ve camped in tents and cabins and snow caves and under the stars. I have washed my hair in a lake and eaten my breakfast standing up because there was no dry surface. Now when other people go camping I search out a nearby motel, with warm beds and running water.
2. I do not own a pair of Birkenstocks, and I never have.
Some of my non-Birkenstock footwear
3. I listen to country music, or show tunes or catchy pop songs. The easier to sing along with the better. I do not enjoy Bob Dylan, although I am sure he has a broad influence and revolutionized music as we know it. Or something.
4. I dress my children in sports-themed clothing, well before they are actually able to make such decisions for themselves. Why? Because I think they look cute.
Impressionable children, being indoctrinated into a sports-crazed culture
5. I have been known to shop at Walmart. I looked everywhere else for a good, affordable plastic diaper pail, and only Walmart came through. While I do avoid big box stores whenever possible, sometimes they really do have the best prices and selection.
6. I eat meat, and I like it. I also eat wheat and dairy and occasionally consume high-fructose corn syrup. Because sometimes? Mama needs a Coca Cola fix.
7. I send my child to full-day preschool, and I plan to enroll her in public school.
8. I own a lot of baby gear. Including the playard, otherwise known as a playpen, or baby jail. My kids didn’t like it much, but it sure came in handy when we did some home renovations.
Hannah doing some hard time while new railings are installed in our house
9. I am excessively law-abiding, and a total people-pleaser. This means that I’m afraid to even write a strongly worded letter to an elected representative. Attending a demonstration, or even jay-walking, are so far outside of my comfort range I cannot even tell you.
10. We live in the suburbs, and have no desire to move back to the land or to a more urban setting. Yes, it’s sprawly, but it mostly works for us.
Suburban sprawl, also known as our side yard
Sometimes I worry that people are going to read about how I have no TV and I knit and I needle felt, and feel judged. Or that I am engaged in a one woman game of ‘hippier than thou’. I am not. I do the things I do because I enjoy them. If you don’t enjoy them, it’s fine by me. It’s also cool if you’re a vegetarian who wears Birkenstocks and loves to camp. As long as we can be tolerant and understanding, we can join together as one happy tribe, I say.
Unless, you know, you’re not rooting for ‘Dad’s Team’. Because Jacob and I feel that’s sort of a deal-breaker.
How about you? Any deep, dark secrets you’d like to confess? I’d love it if you played along!