Am I a hippy mum?

Am I a hippy mum?

Am I a hippy mum? Hmm… I’m not really a fan of ‘labels’ and don’t really consider myself to be alternative in my parenting style, however in a recent Facebook group another mum started a post with the sentence…. ‘ways in which I am a hippy mum’. She listed the things she did that made her a hippy, then another list of things she did that made her un-hippy. It made me smile as people began commenting and it became clear really quickly that we were all quite different in our approches to parenting.

I read through the list and realised that I have done, at various stages, nearly all the things that are considered ‘hippy’ or I guess alternative.

It got me thinking; is my parenting style really considered alternative? Do friends, family and passers by on the street look at me and think my parenting choices are alternative?

The list of things that were deemed hippy were:

Exclusively breastfed past 6 months
Wear child in slings and wraps
Go to child when s/he cries
Gave finger foods and loaded spoons from 6 months
Make food from scratch for child
Had child sleeping in parents room until past 6 months
Have an extended rear facing car seat
Haven’t given formula
Haven’t given mushed/purreed food
Use cloth nappies and wipes
Co-sleep
Feed/rock/cuddle to sleep
Don’t give jars or pouches of food
Don’t give chocolate or McDonald’s food 
 

Of these 14 things, I do, or have at various stages, done 11 of them – the three that I haven’t are to exclusively breastfeed past 6 months, had child sleep in our room past 6 months (but this may happen with Emma) and I have given formula.

Does this make me a hippy mum? I don’t think so. I suppose if you add in that I have decided to stop paid employment to care for Daniel and Emma and that my husband and I are considering Daniel not joining nursery education until he is four years then I guess I become even more ‘alternative’ in style 

I don’t think these are hippy things to do, and nor do I have issue if you don’t do any of these things; carrying a baby in a sling/carrier isn’t for every parent and importantly isn’t for every baby! Daniel loves being carried and when I unpacked the Ergo for him yesterday he was excited to be carried in it. Emma, on the otherhand finds being carried less enjoyable as she is becoming bigger.

I cook our meals from scratch because I have the luxury of time to do this; I have never had the need to give Daniel prepped food from ‘baby food’ jars (and in fact the notion of baby and children’s food is a bit alien to me – food is food and we all eat the same at meal times). We don’t give Daniel chocolate because it isn’t needed and to be honest, he would be bouncing off the walls even more so than usual. 

I use cloth nappies because the thought of the cost and the waste generated by two children in nappies is scary – and the cloth wipes just makes sense in terms of money saving and how kind and gentle they are on new skin.

A quick google of the phrase ‘hippy mum’ throws back some of the images below – baby wearing seems to be the common thing in the first batch of images that come up… something that I fully subscribe to. It is probably something that I have had the most comments about – mostly positive and I find that people are often intrigued as to how I can quickly wrap Emma in the SnugiWrap and it’s something that has, and continues to work for our family.

is this me?        

I find it strange that we label each other as hippy or anything else – there is enough pressure in dealing with our little people; wondering if you made the right decision or if you could have handled a situation better without wondering if the world looking in is casting judgement.

I find it odd that when babies are born they are placed to sleep in a box next to their mother. Both Daniel and Emma settled far better lay against my chest (and my husbands chest). Is it any wonder? – we represent something safe and warm. Kittens, puppies, ducklings, cubs and many many other creatures nestle and cuddle up to their parents for safety and warmth…. if doing the same with my own is considered alternative…. well…  I am happy to be considered as such. Baby-wearing, co-sleeping, going to them when they cry, rocking to sleep are, for me, simply extensions of this; leading Daniel and Emma, I hope, to feel secure.

When I take Daniel and Emma to the park tomorrow I won’t worry and ask ‘am I a hippy mum’? I won’t care if the people walking by consider me a hippy – we are happy and that’s what counts.

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