The Return of the Crunchy Parent
***Surprise!!!!*** Well, probably not much of a surprise to most of you who are new around these parts, but just in case there’s someone out there who had a magical feed reader that held on to this little page waiting and wondering for the last six years whatever happened to that woman whose family you used to know a little about, I’ll take a moment to catch you up….I started this blog back when my two girls were teeny bits. One was watching the world unfold in gauzy magical colors at her Waldorf preschool and in our backyard. The other spent most of her time smiling at life from her perch, usually snuggled in her Maya Wrap close to my chest. I was transitioning to the role of full-time, stay-at-home parent after many years in graduate school completing PhD programs in both clinical psychology and school psychology, and trying to figure out how all of the training that I had received fit with these two little beings who had not necessarily read the same books or followed the same syllabi that I had. My husband and I were trying to approach our role as parents mindfully, with a strong focus on preserving childhood as a time of exploration, wonder, and creativity, and making thoughtful decisions that we hoped would support the emotional and physical health and well-being of our children. I’m the first to admit that our aspirational path was not an easy road for us to walk, and sometimes we had to settle for doing the best that we could in a given moment or circumstance even if that was not the same as what we wished we could do in the moment or in hindsight. That is where my blog took a sabbatical.
In the summer of 2008, my husband sustained a significant back injury and took an extended leave from work to recover. I attempted to balance the child care, the diaper washing and round-the-clock nursing, the food prep, the transportation, laundry, groceries, mowing the lawn, taking out the trash, the CSA pickup, the chiropractor appointments and doctor visits, caring for him as he was mostly bedridden, and trying to maintain my blog. Something had to give. The blog seemed like the appropriate choice, so it sat gathering dust and waiting for life to settle down a bit.
Thankfully life did begin a return to normal, enough to consider that third baby that we had wanted but had also put on hold in light of the chaos. We were lucky enough to be blessed with a third pregnancy, but our joy did not last long before it became overshadowed by complications. When I was 8 weeks pregnant I began to experience significant bleeding, and 15 weeks into my pregnancy I was on complete bed rest with a diagnosis of subchorionic hemorrhages. Now it was my husband’s turn to be the full-time house manager, child care provider, and breadwinner as we tried to maintain a challenged pregnancy over many months and still meet the needs of our girls. It was during this time that we also discovered that a deadline had been missed, a subscription had gone unpaid, and my blog and all of its content had been lost. It was too low on our priority list at the time, and it seemed that the Universe was telling me to just let some things go. The days and weeks crawled along, and despite odds that seemed unthinkable at times, I gave birth at full term to my beautiful son.
Recovery from almost six months of immobility was difficult and involved a great deal of physical therapy, but I began to improve. An area on my leg that I had noticed as seeming different and restricted during the pregnancy never really got better despite my increased strength and decreased pain elsewhere. In the end it turned out that it was cancer, and that was a whole other journey.
I am excited to say that I am four years cancer-free this month. Our little crunchy family has weathered many challenges over the past six years; too many to list, but not enough to have completely derailed us from our crunchy path. I continue to be excited by learning new things; by crafting, cooking, and creating, by supporting health and well-being in holistic ways, and by attempting to glean the best from mainstream and non-mainstream approaches while keeping an open mind that today’s best choice for our family may not be the same as tomorrow’s, and certainly may not be the same as another family’s best choice. I am also mindfully choosing to place a greater emphasis on self-care. Like many parents I tend to fall into the habit of pouring every ounce into my children without taking time to refill my own cup. That is simply not sustainable or beneficial for the family as a whole, so I am trying to make new choices in that area of my life to support continued health and well-being. This blog is self-care for me. It gives me permission and time to express myself, to explore my interests, and to engage in a community that teaches me endlessly.
There have been so many times over the years that I have learned something or done something and wished that I could share it on my blog, only to have a melancholy moment thinking that the blog had been just one more casualty of those rather difficult years. My oldest child recently turned twelve and in poking around online found the three Crunchy Parent videos that I had put up on You Tube all those years ago. She pointed to the page views and to the followers, “Mom, people are still interested,” she said, “You should bring Crunchy Parent back.” If I am going to believe that the Universe may have cued me to let go when I needed my focus to be elsewhere, I am going to be open to the idea that it may be nudging me to return. So, I’m back. No promises and no apologies, but I hope you’ll be happy to see me again, and many of you for the very first time.
As I mentioned above, I love to learn new things and I find it exciting to share what I know with others. If you have an interest or a question, let me know and I will possibly have the information for you, or you can be the inspiration for me figuring it out. Thank you for hanging on or checking back after all these years. I hope that you will be glad that you did. If we are crossing paths for the first time, I assume that there must be a good reason. Please make yourself at home and I hope that you find something that enriches you for the experience.by