Crunchy-Mama-To-Be v. Everyone else's advice — The Bump
The Eco-Friendly Family

Crunchy-Mama-To-Be v. Everyone else's advice

100 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer Name Dropper
edited March 2015 in The Eco-Friendly Family's my story - I am an earthy gal, whether pregnant or not. I don't paint my nails often, I don't have my hair done, I spend much of my time working with a well known oceanic conservation organization...and most everyone I know are vegan tree-hugging hippies. 

My husband's family...300% polar opposite! 

Like when I say opposite, I mean OPPOSITE! And it's hard, because they are not observant enough to realize that I am DIFFERENT. 

I have been having a lot of passive aggressive and snide comments come my way after I reluctantly shared my baby registry with my MIL. She works in a daycare center, and that is all well and fine, but again, I am different. My baby won't be in daycare...

You can see where things are shaky...what have you done to let family know that you have your own way of handling things when it comes to the baby? For instance, I've already gotten a collection of baby soaps and products that I refuse to do I let folks know that I am not going to use just any old brand on my baby? I plan to make my baby's soap for crying out loud! I would prefer if people save their comments and money and just let me raise my baby as I choose to! 

I am hormonal, frustrated, and too crunchy for my family at times...apparently! 


Re: Crunchy-Mama-To-Be v. Everyone else's advice

  • Been there! Oh wait… still dealing with this issue! My kids are 3.5 and 2 years old now and my in-laws brought over polyester stuffed animals as an Easter present. Ugh. 

    I think just laying out how you are going to raise your child on paper and letting family members have a copy would be helpful… I probably still need to do this because we have had some comments and actions made by my own dad lately that are just over the top! You can do this nicely and just do tick marks on a page. I imagine something like this: 

    "We are SO excited to be welcoming our little X (insert baby's name) into this ever-changing world and growing our family! We want to surround X with love and help him/her be embraced and loved as a unique individual. As such, we feel that X should not be surrounded by endless "stuff" and want to offer him/her a simpler life filled with lots of hugs rather than lots of toys; lots of kisses rather than lots of candy. As we embark on this journey, we welcome you to join us in showering X with love, hugs, and kisses rather than things. 

    Our family is about: 
    Reducing, Reusing, Recycling
    - We will be cloth diapering, making our own baby food, etc
    Supporting local crafts people
    - We will be offering quality wooden toys for our child to play with…"

    You get the idea! 
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  • I wrote a little intro on our registry to kindly and gently tell people what we would love to receive. This never ensures that some people won't buy your kid whatever they want to, but at least you'll feel better about it. I agree with some PPs, just start a box of things to donate to a local shelter, or to sell in a yard sale. 

    This is what I wrote on our registry: 
    We LOVE: Handmade items ( or your own beautiful creations), wood and fabric toys versus plastic, organic materials whenever possible. We plan to use Honest Company products exclusively on baby - these organic, hypoallergenic products will keep baby and the environment safe at the same time! We plan on cloth diapering exclusively and in emergencies using Honest Company diapers only. 

  • edited May 2015
    We put something similar to what @ktyrd007 wrote on her registry: Hooray! We are having a baby. A couple things to keep in mind: we aren't finding out the sex until July though we are fairly confident it is a human child, we are cloth diapering and using cloth wipes, we will be nursing, prefer organic fabrics but not a requirement and are hoping to keep plastics at bay for a bit. I do realize that all of this could very likely go out the window come summer time. Nothing on this list is an absolute. More of a general idea of things we would love to have. Both the Target and BabysrUs registries were merged to this one. Reused items are great! We would love to have your old baby clothes! Thank you for sharing in the joy of our expanding family!

    I am hoping that most items come from Target and I can take back what I don't want/need and exchange it for gift cards or things I do need.  

    Good luck!  Stick to your guns!  (But also do be super hard on yourself if you end up using something that you didn't think you would have. Your general awareness will be a huge service to your babe and he/she will be worlds better off because of your awareness!!
  • I politely accepted the chemically -laden baby care items and then donated them to a church charity which helps families who have nothing. People who knew me well gave me things that I actually use!

    Your MIL may not be purposefully going against what you want and may truly think she's being helpful. Good luck to you!!
  • If you can return them, do that. If not (and if you're not morally opposed to anyone else using them) you can donate them to homeless shelters. I bet they don't get soaps for babies specifically very often and I'm sure they would be put to good use.
  • I feel for you, Mama.

    I made my hubby have a talk with his parents after they started giving me all kinds of crap about my green parenting choices. The worst was my FIL's extreme anti-cloth diapering views. He was always starting arguments with me about how my house was going to stink and the washer was going to be disgusting and filled with poop and he was never going to come over. And the. My MIL saying she was going to buy a pack of disposables to keep at her house for when she watched him because she wouldn't do cloth diapering. They both said I wouldn't last as a cloth diapering mom for long because I'd get sick of the hassle.

    I stood my ground and you know what? I've been cloth diapering for 2 years now and will be cloth diapering baby #2 when she gets here. My house smells fresher than my friends houses who use disposables. My washer is perfect clean (I'm, I spray the poop off first, dimwit FIL!) and my I laws come over all the time. MIL has watched my son plenty of times and got used to cloth diapering. I guess it turned out to be easier than she expected. I can't say I've turned them into advocates for it, but they certainly have shut up about it.

    They also criticized me for making my own baby food and breastfeeding. It felt to me that they somehow felt the need to defend their own parenting choices even though it's been over a decade since their youngest was an infant. Like somehow me telling them what my parenting preferences were was a way of criticizing their parenting choices. It was very bizarre but I wonder if your husbands parents are doing the same thing.
  • Donate items you aren't going to use. I gave a bunch of stuff to my mom for her church.
    It was super frustrating when I spent months EVERY DAY finding things for my baby registry just to have one or two people get me things off it. Everyone else got me clothes. Not even organic clothes. Ugh!! Very annoying. But I accepted them and let the baby wear them. Better than no clothes. But I pick out her stuff myself usually. Or ask for amazon gift cards. Also a lot of the clothes I got were used which was good.
    There will be a lot of trial and error. Always trust your instincts first. This is your baby!
    And what I think is most important. You need your husband by your side. You need to be there for each other because if not, you'll be by yourself and give in to the pressure. You need support in the way you choose to raise your baby. If your MIL can't accept your choices then she can keep her distance. It's their loss if they think them being right is more important than offering you the support you need in your journey as a new mom.

    Good luck mamas!
  • MrsFL2015MrsFL2015
    500 Love Its 100 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
    edited December 2015
    When it comes to raising your children, everyone is going to have an opinion about everything.  You just have to learn to let people's comments roll off your back.   I would honestly not argue with anyone regarding your decisions.  Simply stating, "This is just what we think it best for our child." is a perfect answer when someone tries to engage you negative conversations about your decisions.   Then, you walk away.

    The gift thing is a little annoying; however, you need to understand that not everyone is fully informed on the natural/organic movement and not everyone practices it in their own lives.  You can't expect someone that hasn't done the research or adopted the lifestyle to understand how important certain products/brands are to you.  You also need to understand that not everyone even has the means to buy the natural/organic products.  Whenever someone gets you a gift, you have to realize that someone used their own money to buy you something.  It might be all they can afford.  So, your Great Aunt Mary doesn't have the cash to buy the more expensive organic cotton onesies, but she can buy a few cheap onesies at Target or Walmart.  In her mind, she's being thoughtful and giving.   In your mind, she's being inconsiderate.   If you don't like what someone gives you, bring it back to the store where it was bought or donate it to a homeless shelter.  There are poor families/homeless families/woman escaping domestic violence situations that can't afford conventional baby products, let alone organic.   Pay it forward to a mom in need if you don't like the products. 
  • I agree with a lot of comments here but wanted to add 2 comments:

    *honest company stuff is terrible. My LO would scream when I used the soothing bum spray. I just thought he hated having his bum changed... but when we were out he never screamed. Curiously I tried it on myself and holy goodness did that stuff burn like hell. I don't care that it's marketed as being Eco, it's terrible.

    *walmart will literally take *anything* back for store credit. I'm walmart's least favourite fan but when you're crunched for cash on mat leave some of their grocery items are great. Pantry staples can be expensive.
  • As a fairly "crunchy" FTM myself, I have struggled with this a bit myself. I ended up doing a bit of compromising as far as the baby registry items go, but for the most part people have been really good about giving us receipts so we can return things we don't need. The other day, we took back an excess of items (given very generously by friends and family), and I was able to get giftcards in return, which I used to purchase nursing bras (I don't yet have any).

    I think it helps me personally to remember that for the most part, everyone's intentions are nothing but positive, and they just either don't understand, or are not sure what your guidelines and expectation are. I have also decided that it is easier to say "yes, thank you" to some things, and then donate them or pass them along when we don't need them. We've already gotten SO MANY baby clothes, and each time we get an "infusion" of them ;), we sort through and pick out what we can return (new with tags), what we might need or use, and what we can donate or pass along to someone else.

    Also, there are some things where I just make my preferences known, and KEEP stating them. We have mostly gotten eco-friendly soaps and shampoos from people, and if we get disposable diapers (even through we are doing cloth diapering and we have said it many times), people are at least getting "eco" ones. I figure I can return these, give to other friends with kids, donate to nonprofits, etc.

    Whew it can be tiring some times though to re-re-re-repeat!
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