Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Accidental Hippie

They say that recognizing your own faults is in itself a virtue, right?
Well, here's one fault of mine that I am highly aware of:
I am a mocker. Self-satisfied, pretentious, judgmental. I don't think I'm a bully, but I do gain a lot of satisfaction from watching people from afar and judging them silently.
Oh, man. This turned out to be much more confessional than I was anticipating.
I'm also, like, super nice.

Anyway. One group of people that I have previously loved to mock and totally judge are hippie mamas.
You know. Co-sleeping. Non-vaccinating. Cloth-diapering. Home-schooling. Breastfeeding-until-age-6. Vegetarians, maybe. Wives of farmers, probably. Those people are the worst.

Except. Thanks a lot, universe.
I think I might be joining them. 

It happened innocently enough. Obviously, I breastfed the boys, because... that's how babies get milk.
I really didn't realize (until after my kids were born) that some people choose not to breastfeed, out of convenience or something. I just figured, everybody breastfeeds. So, I inadvertently joined the breastfeeding clan. (Yeah, guys. It's a clan.)

Then, we decided to cloth diaper the boys. I can honestly say that 100% of my decision there was that I wanted my kids in those cute little diapers! But in order to convince my more-practical spouse, I did a lot of research and learned about how cloth affects the environment, saves money, and is better for your baby, etc.
So, I guess I joined the cloth diaper clan, too.

Then I started learning how to cook. I grew up with daily homemade meals and cookies, so I was all about home-cooked food to begin with, but I didn't care that much about where my food came from. But in an effort to be trendy and hip and interact with my city- I started going to the farmer's market.
And again, my penchant for pretty things drove me to buying things like copper and turquoise chicken eggs, and meat wrapped in brown paper packages tied up with string. And I watched Food Inc and (like the rest of America), wanted to throw up at the idea of fast food burgers. I read a couple books about food and was sucked into the slow-food and whole-food movements.

And it's getting worse.

I think we'll probably homeschool the boys, at least until they're 7 (the age at which you legally have to send your kids to school or get an affidavit to homeschool.) I have lots of reasons that seem minuscule when I list them out, but honestly- it's just a feeling. I feel like homeschooling. Just like I felt like cloth diapering. No real reasons matter, except that I want to.
I read books about it all the time, seek out homeschooling bloggers and instagramers to follow, and am now officially part of the Salt Lake Homeschooling Email Group. How did this happen? I love to mock home schoolers! And I super-extra love to mock books with titles like "Bible Science."

Now, Travis and I are hoping to buy a home this summer, and I entertain myself for hours looking up regulations on backyard chickens, tips for kitchen gardens, advice on composting, and trying to find local farmers who will sell me an entire cow or pig at a time. (Our first big, new-home purchase is going to be a great big freezer. I, like, cannot wait.)
I hate animals. I also hate yard work.
But you guys, I really, really want chickens. I think about my future chickens all the time.

And we skipped rice cereal, and went straight to table scraps for our puppy baby.
We outlawed all television on weekdays (except the occasional YouTube for educational purposes or dance-parties).
We bought some kind of camping thing? Once? Just kidding. Travis buys camping stuff all the time -including state and national park passes, and often pretends that someday we'll use it all and our kids can learn about nature. Luckily for me, that's all talk so far.
(I'm just not ready to also face nature.)
I even purchased an insanely expensive bottle of essential oils, once, in a moment of weakness.

I just find myself accidentally turning into a hippie.
Sometimes I feel like it's all or nothing.
If we think local, hormone-free meat is sooo important, how can we vaccinate our precious babies?
If I cloth diaper my kids, they should also only wear upcycled thrift-store clothes.
If I am super religious and like to talk about Jesus, how can I possibly believe in evolution or probably-aliens?

You know, none of those things even seem related to me.
Sometimes I just want to know that other moms exist who think the same way that I do. I just want there to be other slightly-hippie moms who are cool and awesome and not insane.
(Just to clarify, I do not think that I am necessarily cool, awesome, or not-insane.)

And it's strangely embarrassing and awkward to tell people that I'm thinking of home schooling. I've avoided writing about it here for months. 
But whenever people ask, "Are the boys starting preschool yet?" I get all shifty.
"Uhhh. Nooooooo. They, um. You know. I'm thinking 'bout.... so. That weather, huh?"

Anyway. I decided it was time to come out of the hippie-closet and admit to you that I sometimes actually make my own granola and graham crackers. You know, to avoid high-fructose-corn-syrup.
And I kind of want to move to Portland.
And sometimes, I think about riding a bike- but don't worry, people. My lazy legs and asthmatic lungs always nip that idea in the bud.

I hope you appreciate these unrelated pictures of August sleeping. I've included them because he is cute and perfect and you'd want to home school him too, if he was your baby. Because then you'd get to play with him all day.

** Don't freak out. We totally vaccinate. I am all about vaccinating. Shots are a modern miracle.

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Betsy Hite Reddoch said...

Pretty please tell me that you vaccinate. An acquaintance of mine had a baby die of whooping cough when she was doing a delayed vaccination schedule. Horrifying and 100% preventable.

miccolene said...

I was going to comment the same thing. Please, please, please vaccinate your children. Please. I'm all about homemade granola and if cloth diapers are your thing AWESOME. But vaccination is the one hippie thing I can't get on board with, it is too important to skip. For your babies AND for mine.

Becky Pitcher said...

We do! We vaccinate! I love vaccinating!

Becky Pitcher said...

Oh yeah. I'm a very firm believer in vaccines, trust me. Ain't nobody givin' my baby whooping cough if I can stop it.

tessa said...

Love this! I feel ya. I think there is a lot to be said for middle ground. I LIVE in the grey area. I eat healthy and I eat dirty. I cloth diaper and buy paper towels in bulk. Its where most people live and its the best. Trying to be all one way is pretty much impossible and crazy because you have a personality and opinions and likes and dislikes. Homeschool! You seem like a natural teacher, I am not so my kids will be shipped off to school. But you will rock it, and own it!

Betsy Reddoch said...

Relieved to know it. I thought that was what you meant, but I wasn't quite clear. Vaccines are a public good. All the other stuff - you do you.

PS - my neighbors have chickens and their eggs are BY FAR the best I have ever had.

Strong Clan said...

Oh Becky I am in love with this post. I never thought I would do ANY of the things I am doing now.
I formula fed Max. I am 100% breastfeeding Dexter and have no plan on stopping soon.
Max slept in his own room, own bed. Dexter is in our bed and I LOVE it.

But vaccinations are a must.

I don't know about the chickens. But right now I want a dog...have I told you I am not an animal person, but I want a dog?

Yolo Momma said...


Especially for buying a house and Travis being in business for himself.

I've found myself being more motivated to save money by going more domestic when we can afford to do so. But it really is a balance between what matters long or short term in your life.

Chris said...

Portland is a nice place to visit. In fact, Portland, like much of California, is sooooooo nice, that they have enacted every cookoo anti-business, anti-religion, anti-human, and pro-"expensive to live there" law they can get away with to keep it from being over-run. It's a balancing act.

Homeschooling is the best. We did more actual learning today than would have happened all day at public school and it's 11:00. Now Katie is cleaning my suburban for $5, including windows. It's a win/win.

Hippies are fine, militant hippies should be deported.

Mark Bittman's Food Matters is a nice read about how to eat better without making you feel guilty for being an omnivore.

Everyone is judgmental, but especially women. It's hardwired. It's how we know lion=bad=run away and gazelle=food=run toward. Always trust your sixth sense. It's the superiority you feel that we need to get rid of. Read Malcolm Gladwell's Blink. It a book even a novelist would love.

Chris said...

Plus - it's ok to not want added hormones in your food and to also vaccinate your kids. It's not inconsistent and Its not ok to give your kids hormones. They are not the same thing. Hormone free and antibiotic free livestock are still usually vaccinated against bovine viruses. We vaccinate live stock to keep them from getting diseases, just like babies. The more unhealthy the living conditions for a cow, for instance, the more we have to protect it from getting sick. That's why grass-fed open-range cattle need fewer vaccinations (and usually no antibiotics). Its healthier for the animal.

miccolene said...

Yay for vaccinations!!

Unknown said...

I love this! This is me 100% - how anti-vax fits into the rest is beyond me though. Living in the PNW, extra scary how big of a thing whooping cough is now due to low vax rates :(

Unknown said...

Loved this post! And please--get backyard chickens. Then I can live vicariously through you :)

Crump it up! said...

Oh wow I've written almost this exact post before. I grew up eating a lot of fast food, watching TV all day, and used a lot of Tide. Now I'm homeschooling a little, I want to use homemade cleaners, I try to make everything from scratch, and I really want to live on a farm. I woke up one morning and realized I didn't recognize myself anymore, I'd completely changed. It's crazy how easy it was to become what I once mocked.