United States of Natasha

I am not gonna lie. It has been a rough week for me. Mentally, physically and emotionally.

The result. I am exhausted. And I really can not afford to be tired. Not for my kids, my husband or my business.

I have also had a terrible case of writers block. Hence the lack of activity here for the last week.

And I did not figure out what the deeper issue was going on with me until Tuesday night. (Thanks to the very insightful help of a good friend and mentor).

Last week something happened that made me question who I am and how people see me and I did not realize how profoundly it affected me until now.

Here is a little recap for you.

The kids and I were having a play-date with our very good friends and while the kids where off playing, we moms where chatting and the conversation moved to my blog. I was very excited that day, because THIS wonderful guest post about milk-sharing was getting some amazing responses on my blog and I wanted to share my good news with my friend and her sister. Unfortunately, not only did they not share my excitement, both of them were actually rather put off by the whole concept of milk-sharing and wet-nursing. I tried to talk to them more about it and was met with a lot of resistance and then I realized it.....

...I had crossed the line.

The fine line that separates the Lipstick me from the Crunchy me. The line that makes me relatable to the masses, yet still able to be "crunchy" and natural in my parenting and lifestyle decisions. So, my alter came out and changed the subject and we carried on with our play date.

I was upset about the whole incident and tried not to let it affect the rest of our visit, but I left still feeling something that I could not quite  identify. At dinner that night I tried to talk to Natural Urban Dad about the day and what was said and how I was feeling and he too, jumped on the milk-sharing part and told me that although he understands why it is done and why I have wet-nursed not one, but two babies that are not my own, for some reason, it still has an 'ick' factor for him (insert eye roll and me saying, "Ugh, men!" here).

This is the thing about Natural Urban Dad. He is a good, good man and has come a long way as a parent. He has supported me and the decisions that I (we) have made for what is best for our kids. He was an easy convert to cloth diapers when he realized how much less of a mess they are, he supported our safe co-sleeping arrangements for both kids, he has been very good about breastfeeding and how long I have decided to continue to do so and he is one hot babywearing daddy!

But he worries. It's his thing, he is a worrier. And in this situation, he worries that on the spectrum of parenting, I am going to be seen as too far on one side versus the other and in being seen as such, I will start to alienate the very people who I want to influence, educate and advocate for. And really, you just gotta love a man who is worried about how popular you are in your proverbial sandbox!

I am proud of who I am. In my little sandbox and out of it. I love that I can live an urban lifestyle with all the fixin's and still do things that are good for the earth and my children's future on it! I am a staunch advocate for natural parenting and I feel that I bring these values to my business as well as my personal life.

And that is the joy (and perhaps the conundrum) that is being a Lipstick Crunchy Mama. I think what happened this past week is that I truly had to look beneath the surface of this self-imposed label and face up to and figure out what it really means to BE Lipstick Crunchy.

This is what I have so far:

  • I am pro-choice, for ALL things. I qualify these choices with information and education. I want mamas and families to know ALL the facts (the good and the bad) before they make their decisions about birth, breastfeeding, formula-feeding, babywearing, cloth diapering, circumcision, co-sleeping, discipline, school and the list goes on and on and on....
  • I am NOT about forcing people to do things my way. I am about showing them that "my way" may just make this incredible journey of parenthood a whole lot easier in the short and long run! (Babywearing is the best example here!)
  • I am pro-woman. This doesn't mean I am a raging feminist, nor does not mean that I am an apron-wearing perfect little housewife either. It means that if I feel that girls or women or moms are being discriminated against for ANY reason, I will advocate for all of us and fight for change.
  • I am pro self-esteem. Yeah, I know,who would really be anti self-esteem? But in our world of unreality TV, unreality magazine covers, and unrealistic expectations everywhere, having a healthy view of ourselves, a sense of self-worth, a positive outlook on life and realistic goals can be a challenge. I am here to be an example. To show women and moms that being the authentic you is totally amazing and if you live it, accept it and LOVE IT, then all you gotta do is hop aboard the awesome train with me!
  • I am pro Mother Earth. She is the ultimate Mama and we need to treat her with the love and respect that she deserves. I will always choose more organic, sustainable, eco-conscious, carbon footprint-eliminating steps, products and practices so that I can to honor Her properly. Not just for me, but for my kids, my grand-kids and all the future generations to come.
  • I am pro-child. We grow these little human beings in our bodies for 9+ months, birth them into this world and then spend a lifetime trying our darndest not to wreck them. I believe my kids are their own people, and I am here to guide, nurture, comfort and teach them on their paths to discovery and the aforementioned self-esteem! Respect for self, for others, for elders and for the earth are topics that we discuss a lot in our house.

I feel better today. I feel like I have done some good soul-searching this past week and understand myself and what I want both personally and professionally a bit better. I am always a work in progress, as I believe we all are. I do have my faults and I know that I can not please everyone, all of the time.

I am neither Lipstick, nor am I Crunchy. I am not on a spectrum. I do not transition from one side to the other. I am a full on whole different entity and I am an integrated personality. I am a United State of Natasha!

I am Lipstick Crunchy. I am a Natural Urban Mama.

And I am the conductor of my very own AWESOME TRAIN!!