Please Don’t Call Me Crunchy

Hello, my name is Julie, and I am a cloth-diapering mama. We are not uncommon these days. Cloth diapers have made a comeback in a big way. Gone are the days of puffy plastic pants and huge diaper pins. We’ve come a long way since our parents cloth diapered.

I also happen to wear my baby. I have a modest collection of baby carriers to keep my child close to me in public and occasionally when the house needs cleaning. I recently joined a local baby-wearing group, where I can check out a new carrier every month to see which ones best fit my son and my lifestyle.


But, whatever you do, please don’t call me crunchy. Or granola.

If you love these terms, good for you. You are welcome to them. You can put them on a t-shirt (organic cotton and plant-based inks only, of course) and wear it as a badge of honor for all that you stand for. But me? I don’t embrace the labels. And here is why.

Labels can be deceiving. Crunchy moms are generally defined as moms who choose cloth diapering, baby-wearing, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, organic-baby-food-making, vaccine delaying (or sometimes abstaining altogether). Sometimes it’s just a select combination of these. The main goal here is natural parenting. If you looked at the surface, you might believe this is where I fall. But you’d be wrong. And right. Because we tried co-sleeping. And no one slept. My child has had all of his vaccines right on time. But I also fought to be able to stick with breastfeeding. It was hard. For five long weeks, I pumped around the clock, met weekly with a lactation consultant, and took daily spoonfuls of a horrific-tasting tincture that promised it would increase my supply. Thankfully, it paid off for us. I also hand-dyed several yards of fabric with indigo to make a ring sling for my son. I try to make the best decisions possible in parenting, but they aren’t always the granola choice.

Labels can be depressing. For the mama who was longing to breastfeed, but just couldn’t. For the mom that doesn’t have the extra time to steam and blend a various assortment of organic vegetables. Or on the days when I just haven’t gotten around to the cloth diaper laundry, and I have to make an emergency trip to Target with a smelly baby to spend $10 on a package of disposable diapers so that he can be changed. Whatever the labels are, they can make us feel like we are failing. They are hard to live up to.

Labels can divide us. We like people who are like us. We like people who parent like us. But sometimes, with the labels, we can inadvertently alienate ourselves from a whole group of mamas who could be so wonderfully encouraging to us. We might miss out on a really great friendship. And I don’t want to miss out. I need relationships with other moms. All kinds of moms.

So if you see me at the park or the mall and you notice that my son has a giant caboose (cloth diapers are not known for their trimness), feel free to say hi. I would love to get to know you. I don’t care what kind of diaper your child is wearing or if he had McDonald’s french fries for lunch. I like McDonald’s fries. And in the end, I hope you can call me friend.

But please don’t call me crunchy.

Julie is a Texas-born missionary kid that grew up in New Zealand and finally found her way back to Lone Star state, by way of Missouri and Tennessee. Back in the DFW area, she met her worship pastor husband, Jake, in 2011. In 2013, Julie gave birth to a feisty little boy named Jude. In the summer of 2016, Ella Jene was born and balanced out the family. Julie loves good coffee, thrift stores, and occasionally faking a New Zealand accent. She is also a teacher, a singer, a songwriter, an Alabama fan, a traveler, and a Jesus follower. She considers herself to be an expert in food, music, and mistakes. Julie tells stories about her life and the people in it over at The Potluck Diaries.


  1. AMEN!!! I do some things crunchy (home birth, breastfeed, cloth diapers) but certainly not enough to be exclusive to the club (on schedule vaccines, store-bought laundry detergent, organic food from a pouch – gasp).


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here