crunchy mom little girl with braids cornrows

How I Became an Accidental Crunchy Mom

I never sought out to be “crunchy’ – it kind of just happened!

Once it did, I found myself unable to go back. When I first found out I was pregnant, I knew right away that I wanted to breastfed. My mom breastfed my siblings and I, so naturally I began researching and was blown away with all the health benefits!

Did you know that breastfeeding reduces your chances of getting breast cancer?

Health benefits for both mom and baby, plus it’s cheaper than purchasing formula every week. I’m lucky enough to be self-employed, which meant I would only have to work away from my daughter a few days a week and wouldn’t have to pump that often. Sounded easy enough, right?

Phew, the second that little girl was born…

I had a precipitous labor with Ayla, meaning I labored incredibly fast. Between my water breaking and daughter being born was less than an hour. I had maybe ten contractions in total. My sweet girl entered the world completely naturally, no IV, no pain meds, nothing. Little girl was ready!

With such an easy pregnancy and easy birth, God had to throw a few challenges at me!

My daughter was a “difficult” baby. I didn’t even know that getting kicked out of daycare was a thing, ha!

My poor baby, she gave anyone and everyone such a hard time. Ayla wouldn’t take a paci, she didn’t really like to take a bottle and would only “behave” if someone held her.

She had the bouncers, the sound machine, swaddles, the whole nine yards. Nothing would soothe this kid but cuddles and kisses!

I wasn’t great at breastfeeding right out of the gate. In fact, I was downright terrible! She had a shallow latch which resulted in very painful sessions until we got the hang of doing it properly. One of my dearest friends taught me that you want as much of the areola in their mouth as possible and their lips encasing your breast; she taught me not to let Ayla roll her lips in. Just those two little tricks helped me out tremendously!

My favorite thing was getting texts from her daycare asking what I did to help soothe her, that they couldn’t get her to stop crying and waking up the other kids.

After giving her daycare providers a run for their money, they gently suggested I look into hiring a nanny. I took her out of daycare that day. We went through an agency and hired a nanny.

An hour into her being with my daughter I got a text asking when was the last time Ayla had been changed. I texted back we don’t try to save on diapers and change every time she goes in one. She responded back “Oh, lol.”

When I got home, my husband was feeding Ayla a bottle. He informed me that the nanny hadn’t fed her. No one single bottle in five hours. The four bottles that I had pumped hadn’t been touched. Now, I won’t tell you the words I used to fire her, but I never heard from her again.

No one is going to care for your child the way you will. I remember being so frustrated at first, being angry! My kid wasn’t difficult to love, why couldn’t other people see that?

That’s when I started baby wearing and bringing Ayla to work with me. Being a cosmetologist, it was easy to knock out a client or two and then breastfed, strap her back on and get back to work. Ayla would sleep for hours in her carrier. I had several different carriers and would swap them out during the week depending on what needed to get done.

I found that the Moby wrap was great for shopping because I didn’t have to take it off if we had multiple stops while her Ergo carrier was better for taking her to work with me.

It’s so funny how breastfeeding often leads to co-sleeping. My daughter had the most beautiful crib with monogrammed sheets – that she refused to sleep in.

Around the time we brought my daughter home my husband got moved to working at night. After fighting her for a few days she was in the bed with me, which made nursing a lot more efficient and made the long nights seem a little bit easier.

My first child definitely challenged me. She’s stretching me out of my comfort zone and made me into a more mature adult. She’s fiery and sassy. She’s my greatest, most exciting challenge.

We breastfed up until I got pregnant with her little brother and tapped out towards the end of my first trimester. Sixteen months of breastfeeding with my first and getting ready to start month three with my second child!

I love to encourage my friends in their breastfeeding journey. I’ve taught several people the art of babywearing. I love that, slowly but surely, we’re getting back closer with our kids.

I try to be very present and very intentional with my daughter. I guess I fall into that “gentle parenting” group. She throws fits sometimes and is far from perfect, but I try to extend her the same grace that I would want someone to show me.

Our kids are always watching us. I can tell by the way that she interacts with her little brother. Telling him ‘don’t cry, I’m here’, and supporting him the best way that she knows how. Kindness is learned. Our voice becomes their voice.

This pandemic has been a bit of a blessing, forcing me home more than I’ve ever been, using this time to love and spoil these beautiful children of mine.

What circumstances have forced a bit of crunchiness out of you?

Dominique is a licensed cosmetologist. She’s been doing hair professionally since she graduated from Paul Mitchell the School of Nashville. She owns her own hair studio in Brentwood, TN where she resides with her husband, son and daughter. In between working and juggling her family, she enjoys shopping and working on her website:

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