Have you heard of the term "silky" mum? Up until last week, I hadn't either. And to be honest, now my head is spinning.
For the uninitiated, "silky" mamas are the opposite of "crunchy" mamas - both of which sit either side of "scrunchy" mamas.
Still with me?
While the "crunchy" label has been around for some time now - typically associated with breastfeeding, co-sleeping, baby-wearing and cloth nappies - the "silky" tag seems to be a more recent addition. In contrast to Crunchies, Silkies are nicknamed "Modern Mums". They use disposable nappies, breastfeed and bottlefeed, and buy products based on convenience.
And Scrunchies? Well, they fall somewhere in the middle.
i'm a pretty "silky mama" and that's okay. it's what works best for you and yours 💛 pic.twitter.com/O4Jm6Cidfh— Blonde Mom (@_blondemom) April 3, 2017
The question is though - do we really need another label? Do we really need yet another way to categorise mums and the parenting decisions we make? The problem with labels like Crunchy and Silky is that most of us fall somewhere in the middle - most of us are, indeed, Scrunchy. We may breastfeed but not co-sleep, we may baby-wear but use disposable nappies. Our parenting decisions are complex - and they rarely fit neatly into categories. Moreover, despite the different choices we make when it comes to our families, aren't we more similar than different?
Two years ago a viral ad demonstrated just that: despite our differences we're all in this together. Whether we breastfeed, work, attachment parent or had a "drug-free pool birth, dolphin assisted", we all love and want the best for our kids.
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Over the last few years, we've all developed a sense of fatigue over parenting labels such as "helicopter", "lawnmower," "free-range" and "tiger". Why? Because more often than not, they're unhelpful. They pit parents with different views against one another and they're generally used pejoratively.
So while Silky and Crunchy might be the new kids on the block, let's hope they don't stick around. The last thing we need is yet another way to categorise mums, to make us feel guilty or inadequate, when we're all just doing the best we can.