When it comes to parenting, many moms on social media have previously identified themselves as either “silky” — meaning they appreciate modern conveniences that make parenting easier — or “crunchy” — meaning they make their own baby food, use cloth diapers only and offer their kids homemade toys and the like.
Well, move over, “Crunchy” and “Silky.” There’s a new parenting player in town — and she’s called “Scrunchy.”
“It’s called balance,” wrote blogger and mom Hilary Rose Bodiford of Austin, Texas, on her Instagram account on September 5.
“Have you heard of ‘crunchy’ or ‘silky’ moms? Well, I’m right in the middle as a proud ‘scrunchy’ mom who will pay $20 for a vegan leather bib — but I also definitely don’t use cloth diapers,” she wrote.
Bodiford said in a video that as a “scrunchy” parent, she has both wooden and plastic toys for her son — and feeds him a combination of formula and breast milk. And while she doesn’t choose reusable cloth diapers, she does use disposable non-toxic diapers.
“Silky moms are typically seen as moms who ascribe to western medicine, use disposable diapers, and don’t see anything wrong with iPads, fast food and other modern conveniences,” notes parenting website The Bump.
Other “scrunchy” moms on TikTok and Instagram poked fun at their own parenting styles.
“Where my fellow scrunchy moms at?” asked TikTok user Christinekelseybrown, reaching into a bag of cheddar cheese Ruffles chips as she talked.
“Like, you can’t identify as a silky mom, but you also can’t really say you’re 100% crunchy. Like, you’ll take your kids to the drive-through, but only after they’ve had their liquid vitamins.”
Fox News Digital spoke with several self-identifying “scrunchy” moms who said that along their own parenting paths, they’d become significantly less “crunchy.”
“I was definitely more ‘crunchy’ historically,” said Amy Jay, 32, of North Carolina. “I felt like if I really loved my children, I would never darken the doorstep of a McDonald’s.”
Jay is a mother of three with a fourth on the way. She said her views of being a “crunchy” mom shifted after she had complications while giving birth and then with breastfeeding.
“I did everything ‘right,’ according to the ‘crunchy’ gospel — and things still went very wrong,” she said.
“I swore I would never feed my babies formula,” she continued. “Then I was diagnosed with [insufficient glandular tissue] and I simply cannot, no matter what I spend on supplements or how much I pump, produce more than 8 ounces of milk in an entire day,” she said.
Jay also intended to have an un-medicated birth, which did not happen.
“My labors failed to progress after days, including multiple days with broken water each time,” she said. She wound up delivering her children through C-sections.
“And I realized — my babies were beautiful and healthy,” she said. “They even thrived.”
Jay said that while she does make her own sourdough bread and yogurt and raises pigs for food, “there is joy and freedom in the occasional Happy Meal, too.”
Grace Russo, 26, of Maryland, the mother of two young girls, told Fox News Digital that before she had children, she “wasn’t very crunchy” — but things escalated after the birth of her first daughter.
“I got too crunchy when I was trying to figure out how to introduce my first baby to solid foods,” she said. “I had to pull back and readjust to realistic standards for myself in the kitchen.”
Expanding her brood to two has further changed Russo’s approach to “crunchy” parenting.
Having a second child, she said, “really sharpened what I think is important to spend energy on. I still [use] cloth diapers, because the time it takes for me is worth the money saved — and diapers [are] kept out of the landfill.”
Bread making, however, turned out to take too much time.
“I’d like to get back to it, but there are only so many tasks you can fit into one day, while also sleeping and showering occasionally,” she said. “So I buy bread now.”
While being a “scrunchy” mom can feel liberating and less stressful for some, it can be somewhat lonely for others.
“You never feel like you’re ‘enough’ for either the crunchy moms or the silky moms,” Kathryn Tussing, 39, of Oregon, told Fox News Digital.
“With my oldest, I remember wearing her in a sling,” she said.
She added, “I ran into another mom wearing her baby in a sling, and we kind of chuckled at the similarity. Then she said, ‘So do you actually do attachment parenting or is [the sling] just out of convenience?'”
“There was an unmistakable hint of scorn in her voice as she said it,” she said. “It’s never enough.”
Tussing said that while many “crunchy” practices make sense, “it can go too far, and we can drive ourselves crazy with the laborious ideals that add unnecessary stress to our lives.”
For her family, cloth diapering proved to be too big of a challenge.
She said it turned out that the detergent used to clean the diapers was giving her third child a rash. Switching to disposable diapers provided “instant relief” for him, which lessened her feelings of guilt, she said.
She also switched from using raw milk to store-bought milk, once the prices became too high for her growing family.
While Tussing did feel guilty about feeding her children store-bought milk, her husband assured her that buying milk from a store was “not a moral failing, and to work on accepting reality.”
Tussing suggested that social media sites, namely Instagram, have “made crunchiness a competitive sport” — further stressing out parents.
“I think there is a sincere desire to do what’s best for our families with intention,” she said.
“But we have to maintain some sanity and discern what’s right for ourselves and our families.”