I have heard this term sooo much in the last couple of months. From so many different sources, in regards to so many different scenarios, for reasons that truly do not make sense to me. So, I thought, maybe I'm missing something, maybe I need to re-explore what a hippie actually is. And this is in no way in regards to when it is said in a joking, playful manner ;)
The internet defines a hippie as: someone who rejects the established culture; advocates extreme liberalism in politics and lifestyle.
Urban Dictionary defines a hippie as: A Hippie is a person who was raised under the ideological system that came out of the tumultuous 1960's in North America and western Europe. They are either of the flower-child/baby boomer generation or that generations' subsequent offspring. They possess a core belief set revolving around the values of peace and love as being essential in an increasingly globalized society, and they are oftentimes associated with non-violent anti-governmental groups. There is a stigma of drug abuse attached to the hippies that is prevalent to this day, specifically the use and abuse of marijuana and hallucinagens. Many rock movements,poets, artists, and writers from the 1960's to today have associated with this movement, most prominently The Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, and Phish. There are others too numerous to name. The movement, then and now, is considered a sub-culture by sociologists that associates itself with the left in all its political opinions. The conservative right often berates and abuses the opinions of people who associate themselves with the hippie movement and/or lifestyle, as the consider it dangerous and degenerative to a society to favor liberalism to such an extent.
And then, I laughed!
For starters, I'm pretty darn conservative, both socially and economically. I proudly voted George W. Bush into his second term. I prayed that Obama would not be elected into office. I believe in welfare reform, border control, the right to bear arms smaller government, fewer taxes, supported the war and believe that gays can marry.
Ok, so the last one isn't exactly a conservative thought, but I really don't see how the government should have any part of what goes on in the private homes of US citizens.
I think what it comes down to is, I'm fiscally conservative. Well, let's just put it out there, I'm cheap. I strongly believe in the importance of being a stay at home mom, so we are a one income family. For that to work and for us to still have the luxuries that we do, I have to budget and be smart with our money.
Here are some things that make me a "hippie":
1. Cloth Diapers. Ok, these are not your mama's cloth diapers. Our cloth diapers should be here Friday and are so stinkin' cute I cannot hardly wait to see them, wash them and put them on our princess. For under $200 I will have a huge stash of diapers and never have to buy disposables again. Considering that most kids are in diapers until they are about 2 1/2, and diapers are costing us about $40 a month, and are leaking like crazy regardless of the brand, we are talking about $1080 for diapers until Samantha is hopefully potty trained. So, we will be saving $880. Um, that's a good chunk of change to literally be throwing away covered in poo.
2. Breastfeeding. Yes, I understand that some people find nursing gross, but seriously, that is their problem not mine. There is a reason why we were created to make milk after the birth of our babies. There is a reason why it cannot be recreated in a lab. There is a reason why it is called liquid gold. I get that not everyone can breastfeed, and I respect that. I get that not everyone wants to put forth the effort, but seriously, aside from not costing you anything, it has so many benefits that have been proven time and time again in research study after research study. Not to mention that breastfeeding can save you $1000-$2300 a year!
3. Co-Sleeping. Samantha may not sleep in a bed with us, but she sleeps in her co-sleeper attached to the bed just an arms length away. I wish I was comfortable with the idea of her snuggling up next to me in bed, but because of our experiences I'm not. While this does not save me money, it does save my sanity, and gets me more sleep since I just have to roll over, grab her, feed her, change her and stick her back to bed.
4. Recycling. I could see where this could possibly make me a tree hugging hippie. However, we recycle for money. In California, we are forced to pay upfront a "find" for not recycling called CRV. If the government is going to require me to pay this upfront cost, I am going to require the government to take my cans and bottles back and give me money instead. I would say we easily get back $300 a year from recycling our cans and bottles instead of throwing them away.
5. Filtered Water. I am a water bottle queen. I LOVE water bottles. I easily go through a case a week. At about $5 a week, that adds up quick. Instead of spending the $240 a year on water bottles, I now take my $9 pitcher and fill it up and pour it into a glass or my $3 reusable bottle. Which means I'm not wasting $228 a year.
6. Delayed Vaccination Schedule. I vaccinate my child. Even if vaccines did cause autism, I would rather my child be autistic than to suffer the effects of polio or die from whooping cough. I do not believe that vaccines cause SIDS. We lost Matthew to SIDS and he was never vaccinated. However, I have sat with Kaitlyn who has had adverse reactions to vaccines and see no reason to pump my baby filled with so many medications at one time her body develops a fever and headache in an effort to process them all. This does not cost us or save us anything. But again, peace of mind and sanity are really great things to experience ;)
So, call me a hippie all you want. Instead, what I see is a mommy who finds it a high priority to stay home to raise my kids and watch them grow and a mommy who doesn't want to put a bunch of random chemicals on my baby because I'm not willing to put forth some extra elbow grease and effort to try something else. I save/will be saving our family, $2400 - 3700 a year and living cleaner. I would never call myself a hippie, unless hippie equals = smart momma with more money in her pocket, less chemicals on her baby, fewer adverse reactions from unnecessary chemicals, and overall a happy, healthy household... And since it in no way affects anyone outside of our household, move on and judge something else ;)