Edgy Mama: How granola are you?

My family uses the word “granola” as an adjective. As in: “Anne Fitten’s my granola cousin who lives in Asheville and nursed her kids until they’d memorized their multiplication tables.” (Kidding!)

A version of the “how crunchy are you?” quiz below has made the rounds of many of the mommy blogs and the Asheville Mamas Web forums. I’ve re-written it to make to more scientific. I also want to be the first person to use the word “granola” as an adjective in print (are you reading this, James Kilpatrick?).

So you live in Western North Carolina, you’re a mom or a mom-to-be, and you think you’re pretty damn crunchy. How granola are you? Take this quiz and find out.

1. Have you had home birth(s)?
15 points for yes and unassisted (you basically delivered the kid yourself); 10 points for yes with a midwife or doula in attendance; 5 points for an alternative birthing center or a water birth; 0 points for “Are you nuts?”

2. Have you or will you circumcise your male offspring?
5 points for no; 2 points for yes, because otherwise you’ll probably get cut out of your parents’ will.

3. Do you use cloth diapers?
20 points if you use elimination communication (no diapers after six months—just poop and pee everywhere); 15 points if yes, and you make and wash your own; 10 points if yes, and you wash your own; 5 points if yes, and you use a diaper service; 2 points if you engage in part-time cloth diapering (disposables for travel only); 2 points if you’re even thinking about it.

4. Do you chart your fertility using Natural Family Planning/Fertility Awareness?
10 points for yes, you use this method for birth control; 6 points for yes, you use this method for trying to conceive; 2 points if you’d try it for conception but know too many women who’ve gotten a “surprise.”

5. Did you breastfeed exclusively for the first six-plus months?
15 points for a year or longer on the boobie; 10 points if six months; 5 points for six months but used occasional bottles of expressed breast milk; 2 points for six months but used occasional bottles of formula.

6. Do you/did you co-sleep?
15 points for having kids older than 7 in your bed regularly; 10 points for all night for six or more months; 5 points for part of most nights for six-plus months; 2 points for when the kids are sick or particularly needy.

7. Did you use a sling or soft carrier?
10 points for carrying the kid until your back gave out; 5 points for yes, until the kid could walk; 2 points for thinking about it as you put your baby in the stroller.

8. Do you believe in/practice child-led weaning (even if that means breastfeeding for several years)?
15 points for yes for complete child-led weaning; 10 points for yes for up to three years; 5 points for yes for up to two years; 2 points for weaning baby at one year or earlier.

9. Did you tandem nurse/nurse during your pregnancy?
10 points for both; 5 points for nursing during pregnancy, but not suckling siblings unless they’re twins.

10. Do you eat organic/whole/natural foods and limit your meat?
15 points for yes, and you grow your own organic food, shop only at the health-food store and grind your own wheat to make your bread; 10 points for yes, and you grow some of own food, buy mostly organic and only use whole-wheat flour; 5 points for yes, and you try to buy primarily natural, whole-grain foods; 2 points for thinking about it as you gnaw on a steak shipped from Montana.

11. Have you taken your kid to an acupuncturist, naturopath or chiropractor or used homeopathic remedies?
10 points if regularly; 5 points if nothing else seems to be working; 2 points if you’ve researched it.

12. Do you or will you home school your kids?
10 points if yes; 5 points for even considering it.

13. Do you/did you vaccinate your kids?
15 points for no vaccinations; 10 for delayed, selective vaccination; 5 points for selective, on-schedule vaccination; 2 points for reading all the research but going ahead with the schedule.

14. Is Dr. Sears your personal guru?
10 points if yes, obviously!; 5 points if you own one of his books; 0 points if your answer is “Who is Dr. Sears?”

150 – 175: Super-granola earth mama.
100 – 149: Whole-grain granola and proud of it.
50 – 99: Pretty damn crispy.
6 – 49: Sprinkled with granola.
0 – 5: Cheerio.

My results came in at 88, so I’m pretty damn crispy, though not nearly as crunchy as many of my fellow Asheville mamas. I now stick my tongue out at my hoity Atlanta cousins who’ve called me “granola” for years.

Tell me, how granola are you?


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19 thoughts on “Edgy Mama: How granola are you?

  1. Ken Hanke

    I’m not a mom (pretty obviously) and I’m utterly not granola anything, but I have to ask — Okay, who is Dr. Sears? Is he he have a PA with Dr. Roebuck? Is he a descendant of the prolific B movie director Fred Sears?

  2. Ken Hanke

    Not “is he he,” but “does he have.” (Jeepers, this joint needs editing capabilities.)

  3. Dr. Sears is the attachment parenting guru and best-selling author of numerous baby and toddler care books. He’s the Dr. Spock of my generation–and the generation chasing behind me.

  4. Ken Hanke

    Dr. Sears is the attachment parenting guru and best-selling author of numerous baby and toddler care books.

    If he could combine with a department store, then he’d have something.

  5. Kate LaPine

    Anne Fitten,
    OK, so I don’t live in Asheville, but I DO live in a pretty granola section of Boston.
    Do all the granola moms that you know stay at home with their kids? I feel like you are dismissing all the working moms who have to pump in the bathroom/closet to get breastmilk for their little darlings to drink from bottles. Shame on you!

  6. Rio

    damn crispy; of course, compared to people I’m around down here in the flatlands I am a super-granola earth momma. You should see the looks I get when I casually talk about acupuncture and Chinese med.

  7. Woze

    What’s a “doula”? Is that another name for an epiderual – because I’ve had one of those and want some points for it!!! Cuz, your wear your granola on your sleeve but I’ll give YOU some points if you can tell me that’s not a Louis Vuitton stuck in the back of your closet. I’ll double the points if you can tell me how to get 5 large teens with book and sport bags into a Subaru. You’ll win the jackpot if you promise to not wear Birkenstocks to the blacktie family wedding this summer! Miss you Cuz – now go shave your armpits!

  8. Kate,
    I didn’t even mention working or non-working moms. Getting feisty on me, are you?

    It’s a fake Louis Vuitton that I bought on the street. I’ll have to borrow your goddess heels again for the family wedding!

  9. restless

    (Barely) Crispy but my family who lives in Fayetteville thinks I’m a total granola because I don’t wear make-up most of the time, don’t take a shower every day, ditto for shaving, use crystal deodorant and wear my smart wool socks with my Keens. Hmmm, there’s a personal appearance theme here!

  10. Di

    Ok, so I got 115. Sheesh! I’m so crunchy. Good thing I can rock the bustier and jeans with the best of them ;)

    I almost got the full 15 points for delivering the kid myself. My youngest was in a hurry and the midwife got there in time for the pushing. 7 minutes later, there she was!

  11. James

    A 97 for my dearly departed, much-missed, and clearly pretty damn crispy wife.

    Could have bumped her up to whole grain granola if I had fudged a little on the homeschooling. She would have done it; I know my limits.


  12. supermom


    I love your columns but this one makes me cringe a bit. Nothing here directly discounts working mamas as crunchy, but so many of the questions are leading that way – ECing, no bottles at all even of mommy milk, and homeschooling, which simply don’t fit with mamas who work outside the home. I know it’s all for fun so I’m not cranky, but I feel like it’s just not “cool” to be a working mama in Asheville – never mind the fact that I’m a much better mama to my kids when I work outside the home. I’ve worked hard not to pile on that mama guilt (or let others pile it on me).

    oh well.

  13. Hey supermom,
    I hear ya. And in past columns I’ve lauded both working moms and single parents. I’ve worked part-time or more since hatching mine–and thank God!

    Plus, this doesn’t exactly glorify being crunchy. I’m definitely in the “Are you nuts?” category when it comes to home births. And washing your own diapers. And not vaccinating. Notice I’m trying to prove to my crazy cousins that I’m not as granola as they think!

  14. Lesley

    I’m only sprinkled……. hmmmm what does that say about me then…. lol

  15. jennifer

    You may have thought you were just sticking it to the designer who dared to charge so much, but there is a very good chance that your knock off designer back helps support and contribute to child labor and sweatshops, organized crime, and even terrorism. NOT so granola…

  16. Bek

    Geez. Just ran across this…I got a 111. I guess that’s pretty, how you say, “crunchy”. Strange since all of these things just make sense, they’re a natural part of parenting.

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