No matter the city, no matter the state, most moms want what’s best for their kids. They devote their lives to keeping their kids healthy and happy. But health and happiness mean different things in different places. In California, moms have their own approach to child rearing, approaches that aren’t always embraced in other parts of the country. Below are some of the signs you’re a true California mom.
1. Your kids spend 99% of their lives outside.
It’s not always sunny in California, but it’s pretty darn close. Outdoor classrooms are a thing, nearly all restaurants have patios, and it’s usually warm enough to cook the Thanksgiving turkey on the backyard grill. The mild weather means California kids have no excuse not to go outside to play. The downside is California moms spend half their lives battling the sun’s demonic rays, lest a sliver of it penetrate their kids’ skin. UVA, UVB and SPF are all household words, and California moms are meticulous when slathering their kids with sunblock.
2. You know where your kids’ food comes from.
Bologna and white bread? Nope. Moms in California value local, seasonal eating. They prefer organic produce from the farmer’s market; or, better yet, from their own backyards. They know exactly where their veggies were grown, their fruit picked and their eggs laid. In fact, they probably know the name of the hen that laid them. Homesteading is just as common today as it was more than a century ago, albeit in suburban backyards, not free government-granted acreage.
3. You embrace diversity.
As one of the most diverse states in the nation, California is rich with food, culture, and traditions originating from every corner of the globe. Kids can indulge in sticky rice at a Vietnamese Tet festival, get drenched in colored powder at a Hindu Holi festival, or make an offering to their dead loved ones during Dia de los Muertos. International influences are so embedded in California culture that most kids are unaware that bulgogi, sushi, and tandoori did not originate here.
4. You know what it means to live green.
Sure, moms from other states may think they know how to be environmentally friendly. But in California, they go beyond water conservation and recycling. From the very beginning, California moms protect their little ones from harmful chemicals. They paint their nurseries in low-VOC paint, swathe their newborns in organic cotton onesies, and forgo traditional diapers for chlorine-free compostable diapers made from cellulose. They puree their own baby food, serve sunbutter sandwiches on sustainable bamboo plates, and make their own cleaning products from vinegar and orange peels.
5. You use an all-natural treatment for every ailment.
California moms try to avoid medicine peddled by big pharma. Rather, their first line of defense against common childhood ailments are elderberry syrup, raw honey, and ACV. From garlic oil for ear infections to breast milk for pinkeye, natural remedies are the norm. Whether pro-vax or anti-vax, California moms all have an arsenal of holistic treatments at the ready. Plus, they know that between golden milk and kombucha, they’ll never have to turn to western medicine again.
6. You practice mindfulness.
California moms incorporate mindfulness into their everyday lives. This is not to say they sit cross-legged chanting Oms in a meditative trance for hours at a time, but they value the process of turning inward, reflecting, and calming their minds. It may be as simple as enjoying a quiet coffee break, sitting in stillness for several minutes, or engaging in slow, deep breathing. They don’t view alternative practices as New Age quackery, but rather useful techniques that help them become better parents.
7. You do childbirth your way.
California moms want childbirth to be as natural as possible, and that means many skip the epidural and Pitocin in exchange for breath awareness and acupuncture. Choosing not to be encumbered by wires, cords and constant interruption in the hospital, more and more mothers-to-be are opting for home births and water births, often aided by a midwife or doula. Whether using HypnoBirth, the Bradley Method, the Alexander Technique or Birthing from Within, California moms want to be in charge of their own life-giving experience.
8. You’re decked out in activewear 24/7. And your kids are too.
But unlike other moms, California moms actually work out. Being active is an important part of the daily regimen, from spin to yoga, Pilates to bootcamp. That’s not to say every California mom has the perfect 32-22-32 figure like the bubbly PTA moms in the latest reality show, but California moms want to model a healthy lifestyle for their children. In fact, their kids often exercise right alongside them, donning the latest Lululemon styles, just like mom.
9. You wear your baby as an accessory.
California moms take babywearing to the extreme. Whether grocery shopping, cleaning the house, or walking the dog, moms know their babies will be happier and healthier within breast’s reach while swaddled in a wrap or secured in a sling. The same can be said when engaging in active pursuits. California’s outdoor lifestyle means moms hike with their babies strapped into high-end child carriers from REI or strapped to fancy child seats on the front of their hybrid bikes.