Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Just a Mom
For those of you unfamiliar with the Holistic Moms Network, we are a non-profit support and resource network for parents interested in holistic health and green living. I like to say that we are part community building, part support, and part education and information provider.
At a recent event, a man asked me about HMN and what we did. I offered my standard explanation.
And his response was, “Oh, so you’re just a mom’s group.”
Years ago this might have thrown me into a state of rage.
The feminist in me would be angered by the suggestion that moms are undervalued in our culture, that our child-rearing is not accounted for economically, much less psychologically or socially.
The political scientist in me would be frustrated by the dismissal of a “group”, particularly one of parents, and the failure to acknowledge that significant social and political change has occurred in this country because of the passion, knowledge, and dedication of parents who have rallied around an issue and demanded change from our legislators.
The mom in me would be dismayed to hear that my community was viewed as some irrelevant social club that doesn’t matter to the larger society.
But instead, I just smiled knowingly because I know the truth.
The truth is that we’re a mom’s group who calls on parents to embrace nature and all that it has to offer us for life, health, and the future.
A mom’s group that honors a woman’s natural ability to birth and to feed her baby, empowering her to be in control. To instill a mother with the confidence that her body is powerful and able.
A mom’s group that validates a mother’s desires and dreams and to realize that childbirth is a sacred rite and not an inconvenience.
A mom’s group that recognizes the power of a parent’s natural instincts. To trust in our wisdom about what is best for our children and not to be devalued by anyone, simply because they claim to be a professional, and to reinforce what a parent already knows.
A mom’s group that understands and respects children, that nurtures their needs and desires and does not push them into independence before they are ready, helping to raise a positive and powerful generation.
A mom’s group that embraces the power of the body to heal. To nurture ourselves and our children naturally and simply, allowing the body’s innate power to shine through. To be open-minded to the ways in which our bodies heal and thrive that do not come in a bottle, off a shelf, or from a prescription. And, by doing so, we empower parents to make choices to enhance their innate power to achieve wellness.
A mom’s group that understands the connection between food and health. To call on nature to provide us with nutritious, abundant food. To honor food as it should be: fresh and local, untainted by chemicals or pesticides, cultivated by the hands of farmers whose passion and commitment gives grace to our meals. To shun food that is altered in a science lab or trucked across the country at huge environmental waste. A mom’s group that protects family agriculture and the land that feeds us.
A mom’s group that accepts the idea that there is not one path for education. To recognize that our children learn in many ways and to honor their choices, their interests, and their passions, regardless of whether or not they fit into an “appropriate” curriculum. A mom’s group that helps our children learn to be the future leaders of our society.
A mom’s group that understands that holistic parenting is a journey that takes time. That some of us pursue our journey in baby steps and others speed through. We respect the journey – the places where we are and where we’ve been, the many options and choices, and the people around us, wherever they are in their journey. A mom’s group that honors diversity, refrains from judgment, and encourages respect.
A mom’s group that realizes that the decisions we make impact others and the earth. A group that empowers families to change their lifestyles to reduce environmental impact, to respect the power of nature, and to honor the beauty of the world around us. A group that will take the road less traveled because it is less damaging to the planet. To make simple choices every day to conserve, to live simply, to work in harmony with our environment and not against it. A mom’s group that is protecting the health and well-being of our planet, providing for a future of our children’s generation.
A mom’s group that accepts people from all walks of life and that is open to more than moms. A group that welcomes dads and partners, step-parents and expecting parents, practitioners and professionals, because we recognize that our voices are stronger if we work together and that there is power in us coming together. A mom’s group that understands that social change comes from community building and that community is the wellspring from which activism begins.
A mom’s group that is proud to take the unconventional route and to stand our ground by becoming informed and educated. A group that understands that popular wisdom is not always wise and that convention does not mean truth. A mom’s group that has created a community voice for holistic living and that helps thousands of parents across North America to stand their ground, to be unified, and to be heard.
This is who we are. This is the Holistic Moms Network.
So to the man who asked me:
Yes, we’re “just” a mom’s group. And I am “just” a mom.
Nancy Massotto, Executive Director
2009 Natural Living Conference Introductory Remarks
Posted by Mama at Tuesday, October 20, 2009