Thursday, March 10, 2011

Holistic Does Not Mean Perfect

Parenthood is a minefield. There are a million choices to make and no matter which one you choose there is always a critic. And we, the parents, are the worst critics of all. Not just of ourselves, but of each other. We give sideways glances to the mom at the next table feeding her kids french fries; frown at the dad who forgot his reusable bag at the grocery store; and look on in horror as a parent loses it with their child. Because we’re perfect. We’re the green mom who never, ever forgets to recycle or reuse. We’re the attached parent who never yells at our kids. We’re the perfect holistic mom who never allows a morsel of junk food to get past our kids’ teeth. Yeah, right.

Since when was being attached, green, or holistic about being perfect? It’s not, we’re not, and I have yet to meet such a person in real life. And yet we’re building minefields and are quick to criticize, blame, and chastise anyone who does not live up to our personal ideals. Ironically, there’s nothing holistic about it. There’s nothing whole about judging one choice, one behavior, or even a circumstance based upon what you see, especially when you know nothing about the whole picture of that individual’s life. Do you know that the Dad forgetting his reusable bag has two sick kids at home and raced out to pick up some remedies, leaving his eco-consciousness aside for a minute? Could it be that the mom serving up fries has had a long, exhausting week of parenting her children and juggling her career, and this is a rare treat? Is it possible that the mom yelling at her kids is just a reflection of us, at one of our not-so-perfect moments? Yes, yes, and yes.

So if you think that you’re not holistic enough for the Holistic Moms Network, think again. And if you think that the mission and purpose of our organization is to make people wrong for their choices, to demand perfection from our members, and to expect everyone in our community to adhere to the same choices, you just don’t understand who we are.

The Holistic Moms Network was created to support parents who are on a journey to living healthier and greener. We honor and recognize that parenting – and life – is a journey. That journey can take many paths and is walked by a variety of different people, each with their own values, perspectives, and beliefs. We walk together because we share a common goal of living naturally and we support each other by respecting the journey, respecting the path, and honoring the uniqueness of each travelers’ circumstances. We do not refuse people the opportunity to take this journey because of a single – or many – choices that may not further them along. Rather, we encourage them, support them, and help shed light on the alternatives that are out there. Members do not have to pass a litmus test or fill out a lengthy questionnaire to join us. They are not excluded because they are not perfect, or because they are not trying to be. We welcome them, include them, and honor them. We are not trying to build minefields. We are illuminating the paths between them. You may still hit a minefield, but your HMN community will support you through it all. We’re not perfect. And we don’t want to be.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this Nancy! I really appreciate the periodic reminder that we don't need to be perfect, and we all won't even have the same holistic priorities as each other. But that we are all continuing to walk in a common direction together. I remember when I first joined Holistic Moms I tried setting up playdates at the McDonald's indoor playground area! And the way I would scarf down a burger, fries, and soda on my way to a Holistic Moms Meeting! (I must have smelled of fried foods! Lol!) But you know, I first came to Holistic Moms to find other Attachment Parents and get support for my parenting skills. I had *no clue* about good nutrition. The other chapter members were patient and nurtured me. Now, after being a member for eight years, I am a health and nutrition coach! I learned, I grew, I healed my past (a lot of it) and I helped my family get healthier. Now I am sharing the knowledge and compassion I learned through HMN with my clients and the Latino community. I know have said it many times before, but thank you for founding HMN. My life would be in such a terrible state had it not been for this organization of holistic-minded women!
    Melissa Martinez-Machado
    Founder, Organic Hispanic Health


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