Sunday, May 1, 2011

Celebrating Motherhood!

No matter where your journey takes you, the path of parenthood is packed with choices and challenges, as well as incredible joy and happiness. Whether or not you have chosen to breastfeed, cloth diaper or use disposables, bed share or not, homeschool or public school - or anything in between - you need the support and encouragement of other parents along the way.

At the Holistic Moms Network, our mission and purpose is to support parents and to raise awareness about natural and holistic living. We seek to create a sisterhood community (including dads!) that makes the journey of parenting one of empowerment and connection. We want parents to learn about the many natural and holistic choices out there so that they can make informed choices for themselves and their families. But we do not believe that attacking each other for our choices, pointing fingers, or making individuals feel guilty for their decisions creates a community. Rather, it pits us against one another. And, as a holistic parent, there are 1,000 ways we can take opposing sides. That doesn't leave much room for community building.

What we may have as our personal passion may not be the same as another's. What works for one family may not work for another. And alienating people who have made choices that differ from our own also hinders our ability to expand and grow ourselves, eliminating the possibility of discovering a new perspective along the way, cultivating empathy, or honing our own existing beliefs. As Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton so artfully said "The only way to make sure people you agree with can speak is to support the rights of people you don't agree with."

There are many things we support as holistic parents - including living sustainably, birthing and feeding our babes naturally, avoiding unnecessary routine medical interventions, and promoting positive parenting - but we do not ask parents to pass a litmus test before they join our organization. Many of us at HMN have made radical changes in our lives over the years that we have been members - changes we may never have imagined ourselves making at one time. What made the difference? Awareness and support. Members find this experience again and again:

“HMN has brought insight, information and courage in my life. Several of this year’s chapter meetings were truly life-changing, introducing me to new perspectives and ways of thinking. Like how easy eco-friendly cleaning can be, positive discipline, the importance of play. I am very grateful for the sharing and encouragement in this community. I’m so glad to have found HMN!” Mariana, MA Member

“It is amazing to be among moms/families that stand up for their children, against mainstream living, in order to stay true to themselves and make sure their children will be healthier and wiser then this generation and thus make the world a better place. This is done through education, community and an open-mindedness that is quite refreshing and truly amazing to be a part of.” Dorothy, IL Member

We agree with Mothering Magazine Publisher and HMN Advisory Board Member Peggy O'Mara ,who once said "Successful advocacy rests on holding a position without being positional. And while we don't always feel we can compromise where our children's needs are concerned, we can develop a capacity to insist on our position without insulting others."

This month we celebrate motherhood and its journey - whatever path it takes, whatever decisions have been made - and offer the opportunity for all parents to connect through a supportive, diverse, and compassionate community by offering a special membership savings for the entire month of May! Use the special coupon code MOM2011 and enjoy $5 off of any annual membership this month.

And we encourage our existing members to approach one another with kindess and understanding, not judgement. Open up to the possibility of learning from each other, as well as allowing for respectful disagreement.

Let's celebrate the motherhood experience together! Join us!

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