Tuesday, February 14, 2012

What is Holistic Moms?

The Holistic Moms Network is a national community spanning across the United States, embracing thousands of members and is a significant voice for holistic parenting. But "what" or more appropriately who is HMN?

The Holistic Moms Network is moms. Moms just like you. Real moms who change dirty diapers, struggle to put food on the table, and wipe away tears. Sure, we may be changing cloth diapers and cooking up some local, organic fare but we are ordinary moms. I’m not referring to our members. I’m talking about the women who run and manage our National organization.

We are not an “entity”, we’re people. We are leaders and mothers. We are passionate about Holistic Moms because each and every one of us has felt alienated and alone. We have struggled with our parenting choices and decisions. We have been criticized and questioned. We know what it feels like when someone doesn’t “get it” or understand us. And we recognize how powerful and affirming it is to have support. We have shed tears of joy to have found others like us and we spend hours, each and every week, dedicating our time to our organization.

We juggle children and spouses, laundry and schooling. We have newborns and teenagers. Many of us have children with special needs. We stretch ourselves too thin but know that what we do each and every day makes a difference.

When people refer to us as a formidable corporation, we laugh (although we're flattered). Many of us work at home, from our kitchen tables. We work odd hours – during school, early in the morning, and late at night. You might hear our kids in the background on a conference call or see them at a Team meeting. Corporate doesn’t quite fit our mode of operation, although we are professional, creative, and driven. For the first eight years of existence, our home base was the guest bedroom in my house, piled high with papers and fliers, brochures, and files. For the first time in our history, we have finally moved into an “official” office: a small, comfortable space where we can connect as a team. We painted it with non-toxic Mythic paint (Veggie Green, in case you were wondering!) and with the generous help of one of our sponsors, Smart Little House, laid eco-friendly Marmoleum flooring. We searched Craiglist for freebies and used furniture to create our office. We are proud of all that we have built – our families, our community, our organization, and our little space.

We take it personally when people criticize us for not doing enough – or for doing too much. We agonize when people want us to take sides on single issues, instead of trying to reach out and support as many moms as we can with tolerance and respect. We take it personally, because it is personal. We’re people. We are the faces behind the national community. Often invisible, often silent but real people who make HMN happen each and every day.

Just this past weekend, our National Team gathered in our new office to brainstorm. We met on a Sunday morning – the only time that worked for many of us and our families. A couple of our far away Team members Skyped in to participate. Together we brainstormed about how to do more and make our community stronger. We shared food, as we often do, each contributing to an amazing healthy potluck (from vegan to paleo), and celebrated our new space. And then we rushed off to our families, to tend to our children, our partners, and dinner.

We are the faces of the Holistic Moms Network. We are you, you are us. We are grateful for every single member and Chapter Leader who is part of our community and we are committed to making HMN a stronger and bigger voice for all of us. It is because of members, donors, and Sponsors that we are able to build this community and continue to run it each year. Like your corner store or local business, it takes work, supplies, and services to run our local Chapters and our non-profit. You make it possible.

Come check out our photos of our new space and our Team on our Facebook page here.

And join us! Become a member, volunteer to help your local Chapter, or even get involved with our community as a Leader! Contact us to say hello or to share an idea. Stop by our office to chat. Drop by our Facebook page and “like” us. You may see us virtually, but we’re also real. And we believe in the power of people and strength of community.

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