Thank you to Nancy Massotto for this guest post!
There are a huge variety of lifestyles in the world today and diversity is vital to social (and ecological) development, but it also does poses some challenges. As a parent, it’s comforting to identify your community in order to find support, but once you name yourself or adopt a label, people inevitably come up with some challenging stereotypes and misconceptions. Today, I’d like to address a few myths that are often applied to green and holistic moms, from what I’ve seen as the Founder and Executive Director of the Holistic Moms Network.
- We are too granola/crunchy/hippie. If you visit any Holistic Moms Network Chapter across the country, you will find a diverse group of moms and dads. The stereotype of the eco-conscious/holistic moms as “granola” is far too narrow for our group. So many of us are “the mom next door”. We are regular moms, professional moms, at-home moms, fashionistas, farmers, soccer moms, and everything else under the sun. We come together because we are on a path to choose natural living options for ourselves and our families. Some of us have been on this journey for many years, some of us are brand new to making green and natural changes for our family. We are here to support the journey, whatever that is and wherever you are on it.
- We are “perfect” green moms. What exactly is “perfect”? We don’t know. We’ve never seen it. The moms in our community have virtues and vices. They are green, and not so much. They eat healthy and indulge. We drink wheatgrass juice and too much coffee. We practice positive parenting but sometimes yell at our kids. There is no perfection here. We are all trying to do the best we can with what we have.
- If you do X, Y, or Z you can’t be a Holistic Mom. Really? Does one single choice opt you out of an entire lifestyle? We don’t think so. And we’re not here to judge. Every person has their own journey. Some will embrace green and holistic a wide range of changes, others will pick and choose what works for them. We’re not here to judge. We don’t know your personal story or the circumstances that have led up to any of your choices or experiences. Holistic Moms is about support, community, and education. Making an informed choice doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone. Know your options and do what works best for your family, for your lifestyle, for the planet.
It is often a knee-jerk reaction to judge another parent who is doing something we feel is not healthy or green. But we do not know the particular circumstances or resources that mom has available, so it’s not our place to judge. It is our place to offer compassionate support and encouragement. We all know that parenting is hard work. We also know that being connected makes it easier. Support can make all the difference and, at its core, that’s what the Holistic Moms Network is all about.
Don’t let myths prevent you from connecting with our growing community. During October, we celebrate Holistic Living Month and I hope you’ll take the opportunity to connect with us! Join us for our 9th Annual Natural Living Conference in Chicago, connect with a local chapter, or join us online for one of our many events scheduled throughout the month – we’d love to meet you!
A leading voice in the natural parenting movement, Nancy Massotto, Ph.D, is the Founder and Executive Director of the Holistic Moms Network and mother to two boys. An articulate and knowledgeable writer and speaker on holistic living, natural parenting, and eco-conscious lifestyles, she shares her passion with a wide variety of audiences as a presenter and author. She is passionate about empowering women, supporting mothers, and raising her children as naturally and sustainably as she can.