Many people hear the term “holistic parenting” and assume it’s just a fancy way of saying that you are a crunchy, green mom. But while there is a grain of truth in that statement, holistic parenting embraces a much broader lifestyle perspective and such a breadth of passions, issues, and interests that it is potentially something very different than “green” or “crunchy”.
Holistic living is not a single issue. Indeed, the very nature of holism is a primary recognition that everything is connected and intertwined. One single choice does not exclude you from being a holistic parent, nor does any one choice make you one.
At the Holistic Moms Network (HMN) we recognize that there is a wide range of options and choices that fall under the umbrella of holistic living. For us, living and parenting holistically means recognizing the mind-body-spirit connection and seeking information to make educated health and parenting decisions. We expect individuals to actively become informed and educated about the choices they make for themselves and for their children; we strive to seek balance while integrating the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of both health and parenting; and we aim to achieve nurturing relationships with each other, our children, and our environment.
Parenting naturally also refers to instinctual parenting and honoring our inner wisdom. It starts with the simple awareness that we are each the experts in our own children. And that means that what works for your family and your particular child may not work for someone else’s. As an organization, our mission is to help build grassroots communities of parents (and others) interested in holistic living and natural parenting, and to provide respectful and open-minded forums for exploring these ideals. We encourage our members to be empowered by trusting their instincts as well as by seeking information to assist them in making educated choices.
I created HMN because I had a deep desire to connect with others who would be supportive and respectful of the healthcare and parenting choices I was making. Most, if not all, of our members have been criticized for their “alternative” views and many have felt isolated by the path they have chosen. HMN brings these parents together and although we don’t all make the same choices, we understand the value of our whole – of our community, of the experience of support, and the grace of tolerance.
There is no finish line in holistic parenting. Nor is there the attainment of perfection. You will always be on your way. And what journey doesn’t deserve some good company?
During October, we celebrate Holistic Living Month and I hope you’ll take the opportunity to connect with us somehow – whether you can make it to 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!
Nancy Massotto is the Founder and Executive Director of the Holistic Moms Network and mother to two boys. She founded the Holistic Moms Network to meet other parents who shared her passions for living healthy and living sustainably, and to help raise awareness about natural living options. Before becoming a mom, she completed three graduate degrees, including a Ph.D. in political science, specializing in gender studies and feminist theory and spent several years working for non-profit research institutes, including the Women’s Research and Education Institute (WREI) and the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), while residing in the Washington, D.C. area. As a mom and community leader, she is dedicated to empowering women, supporting mothers, and raising her two sons as naturally and sustainably as possible.