Guest Author - Aimee Wood
Raising your children to honor their mind, body, and spirit can be challenging. Honoring your intuition and going with your guy may go against the "norms" of society. Mothers (and caregivers) interested in pursuing a whole and balanced life for their children meet all across the USA at local Holistic Moms Network chapters.
The Holistic Moms Network (HMN) was founded in the spring of 2002 when Nancy Peplinsky hosted a local group in New Jersey. The name reflected the groups's intention and HMN was incorporated in October of 2003 and received non profit status in June of 2004. The purpose of HMN is to generate consciousness of parenting holistically. The group energy is to encourage moms in their effort to parent naturally, alternatively, mindfully, and naturally.
The HMN charter declares the organization is "dedicated to facilitating grassroots community building throughout the nation, offering moms the opportunity to create local chapters where they can find the support, friendship, and knowledge that are so necessary for successful parenting."
The values of HMN are listed on their website (www.holisticmoms.org):
-Helping parents to make informed decisions regarding their health, the health of their families, and parenting choices.
-They defend the right of parents to make choices that best serve families and their well-being.
-They believe every individual is responsible for their own health and has the right to make informed decisions.
-They encourage everyone to educate themselves on the pros and cons of all parenting and healthcare choices.
-They encourage parents to trust their instincts, to parent from the heart, and to use their innate sense of what is best for their children.
-They welcome all members in an environment that does not judge or criticize.
In Pittsford, NY the chapter has been going strong since April of 2005. It was founded by local mom, Carol Chittenden. Carol was interested in using natural approaches to treat her children since the birth of her first daughter. She uses homeopathy and chiropractic healing methods and is also interested in the issue of vaccination and alternative schooling for her daughters. When she saw an ad for HMN in the Mothering magazine, she knew she found a home.
At the first meeting, women shared their life stories and what brought them on the "holistic" path. As each woman spoke about their life, "holistic" living emerged as a central theme. Some are vegetarians, some vegan, and others are omnivores. The group self surveyed, "who eats organic foods"?
A grandmother in the group, interested in environmental issues effecting health and wellness, has started a consulting company which aids clients in locating environmentally safe and friendly products. Another woman gave her insight on home schooling her children. A woman's role as a doula assisting as a labor coach during childbirth was discussed as some of the mothers breastfed their infants.
A hot topic was vaccinations. Some mothers vaccinate, some do not, and some do on a modified schedule. There has been a misconception in the local media that HMN does not support vaccination. That could not be further from the truth. HMN supports the right to an informed decision regarding all health care. The goal of HMN is to provide a supportive environment so both sides can be discussed.
To find a chapter in your area, simply go to their website: www.holisticmoms.org and click on the map. If there is not a chapter in your area, HMN has a support system to get new chapters formed.