When I became pregnant, I may as well have started the hugest research project ever undertaken. Suddenly, every single decision I made had significant repercussions, from the way I spent my time to what and how I drank. I knew other women with families must have traveled these same paths searching for answers, but I didn't know any of them. So, I spent hours online researching and hours offline worrying that maybe I still didn't have the best information available.
When my mom told me about a group she had found called Holistic Moms Network with a local Chicago chapter, I knew immediately I had found a priceless resource. Our chapter meets monthly at Whole Foods (as if I wasn't there often enough already!), in addition to other gatherings and get-togethers like Moms Night Out and a Beach Breakfast Playgroup. Expectant moms have come to ask others about midwife and doula recommendations, moms share experiences with various practitioners, and everyone shares local resources for food, remedies, and entertainment.
HMN has a strong national online community that pools together thousands of like-minded women to answer questions and provide support on topics ranging from food sensitivities to safe play sand to homeopathy. The online community has been an amazing resource for me, where I've searched treatments for stuffy noses when Tye was sick and safe acne remedies while breastfeeding. Because the national community includes women who are experts in such a variety of areas, all with a similar holistically-minded background, answers can be found for any question imaginable. I've even been able to offer my two cents on some Early Childhood and educational questions.
What brings me back to HMN each month is the women in our local chapter. This past month, one mentioned that her friends think she's crazy for some of the lifestyle choices she makes, and I can completely relate. But one night each month, we can all gather with other like-minded mamas and shamelessly ask about making our own beet kvass or kombucha, or exchange recipes for deodorant or laundry detergent. These are all very intelligent women seeking out even more information, continuing their own holistic journeys.
Now when I have questions, I can seek advice from other moms who have experience rather than reinventing the holistic parenting wheel. Even more important, I've found a support network of women who understand why I do some of the things I do. To be surrounded by such a group is not just encouraging, but inspiring.