philosophies and politics and motherhood – oh my!

All this TIME magazine hoopla got me thinking about the philosophies and politics of mothering.  Simply put, how do we discuss or share our parenting philosophies with others without looking opinionated and judgemental?  Is it possible?  Did Jamie Lynne even stand a chance given the chosen cover photo or that controversial headline?  Is holding a view that is different from some of your mommy friends automatic grounds for tension?  Can we agree to disagree on subjects that we hold so dear?

We all have different ways of nurturing, nourishing, and raising our children.  We all make choices about how to live our lives – What we eat, how we exercise, if we exercise, how we love, who we love, what we learn, how much me learn, where we go, where we work.  We have different sets of priorities.  Most of which we are extremely passionate about and for good reason.

This is me…

My priority is health.  Health for my children, health for my family, health for myself, health for others, health for the planet.  Every single day I ask myself how I can contribute to keeping my children healthy and happy.  Every single day I try to educate myself on a topic whether it be agriculture, politics, chiropractic, health care, pharmaceuticals, supplements, yoga, etc.

From the food we eat to the products we buy to the relationships we build to the love we give – all of the choices we make affect our lives and the lives of others, especially children.

In America today, the rate of chronic disease among children has more than doubled in the past two decades from 11% in the 1990’s to over 25% in the year 2006 according to the Journal of the American Medical Association.  And it’s only getting worse.

According to the 2010 Drug Trend Report, prescription drug use among American children rose by 5% in 2009.  The highest of any other single demographic for the second year in a row.  The report found that more than 1 in 4 insured children are now taking at least one prescription medication to treat a chronic condition such as diabetes, asthma, autism, ADHD, cancer, and arthritis.  The most significant increases over the past 9 years have been seen in the use of antipsychotic, asthma, and diabetes drugs.  There was a HUGE increase (over 150%) in diabetes over the decade seen especially in girls (a 200% increase).  Higher rates in obesity, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), autism, and ADHD have all contributed to significant increases in drugs approved for younger patients.

Bottom line: Our kids are sick.

We need a grassroots movement to change the health landscape in this country.  It needs to start with the foundation and core of our society – OUR FAMILIES.  We NEED to educate ourselves and do all we can to stop this insanity.  We have the POWER to take back our children’s health.

The dilemma…

How do we as moms encourage such debates with our mommy friends?  Or do we avoid them simply to not look like know-it-all’s?  Should our passion for health and wellness be put aside to keep the peace?  Isn’t it about time we engage adults and children in topics relevant to living healthy, happy lives?

If our American way of life fails the child, it fails us all. ~Pearl S.Buck.

What do you think?

lisa

19 thoughts on “philosophies and politics and motherhood – oh my!

  1. Go for it – problem is healthy eating is expensive in the U.S. That’s a real problem. Meat an veg diet is best with a bit of fruit. That is the least of what’s pushed. I live abroad as my husband is a US Diplomat and eating healthy is CHEAP – poor people are healthy and rich people are fat – its actually fashionable to have an obese kid – a status symbol. Everything processed is imported and expensive. Fresh food is cheap. Sugar and wheat is not healthy in anything but small amounts.

  2. Well…..what I think is that it takes a strong person to try to change the world. That person can be you. It’s hard when people take everything so personally that they can’t actually believe someone who is educated on the topic. I mean really? Your friends would really think you are a know-it-all? That’s sad. That’s sad that your friends can’t appreciate who you are, what you do, and that you want to promote it for the health and well being of everyone. I have come to learn that sometimes people are jealous because others have done or become what they always dream to do with themselves, but never seem to fulfill it with themselves. They will be mean, hateful, rude, distant, anything…anything at all to make you feel bad about yourself for your accomplishments, for your ability to make time for what’s important for you, for the perseverance you have that they lack. So you asked my opinion, and I would say yes, you should write and talk about anything and everything that is important to you – everyone else does – including your friends, I’m sure. So don’t hesitate simply because you fear the “know-it-all” title. Because, honestly, some people need to know it all since others won’t and don’t take the time to get to know anything themselves. Keep on rockin’ on with your bad self and never get discouraged. :)

    • I just used “know-it-all” in quotes to prove the point. The Mommy Wars point of ‘my way is better’, blah blah blah. My friends don’t think that! At least I hope not! I am pretty passive and easy going and usually only speak up if it’s warranted (in office or if asked for advice). Hopefully we can all get together and unite in our efforts to raise healthy kids. :O)

  3. You’re working for the physical health and well being of your children… I’m focused more on my kids’ emotional and spiritual well being… for good reason.
    I come from a long line of dysfunction. I’m the youngest of 14. Mom is currently in her 4th marriage, she was Dad’s 3rd marriage. All but two of my sibs have had problems with drugs, alcohol or severely dysfunctional relationships. There has been child abuse, sexual abuse, domestic violence, divorce and abandonment in my family. We have had kids end up on PINS supervision, kids end up in jail. We’ve had teen pregnancies. Any crazy thing that can go wrong in a family… we’ve tried it on.

    I am in the process of breaking the cycle with my own two. It’s hard not to feel as if I’ve failed them in a fundamental way since their father has decided he “can’t be married anymore”. Even as I’ve fought to break the cycle, I have to recognize mistakes I made early on, and his and my lack of maturity when we got married….
    And hope I can correct for those … and recognize the limits of my influence on my children’s choices. They WILL make mistakes…. maybe not the mistakes I made, but their own. All I can do is hope they’re not shattering, shaming, painful mistakes that have ramifications that ripple through generations.

    Keep it up, Doctor Lisa. The world needs ALL our Mommy philosophies. While I’m busy fighting for my kids’ emotional futures, you’re contributing by helping educate me on the nutritional front. We may both be walking in the dark, but if we all keep calling out to one another, we can maybe keep from falling into a few potholes, and maybe help each other up along the way.

    Good luck, Moms.

  4. I agree 100% Dr. Briana!!! Well said! Lisa, since I know you personally I am not at all surprised that you would be concerned about “keeping the peace”. You are a sweetheart and you always have been. I for one happen to LOVE reading your blogs and am quite thankful for the wealth of knowledge that you so generously share with all of us. You do all the work/research and we benefit from it. So, THANK YOU! THANK YOU for educating us about ways to improve our health and the health of our children. Please don’t worry about coming across as a “know it all”, anyone who reads your blogs knows that you are not writing in a “know it all” tone. But more importantly, there comes a time in life when you just have to stop caring about whether your thoughts and opinions are going to piss someone off. Because I’ve learned through many, many experiences that it doesn’t matter what you do, or what you say, haters will always, ALWAYS find fault and negativity. There are millions of haters among us, they’re everywhere. So, for all of us NON-haters, please, please, please keep on doing what you do! Share your opinions no matter how controversial they may be. Don’t be afraid to stir things up a bit, it gets people thinking, talking, doing. . . what a boring, ignorant world we would live in if everyone kept their opinions to themselves just to keep the peace. After all, this IS a blog, it’s your blog, I can’t think of a better place to share your thoughts, ideas, knowledge, experiences, advice, or whatever else you feel like sharing! Share away my crunchy friend, share away!!!

    • Love this line: Because I’ve learned through many, many experiences that it doesn’t matter what you do, or what you say, haters will always, ALWAYS find fault and negativity.

      • Kristen- Thanks so much! You are such a sweetheart! I always feel better knowing that I am helping people or at least making them laugh! I’m so happy you enjoy my blog. It makes writing so worth it to me.
        Brianna- You did not slam my friends at all! I was just trying to figure out how we can help each other out with out making each other pissed. :O)

        Thanks ladies! Much love!

  5. You don’t need to share a philosophy to support and encourage each other. Even amoungst my sisters and I (I have 4 lol) we do not raise our children the same or have the same priorities, but we always back one another up.
    Something I have noticed is Mother’s and people in general are afraid to step up and help when a parent is struggling. If a parent is having trouble getting a child into a vehicle in the supermarket parking lot, or is trying to bank with the 2 yr old running out the door constantly, I offer to help…sometimes I get the “who are you crazy lady look’ but usually I get a sigh of relief and a big thank you.
    We have some lovely ladies that come to our coffee group, and sometimes they are overwhelmed, and the kids are a little out of control, instead of sitting, drinking our coffee and judging, we step in, take control of the child and let the Mom have some much needed time out.
    I think as much as it takes a community to raise a child, it takes a community to support parents to raise a child.

  6. I normally read all the other comments before commenting, but I just don’t have time tonight. :\ I would say that we should all strive to have these types of conversations with our friends. One needn’t preach to do it. All it would take to engage me in the conversation would to hear someone say something to the effect of, “I was reading an article the other day that stated… I was intrigued by that info, so I did a little research. Come to find out… Have you heard about this? What do you think? etc…” If they’re really your friends, they already know how passionate you are about health and how concerned you are about other people’s health. If they can’t handle the conversation, they’ll give you clues.

    I think that as you’ve stated so many times here on your blog, we moms have to stick together. It’s time to put down and keep off the gloves. I can’t believe that the statistics you gave are true and we’re NOT talking about that. Instead, we choose to engage in ripping one another to shreds over whether or not and how long to breastfeed.

    Let us know how it goes! (I for one would be eager to learn more… Feel free to send info my way!)

  7. I love that you are putting your own values/priorities out there and working to bring more awareness to them, but are really trying to not be part of the ‘mommy wars’. It’s a tough line to walk some times, but I think it can be done. And openness always leads to more change than pushing an agenda anyway – when we encounter the sense that someone is judging or pushing us, we just shut down and dig in our heels with our own views.
    Re: all you said on health, just heard a fascinating interview yesterday on NPR with the author of a new book Breasts – she was talking about the levels of chemicals found in her own breastmilk (which she had tested) and the urine of both her and her daughter, and relationships to cancer rates etc., with all the latest research on links between various household products, these chemicals, and levels in our bodies, and what we can actually do about it. Very interesting.

  8. wow. all these comments are amazing. i am a new reader to this blog. i forward your blog posts to my daughter, a new mommy to a 2 week old baby boy. please don’t stop sharing. our world will be in worse shape without all of your beautiful voices.

  9. Pingback: Shares – Books, Blogs and Other Recent Favorites « Mommy Mystic

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