A Message From Our Editor, Issue #45 – Family Wellness, Conscious Choice And The Mommy Wars
Perhaps you have had the experience of publishing a blog, or sharing an article on social media, one whose content reveals a newly discovered perspective that validates your inherent knowing. You do so earnestly, with the intent to share this knowledge so others may expand their options of choice. And then instead of the discussion you hoped to inspire, someone accuses you of instigating a new battle in the “mommy wars.” As the editor of a family wellness magazine for more than 10 years, and now a frequent participant in social media to introduce conscious options, I feel I must comment on a growing, destructive trend infiltrating these conversations, one which is actually undermining our sovereign rights to be informed and make conscious choices for our families.
The content of our magazine and our posts on social media are a compilation of lifestyle options that are based on the major premise that life is naturally intelligent. With that intelligence comes organization, natural laws, and a sense of order, based on principles of function. To understand where we are coming from, it is important to recognize this perspective with regard to all aspects of family wellness: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Because this perspective recognizes there is wisdom in how life is organized, we can deduce the following: That which is most supportive of normal, natural physiology is usually the choice most congruent with this paradigm.
For example: A natural birth with no intervention is most compatible with this paradigm. This includes allowing labor to start on its own and supporting the mother’s innate need to move her body, freeing her to progress at her own pace and birth in her position of choice. (These are just some of the birthing practices that indicate there is recognition and respect for intelligence that supports the mother’s natural, normal physiology.) After birth, bed-sharing, on-demand breastfeeding, baby wearing, and caressing and nurturing our babies are all normal practices that naturally support human neurology so children can maximize their inborn potential. Avoiding alterations to our children’s neurology, their anatomy, their natural immune responses, and their individual psychological expression are also nature-compatible choices.
When we present this information in our articles, most of our readers agree that yes, it truly supports the choices they make for their families. Many appreciate our articles’ ability to succinctly point out topics they want to share with others…and share they do! Still others realize the opportunity the information offers in opening up intelligent, respectful discussion, regardless of their previous choices. And then there are the few who choose to fall into a defensive, right/wrong response, indignantly declaring we are making them feel guilty and accusing us of starting a war.
Guilt is a feeling of remorse over a past activity. When we do something we feel is justified and then later a contrary perspective is pointed out to us, we may feel bad about our “wrong” decision. This diverts us into unproductive feelings of remorse and selfblame. In that state of being we become defensive and closed. At this time it is important for us to realize a few truths. If we truly still feel justified in our choices, there would be no guilt. If, however, we are being triggered to feel guilty by someone’s new perspective, it is not that person making us feel guilty—feeling guilty is our choice. If we feel guilt, it means we are doubting our original decision. Rather than falling into the abyss of self-blame, we can look at this as a precious opportunity to examine why we made the choice in the first place. What perspective were we coming from? Whom did we allow to influence our decision?
If we take the opportunity to survey the situation, we can discern how we allowed someone to direct us away from trusting our rational inclinations to begin with. Here is a typical scenario: A new study comes out publishing the lifelong benefits of prolonged breastfeeding. We, however, were convinced by some perceived outside authority—maybe a pediatrician or a family member—to wean earlier than what is now being shown to be the optimal length of time. We feel guilty. Why? Perhaps because we intuitively knew we really didn’t want to wean early, and when we trusted someone else’s advice, we gave up our power to an outside authority. If, in a state of defense, we lash out at the messenger of this new information saying they are just trying to “make us feel guilty,” or they are “trying to be adversarial,” we miss out on a huge opportunity to reexamine our feelings and regain our power by learning to trust ourselves.
When our magazine presents what may seem to be controversial and unconventional information, its purpose is to expand awareness of natural function and the many choices parents have before them. Our articles are coming from this perspective: Life is naturally intelligent and therefore represents rational order. Therefore, choices in harmony with this natural order are usually those that allow the greatest function and expression in life. We aren’t saying that one choice is better than another. We aren’t saying that we shouldn’t have a choice to do whatever we want. We aren’t saying that we can’t listen to whomever we deem experts. We are saying, according to this perspective, that what is in synch with natural order is usually the choice that will allow for the greatest function and expression in life.
Deduction is a process that recognizes each and every person will have their own particular interpretation of a starting premise. We each understand the premise— in this case, life is intelligent—according to our own life experiences and choose to apply it in our lives as we see fit for our families. So I invite you to come from this premise in your parenting choices. If it resonates with you that life is naturally intelligent and organized, and following this natural order offers greater function and expression of life, then use this premise as a point from which to deduce your parenting decisions.
For example, years ago, my husband and I resonated with the premise that life is intelligent. Our conscious, informed choices inherently supported our children’s normal function and development. They were based on our deduction from the premise, not from the fear tactics of special-interest groups and companies, nor from the validation of a published study most often funded by these same groups. While it’s a relief to see the public become aware of corporate, special-interest-contrived fear campaigns, and even more refreshing to see science catch up with the sensibleness of physiology, I am hoping to offer our readers a fail-safe, leading-edge approach to family wellness that they can access without outside dependence. Specifically, when we as parents have a starting point and logical process by which we can measure all of our parenting choices, we become self-empowered. This process simplifies our lives as parents, especially in a world overloaded with contradictory research, varying professional opinions and diverse personal advice.
I do not know of any organization that supports conscious, informed choice, based on trusting natural function, that is trying to make others feel guilty about their decisions. I do know that they are sincerely trying to get us to examine our choices to see whether we gave up our power to an outside authority. All of these informed-choice groups offer resources such as scientific literature, an understanding of normal physiology, personal stories, and logical deduction from this premise with the intent of expanding our perspectives as parents. There is no self-gain for these groups, just an earnest hope to help others make their own conscious choices and express optimal well-being.
When I hear mothers accuse advocates from these informed-choice groups of starting “mommy wars,” and even worse, when a major baby formula company makes a commercial with an insidious undertone that parents are not being sincere when they offer information to each other, I become troubled. This distorted perspective flames the defensive guilt and diverts the mother from recognizing she was influenced by an external authority and therefore may have made a sub-optimal choice. It prevents her from trusting herself in the future to make the most natural and best choices for her child. Collectively, it also creates destructive polarization among parents. The real initiators of mommy wars are not the informed-choice groups sharing the new information. The real adversaries are those outside authorities who are instigating polarity and division amongst parents. They have the most to gain by creating an atmosphere of fear and discord.
As parents, it is counterproductive to be adversarial to each other. There are enough coercive bodies that intimidate many groups of people into a place of fear, dispute and antagonism. Let’s be above their attempt to create polarity and discord. Let’s live beyond the concerted effort to instigate war. What the world needs now is a shift in our choices for the betterment of our children. This will happen with freedom, respect and honor for parents and their conscious ability to deduce from this innate knowing. Who can deny, regardless of our choices, that we love our children and want the best for them? We deserve to make our choices from our own ability to follow our highest knowing. That is true freedom of choice.
In our magazine, Pathways to Family Wellness, and on our social media pages, we strive to offer a self empowering process where we recognize that as parents we are at liberty to make our own choices for our families’ well-being…with confidence, with certainty, and with encouragement and respect. From my own experiences, deducing choices for our family and life from this major premise—there is intelligence, there is order, and life is meant to be expressed fully—has always served our family well. I sincerely wish the same for you.
For the raising of the consciousness,
Jeanne Ohm, D.C.