I’ve spent the last couple of weeks trying to map out the “eco-mom” space in an attempt to understand who’s who in the online green mommy world. I have visited and reviewed dozens of green mommy blogs. I’m at the point where I’m so immersed that I’m starting to believe that every mom out there is trying to go green.
And why not? Moms have the best reason ever to save the planet. Our children. Let’s face it. The stakes are too high to risk this one.
Many moms control household decisions and day-to-day spending. So, if we all want to go green and we have the means to go green, why is the world not yet green? I have a few thoughts on why we’ve yet to reverse global warming. But don’t worry, there is a silver lining.
Change is hard. We can’t just become something different overnight. It takes time to figure out new balances. This is certainly what I’m finding. One small change is easy. Once they start adding up, all of a sudden you’re living someone else’s life. And green is new. It’s not the way we were taught to live, which makes it even harder.
Parental resistance. Our parents’ generation is trying to learn this new way just like us. And they’ve had much more practice at the old way, so there’s more for them to let go. I personally find things like recycling, composting, avoiding plastic and breastfeeding difficult to explain to my parents without making them feel judged. My parents are wonderful. They always did what was thought best for us at the time, but, times and thoughts both change. Currently, global warming and the resulting extinction of the human race is not thought best. Give them time and credit – they’ll come around.
Learning curve. The green mommy sites out there are really a testament to our appetite for knowledge. This gives me great hope. Once we know what to change, we will. I know that I am personally in this category. Carl and I are trying to come up the learning curve quickly, but there is certainly a lot to change.
Fear of the unknown. Organizational change is Carl’s field of study. He always tells me that people don’t mind changing, they mind the unknown after the change.1 And what will life be like after we’re all green? I have no idea. But at least we might be around to find out.
Doubt. You know what makes changing extra hard for me? Wondering in the back of my mind if I’m doing it all for nothing. Perhaps it doesn’t matter what we do. Perhaps everything is going to be alright anyway. Perhaps it’s not and that’s inevitable. We can never really be sure of anything. I think that’s partly what makes life joyful. The wonder of choice.
So, what is needed to overcome these hurdles?
I read an amazing statement on Tiny Buddha yesterday in a blog about knowing your path.2 It said “Trust in our truth. Faith in ourselves. And a little bit of surrender.” I immediately wrote this on my whiteboard as a sort of reminder to keep moving forward.
I feel strongly that climbing this learning curve one day at a time and doing my best to do my part is what’s right and good. I’m just going to have to trust that. And I’m clearly not alone. You are all out there. Helping me. Informing me. Supporting me.
I’m positively overwhelmed by the sheer volume of our army. Good work, eco-moms. Keep marching. We’re about to win a battle not for religion or country, but for humanity.
Andrea Curry Gosselin is the author of Tales of Goodness. Andrea is a stay-at-home mom of two perfect children (ha!) ages nine months and three years. Natural parenting is just what feels right for her. She learned breastfeeding, attachment parenting, co-sleeping and positive discipline largely through trial and error. And a healthy dose of Dr. Sears. She believes that babies generally know best. Except when mom knows best. She and her husband Carl have put their careers as consultants temporarily on hold in order to pursue their own little green revolution – attempting to spend, consume and live responsibly while balancing the needs of two little ones and a typical suburban life. She writes about how to live green through one of the most “consumption-happy” stages of life.