Friday, August 1, 2008

I Am Mommy, Hear Me Roar!

This is my entry for the Green Moms Carnival to be published over at Organic Mania on Monday, August 4th. Lynn from Organic Mania put the carnival together after adding a bunch of us green mothers to ALLTOP green a few months back. Thanks Lynn! I originally wrote this post in January but it seemed so appropriate for the Carnival topic - what mothers can do about global warming - that I brought it back to life. Please drop by Organic Mania on Monday to read what the green mom-o-sphere plans to do about global warming.

Cheesy title, huh? But what parent hasn't felt that sentiment? What wouldn't we do to protect our children?

During my recent Green Book Club meeting, the issue of over-parenting came up. I have recognized that tendency in myself but, according to another club member, the current generation of parents - my generation - has been termed "umbrella parents" or "helicopter parents" because we hover over our children so. We do not allow them to make the slightest mistake because we want to save them the pain. We oversee their friends, their every activity, their classroom time and their "down time". We protect them more than any other generation in history.

Who can blame us? Even though we don't often act on it, what parent has not thought or felt the following: My kid gets bullied at school, I decide to have class wide meeting to discuss. You, as a teacher, hurt my child's feelings? I will take you down. The coach won't play my son during soccer? We'll see about that! I will protect my children at all costs from all things . . . unless it requires me to drive less, to stop my weekly shopping trips to Target, to wear last year's fashions, or to skip the Thai take out and its Styrofoam and plastic tubs. That would simply be too much.

Sharon at Casaubon's Book made the case for parents to bear the brunt of battling climate change, Peak Oil, and depletion so that we can give our children a world they can inhabit. How can we, the umbrella parents, reconcile over-protecting our children on one hand and handing them a world, broken and heaving, on the other? Why is that so much harder than ensuring that our child has a good teacher at a good school and plays with nice kids? How can we not motivate ourselves to cut back on plastic after learning about the United States-sized garbage patch in the middle of the Pacific? How can we not cut back on driving when we realize that the Arctic will be ice free likely within the next decade? Is this the world we want to leave to our little ones? The stakes are so much higher than hurt feelings or a skinned knee.

As parents, we have so much power. Our numbers are huge, our motivation even bigger. We can elect the next president, we can force our politicians to do a better job, we can lead by example, we are a market force to make corporations shake. We just need to stand up and speak out.

Will we leave our children a crippled, diseased planet? Not if we can help it.

We are mommies, hear us roar!


Mist said...

Very good article, Green Bean. I share your sentiments on this exactly!

Bobbi said...

Roar - great article!

Jennifer Taggart said...

We roar! But, isn't the Great Plastic Garbage Patch, when you combine East & West, twice the size of the United States now??

Smart Mamas Do It All Naturally

Green Bean said...

Mist: Thank you! Glad to know there are a number of us out there. :)

Bobbi: Roar! Back at ya.

Jennifer: I stand corrected. It IS the size of the US now. Let me change the post to reflect.

Kim said...

Hi there! I found you by following links from Frugal-Fu...and just had to post and say hello. =) It made me smile to see your title, as our farm is named, Green Being Farm. :)

Love your blog...adding it to my blog roll.

Have an awesome day!

Green Bean said...

Hi Kim. Love the play on "being"/"bean." Thank you for dropping by!

Going Crunchy said...

Excellent post! Um, I must seem rather snarly from time to time too. Shan

MamaBird said...

Love this! Roaring (and possibly helicoptering, sorry) right there with ya.

Bugs and Brooms said...

Yeah - I think I am hovering. But I can't help it!! I love this post and my own green mission is for the sake of my daughter!

Green Bean said...

Shannon: Meow!

MamaBird: Hey. I admit I helicopter a little. I try not to but, heck, if I'm going to do that I damn well better work for an inhabitable planet and not just some nice teachers.

Bugs: At least we're aware of it. I totally hover. And what bigger motivation is there then our childrens' future. If we're going to hover, let's go full tilt and do all we can for them.

The Not Quite Crunchy Parent said...

Wow! Inspiring post!

I think I am mommy - Hear me roar isn't cheesy! we moms control the purse strings - over 90% of purchases in the Us controlled by women!

Mother Earth said...

my kids are older, one has left the nest..the other pending - definitely testing her wings. I can say I hovered and helicoptered and truth be told I would not have had it any other way! I call it being involved and the perk of being able to stay at home and parent. When I had to hit the work force - I struggled - I couldn't be the parent I needed/wanted to be. Working from home solved all that. I had the best of both worlds then

Lynn from said...

What a wonderful post - and I keep thinking of your headline! Hear me roar! In fact, my Baby Boo saw me reading it and sounded it out -- RRROARR!!!

I can just sense your passion, your fire, go get 'em..... together, we can do anything!


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