Thursday, September 27, 2012

Hippy Judgements and Holding Beliefs Loosely

I recently read a manifesto of beliefs by a hippy mom, and one of her beliefs was about crotch-dangling baby-carriers. Which is a big area of concern in hippy circles. I recognize the irony in starting a post about judgement with a judgement on an anonymous blogger, but bear with me. It struck me that while I'd probably jump on the anti-certain-kinds-of baby-carrying bandwagon as quickly as the next hippy, it's not really something I want to be about. I don't even want to be about breastfeeding or natural childbirth or baby wearing or eating sprouted grains or socialism or living in a tiny house. If it sometimes seems like that's what I'm about, please forgive me.

That sense of smugness that I feel when I'm out with Noah and Eli and feel superior to other moms for this or that reason is also absolutely not what I want to be about. Which is sort of tough when one is way off the beaten track. Our family seems different from those we meet, which means that a) we're not from around here, and we arrived with different norms and b) we've thought a lot about things that we want to do differently from mainstream consumerist Western culture. So it's hard, when I feel different from other Cape Town moms, to not default to figuring out how exactly I'm different and defend my choices internally.

This has also made it hard for me to write about much recently. I'm really into all these strange-to-outsiders things, but they're not the core of who I am nor do they necessarily constitute what it means to live a blessed life. I think a blessed life has everything to do with relationships- with ourselves, with others, and with God. Working meaningfully but less, consuming less, and raising our kids constitute a blessed life for us- in a very deep and meaningful way. But at my core, I want to be remade into a person of grace, not a person who has figured out attachment parenting or sustainable living.

I'm going to keep on trying to write about attachment parenting and sustainable living and whatever else we're experimenting with, but I don't really know what we're doing. My yardstick on our progress towards the good life is not measured by our carbon footprint or how quickly my babies are potty trained. It's not measured at all, but maybe I know it when I see it- when I have expansive space to appreciate and connect with people wherever they are.

1 comment:

Tiff said...

Jo, I appreciate this post. Honesty and humility are one of the things I love most about your blog.