10 Reasons I'm A Hippie Mom & Not Even A Little Sorry, Man

Ad failed to load

Six years in the mom game and I still don't quite know what a "hippie mom" is. I guess I could base it on things I've done that have prompted others to tell me, "You're such a hippie!" Those things, as far as I can see, are a set of principles that I believe help me lead an ethical, compassionate, and balanced life. These are values I want to pass on to my children, and the reasons I'm a hippie mom often boil down to just that: I want to make a better world and enriched life for my family.

In the past I've clearly articulated the things I want people to know about being "a hippie mom," or have tried to adequately explain the obnoxious things I've heard as a hippie mom, but I've never delved into why actually being a hippie mom is important to me. Look, I'm not oblivious to the fact that hippies are often a bit of a cultural punchline, and I try to have a sense of humor about it. Our laid-back attitudes, offbeat beliefs, and sometimes interesting fashion choices can be funny when viewed through certain lenses.

That's not to say that we don't have some valid points, good ideas, and shouldn't be taken seriously, though. At the end of the day, any true hippie doesn't just want a better world for her insular little group, but for everyone, and we'd love your help in making that possible. So with that in mind, here are just a few reasons why I'm a proud hippie mom:

Ad failed to load

Because Environmental Stewardship Is Important

Photo courtesy of Jamie Kenney

I'm always sort of taken aback that this declaration still comes across as being "hippie" to many people, because I'm pretty sure the data is conclusive that we all live on Earth. I'd imagine it would make perfect sense to everyone that we should do our best to maintain a healthy, balanced environment, but yesterday I just saw a friend re-post a screed against electric cars on social media so, um, oh well?

Look, I am aware of my limitations in saving Mother Earth. I know my commitment to reducing, reusing, and recycling isn't going to solve global warming. I'm also aware that some of my choices aren't always the most environmentally friendly (I didn't cloth diaper, for example, for a number of reasons), but not being able to do everything doesn't mean one shouldn't try to do what one can. Becoming a mother has really made me more of a "hippie" in this way, because it's one thing to know that you're pushing off a problem into a nebulous future, but it's another thing to see (and love) the people you're pushing it off on.

Because I Want My Kids To Love Nature

Photo courtesy of Jamie Kenney

My family moved to "the country" recently and a part of that decision was based on our new home's proximity to woods, state and national parks, and general greenery. I want me kids to be able to feel comfortable in the woods, getting a little dirty and gaining an appreciation for the different ecosytems and habitats they can observe. Adopting an overall hippie attitude, where we prioritize "communing with nature" is a good way to instill what I think is an important (and enriching) value.

Because Creativity Is Important

Photo courtesy of Jamie Kenney

Ahh! Look at her! So inspired! Such an artist. What is she making? I don't know, but I'm sure she does. Probably.

The idea that creating art is a valuable and even crucial aspect of building a better world is a central tenet of #hippielife. The idea of creating something and saying something with art (even if what you're saying is "I made this because making it made me happy") and connecting with other people through art is something that is tremendously important to me and my partner and we want to nurture it in our children.

What can I say? We're a house full of hippies (and also Ravenclaws, which is definitely Hogwarts' hippiest house).

Ad failed to load

Because Kids' Feelings Are Important

Photo courtesy of Jamie Kenney

Hippies have a lot of feelings. Feelings they talk about and think about and express through any number of outlets. I'm a hippie because I deeply value my kids feelings, even the feelings that are really, really difficult to deal with. Like this morning, when my daughter told me she wanted Cheerios with blueberries and strawberries for breakfast and then cried when I gave it to her because she didn't want to eat it. After letting her cry for little bit (when I saw reasoning with her was going precisely no where) we had the following conversation:

Me: Sweetie, how do you feel right now?

Her: Sad!

Me: I'm sorry to hear you feel sad. What are you sad about?

Her: My breakfast!

Me: I understand that.

(OK so I didn't understand why she felt sad about receiving the breakfast she asked for, but I understood that she was, in fact, sad for some weird toddler reason.)

Another couple minutes and she felt better enough to actually eat what she was given. Being heard, I've found, is often all kids need to move on from a "traumatic" incident.

Because Childhood Should Experience Some Magic & Whimsy

Photo courtesy of Jamie Kenney

Look, my mom is a hippie (and a fantasy novelist to boot), so I grew up with fairies and elves and hobbits and talking trees and the belief that I was using magic whenever a stoplight turned green. So I will be damned if I don't incorporate at least the same level of whimsy in my children's lives as well.

On a related note, I highly recommend having a "house elf" come live with you (ours is named Dobby, of course). I don't know if you know this but house elves are mischievous and take things when we're not looking. They make up for it by sometimes leaving things for us that they've found and want to share — a new toy, a pretty rock, an acorn. It's a way to make missing toys and misplaced items more bearable, so you and your children can avoid meltdowns.

Because It's Just Easier

Do you know the biggest reasons I breastfed and was into babywearing and let my kids' hair grow long? These things were all just what was easier for me than bottle-feeding, using a stroller, and getting haircuts. So a lot of my hippie-ness comes from a "hippie by default" kind of mentality.

Ad failed to load

Because I'm Actually Really Into Science

There's this idea that hippies are anti-science, but I don't see it that way at all. What many think of as "hippie alternatives" are no less based on scientific principles than "real medicine" created in a lab. I once heard it said that there is no "alternative" medicine. If it works it's medicine and there is a scientific reason why. That's not to say everything espoused by someone wearing a hemp necklace is effective because, well, there's a ton of junk science out there. But plant-based medicine — calendula and comfrey balm in place of a store-bought first-aid cream or medical marijuana used to treat anxiety, for example — can be studied on a chemical level the same way you can study synthetic chemicals churned out by Pfizer and Novartis. I think that's fascinating.

In other words, being a hippie makes me interested in science. While humans, in our hubris, often believe there are no worlds left to discover, the truth is we know more about the surface of the moon than, say, the bottom of the ocean. Our own planet is teeming with possibilities.

I want to raise children who are open-minded but still scientifically literate and critical. Approach everything with skepticism, but be willing to approach more than others may think to.

Because I Don't Really Get The Point Of Clothes & Shoes Sometimes

Like, I'm not saying that they serve no purpose, but what is the point of clothing on a hot summer day in the privacy of your yard? They're holding you back, man.

Moreover, I dare anyone to try to keep clothing on my children. They were born naked, they want to live naked.

Because I Want My Kids To Be Politically Active

The first hippies were born in the tumult and upheaval of the 1960s — they cannot be separated from their political roots. Everything hippies do is a rebellion or reaction to the socio-political world around them. I want my children to keep their eyes wide open and to feel inspired and empowered to effect positive social change whenever possible. That's why my husband and I talk politics in front of the kids, keep NPR on in the background of our lives, attend marches, rallies, and political social events, and openly discuss the ways in which we are privileged (and how we're not) and how we can use what we have to make the world more fair for everyone.

Ad failed to load

Because We Behave More Ethically & Compassionately When We Realize We're All Connected To One Another

Lenuș on YouTube

I'm a hippie mom because I believe, truly and deeply, that nothing about this world would work at all if everything were not connected to everything else and that unhappiness and discord usually stems from fighting against that idea too much.

Now I'm a hippie, but I'm also a sarcastic b*tch, so I recognize that this sounds corny as hell, but that doesn't mean it's not true. My goal as a mother is that my children feel free enough to develop as unique individuals, unfettered by societal pressures to conform, but at the same time to see themselves deeply connected to something bigger; something that is worth saving, nurturing, and making better.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

The Pressure To Worry About The Gap Between Kids Is So Bad For Moms

"Two under two is absolutely crazy," a friend recently told me upon hearing the news that I was expecting a second child. "Why would you do this to yourself? Seriously, why?" However harsh her words, she was only echoing the same feelings I'd been ba…
By Marie Southard Ospina

To Be Honest, I Couldn't Survive Motherhood Without My Job

The decision to work outside the home once you've become a parent can be a complicated one. Some people don't really have a choice, and go back to work because they're either a single parent or can't sustain their family on one income. Some choose to…
By Priscilla Blossom

I Feel Guilty That My Kid’s Dad Is A Better Parent Than Me, & That’s Bullsh*t

I was scared, and he was sure. I was clueless, and he was well-researched. I was making mistakes, and he was picking up the pieces. From the moment I found out I was pregnant until just last night, when I threw my hands up in the air and left the alw…
By Danielle Campoamor

These Millennial Parents Are Taking Gender-Neutral Parenting To An Entirely New Level

A woman on the subway looks at my bulbous shape and asks, “What are you having?” I take a deep breath and throw a glance to my 5-year-old. “I’m having a baby,” I say to the woman. “No, no” the woman says laughing as she pushes further. “Are you havin…
By Madison Young

I’m Registered At Babies “R” Us, & I'm Freaking The Hell Out

Hi. My name is Abi, and I’m registered at Babies “R” Us — and I’m freaking out. This may sound silly, but after being a die-hard Toys “R” Us kid, I was so excited to register at their baby store once my husband and I finally got our big fat positive …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

My Daughter Is Obsessed With Being "Pretty" & I'm Way Past Terrified

Last week, when I picked up my daughter after school, she immediately wanted to know if I liked her hair. "Is it pretty?" she asked. Her hair was pulled up into two ponytails that were intertwined into thick, long braids. A shimmering pink and purple…
By Dina Leygerman

7 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 20s, But I Will

I was 24 when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. The pregnancy was a surprise, since I was on birth control (side note: antibiotics and birth control don't mix), but my partner and I decided to continue with the pregnancy and committed to m…
By Candace Ganger

Women Who Miscarry Early Deserve To Grieve — Here's How Hospitals Should Be Helping

When I lost my baby back in 2013, it was because of a very early miscarriage. Because of the little amount of time I spent being pregnant, it was though my child had never really existed, which made the next few years hard — I felt like they had been…
By Risa Kerslake

7 Things I Wish My Partner Had Said To Me In The First Hour After Giving Birth

I don't know if it was the buzz of the surrounding machines, the non-existent cry of our son as the doctors tried to resuscitate him, or the fact that I'd already been through labor and delivery once before, but I knew something was missing after I h…
By Candace Ganger

Moms’ Groups Weren’t For Me, Sorry

I go to my moms’ club everyday of the week, but not usually on weekends. My moms' group is a place I can always count on finding fellow mothers who understand the daily struggles and triumphs of parenthood and of juggling life’s responsibilities. Dep…
By Samantha Taylor

Millennial Women Are Getting Married Later Than Gen X, & The Reasons Why Are Pretty Badass

The battle of the generations seems to come up when it comes to every lifestyle or career choice people make. Women, especially, are an important demographic when it comes to analysts looking at the lifestyle choices we make or the expected milestone…
By Josie Rhodes Cook

I've Had 3 Miscarriages But *Please* Keep Telling Me About Your Pregnancy

I can feel the tension the moment my friend announces her pregnancy. I can hear the forced nonchalant attitude she's willing herself to exude as she fishes for the ultrasound. I know why I was the last to learn that she was expecting; why she keeps l…
By Danielle Campoamor

7 Early Signs You're Going To Need An Epidural, According To Experts

Even if you've constructed an elaborate birth plan, it's impossible to control every aspect of labor and delivery. Complications can occur, proactive measures might be necessary, and your mind is subject to change when those damn contractions really …
By Candace Ganger

I'm Pregnant & I Refuse To Read Any Parenting Books

I didn't read any parenting books when I was expecting my daughter, and I refuse to read any parenting books as I await my second child now. I'm the first to admit that I don't really know what I'm doing when it comes to raising my daughter. A good d…
By Marie Southard Ospina

7 Reasons Why March Babies Are Total Badasses

From the moment you become pregnant, you begin to wonder what your little one will be like. Will they look like you, your partner, or your Great Aunt Edna? Will they be the quiet, thoughtful type or arrive on this planet raring to go? It's fun to ima…
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

12 Overnight Face Masks To Use To Wake Up Feeling Pampered AF

Spring is right around the corner, and as far as I'm concerned, the sunshine and warm breezes can't come soon enough. But now that we're about to say goodbye to winter, it's a good time to take stock of your facial skincare routine. You know, in the …
By Katie Malczyk

11 Essential Products To Pack In Your Hospital Bag, According To OB-GYNs

The minute you go into labor (or think you're going into labor), chaos ensues. You and your partner are likely to get a little frantic, just like in the movies, so you most definitely want to have a hospital bag packed before the day comes. This prec…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

7 Photos You *Must* Take In The First 6 Months Of Motherhood

In my experience, becoming a mom is like becoming an amateur photographer. There's just something about the need to capture every single coo and sorta-smile that leaves you obsessed with all things photography. I know I couldn't stop taking selfies w…
By Candace Ganger

Here's How Early An Ultrasound Can Actually Determine Your Baby's Sex

From the moment you see those two lines on a pregnancy test, there are a few markers along the way that stand out as especially exciting. Amongst them are hearing your baby's heartbeat and feeling that first, sweet little kick. And if you are finding…
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

9 Easy Kid Foods To Turn Green, Just In Time For St. Patrick's Day

The best part about having kids is that you get your own personal crew to celebrate the holidays with, in all your color coordinating and matching glory. And with St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, you are obviously working on turning everyth…
By Mishal Ali Zafar