Sometimes I forget that one woman can make a difference. I get caught up, bogged down and generally frazzled trying to meet all my commitments to all the people in my life. My nose is pressed so firmly to the grind stone I can't even see what I'm grinding. Don't get me wrong I treasure my grind stone and whatever it is I'm grinding at the time. But I can get so busy I loose sight of the bigger scheme of things.
Tomorrow I am starting a new project, another layer of wheat on the old grind stone; a support group for women using the philosophies of attachment parenting. This style of parenting has been around forever and is practiced in many cultures so why a support group? Because currently it isn't favored by mainstream America. Consequently these mothers are often judged negatively and are left feeling isolated and adrift. So I'm really excited about my support group project. I woke up with ideas swirling in my head this morning and can't wait for tomorrow but I'm also thinking, "Are you nuts! You already have too much to do and it is the beginning of the holidays. Company is coming, your son will be home. What are you thinking?!"
I was sorting through the stacks of stuff that always magically collects in the guest bedroom when the answer to my question appeared. I opened an envelope from my friend Rainie Fross, a past La Leche League leader. She had dropped off a bunch of resources for breastfeeding moms months ago and I had simply stacked them all in my magical collection of 'things I'll get to at some point'. I drew out a faded newspaper clipping from 2008. To be more precise it was an obit that ran in the Chicago Tribune with a large headline and photo. And there she was; one woman who had made a difference.
Back in 1956 this woman and six other mothers banded together to offer each other support and guidance. They were choosing to parent differently than 80% of the other mothers in the U.S. at that time. The medical establishment and scientific community was not in favor of their parenting beliefs. They were working in direct opposition to a huge industrial interest. They even had to choose a name in another language in order to put out meeting notices in newspapers. Slowly they built a grassroots community of women which spread nationally and eventually even internationally. She co-authored a book that was released this year in its 8th edition. When I googled the very first word of the title it immediately came up at the top of the list. She went on to give lectures around the world and even addressed the United Nations.
One woman within a small group of women within a community. Her name means nothing to most people but the group she helped found is known world wide, La Leche League. Through League she touched millions of lives helping create better family relationships, better health, and a better planet. Amazing what one woman within a small group of women within a community can do!
Thank you Betty Wagner Spandikow. Thank you for being an inspiration to me. Thanks for helping me look beyond the grind stone and remember why I do all I choose to do. And thanks to Rainie too!
If you are interested in finding out about my latest project, the Mothering; a Labor of Love group, visit my facebook page for updates on where and when. (This group has changed to South County Holistic Mamas in order to be more inclusive. We are on face book and do play groups, etc.)
For more info on Attachment Parenting philosophy and their 8 principles visit Attachment Parenting International's web site.