My momma was a hippie

Welcome to the March Carnival of Natural Parenting: Vintage green!

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month we're writing about being green — both how green we were when we were young and how green our kids are today. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

I always knew my mom was a hippie. She had long hair, didn't wear makeup, had Birkenstocks before I knew they were cool, and wore cut-offs like they were going out of style. But she was also an Earth Momma.

She used cloth diapers when disposables were all the rage.

She breastfed me when formula was pitched to mothers like it was oxygen.

She recycled old clothes by doctoring them with ruffles and lace to make them "girly" or to make them current.

And she taught me that the earth was the most precious gift we have and to enjoy it is to honor it.

We went hiking, camping, and exploring almost every chance we got. A favorite story of my mother's is the day she and my dad discovered I was NOT allergic to poison ivy. At 18 months on a camping trip I had toddled my way into an enormous patch of it and plopped down to play with the leaves with nary an itch to be found on my body.

Kids are so naturally drawn to the outdoors that I think it's such a shame when they prefer being indoors, their gazes locked on the television or video game in their hands. I'm all about reading, crafty-things, cooking, etc., all things accomplished indoors, but I think it must be balanced with the abandon that only a great blue sky can lend to the imagination and the body.

In my daily routine with Hollis we leave the house at least once a day. We play in parks, we go for walks around the block, we explore the easement and meadow behind our house. He doesn't care if it's raining or a thousand degrees outside (only Mama does) and his pleasure in and painstaking attention to sticks, rocks, and leaves is mind-boggling. It's precious.

Beyond that, I'm also hoping to pass on a sensitivity for our earth through my behaviors such as recycling, breastfeeding, buying organic and sustainable foods, as well as humanely treated food animals. Most recently I signed up for an organic food delivery run by Farmhouse Delivery here in Austin. I frequent the farmers' market, but can't always make it. This delivery program ensures that I get local food regularly and at a terrific rate.

I want Hollis to always know that there is more than just what he can see with his own eyes. There are ecosystems, animals, and people dependent on his choices in life. What does buying a Hummer say to the world versus a Civic? What does buying those tomatoes from Peru say versus buying them from the farm down the street?

There's a lifetime of education ahead of him, but I am most definitely up for the challenge.


Visit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:


  1. Such a beautiful post. I love the line "she taught me that the earth was the most precious gift we have and to enjoy it is to honor it. " It seems you most certainly live that truth yourself; what a wonderful gift to pass down to Hollis.
    Enjoy your delivery box!

  2. I love that you had an Earth Momma upbringing! It's so neat to see what that could look like in the second (and now third) generation. I also needed the reminder that our kids don't care about the ideal weather conditions for going outside. When I was reading this to edit, I seriously stopped what I was doing and took Mikko on a walk RIGHT THAT MINUTE! See? You inspired me!

  3. amen to that i completely agree and am trying to do the same :)

  4. It sounds like you had an incredible mother who gifted you a great deal of wisdom. I've always longed for a hippy earth mama and as I read your post, I felt your admiration and love for this wonderful woman. You describe your mom and your time together so vividly. I am certain that Hollis will look back at you with the same respect and adoration for opening up to him what is most beautiful and precious in this world.

  5. (sigh) My goal has been to get outside with Kieran every day, but our neverending winter really put a dent in my plans. I am a sissy when it comes to the cold, I admit it. Thankfully, it looks like we'll be seeing more sunshine, and Kieran and I have already started taking advantage of it :)
    You had a wonderful mama!!

  6. I love your goal to get outside every day! That is something I want to try (especially once Jude can actually walk). I spent so much time off in the woods as a kid and I really loved it. We live in a much more urban area now but we can still spend time out in the yard or walking to the park every day.

    Your mom sounds fun!

  7. This has made me think that I can probably easily learn to spruce up some of my girls old clothes with some lace. At least I could lengthen some of their dresses and skirts if nothing else. Thanks for the idea!

  8. I am one who is drawn to indoorsy pursuits, but I love, love, love sunshine. Once it's warmer outside (which it's starting to be) I'm going to have to take my little one on walks in the park. Thanks, for inspiring me to do so.

  9. Ah, rocks and dirt! My son's favorite playthings are all the treasures he finds outdoors. He starts to get restless and antsy if he doesn't get outside for at least a short while every day. Fortunately our winters are very mild. Summers are awful, but he still gets outside early in the morning or late afternoon with lots of water in tow. It doesn't bother him as much as me!

  10. Oh, I want to be an Earth Momma, too!

    I can't wait for Daylight Savings Time on Sunday. Most people gripe and moan about it, but it means I get an extra 60 minutes of daylight outside with my little girl once I get home from work, and I'm starved for it!!

  11. I love your focus on knowing the impact of your choices! I hope I can instill this in my daughter too.

  12. I'm drawing a blank at the moment, but my 6yo came up with a slogan about loving the Earth and keeping it clean... rats.
    I'm so glad it's beginning to get warmer, we eat dinner, and often lunch, outside on every nice day. I miss that. My kids LOVE being outside, so much so that I have to keep the door bolted to prevent someone going out without my knowledge HAHA!(they're littles)

  13. My mom was a hippie too, but the urban kind. That meant my parents had long hair, we had no money and socail injustice was protested. :-) I want the kids to be more exposed to the outdoor but it doesn't come very natural to me.

  14. I am so happy the weather is warming up here. Nothing like sunshine and a nice spring breeze to warm the heart.