In this podcast, we cover:
0:59 Question, challenge, defy accepted ideas and practices
6:55 The mother’s role in her child’s life
17:54 Convincing your spouse on the wisdom of using homeopathy
19:48 Joette becoming accomplished in homeopathy
23:17 Arm yourself with knowledge to decide for yourself what’s best for you and your family
I realize I am going to receive some staunch differences of opinion regarding this blog for the position I take and the philosophy I espouse, but I offer no apologies.
This week I talk about a lifestyle change; one that takes courage. I personally have a set of rules, and have found that if I abide by them, they rarely fail me.
Listen to learn about the sense of self-satisfaction you will experience once you understand how to take charge of your family's health and well-being.
With this podcast, I will be introducing a new feature; a full transcription providing more reasons than ever to listen, learn and pass on to others.
You are listening to a podcast from JoetteCalabrese.com where nationally certified American homeopath, public speaker, and author, Joette Calabrese, shares her passion for helping families stay healthy through homeopathy and nutrient-dense nutrition.
Jendi: Hello, this is Jendi and I’m here once again with Joette Calabrese. Today, we are going to talk about being a mighty mom and grandmom. And I personally love that idea, and I imagine that you, Joette, are not going to be discussing mothers working out and getting rippling muscles, right?
Joette: Well, yes and no. And I don’t mean physically working out but I do mean muscles. We’re talking about learning to flex the brain muscle and more importantly, the muscle of the will.
Jendi: You mean willpower?
Question, challenge, defy accepted ideas and practices
Joette: Yeah, but it sounds a little trite, that term willpower. I want to talk about having guts, spunk, and moxie. And I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again and again, that living this kind of lifestyle takes courage. But I have some rules, and I found that if I abide by them, they rarely fail me. So let me give you some rules. We must defy the practices of our peers. This doesn’t mean you become their foil. It doesn’t mean you forget polite society and bash them down with your ideas. It means you find a way to speak pleasantly and with respect and then direct yourself in your own path.
And the second rule is you must question, even challenge, every idea that impacts your family’s health. This most often comes from pediatricians, other doctors, media, and of course, the rest of society that has profited from these ideas emanating from these sources. So this group might come in the form of in-laws and neighbors, too. And then the third rule that I adhere to and I urge others to do is at least question, usually challenge, and in many instances, downright defy. The world is filled with assumptions that are false and it’s up to you to tether your sails and set your family off on a different tack. So the upshot is that you must, and I mean must, set yourself on a path that is directly in conflict with what you see around you. The more you see an idea around you, the more you should resist it.
Jendi: That seems a little bit counterintuitive.
Joette: Well, the reason that I say this is because I believe most ideas are wrong, or at least, need refining. For example, read the billboards in your locale and whatever they say, do the opposite. Common horse sense is not found on billboards, in magazines, in doctors’ offices, on TV. Instead, those are marketing tools for an entity, either an industry or a government program trying to convince you of something.
Jendi: And there is no doubt that the internet has opened up our knowledge base and we can find out several sides of an issue through the internet.
Joette: Yes, yes, we can. But it’s useless unless you put it to good use. I know I’ve said this again and again and I’ll do until I have barnacles hanging on me. You must do your homework. You must look up every drug and procedure that a doctor recommends and I guarantee, he has not done this. But you, my friends, will do this because before you put a fragment of any stuff that is derived from an industry in your or your child’s mouth, you must do your homework, or you must submit to a test that is unnecessary. So there’s no doubt that we’re smarter now, we mothers. There it is, all the information we’d ever need, and yet, most people don’t even think about using it to its capacity, I mean, the internet. Not you though. You do your homework. And how do I know this? And I’m not talking just to Jendi. I’m talking to those who are listening. Because I speak to those who follow me every single day.
Jendi: And the internet is a wonderful research tool.
Joette: Yes, but without the master behind the tools, nothing is possible. So remember, the internet is only a marketing tool for big industry and government. So you must sniff out the answers in coy ways, because we as mothers and grandmothers and those who care for others are the masters of our and our family’s lives, and that takes a certain posture. You have to make a decision. Like if you decide you want to become a lawyer, you have to commit to taking the LSATs and commit to going to law school. I mean, it’s pretty simple. If you decide you want to become a concert pianist, you must pledge to practicing piano for hours daily. It’s that simple. Whatever you want to do, whatever you want to accomplish, it must be chosen, focused upon, and gone after myopically without even a glance back, regardless of others’ opinions.
Jendi: And that’s how we all move forward and learn things in any pursuit.
Joette: Well, that’s right. And the question always is, “Are we comfortable allowing the current to take us along, or are we made of the stuff that pushes us in the direction we know we ought to follow?”
Jendi: I think we all agree that we ought to sometimes buck the system but that can be hard to do when you’re a mom, especially of a little baby or a new mom, and when the doctor tells you to take an antibiotic or something and you don’t know what to do for sure. You might be scared for your child and you just simply do it knowing that the antibiotic is not going to do any better than the last one but not knowing what else to do.
Joette: Yes, but you know, it’s only hard to buck the system if you’ve not educated yourself. Once you know better because you’ve done your homework, that gives you confidence. The more you learn, the more confidence you acquire, the firmer your footing, and so on. And more importantly, once you learn how to treat that illness with homeopathy instead of the drug, you gain indelible confidence one illness at a time. Then you become the expert.
Jendi: That can be a daunting feat.
Joette: Well, Jendi, you and I have these discussions every week, don’t we? But the most satisfying and most important, the reason you’ve become a mother has nothing, and I mean nothing, to do with compliancy and everything to do with your legacy, responsibility, and integrity.
The mother’s role in her child’s life
Jendi: Yes. And of course, sometimes doing what you personally think is best can be difficult, especially if your family doesn’t agree, like your in-laws, your friends, or even your spouse.
Joette: Okay. Well, let’s talk about spouses. This is a concept that I’ve taken on through the years and I’ve espoused to younger women. It’s most important that your spouse and you share the same philosophy. In fact, it should have been discussed before marriage. The problem is that most marriages occur outside of ill health and it’s often when a sick child comes along that inspires the move to take this on your own. That’s when the spouses must begin a different kind of a journey.
Jendi: It’s like no one gives a thought about the kind of healthcare the family is going to practice until something happens. And age comes into play, too, right?
Joette: Yes, I believe that’s right. I have a philosophy about parenting and marriage and I see the opposite of this philosophy played out every day, and it’s this. This is my philosophy. Marriage is like a corporation. There are department heads for each division. And each division has its specialty of capabilities – the marketing department, the finance department, the personnel department. They all have their responsibilities and specialties. And each department head is expected to know their craft inside and out to keep up with their craft so that they are always on top of their game. They’re the experts.
So let me give you an example. When I worked at a TV station years ago, we had a comptroller who used to hang around the marketing and sales department way too much. I was in marketing and sales. Granted, we were more fun than the pencil pushers in her department, but when she came in for her daily visit, she’d often put her two cents into the way our department was run. What became obvious in no time was that she was out of her element. Her suggestions were off-kilter because she wasn’t a marketing or salesperson. She was a number cruncher. She didn’t live the life daily. She hadn’t read a single book on the subject, nor had she gone to college for it, nor taken a weekend seminar on it. She had nothing but an opinion. Her expertise was in accounting. Now, that was something she could sink her teeth into. Her entire life was spent studying and accruing knowledge on that subject.
Jendi: And probably equally as important is the fact that when she was nosing around in your department, she was inadvertently neglecting her own work.
Joette: Well, that’s right. It took our department head to finally put a stop to this less-than-welcome daily interference.
Jendi: So I think I might know where you’re heading with this with spouses.
Joette: Well, if you know, then our listeners will also know, too, I hope. So marriage, yes, of course, is the same. When a woman gets pregnant, everything in her life turns to that, everything she eats, lives, and breathes, everything there is about the baby. She reads constantly. She ponders. She daydreams. She researches about babies’ health, what’s good, what’s bad, what kind of food, supplements, exercise is important. She talks incessantly about it with her friends who have children. She deliberates with her mother and her neighbors, and everyone offers advice and she soaks it all in. She researches all about the baby – birth, wellness, etc., on the internet. She’s consumed by the baby and its wellbeing.
What does the father do? He takes on the protective responsibility for his forthcoming family. He works harder to make certain that the finances are in place. He makes certain that the investments he makes have longevity. He gets the house repairs in order, make sure the car is safe, asks his buddies about insurance, then starts researching the best way to protect his new family. It all makes sense. Each parent takes on their roles and often with alacrity and aplomb. And once the baby comes, mom is literally attached to the baby with nursing, staying up at night with every sound. And during her waking hours, she generally is reading or at least, referring to books and sites that will teach her to become a better mom. Dad’s at work making sure the family is provided for.
Now, I know we’re going to get rebuttals to this on the blog about how women are perfectly capable of making a living and men are perfectly capable of taking care of children, but I offer no apologies. What I’m describing here is the way it more often falls together than any other. No matter how capable the woman was before the baby, she could be the comptroller of a Fortune 500 corporation, once that baby arrives, she changes in a profound way. It’s pure biology. She wants to be with her child as much as possible, all day, all night. And suddenly, the career she strove for for decades seems trite. Am I describing all women? No, but I believe it’s the majority of them. And this is one of my major complaints with Western lifestyles that women rarely factor in marriage and babies into their plans. It becomes a distant event that isn’t in the least bit focused upon in their teens and 20s and, of course, in college. But I divert here. This pet peeve of mine is something that is a subject for another blog.
Jendi: I hadn’t thought about that much before now but I think colleges don’t really talk about marriage or motherhood, the two big M words.
Joette: Right, yeah. It’s approached like a side dish of scalloped potatoes or something instead of the main dish of pot roast that actually is in many a woman’s life. So let’s get back to marriage as a corporation theory. So when the roof leaks, the dad usually swings into gear and talks to his buddies. He checks out roof products online. He decides what kind of tiles he should replace them with. Or he calls around for contractors. He’s the buildings and grounds department head. When the mortgage rates go down, it’s usually the dad who has done his research to find out if a better rate can be secured and then goes at it. He becomes the buildings and ground department head and the comptroller.
So when baby gets an ear infection and mom wants to use essential oils, homeopathy, or whatever and not subject the baby to an antibiotic because she has studied the possibilities for many months, if not years, she has made herself into an expert, just like the dad making him into the family expert on his subjects. So even if she has not researched, her hormones dictate in most cases she’s best suited for taking care of the ills of the children – the food they eat, the nutrition they take in daily, and the nightly care. After all, who does the grocery shopping? Who’s preparing the meals? In most cases, she’s best suited for the job as he is for his. And so mom becomes the personnel department and health and welfare.
Jendi: And that’s a very traditional position to put out on the internet and I think it’s a good position but I’m sure you’re going to get some disagreements in your comments on the blog.
Joette: Oh, I couldn’t care less. Being politically correct is not only not my concern but it’s so passé. I call it ever so ‘90s. And this is 2015, for crying out loud. We have learned something since then. Society needs to get with the program as far as I’m concerned. This is not your women study class here. This is biology, something that’s been conspicuously missing from those angry classes in the first place. I remember those women studies classes. I took them back in the ‘70s, and nothing has changed. This is the real world. When was the last time you met a lactating father, for crying out loud?
Jendi: I don’t think I ever met one and I don’t think I ever will.
Joette: I hope not. So when dad spends hours researching the roof tile and decides to take time with his buddies in the industry or his father about vapor barriers and he concludes that he’ll do this or that with the roof, and then if mom chimes in and says, “Hmm, I don’t think that’s what we ought to do,” she’s sticking her nose into the buildings and grounds department’s decision without the requisite research, inclination, and effort it takes to make a good decision. And if she gets too involved, then her health and welfare department suffers, too.
Jendi: Yes. And I think an argument would be that the child does belong to both of them. Doesn’t the father have the right to ask questions?
Joette: Well, certainly. If his understanding is unclear though, if it hasn’t been fleshed out by his own research and study, then it’s terribly inefficient and undermines the ability of the health and welfare department’s confidence. And certainly, both can study together. But asking both to do the same work twice seems a little bit of a waste of precious time, and time is of the essence. It’s an important commodity in a family. And when you’re running a corporation, or more importantly, a family, productivity, effectiveness, and efficiency matters. For if not there, then where else would it matter? It all starts with the family. In fact, everything starts with the family. Family is the team. And an extra quarterback is not only superfluous, it’s conflicting to the success of that team.
Jendi: So you were actually using nice words to say that the father should just butt out.
Joette: Well, not actually butt out but he needs to trust his wife. Isn’t that why he married her, because he trusts her and holds her in high regard? Well, of course, all bets are off that this is not the state of the marriage, but it certainly is the goal of a good marriage.
Jendi: So basically, what you’re saying is that when the mom spends hours, weeks, years learning how to treat a fever without drugs, or how to implement her knowledge in using homeopathy or any other method for that matter, the dad ought to step back and trust her.
Joette: Well, yes, unless she’s incompetent, completely incompetent. He needs to bow to her knowledge and dedication. That leaves him to pursue his areas of expertise. And that’s what makes a marriage whole and efficient, as far as I’m concerned.
Jendi: Can it be the other way around? Can the father take over the healthcare role?
Joette: Well, certainly. And after teaching homeopathy for 30 years to thousands of students, I have to admit, however, that in my recollection, I’ve had maybe five men join in my classes. Online, we have tens of thousands of social media correspondences and the same holds true there as well. I’ve learned that women are more interested in taking this job seriously and are better at nurturing while men are generally better at protecting. And yes, it’s certainly a generalization but I don’t for a minute think that it’s our culture to blame. Instead, I see, as I said earlier, that it’s human biology. That’s why I believe this pattern spans across the globe.
Convincing your spouse on the wisdom of using homeopathy
Jendi: What about if the father is worried, really worried about counting on homeopathy or nutrition or essential oils?
Joette: Well, I have an answer that includes two parts of this. The first part is that if it is a concern, he needs to do his own homework then, like what his wife did, and to the same extent. He needs to spend hours daily thinking about it, looking up solutions, calling friends, just like what she did, taking the kids to the chiropractor or the doctor, talking to school administrators, asking his mother and grandmother for advice.
Jendi: So do you have much faith in this happening?
Joette: No, I haven’t. I can pretty much guarantee that that’s not going to happen. I mean, it does occasionally, but generally speaking, not to the same degree. In my experience, the best way for men to catch up with enough information so that they can let go and let their wives do the job at hand, instead of asking them to read books, I’ve learned through the years that they won’t do it, so the alternative, the fastest way to get him up to enough speed that he gets what the mom wants him to get, is for the mom to amass videos on the subject, then you barter with them. So from one mother to another, I’ll let you in on a little secret. You make a big batch of popcorn, whisper sweet nothings in his ear, and promise him the world if he’ll sit through the video and the subject at hand, a video of, say, the value of homeopathy, the importance of nutrition. That is the way to get men to learn.
Jendi: That sounds like a big project.
Joette: Yeah. And what in life has any value that doesn’t have a big commitment attached to it? I can think of nothing that comes easy in life that’s of any value. It takes a vow to be the best we can be.
Jendi: And also, if he has a long commute, he might be interested in listening to some podcasts.
Joette: That’s right. And why not this one?
Joette becoming accomplished in homeopathy
Jendi: So can you give us a peek into how you became accomplished in homeopathy?
Joette: Well, I’m an accomplishment freak. I want to learn more. I always want to know more. I want to experience more. At first, when my first child was an infant, I already knew how to make many foods from scratch. It was my interest since my early 20s. But then, I wanted to know how to find wild foods on my property, how to make herbal medicines, how to find the most nutrient dense foods available for the least amount of money. It was like a game. It became a compulsion, kind of an inner competition. And my pregnancies and births thrust me forward into an even higher gear. So then, once I learned of the power of homeopathy, I wanted to know how to treat every little problem my baby might suffer. I wanted to know how to treat first aid with homeopathy, infections with homeopathy, emotional and mental conditions with homeopathy. I wanted to be the expert. I did not want a condescending pediatrician telling me what to do. I kicked my mothering act up a notch. So I want to know every homeopathic medicine for every ill. That’s why even today with my kids grown and out of our home and now in my ‘60s, I travel to India where homeopathy is used as a mainstay of medicine. In fact, I’m going there again in about a month and a half.
Jendi: And I think this is what many of us mothers think but we wonder how to get it all done. Like for me, I have a book on it and I know stuff on your website and then it’s just hard to cram it in to my schedule. And also, I wonder what others are going to think about this.
Joette: Right. Well, when you become a mother, and even if you never do, and you’re taking care of others, animals, livestock, etc., but most importantly when you become the caregiver, you must not care what others think. That’s the first thing. I decided a while ago that I don’t care about what kind of an opinion others have about me. Some women say this happens in menopause or after menopause. I actually think it happened even earlier in my life. So if you don’t agree with my position on medicine or traditional values about how to take care of a family, the importance of a mother being at home to take care of her children, about the importance of going to church or synagogue, I couldn’t care less. And I don’t mind if that causes us to part ways. In fact, it’s even better that way. Each person needs to find their path.
But my posture is arrow pointed in one direction – the importance of the family and of the mother being the nucleus of the child’s and family’s healthcare. And accomplishing that goal is after all I’ve examined can’t be done fully if you depend on large companies to make decisions for you, and a reminder that that’s what using drugs is all about. It’s a fierce and mighty instinct in me and in all of us. I’m not alone. Most mothers and grandmothers come equipped with it naturally, but they need to beware because there are factions that are perfectly happy allowing mothering and grandparenting to become a spectator’s sport, of allowing mothering to take on a mediocre hue.
Jendi: It sounds like you would like to change the world.
Joette: Well, a girl can dream, I guess.
Jendi: Lots of food for thought there. I guess this is across the board with many industries, right?
Arm yourself with knowledge to decide for yourself what’s best for you and your family
Joette: Well, when we follow the road of least resistance and we just say, “Well, I don’t have time and I can’t do this,” then we’re just going to follow along with an industry that calls us something in particular – customers for an industry, whichever industry is behind it, the education industry, the medical industry, the food industry. Don’t think, folks, for a minute that someone hasn’t thought through every decision you make for your family and self and determine the best way to get you to comply to their ways of persuasion. That’s what Madison Avenue is all about. I know because I’ve been in the world of marketing. And how often you get your child a flu shot is orchestrated down to the month – what the doctor says if you don’t comply, the demeanor he takes on, the nurse’s attitudes when you resist. It’s orchestrated. And by the way, it’s orchestrated using human emotions. Guilt and fear are the most powerful emotions when it comes to parenting. Watch carefully. Observe. Once you discover this, you’ll see it being used again and again.
Jendi: If we think about it, we all know that this is the way things are. Do you really think this is the essence of how humans behave?
Joette: Well, we must understand that rarely are people and entities out there protecting your interest. People can be nice but they’re protecting their own interests. So as soon as I hear that this or that is for the sake of “the children”, I prick up my ears. The words “the children” are used in marketing campaigns and educational schemes that have nothing whatsoever to do with the welfare of children.
Jendi: So if we hear the word children, we naturally kind of join in the empathy?
Joette: Yeah. You can’t help yourself. It’s a powerful word. I’ll never forget a friend reporting to me years ago that when she was in labor with her first child, and she was in labor for several hours, that her smarmy doctor was pressuring her to allow him to chemically induce her, and she was resisting it. Finally, he said, “Do you want this baby or not?” What? What kind of a thing is that to say to a mother in labor? What possible meaning was behind that? Guilt for not wanting the baby to be born? This was the guy that all my friends went to for their births. They all thought he was the bee’s knees. Can anyone imagine that? That is beyond depressing.
Jendi: And if I were a paranoid person, I’d say it almost sounds like a conspiracy.
Joette: No. I’ll be honest, Jendi. I don’t believe it’s a conspiracy. I might add that this has nothing to do with capitalism, too, and everything to do with human nature at its worst. The same behavior is witnessed, only to even a worse degree, in Cuba – I’ve said this before – and the Soviet Union and China. Don’t think for a single minute that it’s better somewhere else. Government officials are usually worse in these situations than those in the free market because they don’t need to satisfy customers. And with government rules and mandates, we haven’t any choices. You can, however, decline to take the antibiotic or whatever is being encouraged or sold to you.
Jendi: So to wrap up this podcast, can you give us maybe some encouragement?
Joette: Yes. I don’t want to leave us on a down because it sounds a little sad. Instead, I want to encourage everyone. Allow me to share information that I’ve gleaned by being in full-time practice for 20 years, and from studying homeopathy for 29, and from traveling all over the US and Canada and to India to build my knowledge base. I offer a lot of information on homeopathy and how to use it for free. And yes, I also sell courses for those who want to delve deeper. But I urge you to take advantage of my free information as often as you need it on this blog.
So my closing words are this: Don’t engage in average anything – mediocre movies, mediocre literature, unexceptional magazines, one-of-the-mill medicine, unremarkable food, conformist conduct. Low-level anything is an act of compliancy, compliancy with our innate laziness which, by the way, we all possess, compliancy with our low-level anything. Instead, pursue the good. And I want to read this in our final words here, the great words found in Philippians. It says, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
Jendi: And those words are great words to live by. Thank you so much, Joette.
Joette: My thanks to you, too, Jendi.
Thank you for listening to this podcast with Joette Calabrese. If you liked it, please share it with your friends. To learn more and find out if homeopathy is a good fit in your health strategy, visit joettecalabrese.com and schedule a free 15-minute conversation.
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