At a party one time my friend introduced me as “Jamie the Prepper”- everyone was either in shock, totally confused, or secretly asked me later how to become one ;) The fact is most parents already are preppers and don’t even realize it!
Today’s post comes from Naomi Broderick, who has a passion for protecting families, and shares with us her twist on prepping and parenting. They are more related than you might think! Read her view and let us know your thoughts below!
Parents Are Preppers (in a way)
It never fails to surprise those I meet when I let word slip that I’m a prepper and a mother. Many people consider the ideas to be almost opposite of each other. For many, the word “prepper” brings to mind middle-aged white males in camouflage vests living alone in bunkers full of canned peaches and military rations. Keep in mind that nothing about this stereotype seems to mesh with what most of us would think about motherhood.
But since becoming part of the prepper community, this cliché image that used to describe us has completely lost its relevance for me. True, preppers are often concerned with home defense and resource gathering for the purpose of emergency preparedness. It’s also true that the prepper community tends to be male-dominated and very cautious.
However, after becoming aware of the prepper lifestyle, I’ve come to realize many things; there are many similarities between the goals of preppers and parents, and I often feel myself motivated by the same instincts to meet both ends. In fact, I’d say my love for the duties of motherhood and my passion for prepping are one and the same.
Many refer to overprotective parents as “helicopter parents”, which references the ever-following watchful eye that these parents tend to give their children. Until children reach a certain age of social independence, it can be difficult to not be overprotective of young children, which most people would agree is perfectly reasonable. As a mother of three younger children, I wouldn’t hesitate to admit that I practice these habits as well.
Parents with a mind for their children’s security will often prepare living spaces in ways that protect young ones from hazards in their environment. They might:
- Remove choking hazards such as coins, small toys, or other trinkets
- Hang or wind electrical and drapery cords rather than leaving them out as choking hazards or as a way of potentially pulling something heavy down
- Softening hard edges, such as stands and desks, with padding
- Restrict access to areas with large, precariously balanced objects like televisions, bookcases, etc.
- Removing dangerous materials, such as sharp objects, medications, or chemicals
- Install specially designed “baby-proof” products or additions for more childhood safety features
When you consider the methods that parents might take, they bear a startling similarity to what preppers practice to make sure our homes are safe.
Whereas mothers might install baby monitors in order to keep an eye on their children, preppers might install a security system to monitor their homes at all hours of the day for the good of their families. While a mother might install special “baby-proof” locks on cabinets and drawers to prevent them from harming themselves, preppers routinely replace traditional door locks and window locks with advanced models and reinforcements to prevent threats from entering their homes.
While these actions might have superficial differences, both are measures for one goal, and with the same intention – and that is keeping the safety of one’s family.
Coming Clean With Prepping
Once when children reach a certain age and mature into their teenage years and beyond, the behaviors of helicopter parents are often seen as damaging to the social development of children. Keeping a constant eye on one’s children, or even homeschooling children to keep them safe from the potential hazards and mistreatment they might experience in public schooling, are seen as ways that inhibit a “normal” psychological development in their formative years.
However, in accepting these behaviors as part of a prepper mentality, households benefit in numerous ways. Becoming part of this community provides these parents and their children a support group through the prepper community. This is a community that understands and empathizes with the valid concerns that families face in our era rather than casts them out as being “paranoid.”
In accepting what it means to be a prepper, parents can teach their children why they take the precautions that they make, and consequentially avoid the anxiety that being “overprotective” might result in their children’s resentment. Prepper families are no longer the odd “bomb shelter” families that many people unfairly stereotyped us as; we are concerned neighbors who are aware of the dangers of our era, and we’re proactive in overcoming whatever the world has in store for us.
The prepper movement is rapidly growing as more people accept the fact that it entails positive values, such as realism, caution, and sustainability. And in fact, if more mothers came to terms with their instinctual drive to take care of their families, many more might realize that they also have a prepper mindset. By accepting the community for what we are and what we do rather than how the media portrays us, many more households could enjoy the peace of mind that a prepper lifestyle provides without fearing unfair backlash.
What are your thoughts on prepping and parenthood?
By Naomi Broderick, a stay-at-home mom and prepper author with Protect Your Home, who provides ADT security in Phoenix, Arizona. Follow Naomi on Twitter @NaomiBroderick3.