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A Motherhood Manifesto

Motherhood Manifesto

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Motherhood was not something I ever aspired to while I was growing up.  Anticipating the arrival of my first child raised so many unavoidable questions like, “What makes a good parent?”  I hadn’t spend a lifetime daydreaming or building up expectations of motherhood, and so this manifesto is the product of my experiences thus far.

“Motherhood Manifesto” is a list of guidelines that define my approach to parenting while setting healthy expectations for myself.  Drumroll please…

 

As a mother, I will…

Raise my children to be the best versions of themselves.

I will allow them to be their own person, with their own interests, and their own decisions.  They are not miniature copies of me or their father.  They love monster trucks, and I love French subtitle films.  It seems like wasted effort trying to mold a child into something I want them to be.

A good parent is someone who you don't need to recover from. Click To Tweet

 

Not pretend to have it all together.

It is easy to feel smug when I’ve finally feel like I’ve gained enough experience to be good at this mom gig.  How long do parenting victories last?  Maybe a few weeks?  Ten minutes?  Before I know it, I’m back to Google for more answers.

 

Allow myself to be INSPIRED by other moms.

This is a lesson I’ve learned through observation.  How many moms out there compare their lives to a fleeting moment in the life of what appeared to be an impeccably stylish Instagram mom, holding her 6 kids, in a Pinterest-worthy playroom?  If I had a photo like that, I would post that glorious moment all over social media too!  I guess I could be jealous, or I see it as a reminder to finally get around to picking up the living room.

Moms to follow on Instagram:

Shannon Bee @thebrassbee

Erin Boyle @readtealeaves

Alissa @alicataldo

Shameless Me @the_bluest_stripe

Laugh at the struggle.

Laughter is the key to survival, my friend!  My kids have a way of fraying nerves I didn’t even know I had.  Have you ever found yourself losing an argument with a toddler?!  Hopefully, I will have some hilarious stories to tell my future grand kids.

 

Forgive myself for not loving every minute of motherhood.

Sometimes I don’t even like it a little bit.  That’s okay.

 

Do what I can, when I can, and in my own way.

This is really just solid life advice, but I’ve added it to my manifesto because it’s especially applicable to parenting!  Without realistic expectations, I would always feel like a failure.

 

Motherhood Manifesto

photo by annie theby

NOT apologize for my kids being kids.

As the parent, I am responsible for the outcome of their behavior, but I refuse to feel sorry or embarrassed.  Toddlers will have meltdowns at the grocery store, laugh out loud during funerals, point at a strangers, and mark on restaurant tables (with crayons THEY provided!).   It’s my responsibility to help them learn and grow, but kids can only behave within their current developmental stage.  Scrub the crayon off the table and move on.

 

Give my children as many opportunities and experiences as I can -BUT- I won’t feel guilty about what I cannot.

Everyone wants to give their kids a better life.  At the end of the day, we can only do our best and that will just have to be good enough.

 

Writing the ‘Motherhood Manifesto’ made me realize- there are so many unhealthy and negative feelings we as parents put on ourselves – GUILT, ENVY, JEALOUSY, PERFECTION – but it doesn’t have to be this way!  Setting healthy expectations is the basis of a happy motherhood and quite possibly LIFE!

 

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