8/8/08

Mama Manifesto

Me- "What do you think I should do as a mommy? Is there something you'd like me to be doing?"

Miles- "You should be a daddy."

Me- "Well, I can't really be a daddy cause I'm a lady, so I guess I need to stay being a mommy."

Miles- "You should decide which mommy to be then."

I've mentioned before that I love the site Mama Manifesto. I love to read and get ideas, share myself and feel encouraged there. A recent post really challenged me and reminded me that I need to try to stay focused on "which mommy I want to be..."

My "Mama Manifesto," (in short, basically goals I have as a mother) is quite long and involved, making me feel a bit overwhelmed. (Much of it can be found in my post from many moons ago, Ambition.) I have this picture in my mind of the mom I want to be. I do really want to strive to be her. But other days I don't even like her. She's too perfect. It's a fine line, really. Wanting to live up to something so badly and yet feeling defeated that you never possibly could be all the things you dream of being. I mean, I know I can't. I see my failed attempts far too often and get discouraged. Even so, I love the idea of having my manifesto written out. Dreams for my family. Ways to live the life we were meant to live.

And yet I feel so scattered most of the time, unable to focus in on any one area of my manifesto. Yesterday, the kids and I were driving in the car. I was trying to engage in a little thinking of my own, ideas popping up like wild flowers in the Spring. About every three seconds, Miles was interrupting my thoughts with his own from the backseat;

"Mommy, what is that truck doing? MOMMY! Did you hear me? Why is that truck there? WHY?"


So we talked about trucks. I gave up on spending some time in my own mind. Yes, I really wanted to finish a thought. I really wanted to think about something other than trucks. But part of my manifesto is remembering that parenting is about sacrifice. Being resentful of that is a huge waste of time.

What I had started to think about in the car yesterday was my mama manifesto. I was writing it out. In outline form. There were bullet points and everything. Ironically, I was unable to focus on finishing this list of goals and dreams for my family. But I still want to take the time to do it. I decided that all I need is a personal assistant. So when I win the lottery, I'll hire one. She will keep my manifesto in front of her every day and she'll check in with me;
"Heather, have you sat down and played with your boys for at least an hour today?"
"Heather, have you finished your meal plan for the week? Can I get you some groceries--all organic of course!?"
"Heather, have you signed up for any family volunteer activities for the month? Who can I call for you to get that started?"
"Heather, have you had your teeth cleaned lately? I'll call the dentist for you."

Of course I'm being a bit sarcastic here. But I really would love that assistant. Every mother really should have one. This job is too big for one person. All the more reason to be engaged in community. But that's a whole other post.
Even this post feels scattered to me. I swear I really do have ADD. Maybe I'm simply trying to say that I'm a bit envious of mothers who seem to keep up with their manifesto. Mothers who seem so organized, sweet, patient, kind, selfless and pretty. Or maybe that mother only exists in my insecurity? Maybe my flaws and failures are serving their purposes too.

It's a good idea, to have a mama manifesto. I absolutely love the idea. I just need to be more careful not to compare, not to see other moms as somehow better than I could ever be. My manifesto is something I hold quite dear. It is evidence of my intentions. More tangible proof that my heart is in the right place, no matter how much I fail.

Gotta go, I hear my assistant...er, I mean...my children calling. What a sweet sound!

5 clicked right here to comment:

PsychMamma said...

I'm adding "Write Mama Manifesto" to my list of things to do. Once I get it done, I'll probably need some matronly warden to constantly enforce it...

Great idea, great thoughts, great post.

charrette said...

It's a wonder ANY mother every accomplishes ANYTHING!

I love your "personal assistant"

I fantasize about having someone come in and keep me on track, remind me what's most important, tell me what to do when so I fit it all in.

...but then I'd probably rebel. :)

charrette said...

--oops, sorry... "EVER"

Kimberly said...

You are so, so brilliant. I had to link to this post in my own today because it helped me in a really positive way during a very negative part of my day!

Minnesota Matron said...

Lovely post. Yes, yes. I'm going to do it, too. One of my own missteps is that I all too frequently run around, cleaning and cooking, trying to work, etc. -- and there are my children, who would love nothing more than to sit down and just hang out with me. But it feels SO impossible!! Better to be clear and know your priorities. In prose!

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