A manifesto of sorts….

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I have been a mother for twelve, almost thirteen years now, teaching mothers and mothers-to- be for nine and actively researching a book on mothering for almost a year, and I thought it might be useful to gather my thoughts into a ‘manifesto’ of sorts. I don’t proclaim to have inside information on this whole jaunt, but over the years I have pondered it all more than I probably needed to, have scribbled down ideas on every scrap of paper available and have gleaned what I could from every corner. Though books have been a source of great wisdom and ideas, I have undoubtedly learnt the most from conversations with honest friends and a process of on-going and serious trial and error ( with the emphasis very much on the latter) inspired by that smiling trio above. They are undoubtedly and often the source of my biggest frustrations but they are also always my greatest teachers.

The idea was to write this all down for myself, to give me some sort of direction with both my blog and my book- so it is more for me than for you- but I then thought I may as well blog it- its as good as anything else I have to say today!

So consider it a less of a manifesto- that is to come, that’s the book- and more a spilling forth some ideas onto a page……

WHAT AM I TRYING TO SAY…….

 

That there is huge hidden value in what we do as mothers; it needs acknowledged by society at large but most especially by ourselves as it will give us the motivation to keep going on the hard days.

 

That the sooner we accept how hard it is, the easier it will be. There is an irony to it, but if it works for the great spiritual seekers with regard to life then it will work for us as mothers.

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That we are not designed to mother alone. Everything is easier when you do things in company. Even the most banal drudgery can be turned into a delight if you can talk – or better still laugh- your way through it. Women need each other most when they are mothers.

That real happiness is to be found in the simple things; craft, nature, endeavour, creativity, adventure and play. However much we already have, we all need more of  this in our lives.

 That very often the things we most resist are the ones that make us the most happy. It is a strange quality of human nature and almost universal. We need to recognize this in ourselves and fight it. As a sign stuck on my fridge says ‘ say no to no’.

That the spirit of competition in the West is unequivocally harmful for mothers and women. We need to live and let live and banish the tendency to judge others. If we are really honest, our criticisms are really often just envy or self-doubt masquerading as something else.

That at all costs we must ignore the allure of the perfect ‘postable’ existence. Its just bullshit, exhausting and alienating.

That in every single regard, our children need quality rather than quantity.

That happiness will never come from being parsimonious. Every now and then give up trying. Everyone will still be alive tomorrow.

 

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