My own mommy manifesto

I’m going to buy a big canvas and cover it with painted phrases that no one will really understand except me. That’s because the canvas will contain my manifesto — a list of personal commandments that will help me live my happiest life.

One of my favourite authors, Gretchen Rubin, believes in writing manifestos to remind yourself of what’s important to you. I started jotting down ideas to define what I want to be — specifically as a mother and wife — and here’s what I came up with …

Speak softly, listen loudly

I’m prone to snapping. Speaking gently is probably the only useful parenting tip I’ve picked up from watching Michelle Duggar on 19 Kids and Counting, and it’s a work in progress. “Listen loudly” means actively hearing what the kids are saying, even when their stories seem trivial or hard to follow.

Sleep is a luxury

When I get enough sleep, I’m in a better mood and I’m able to get a lot more done in my waking hours. I usually don’t want to go to bed and sacrifice that blissful quiet that settles over the house once the kids are asleep, but I know it’s good for me.

Fewer items, more space

I’ve been slowly KonMari-ing our home for more than a year now, and it’s been liberating to pare down our belongings so we have more space for living the life we want. It’s hard to play when you’re overwhelmed by a mess of toys. It’s hard to do an art project when your supplies are a disaster and you can’t find the glue. Having the table cleared off means you’re ready to start a project at any moment.

Continue reading in my weekly parenting column, The Mom Scene …

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