A mamafesto is a manifesto for a mother. The world of motherhood is being expanded by writers all over the internet, taking stands about their own mothering and inviting others to do the same. Some writing is bold and brave, some is really beautiful and together, all of it is important. My Mamafesto reflects my mission and what Laundry Line Divine is all about. Being a mother of teens, bold and brave takes a whole new layer of meaning as issues of sexuality and responsibility breach over topics like nursing and bedtimes. I wrote this Mamafesto two years ago, but I am updating and sharing it today as a way of introducing our next Out of the Mouths of Babes blog series II author, Robin MacArthur. I feel like Out of the Mouths of Babes is one possible answer to her yearning for a circle of women artists writing about their experience of mothering. Welcome Robin! I hope you find warmth here and a place for more of your beautiful words.
Mamafesto for Laundry Line Divine: A Wild Soul Book for Women
Mothering has been my life for more than 18 years. My children are 15 and 18 years old right now.
I am committed to celebrating my value. I am a woman who is a full-time mom, artist writer. Here at the Laundry Line, I explore and celebrate the sacred in daily life, with the kids and beyond. I live at home and coordinate a very normal, extraordinary life with my husband here on a street in a town in soft mountains on the edge of Massachusetts. There are many like me, many women at home, who while sorting the wash also sort the issues of identity that merge and diverge from birth to your child’s independence.
My kind, a stay at home mom in a small town, is getting rarer as more families move from these towns to city life where jobs and education flourish. I may be rare, but I am as common and important as water, as dandelion fluff, as wind and as starlight.
I see myself as a fortunate woman to have discovered my happiness, my source in this sea of folded towels, hairbands, and leftovers.
There will always be mothers.
There will always be women craving a bigger life within the cradle of kitchen, swing set and homework.
I believe you can live it all here, among the lost socks and scuffed knees of parenting.
Today, so many of us feel the shadow of the age-old view that motherhood, though blessed and celebrated in certain circles, is considered “opting out”. There are many of us who choose to stay in the workforce while mothering. This is called having two full time jobs. There are some who choose to stay at home, which in my book is another way of having 2 full-time jobs, because while you are caring, tending, shepherding your lambs from birth to graduation and beyond, you have the responsibility to care for yourself and your connections to family, community and the world. Women anchor the lives of our children and mates from the smallest of gestures to our advocacy for better lives for all children. In living our fullness, our real-time lives with children, with or without jobs outside our home, we are creating a new age where every role of woman is honored and celebrated.
In Phaedra, the ancient Greek Tragedian playwright Sophocles wrote,
“Children are the anchors that hold a mother to life.”
Yes, and I believe the reverse of that to be true. Mothers anchor their children and their families to life.
Laundry Line Divine explores those waters of women’s lives, this region of self discovery that comes in celebrating the extraordinary in ordinary living.
Laundry Line Divine is not limited to women with children. What happens here at the Laundry Line is fo anyone seeking nourishment for daily life. We are all equipped with the ability to create from our joy and wholeness.
Thank you for stopping in.
That stunningly eloquent video was made by Ali Smith. You can find her on Facebook at
http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Momma-Love-by-photographer-Ali-Smith/168703773146547 Follow her there and check out her wonderful work. Thank you Ali for this beautiful project! xoxoxoxS