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Just this morning, I was talking with Amy Humes about the work that rose out of her “only being a mother”. After years of working in the entertainment industry in New York City, Amy became a full-time mom. And, being an industriously curious woman who has launched more than a few really good ideas, Amy came up with this project. I will let her tell you all about it. According to Amy, creating these buttons is the first work that she has ever done that is in harmony with who she has become as a mother.
What about you?
Have you only ever been something that keeps you feeling small and undervalued?
Is there a message you’d love to hear throughout your day that would give you a positive boost?
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.
And I will be driving home with time to think about the ‘journey of life’ taken with family, whether family of origin or of choice. But the inner activity of an oyster, sand in to pearl is much like what happens when you rub elbows, garlic and laundry with people you love for a few days running.
I am grateful for space.
I am grateful for the wealth and health of this planet, so many resources, so much love, so much potential.
I am grateful for you, my readers of the Laundry Line for taking the moments you do to wander in and read.
There is so much taking shape here on the Laundry Line.
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Until then, drive safely and well my friends.
Then I read this quote of his in a 1904 book, Forty Thousand Quotations, gifted me by my pal Sarah:
Men are what their mothers made them.
No wonder we are so busy.
All these boys to tend.
All these girls to be role models for.
Then there is the laundry.
I am okay with that.
Truly, I’d love about 32 more hours in the day so I could have a long ramp up in to hours of studio time along with a few hours to knit, take a long honking walk and write a few letters.
But, this week, of the hurricane and helping my kids with their life projects- navigating rumors, an early decision college application, lunch bags left in the library for 5 days and that means my thermos is AWOL…these things take time and energy.
And, I know that the attention I pour in to my children, even now when they are teens and can go for hours with out my reminding them to drink water or pick up their socks, I know my attention adds value to their decision making. I know my attention guides them through rocky patches. I know my attention propels them forward, if away from me, it is only because they have come through me that they can grow on with such courage and strength.
Their integrity comes from their Dad. He is a gem of unblemished beauty. And he will be traveling to Ohio to be part of a team of lawyers tending the voting stations in a state that needs support from ‘mature lawyers’. Go team!
How about you?
Are you what your mother made you?
Man or woman, I believe we are composed of aspects of our parents, impressions made from years of hands held, cheeks pressed one to another, the scent of the others’ breath in our nostrils as we exit an embrace.
My mother poured her enthusiasm in to me, full volume.
My dad, hmmmm….he died when he is the age I just turned…and so, I have less of awareness of his impression, except curiosity perhaps. I long to know him as an adult, but that was not our story this time around. He was a dear heart.
Tell me something of the impressions your parents made upon you.
Not your whole life story, just one or two things.
Let us celebrate those gifts this weekend. Your comments are spots of sunshine in the dappled days of fall. Please shine on here!