My New Year Momifesto

woman writing in notebook

Looking back on early parenthood, it’s laughable how much time and energy I spent learning and researching how to take care of my newborn daughter when really, most of that sorts itself out in the sleepless blur of the first couple years. Or, you’re too exhausted to notice or care if you did it wrong.

What I didn’t plan or prepare for was having a little human looking to me for answers to everything, digging through my emotional baggage, and reflecting every insecurity I have back at 100x magnification. She’s basically one of those terrible mirrors that highlight rogue chin hairs, like a scene from a middle-aged-themed horror movie.

My lifelong battles with people-pleasing, confidence, self-doubt, emotional eating, anxiety, and a complicated family, all hit differently when reflected through her eyes. I want to help her be the best version of herself, but the constant worry running through my head is, “How can I support and teach her things that I struggle with, never had, and even fail at doing?”

Good thing life has a way of giving you what you need when you’re ready to receive it.

Bronwyn Saglimbeni, one of my favorite inspirational people to follow online, stopped me in my tracks with her Ravenmother podcast episode. I urge you to listen to the quick 15 minute episode to understand the full context of how she is reclaiming the wildly outdated and unfair term, “Ravenmother,” which is used to shame moms for choosing or needing to work instead of staying home with their kids.

To give you a flavor…“The idea that my children lose if I prioritize my own mental, physical, and spiritual health, that idea is false…a Ravenmother knows that in order to become all that she was meant to become, she must prioritize herself. She knows that in order for her children to see a role model, an image of someone realizing their full potential in this lifetime, she has to BECOME that person and ask for help whenever she needs it because she deserves it.”

SO much yes to every word of that.

Inspired by Bronwyn’s Ravenmother Manifesto (about minute 9:30 of the episode), I realized I needed to write my own Momifesto. I need to shift my worries into action, reset my mom/self-balance, and start working towards the kind of mom and human I want to be.

While it makes me feel 100% vulnerable to share this list, I hope it inspires you to take a minute to reframe your mom worries and prioritize what you need to do to get your mom/self to a healthy balance! Everyone wins when we take better care of ourselves.

My 2022 (and beyond) Momifesto

I am the lucky mom of Luna, and what I most hope for in my mom journey is that I can help her be the truest, happiest, healthiest, most self-reliant, and life-loving version of herself. To make that happen, she needs me to be the truest, happiest, healthiest, most self-reliant, and life-loving version of myself.

For me, it looks like this:

  • Being present even when it’s inconvenient
  • Prioritizing (guilt-free) time for my mental and physical health
  • Letting her experience failures, but supporting as she builds herself back up
  • Creating time for art, adventures, and mom and daughter fun days
  • Showing her that it’s OK to feel ALL the feelings
  • Saying yes to hide-n-seek, the 100th time reading the same book, never-ending Roblox game commentary, and silly dance parties
  • Saying no, even when it feels impossible to follow it through
  • Learning to love the messiness
  • Exploring recipes and cooking healthy meals together (Hoping that typing this will magically inspire her to eat more than powder mac and cheese, roughly 70 percent of her current diet)
  • Being in the photos — double chin, messy hair, no makeup and all
  • Asking for help and actually letting the helper help me (Why is this one is SO hard?)
  • Embracing our bodies at every stage, shape, and size
  • Praising all the little ways she’s amazing every day
  • Supporting her as she figures out who she is
  • Slowing down, having fun, and being unproductive (this is my personal Mount Everest)

Great moms worry alike, so I’m sure that several of these make your lists as well. Are there others that you would include? If you feel comfortable, please share yours in the comments, it might just inspire another mama!

Approximately 1 day of her life, Rachel hiked on a glacier in Iceland. The other 99.9% of her days her hands are full doing creative strategy at Hallmark Cards, being a mom to Luna who is a five-year-old Queen of Sass, wife to Matt who is a funny Google-a-holic, and dog mom to Rosie, whose sweetness is matched only by her smelliness. Her favorite ways to avoid cleaning the house are leisurely strolls through Target (pre-pandemic) listening to mostly crime podcasts, spending a small fortune on curly hair products, crafting Barbie schools out of Amazon boxes, making complicated recipes with too many ingredients, playing 1 million games of Zingo, and enjoying her Westside downtown neighborhood with her family.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here