Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Mom Manifesto

[Note: This post was originally published under the title "The Commandments of Lannis" on The Mrs on June 7, 2011. And I still mean every word.] 

I. Don’t. Care.

No, seriously. I’ve come to realize lately — lately being within the last year and a half, give or take — that I. Don’t. Care.

About a lot of things. My life (read: sanity) depends on my lack of ability to contain concern for every little thing, or even more accurately: worry about what other people think.

Sorry to break it to you, folks. It’s not you, it’s me. Seriously. That’s not a line, either.

Not that I mean to take this post into a dark, brooding, philosophical realm or anything (because trust me, this stems from deep, deep in my psyche at this point), but I think you can all relate to this, on some level.

And so, I’ve decided to write a manifesto. Hopefully The Mrs won’t mind me using her space to proclaim myself... actually, I think she probably follows some of this manifesto’s ideals, too...

The Commandments of Not Caring:

I will not care what my children are wearing, provided they are warm, dry, comfortable and suitably dressed for the weather. So what if it’s on backwards and maybe inside out? How is the person standing behind them going to see the pirate on their shirt if it’s on properly?

I will not care if I shame other adults with my approachability; I will err on the side of teaching, and not on the side of ignorance. I will explain to my kids that everyone’s legs work differently, and that some people have to use wheelchairs, and it’s okay to ask how fast they can go, and to not ignore those on wheels by necessity — especially if it’s a funky hand bike built for speed. (In fact, all those with funky hand bikes should be approached to discuss speed simply by principle!)

I will not care what other parents think. As long as I am looking out for my child’s personal safety, and mental and physical well-being, I will not care if I look crazy in my flip flops, PJ pants, and tank top that shows my bra straps, as I hang upside-down on the monkey-bars at the park, showing my five-year-old how to hook his ankles into the bars. I am not too cool to get involved.

I will not care if I sound like I’m bugnuts, when I’m at the stoplight with the windows open, singing kids’ songs along to a CD at the top of my lungs, apparently alone, since no one can see my children shielded by tint. Yes, the lyrics to Bananaphone will forever be housed within my skull.

I will not care if my house is a mess, or the yard full of colourful clutter, so long as both are full of laughter, as well as toys, then my daily chores are done.

I will not care if something is torn, broken, spilled, marked, lost, or otherwise in shambles as long as no one is physically injured. I will remember that sometimes the solution to bruised feelings is lack of drama. (And it doesn’t hurt to have photos of favourite things to remember the way they used to be...)

I will not care if my child’s face is covered in food — okay, I will attempt to clean it, if I remember — but I won’t stress if we’re caught at WalMart before I realize I haven’t wiped jam off his chin. We’re lucky to be able to fill our bellies, and have much to be grateful for, regardless of how we appear to others.

I will not care if I’m in ratty sweats for the third day in a row and you pop by for a visit unannounced, nor will I send you away, because you’re here to see me, not my clothes, nor my messy kitchen. Besides, there’s always a spot clear for the teapot.

I will not care about opinions that hurt my self-esteem, or that of my children, and I will shelter them best I can from the aforementioned words. And my children will grow up knowing that just because you can do or say something doesn’t mean you should.

I will not care what the world thinks, as long as I am doing my best, and what I feel is best for my family. Nor will I explain my choices to every ignorant soul who crosses my path and feels they can parent better than I, especially those who have never cared for a child. (Anyone who thinks they are an expert when they have never stepped, sleepless, into the trenches needs to wade through their own weight in vomit before I do more than listen politely to their advice.)

I will not care, nor apologize, for doing my best, for trusting my judgement, or for listening to my intuition — especially if the person making me feel guilty is my own self.

I will not care if adults choose to be cool to me, because the cup of my personality sometimes overflows. And my children will learn that a smile and a good natured, self-deprecating jest will at worst make the world feel a less lonely place, and at best spark friendships from unlikely sources.

I will not care if you’re big, little, curly, glow-in-the-dark, or upside down, as long as you treat me with respect, I will do the same to you.

I will not care if I hear from you today, but not tomorrow, or if busy lives keep us separated for years before we speak again. I will not care, but when we reconnect, we will gush and laugh as if no time has passed, for you are my friend.

And I thank you for not caring, too.


  1. Love! The small stuff really does need to be ignored. If you don't you'll miss out on all the fun.

  2. Which all boils down happily to "don't sweat the small stuff". There's enough big things in the world to worry about. Little things just aren't worth the worry. Worry gets in the way of fun, and fun is where it's at.

  3. Fun is *definitely* where it's at! :)

  4. It's true. Who created all this small stuff and why is it taking up our days? Boo!

  5. Can we do a duet of Bananaphone some day ? When Gavin was a baby, for about 4 months he would scream every time we put him in the car. The only thing that would calm him was Bananaphone......I still catch Brian singing every so often as he goes about his day.