I’m reading an absolutely awesome parenting book at the moment – it’s called The Parent Manifesto, by psychologist Jodie Benveniste. In fact, I’m also doing her parenting e-course at the moment too – having a spirited three-year old makes you keen to nudge your parenting skills up a notch!
What makes this book so appealing to me is the fact it doesn’t dictate one set of specific rules for being a good parent. It is about encouraging parents to be the experts within their own family and create their own parenting approach.
In the book Jodie encourages parents to write their own Parent Manifesto – “a set of values and beliefs you’d like to live by as a parent and as a family.”
Now, confession time – I haven’t written my family’s Parent Manifesto yet. Sorry Jodie – bad student here!
But, it just so happens I had already been working on a “What Makes a Well Mum” blog post, when I suddenly realised – it’s a manifesto!
It’s my list of values and beliefs around what makes me “well”. The important thing to remember here is these beliefs are mine – not necessarily yours, or my Mum’s, or my friends, or even Jodie’s. My Well Mums Manifesto has unknowingly been growing in my mind over the past few years. It has been slowly conceived and formed through four years of pregnancy and parenthood, against the backdrop of my whole life’s experiences. So this manifesto is mine, all mine! Though I’m totally happy for you to adopt it as yours too if you want!
So here it is:
The Well Mums Manifesto
A Well Mum understands she is fully responsible for her own health and wellbeing – she doesn’t expect others to improve her health for her, or blame others for her own poor health.
A Well Mum also understands she is fully responsible for the health and wellbeing of her children – until the age they are able to be responsible for themselves.
A Well Mum knows health is more than simply the absence of disease or sickness. True health and wellbeing is holistic – encompassing physical, psychological, social and emotional health.
A Well Mum recognises that every single thing we do in our lives contributes to our wellbeing. From the food we eat, to the way we move, the amount of sleep we get, the hours we work and the type of work we do, where we choose to live, to the sports we play, the shoes we wear, the thoughts and conversations we have. Every. Single. Thing. It all impacts on our health and wellbeing.
A Well Mum understands there is no one set way to be well. What works for one person may not necessarily work for another. Because of this, a Well Mum learns to listen to her body, her gut instinct, her conscience, her thoughts and beliefs – as tools for working out what makes her well and what detracts from her wellbeing.
A Well Mum commits to putting herself first at times. She knows wellbeing is intrinsically linked to self-care. Rest, recuperation and restoration are paramount. As is being kind to yourself.
A Well Mum knows health and physical perfection are not intrinsically linked. Health and wellbeing are more about how you feel and function, than about how you look.
A Well Mum does not take her wellbeing for granted. She commits to her improving her own wellbeing every single day.
So there you have it. My Well Mums Manifesto – at least it’s today’s version. I’m sure this is something I could add to or alter as I go along. Is it similar to yours? What would you change?
Until next time – Be Well.
ps. In case you were wondering, I’m in no way affiliated with Jodie – I just think her work is great. If you’re after parenting guidance her books and website could be a great resource. If you do know Jodie – tell her I said thanks!