Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Mothering Creed

Originally published on www.momwriterslitmagblog.com
I have the utmost honor of being part of a local club of mothers that has been around for 76 years. We meet every month during the school year and, among other things like chit chat and have snacks, we learn something and do some sort of service for the community.
And like I said, we've been doing it for a long time.
Part of our ritual is all chanting this mothering creed at the beginning of each meeting. It is very homey, very loving, and very outdated. No, very, very outdated. A lot of things can change in 76 years. It got to be that when we would speak the words, I had to my best to not crack up laughing-- there are lines about women being submissive, about honoring our husbands (we've got a few single mother members) and a line or two about God which in my mind is fine, but is not really up to speed with the times.
So wanting to save myself the monthly embarrassment of trying not to crack a smile during this obviously somber poem, I took it upon myself to write a new one. It is taken from something my dad told me every morning before school, and something I tell my children before school.
"Be good, be careful, have fun, learn something, be yourself, do your best, and I love you."
I thought I'd share my "I am a Mother" creed with these readers. It falls under the same hokey category as our old poem, it's just a little updated. It's also strikes such a chord in my heart that instead of trying not to laugh, I now try not to cry. The last line gets me every time.

I am a mother.
I vow to be good—good to myself, good to my family, good to my friends, and to offer help and heart whenever I can.
I vow to be careful—to take each step and speak each word with care, doing my best to keep myself and others from harm.
I vow to have fun—to enjoy life and spread joy to all those I meet , know and love.
I vow to learn something—to never end the quest for knowledge and to continue to better myself by learning from others and from my own mistakes.
I vow to be myself—to stand strong in my beliefs, to fight for what I truly believe in, and to support those close to me.
I vow to be a mother— to my children and my family, to teach them what I have learned.
I am a mother. It is who I am and who I will always be
.

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