A manifesto for all moms

Published 4:27 pm Saturday, May 12, 2012

Question: Are there guidelines for moms, like me, who get overwhelmed because it’s so hard to say no to my teenage kids, and even my husband and friends?

Answer: You may appreciate “Mom’s Manifesto for Personal and Family Sanity” that is shared by Kirk Martin in his Calm Challenge for parents of teens:

“I will stop telling you what you should do and putting my anxiety about your future on you. It’s your life, not mine, and you’re very capable of making good decisions. (This is hard for me, so if you catch me doing it, give me a “time out” sign and I will stop immediately.)

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I will stop taking on responsibility for your job (daughter) and your education (son). I can be a resource, but I can’t do it for you, and I shouldn’t try.

I will continue to help you think through your personal, educational and career goals, and to help you find the resources to meet them, to the extent that you want me to.

I will stop blaming you for my negative moods and emotions, or for poor choices that I make. You are not responsible for my happiness and well-being. I am.

I will stop taking responsibility for your happiness and well-being, for your negative moods and emotions, or for poor choices that you make. They are your responsibility, not mine.

I will respect myself and care about you enough to refuse to allow you to bully me, threaten me, insult me, use offensive language around me or harm me or my property in any way.

I will stop nagging you about helping me around the house. (If I start, give me the “time out” sign!)

I will provide for your basic food, clothing, educational and medical needs. Anything else you want me to pay for will depend on the degree to which you contribute to the running of the household.

I will make one meal a day for the family and provide healthy food for you to fix for breakfast and lunch. You’re welcome to help me plan a weekly menu and shopping list.

I will have fun, enjoy my life and live it well.”

If you would like to talk with a parenting specialist about the challenges in child raising, call the toll-free Parent WarmLine at 1-888-584-2204/Línea de Apoyo at 877-434-9528. For free emergency child care call Crisis Nursery at 1-877-434-9599. Check out familiesandcommunities.org.