Here's an example of how a mini exhibition might appear on your blog (feel free to cut and paste the descriptive paragraphs if you like!):
As mothers, it's not often that we feel seen, heard and valued. Yet our everyday stories matter, and sharing them can inspire others. Story of Mum: Mums making an exhibition of ourselves is a touring programme of exhibitions and events in galleries and online that aims to put mothers in the spotlight.
The exhibition celebrates motherhood, explores the impact of mothering on our identities, and encourages mums worldwide to share their stories in words, photos, collage and film.
Find out more at www.storyofmum.com/exhibition.
Parallel to the real life events, a virtual exhibition is travelling round the world, stopping for mini exhibitions on blogs - like this one!
Participants are asked to choose one item from the existing exhibition, create one item to add to the exhibition, and share their thoughts on these and their identity in motherhood. So here's my exhibition!
I CURATED THIS:
I'm sharing this photo of Leticia from our exhibition launch in Milton Keynes, taken by Andra Alexander.
I see the joy in her eyes, that smile so full of life-loving vitality. Her son's little hand clutching the word, so connected to her, so much an embraced part of her life. Motherhood clearly brings her such joy, and connects her deeply with all that is amazing, miraculous and important in the world.
(Leticia also shared a beautiful story of her experience of and passion for attachment parenting at our launch. You can watch that here.)
When I look at this photo, I see the best parts of what motherhood means to me, that direct connection to life, to joy, that love the size of a house.
However, I don't feel that all the time. Sometimes I feel trapped and tired. Sometimes I feel lost and I just want to curl up under the kitchen table and cry. (Sometimes I do actually do that...).
I CREATED THIS:
When I became a mother, I felt I had lost my sense of identity. No longer defined by my work, I had no parameters to understand myself. And without those, I couldn't embrace all of the gifts that motherhood had to offer.
In those early days, struggling to breastfeed, barely sleeping, feeling harangued by health visitors for my failing milk supply and shrinking child, frustrated at being nothing like the mother I had dreamt I would be, I didn't love my life. I loved my child, but I certainly didn't love me.
To be honest, loving me has always been a challenge, but never more so than as a mother. Guilt, shame, failure, all of those uncomfortable feelings bubble up ever more often.
But I'm five years into being a mum, and I'm learning to love me. Helped by the fact that my kids adore me (at this stage at least!), I'm learning to accept my failures and love my mistakes.
I'm trying to redirect that self-critical voice in my head towards more useful pursuits, like learning how to file all the horrible things it says in alphabetical order far far away.
I have learnt that the more I discover how to support myself, to make time for me, to have faith in me, the better I can mother. I dream of loving myself as much as I love my children. But I'll start with loving my mistakes.
Find out about how to submit your own mini exhibition or find other mini exhibitions to visit on the virtual Story of Mum: Mums making an exhibition of ourselves tour here.