So the moon is full and I'm feeling wired and far too grumpy, despite the fact that nothing particularly bad or stressful is happening to me (Note to self: full moon = monthly period approaching...).
Even having this year's first dip in the sea on a gorgeous warm evening yesterday only shocked me back into happy shape for an hour or so.
This doodled cartoon pretty much sums up how I feel when I'm in this mood... OH DEAR.
Fortunately for everyone, this phase normally lasts for about 24 hours at most, and then I shift into the accidentally-breaking-things-and-bumping-into-stuff phase for a day...
(Breaking Things Day Leaderboard: three drinking vessels randomly knocked off surfaces, a stubbed toe AND falling over the hoover, all in one day...).
This stage tends to be followed by excessive weeping.
And then I get back to my usual happy self and instead feel blissfully overwhelmed at the sweet scent and texture of freshly washed dried-on-the-line sheets.
Please please tell me that I am not the only person in the world that does this...?
It fascinates me that this incredible gift - that allows us to miraculously create children - also affects us in so many other ways.
What do you do when your monthly cycle (or other helpful hormones) bring out the miserable old sod in you? All advice gratefully appreciated... by me, and I suspect, by my husband...
(One thing I remain heroically grateful for is my husband's hard-learnt ability to bite his lip and resist stating the obvious when I shift into snarly grouch mode - he's a keeper.)
On the plus side, I was able to channel a bit of my grumping into drawing some cartoons for this month's activity: Cartoon Mum.
Inspired by the likes of Jo Sandelson at Heir Raising, Sketchy Muma, and the legendary Amber Dusick at Illustrated with Crappy Pictures... we've decided to have a go at capturing some of our cartoon moments in stick people and bad drawings...
Vitally, spending a bit of time doodling is pretty much guaranteed to calm me down and cheer me up. We hope it does the same for you.
And as you can see, no actual drawing or storytelling skills are required...!
Want to join in?
This month, look out for those moments when you feel like your life belongs in a cartoon...
Instead of getting grumpy about them, grab a pen and turn them into a stick-mama cartoon, then send them our way...
We'd love to get over the grumps and have a classic cartoon ending laugh together.
What lovely non-grumpy stuff happened last month?
You can also check out some of the beautiful Happy Hearts that we all made in our session in this quick storify from the event.
I even gave away a mini virtual retreat to one lucky heart-making mama, (yes, you, Rachel Bitmead!)
Before that, we had another fabulous #somum Make Date (think of it as a free mini creative retreat with a warm and supportive group of welcoming mamas...). I also storified that: we made happy hearts a-plenty and shared Sarah Beeson's Happy Baby Happy Family - are you in it?
What's new this month?
We'd love you to join us for our next #somum Make Date on twitter - all are welcome, and if you're a twitter newbie we'll help you through - it's always a fun and friendly get-together.
This month we're holding it on Wednesday 15 July (strictly speaking, it should be Wednesday 8 July as that's the second Wednesday of the month, but I can't do that one!) from 8.30pm to 10pm UK time.
If you're not in the UK, you can find out what time that is where you are with this handy link.
In other news, there are a couple of last minute spots left on our next Mamas' Retreat happening in Cornwall this Sunday - so if you'd like to join us, jump in fast! All the details are over here.
Why not book a last minute B&B deal on Saturday night and make a weekend of it... If you can't make it, don't forget, we're now hosting virtual retreats too!
We've also had interest in hosting another small group live retreat in October, so if you're interested in that, drop us a line as soon as you can.
I promise to be less grumpy by then.
In fact, writing this letter to you has cheered me up A LOT. Thank you.
I think that means it might be time for me to start being extra careful with the crockery...
in the meantime, please help us spread the word about Story of Mum and Mamas' Retreats and forward this newsletter to anyone you think would appreciate it.
Sending you much love and wishing you a speedy recovery from any lingering grumpiness,
Pippa and Penny
PS Fancy hosting a DIY Mamas' Retreat for your friends over the Summer? Grab everything you need over here.