Mum-bellies: are we busting through body shame?

Princess Kate and a lovely post-baby bump in a spotty dress have restarted the crucial conversation about our mum-bodies, and we've been fired up to return to our wonderful Love Mum Body mission with an Ode to Mum-Bodies. Break out the rose petals, it's time to romance those body bits we'd love to love more!

This month, let's get together to write the Ode Shakespeare might have written if he'd ever experienced labour...

Grab your quill (aka your typing finger) and add a line to our new communal poem celebrating our miraculous mum-bodies here.

As an added bonus, you get to see another picture of my belly (yes, those are my hands - that just shows you how infrequently I still let my belly see the sun...)

For inspiration, visit the amazing mum-body photos and blog posts from last year at Love Mum Body. If you're ready to share a photo, we would love you to join in. If you'd like to write about your Mum Body for us, we'd love that too, just get in touch...

Some truly inspiring mum-body projects have hit the headlines recently: visit our our Love Mum Body pinterest board to find out more. Photographer Jade Beall's A Beautiful Body Project is beyond beautiful, and in the last few weeks, Body Love campaigns have been led by Katy Hill (against OK Magazine for shouting Kate's diet plans to return to a flat stomach 24 hours after she had given birth...) and by Body Gossip (encouraging schools, girl guides, and men and women of all shapes and sizes to celebrate their bodies with a London flashmob). All of which prompts the deliciously tingly thought - is something changing at last...?

To remind us of how we used to feel as kids, read this wonderful article from Interrupt Mag where 8 year old girls describe their bodies (big thanks to Eithne Egan for this great post).

 As a special treat for our mum-bodies this month, the lovely Marie of Bloom Remedies is sponsoring the Ode to Mum-Bodies poem, and we'll be giving away a delicious goody-bag of organic body treats to one lucky mum - simply add a line to the Ode this month to enter (more rules and information on all the lovely prizes here). 

Marie will also be co-hosting the twitter party this month with some spot prizes for lucky #somum tweeters. So follow her @bloomremedies and come join us on 14 August from 8.30 - 10pm (world times here) to compose a stunningly imperfect Ode to Mum-Bodies. Let's share ways we can feel better about ourselves and change the world's body image for our kids.

Put-Ups and Put-Downs

We're also being inspired by Playful Learning this month. If you need a reminder of how and why you should be kinder to yourself (for you and for your kids), their Put-Ups and Put-Downs e-course for children of all ages is simple, wonderful, fun and FREE all this month as part of their Playful Tour.

You can see what my 5 year old son made for his dad as a result (it says "I love you. I like playing with you". There were happy tears...!)

We're excited to be hosting a spot on their Playful Learning Global Tour on 15 August where one lucky winner will bag themselves a full scholarship to ALL of their courses - just what you need to inspire the kids for the rest of the Summer holidays...

What happened last month?

Our virtual exhibition tour for "Story of Mum: Mums making an exhibition of ourselves" got into its stride with lots more amazing posts from mums all over the world. It's a moving, thought-provoking, beautiful collection of words and images from some wonderfully brave creative women. 

You can find all the virtual exhibition stops here - and read the round-ups of the first two bunches of posts on BritMums - round-up one and round-up two. More round-ups coming soon!  There are now just a couple of final slots left at the end of August if you would like to join in?

We hung Do Not Disturb: Mummy Is... signs on our doors and shared our dreams for time for ourselves.

We announced the very exciting news that viral spoken word sensation and mum poet Hollie McNish will be performing our giant mums' kenning at our exhibition events at the Photographers' Gallery in London in October.

We shared the two beautiful poems that Vanessa Matthews wrote for Marie Millward to remember the mum she lost.

Coming up in September are our next exhibition dates at The Exchange in Penzance, exciting plans afoot there too, we'll keep you posted!

Hope to see you at our #somum Make Date, or flashing your bits in Love Mum Body, or adding a line to our Ode to Mum-Bodies. Let's show our bodies a little bit of mama-love. Our beautiful bellies deserve respect.

Pippa and Penny

PS In need of a smile? I've written a post about pants, inspired by my five year old son's hilarious R.E. classwork in which he stages a Pant Intervention...