How are you feeling?
This month, we're sending you some extra love and reminders to take good care of yourself.
We need our oxygen masks on, and our energy topped up, so that we can help others.
The world is always scary, but it seems especially hard to escape from the escalating bad news right now.
As mamas, we are nurturers, we care about others. We want to make a better world for our children, and for other people's children.
The anxiety and fear of 'what next?' can be overwhelming.
In our urgency to make sense of what we are seeing, to chart a response, to find a better way forward, we can forget how vital it is to look after ourselves - which only makes things worse.
Caring for others, and caring for ourselves are intertwined. We cannot do one effectively without the other.
As you know, putting myself out there in a video still scares me. But it's an example of a way to take action, in support of others facing much greater fears.
As a practical action we can take at Story of Mum, we'll be donating 50% of the income from our Five A Day e-course to two charities this month:
UK Action for Refugees (who led the Bags of Love appeal and provide other support for refugees around the world).
And the recent Emergency Appeal from the IRC to help those affected in the United States.
The other 50% will go towards Story of Mum's social enterprise activities allowing us to help more mums.
Your needs matter. And you can't help others without tending to your own needs too. Put your own oxygen mask on, breathe in, and then step up to help others.
As a mother, you are doing one of the most important jobs in the world: shaping and creating the next generation. You are not powerless. Together, we can change the world for the better for the next generation.
If you would like to join us for Five A Day (starting right now as a self-led course, or joining us from 20-24 February as a group programme), we'll remind you daily of ways to reconnect with and support yourself while supporting others.
And this was a useful article about how to avoid being psychologically destroyed by your newsfeed, in case you'd like some more help with that!
What else I've learnt about self care this month
I've had to ask for help, rely on others, slow down, slow down some more, and focus on healing.
It's been a challenge, that's for sure! One that has made me ever more sensitive to the struggles of others.
I underestimated how debilitating it would be. There was so much I couldn't do.
So I had to forgive myself for that, and let go of my deadlines and expectations of myself. Always a good lesson at the best of times...!
In fact, that's what led me to delay the dates we shared last month for Five A Day and Mamas' Mini Sofa Retreat - find the new dates below!
Perhaps most importantly, I've learnt that it's good for the whole family for us mamas to sometimes focus more of our energy on our needs. The kids step up. They learn about how to look after others. They find more independence. And as I'm helped, I'm reminded of how much I need and appreciate my partner, and vice versa.
As for friendship, I know I couldn't be more blessed. Hard times often bring an incredible realisation of just how loved we are, as people step up to help, send messages of support and a huge amount of chocolate. It's not all bad ;)
Don't be afraid to take a little bit more time for yourself than you currently 'allow', << Test First Name >>. The benefits might surprise you.
Ask your child to help a little more. Accept an offer of help.
And know that you are completely and utterly worthy of love and support.
These words particularly inspired me this month, shared on Unify's facebook page:
New dates for your diary
15 February - #somum get together in Mamas' Everyday Retreat (all welcome)
20 to 24 February - Five A Day group programme
13 to 17 March - Mamas' Mini Sofa Retreat
We would intentionally, extravagantly and unconditionally LOVE to raise lots of money for these vital causes with Five a Day this month, so please do join us - and if you can, help us to spread the word as widely as possible. Can you share the facebook post, or this blog, to inspire more activist mamas to take good care of themselves?
And what are you going to do to take good care of yourself right now, << Test First Name >>?
Share a little of that compassion with yourself - there is activism in overcoming the social pressures that encourage us not to value ourselves as mothers too.
With much love, mama activism and resilient self care,
Pippa and Penny
PS For the cost of a cup of coffee a day, you'll be reminded to make five minutes for yourself daily. You'll feel stronger, wiser and more able to meet your needs. AND you'll be helping many others in dire need right now - join us: Five A Day.