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When the kids are in the middle of something joyful and we're all having fun and I feel like I'm a good mother at last...
...those are the times when I can live in the present, notice the moment I'm in, and feel all proud of how mindful and engaged I'm being.
But... what about all the boring annoying bad-mum drudgery-filled moments of motherhood? Do we really want to stay present in those?
This week I decided to have a go at turning a household chore into a moment of meditation - to see if there might just be a way to transform those exhausting dull grotty moments into something that lifts us up instead…
I hate washing up. I seem to be permanently washing up. No one else in this house seems to understand that if you put something dirty next to the sink (or in fact, just leave it on the table) it doesn’t wash itself up.
(In all honesty, I’m doing my husband a disservice there, as he does wash up in the mornings when I’ve had enough of the mess the night before. He will however do his best to avoid it at most other times of the day and instead loiter in the kitchen, telling me how I should be washing up… and you can imagine how I react to that...)
Anyway, enough of our domestic bliss. I was telling you about washing up, and trying to meditate on the cereal stuck in my fingernails...
It certainly didn’t come naturally to be grateful for a job I loathe. But I actually managed to find some things to love about washing-up.
I don't love washing up now. But I don't hate it quite so much...And funnily enough, each time I wash up again now, my little meditation pops into my head. And it makes me smile.
So this month’s activity is to write a short and sweet Unlikely Meditation for Mamas to help us through those everyday moments (or indeed the huge challenges) that frustrate us.
Maybe you’ll write your own washing up meditation – or a meditation for hoovering, treading on lego, changing nappies, harassing children to get their shoes on, trying to get them to sleep, sorting washing: whatever’s winding you up right now. You can even design your own imaginary 'meditative' CD covers like I have ;)
We’d love to read your unlikely meditation. More importantly, we’d love to use it, and share it with other mamas in need of a break. So upload your words here.
So what did we get up to last month?
Our Sunday Morning Mamas’ Retreat this month focused on the qualities we want to bring into our lives, taking some time to think about ourselves for a change.
And on Story of Mum, we’ve been making Feel-Good Fortune Tellers with our kids and with each other. Along with talking about what makes us feel good at our last #somum Make Date.
In Autumn's glamorous media news, I've been very brave and recorded not one, but two podcasts this month!
The first podcast is all about career paths as a mother, with the lovely Soozi Baggs of Maternity Leavers - have a listen over on her website or direct from iTunes and let me know if I make any sense... as I talk about job-sharing and following your dreams, and how my relationship with work changed dramatically when I became a mother.
We'll let you know about the second podcast for Mom at 41, as soon it goes live.
What’s coming up in October?
You can of course come and chill out at our next #somum Make Date on 8 October on twitter using #somum from 8.30 – 10pm UK time (find world times here) where we'll be sharing our meditations and chatting.
The School of Uganglish
We'll also be joining in with the amazing and inspirational School of Uganglish from AfroRetro and having a go at printing our stories for their exhibition..
You can find out more about these ingenious culture-blending sisters in their recent post for the fabulous Oh My Handmade.
Or watch this video about their very deserving Kickstarter project, and visit their website here to find out how YOU can join in and create your very own mono-print too.
If you're in London, you could even go to one of the School of Uganglish's brilliant workshops, lucky you!
The Big Draw
October is also the month of The Big Draw - with creative drawing events happening all over the UK and beyond.
If you'd like to have a go at drawing with us this month, we'd love you to add your own drawing to our Draw Your Story gallery at any time. No drawing skills required for this activity, we're more than happy with stick people!
The kids love to try drawing alongside me when I have a go, and it can be a surprisingly powerful way to capture a moment of motherhood...
Last but not least, we have some exciting offers!
EXTRA SPECIAL OFFERS
We have two special and very time-sensitive treats for you:
Sunday Morning Mamas' Retreat early-birds:
We have a limited number of early-bird tickets available for our next Sunday Morning Mamas’ Retreat on 26 October and we’re putting them on sale from now until midnight (UK time) on FRIDAY 3 NOVEMBER ONLY (today!).
There will be normal price tickets available when those run out (which are still a bargain...!
We would LOVE to see you there. Tickets go fast and it’s amazing how a small investment of time in you can have a huge positive impact on everything else in your life.
New Mama Welcome Pack SALE:
If you’re on our selected blogs mailing list, you’ll have seen that we’re part of a 72 hour sale on the New Mama Welcome Pack to offer a huge reduction (90% off!), but only until 2pm UK time on FRIDAY 3 October (that's today too!)
Most excitingly, if you buy a kit using our special link, we'll get £20 from each sale, and we'll give £10 of that straight to Save The Children (using the other £10 to keep Story of Mum going, yay!).
We'll also give you some amazing bonus goodies, which include a mini print-and-make book full of New Mama Mantra wisdom and a £20 voucher towards our DIY Mamas' Retreat Kit.
If you know a mama-to-be, and would like to send them encouraging and inspiring treats through the first 3 months of motherhood, now’s the time to buy. Once you’ve purchased a gift voucher, the lucky recipient can receive the kit any time.
Visit my post about the Welcome Pack to find out about all the extra goodies and how to make sure that you can claim them.
Phewee! That's our lot for now, time to go and meditate over the washing up...
With much love,
Pippa and Penny
PS Don't miss out on getting your New Mama Welcome Pack (with extra goodies from us) or booking your early-bird Sunday Morning Mamas' Retreat ticket before the special offers end later today.