How are you doing?
Take a pause, make yourself a drink, find yourself a square of chocolate or whatever you'd most love to savour, sit down and spend some quiet time with us.
Just be here with these words. In the quiet. Let's take a moment to reflect together.
Life is feeling too busy for me right now - how about you?
There are so many things on my to do list that I have to keep reminding myself that it's OK to pause and breathe. It's OK to take a few moments for me, and to let it all go.
So this week, I've been reconnecting with my mini rest journal, reminding myself that I'm stronger when I rest. It might feel a bit counter-intuitive to add extra 'looking after me' stuff to a hectic schedule, but self-care can have a magic time-stretching quality - I know I'm more productive when my week includes yoga and dancing and space to create. I get everything else done faster, and with a smile on my face. And I get less cross.
Do you need a reminder that it's OK to make time to do something that nurtures you too this week? If you do, this is it ;)
The fast approaching Santa deadline is causing over-excited breakdowns from my kids (sometimes me too) on a daily basis.
Whenever I escape to watch the news or check facebook, the tragedies of others floor me once again. I'm doing what I can to make a difference for those suffering in the world each day - and last month's Keep Human activity felt positive.
But sometimes I have to avoid news for a day so that I can draw in strength, and concentrate on this small circle in which I can make a difference right now. Do you let yourself do that?
Amongst all of this busy-ness and fear, it can be hard to hold on to that feeling that what you do matters. It can be hard to believe that sending love out into the world through our children can possibly make a difference
We want to remind you today that it can. And that you have already made a difference. A huge difference. Each day that you show up with love, you shape your child - and you have a positive impact on each person that you meet.
This month's activity is about taking some time to look back on all you've achieved so far this year - a reminder to pause and notice that you have been doing great things - before you jump headlong into the crazy month of December.
Make a Memory Flower with us. It's an easy paper craft activity to help slow us all down in this busy moment.
Write down those memories you most want to remember and fold them into a simple beautiful paper flower. It's a lovely thing to do on your own - and with kids.
As you cut out and roll your paper flower, see if you can remember some of the most joyful moments from this year - even if there weren't enough of them. Don't lose heart. Take stock. Notice all the things that you did right. Remember that you have faced challenges, and change, and moved on through both - and each time you did that, you taught your child how to do that too.
Find out how to make your flower, and share your creations, and memories, with us over here.
And come join our next #somum Make Date on Wednesday 9 December from 8.30pm - 10pm on twitter (UK times) - we'll share our memories of the year and roll spirals into flowers together. You would be really welcome.
What happened last month?
We shared our words to change the world in Keep Human, and had a wonderfully inspiring and heart-warming #somum Make Date on twitter - read the storify of our time together. What an inspiring community you are!
After our get-together, I compiled this letter to mums who are struggling to see the good in the world right now: a collection of words shared by lovely mothers during the twitter chat.
I needed to read the letter myself the following day. So you might want to bookmark it for when you next need a reminder...!
We hosted another wonderful Sunday Morning Mamas' Retreat - the last of the year. Find out how to book for our next one below...
I've really enjoyed seeing mums feeling happier, calmer, clearer and more connected to their children as a result of our one to one sessions this month - it feels really good to have such a positive impact on mamas' lives.
I've also loved interviewing mums all over the world for our research project - thank you for sharing your stories! In return, I've been recording short personalised meditations for mamas - meditations to feel more rested, less anxious, more confident or joyful - or simply just to get some more sleep - and they've had a fantastic response. So watch this space to hear how you can get one for yourself soon...
As the kids are very aware, the gift-giving season is nearly upon us!
Do you know a mama in need of some confidence-boosting chill-out me-time? Give them a gift voucher to attend one of our Sunday Morning Mamas' Retreats, or send this link to someone who loves you as a MASSIVE HINT.
Our gift vouchers give you priority booking for any of ourin 2016 (places on the last one sold out in 48 hours) AND you get free access to a 'how to stretch and rest and feel good' film from our DIY Mamas' Retreat Kits (*coughs* another great gift idea).
Best of all, the yoga film features me and my expert yoga-perfect body (that would be expert yoga-perfect in a world in which all bodies are perfect for yoga, and where you are the expert on your own body...) demonstrating a 30 minute yoga routine for busy mums created by the best yoga teacher in the world, Leif Olsen. Now that's what I call a bonus.
If you can't make it to a retreat in Cornwall, but know a mama who would like a virtual retreat, we can create gift vouchers for those too. Just get in touch and we'll create the perfect mama-nurturing package in time for you to give it to a mama you love this Christmas...
Tell us how you're doing
We always love to hear from you - so you are officially invited to tell us how you are today.
... and if you can spare a few more more minutes, and fancy reading a bit more about both of us and the history of Story of Mum, we've just rewritten our 'about us' page and we'd really appreciate your opinion on it!
Do you get bored halfway through and start thinking about what you're going to make for dinner? Does it give you a sense of who we are and why we're sending you this email today?
We'd love to know what you think we should be saying about what we do at Story of Mum, and why we do it.
Before we go, here's a final question for you to think about as you make the most of this quiet moment for you:
What do you most want to remember about this year?
Just think back over the year and notice all the growing up that your child has done - you've helped them do that. And to do that, you've had to grow alongside them. Which makes you pretty all round awesome in our book.
Remember to look after yourself - so you can carry on being just as all around awesome for the rest of the year and beyond.
Sending you love and rest, beautiful memories, and pretty paper flowers,
Pippa and Penny