How are you? Find five minutes for yourself to sit down somewhere quiet and read this month's newsletter...
Tuck yourself away somewhere peaceful and take these moments for yourself (even if it means you have to lock yourself in the loo again...). Everything else can wait. You deserve to rest.
So pause, take a couple of deep deep breaths, smile and read on...
In this month's newsletter, we'll inspire you with our creative theme for November, catch up on what we've all been up to over the last month, share how you can connect with us, and ask for your help with a research project to shape Story of Mum's next steps...
A very special hello to all those who have joined our lovely community this month after reading about us in Good Housekeeping magazine. Welcome - we're so happy you're here!
As for the rest of you lovely lot, did you see the article in GH last month? What did you think...?
What's up this month?
Motherhood can be a wonderful gift, but when our daily efforts go unnoticed and unrewarded, it can also feel thankless and demoralising at times. This month, we want to remind you that as mothers, we make a huge difference to those around us.
We'll remind you of that with an inspiring creative activity that will help not just ourselves, but others in need...
You make a difference. Every day. Even when you're exhausted and overrun, you still try. You still love. Often, without even being aware that you're doing it. And even more often, putting your own needs last, because you're so busy expending your energy on everyone around you, that you forget that you need it too.
You've got up through the night, kissed the grazed knee, wiped away tears, hugged when they wanted you, stopped when they didn't, breathed through the tantrums, waited for them, listened to them, and offered your support whenever they've needed it.
You do your best. Every day. You just keep going. Because it's a hugely powerful thing, this love of ours.
It can be hard to remember our own needs - but the more we share a little bit of that love with ourselves, the stronger we become: and the more love we have to offer others.
So this month, give yourself the gift of ten minutes of creative time - space to reconnect to ourselves and what we most value.
When you've had that time to yourself, you'll find the strength to look outwards again. Share your voice with us. Communicatie what you deeply value to the world around you.
Because a love like ours - this huge sea-crossing mountain-climbing child-rearing love of ours - has the power to change the world - for everyone.
I created a Leafy Love Note for their project a few days ago. The time I spent making it was firstly, some precious much-needed space for myself. It also helped me to manage some of the sadness and powerlessness I feel about the tragedies faced by so many refugee families at the moment - it will help raise some money to make a difference; and it reminded me of all the positivity there is in the world.
Even when it feels impossible, I remembered that I have the power to make a small positive change, to help someone, every day. You have that power too.
How can you join in this month?
Buy yourself a frame from a charity shop (or make one, but if you get one from a charity shop you're already helping someone, so that feels good already...), then choose some words that you think the world needs to hear right now. It could be a quote that you love, a single word that comes to you, any words at all that deeply speak to you.
Then place your words within the frame somehow - you can type them, paint them, print them, write them, collage them, use random objects, whatever most inspires you.
You could even have a go with your kids - my 4 year old daughter made this one...
(It says "Kindness" and it's a picture of houses, if you're wondering...!)
Share what you make in our gallery to inspire others, where we'll be encouraging people to donate to Save The Children and Doctors Without Borders when they visit and look through the submissions.
You can join us in donating £5 to Save The Children's Child Refugee Crisis appeal, by texting GIVE to 61144; or donate £5 to Doctors Without Borders by texting DOCTOR to 70800.
If you make yours very quickly, you could also send it on to the very inspiring Faye and Claire of Keep Human to be featured in their exhibition in St Ives on 7 and 8 November - where it will be sold to raise funds to support both refugees and the vulnerable and homeless in Cornwall.
And if you create yours later, share a photo with us, donate - and keep your creation to boost you up when you need it most - or choose to give it to someone that you think needs those words right now.
Have a go. These are probably words you need to hear too. Words that we all need to hear. Imperfect is perfectly good enough.
What happened last month?
We made mandalas, with our kids and on our own - there are some absolute beauties in the gallery - thank you.
As you can see, it wasn't all nature mandalas!
You can still add a mandala to our gallery any time, we'd love that - make one when you're out and about or 'tidying' the kids chaos and share a photo with us here.
In other exciting news, I actually found some time to blog again at last - it's been a while!
This month, I wrote about imperfect parenting (Seven ways to be a perfectly imperfect mother), and shared what it really feels like to be featured in Good Housekeeping magazine (Magazine mama: behind the scenes at Good Housekeeping). Complete with behind the scenes photos of my transformation, if you'd like to see those...
How can we all connect this month?
Come and join us on twitter on Wednesday 18 November from 8.30 - 10pm UK time (find your time zone here) for our next #somum Make Date (it's a week later than usual this month as I have to go away to run a film workshop in France...) where we'll frame our words together for Keep Human, and talk about what inspires us.
If you'd like to find out more about our #somum dates, head over here - everyone is welcome to come create, chat or just lurk and listen to some lovely mums chatting. This month we'll be asking - what are the books, quotes, songs, poems, people and actions that have shaped your life?
Talking of inspiring people, you are our inspiration!
And whether you're feeling frazzled or completely together right now... know that you've already changed our world for the better, just by being here, and we're very grateful for that.
We're hoping to interview 35 Frazzled Mamas this year to research the next steps for Story of Mum. We want to listen to your mothering challenges and successes, and hear your thoughts on how we can develop Story of Mum to serve mums best.
Can you help us?
We've shared our research request below - and if you fit the bill, please do get in touch. We would love to hear and hold your stories - and in return, we'll make you a personalised guided meditation - the perfect mama relaxation tool!
Our next Sunday Morning Mamas' Retreat in Penzance on 29 November is already sold out, but the next will take place on 17 January. Booking information will be released soon - so stick that date in your diary and put it on your Christmas list ;)
If you'd like us to host a virtual Mamas' Retreat as a Christmas treat for you and your friends, book it in soon (more info over here) - or nab yourself one of our DIY Mamas' Retreat Kits, and you can create all the magic yourself.
So now - what else could you do right now to carve out a few more precious moments for you? Remember that taking that time to strengthen yourself will allow you to help those you love all the more. Extend this little bit of time for yourself.
Looking forward to sharing your words and your stories, and creating a kinder world together.
Much love and kindness,
Pippa and Penny
PS Research request for Frazzled Mamas below!
FRAZZLED MAMAS WANTED
Are you a busy mum who finds it hard to make time for your own needs – in fact, you might not even be sure what they are any more?
Do you feel inadequate and unappreciated in the face of your never-ending to do list, and struggle to stay calm and rested?
Whether you juggle work and childcare, or care for your children full-time, do you worry that you can’t give your family the support they really need and question whether you're a good enough mother?
I’d love your help. I’m looking for 10 mums to interview in the next 4 weeks to help us to shape the development of Story of Mum. Your insights will ensure that the support we offer can really meet the needs of mothers.
The interviews will last 30 minutes via phone or skype and will be 100% confidential.
As a thank you, I will create a personal guided meditation for you after our call. This will be unique and tailored to your particular needs: a recording you can listen to whenever you can find five minutes to pause and take some restful nurturing time just for you.
To book in for an interview, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org with RESEARCH in the subject line, no other information needed – I’ll get in touch to find a mutually convenient time to speak.
Please do pass this request on to your friends, family or colleagues. Thank you!