You're a winner!

How are you feeling? Completely worthy of an award today...? 

If your first answer is "no!", we want to tell you that you are, and we hope this month's activity will remind you of that.

Award for not eating this biscuit before 11am

Two things have inspired us to revisit Award-Winning Mums as our shared activity this month: 

At last month's #somum Mamas' Retreat on twitter, we kept returning to this question of how as mums, we struggle to notice the things we do well (and instead dwell on the things that we don't...). 

And over on the Mamas' Mini Sofa Retreat (we are LOVING it!) we're going to be making ourselves awards as our retreat activity tomorrow, so this activity feels like a perfect fit this month.

Wouldn't it be wonderful to see a flurry of mums celebrating their strengths this month, and inspiring others to celebrate theirs too!

How can I join in?

Take a moment right now to think of something you've done well – this morning, yesterday, this week, this year.... If that feels too hard, try thinking of something that you’ve successfully managed not to do…  I promise you, there will be something.

Maybe today you deserve a prize for not shouting, or for apologising after shouting. 

Maybe you deserve an award for helping a friend, or successfully distracting a bored child in a queue. 

For making dinner in 20 minutes.  

For holding someone you love through a nightmare. 

Maybe you deserve an award for looking after yourself for once. For pausing right now and reading this email, instead of racing towards the siren call of your to-do list. 

Some days, you truly deserve an award for simply getting up and out of bed.

Ex award for not eating this biscuit before 11am

You are your own award committee, so choose which voice you will listen to today. It doesn't have to be the default 'you're not good enough' shouty member of the board. You could pass round cups of tea, distract them with biscuits - and give the quieter wiser voice a chance to speak. 

Today, you get to decide that you're worthy of an award. Because you are. 

Acknowledge your courage, resilience, love, patience or persistence. Your tears. Your laughter. Your ability to get up again when you fall. 

It could be a scribbled certificate, a paper rosette, a medal made out of a biscuit (as you can see, my personal favourite!). But make it. And give it to yourself with a flourish worthy of an Oscar winner. 

We'd love you to take a picture of your award and add your photo to our mamas' trophy cabinet by clicking on 'join in' on the gallery page over here.

What happened last month?

We sewed words, slowly. And had a lovely time catching up on twitter at our #somum Mamas' Retreat (which I only just managed to upload right now!)

We shared a powerful guest post from Ericka Waller: Battle Scarred - inspiration to change how we feel about our bodies.

As well as starting our first ever Mamas' Mini Sofa Retreat, we've been busily upgrading the Story of Mum website. We're making it easier to use on your phone or tablet - and have created a beautiful private space for our online offerings, which is very exciting! 

With more than 70 different galleries of activities for mamas created over the years, rafts of blog posts, exhibitions and events, it's a big job, so we're still moving material across. Please bear with us - and you should still be able to find lots of inspiration and creative things to do on the new website in the meantime.

Happy Mothers' Day!

This year, Mothers' Day falls on my son's birthday, so sadly I won't be milking it for a day of treats like I usually attempt to do. Instead I'll be hosting a lego-building and cream-pie fight party for him and two of his friends. Which will be fun, if not quite the epic lie-in and breakfast in bed I'd dreamt of. 

He's said I can open one of his presents though, and share his lego. And I'll be attempting two more burlesque shows next weekend, so that will be my long awaited mama me-time... (and fear-sweat toxin release...!!)

Our early bird offer on our 2016 Residential Retreat and Day Retreat tickets is available until the Monday after UK Mothers' Day (that's until 7 March)... just in case you might be able to give yourself a place as a Mothers' Day gift. So jump on in there as soon as you can, if you haven't booked your place for May already. This photo was taken at our retreat there last year. Can you imagine looking out at that view...? Bliss.

If the residential is a step too far away from your child this time, our gift vouchers and DIY Mamas' Retreat Kits make a lovely Mothers' Day gift to yourself too. Maybe you could VERY SUBTLY forward this email on to someone who might like to get you any one of those lovely me-time gifts above as a present, as a BIG HINT!! 

What's up next?

We'd love you to join us for our next free #somum Mamas' Retreat on twitter on Wednesday 9 March from 8.30pm to 10pm to connect with other lovely mums, and give ourselves some awesome awards. Tiaras and evening wear optional ;) If you're not in the UK, you can find out what time that is in your timezone over here.

We'll be hosting our next Sunday Morning Mamas' Retreat in Penzance on 20 March. It sold out fast, but if you'd like to add yourself to our waiting list, get in touch, as you never know when a last minute place might come up. 

The next retreat dates for your diary are the day and residential retreats on 11/12 May at Prussia Cove, and the day retreat in Penzance on 26 June - more details soon! (You could use your gift vouchers towards any of those...!)

Persistence and Bravery Award

Now... it's time to decide whether you'll be dressing down or dressing up to collect your award. And whether you'll choose to highlight the awesomeness of mothers or some other vital cause in your speech... 

Because first up, we're proud to present you with this dazzling yellow Persistence and Bravery Award. Not just for reading all the way to the end of this month's newsletter, but for the persistence and bravery that you demonstrate every day as a mother.

Congratulations on being awesome, and being you.

With much love and celebratory award parties in the living room,

Pippa and Penny

PS Don't miss out on the early bird offers!