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I am absolutely thrilled to be hosting today’s stop on the Story of Mum: mums making an exhibition of ourselves tour.
I first ‘met’ the wonderful Pippa of Story of Mum back in December last year. Thousands of miles away from home, I found myself joining a Make Date and making an angel, while chatting to lots of lovely mums. I still chat to many of these mums today and – for someone who is so far away from home, friends and family at the moment – this has made such a big difference to my days.
To set the scene for the exhibition, here are Pippa’s own words:
As mothers, it’s not often that we feel seen, heard and valued. Yet our everyday stories matter, and sharing them can inspire others. Story of Mum: Mums making an exhibition of ourselves is a touring programme of exhibitions and events in galleries and online that aims to put mothers in the spotlight.
The exhibition celebrates motherhood, explores the impact of mothering on our identities, and encourages mums worldwide to share their stories in words, photos, collage and film.
Find out more at www.storyofmum.com/exhibition.
Parallel to the real life events, a virtual exhibition is travelling round the world, stopping for mini exhibitions on blogs – like this one!
Each curator (and today, that would be me!) of this virtual exhibition tour has been asked to choose one item from the existing exhibition, create one item to add to the exhibition, and share their thoughts on these and their identity in motherhood. You can see the other curator posts here.
Looking through the “I’m a mum and a…” section of the exhibition there were several that struck a chord, some that made me smile and some that I found inspirational. It has been very hard to choose just one, but I did!
For me, the past seven years have been a journey – a wonderful, exciting, scary journey.
Full of unexpected detours, interesting pitstops and amazing discoveries.
I have learnt a new language, negotiated obstacles and navigated my way through a new landscape.
I have travelled far – from career focused work-a-holic, to working mum – juggling and dropping balls all over the place – to stay at home mum to my three children.
I can see the years ahead, full of changes, challenges and opportunities.
I want to grab all of this with two hands. Join my children in their wonderful journey through childhood and beyond – and continue on my own journey, learning and growing right beside them.
You are not the child of the people you call mother and father, but their fellow-adventurer on a bright journey to understand the things that are.
It is a bright journey, and it is most certainly an adventure!
I would also urge you to read the Memorable Moment of Mum section. The stories that are told are by turns heartbreaking, inspirational and uplifting.
We mums are a strong, courageous, thoughtful and insightful lot, we nurture and cherish, we protect and encourage – and we are so very proud.
Being a mother did not come naturally to me.
I was not one of those woman for whom having children had been a dream.
Then I met my husband and having children suddenly seemed like the most obvious thing in the world.
Becoming a mother is a life changing, life affirming experience. I feel so very lucky to have three beautiful children who amaze and inspire me daily.
My identity though… That has become more difficult to define.
Especially difficult now that I have given up work – my job very much defined me to me.
I was: a designer, an award winning engineer, a manager, a negotiator, a mentor, a teacher – successful.
As a mother, I am still many of those things, but that is no longer so clearly defined to the outside world.
I am: a designer of activities; an engineer of games; a manager of time, the household, homework and expectations; a negotiator of sharing toys, eating enough dinner, rewards and punishments; a mentor and role model; a teacher of right and wrong, consideration and empathy, discipline and control – of life lessons; I am successful!
I am all of these things, but I am also a dreamer, a list maker, an idealist, a procrastinator, a little bit nuts, an organiser, a friend – I am still me.
Above all though, I am still learning – how to be a good friend, partner and a good mother.
Parenting is not a duty. It is a privilege and an opportunity; A journey of self-discovery.
Since becoming a mother I have learnt that I can cook a (reasonably nutritious) meal for three kids in less than 10 minutes; that I can keep track of one child doing homework, another painting and one crawling towards danger – all at the same time; that there are few bumps and scrapes that can’t be fixed by a kiss and cuddle from mummy; that you can survive on remarkably little sleep; that a child can screech at a decibel level that should be accompanied by ear defenders; that there are days that feel never ending and ones that you wish would never end; that there is nothing more magical than hearing your child say ‘I love you mummy’.
I can’t wait to see what’s coming next.