Today I am hosting Story of Mum – a virtual exhibition which aims to ‘ celebrates motherhood, explores the impact of mothering on our identities, and encourages mums worldwide to share their stories in words, photos, collage and film’.
Parallel to the real life events, a virtual exhibition is travelling round the world, stopping for mini exhibitions on blogs – like this one!
Participants are 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. So here’s my exhibition!
…well, actually I’m being a bit cheeky here, because there are two things I want to share.
The first is the video ‘My Mum Story’ by Stephanie. It was the first thing that I randomly clicked on when I visited the Story of Mum website, and it turned out that I really connected with it – it actually moved me to tears. The transition of motherhood from ‘a creeping black hole’ to the ‘moment I come back to life…my son, my wonder…’ and then finally the thought ‘that wonder should be the heart of the home’ – that’s exactly how I want my home to be for my children. It’s such an inspiring walk through motherhood, the ups and downs and the rediscovery of the joy of childhood.
I’d love to make a film like that myself, but I only just got my camera and I have NO IDEA how to even start going about it, so…
…then I saw this:
I really like the subtleness of the pencil lines, the expressions that convey such different meanings – yet underneath the person is the same.
…I’ve created this:
I started off with a straight string of little paper people. I made some for the kids too. And I guess for me, that’s the first thing that being a mum is all about – sharing a love of creativeness and imagination with my children and watching and listening to them learn how exciting it can be to make something from nothing. I love writing and I tend to scribble down stuff about things a lot, but we also love talking about things too; we tell stories to each other every night about imaginary superheroes ‘Super Scampi and Puffin Power’. It’s one of my favourite times of day – and one that certainly didn’t exist before I became a mum!
And our days are busy, discovering so much wonder (and trying to fit in working, and washing, and just general stuff that has to be done)…and just like our days, my little straight people string started going bendy as I wanted to fit so much in!
I won’t lie – it’s not all about ‘wonder being the heart of the home’. I do get very tired (I have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and it causes chronic fatigue and a lot of pain), I am only human and I can be selfish and grumpy; and I also think that it’s important for me as a Mum to retain a sense of myself as ‘Me’ well as being ‘Mum’.
But I am lucky that now part of being ‘Me’ IS that I am a Mum, and the rediscovery of wonder at the world that I am experiencing through my children’s eyes is worth the whirlwind of activity and the exhaustion that I feel as I fall into bed every night.
(Plus, I never knew that ‘row, row row your boat’ had more than one verse – and it was kind of mindblowingly awesome to discover all the different ones! Our particular favourite is: ‘row row row your boat, gently UNDER the stream. HA HA, I’m NOT a boat, I’m a submarine’ – followed by dangling small child upside down. It brings laughter to me and to both my children 🙂 I do love the laughter… )