My vision includes promoting the power of words to transform mothers’ experience of post natal depression and traumatic births. I focus on three areas: use of language when talking about lived experience, changing self-talk and creative writing as therapeutic practice.
I have not written properly – or indeed done anything to fuel my creative life – for several months now. The reasons are many – and none. Times and situations have changed; I have too. Rather than a list of excuses (I may come to those later…) I offer this explanation: unformed but informing – to me at least.
I’m slowly realising how lonely a plough I furrow. I sometimes feel I’m in no-man’s land. I’m not a working mum and I’m not exactly a full-time mum either. I drop in and out of different playgroups to fit work and research around my partner’s work shifts. Which means I don’t get to get to see – and therefore get to know – other mums as well as I’d like.
OK, so right now, I should be standing on a stage reading out my poem ‘See Life’ which was shortlisted for the York Literature Festival Prize. Instead of basking in applause, though, I’ve just completed an hour-long story marathon to get the kids to bed (does anyone else bribe their kids with stories?!) and now collapsed downstairs, exhausted and hugely disappointed.
1. During the past month have you often been bothered by feeling down, depressed or hopeless?
2. During the past month, have you often been bothered by having little interest or pleasure in doing things?
3. Are you experiencing flashbacks of a birth that was traumatic?
My chocolate to broccoli ratio is completely out of whack today. OK, confession time (again!). I’m making a habit of it, this month. I have struggled against bulimia for years: from the age of 12 all through university, the early days of my career, move to London, and on and on. I thought I’d cracked it. So much so that I even studied nutrition and naturopathy for 5 years as I was so interested in food and how it can affect your health and your mood.
After lots of itty-bitty efforts and little progress, I’ve decided to set up a regular writing group for mothers who want to improve their emotional well-being. And eat lovely soup.
Aphabet Soup was born last night.
You know you’re a parent of a 4 year old when Valentine’s evening finds you sat in a noisy school hall with a date eating hula hoops.
But unfortunately, my son spent the whole time utterly overwhelmed by the flashing lights and loud music.
Today is cold. And snowing. Hence the lovely photo that bears no relation at all to the rest of this post…
Yet, undeterred by wintery weather and after dropping off the kids at school, I had a run.