We are so proud of reaching three years with you all. And of those brave mamas who are sharing their stories here with us today. Thank you.
We'll also be sharing fabulous old posts, and giving away a DIY Mamas' Retreat Kit on twitter (share this post and cc @storyofmum on twitter to enter), and another one on facebook, so look out for the tweets and posts for more info...!
You can also enter to win one by commenting below and sharing your thoughts on Story of Mum...
That's 3 fabulous chances to win today!
Last but not least, we're celebrating by sharing the picture of us where we look most pretty, (thanks Pat Kelman!)
“I discovered Story of Mum at a time when I was very low and feeling totally isolated. I suffered badly with PND (post natal depression) and had no support other than my husband.
I felt worthless as a woman, a wife and a mother. Connecting with other Mums online through creative activities and discussion helped me realise that I wasn't the only one struggling and feeling like I was failing.
This was the turning point for me as I was no longer alone but part of a friendly, supportive, loving online community. These wonderful ladies are now amongst my closest friends, several of whom I have had the great pleasure to meet.
I highly recommend every aspect of Story of Mum to women everywhere, to help you feel whole again.”
““When, in September 2013, I attended my first Story of Mum event - the Mums’ Make Date at The Exchange, Penzance - I had only recently relocated to Cornwall from the West Midlands. My daughter had started at her first school in Penzance the previous week, and I knew no-one! I was feeling quite isolated, and having had severe Postnatal Depression after my daughter’s birth, I knew it was not good for me to feel this disconnection. The Story of Mum flyer had come home in my daughter’s schoolbag, and I promised myself I would summon up the courage to go along. My goodness how glad I am that I did!
At the end of that evening the feedback form asked how I was feeling about motherhood… my answer was clear - “Much better than before I came out”.
That evening, just a brief but eye-opening couple of hours - was the start of a revitalizing journey for me. Story of Mum, its honest and open approach to motherhood, and all its various madcap, thought-provoking, soul-searching, celebratory activities, has made such a difference in my life as a mum.
It has helped me to feel “normal” - like I’m not the only one struggling with (whatever this week’s “issue” is) being a parent! The shared stories - at the exhibition, on the website, on the twitter “Make Dates” - have reassured me, uplifted me, comforted me, inspired me, helped me to laugh at myself, and allowed me to cry – in empathy, in joy, and yes in sadness.
At times Story of Mum has simply kept me sane! It has given me more confidence in my abilities as a mum, and helped me to find a balance between being a mum - and being “me”. I have even felt able (with lots of lovely guilt-free “permission” and encouragement from Story of Mum), to attend a Mamas’ Retreat… 6 months ago I couldn’t have imagined myself ever doing that.
It has been wonderful to meet, spend precious time with, and share thoughts, ideas, angst, and laughter with such a diverse group of women, face-to-face, and online at the monthly “Mamas Make Dates”. I have never before been amongst such a group of supportive, non-judgmental mums with not a clique in sight! I have connected with lots of truly fabulous women, and made friends that I wouldn’t have done otherwise. Not only has this benefitted me, but also my daughter because of the mums and children that she has connected with, and the happier person that I am. Truly, Story of Mum is a warm, welcoming and nurturing community which I am immensely glad to feel part of."
And as for me? Well, Story of Mum has reconnected me to my creativity, and helped me to find a new identity when I felt lost. It has supported me to make sense of the challenging transition from career woman to mother, and to become passionate about giving invisible mothers a voice.
It has boosted my confidence, got me doing things that terrified me but which felt amazing, and reassured me with humour and honesty when I feel like I'm the only mum in the world who messes up. It has helped me to make time to look after myself, and to overcome bad mummy shame at my horrendously messy house.
Projects like Love Mum Body have helped me to dramatically change my relationship with my body. And I have loved the opportunity to spend time and grow a project with my own inspiring mother (especially when I got to do that in New York...!).
Most of all, Story of Mum has connected me to an amazing global tribe of mamas that support me in feeling like I can do anything I dream of.
I hope it does the same for you, and I am so grateful to all of YOU.
Thank you for joining us on this amazing journey these past three years.
Come join our next #somum Make Date on Wednesday 9 April from 8.30 - 10pm GMT (find world times here). We have some more fantastic prizes for you! Find out more here.
Thanks to Andra Alexander, Ian Kingsnorth, Pat Kelman and Chris Webber for the photos above.