What Mothers Do - A Celebration!

A client, a beautiful hardworking mother with a 5 month old baby, called me the other day, Furious! She'd ask her husband to do the dishes after work and he said those dreaded words "What do you do all day?"

At the same time I posted this beautiful quote on Facebook from my favourite mothering book - What Mothers Do: especially when it looks like nothing by Naomi Stadlen.

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A person who has ‘tidied up’ has both the words and a tidy area to show for it. It is much harder to find a word that describes the giving-up-things mode of attention a mother is giving to her baby.
— Naomi Stadlen

As you can imagine that quote hit a chord with many mothers. We have possibly never experienced a time, in all of human history, where the hard work of motherhood is so poorly understood and respected.

So I emailed Naomi, and she loves the idea so much she's agreed to give away some copies of her book, and even join us for a meet-the-author Facebook party!!! I can't tell you how much this means to me! Naomi is truly one of my motherhood heroines.

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To celebrate I’d like to make July a month for reclaiming the often silent and invisible work of motherhood. We seem to have this code of silence around the marvellous effort involved in raising a child. I feel there are four reasons for this:

1. You don’t share because you don't want to frighten or bore people without children,

2. You have this nagging feeling that maybe you are doing it all wrong, and that other people aren’t finding it this challenging,

3. You don’t want to be pitied or blamed,

4. You can’t offer an alternative to what is perceived as suffering.

So this month I am inviting you to break that code of silence. As a mother I want you to start talking about your struggle and your sheer human effort. It’s time we began to celebrate motherhood in all its messy madness!

An important part of this campaign is our attitude to our stories, we must speak from a place of courage and pride, not shame. Share what you do because you are proud of your effort and determination. Imagine that motherhood is like deciding to run a marathon, and share in the spirit of adventure.

As mothers, we are not looking for advice or pills or pity. We are looking for a round of applause! We are looking for some positive acknowledgment of the endless work we do, day in, day out. The sacrifices we make, and will continue to make for years to come. We love our children and give our all and we ought to celebrate that.

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If your life sometimes feels impossible or you feel trapped or stuck or lost then take heart! Here your adventures will be met with amazement and awe. You are brave! Keep going! Don’t give up!

But do not share in the spirit of competition. Motherhood is not a race to the bottom. It is my hope that by sharing motherhood in all its messy modern madness we can normalise the different experiences we all have and change the conversation from shame to pride.

At the end of the month of July Naomi Stadlen has generously offered her time to answer your question on my Facebook page. She is an amazing woman, and her book is the best I have ever read on motherhood. You can 'meet' her on Facebook on Sunday 27 July 2014.

This month share your every day adventures in motherhood with the hashtag #whatmothersdo on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Google+, and you could win a copy of What Mothers Do: Especially When It Looks Like Nothing by Naomi Stadlen or Nourishing Newborn Mothers Recipe eBook, written by me. Tag a pregnant friend and she could win too! All winners chosen at my discretion.