Posts tagged - poetry

Mums making an exhibition of ourselves

Story of Mum is an inspirational home for creative mums. This website shares words, photos, film and audio from mums, grandmas and great-grandmas worldwide, to create a global portrait of motherhood. This Virtual exhibition, ‘Story of Mum: Making an exhibition of ourselves,’ brings together Story of Mum and UK parent blogging community BritMums, to share the stories of Mums around the world.

I was honoured to have been asked to host a mini virtual exhibition as part of this worldwide tour. All hosts have been asked to choose one item from the exhibition so far, create one item and share their thoughts on motherhood and identity. So here’s my offering!

I curated this…

As a poet, I couldn’t not do something with the word submitted as part of the giant collaborative ‘Mum’ poem. I did submit to this poem but none of the words used below are my own – so the poem is an anonymous collective consciousness of parents talking about what it is to be a mother.

Warrior worrier

Life giver
Milk maker
Nappy changer

Secret biscuit eater
Twitter addicted tea drinker

Bump kisser
Wet wiper
Nightmare comforter

An individual in her own right

Rule maker
Occasional chocolate briber
nit picker

Gentle protector
Excited explorer and amazed follower
Sleep watcher

hand holder
pram pusher
warrior worrier.

You can still add to the main poem if you feel so inspired. If you’re in London on 18 October, you might want to head along to the Story of Mum make date that evening to hear the wonderful Hollie McNish share her version!

I know I’m only supposed to curate one thing, but…

This image in the Mama Mash-up gallery grabbed me. I wasn’t sure whether I liked it at first but something made me go back and look again. The image grew on me.

I love the title. It sums up Motherhood perfectly, for me. Yes, it’s boring (I love that one of the images is a washing machine. So apt)… It’s also beautiful.

Tedious and Terrific

Tedious and Terrific

I created this…

Motherhood and identity. It’s a big one.

mum_and_still_meI have blogged about this already as part of the exhibition but before I share my post, I’ve had some further thoughts about identity in general… Of course becoming a parent has a massive impact on our lives but does it always change the way we identify ourselves? To our children, of course we are ‘Mum/Mummy/Mama’ but we don’t become mothers to anyone but our children (we would hope. I know there are children who parent their parents and partners who do the same but that’s a whole separate blog post. Let’s pretend we all have healthy balanced relationships for the purposes of this one). This is one of the reasons I always feel a little uncomfortable when my son’s nursery keyworkers refer to me as ‘Mum.’ As in: ‘Hello Mum, have you had a nice day?’ I get why they do it, even though they know our names, but still. I know I’m not the only parent who feels a bit weird about it (the dads I’ve spoken to don’t like it either). I want to be ‘Rachael’ to anyone except Mushroom, really…. Because there’s so much more to all of us than being a parent. For me, figuring out who I am is a lifelong journey. I know myself much better now that I did at 20, for example (I’m thirty- *coughs* now). Yes, I’m a Mum. I’m also a communications professional, a writer, a life coach, friend, sister, wife… I’m sure you can all add several ‘titles’ to your identity. And there’s always more to come, isn’t there? It’s not set in stone; we can all change at any time. So for me the only truths that won’t change are these: I’m a Mum…. And I’m still Me.


If you’re interested in hosting a virtual exhibition, or would simply like to head over to see what other hosts have curated and created so far, click on the image above.


Bandstand Handstand – a poem

This is a poem I wrote a while back while volunteering at a school, working with young children on their reading skills. A couple of the children found out I write poetry, and demanded (ok, asked) if I could write a poem for them. I wrote this short poem while they had their lunch, and read it to them afterwards. At the time it didn’t have a title but the kids came up with ‘Bandstand Handstand,’ so I stuck with that.

Do share this poem with your children and let me know what they think. I’m interested in what you think too but find that kids are usually the most honest critics! If you would like to hear me reading this poem, click on the title for the audio version.

Bandstand Handstand

“Bandstand, oh Bandstand, tell me a story, if you can”
“Of course I can Sam, let me tell you about when I was the grandest Bandstand in all the land”

Sam sat down and offered the Bandstand a ham sandwich
The Bandstand declined politely by waving his (funny-looking) hands

“So, Mr Bandstand…”
“Oh please, call me Dan.”
“Did you see many bands, Dan?”
“Many, many bands Sam.  Brass bands, jazz bands, one rock band, and even some ladies doing the can-can – back when the summers were long and hot, the men wore hats and ladies carried fans…”
“Didn’t they want to lie on the grass and get a tan?”
“No Sam, that was before Chanel made the tan fashionable, but after that, yes, they covered me with sand, and the ladies put down their fans and tried to tan.”

Sam asked the Bandstand how he ate when he had such funny-looking hands…
The Bandstand ignored Sam.

“Once there was a lady who came and sang.”
“Was she as good as the bands?” asked Sam
“She was so good the bands had her banned ’cause they were afraid she’d steal their fans…
Now people just run around me in their sweatbands, no-one stands on me these days,
it’s like I’ve become some kind of no-mans land.”

Sam jumped onto the Bandstand, did a handstand then crash-landed and hurt his hand.
“Be careful,” said Dan in reprimand and began to wish he did have hands
because by now he’d become Sam’s number one fan and he wanted to help him get up.
Sam looked up.
“It’s ok Dan, I understand,” he stood up and brushed the sand away with his hands.

“I have to go now Dan,” said Sam, “…but I’ll be back.”
Dan the Bandstand smiled. “That’ll be nice,” he said, just like that.


Mushroom’s moon song

Me and Mushroom could see ‘Mr Moon’ this morning.

Ages ago, I saw a poem about the moon being out too soon. I didn’t have Mushroom then so didn’t have much opportunity to use it (it being a poem for kids) and I forgot it.

This morning, when we saw the moon, I took what I remembered from that poem and made up a new version, just for Mushroom.

Sorry, I know this is a rubbish photo. Look real close – the moon is there!

So from now on when we see the moon in the daytime, we’ll be singing:

‘Mr Moon, Mr Moon, you’re out too soon

No it’s Mr Sun’s time to play

Go back to bed

Rest your sleepy head

And come back out at the end of the day’

If anyone knows the ‘proper’ moon song, let me know so that I can add it to this post.

I also write more original children’s poems and stories, some of which I think I might start sharing here. Do come back and look out for them!

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