Archives for July 2013
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.
Secret biscuit eater
Twitter addicted tea drinker
An individual in her own right
Occasional chocolate briber
Excited explorer and amazed follower
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
I created this…
Motherhood and identity. It’s a big one.
I 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.
In my last post, Meeting Miriam, I talked about spending family time with Mushroom and Mr B that afternoon. Wondering what we did? Well…
I had noticed a big photo of Dennis the Menace earlier so we decided to go and see what that was all about.
Well, we discovered ‘Beanotown,’ an exhibition celebrating 75 years of the UK’s favourite comic. The Beano was early reading material for me and I thought the characters would appeal to Mushroom so we headed down ‘Bash Street’ to find out what it was all about.
While Mr B wandered around looking at the old comics and some of the Beano memoribilia (which included customised DMs and a guitar at which Mushroom kept shouting ‘I want it!’ as he banged on the glass case!), Mushroom ran ahead to say hello to Gnasher.
He got upset when Gnasher came out of his kennel (with my helping hands) and ran up some steps to hide. Here he discovered a room where he could draw on the walls! He was hesitant at first but soon got creative…
After a while we heard music coming from the ‘Creative Masterclass’ room so we went to investigate and found a party going on. Kids of all ages (up to about 10 on that day) were playing party games and dancing to music provided by an online radio station. Mushroom loved the dancing and gave the ‘Gangnam style’ dance competition his best shot, copying the moves from the older boy who eventually won.
All of this excitement was topped off with a smarties ice-cream (how do you get the smarties out at the end? Anyone?) on the way home. We had no idea what we were going to do when Mr B met us and were toying with the idea of the Aquarium or the London Eye, both of which had hideous queues. We ended up having a great time at this completely free event, and I highly recommend it for both big and little kids!
Beanotown is part of the Southbank Centre’s Festival of Neighbourhood series. It’s free and runs until 8 September. It’s open from 11am to 7pm.
Disclosure: This is not a paid review, just my thoughts on a great day out that you might enjoy! Read my full PR and disclosure policy here.