Can Any Mother Help Me?

Social Mothers: Motherhood, Motherwork and Social Media

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UK mums only please!

What happens when the oldest job in the world meets the newest technology? Is social media transforming the way women adapt to motherhood? Are you constantly onilne posting photographs of your little ones? Exclaiming how litte sleep you’ve had? Asking advice on everything from how to sooth cracked nipples to where to buy calpol at 3am? Or do you just trust your instincts?

The purpose and value of this study is to find out what impact social media has on the experience of motherhood and how it effects women’s transition into motherhood as well as how it continues to positively or negatively impact on their lives. If you are a UK mother and use social media either a lot or a little I would like to hear about your views and experiences. All the information you share in the survey is anonymous.

It will take about 20 minutes and feedback from mothers who have already taken it was that they found it interesting and enjoyed filling it in. I appreciate your time and in sharing this with other UK mothers. If you have questions about the survey please do not hesitate to contact me through this blog.  If you want to be updated on the findings of this research and any related publications please follow this blog. I’ll be posting updates here.

Click on the link below to access the survey. AND THANKS!

Motherhood and Social Media Survey 2015

How far will you go to be a good mum?

shelling broad beans for my 6 month old

As mothers we often find ourselves doing barmy things for our children – like crawling on shop floors for toys cars lost under display units or staying up until the early hours to ice 30 cupcakes in a pirate theme or shelling broad bean [a labour of love if ever there was one I tell you. My 6 month old loves them but the husks are a bit too, well, husky for his toothless wee mouth.] Things we’d never have dreamed of doing BC [Before Children] but now launch ourselves into with unquestioning gusto.

Are we just barmy or is these the truest expression of motherly commitment and love?

Would love to hear your stories of ‘barmy’ motherhood.

For example…‘The other day I found myself ….’

Go on. Share! 🙂

What is it with mothers’ blogging?

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First time at Mumsnet Blogfest [now in it’s third year] and I have come away feeling inspired about blogging and the genuine empowerment it gives to women from all kinds of backgrounds and with all kinds of interests. I met a secret divorcee, a jewellery and crafts maker, a business advisor, a designer, a fashion stylist, someone who does amazing things with vintage fabrics, all of them mothers, most are wives [or exes] and all are dynamic individuals following their passions as women in an age defining activity – blogging. It’s a place where all of us can share our experiences of motherhood and intimate personal relationships – something as women we all share but also express ourselves beyond the tag of mother/wife/partner etc to other like minded souls without leaving the house. Something like approximately 80% of all bloggers are female. So what is it about blogging that attracts women and in particularly mothers? Traditionally ‘stuck at home with the kids’ women can now communicate with a global audience. We can share our interests and passions and experiences and feel connected and validated. Rather than isolated and alone. Is it the ease with which you can take part in wider society while still fulfilling your family commitments? Perhaps. But more than this I think it is about writing. Whatever you’re writing about writing requires a level of reflexivity – of reflection that makes meaning in our lives. Writing allows us to catch hold of at least some of the things we experience everyday and hold it dear. The discipline and structure involved in putting even just a paragraph or two together bring you out of the maelstrom of life – particularly family life – and like a meditation allows you space to think. This might seem like a small deal in the scale things – but life is made up of small things and as I age and life moves faster I value this space to reflect more and more. I started blogging as a way of connecting to my students [I am a writer and lecturer] but since having my now 3 and half year old and 6 month old boys I want to write about my transition into motherhood. I even embarked on a PhD around this subject. [See my about and research pages] I would love to know why you blog? Why did you start blogging? Has your reasons for continuing changed? if so how? Why?

7 reasons to get married – part 2

Why do I say being married is a good way to be? Being married for me to the particular person who is my husband has provided me with a healthy life stability – both emotional [love and support] and practical ( I could never have afforded to buy a house on my own). Something I never really thought I missed but looking back clearly did. Obviously marriage isn’t for everyone and people find themselves married for all sorts of good and not so good reasons but for this particular person it’s been a deeply rewarding and affecting experience that will be a part of who I am forever – regardless of what the future holds.

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7 reasons to get married

Today is my 7th wedding anniversary. Although my husband and I have been together for 13 years (and celebrate our ‘getting together’ anniversaries too) the wedding anniversaries are special in a different way. In answer to the question posed on the header of this blog: how should a person be? I’d give ‘married’ as one – perhaps rather unfashionable (?!) – answer. The public commitment my husband and I made to each other this day 7 years ago in front of family and a large cohort of friends is still something of which i feel proud and hold dear. Sure, as we were living together for 6 years previously and had bought a house we’d already made a commitment but the act and event of celebrating this publicly still feels great today. There is a bond of love and life-journeying that deepens with each year and as we enter this 8th year with the family of 2 children we wanted finally a reality I feel as excited and as loved up about our future as I did in 2007. Being married is one of the best things I have done or will ever be.

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40 Weeks

It’s been 40 weeks. Today is the due date for my second boy. 40 weeks coursed through with various degrees of nausea, poor sleep, deeply aching back and hips, brain so blank from tiredness that makes you wonder if you’ll ever be able to put your thoughts together again,   [that nothing-else-makes-you-tired-like-pregnancy-makes-you-tired  feeling] fully cognisant that you are soon to enter  the glorious ‘ordinary’ sleep deprivation stage of newborn’s sleep and feeding demands and breast-feeding. In france you are not considered full term until 42 weeks. I will spend the next 2 weeks feeling overdue simply because in Britain we choose to call 40 week full term. Funny how some thing so biologically universal can be socialised in such culturally specific ways. from the end of today I will have to inform enquiring friends and family and strangers [nothing invites a random conversation so readily than being a heavily pregnant woman]  i am over due with the concomitant rolling of eyes, and sympathetic ‘nearly there!’ Baby is moving like a Kung Fu pro most of the time but my blood pressure is calm this time, so i’ll stick it out for as long as I can. As usual husbands prefer an end date and talk of inductions have taken place but after my last experience I want to give this boy every opportunity to show up in his own time. Of course a part of me very much wants to get on with it too  – childbirth is such a momentous, life altering and unpredictable thing that various degrees of apprehension are unavoidable – but seeing as this is likely to be my last journey on this particular biological trip a part of me also just needs to take my [our] time. Status update – as and when…

How We Become – Update

How We Become Who We Are is the working title of my doctorate novel. Today I had a bit of breakthrough with voice and character perspective – always a major challenge when beginning a novel and the answer to the most important question of all at this stage. What kind of novel am I writing? So far I’ve tried third person past tense, first person present tense – fortunately i’ve been able to exclude other options for this particular novel – sometimes the mind edits subconsciously – for this I am thankful.  Neither on their own has felt right. So today after 4 hours of dissatisfactory reworking of the first 10 pages I come up with the mind shatteringly brilliant solution [please hear the sarcasm] of trying both. And I like it. I spent way too long on my previous novel writing in the wrong perspective – third person past tense – when what works best for it – and how it is now – is first person present. Somehow everything I wanted to say about the main character, her predicament and the themes/ideas suddenly sounded true when I’d found the right POV in which to present them. Spending so much time on finding the voice or perspective of your novel can feel like you going nowhere slowly. You might gaze longingly as your word count objectives for this week/month as they pass by ludicrously out of reach. But in fact the work you are doing is in many ways the most important work of all. Words on a page is what you can do. You are a writer. Putting the RIGHT words on the page – well that takes a better writer and that’s what you want to be isn’t it? With each novel you want to become a better writer. Better answer that question of what kind of novel am I writing then. Because when you have the voice everything else follows – form, structure, language not to mention your background research to do list. Then you can really start putting words on the page.

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