Here are some of the comments women made at the motherhood day (2nd October 2021), followed by videos which represent a small section of the unique voices of women as we’ve been listening to mothers talking about motherhood.
“It’s about holding on to those precious moments”
“It has brought the most challenging moments of my life, and the most wonderful adventurous moments.”
“Motherhood seemed to have no merit in society’s eyes – I can’t see why. It’s so important.”
“My relationship with God has impacted my motherhood journey: now I embrace it! Embrace it all!”
“Your emotions are everywhere.”
“I wasn’t mentally prepared, I had to up my game to do it well.”
“It takes a church, tribe or village to raise a child!”
“I’m wondering what my new identity will be going forward.”
“It’s been one hell of a journey as a single mum.”
“I feel strongly that others should appreciate what a privilege it is.”
“Grandmothering is different, it means you’ve managed to raise one yourself!”
We listened to girls and young women who haven’t had children:
Here is Rosie’s story:
We listened to new mums:
One woman (not appearing in this video) gave me the most amazing soundbites about motherhood during the Forest Humbugs Bumps and Babies session:
“The bond! And the bond I see between her and her dad, and her big sister!”
“I’d do it again, even though I had sixty hours of labour.”
Here are the thoughts of some more established mums:
Here are some mothers talking about the issue of identity:
Here is Tracey’s story:
And, finally, the joys of grandmotherhood:
(All the musical tracks used in these videos are backing tracks from the Empty Nest album. Animations by Aderyn.)
In a focus group of women discussing motherhood issues, we came up with this list of the challenges of motherhood:
Weight of responsibility, conception, body image, pregnancy, feeding, exhaustion, busyness, over-work, chaos, identity, guilt, fear, letting go, desire to protect, grieving the loss, grandparents involvement, aspirations for children, hormones/menopause, spinning plates, depression, isolation, anxiety, boredom, balancing priorities, being a role model, expectations and failure, second class citizen, discipline, sex, disagreements with your partner.
And this list of the joys of motherhood:
Spontaneity, bonding, relationships, sex, watching them develop, pride in them, personal achievement, change of direction, comraderie, fun, ‘joining the club’, physically growing another person inside you, a new life, genetic legacy of your relationship, living in the moment, grandmothering.
Huge thanks go to the girls and young women of the 1st Ruardean Senior Section Guides, Forest Humbugs Bumps and Babies, the Forest Community Church, and their friends, for these contributions. Special thanks go to the Forest of Dean District Council for the community engagement grant that has supported this project.
Lastly, thanks to the wonderful Lizzie for putting these video interviews together for us. As always, a total star!