As many of you know, at the moment I am writing the book Milestones of Motherhood which sets out to explore the ways in which women change and grow through being mothers.
The original idea for this book came about through a piece of writing I entered into the 2013 Mother’s Milk Writing Prize.
I had been looking through some old photos of when my first daughter was a baby, and the thing that struck me the most was not how much she had changed, because of course that is what we expect babies to do, but how different I was then, and how much I had changed.
Of course physically pregnancy, birth and caring for a baby are very demanding, and we feel and see the effects of this huge outlay of energy in and on our bodies.
Yet I began to reflect upon how much I had changed in other ways too. We may read many books and plan what we hope to be like as mothers, but as every new mum knows, there is no way to really know how you will feel and what you will do until the time comes and you are there, with your baby in your arms, depending on you night and day, every night and every day.
So I took the opportunity of my little ones sleeping to write a piece of prose called Milestones where I explored the ways in which I had changed through learning to care for my little ones.
I reflected upon how I had learned so much about love through loving my tiny daughter. Through loving her, I had really opened my heart and learned so much about myself. Pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding especially had taught me much about trust. A trust in myself, my babies, and the ways in which trusting, loving relationships are formed.
Here is a little excerpt from the original Milestones:
Looking back, at myself as a new mum, I was happy and hopeful, yet completely unprepared and unaware of what it really meant to love and nurture a baby. Less still was I prepared for the challenges and joys of toddlers and children. Yet each and every day I got to know my baby. I held her close, watched as she snuggled and found my breast … I felt as though I was in some kind of alternate universe, not quite woken up yet. However, through these hazy days, a vast transformation was taking place inside.
Looking back I smile as I imagine our fledgling family, like a butterfly, in a cocoon of our very own, letting go of everything we previously know and thought we knew. Letting go, yet learning so much more. As we emerged from our cocoon, fledgling wings feeling their way, gradually bringing ourselves out to feel the warmth of the sun, I realise our learning has been vast.
Taken from ‘Milestones‘, The Mother’s Milk Books Writing Prize 2013 Anthology, Edited by Teika Bellamy, Mother’s Milk Books
My piece was commended by the judges and I felt so happy to see my writing appear in the Writing Prize Anthology amongst many other unique and touching insights into parenting.
Shortly after Teika Bellamy from Mother’s Milk Books asked if I would be interested in developing this idea into a book which explored the many ways in which motherhood changes women.
I feel very blessed to have this opportunity and to be able to write about issues which are very close to my heart.
Milestones of Mothering will include the stories of many women, all at different places along their parenting journey. If you would like to get involved and share your own journey of transformation as a mother, please get in touch and I will send you a Milestones Questionnaire. I look forward to hearing your story.
You can contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
We also have a new facebook page Milestones of Motherhood where you can keep up to date with the progress of the book.