Changing Times, Changing Identity

blog women and idenitytThe Elusive ‘Writer’s Voice’

When I started my blog here at mummy2mum in November 2014 I wrote for the sheer pleasure of it! Blogging carved out a space and place for me to reflect meaningfully on my experiences and share those with others.

I had read that successful bloggers found this elusive thing called their ‘voice’.

Where do you find your voice? Can you fast-track it like an express delivery service?

The answer to that is No!

Your voice as writer evolves slowly over time, but it is dependent on one key factor – personal growth.

I have been writing for many years, but mostly erratically.

I would write a poem for a 50th birthday, a speech for a wedding and eulogies for funerals. I would sporadically keep a journal, usually at times of personal upheaval when my brain was overloaded and chaotic.  But blogging changed all that.

The Beauty of Blogging

Blogging brought routine, commitment and awareness of the writing process. I made time to write.

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I became aware of the creative process, the feeling of being inflow from brain to fingertips, as the words sped onto the page. I learned to let my heart speak uninterrupted  before letting my head edit, critique and rationalise. I gave myself freedom to write about whatever inspired me, whether that was PMT, bikini bodies or motherhood.

And slowly a small community of loyal readers expressed their emotional connection with my writing through comments, shares and likes.

Comments like this one from Growing Up KaterTot  have helped shape my writing journey:

I am so deeply moved by this post. I have a long way to go before my daughter reaches her teen years, but I often wonder if I’m even going to know who I am at that time. Right now, my identity is “P’s mom,” and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’m pinning this on my own personal board today. Hoping that I’ll remember to look at this down the road when my little one has grown.

I realised that when I wrote with passion, vulnerability and explored those areas of conflict within myself it evoked either laugher, tears or sometimes both, and readers connected with me. Now I didn’t set out to have this effect, but I understand that my best writing, my most intuitive creative posts are exactly those pieces.

The pieces that are written from the heart and speak to the soul.

My Voice, My Place

As a writer I have found a place where I want to stay a while, to linger, exhale and explore.

That place is where I write most fluently from the heart, where I am authentic and allow my mind to expand, create and connect with everything that I am.

That place is an exploration of identity, motherhood and the creation of  an abundant self.

And it’s redefining my blog here at mummy2mum.

So What’s Changing?

In defining my voice I’m carving out a new place and space for my writing.

Mummy2mum will have a new direction, purpose and vision.

Many of you who know me personally have heard me talk about wanting to help women ‘find themselves’. This is my core mission here at mummy2mum.

I want to explore the challenge of creating an independent identity as a woman whilst giving so much of yourself to others; the challenge of an abundant self!

I have made small changes to my website to reflect this focus, so that new readers will understand my mission, vision and values.

What does this mean for my current readers?

More of the passionate, heart-felt posts that you all respond to with such enthusiasm! And less of the recipe posts, less of the ‘how to’ parenting posts and more about your journey as woman & a mother!

I hope you’ll enjoy the new feel to mummy2mum. She’s found her identity at last.

My Top 3 Favourite Blog Posts of 2015!

top posts 2015It’s a tradition in our family to pick our Top 3 favourite things – Top 3 favourite holidays, Top 3 favourite dinners, Top 3 favourite movies and so on. So it seems only natural that here on Mummy2mum I’m going to follow in that tradition and pick my Top 3 favourite blog posts of 2015.

When I sat down to write this today, I thought it would be quick and easy, but what’s the fun in taking the easy option?

While reflecting upon the year that’s been, three words jump out at me:

Challenge, change and choice.

I love to find themes that connect things, so I’ve chosen my top three posts that reflect these themes. I hope you enjoy.

Challenge

The year began with challenge.

Welcoming in the New Year surrounded by good friends was a greater blessing than we knew, because for one of our dearest friends, it was to be his last.

Like a thief in the night, brain cancer stole a little more of him every day. We said goodbye in March, and these were my words for him: You.

Change

This blog was born of change.

A deep, yearning to hold on to that maternal connection between a mother and child.  The change from dependence to independence was accelerating at a pace I just didn’t know how to keep up with and it frightened me.

The theme of change is central to many of my posts, but none articulates it more beautifully than this: The Narrative of Motherhood: Letting Go Whilst Holding On.

Choice

The beauty of choice, the agony of indecision.

It’s a constant dilemma, but as a Gemini I’ve always lived like this; torn between many possible futures, all of which sound exciting! This year I tried to do a bit of everything; teaching, writing,  training, parenting, nursing, cooking, entertaining, networking, business building and counselling. By spreading myself too thinly I was rarely present in the moment, always thinking about the next thing.

A return to the girl I was in 1988 helped remind me of the woman I want to be in 2016: Where Love Grows.

My Affirmation For 2016

Thank you to the many followers, readers and supporters of Mummy2mum during my inaugural year of writing. It has been a wonderful experience that has opened many new doors.

In 2016 I am making the choice to be present in the moment, to seek adventure and take risks and to live life with passion and purpose. I hope you’ll join me.

Wishing you a fun filled New Year!

 

Debuting on Ten to Twenty Parenting

I’m excited to share a fist-pump moment with you today; I’m debuting on Ten to Twenty Parenting!

It’s a nerve-wracking experience submitting an article to a popular site with a large following, but the day Ten to Twenty Parenting wrote and said they wanted to publish 15 Moments That Will Change Your Parenting Journey, I was jumping up and down with excitement!

Life has changed over the last 15 years and although time slowed down during those long teething nights, it sped up during the fun stuff, leaving me shocked to discover that my baby is now 15! I had noticed that he was growing up, but those little daily changes are shocking to behold when they are all added together.

Read more about my parenting journey and the unexpected milestones that I found along the way at Ten To Twenty Parenting.

 

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

Sisterhood-AwardThank you to Reflections from Me for nominating me for this awesome award. This is a blogger nominated award where you can get to know others by answering some light hearted questions.

 

Here are my questions and answers:

1.What has been your biggest pleasant surprise about starting your blogging career?

My biggest pleasant surprise has been that people who are not duty-bound to read my writing (ie my Mum) seem to engage and enjoy it!

When I first started blogging whilst travelling I was amazed to find that my friends were avidly waiting for the next instalment. But it was after the kilometres were clocked up that my personal journey really began. I had been a Career Mummy and I don’t mean I had a career while I raised my kids – my kids were my career! I baked, played, created, socialised and immersed myself in being the best Mummy I could be. But before I could blink my babies were 12 and 14, they refused to call me Mummy, rejected my helicopter parenting and sought independence! So it is exciting when mummy2mum strikes a chord with readers and they comment, subscribe and share my work.

 

2.If you could sit down with one person alive or not, who has influenced your writing who would it be and why?

If I could sit down with one person it’d be my Dad. He has been the greatest influence on my thinking, and as my writing reflects my thinking it is his presence that I feel when I write. Dad died in 2009, but we shared a deep desire to find meaning and truth through our lived experiences. On my 12th Christmas he had an astrological natal chart drawn up for me and inside the front cover he wrote the ancient Greek quote

‘Know thyself’.

He inspired me to become a deeply reflective thinker, and I write with a desire to ‘Know thyself’; including the good, the bad and the ugly!

 

3.Describe your fashion style or lack there of.

Undoubtedly Quirky!

Fashion sense

A picture speaks a 1000 words!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.Pearls, Gold or Silver?

Silver every time.

I like pearls on other people, but they are too conservative for me. My wedding band is rose gold and I have some gold on my Pandora bracelet, but that’s about the extent of my gold collection!
 

5.Favourite children’s author past or present?

J. K. Rowling is my favourite author, although technically she writes for ‘children’ I think she speaks to the inner child in all of us. I have read and re-read the Harry Potter series many times, and both of my children share my passion for her writing. I have also been lucky enough to share her work as a teacher and many of my students  have been enthralled and inspired by the world she weaves.

 

6.Five foods or dishes you can never say ‘no’ to?

  • Salted Red Rock Deli chips – my favourite thing with a glass of wine.
  • Strong cheddar cheese – eaten with dates and crackers.
  • Chilli-con-carne – made by my husband with lashings of guacamole, sour cream and jalapeno.
  • Crispy bacon – with BBQ sauce and hash browns yum!
  • Fruit flavoured jelly sweets (lollies for my Aussie readers) – especially lemon flavoured jelly dinosaurs!

 

7.The album or singer you are embarrassed to admit you love?

Lets put it this way, I’m not embarrassed to admit to loving Leonard Cohen, but I don’t exactly advertise it either! Why? Because people just don’t get it!! His music is soulful performance poetry at it’s best and it’s mine to know and nobody else’s to share!
8.Are you a party girl or a homebody? And you have to pick one over the other here ladies.

I’m a homebody, although that ‘home’ could be a tent hundreds of KMs from civilisation!! I love spending time with my family, whether it’s sharing a home cooked meal and then curling up on the sofa in-front of a movie, or lighting a camp fire and watching the embers glow. My home is where my heart is and my heart belongs to them!
9.What inspires you to keep blogging?

Five things that inspire me to keep blogging:

  • Personal fulfilment – I simply enjoy it!
  • Purposeful reflection – it gives me a reason to purposefully explore the complexities of family life.
  • Making connections – I’m a social butterfly and I love to connect with my readers and talk to other bloggers.
  • Achieving a dream – writing for a living is my dream and blogging is the first step towards achieving it  
  • Discovering myself – as a Mum I hear the voices of my family, as a Writer I find my own voice.

 

10.Final question. If you published your dream novel, what style would it be? Fiction, non fiction, romance, murder mystery, self-help, advice, horror, or other?

I have always loved the escapism of the fantasy genre so my dream novel would be a fantasy adventure, following in the footsteps of writers such as Tolkein, Robin Hobb and Christopher Paolini.

 

I will nominate:

Kamille at Skinny Jeans Mum

Liz at The Connected Life

Sami at Craven The City

Glowless at Where’s My Glow?

Mariet at Practicing Normal

 

The Rules

Here are the rules:

  1. Link to the person who nominated you.
  2. Add the award logo.
  3. Answer the questions your nominator has asked.
  4. Nominate up to 7 other bloggers and let them know via messages or comments.
  5. Ask your nominees 10 questions.

 

Your 10 questions:

  1. What’s the most challenging thing you find about blogging and how do you overcome this challenge?
  2. What is your favourite quote and why?
  3. Name one piece of technology that you simply can’t live without.
  4. What is one thing that really annoys you?
  5. Describe one of your most embarrassing moments?
  6. What’s your favourite website and why?
  7. Name one thing that you’ve never done but would love to try.
  8. If you were stranded on a desert island with one book what would it be and why?
  9. If you could travel back in time what period in history would you visit and why?
  10. On your blog, which post is your favourite and why?