Mum’s the Label

A person close to me said ‘well you’re a housewife now’ and I was disappointed to hear this but I also have been looking at everything that’s been produced that puts mums and women into categories, though the latter I’ll save for another poem.

There’s so much written on working mums, stay at home mums, studying mums, in fact anything that could put a mum into a category. I also see people label themselves as this and I think, why are we doing this to ourselves? The more these articles are written, the more these roles, that don’t capture us, are carved out.

These casts seek to enslave us and by acknowledging them we give them power. 

Personally I think we are greater than the sum of one thing and what we’re capable of is ever changing and unknown.

Mum’s the label

‘You’re a housewife now’. She says judgmentally.

As if I’ve dropped status monumentally.

I think, is your opinion worth a reply?

Do I put my focus on your small minded eye?

Am I? Because I’m still figuring me out.

Do you have to be so rigid on life’s roundabout?

Then here I am in the age old debate,

Fueled by another woman, now that’s a mistake.

Here you are trying to define me, why bind me?

And join the crap that starts from when a girl’s a baby.

Are you a working mum? Is that all you are?

Of course not. So don’t make me reach to burn my bra.

Why would you want to put a cap on what we do?

Unless you want to help bring down our value?

Here’s a circling debate that bores me to tears,

Let’s hope every limiting title disappears.

We’re not one thing and I can’t sum up in rhyme,

How making labels is a waste of our time.

So I’m a housewife but that’s not the end

There’s a list, commas no stop because I transcend.

Mama Grace

 

This post first appeared on http://www.meetothermums.com

 

 

Burned Alive

Had a block! This was going round and round in my head. Now I can write children’s poetry again. I hope the 5 million helps the people but does not steer them from their path for justice and that criminal proceedings against those responsible takes place. No whitewash please.

We got burned
Alive
After the election

Politics
In smoke
Killing generations

Apathy
Made way
For greed to move right in

Media
Covered
Horror but not in

Daily
Hardships
The same fire burns thick

Vulnerable
Are we
Till we change politics

Mama Grace

 

Rainbow Baby

My daughter is a ‘Rainbow Baby’; born after a miscarriage. I only heard of this metaphor recently but it got me thinking so much I had to write. In truth, I will catch myself thinking about my miscarriage for many reasons: I still get these emails ‘you and your X month old’, though less frequently (I signed up when I found out I was pregnant to track my progress and never seemed to be able to get off). It’s so common, it will happen to somebody you know and it resonates in me every time. Also my curious mind wonders, what would they be like?

I miscarried just before Mothers Day and my niece brought me some flowers and wished me a happy Mothers Day. I replied that I wasn’t a mother but my sister argued that I was. I have held on to this and I know motherhood takes many forms but physically the baby was in me and it’s DNA was in my blood stream, that fascinates me. So when I think of miscarriage, that baby has to exit your system (which perhaps they never do completely) and when I think of how many children I have, I have one but I had another and I want to acknowledge that. I have a ‘Rainbow Baby’ and am extremely grateful to have a healthy and happy daughter, but like many this does not replace the baby I lost and who I account for.

As time passes I still wonder and I don’t know if this will ever change. I’m glad to those women that shared their experiences with me, their words helped. The thought of having a ‘Rainbow Baby’ is a positive one and I felt that there were many women/mothers around me that helped me look towards life whilst honoring our feelings for the death of our babies.

Rainbow Baby

You’re my rainbow baby but there’s no pot of gold,

There is a reserved space for a story untold.

An empty derelict home that nobody claims.

Only I remember, the deed’s in my name.

Sometimes I go back, knowing no work can be done,

Helplessly drawn to view because I was their mum.

We lived together, sharing everything inside,

Then they split everything, when from inside they died.

A baby died in me, leaving a dirty red.

I remember this but face the rainbow instead.

Mama Grace

This post first appeared on http://www.meetothermums.com

My First Party Bag

My little girl is one and we’ve had a lovely year of singing, reading and walking. We’ve tried to get out and walk each day and our walks have become a big part of our day. We talk (well I do but you can see her taking it all in) and walk and stop frequently to pick flowers or notice something.

 On some of our walks we collected stones and these became the stimulus for a special gift in ‘My First Party Bag’. The stones are worthless but that’s the point, they have been made precious by what they symbolize to us. Having discussed the idea with Lora Leedham, the designer, she suggested that the idea lent itself to keeping the stones as raw and natural as they are. Today we gave them as gifts to the grandmas and aunties, along with a poem and I’m over the moon with them.

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Stone

 

Here, to you I give a small stone.

A stone?

A stone. Yes, here, from where I’ve roamed.

This worthless stone is very blessed,

It’s where we walked and took a rest.

Around the world they can be found,

This one, The Land of Origins ground.

 

So think of me when you touch the ground,

I’m the other side and around.

Around the world I may go

But touch this stone and please know,

I think of you everyday

And that’s the way it shall stay.

 

Mama Grace

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Achieve your A

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I used to head a school for young people who were outside the school system. Some had special educational needs and some behavioural problems but all had HUGE difficulties engaging with learning. One of the main contributors was the weight of wanting to be seen as good enough in other peoples eyes. This disabled them, so I always said ACHIEVE YOUR A. I won a Jack Petchy award for creating a safe space for young people to flourish and I celebrate that award but most of all I celebrate the success of those young people. 

Achieve your A, it could be a B.
Achieve your A, it could be a G.
All we want is your absolute best,
Then we can only but be impressed.
You’ll know when you’ve reached the peak for you,
Then there’s nothing else you have to do.
But be proud that you met your potential,
What others do is inconsequential.

Mama Grace

Our Easter Hope

Our egg’s so precious, the very thought, it could break,
more than chocolate, decoration or a keepsake.
Growing you, knowing you, I feel what life means,
So when life is taken my heart splits at the seams.
The value of life held on earth like a shell,
In this world, where life’s worth seems to have gone to hell.
Your life, a life, is something rather magical
And my protection for you is fanatical.
Though you’ll see bitter darkness, we will help joy rise
To indulge in chocolate under light brighter skies.

Mama Grace

Mountain Man

This one is for a family friend who passed and was my ‘uncle’. He leaves behind a wife, children and grandchildren who idolise him. Thank you to all the adults who make the time to form strong relationships with us and make our beliefs and understanding of the world stronger. They are our mountains.

We are the mountains in each others lives,
The deep vast lakes behind each others eyes.
Look how the ocean moves in me for you.
A deep carved impression, enjoy the view.
In your time, so much beauty you have made.
How I wish eternal time could be saved.
There is nothing bigger, stronger, deeper
If only we could hold on longer.

Mama Grace