the abstract mama
To the mama of a child with special needs.
Hey mama, I've been watching you these past 12 years.
Being a mama²: an unpaid carer + a nurse + advocate + educator + innovator + working mum + provider + human
You've welcome me into your home with cups of tea and cake, to nurse your child and plan their care. I've been the carer you have trusted and the nurse you can rely on. And now I'm your child's therapist.. helping them get to know themselves better/ emotionally regulate/ feel empowered.
But in these 12 years...
I've also been your ear.
The one you feel you can talk to, because I am a witness to just how hard your life really is.
I understand that your child has complex needs, and requires so much more of you than people realise.
I know you're tired of everyone tell you to "self care".
What does that even mean?
And how do you “take time out” for yourself… when you have NO TIME?
Annnd even if you find the time, you’re too exhausted.
…not to mention that “me” time (AKA respite) is actually filled with washing, errands, life admin and chores. Oh, and you have carers/support workers coming in and out of your house all the time... so you can forget about “relaxing” in your own home.
You’re not only juggling time and energy, but also expectations.
You feel like you have to be superwoman.⠀
be a good mother⠀
raise other children ⠀
go to work⠀
make sure the dog is well looked after⠀
keep a tidy house⠀
go to all the appointments⠀
run all the errands ⠀
And.. attend to all of your child’s special needs, plus educate the carers.⠀
You feel you SHOULD be
What you’re really feeling is:
No one gets it. It’s not as if you can rock up to a mother’s group with a 12year old that relies on you just as much as when he was 2.
And even though you get through each day... day by day, you feel like you’re failing. ⠀
Your head is just above water and the chaos has become your normal.
So let me start by saying this…YOU ARE AMAZING. I know you don’t feel it and you don’t believe it right now.
But this is because you have forgotten to allow yourself to be human... and need some navigating back to who you are.
You know, that person pre-children that did things for enjoyment and had passions and dreams.
I’m here to remind you, and gently guide you.
If there’s one thing I’m absolutely sure of – its this.
Your child, or children need you to be ok, because when you are not- they are not.
This is when the chaos becomes reactive and emotionally explosive.
Cue frustration and then guilt. ⠀
The key to coping even amidst the chaos - is self knowing.
And I know for a fact that you have NOT practiced this in a while! (This is where I come in)
So let me introduce you to ‘the abstract mama’.
*spoiler alert* she’s you.
The mama who can’t see herself in the picture. She’s hidden in there somewhere amongst the chaos.
This program will run for 8 weeks and my goal is to help you begin to see yourself again.
Beginning 30th September
This is not about me telling you to “self care”, breathe, meditate, do yoga etc.
But it is about diving deep into what makes you, you.
And crafting the right UNIQUE toolbox to support yourself.
Art therapy is an amazing way to do this. Not only is it fun, but it takes the pressure off the challenging parts, because not everything needs words to be expressed. Also, words are hard for exhausted minds.
I want this to be a chance to truly connect with other abstract mamas who GET IT.
Welcome to your new mother’s group! You’ll feel like you belong.
And so, this is how it will work.
You will choose which session through the week you can make it to.
Wednesday 6pm-9pm (ish)
The first 4 weeks will be group art therapy sessions focused on identity, empowerment, expression and support.
Followed by 4 weeks of self directed art making on a very special project + a master class with a local artist.
All art materials will be supplied, excluding canvases for the self directed project.
Oh, and snacks provided of course + all the tea you could drink.
So, my abstract mamas.
With your tea, snacks, paint and company of people who understand
… lets learn to see yourself in the picture again. This is the most affordable professional therapy program going. And it's fun.