A Project on Motherhood
Do you ever have those ideas whilst you’re washing up? Those ideas which creep up on you, and then you find you can’t ignore?
This happened to me recently, as I washed up a soup pan and thought about motherhood (note: I am often thinking about motherhood!). About how rich and overwhelming and wonderful and complex and hard the experience of motherhood is. About how much mothers have to offer others from their own experiences, and about how rare it is for those experiences to be voiced and truly heard. About how we have so much more in common than we do that divides us; yet we are all so different in our experience of motherhood and the unique challenges we face and joys we embrace.
Anyway, the moment passed, and then something reminded me of a mixtape swap I took part in when I was younger. It was as simple as it sounds; sign up, send someone you don’t know a mixtape, get one back in return. It was great. And I thought, I wish there was a mixtape swap for mothers, where we could swap not music, but our experiences. Our joys, our sorrows. The hard bits and the happy bits. A swap where we could share a little bit of our lives, safely, anonymously, with no one judging, knowing that our stories were being heard.
And thus the idea behind #lettersfrommothers. An anonymous letter-swap, where we can share our stories, our experiences, and our motherhood. A project to give voice to mothers’ stories from around the world. A space for us to hear each other.
I would love as many mothers to join in as possible.
Joining in. Email me fridabemighty[at]gmail[dot]com with your name and address with “LETTERS FROM MOTHERS” as the title. The only requirements are: being a mother (or grandmother!); willingness to read and write in English (it doesn’t matter if it’s not your first language); and being open to sending a letter to another mother anywhere in the world.
Sending. There is no set structure you need to stick to. It could be three sides of A4 or simply a paragraph. All that matters is that you write honestly about your experience of being a mother – whatever that means to you. You might send your letter alone, or accompanied by something small – a recipe, a playlist, a book recommendation, a photo, even a tiny gift like a favourite tea bag. Your letter will be totally anonymous, which I hope will give you freedom to share what you truly want to share. I will send you full instructions along with the address you need to send your letter to.
Receiving. When you recieve your letter, read it with an open heart and mind. Email me a clear photo or scanned copy of it, and (optional) post it to Instagram using the hashtag #lettersfrommothers. I will collate copies of all of the anonymous letters and post them online.
I will also take part, and I’ll be posting one of my favourite books to whoever recieves my letter.
I’m really excited to see where this idea goes, and I would love it if lots of you took part and encouraged others to take part too.
I look forward to reading some of your letters soon…