Who is your mother and what does she do?



At the studio. Its taken me until now to find fifteen minutes to write. To find a space. Its only a tiny amount of time. Fifteen minutes is about a coffee break. A breathing space. Breath in, breath out.

Everthing always a rush and a hurry and how to fit it all in. Try to find some slow, some in-between all the jobs on the list.  Life is always busy, best to approach it slowly and methodically, just do what you can. Try to enjoy what it is you are doing right now.


The feel of my fingers on the keyboard. Smile at the portrait that a friends child made of me. I am depicted with a face as large as pancake batter seeping into a hot frying pan. I have a frown on my forehead, long lashed blue eyes drawn too wide apart, a triangle for a nose and yellow hair limp and long.

I smile.

I smile. It is a beautiful autumn day and I managed to cycle from Tod to Hebden. I managed the journey in just under there quarters of an hour. Its a beautiful ride, occasionally I see a herron, squirrels, I pass people walking their dogs and canal barges travelling. I notice all the spiders webs glistening in the sun. I notice that the swallows are gone. The swallows normally are seen swooping and catching midges near the sewage works. There are none. the swallows are gone.

On a sunny day the valley has an open heart. A heart of possibility.


I woke at six rather than five. I feel so much better.

Yesterday evening I went for a walk to Lidls when P got back from work. I went for a walk to try and loosen the tension and stress in my shoulders and back. Too much time caring for children stresses me out. I love them. I love them, but we all need a break. They  pick up on my frustrations when I am tired. When I am at the end of my tether, which is frequently. I am not patient all the time. I am not an ideal mum, I cannot be that mum.


Mums and Dads need time out from care work. How and when and where to find, to make space to take time out, that is a challenge. Me and P provide time out for each other, but it is sad that we seem unable to make time for each other, for our relationship.


I am a facilitator, a maintainer, a teacher, a carer, a cleaner, a cook, a companion, an enabler. I am a person. I am a person.


I was quietly pleased at how last evening went. S was very sorry for his behaviour in the morning and I was sorry for shouting. S got on with doing his homework in the yard outside and delighted in the baby robins that kept him company. The robins hopped in-between his feet snatching up the oat cake crumbs that he had put out for them. Sometimes parenting can be all disney, but its rare and it is fleeting and you have to suck up the rough with the smooth. I sent P a text saying how pleased as I with S getting on with his homework, its a good start to the term, he is in year ten now, so I am very relieved that he is being diligent.

I went for a walk to keep sane. Walking. One step in front of the other. Standing upright. It was dark by the time I left Lidls and returned home. I walked back along the pavement, I didn’t want to deal with the puddles and dog poo and dark on the canal.


My friend returned to stay a while before he moves into his new home, he needs to gather up some furniture, prepare his nest. I made a bed for him. I put away the piles and piles of clothes. I made pastries for Syds lunches. I washed up. I drank one glass of white wine. A glass of cool ,clear sweet joy. I ate a chocolate bar. I ate almost all a chocolate bar. It was comfort. It was comfort though I knew I shouldn’t have indulged. I did. I was bad and it felt good. I supped wine as I washed up. Oh the glamour of parenting.

I am lost in this post. I am lost. I am tangled in dirty clothes and dishes and trying to carve out time and I am questioning . I am questioning. What was it I was doing before the summer? I am trying to pick up the pieces. Find some order. Sort myself out.

Today I found the confidence to make some calls, I spoke to a lovely woman about doing some drop in art work shops at a baby and toddler show. I need to have a good think about the creative services that I do and that I can offer to parents and their children. I need to think back to running the birth workshops at the start of the summer. I need to dig out the evaluation sheets. I need to stop analysing and just do. I need to think about how to make my services assessable to all. I need to write up that workshop I was thinking of for The Hepworth. I must not let opportunities pass me by.

It is hard. It is hard. Perseverance. Resilience. Stamina. Persistence. Self belief. Try. All these characteristics I need to find. I am not just the person

who wakes up the house ,

who cleans up the dishes from the night before,

who dresses her youngest son in his clothes whilst he is sleeping so that he can get some extra rest,

who puts on the kettle,

who makes a cup of tea for everyone,

who clears space,

who puts the laundry in the washing machine,

who persuades a teenager to eat a proper breakfast,

who listens to her partner as he listens to the radio and gets irate about politics,

who turns off the radio because she can’t listen to her partner ranting and the radio and him are stressing her out,

who wishes her partner and son a good day,

who is glad when they reciprocate her good wishes,

who coaxes a sleepy six year old awake between ooglies and awkwardness,

who jumps out of the shower when her child calls for me to help a baby robin trapped in the house,

who is distressed and who is throwing its little body and wings repeatedly against the closed kitchen window,

who wonders when the little robin hopped in the house,

who fetches her clothes and blow dries her hair in the bedroom where her guest is just waking from his sleep,

who imagines that she might get her personal space back soon and can find her knickers in peace,

who ushers a child to school,

who ensures he does not get run over whilst dashing to school on his scooter,

who prevents him from sweeping two men off their feet who are walking along the pavement,

who crosses the road with the lolly pop man who describes her  son as Speedy Gonzalez

who is Speedy Gonzalez?

who thanks the lolly pop man for providing a safe passage across the road,

who lets her child wiz around and play just a little bit more before making his way up the ramp and into school,

who waits as her son,

who carefully places his scooter behind the school building,

who kisses and cuddles and wishes her son to have a good day,

who patiently waits again for her child, while he waits for his friend to get to where he is waiting so that they can go into school door together,

who smiles at the children as they happily enter the door together,

who smiles at her mum friend and listens to her stories,

who shares her own stories and crosses notes on work and weekends and when they might steal some time away to have a drink in the pub,

who happily makes her way back along the canal path to hang out the washing at home before going to work herself,

who is a woman who is a mother and an artist and who probably thinks too much about what it is that she does and so never gets to do all the things on her list that she wants to do,

who wrote this list,

who, who, who, who heres a who,

who is your mother and what does she do?


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