Creative Easter Activities For Kids

Easter is one of those holidays where one’s creativity has a chance to really shine. Along with Christmas, it’s a holiday time that provides a great opportunity for kids to really stretch the boundaries of their imaginations and strengthen their creative skills.

But as busy parents we don’t always have the time to sit down and brainstorm new and exciting ideas to keep our little one’s on a constant journey of new experiences. So I’ve saved you a little bit of time and done the research for you. I came up with a few creative ideas, and found some great posts from some awesome bloggers who have written about all kinds of creative easter activities for kids.




Printables

There are some great resources on Etsy to help you get creative and keep the kids entertained, and one of them is printables. From colouring pictures to drawing activities to printable decorations, your sure to find something the kids will love. All you have to do is download the pictures, print them out and let the kids enjoy them. Here are just a few stores that sell printables.

COLOURING PAGES

ACTIVITY PAGES

DECORATIONS

Crafts

Crafts have been a popular pastime for kids throughout every generation. Here’s just a few ideas of some fun crafts you can do with your kids this easter.



Easter Egg Hunt

You can’t go wrong with the classic easter egg hunt. What kid wouldn’t want to go on a delicious chocolaty treasure hunt? Here are some great ideas to add a new twist to the traditional hunt.

Baking

There’s no denying, that baking with the kids can be a challenge at the best of times, but the memories you will make, will be priceless. Here are a few baking ideas to do with your kids over easter.

DIY Decorations

A budget friendly idea that will keep the kids busy, is to make your own easter decorations. It’s fun and economical!

Games

There’s nothing more fun to kids than games, am I right? Here are some ideas for easter-themed games, to keep your kids having fun these easter holidays!



Thanks

Thanks for reading this blog! I hope this post has been helpful to you.

Sign up HERE, or fill in the form below to be added to our email list and you’ll receive all the latest news, stories and promos (including giveaways and writing competitions) as well as a FREE Ebook exclusive to our email subscribers.


Get Your Free Ebook

The pace and intensity of our lives, both at work and at home, leave many of us feeling like a person riding a frantically galloping horse. Our day-to-day incessant busyness — too much to do and not enough time.

With this ebook you will learn to approach your days in another way, reducing stress and getting results through prioritizing, leveraging and focus!

The Memory Box – A Life In Letters: Short Story

I’d like to thank Alex Grey for her short story submission “The Memory Box – A Life In Letters” a touching tribute to the memories that make up a life gone by.

After a lifetime of writing technical non-fiction, Alex Grey is finally fulfilling her dream of writing poems and stories that engage the reader’s emotions. Her poems and short stories have been featured in a range of publications including Siren’s Call, Raconteur, Toasted Cheese, Short Edition and Little Old Lady Comedy.  Alex is married to her long-suffering partner of 36 years; she does not have any children but is “mum” to two fur babies – greyhounds Alex and Saffy. Her ingredients for contentment are narrowboating, greyhounds, singing and chocolate – it’s a sweet life.

This story is a fictionalised account of a remarkable life and is dedicated to Renia, Alex’s mother-in-law, whose courage and resilience has always been an inspiration.

Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash

This page contains affiliate links which may earn me a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if you click through and make a purchase. Affiliate links are how I keep this blog going, thank you.


The Memory Box – A Life In Letters

That day, the nursing home’s ever-cheerful Activities Leader told us to use a memory box to reminisce with our loved ones.

I groaned. I knew the Activities Leader meant well but chasing my mother’s memories had become a tedious scavenger hunt as dementia hid them in the distant recesses of her brain and destroyed the clues that might lead me to them.

“We’re going to use the alphabet to think about places that your loved ones may have visited. Remember, don’t ask them to remember…” she paused, waiting for our weak laughter, “just ask them to tell you a story about a place that begins with that letter. Take your time and see how far you get.

I sat at the table with my mother, her blue-veined hands tapping out a tune that only she could hear. She smiled at me vacantly. I knew she couldn’t remember who I was, though she seemed to acknowledge that I was benign, something simple and pleasant like the institutional tea set and the cheap biscuits. My mother devoured them greedily, like a little girl at a rival’s birthday party. The activity room had a dozen tables like ours, covered with cheerful chintz tablecloths and circled with residents and their visitors in various degrees of torpor.

My eyes met those of another woman sitting at our table; her mother slumped in a wheelchair, crooning. We smiled briefly and looked away. You’d think there would have been some spark of empathy between us, but the long goodbye we were enduring was too painful, too personal to be shared.

“OK!” trilled the Activities Leader. “Let’s make a start. As you complete each card, just drop it into their memory box.”

“Look, we’re going to put things in here today.” I said.

I rattled the vintage biscuit tin that we were using as her memory box. I remembered when she’d bought the tin as a souvenir of a rare sightseeing trip to London; we’d eaten the biscuits with ceremony every Sunday teatime for a month. The lid had a picture of the Tower of London and the crown jewels.  When it was empty, she kept her sewing things in there. Every time she reached for it to darn a jumper or patch a dress, she would rattle the tin and laugh,

“Will we find jewels in here today?”

I remember looking over her shoulder excitedly; she always hid a treasure in the tin for us – an amber bead, a tiny rag dolly or a fat toffee wrapped in shiny gold foil.

I shook my head; my mother’s sewing days were over. Today the faded and rusty-edged tin contained some trinkets and photographs from a previous memory exercise. On good days, we would take them out and she would nod, her wandering mind briefly meeting mine at a waypoint. On bad days, we drank tea and stared, the tin a bewilderment of junk between us.



I forced a smile and picked up the first alphabet card. My mother looked the other way, distracted by the conversations going on around her. I touched her hand and she frowned, unwilling to concentrate on the activity. She had always enjoyed people-watching, that was the best part of being in a nursing home, she told me, back when she had been aware of where she was.

“Look, mama.” I said, “Can you tell me a story about a place that begins with the letter A?”

She fingered the card, and then started talking. I wrote little notes on the cards – it helped me to keep track of her disjointed thoughts.

AUSTRIA: My uncle saved me from the slave farm, a miracle; I had a bath, when I was free of filth I was as light as an angel in heaven.

BELSEN: They measured me there, height, hands, head – I was judged – Aryan enough to live, but not enough to be free.

I sighed; she’d been telling us tales of her wartime enslavement all of our lives. We’d always moved her on, embarrassed, but now I was afraid that her mind would be trapped in that nightmare for the rest of her days.

“No mama, don’t think about the war, what about our lovely holidays?”

She looked rebellious, then carried on…

CHECKPOINT CHARLIE: We went to Poland with treats for my uncle hidden in the car seats; frightened, we willed the children not to betray our innocent smuggling.

DULWICH: We made our life there – our own house, large enough to last a lifetime, a green place to raise our children, respectable, rich, peaceful.

EALING: We all went there after the war; we spoke Polish and dreamed of the old country. Some sneered that it was just a new ghetto; stupid people – we had freedom, money, education. I went to college, met my Olek and made a new life.

I missed my father so much; he’d looked after Mama when she first became ill, back when we pretended that she was just tired, that it was normal to forget things from time to time. We told stories to make it alright, but it wasn’t. He died of grief and worry, leaving me with this responsibility.



I realised that I’d drifted off – I held up the F card…

FRANCE: A truckstop on the road to England; so scared; so alone, each girl so alone, together only in body and hope.

“Not the war, Mama, please…”

GHANA: Olek’s business trips, violence, distrust; I worried at home with the children; the money never came home, but Olek did. I was grateful.

HARRODS: The SALE on our doorstep, a proper sale – I bought a fur coat for a song; I was an aristocrat again.

That fur coat! I loathed it, but mama’s friends from the old country wore fur, it was what they did, a symbol of how they’re recovered from their refugee poverty. Who was I to tell her it was wrong when she was so proud? She made me try it on, said it would be a legacy for generations if I looked after it and kept it in the freezer. I cut it up and turned it into dog beds, horrible thing.

ITALY: Our first holiday after the war; We went to the eternal city. We went to St. Peter’s Square where the Holy Father prayed with us. I was so sick, I thought it was the food, but I had been blessed, with YOU my daughter, reaching for life.

Suddenly she reached for my face and looked straight into my eyes. A lump of hope leapt into my chest, I’d so longed for her to know me again.

“Mama!” I said

“Sandra.” She said, “Are you here to cut my hair?”

I turned back to the cards, trying to hide the tears in my eyes, the heat of my hope igniting my anger. She couldn’t help it. I gritted my teeth; she really couldn’t help it.

She grabbed the next card…

JAMAICA: Our first Caribbean cruise, the sun so hot, the island so green, the sky and sea so blue.

KRAKOW: We bought amber in the market, dined on Fois Gras in Wierzynek; toured the salt mines, grateful for our freedom; we bowed our heads and sobbed in Auschwitz.

We’d all sobbed there. I hadn’t wanted to go. I still wish that I’d never been there, but Mama said we must never forget. I will never forget. I hoped that she could let the camp’s silent eloquence slip away, but some experiences refused to sink into the pit of her lost memories.

LINZ: The slave market, sold into hard labour; I had a price, yet I was worth nothing.

MAGNIFICENT SEVEN: The undertaker said Olek should have a magnificent seven burial. I said yes, of course, Olek was a magnificent man, his ashes went to Brompton, where we had joined in marriage – I told him we’d meet again there.

NAZILAND: A plague of evil; they came to the house, took my father, shot him dead in the woods; my beloved daddy, his only crime was teaching the truth.

I willed her memory to reel back to happier days, before the war destroyed her childhood, even if meant that her memory of my childhood would be destroyed too.

ORATORY: Brompton, where we married; where we ate Polish doughnuts filled with rich plum curd.

POZNAN: Home with daddy and my beautiful mother; they were tall, like me. I remember servants.  My sisters played with their dollies, but I wanted to run with my brothers, mother frowned, girls don’t run; daddy laughed. It was always summer in the sunshine of his smile.

QATAR: Olek’s business went international; so glamorous; we sipped vodka in our expat compound and forgot the world.

RUSSIA: Betrayal – they destroyed the Third Reich for you, but we paid the price; the bear steals babies in the night, unseen, you didn’t know?

SEVEN SEAS: The children left home; we cruised the world. Oh, the on-board buffets, food 24 hours a day.

TULSE HILL: Olek left his soldiering behind and became an architect. How hard he worked – apprentice, partner, owner – his business was a lifeline and a legacy for our children.

UNIVERSITY: Daddy said I was too clever to be a girl; after the war, welcomed me, I became a draughtswoman, I became someone.

VICTORIA MANSIONS NURSING HOME: They said I wasn’t safe at home, I pleaded with mother to let me stay, but they took me away. They are kind here, servants bring my tea, mother stands by the desk and watches them. I clean my plate like a good girl.



I let go of a breath that I hadn’t realised I’d been holding. Moving mama into the home had been the hardest thing I’d ever done. At first, she knew where she was, visits were difficult as her eyes accused me, but we were past that now.

“You’re almost there,” said the Activities Leader.

Her voice made me jump. I had been lost in my thoughts, but I felt a touch of satisfaction when I saw how far we’d come. The other old woman at our table was fast asleep in her wheelchair; her daughter had vanished – I could hardly blame her.

I took a deep breath, willing the last of the alphabet to pass quickly.

WARSAW: We went to the old town, it was good as new, as if the war had never been, as if the past had never been torn from the future. We drank coffee in the old market square and laughed.

I flipped the X card over quickly, but mama grabbed my wrist.

XOCHIMILICO: Our first cheap package holiday to Mexico. I never knew so much colour could exist; travel, holidays, it was freedom beyond imagination.

I laughed, she was full of surprises, but I knew from her photo albums that this memory was real, unlike some of her more colourful fictions.

YESHAK: A saint’s school for my children. I wore my fur coat to the school gates so they would know we had money, that my children were not the spawn of poor immigrants; that my children belonged in England.

ZAKOPANE: My uncle’s farm in the lovely mountains; I am there now, skipping with the dogs, mother frowns, girls don’t run, but daddy smiles….

My mother dropped the last card into the box, her transparent skin luminous with joy as her face was lit by sunshine from another time, another place.

The old biscuit tin bulged with cards; her jagged memories captured by my spiky handwriting – her life in letters. Her remarkable life in letters. I kissed her forehead, promised I’d see her next week. Her carers wheeled her to the dining hall; she was already asking about pudding; she’d always had a sweet tooth.

***

To this day, I do not know who she was smiling for when she put that last card in the box.  Maybe it doesn’t matter; I know that my last smile was for her, my beloved mother…



Thanks

Thank you for reading this blog. If you’d like to submit a story for consideration of publication, please visit our submissions page.

Sign up HERE, or fill in the form below to be added to our email list and you’ll receive all the latest news, stories and promos (including giveaways and writing competitions) as well as a FREE Ebook exclusive to our email subscribers.

Alternatively, go to our COMPETITIONS page for info on the latest competitions!


Get your FREE Ebook

The pace and intensity of our lives, both at work and at home, leave many of us feeling like a person riding a frantically galloping horse. Our day-to-day incessant busyness — too much to do and not enough time.

With this ebook you will learn to approach your days in another way, reducing stress and getting results through prioritizing, leveraging and focus!

ebook button

Mum Life Stories: Micro-Fiction, Volume One. BUY NOW!

Today is the day! The day time itself stood still with bated breath, anticipating the greatest moment in history. The day every mother and child has yearned for throughout the centuries. The day we are marvelously blessed with the accumulation of all our hopes and dreams wrapped up in a stunning (and superbly designed) ode to Mothers everywhere. The day that will go down in Wikipedia as the greatest moment of all time – greater than the construction of the pyramids, the writing of the constitution, the end of world hunger (yet to happen), and the liberation of chickens (free-range all the way!) – the day that the greatest book on earth was launched for sale. The book entitled ‘Mum Life Stories: Micro-Fiction, Volume One.’

Too much? You’re probably right, but within the exclusive world of the Mum Life Stories Community, this release deserves as grand an entrance as any writer can conjure up. It truly is the culmination of 2 and a half years of consistent passion and dedication to an online presence that lays tribute to all the amazing mothers out there, who have influenced us and made an impact on our lives. There is nothing ordinary about the life of a Mother (and yes I use a capital letter where there shouldn’t be one, because it deserves one) or the stories that shine through from a life lived in complete devotement to one’s progeny. And these stories, real or imagined, make for a fantastic read!

So it is with great excitement and without further ado (yes ado is the correct word as Adieu means goodbye) that I present to you the very first volume of the Mum Life Stories: Micro-Fiction Anthology.

Please note, the featured image is just a mock-up, the book will be a paperback, not a hardcover. It looks pretty good as a hardcover though, I must say!

A massive thank you goes to all the writers who contributed to this anthology by being shortlisted through the 6 rounds of our Micro-Fiction Writing Competitions. You are a truly talented bunch of people who deserve to be immortalized in print. May your future endeavours be even more rewarded and acknowledged for the brilliance they are!

Where to buy!

The book is available on Amazon in paperback and Ebook version by clicking the book cover below (select your own country below or in the header of the amazon site). Prices will vary depending on your country and the current exchange rates. If you’d like to know how we will be allocating profits from sales, click HERE.

If you have any issues ordering a paperback copy, please email me at mumlifestories@gmail.com and I will make sure you get a copy.

Don’t forget $1 AUD from every book sold will go to our friends in Uganda, to help support the important work they do in their orphanage.

Photo Credit: Marcelo Silva on Unsplash

This page contains affiliate links which may earn me a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if you click through and make a purchase. Affiliate links are how I keep this blog going, thank you.

Who’s our charity?

Some of you may remember one particular ‘Mum Life Success Story’ back in October 2019 entitled ‘From Poverty to Provider‘ about an amazing woman and her husband in Uganda, who devote their entire lives to housing, feeding and educating, many, many, orphaned and abandoned children. This couple have been a true inspiration to me about what real love and sacrifice is. They live in one of the poorest nations of the world and fight everyday for their safety and survival, yet they put the needs of others ahead of their own, every single day. You can read more about their story HERE and visit the website of their not-for-profit ministry HERE, or follow them on Facebook HERE.

$1 AUD from every sale of the anthology (paperback or eBook) will go towards changing the life of these children that deserve to live a safe and healthy life, free from poverty and oppression. Future anthologies will also include this promise, so every single sale counts.

Why it’s important to help spread the word

There are a few reasons why I need your help to get the word out there about our awesome anthology.

  1. The more people who hear about it, the more people will buy it (this is the most obvious point)
  2. The more people who buy it, the more our friends in Uganda receive to help support their orphanage (see details below).
  3. The more copies we sell, the more money we have to give to the winners in the next round of competitions.
  4. Last but not least the more copies we sell, the more people get to read your amazing stories and follow your journey as writers.

How to help!

There are a few ways to help spread the word, some are obvious and some not so much.

  1. Tell people about it and direct them to this post or to the menu tab (coming soon) entitled ‘Book Shop’.
  2. Share this post on social media (see social media buttons in the footer of this post). If you’re on wordpress, you can also reblog if you like.
  3. Go to our social media pages, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, and like, comment and tag your friends! You can also retweet or share those posts.
  4. If you’re a blogger, and you’re interested in a free digital copy in exchange for a review on your blog, please contact me at mumlifestories@gmail.com
  5. If your on our email list, you will receive an email today as well, with a graphic you can use on instagram, please tag us @mumlifestories and use #MLSmicrofictionvol1
  6. Buy copies for your friends and family as gifts, etc

Thanks

Thank you for reading this blog. If you’d like to submit a story for consideration of publication, please visit our submissions page. 

Sign up HERE, or fill in the form below to be added to our email list and you will receive a notification when future competitions begin.  You will also receive all the latest news, stories and promos (including giveaways and writing competitions) as well as a FREE Ebook exclusive to our email subscribers.

Alternatively, go to our COMPETITIONS page for info on the latest competitions!


Get your FREE Ebook

Accomplish more IN a fraction of the time

The pace and intensity of our lives, both at work and at home, leave many of us feeling like a person riding a frantically galloping horse. Our day-to-day incessant busyness — too much to do and not enough time.

With this ebook you will learn to approach your days in another way, reducing stress and getting results through prioritizing, leveraging and focus!

ebook button

Featured Mockup Image by Vectorium – www.freepik.comMockup

Anthology Release Date

I’m very excited to announce that after weeks and weeks of editing, formatting and creating, the very first Mum Life Stories Anthology is done and ready to be released. My fingers are still tingling from a copious amount of typing and I am feeling that adrenalin rush that comes from accomplishing an end goal, mixed with a little anxiety at all the thoughts rushing through my brain. Did I do it right? I hope I didn’t miss anything. Will people like it? What if no one does? Will people buy it? Will anyone do a bad review? Is the release date too soon? Do I know enough about marketing to get eyes on it? etc etc. Not sure if any of you know this (or if it isn’t half obvious), but this is the very first book I have published and I am more than a little nervous about it.

Please note, the featured image is just a mock-up, the book will be a paperback, not a hardcover. It looks pretty good as a hardcover though, I must say!

When, when, when?

That said…my excitement outways my nerves, so much that I decided instead of waiting a week or two to launch the book, I would do it in just 4 days. That’s right, the official release will be this Monday the 8th of February.

I will post the link to ‘buy the book’ on Monday with some instructions on how you can help spread the word. Email subscribers will get a special email with images they can download and use on social media. If your not already on our mailing list, be sure to sign up HERE if you’d like to be a part of the campaign.

Here’s a sneak peak at the book jacket (P.S. I designed it myself):

Photo Credit: Marcelo Silva on Unsplash

This page contains affiliate links which may earn me a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if you click through and make a purchase. Affiliate links are how I keep this blog going, thank you

Why it’s important to help spread the word

There are a few reasons why I need your help to get the word out there about our awesome anthology.

  1. The more people who hear about it, the more people will buy it (this is the most obvious point)
  2. The more people who buy it, the more our friends in Uganda receive to help support their orphanage (see details below).
  3. The more copies we sell, the more money we have to give to the winners in the next round of competitions.
  4. Last but not least the more copies we sell, the more people get to read your amazing stories and follow your journey as writers.

What are the profits used for?

In case you’re wondering where the money from the sale of these books goes too, there are actually a lot of places. So in the duty of full-disclosure I’ve included some points from our competition terms and conditions (and then some), to help explain.

  1. Cost of ‘printing’ for paperback and ‘delivery’ for eBook (About 20% of the book price).
  2. Amazon commission (Can be up to 60% of profits) – they take a percentage of the sale price which can differ greatly between countries.
  3. $1AUD of each sale (paperback and eBook) goes to our chosen charity in Uganda (see below).
  4. Admin costs, including advertising, printed copies for winners, as well as postage fees, etc.
  5. The next competitions prize pool (How much we make will determine whether it can be increased or not).
  6. Reimbursement to founder of the previous competitions prize monies (This will be last on the list).

So as you can see, there are a lot of costs involved in producing an anthology (most of which will not be covered through sales), and that does not include payment for the huge amount of work that goes into making it happen. At this point in time, all that work is done for the pure joy of it, and it’s so worth it to see the end product and hear the happiness it brings to all those involved.

Who’s our charity?

Some of you may remember one particular ‘Mum Life Success Story’ back in October 2019 entitled ‘From Poverty to Provider‘ about an amazing woman and her husband in Uganda, who devote their entire lives to housing, feeding and educating, many, many, orphaned and abandoned children. This couple have been a true inspiration to me about what real love and sacrifice is. They live in one of the poorest nations of the world and fight everyday for their safety and survival, yet they put the needs of others ahead of their own, every single day. You can read more about their story HERE and visit the website of their not-for-profit ministry HERE, or follow them on Facebook HERE.

$1 AUD from every sale of the anthology (paperback or eBook) will go towards changing the life of these children that deserve to live a safe and healthy life, free from poverty and oppression. Future anthologies will also include this promise, so every single sale counts.

Thanks

Thank you for reading this blog. If you’d like to submit a story for consideration of publication, please visit our submissions page. 

Sign up HERE, or fill in the form below to be added to our email list and you will receive a notification when future competitions begin.  You will also receive all the latest news, stories and promos (including giveaways and competitions) as well as a FREE Ebook exclusive to our email subscribers.

Alternatively, go to our COMPETITIONS page for info on the latest competitions!


Get your FREE Ebook

Accomplish more IN a fraction of the time

The pace and intensity of our lives, both at work and at home, leave many of us feeling like a person riding a frantically galloping horse. Our day-to-day incessant busyness — too much to do and not enough time.

With this ebook you will learn to approach your days in another way, reducing stress and getting results through prioritizing, leveraging and focus!

ebook button

Featured Image: Mockup psd created by yeven_popov – www.freepik.com

Water: A Short Story for World Mental Health Day

I would like to thank Paula Andrews from the UK for her short story submission ‘Water’. A relatable fictional story, based on true events, reflecting the inner world of a mother suffering from mental health issues.

Around the world it’s World Mental Health Day today (or yesterday for us Aussies!) and where I live in QLD, it’s mental health week. I believe depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions are a a bigger part of many people’s lives than we know or can even fathom. Motherhood in particular can be an emotionally draining rollercoaster at times and many of us can suffer in silence for years, believing that no-one understands or could ever help us out of the dark abyss that threatens to steal every moment that was meant for joy.

But there are people who understand, those who have been there, those who are still there and those who may be there in the future. There’s no easy cure for mental illness but there is help. If you suffer from depression, anxiety or any other mental illnesses, please seek help through your local helpline. If your in Australia, Lifeline is a great resource if you’d like someone to talk to. Their number is 13 11 14.

Don’t suffer alone. From someone who has been there ‘there is a light at the end of the tunnel.’

Paula Andrews was born in Yorkshire (origin: England) and has lived in Scotland for 29 years. She is married to a Glaswegian and has two grown-up children (21 and 19 years) both born in Glasgow. She worked as a midwife for twenty-two years; having owned her own craft business, has taught arts and crafts to blind people and has been writing seriously for around eight years. She published her debut novel for teenagers (and adults) early this year, just before lockdown commenced! It is a time-travel ghost story called Oranges and Lemons, crossing modern day with the 1860s.

Paula tells us “I have had work published in Aquila magazine, Scribble magazine and Scottish Memories magazine and have taken first place and other placings across various genres in writing competitions at the Scottish Association of Writers and within my own writers’ group, Strathkelvin Writers’ Group. I have a website and blog dedicated to my writing, which can be found at www.paulaandrews.co.uk“.

This page contains affiliate links which may earn me a small commission (at no extra charge to you) should you click through and make a purchase. Affiliate links are how I keep this blog running, thank you.



Photo by Blanche Peulot on Unsplash

WATER

She hangs the small pink mac on its peg; she knows it’s the right one from the picture card on the wall, displaying a solitary polar bear. Ellie runs away from her. Excited. She’s running towards her favourite thing at the crèche: the water tray. She’ll pour and splash for as long as they’ll let her. A water baby. Like her. Solitary. Like her, too. They’ve identified this as being problematic, on several occasions, in reproachful tones, which annoys her.

            “She needs to play with the other children. And share. Can you work on this at home?”

            Suzie sees her daughter skip through the swing doors without looking back and feels a stab of sadness in the bottom of her chest. Little Ellie is happy yet surprisingly tuned in to her mother’s mood. Suzie knows Ellie doesn’t believe her when she says:

            “I’m fine, Ellie.”

            Because Ellie asks. Often.

            “Are you sad, Mummy?”

            “No, I’m not sad, baby.” Usually, those five words are all she can manage. It feels to Suzie, the less she speaks, the less she lies.

            Sam is at school. Two years Ellie’s senior. They say he’s an old man in a wee boy’s body. My fault, Suzie thinks. She sees it as a negative trait. Another solitary child. How could they be anything else when she’s that way? She should’ve taken him to more classes; art, gymnastics, Little Nature Lovers, everything time would allow, maybe. Well, money wasn’t really an issue. But money hadn’t magically cloaked him with an aura of cordiality at toddler group twice a week. She’d felt bemused when she’d watched him choose his play space: always a couple of metres away from the other children. He’d selected his toy and carried it off, looking back at the group; seeming to measure with his footsteps as he walked. Content with his chosen spot, he’d settled and played with that one toy for the entire session.

            Nevertheless, school seems to be changing him. She feels a detached satisfaction when she watches him run up to his friend, Leo, in the playground each morning.  

            On this morning, she drives home, barely observing the traffic, not using her mirrors. Staring ahead, feeling still but heavy; calm but sad. Sadder than she can even think about. There is no sound inside the car. Her senses seem flattened. Squashed between two heavy mattresses.

            At home, she fumbles with the house keys. For a minute she can’t remember which is the right one. It annoys her. She sighs and lets her arms drop by her sides. She sighs again and a wave of melancholy washes up from her tummy to her scalp and she’s glad of it. A feeling, however bad. Something that makes her real; not some automaton stumbling through this interminable cycle of life: feeding children; a spousal ‘have a good day’ on John’s way out the door each morning; school run; tidying up; washing pots; laundry; two pocket-money hours in the village bookshop every day; and sleeping, but never properly. The keys drop from her limp hand and when she bends to pick them up her knees are wobbling and she nearly keels over.

            She gets inside and sees so many obstacles. Slippers, a bouncy ball, John’s trainers, the tools he fixed the waggly door handle with last night; Ellie’s teddy lies forlornly on the stairs. She relates to the teddy: bedraggled, her clothes slightly askew like its ribbon, her hair and nails a bit grubby like its fur. She could lie beside it at an angle on the stairs and she wouldn’t care. She’d lie there all day. She’d stay there when the phone rang. She’d listen to the message on the answerphone:

            “Mrs Peters, Ellie’s here, waiting to be picked up. Can you call the crèche as soon as you get this message?”

            She wouldn’t move. Not during the message. Not after the message. Perhaps the teddy would turn and look at her, accusingly. Perhaps he’d growl and say:

            “Aren’t you going to answer that? That’s my Ellie you’re neglecting.”

            But instead of lying beside the teddy, she opens the kitchen door. In here, it’s clean and tidy. She filled the dishwasher and wiped the surfaces before the school run. She walks to the sink and turns on the cold tap. The sound of water settles her; it makes her feel clean and refreshed. She runs a bowlful and presses her hands to the bottom. She feels scratch lines radiating across the grey plastic. The dripping tap plinks as she examines her fingernails which are not grubby after all; she just feels that they are. It is so difficult to keep anything clean: the children, the house, herself. Everything feels messy, cluttered, disorganised; her thoughts, muddled; her sleep, disjointed and broken. A miniature bubble forms on the back of one hand then dashes to the surface and pops. I’m going to do that, she thinks. Rise up, all of a sudden and…burst. Unless…unless…


Kindle Paperwhite – Now Waterproof with 2x the storage (8Gb)

Get a Kindle Unlimited FREE Trial Here


            Her nose prickles and a tear forms in the corner of her right eye and swells rapidly, building into something monstrous like a tsunami. It’s still there, threatening to spill over. The left eye is starting too. Funny how tears form in one eye first. She looks out of the window into the garden but everything is dull and blurry. Like her sense of place. She can’t distil her purpose into anything meaningful. She can’t see the way forward to the bright future of fulfilment. She can’t battle herway out of the black mire she’s trying to wade through.

            John will know what to do. John, ever loving, ever kind, ever thoughtful, ever, ever, ever, so much it suffocates her sometimes.

            Please phone, John. Tell me what to do.

            But John will ask if she’s taking her medicine and she’ll have to lie. Because the medicine makes her sooo tired.

            John is busy; always in meetings. Please phone, John, she urges. She needs to hear his voice but the phone doesn’t ring and Suzie doesn’t move. Her hands are getting chilled; the ache is rising to her wrists. She looks at the ugly blue pipe of a vein with its jagged junctions. She lifts her hands out of the water and lets them drip on the floor. She looks around the kitchen. It’s a good kitchen. The children’s drawings are stuck neatly in a grid pattern on one wall and she hears Ellie’s voice:

            “Mummy, I’ve painted the sea for you. Because you love the sea, don’t you, Mummy?”

            The painting didn’t really look like the sea. It was a dark mass of flaking black, navy and grey with a swish of ultramarine at the edges where the colours hadn’t merged.

            When the phone did ring, it wasn’t John. It was the school, with their usual opening message.

            “It’s Carol Brown from the school office. Don’t worry, Mrs Peters, there’s nothing the matter with Sam. I’m just calling to check if you have Ellie’s birth certificate. We don’t seem to have received it when you brought her for enrolment. Do you think you could bring it in and we’ll copy it?”

            “Yes, yes, okay, I can do that,” Suzie mumbles, dabbing her eyes. Her voice sounds stilted. She clears her throat with a cough then puts the phone down.

            Did she say birth certificate? Or baptismal certificate? Birth, baptism, both connected with water and the flow of liquid.

            “Water. I need water,” she says. This time her voice is clear and Suzie thinks it sounds loud and intrusive in the house. She tries it again. Just one word.

            “Water.” She remembers she hasn’t spoken out loud for some time. Breakfast this morning had been hurried, the children both chattering and clattering. John had been in a hurry too.

            “Early meeting,” he’d said, kissing her on the cheek and striding, carelessly, obliviously, thoughtlessly to the door. “See you tonight, honey. Bye, kids.”

            The sound of her voice seems to spur Suzie into action. She looks at the clock. Nine-thirty. If she leaves right away, she’ll have time to get back.

            She has purpose now and it feels good. Everything here reminds her how crowded her life is. On the stairs, Mum’s gloves, left by mistake. On the spare bed, a tote containing John’s sister’s birthday present. Ellie’s room, stuffed full with bags; Ellie loves bags. She is always playing weird, solitary games which involve going on a trip and her bags contain random objects. Suzie picks one up. Green sparkly backpack, covered in sequins which are always littering the house, turning up in the strangest places: in John’s socks, trapped between the dinner plates, stuck on the outside of a jam jar in the fridge. Inside the bag are a wooden train (pilfered from Sam), a fabric flower, scrunched paper, a toy banana and a single stripy sock stuffed with plastic animals. God knows what flight of imagination this cornucopia of Ellie’s means. Only Ellie knows that.

            She moves to Sam’s room. His is more orderly: space books stacked on his chest of drawers; a picture he’s doing of a comic-book hero; his pencils; an Edinburgh Castle ornament that Mum bought him. His dressing gown is a big lump like some strange creature on the carpet. Suzie leaves it there.

            In her own room, John’s running kit makes a similar heap: he’d been out before work this morning. His jeans sprawl across the chair. On his bedside table are a collection of small toys waiting to be mended. From her own side of the bed, a mental health magazine lectures, soundlessly. He’d bought it for her. She doesn’t want it; its just being there makes her feel awful.

            People want to intrude in her life all the time.

            “I’m only trying to help, Suzie,” Mum said, impatiently, last week. “Because I love you. I think you should go and see Someone.”

            Suzie isn’t sure who Someone is but she doesn’t want to see them, whatever flavour of psychologist, psychiatrist or counsellor they are.

            She thinks of her brother, saying:

            “Come to mine for a couple of days, Suzie. We’ll go out. Have a laugh. You can kip on my settee.”

            The thought of going to Dublin is intolerable even though it’s kind of him to offer. Suzie can’t imagine anything worse for someone who already feels hemmed in. A few years ago, she’d have jumped at the idea. But now, it’s impossible. She’d suffocate.

            She tries to swallow then she forces her voice through the lump in her throat.

            “I need space. Don’t they understand? More space than they can give me. I’m a solitary person and I need to be alone. At least for a while until I can think and concentrate. I need to be away from here, away from all the noise and the mess and the confusion and all those voices and demands and opinions.” Her throat aches.        

            She leaves her phone on the kitchen table. When she starts the car, she isn’t sure where she’ll go. First, she’ll drive. Then she’ll keep driving. She needs to get far away.

            At four o’clock, she reaches a suitable place and she sits on the beach and listens to the sea. She’s free. She feels light. The freezing wind blows through her hair and her thoughts become clear. I’m solitary and free, like a polar bear. She thinks of Ellie’s peg at the crèche.

            Ellie, she thinks. Ellie and Sam. Someone’s children.

            She takes off her shoes and socks and leaves them on the beach. She needs to feel the water, bathe her toes. It’s cold. It’s good. It’s strong. It isn’t enough. She lifts her feet, one, then the other. They suck out of their sandy sockets. She wades forwards. A water baby. Like Ellie. Solitary too. Just like Ellie.



Thanks

Thank you for reading this blog, if you’d like to submit a story for consideration to be published, please visit our submissions page.

If you’d like to keep up to date with all the latest stories, news, promos (including writing competitions and giveaways) plus receive a FREE Ebook, sign up to our mailing list here or fill in the form below.


Get your FREE Ebook

Accomplish more IN a fraction of the time

The pace and intensity of our lives, both at work and at home, leave many of us feeling like a person riding a frantically galloping horse. Our day-to-day incessant busyness — too much to do and not enough time.

With this ebook you will learn to approach your days in another way, reducing stress and getting results through prioritizing, leveraging and focus!

ebook button

25 MumLife Quotes

An oldy but a goodie! I’m reposting this post, to remind everyone how awesome mothers and motherhood truly is!

There are so many things to be said about Mums and Motherhood, so many stories and fun anecdotes about the highs and lows of life with and as Mothers. Words alone could not express the depth of Love Mothers have for their children and vice versa but there are many who have tried to do just that. We thought it would be fun to gather 25 quotes on Mothers and Motherhood to share with you, so we can all appreciate together, the fantastic contribution that these women make in all our lives.

 

“But there’s a story behind everything. How a picture got on a wall. How a scar got on your face. Sometimes the stories are simple, and sometimes they are hard and heartbreaking. But behind all your stories is always your mother’s story, because hers is where yours begins.” ~ Mitch Albom (For one more day)

“The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” ~ Theodore Hesburgh

“The natural state of motherhood is unselfishness. When you become a mother, you are no longer the center of your own universe. You relinquish that position to your children.” ~ Jessica Lange

“The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.” ~ Honore de Balzac

“The influence of a mother upon the lives of her children cannot be measured. They know and absorb her example and attitudes when it comes to questions of honesty, temperance, kindness, and industry.” ~ Billy Graham

“No man succeeds without a good woman behind him. Wife or mother, if it is both, he is twice blessed indeed.” ~ Godfrey Winn

“The fastest way to break the cycle of perfectionism and become a fearless mother is to give up the idea of doing it perfectly – indeed to embrace uncertainty and imperfection.” ~ Arianna Huffington

“To be a mother you must be strong. Even if you don’t feel it, you have to pretend.” ~ Sade Adu

“When I was a child, my mother said to me, ‘If you become a soldier, you’ll be a general. If you become a monk, you’ll end up as the Pope.’ Instead, I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.” ~ Pablo Picasso

“A mother is a woman who shows you the light when you just see the dark.” ~ Grimaldos Robin

“Mothers never retire, no matter how old her children are she is always a Mom, always willing to encourage and help her children in any way she can!” ~ Catherine Pulsifer

“Mother-love is the great, surging, divine current that plays forever through humanity.” ~ Elbert Hubbard 

 


il_fullxfull.1842155457_sc6r

Home Sweet Home Sign (Buy it Now)


“Many of us who are mothers already know that being a mother is the toughest job there is. In a single day you can travel from the depths of frustration to the pinnacle of elation!” ~ June Cotner

“Giving grace to yourself is never more important than when you become a mother.” ~ Whitney Meade, The Balance Beam

“The truth is that no matter how old we are, as long as our mothers are alive, we want our mother. And it’s a very powerful relationship if it’s healthy.” ~ Goldie Hawn

“God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.” ~ Rudyard Kipling

“In a child’s eyes, a mother is a goddess. She can be glorious or terrible, benevolent or filled with wrath, but she commands love either way. I am convinced that this is the greatest power in the universe.” ~ N.K. Jemisin

“Sometimes the strength of motherhood is greater than natural laws.” ~ Barbara Kingsolver

“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.” ~ Washington Irving

“Behind every famous and influential person there is a driving force and in many cases this driving force is the unfailing love and support of their mothers.” ~ Lisa Valentine 

“The truth is, every son raised by a single mom is pretty much born married. I don’t know, but until your mom dies it seems like all the other women in your life can never be more than just your mistress.” ~ Chuck Palahniuk

“Being a mother is an attitude, not a biological relation.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein, Have Space Suit—Will Travel

 “Mother’s love is bliss, is peace, it need not be acquired, it need not be deserved. If it is there, it is like a blessing; if it is not there it is as if all the beauty had gone out of life.” ~ Erich Fromm

“He didn’t realize that love as powerful as your mother’s for you leaves its own mark.” 
~ J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

 “Because I feel that, in the Heavens above / The angels, whispering to one another, / Can find, among their burning terms of love / None so devotional as that of ‘Mother’” ~ Edgar Allan Poe


 

This page contains an affiliate link which may earn me a small commission at no extra cost to you, if you click through and make a purchase. Affiliate links are how I keep this blog running, thank you.

Get your FREE Ebook

Accomplish more IN a fraction of the time

The pace and intensity of our lives, both at work and at home, leave many of us feeling like a person riding a frantically galloping horse. Our day-to-day incessant busyness — too much to do and not enough time.

With this ebook you will learn to approach your days in another way, reducing stress and getting results through prioritizing, leveraging and focus!

ebook button