Making me-time for mums

Welcome! We're Pippa and Penny of Story of Mum, a social enterprise changing the world, one beautiful brave exhausted mama at a time. We support amazing busy mothers who are trying to do it all but often feel inadequate, to bring more rest, joy and fulfilment into your life - even when that feels completely impossible. 

A fortnight of community encouragement, resources and inspiration for stuck mamas. 

30 April to 13 May.

Reminders to rest,
brave stories and treats

 "They seem to arrive just when I have reached the end of my resources for being decent to my family..."

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Once you’re in the water - swimming - the hardest part is already over.

Small, almost imperceptible, steps. Each taking you closer towards what your gut tells you to do. Even if you’re not sure why. 
Even when it looks impossible, from under your cosy duvet with a cuppa…

And yet, tiny step by tiny step, before you know it, you’re there. It’s like magic.

I don’t wipe sleep from my eyes, and declare, “right, time to jump into that cold sea…” I simply take a series of tiny steps towards it, with gentle permission to change my mind… 
1. Getting the kids’ school-ready, I chuck my swim stuff in a bag. I’m not committed, just keeping my options open… 
2. As we rush the kids out the door for school, I grab the bag, ‘just in case’. 3. After drop off, I walk to look at the sea. Because I love to look at the sea. 
4. I walk to the stairs that lead down into the water. Because that’s my favourite place to stand. I watch the waves, and get curious…

Only then am I close to deciding to do something brave. But I don’t feel like I’m making a decision, because I’m not in the water yet…

5. If it looks safe, I walk down to the ledge and start to get changed. 
6. And standing there in my bikini, getting cold, what else is there to do, but get in?

There’s no scary choice to be made. Somehow the steps have been taken without me noticing. The impossible has become possible.

As @hannahmarcotti would say, “it already is”. Wary of the slippery steps, down I go... until I feel the cold travelling up my body, and I push into the water and I SWIM as fast as I can to get warm. 
And it feels amazing.

What stops you from getting in?

What’s holding you back from making the change you want to make right now?

Can you take a tiny step towards it?

Mama Moving Forward, a momentum boost for mums, starts on 30 April.

Join us for 2 weeks of encouragement within a small supportive online community to move forward towards whatever change you'd like to make right now - let’s take those first steps together. 
Find out more and sign up for this 'pay what you can' programme at

#mamamovingforward #storyofmum #mamamotivation #firststeps We learn survival skills in motherhood. Because we have to.

We're the ones holding it all in our head. Whose bodies are inhabited by children. Whose names are being called, over and over and over until we can't think any more.

We're busy noticing the cues, the onset of hunger, what hasn't been said. We're remembering what needs to go in the bag, who needs to be where, and what will probably happen three steps ahead. We're giving up something we wanted because they need it more. We're accepting responsibility.

And yes, sometimes we practice survival by weeping at the kitchen table. 
Sometimes we practice by breathing, getting up again, going back in.

Sometimes we practice simply by getting through each minute, as it passes.

But even in those moments where we feel like we're failing and falling apart, we're honing vital skills for survival. And developing incredible (and unacknowledged) strength, willpower, persistence, flexibility, and stamina. 
And it's especially hard when we don't look after ourselves well.

To move forward - to thrive instead of just survive - we need resilience. And resilience is rooted in self care. The more we look after ourselves, the more we can bravely step forward. The more we can risk. The more quickly we can recover from our mistakes.

Resilience isn't always about keeping going - about juggling all the balls, and still standing - about giving everything to others.
It's about believing in your value enough to stop and say, I need to take time for me, now.

Even if that means you have to let other 'important' stuff go, and ask for help. 
Because you need to rest, to nurture yourself, to fill up your resources. To grow resilience.

What can you do to look after yourself well today?

An excerpt from today's mama-loving message in a bottle.

And... Mama Moving Forward starts on 30 April! Join us for two weeks of encouragement within a small supportive online community to move forward towards whatever change you'd like to make right now -  boosting your resilience and self-confidence, and taking those first steps together. 
Find out more and sign up for this 'pay what you can' programme at A perfect day. Because perfect days include sunshine, amazing friends, sea swims, sand dunes, lovely things to eat and drink, happy kids, laughter, hugs, feeling confident enough to walk around in a bikini, lots of love, and the occasional humongous meltdown where your child locks themselves in the car in a massive strop. But then rather brilliantly decides that cleaning their room is their chosen consequence: win win. Happy days...! #storyofmum #beachday #friendship #perfectlyimperfect Starting my day with an exhilarating sea swim, delicious coffee, wise angel cards, and a quick catch up in Mamas’ Everyday Retreat, connecting with mamas who are *still* joining in with our monthly retreat party prompts from Weds about moving forward as overwhelmed mamas (because it was so good!) Just some of the tools I use when I start the day feeling stuck, lacking in energy, clarity or motivation, or am simply curious about my best next steps… because whether it’s a good day or a bad day, they work!

The sea clears my head, puts ‘problems’ into perspective, energises me and makes me feel brave and seen. 
After the sea, I make a cafetiere of really good strong coffee (or even better, my husband makes it…) and drink a cuppa as my computer starts up - it feels luxurious, and spacious - and of course, there's caffeine in it. 
I have to be careful not to drink too much of it, or it starts to have the opposite effect, reminding me of my over-working years when I used it to push beyond my body’s natural capacity instead.

The angel cards offer guidance when I feel doubt, anxiety, or want a clearer focus. 
Today, these 3 cards were perfect, not just for me, but as a reminder of what we need to move forward with confidence and clarity: to be bravely present with our truth and purpose, and to hold steady within the flow of change.

Visiting our Facebook group (Mamas’ Everyday Retreat ) gives me a little boost, a reminder of my value in doing this work to support mamas.  Again, Facebook is a tool to be used in moderation - it’s so easy to get sucked into time-suck scrolling or distracted by unhelpful comparison. But there are also amazing spaces and communities here, and I love this group of women showing courage and vulnerable honesty and supportive compassion towards each other. Join us!

What are the tools that you use to get moving forward in the best possible way in the morning?

For more inspiration and encouragement to start well, and keep going towards what you want, on the good days and the bad, join us from 30 April for two weeks of Mama Moving Forward.

#mamamovingforward #storyofmum #mamasretreat #mamamotivation #supportingwomen It’s glorious this morning. I haven’t been in the sea for over a week, and today I had to decide whether to brave the big sets rolling in or not... This little internal struggle reminded me of a challenge we often face when we want to move forward in some way... balancing our need for safety and good self care, with ambition and desire to make a change.

Sometimes it’s hard to know whether to push yourself towards a risk, in order to move forward. Or whether to wait, to go more gently, so that you grow stronger for the next time. 
We need to do a bit of both.

As we take brave steps forward -  as we risk a little - we need to remember to rest and look after ourselves too. 
And when we have paused for too long - feel stuck or scared - we need to remember to search out opportunities to start moving again.

Simply asking the question is often the first step towards getting unstuck and knowing what you need to do next: what do I want right now, and why?

I want to jump into the sea because I want to feel ‘energised and alive’. And the ‘alive’ bit is important on a number of levels (!) so today, instead, I navigated the piles of sea debris laid out like a maze on the prom, and gave myself some time to stand and look.

Instead of rushing home to coffee and the next item on my to do list, I filled my lungs with that delicious tang of salty clean seaweed, and delighted in the sight of three swans flying past. I breathed it all in, felt the sun on my face and listened to the sea sucking back, turning rocks.

Simply by asking, by listening to myself, In those moments, I got closer to what I really wanted.

What do you want today? 
We’ll be talking more about getting unstuck, and how to move forward as a befuddled out of practice overwhelmed mum at our monthly get together in Mamas’ Everyday Retreat from 8.30-9.30pm GMT tonight, we’d love you to join us! (link in profile) 
#mamamovingforward #mamasretreat #storyofmum So slowly, so quickly, that child is growing up. 
Moving forward quicker than you’d like. 
His momentum leaves you dizzy as you spin in his wake, wondering who you are now.

Watching him speeding forward, taking risks, you stand still. 
Still watching. As he doesn’t look back.

Until he’s as small as a bird about to take flight. 
And while you might remember to breathe, you haven’t moved. 
Yet... something has shifted internally. With the visceral tug, the bold spin of his departing wheels.

In that stretching test of his freedom. 
In the moments before he returns to the safety of you. 
And in that shift, you know it’s time to move forward: for you too.

Our children move forward with confidence because they see us try. 
They learn the power of dreaming from seeing us bring our own dreams to life.

They are resilient because they see that while we are always there for them, we are there for ourselves too.

Mama Moving Forward: 30 April to 13 May.

#mamamovingforward #storyofmum #motherhood-unplugged