A few months ago, an advert for The Mama Book popped up in my Facebook news feed. It’s creator, Zoe, was in some similar Facebook groups to me, and I guess this time, the algorithm got it exactly right.
A journal for mums? To celebrate and reflect on each season of motherhood? With the promise of helping me to ‘Find mental space in the season of motherhood,’ I was sold straight away. I preordered a copy and waited for it to arrive.
The truth was, I didn’t need another obligation. I am busy enough with running my home, looking after my boys, teaching three days a week, not to mention my blog and YouTube channel. The last thing I needed was something to feel guilty about.
I have to say, that hasn’t been my experience at all. To start with, The Mama Book is dateless. There is no expectation or requirement. Zoe writes in the introduction that The Mama Book was born out of a desire “to have a space to process, plan and reflect on life as a mother.” She encourages us to “Use your mama book in a way that works for you.” There’s no condemnation if you haven’t filled it in every day – or even every week if that doesn’t work for you.
The book itself is lovely. It has a simple, elegant design, and I love the way the pages are ring bound so it opens up completely and doesn’t close in on itself. Zoe is an illustrator – her illustrations can be found at Cheerfully Given, and I have one of her Bible quotes on my kitchen wall. The floral design on the front of The Mama Book is really beautiful and in keeping with the understated tone of the book itself.
I know this is a very specific thing to write about, but the style of the pages is lovely too. Clean, white pages with clear lines and elegant fonts. The whole book is really thoughtfully styled.
The front section is a ‘general’ section, with space to write your thoughts about your ‘Mama Mission’ – your hopes and dreams for your children, ‘What Matters Most’ and ‘I am…’ If you’re following my month on Self-Development, trying to define what ‘I am…’ will be really helpful.
After that, we move on to the Seasons. These are really versatile pages – a season could last a few weeks, a few months or longer. For each Season section, you have a Heart Check, Count the Joys (marking the positives), My Little Ones, ‘Define this Season’ a bucket list, a typical week, what I want to prioritise and focus on.
I started my journal in September, and in my ‘Heart Check,’ I basically wrote about how exhausted and drained I was. We’d been through months of very early wakings with Samuel, I’d had both boys at home every day throughout the Summer holidays and I’d found it really hard to cater to their very different needs, and it was the start of term.
Over the next section, where you reflect on your week, I can literally ‘see’ my energy returning. My enthusiasm for work, for parenting, for blogging is all returning, and Samuel is finally sleeping better. I honestly don’t think I’d have realised that if I hadn’t have been through the process of writing it down.
The other thing I really love about The Mama Book is that it’s not just about the children. There is so, so much more to mums than just their children. That’s why mums start blogs, isn’t it? The Mama Book allows you to explore your identity with your children and separate from them. It asks you every season, are you making time for work, rest and play? That’s with your children and separate from them. I am loving the chance and space to reflect on that.
I’m going to keep going with my Mama Book. I know it’s going to be a lovely thing to look back on in the years to come, and it’s a brilliant space to record my memories without sharing them publicly or feeling like I have to journal every day. I’ve also found the prompts really helpful too – when I have journalled in the past, it’s made me very introspective and quite pessimistic. In The Mama Book, the section for ‘The Joys’ is twice as long as the section for The Challenges!
The Mama Book really is fulfilling its promise for me. It really is helping me to find mental space in the season of motherhood, and I’m very, very glad that I clicked on that Facebook post in the first place. You can order a copy here. I’m not affiliated in any way with either The Mama Book or Cheerfully Given, but I whole-heartedly support them both, because they are brilliant.