I have seen first hand the fall-out when we don’t get the support we need as mothers.
The story that no one meant to choose of scarcity, shame and blame gets handed down to each new generation.
I’m Jo, the founder of Mums4aChange and I’ve seen this in my life and in my work in a children’s home, schools, leaving-care projects, at ChildLine and with adults as a therapist and coach.
I’ve also seen the opportunity that motherhood gives us to transform.
Parenting our children is like facing a mirror, we are confronted with seeing ourself and the society we live in, warts and all. We are faced afresh with choices about the stories we want to live and pass on. Our own story is now interwoven with the stories our children and their grandchildren will create.
As Anne Stevenson writes in Poem for a Daughter, “When we belong to the world. We become what we are.”
This incredible inner shift felt out of kilter with how people were talking to me as a new mother. I felt lonely despite being surrounded by amazing women. We all seemed focused on DOING the best we could.
What it meant to BE a mother, the awe and terror of it was never named.
When I started coaching mothers, running groups and interviewing mothers for a book (that become this social enterprise) I heard such thoughtful, rich stories. I also witnessed the huge benefit mothers get from sharing their true stories and hearing ‘me too’.
At Mums4aChange we use coaching and creativity to share what really matters and get potent about what wants to shift. Because by taking the time to attend to ourselves and where our fault-lines are, we are less likely to create the same cracks for our children to fall into.
Why are we called mums4achange?
Because you and your well-being are put at the top of the list for a change.
Because you are ready to make some kind of change or shift. This might be about who you are being or what you are doing and how you are doing this. Often it’s about both.
Because we believe in inviting a cultural shift where the contribution of mothers to society is truly valued and recognized.
Mums4aChange is a social enterprise
Which means we are not for profit and have been lucky enough to have the support of the School for Social Entrepreneurs to help us set up and funding from the Rio the National Lottery and the People’s Health Trust using money raised by Health Lottery South West to run our Time for YOU groups.
I am a mother of two lively, utterly unique children, have an MA in Integrative Arts Psychotherapy and am a licensed Firework Career Coach and Life Coach. My four-year MA Psychotherapy training at IATE specialised in using the arts and creativity to help people live richer and more fulfilling lives and this creative approach runs through all the Mums4aChange programmes we offer.
I became interested in coaching when l was looking for a new direction after having my children. 8 years of coaching both men and women later and Mums4aChange was born. I have over 15 years experience of working with adults, young people and children in a range of roles including as a therapist, telephone counsellor, counselling supervisor, relationships skills trainer and more recently as a coach. Writing and telling stories has always been a part of my life and a way of making sense of my world.
At the moment I am writing poetry and working slowly on a collection of poems about the inner landscape of motherhood a few of these are in Called to the Edge which Crafty little press has just published and includes the work of 6 poets.
Clare attended one the ‘Time for You’ groups and discovered the value of writing and making to unlock her creative side and as a therapeutic outlet.
She is now currently studying for her Counselling Diploma Level 4 and has established Revibe Reiki
Her youngest son has complex medical needs and Clare is an incredible support to the Time for You groups for mothers of children with additional needs. She is also one of our three Mums4aChange directors.
Cass has four children including her son who has autism. She came to one of our Time for YOU groups and found it so rewarding she wanted to continue the support for others. Cass is now one of the Mums4aChange directors and support facilitator for our Time for YOU groups. Cass also runs a support group for parents/carers of children with autism in Totnes.
Cass has worked in CAMHS and is currently assisting Plymouth University to create support programmes for families whose children have autism. She has an BSc Hons (Hons) Occupational Therapy, Level 4 advanced diploma Person Centered Counselling and 15 years experience running support groups.