Reframing our experiences during Covid-19 pandemic

  

Headspace group 

CREATIVE MUMMAS - ONLINE

Creativity and talking Workshops for mums, babies and children 
A new way to connect, reflect, and get real support
at a time of immense stress, anxiety, fear and possibility.

Covid-19 is changing our lives in such a profound way right now and we have to find new ways to deal with the challenges that it is throwing our way: working from home, being at home with kids, partners or as single parents, home schooling (if you can or care!!!!), money and job worries, lack of connectivity with our usual circles and families, fear of illness, economic collapse, and the unknown etc etc.  The list is endless and the fear and anxiety that this experience can and does generate is profound.  

 

As a way to support people through this I am offering a number of facilitated 'Creative Mummas' online weekly groups where we will talk about our recent experiences and focus our thoughts on the themes and how they resonate. In between groups I will encourage you to make pictures, write words or creatively express your experiences in some way which will offer a small creative focus at a time of stress. The programme aims to enable women to carve out some small pockets of reflective time when time to think is scarce.  

Each week I will send email instructions; the theme of the next group and some ideas as to how you could use artistic methods to express your ideas and responses creatively.  This can be via making pictures, collage, writing, music, spoken work, a dance or indeed any other expressive format.  It will all be lo-fi so that you will most likely have the materials in your home already or you could call on Amazon and buy a cheap palette of paints/felt tips etc.  Everyone will have some paper in the house I am sure and if not you can improvise with magazines/collage/words etc. I will advise on this once you book on.

 

The themes will include topics such as resilience, work, imposter syndrome, parenting, fear, using time creatively, greatest challenges, possibilities coming from this time, the next normal, making meaning in the chaos etc. The online group time will be for everyone to talk about your recent experiences, your responses to the themes and 'show and tell' us what you have made during the week if you managed to do this.  The groups are for NON-ARTISTS and NO CREATIVE EXPERIENCE is needed!  The groups will be small and safe and facilitated with a focus on offering warmth, space to think, support and fun.  

ANY women is welcome to join a group and children and babies are of course welcome into the groups.  I will happily find creative tasks for the children to do as well and offer these to you via email so that hopefully you will be able to engage in the group and have your children in the space.  I know this won't necessarily be easy but my online experience has shown me that it is possible with a bit of prep and thinking - so women with toddlers and older kids are very welcome too - and of course screens are VERY useful for short blocks of time where we need to get stuff do. 

Sessions are 1.5 hours long and take place via a zoom link which I will send to everyone each week.

Feedback from latest groups:

Thanks kelly for the great group, So glad to have done this on both my Mat leaves.  It's been amazing to open up to such lovely and understanding people.  Its really helped me to reflect on myself and my life as well as gain some confidence. Its also made me realise that I have a passion to continue to do art. And above all meet all you lovely ladies. 

Thanks you kelly for creating a nurturing and encouraging womens circle to delve into the new emotions, worries and pleasures that motherhood brings. Your format of processing our thoughts and emotions in a supportive network with such amazing women on similar journeys while being able to see the progress through creative outlets has been invaluable in comforting me in this transition.

Thanks you kelly for creating a safe space to explore my feelings about the huge changes in moth hood, through discussions and artwork.  It has been such a blessing to have that time focussed on myself and my experience.  Ive also loved the group setting and hearing about the experiences of others and provides a useful perspective to frame my own thoughts and feelings.

Your courses ( I've been on two!) have been so enlightening and women are so similar in motherhood with the challenges we face, its incredibly supportive to have a safe space like that in which to share. Plus we have some artwork to show for it which has been so fun and I am so happy that I was able to actually produce anything.  I don't think Ive drawn since school!

Its been a really special group and experience and has been enlightening for me.  

Thank you again for a most meaningful few weeks.  I feel truly blessed to have found your course and this group of remarkable women.  It truly has been a godsend. Thanks you for making such a huge difference to our lives….

Following the great success of the Arty Mummas Creative Collective courses I am pleased to announce a new series of online workshops - Creative mummas online!
The next course dates - please email me for the next dates
This course consists of 4 sessions.
Each week we will be checking and and talking about issues such as resilience, work, parenting, fear, using time creatively, greatest challenges, possibilities coming from this time, making meaning in the chaos...
The entire course is £40.00  (hugely discounted price to take the crisis into consideration)
Please book via the contact form here with your name and baby/child name and age and then by paying the course fee via the BUY NOW button on this page. 
 
Places are limited and will fill up very quickly so book early. The course will be a small group.

The Creative Mummas Online workshops build on the experience I have gained running the Arty Mummas programmes since 2016.  This will be the 12th workshop programme in a wide ranging series about postnatal life and art/creativity.  Participants who have attended my courses in the past are known as the 'Arty Mummas' as the focus of these sessions is on you the mother - the parent - the caregiver. When I work with you in the groups I'll bring all my expertise to the sessions. My coaching, consultancy and facilitation practice arises out of over thirty years professional work in the voluntary and statutory sectors; my leadership skills gained as CEO, a freelance strategy consultant and chair of multiple teams and projects; my 8.5 years as volunteer Leader and Chair of NCT Newham: my day to day expertise as a local community activist, a focussed artistic creative perspective and over 25 years experience of being in psychotherapy, 16 of which has been in psychoanalysis.  In addition I have a Masters in Social Work (Nottingham University CQSW HCPC), a Diploma in Counselling and Groupwork in the Community and two Bachelor of Arts; in Philosophy and Fine Art (Painting). I spend three days per week working directly with people and offer around 5 hours per week to voluntary social action.

The following information helps to contextualise where the original ideas for the Arty Mummas programme came from and I have kept this here to explain the genesis of the work.

The sessions are a space for you to explore your experiences as well as gain new insights, meet new people, have fun 'creating' and relax as best you can at a time of intense emotions.   My work aims to support parents with some of the challenging aspects and offers a new and exciting avenue to do some self-reflective artwork alongside and with children. 

The First 1,000 Days of life (pregnancy to two years) are now accepted to be the most significant in a child’s development. Leading child health experts worldwide (WHO, UNICEF, NCT etc) agree that care given during the First 1,000 Days has more influence on a child’s future than any other time in their life. Ask most parents, and chances are they’ll say that the First 1,000 Days also present some of the most challenging moments in a person’s life. And with each new child comes a whole new set of priorities, dilemmas and challenges.

This course is aimed at parents with young babies and young children.  If you are interested or have any queries then please use this contact form on the right to communicate. 

 

This is an art project for non-artists, NO EXPERIENCE Necessary...being a Parent is all!  People who attend come with a positive motivation to explore within their selves and with their kids some of the key themes common in the First years of parenthood. Themes we cover include birth and 'growing-up', new beginnings, changing identities, work and 'the juggle', night times, love and bonding, changes and transitions. 

Each session will start with a facilitated group discussion on the theme and then women will choose art/writing materials and make whatever you fancy exploring your own experience. As the leader I will be on hand to offer support, guidance and ideas if needed. Babies and children can be involved too but the focus of the sessions is on you the mother and your needs (as best we can!). At times sessions will start with a short warm-up artistic activity so that people can loosen up and get into a zone to enjoy the processes.  

 

I hope people can be as prompt as possible but of course I know from experience that being a parent is a learning curve and getting out in the morning is a challenge at all times. The sessions are planned so that you can use the time to make artwork as well as relax and explore the themes. 

 

Babies and children will be with us all the time and are part of the sessions. Please bring a sling if this will help you. The space will be very informal and if you want to eat, feed, change or just hangout at any time then that's part of the work. The sessions will be facilitated by me, Kelly and for more information about my background then please take a look at the rest of this website. 

Past feedback from Arty Mummas Courses:

"The best thing I did on mat leave" - Tessa            

 

"Great to celebrate being a mum" - Afia

'Brilliant to actually create something for myself when I feel like all my energy is about giving out" - Lucia

‘I talk a lot about the practical nature of having children but I rarely talk about the bigger picture about how my life has changed and what that means to me. These sessions were really interesting also to hear other people's experiences’ - Shobhana

‘This was so brilliant; It's so important to do things where you remember aspects of your personality that are perhaps slightly pushed aside now we're busy anxious first time mothers’ - Zoe

What a wonderful thing to do - and boy did it do me some good to talk with other women who 'get it' and do some art! - Hannah

 

‘Thank you Kelly, fantastic project and I'm inspired to do some more art’ - Lucy

 

First 1,000 Days Art Project and Newham Arty Mummas Creative Collective 2019

Previous Courses have been supported by:

Newham Council - Go For It Grants

Newham NCT

Forest Gate Arts

The Gate Library

The Big Lottery Fund

© 2019 Kelly A Drake