Creative Mothers Series – Beta Mummy

Welcome to the Creative Mothers series – a fortnightly series of guest blogs for people to reflect on the impact of parenthood on their experience of personal creativity. If you would like to take part with your thoughts, please take a look at the Creative Mothers page and do get in touch.

Over the last couple of months, I have giggled, chortled and laughed out loud (as the kids say, do they still say that!?) at the Adventures of Beta Mummy. I am delighted to welcome said Beta Mummy to the Creative Mothers series today as she slightly nervously steps out from behind her doodles to stand next to them and share with us her personal story of creativity.   

If this series has taught me anything (and actually it has taught me a lot!) it’s that creativity is diverse and can arise from almost any situation to bring a mostly positive effect on our lives and on our exploration of identity.

Happy events can spur us, personal illness can inspire us, the need to break a daily routine can encourage us, unexpected challenges can redirect us, and heartbreak? Well it’s time to hand over to Beta Mummy for that one…

Humour and Heartbreak

In conversation with lovely ladies in #TribalChat, the subject of creativity and motherhood came up, which prompted me to write down some thoughts I’d had about why I started doodling.

This post is very different from anything else I’ve blogged, so I’m a bit nervous about sharing it. My usual posts enable me to hide behind humour and silly pictures, but this one is just me and my keyboard. Me and my innermost thoughts…scary shit.

Beta Mummy head and shoulders with big tears running down face

I started doodling because I was lonely. Several months earlier, my husband and partner of nearly 13 years had left me (and our two boys aged 3 and 1). Still heartbroken and somewhat bewildered by it all, but recovering from the initial, raw shock, I realised that I needed to reclaim something for myself, start searching for myself as “just me”, rather than myself as “us”. A friend gently suggested that rather than spending my evenings pacing the house, unable to settle, I do something productive, something creative. It’s no secret that art, in all its guises, can be cathartic and centering, but I protested, claiming that I wasn’t really the creative type. I’m an engineer, we tend to be very left-brained, and the last time I did anything remotely arty was back at school.

However, I pondered what my friend had said, and I picked up a notebook and pen that was on the table next to where I was sitting. I opened it up…and started doodling. All of a sudden I was transported back to my school days when I used to draw little cartoons of and for my classmates. Here’s one of them (circa 1999), that a friend has kept all these years, and sent me a photo of the other day (cringe!):

Ten school friends, cartoon, all different caricatures...some sporty, some fashionable, some tall. One with a horse

Anyway, that evening I sat and drew my pair of Baking doodles… It was fun to do, it whiled away an otherwise dull weekday evening, and when I snapped them and sent to the friend who suggested it, she seemed to think they were great! I did another few over the next couple of weeks, and she pestered to me to share them more widely, so I started my Facebook page, and then later, my blog. The feedback I get from my doodles is so positive – I’m rather bemused to find that apparently people think they’re funny – and I have come to realise that making people laugh is something which brings me a lot of pleasure. I’ve also realised that in fact I AM creative…I am under no illusions regarding the artistic quality of my doodles, but I like to think that they’re endearingly shabby! As for my subject matter…Beta Mummy is a caricature, but unfortunately I don’t have to employ an awful lot of artistic licence… Let’s just say that I can’t see myself running out of material anytime soon!

I am so thankful to have “found” my doodling habit, and my blog. It is my little outlet, my escape, my way of reaching out and connecting with people through art and laughter. I didn’t start out with any intentions whatsoever other than to fill in the voids of my evenings that were previously spent curled up on the sofa next to my husband. I still miss that, but am thankful to have found something new and exciting that I never would have thought of doing if it wasn’t for him leaving me – it’s a silver lining to a very dark cloud. And in the process of finding the world of blogging, and exploring my inner-illustrator, I am, bit by bit, finding out who I am, now, 13 years on from the person I was before I became one of two.

Quote: Art enables us to find ourselves & lose our selves at the same time. Thomas Merton

 

You can enjoy more from Beta Mummy on her blog, The Adventures of Beta Mummy, on Twitter @beta_mummy, on Facebook and on Instagram.

If you enjoy this series, please do check out the Creative Mothers page and contact me to be involved – I’d love to hear from you. 

Mummascribbles

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21 thoughts on “Creative Mothers Series – Beta Mummy

  1. Aww lovelt it’s so sad but so lovely to find out the story behind beta mummy. I think you’re amazing. Even that old school drawing is awesome. Umm… do I recognise that uniform lol

    #triballove

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh wow I had no idea, that must have been really hard. But now you have wonderful and funny blog to show for it! I absolutely love your drawings, they are too funny. It seems you have had a talent for it since school, the drawing of your friends is awesome. : ) Thanks for sharing your story it’s great to get to know you more and how your blog started.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow what a story. I adore that cartoon from school, I’d definitely have kept that too! I am so glad you started doodling and blogging, your blog always makes me laugh (I think we can all relate to Beta Mummy) and it sounds like it was exactly what you needed. You’ve created something so positive from the most difficult place. Thanks for sharing your story!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I had no idea about your story and as much as it is very sad I’m happy that you managed to find something you truly enjoy to do for you. I love seeing the your doodles and they always put a smile on my face. Thanks for sharing your story it truly is inspirational. Xx

    #triballove

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love your doodles – so sorry to hear that your husband leaving was the trigger behind them but glad that they are helping to fill that void and to find the person you were before you became part of a couple. That picture from your school days is brilliant – what a lovely thing to look back on and I bet it must trigger a lot of fun memories. Always enjoy reading your blog – so glad you decided to share those doodles with the world 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s very brave of you to share something so personal and it’s great that you’ve been able to take a negative experience and turn it into something so positive. Another great post in the #CreativeMothers series!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I loved learning about the wonderful Beta Mummy, she is a bloody inspiration in how she has taken a negative and turned it into such a fab positive. Go girl!! Also how cool is the doodle from your school days? Did you sign it? That is going to be worth some money one day. I think it is fab how a change of circumstances can lead us to discover our creative side, a side that might not have been discovered had our life carried on the way it was..I’m going to stop now before I attempt to go deep. But a really fab post – yay! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Well you know that I am officially your biggest fan (actually I need a badge to say that!) – I LOVE LOVE LOVE your doodles – they make me laugh out loud big time, they make me laugh so much I cry. I am so glad that you have found a creative outlet but I’m sad to hear the reason behind how it started but moving on let’s not dwell – I know that you are going to make a huge success and I think there are really exciting developmentss ahead for you and so so well deserved #TwinklyTuesday

    Liked by 1 person

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