There is a lovely new community of creative mamas on Facebook called “Mother’s Journal: A Writing Group for Moms” which is a branch off to the Madison West Writers Group – a very active writing community based in the Madison area that started in 2014 and meets regularly for friendly critiques, creative writing nights and other fun literary themed events.
In the new niche Mother’s Journal Facebook group, the focus is on the motherhood side of creative writing, which is accomplished by working on themed prompts, ideas & conversation starters to inspire entries in the participant’s very own “Mother’s Journal.” This can be a notebook, a file on the computer or phone, or even in the form of a scrapbook- as you’ll learn from some of our ideas & prompts below. Mothers can create this precious time capsule for themselves, or with the intention of passing it onto their child(ren) one day when they are old enough to appreciate such an invaluable gift.
In addition to the Facebook community, the Mother’s Journal group will be having regularly scheduled in-person meetings taking place in the Madison area. All mamas, writing styles and skill levels are welcome! This is NOT a place for critique or judgement, but a welcoming community of fellow mamas to share their creativity, advice and momraderie!
Below are some ideas to get you started. Make sure to follow along on our Facebook page for more prompts and ideas!
Family Recipe Scrapbook
This can be a great project for the entire family to get involved in! Track down as many family recipes as you can get your hands on- Aunt Peggy’s chili, Grandma’s peanut butter cookies, Uncle Larry’s infamous Moonshine, and/or just a bunch of your own favorite family recipes you use at home.
You could start each entry with the recipe, and then write about a particular occasion you enjoy this food- during the holidays, on a particularly eventful day, etc, and/or tell about the person who always made the recipe. This would be a wonderful heirloom to pass down to your children one day so that they can carry on making these cherished recipes, as well as have an amazing history of their family!
Get as creative as you want with your recipes, stories and decorating! This particular project would work very well in the form of a scrapbook. You can add photos of the family members, pictures of you enjoying the meal or celebration, recipe cards and other fun embellishments!
Don’t have that kind of time? Don’t worry!
If you are looking for a simpler way to create this heirloom, you can pick up a traditional recipe book like this one and write your recipe on one card, and a story or description on the next. Maybe cut and past a photo or two on various cards to add some history & color without having to raid a craft store’s entire scrapbook aisle to finish your book.
The point is to have fun, create something beautiful and in the end- have a cherished book of recipes to pass down from generation to generation.
The Poetry of Motherhood
We have tried a few fun and inspiring poetry prompts in our Facebook group. You MAY have some flashbacks to grade school while working on these, but I PROMISE YOU, they are a lot of fun!
1) Acrostic Name Poem
Create a poem for your children and/or for every member of the family by writing their name vertically down the left side of the page. Then come up with one word or a sentence for each letter of their name, trying to capture each family member’s personality with your words.
2) Concrete Poetry
A concrete poem is when you create a shape with your words and based on a certain theme (i.e. a halloween poem in the shape of a pumpkin, a garden poem in the shape of a flower, etc).
Some theme ideas specific to motherhood you could try:
-CHILD (the shape of a person, your child’s name, etc)
-Objects that play a key role in parenting- a SHOE, a specific TOY, a BICYCLE, or any of the other endless odds and ends we are surrounded by in our day to day life.
This is a great practice in being deliberate with your words, as you must fit everything into the format of 5,7,5. Some great themes for a haiku could be: CHILDHOOD, MOTHERHOOD, CHORES, GROWING UP, and SCHOOL. There is a new haiku prompt posted event Sunday on our page, which is a fun way to keep up with your creativity!
This form of journaling is simple and relatively easy to keep up with. You know all of those fun events you like to go to with the family? I don’t know about you, but I usually come home with a pocket full of ticket stubs, arm bands, colorful maps and other scraps that generally wind up in the trash. Recently I decided to start saving some of these little mementos to add into journals I have created for each of my children. I attach the object into the journal and then write a journal entry about the event, my child’s reaction, how our day was that day, that sort of thing. This is a great colorful and tactile way for your child to look back on events they will most likely have forgotten otherwise.
I hope you have enjoyed these few prompts and ideas to get you started! Don’t forget to follow along with our Mother’s Journal group for more ideas!
Adrienne Hulburt-Stroud lives in Middleton, WI with her husband Aaron, and their three precocious children (the eldest being of the canine persuasion). Adrienne serves on the board for the Wisconsin Writers Association, and is a writer, a community organizer, and is working on opening a local cafe and event space focusing on ways to build community and create fun experiences for all ages and interests called Common Ground. To follow along with all of Adrienne’s dabblings, you can check out these links: The Blog; The Writer’s Group; The Common Ground project.