Want to know WTF a Woke Mama is? Each week, we’re introducing awesome women who are making the world a kinder place, one happy baby at a time.
Name & age: Kerry, 45
Kids: Talia, 14, Felix, 12 and Rufus, 9
How did you end up doing gentle parenting?
Kindness with my kids is the priority. If we model kindness we will raise a kinder generation.
What does being a woke mama mean to you?
It infiltrates all that I do and is the ethos of my business, Go Fish Education.
Most awesome moment so far?
Emotionally guiding my family through a terribly traumatic time and the silver lining following my son’s diagnosis of leukaemia being my blog, Mrs Brown’s Blogs and publishing my first book, My Grit Journal.
Biggest struggle so far? How do you cope with stressful moments?
My middle son Felix was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in January 2016. How we thought our future looked changed from that point onwards.
Felix had to endure eight months of gruelling treatment including chemotherapy and steroids, numerous hospital admissions and isolation from friends and family.
His siblings were thrown into a world which no child should have to experience. They watched their parents, friends and family buckle with sadness and fear whilst their brother changed both physically and emotionally in front of their eyes. They are also the heroes of this story.
I coped with Felix’s diagnosis by choosing positivity and action to fight this awful thing we had been dealt. I threw myself into blogging to try to help make sense of this strange new world we had been thrown into and also strived to raise awareness.
I wanted people to accept that, despite Felix’s cancer diagnosis, Felix was still a fun-loving, spirited and passionate young boy and that as a family, we would power through.
We did not want pity, we wanted to work towards helping people understand more about the world of childhood cancer.
How do you juggle work with gentle parenting?
As a mum of three, I have always worked as a teacher in a number of different positions and schools. After my daughter was born, I returned to work as a teacher but continued to exclusively breastfeed her – pumping away during break and lunch to ensure that I could continue to supply her despite working.
Following Felix’s diagnosis, I knew that I could not return to teaching. In the past, I had relished challenge in my career enjoying a spell as a headteacher, but our future had changed.
I knew that I did not have the emotional strength to teach and needed more flexibility for medical appointments and any hospital admissions. I also wanted to make sure that, no matter what, I would be available for my other children should they need me. I had no idea how the trauma would affect them.
With the support of my husband, I resigned from teaching and launched my own educational business, which would provide me with the flexible working I needed.
Since Felix was diagnosed, there have been spells when he has not been to attend school. A rather simple case of slapped cheek in January this year resulted in four blood transfusions and three weeks off school.
As a busy Mum of three juggling work and family life, these long spells being housebound left me needing something to focus on beyond Felix’s diagnosis.
That’s when I decided to write My Grit Journal. My business, Go Fish Education, is embedded in the theory of Growth Mindset. This promotes the idea that success is gained through hard work, effort, embracing challenge and not fearing failure.
It is this which helped me cope with the situation we had been thrown into. I wanted to share these ideas to help others, particularly teenagers, understand that they can make positive changes and work towards success.
The result of this desire to enable others to reach their potential was published on 29th June 2018 – My Grit Journal, my own silver lining!
Any advice you would give to new mums?
There are no rules, choose your battles and everything is just a phase. You know your baby better than anyone else; always be their advocate.
What’s on your soundtrack to your first year of being a Woke Mama?
Yellow – Coldplay
Woke Mamas, you are amazing. Always remember that! If you would like to find out more about my blogs and book, please go to https://mrsbrown.me or to have a look at my wonderful world of education, please make your way to https://www.gofisheducation.com And for the shameless plug, you can either buy My Grit Journal through my website or Amazon.
You can also follow Kerry on Instagram @mrsbrownwriter ❤
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