About Me

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My new book, Liberating Motherhood – Birthing the Purplestockings Movement, will be published in September in 2016 by Womancraft Publishing.

I am a mother of two. I decided to stop shouting at the telly, so I sat down and wrote The Politics of Mothering, a political pamphlet. Its purpose: to draw attention to something which is happening politically, socially and economically to mothers who care for their children full-time and mothers who yearn to do so.

Once upon a time I was a lawyer, which gave birth to my writing as a law reporter for a legal publishing company. Then motherhood happened, a son then a daughter. There was no way I was going to leave them to go back to my job in London. I did not want to miss being with them and caring for them in their early years. I live with my wonderful, caring and handsome* husband and our two children.

I love the slower pace and simpler existence of being with small people who still have a sense of wonder and no boundaries in their imagination; and it is easy (after all, they are very cuddly, loveable and funny people) when it is not exhausting, all-consuming and the hardest work I have ever done.

Always a prolific, but shy, writer, I am glad that I decided to start sharing my words (instead of burying them in journals or computers long obsolete). Having been dragged on marches as a child I suspect that activism is in my blood – I am passionate about women’s rights and social justice. I am also working on pieces of non-fiction and fiction which I will, most likely, bury under the sofa out of crippling fear and insecurity about my worth as a writer. A true creative.

I write on issues which affect women and mothers, from pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding, postnatal depression, postnatal recovery, family life and feminism, with a sprinkling of politics, the law and economics for good measure. I am interested in other women’s experiences as primary, full-time, carers of children.

I was a founding member of the Women’s Equality Party and worked with them on policy development in parenting. My main interest politically is how we help low income families and stop women who care for children from becoming marginalised.

I’m a feminist, don’t you know.

I blog on the Huffington Post when the right inspiration strikes me:

Follow me on Twitter: Purplestockings @VOlorenshaw

I am on Facebook.

Here is the pamphlet

And this is me. On a good day.

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 Say Cheese!

*Is that gushing enough, Matthew?

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5 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Hi, I love your writing! I am a grandmother who was privileged to bring up my own four children and now takes care of a grandchild two days a week whilst my daughter is forced to work. She is separated and living in rented accommodation and with this mysoginist government, she dare not stop working even for a few years. I have responsibility for a disabled husband for which I recieve thirty pounds a week whilst saving the state hundreds a week. Myself and the other grandmothers who populate the toddler groups feel we have little choice other than to care for our grandchildren. I don’t believe very young children should be in nurseries.
    Yesterday in our local paper was an advert for a cook for a twelve place baby nursery in an exclusive area. It specified that the cook would be standing in for nursery staff at lunchtime! I kid you not.
    I used to attend a Buddhist centre but got so sick of a patriarchal religion telling women that we should strive to develop bodichitta and serve others. Most women need reminding that they need to take care of themselves. Our caring is taken for granted and trivialised. Capitalism would grind to a halt without us. And as you say, progress is getting your babies parked in a nursery and working till you drop.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. So glad to read this. My wife and I are in our late 50s now, children all grown up. I was always enthusiastic for women to enter the workplace as equals. Before I met her, my wife worked and was completely independent. We had our first child, and she attempted to continue working. I had begun earning more, and though I wanted to say “hey just stay home and raise our own children”, I hesitated because I didn’t want to impede her working. First, our daughter began to cry every day about going to daycare, and it broke our hearts. Then her job changed for the worse, and she quit. She had such a great time with our daughter! But then she began to feel guilty about “not contributing.” I kept trying to say that our daughter was important, building a good home life is honest and hard work… but if you want to get a job… up to you. She did get another part-time job but everyone was miserable, and it didn’t last. This time she decided to be a full-time mother. Another son, and another daughter came along. They all became amazing people as they grew, and I credit my wife’s work and love.

    There really is a lot of propaganda insisting that women can only achieve their full expression through work and dumping kids off for strangers to raise. I know plenty of couples who simply could not get by without both working, and I don’t judge them. But I am concerned about what 8 hours of daycare is doing to their 2 year olds, or 10 year olds for that matter.

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  3. I would truly love to engage with you soon. In the US there is an appalling lack of consciousness between mothers as members of a group, one that desperately needs to be felt, seen, spoken, and liberated. I am a policy analyst and social science researcher and am working on a proposal now to do primary research on separation and divorce as a site for intersectional maternal oppression, and yours is the only book like it. I will be ordering it today to read and include in my literature review. Please, let’s talk!

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  4. I am currently reading Liberating Motherhood and am thankful to finally have a voice for my misgivings about the way things are for us as mothers today. I am the higher wage earner in our household and at points have truly felt I was going mad with the competing demands on me, lack of support and mind games that are played on women with children. I had to go back to work before both my children reached one year old and both times I felt an intense grief which I feel our culture just dismisses and you’re encouraged to do the right thing and be brave and not feel the pain of the separation. I was a teacher for years and knew in my professional life the irreparable damage done to some children in their early years by neglect. We know this as a society and yet we don’t support mothers to care for their children. I have now changed careers to spend more time with my children but I pay the price financially. When I asked to return to full time work for financial reasons in the school I worked in for years after a couple of years part-time I was told they couldn’t accommodate this. I was so angry and let down. I had given years of commitment and energy but when I needed something then the answer was basically ‘ well you chose to go part-time, so now we can sideline you and fail to consider you ‘. The headteacher I think fondly imagined he was a feminist whilst fully colluding with patriarchy in every way. So glad other people are angry at the way mother’s are treated! I have gained invaluable knowledge and wisdom from motherhood but none of this is recognised.

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