There’s no time we need support more than when we’re becoming mothers. It’s a truly unique journey that is full of so many highs and lows, particularly in the last year.
It’s been a scary time to become a mother, between restrictions, the unpredictable nature of the year and the the fact that we couldn’t have our loved ones around us as much as we’d have liked.
Mum of two and Dublin GP, Maria Tempany knows exactly how hard the last year has been for mums – and how hard motherhood can be in general. So she took it upon herself to write a book of poetry to support mums in hard time sand good times, through touching and heart-warming poems all about being a mum.
‘A Mother’s Birth’ is the result of a lifelong love of poetry and writing and the birth of her children. A doctor by profession, Maria got back into writing after a creative dry spell through years of her internships and GP training when her son was born in 2018. She penned ‘To Our Beautiful Baby’ to convey all the hopes and dreams she had for him and to commemorate her journey into motherhood.
It re-sparked her passion for poetry, so when she became pregnant with her daughter in 2020 – giving birth right at the start of the pandemic(!) – she channelled her anxiety into her writing.
“When pregnant again in 2020 (this time with my daughter) as the coronavirus started to take its catastrophic toll on the world, my fear and concerns were again expressed through rhyme: my alternate world of comfort and release.” Maria shared. “With her arrival in May 2020, came an onslaught of thoughts and emotions that I struggled to grasp. Can I do this? Am I enough? I was completely immersed in the most important role I’d ever faced and I questioned my capability daily. Hourly feeds all night long, together with trying to manage the emotional adjustment of my son, still a baby himself, challenged me greatly. Without the outlet of my poetry and the unwavering support of my husband, I may have entered a dark place.”
Maria’s work just went from strength to strength as she began to share her work with other mums who found her words resonating. In such a tumultuous time when we were all so isolated from one another, there’s nothing more comforting than hearing a voice that sounds like yours, voicing your worries, your fears, and knowing you’re not alone.
“In October 2020, after much encouragement from friends and family, I started my poetry page on Instagram: @therhymingone. With one click, I entered a place of pure vulnerability and the confidence I exude in my working environment shrunk right away as I lay bare my words on motherhood for the potentially brutal world of social media."
“I soon found comfort in a previously unconceived supportive writing community of mums (@themumpoempress, founded by Katharine Perry). The encouragement of the marvellous mums in this virtual space inspired and spurred me on, and the poetry flowed: the ups, the downs, the lows, the highs: I had a rhyme for each to my surprise!”
And these ups and downs, highs and lows touched the hearts of mums far and wide, her work gathering a momentum that just shows how much mums need to support one another and have loved ones around them.
“The reception I received was never anticipated and so humbling. I received messages from mums all over the world to say that my words resonated with them. This was medicine for the soul, and so I kept writing.
“‘You should write a book,’ many said. At first, I laughed, quickly dismissing this absurd idea, but upon reflection and seeing other marvellous mums produce books of their own, I thought: ‘Why not?’, having always been a fan of the saying: ‘If you believe it, you can achieve it’.
Thinking that if nothing else, the book would be a keepsake for her children, Maria pulled ‘A Mother’s Birth’ together within a few weeks, inspired by the idea that ‘we all frequently discuss the birth of our babies, but rarely do we reflect on the fact that, with the arrival of each beautiful baby into this world, comes the birth of a mother, needing support and nurturing more than ever before.’ The book follows the mother and child’s journey together, from pregnancy through to toddlerhood, and is the absolute perfect gift for every new mum.
The book is currently available on Etsy and will soon hopefully be available in bookshops nationwide, so keep an eye out for ‘A Mother’s Birth’ on your local shop’s bookshelves!
“It’s such an exciting adventure for me and I’m thoroughly enjoying the process,” Maria told us. “If my words can offer solace to even one mum who might be struggling and can reassure her that she is not alone, then I feel that I have achieved more than I could have ever imagined.”