Nami Clarke is the founder of Little Tsunami, an online project that encourages women to share their own, unfiltered stories of motherhood, so that other mums can feel supported and inspired. Here, she tells us how Little Tsunami came to be and why she feels compelled to share these real and raw stories of motherhood.
I re-discovered my love of writing after the birth of my first child in 2010. I experienced a traumatic birth and was unable to think about his arrival into the world – let alone talk about it – without crying. I was still in the maternity ward when I asked my husband to buy me a notebook and pen the next time he went to the shops. I knew that writing would help me process the experience yet the notepad lay untouched for many months. It wasn’t until after I was diagnosed with postnatal depression (some six months later), began attending counselling and taking medication that I was ready to put pen to paper.
The arrival of baby number two was a complete whirlwind. In fact, it was more like a hurricane. At 33 weeks pregnancy, my husband and I were informed that our unborn daughter was carrying a genetic kidney disease, with a fatal outcome expected for her either at birth, or in the weeks that followed (at best). Shortly after her second birthday, clearly thriving and defying all odds, another curveball was throw our way – she had been misdiagnosed with a capital “M”. Going through the harrowing experience of expecting to bury my baby to being told she was healthy all along was something I questioned if I’d ever recover from. It has left its mark on me but I look at my daughter each day in awe and amazement that she is here with me, the little firecracker of our family.
What began as a quiet, creative outlet for me has since turned into something much greater. The more I wrote, and the more I summoned the courage to share my experiences as a mother (and believe me, this pushed me out of my comfort zone!), the more women I connected with who had been through their own personal journey of motherhood that had taken to their limits. I quickly realised there needed to be a space available to discuss our feelings and experiences of motherhood without judgement or fear, without guilt or shame, and to celebrate the smaller milestones and achievements that often go unnoticed in the busy-ness of parenting but are worthy of recognition. Hence, Little Tsunami was born.
I have already lost count of the number of women who’ve shared their story of motherhood through Little Tsunami. Each time a new interview is published, I receive an email from another mother who is ready to step forward a talk through her experience. One mother inspires the next, and the next after that. What continues to motivate and inspire me with the Little Tsunami project is hearing from so many women: “This happened to me too. Thank you so much for sharing this”. The sisterhood in this little corner of the internet is strong, and that’s a wonderful thing to be a part of.
I’m not a glass-half empty person, in fact, I describe myself as being quite positive. I do believe quite strongly however that the myth surrounding motherhood needs to be torn down. The more the concept of motherhood is sold to us a story of love-at-first-sight, sleepy cuddles, lattes and strolls with baby in the pram through the park, the more we do a disservice to the next new mother who is climbing the walls at home as she struggles to breastfeed (around the clock), berating herself for being the only one who’s ‘not doing motherhood right’. For each and every one of us the journey is different, but I do know we’re all riding this wave of motherhood together.
*Nami Clarke is a mother, writer, business woman and conversation starter. She is also an official ambassador for COPE.
Check out Little Tsunami online.
Follow Little Tsunami on Facebook: www.facebook.com/littletsunami.au
Follow Little Tsunami on Instagram: @little_tsunami