Mothers life in Lockdown – ‘Zine’ submissions

According to Bo-Jo we’re just over two months away from having all social restrictions lifted, and we’re tentatively looking forward to a life of ‘normality’ (whatever that really means). By the time the 21st June arrives we’ll have been living in constraints for just under a year and a half. 

Some mothers have given birth in this time and their babies, now toddling around, have only known a world of masked faces and social-distancing. Some of us have lost loved ones. Some of us have had lives flipped completely upside-down, and some of us have found peace in the forced isolation. This huge life event will stay with us all for the rest of our lives for many different reasons.

Since November I’ve been working with a group of mothers all over the UK, via zoom, whatsapp and also through Instagram, and together we’ve been using photographs, words and other mixed-media to create a document of our experiences of motherhood during this time. The act of documenting and discussing has helped us to try and make sense of our experiences.    

Along the way the group of women have tackled created mini-tasks, and collected images and words. As we edge closer to our final self-initiated’ project, our concluding act will be to produce a ‘zine’ of the work which will act as an archive of this time. Any mother can contribute to this zine, and anything can be submitted. As long as it’s something that reflects on #motherslifeinlockdown. 

Submissions to the zine can be any of the work from the mini-tasks so far, or it can be a written piece illustrated with images from the last year, or it can be new images created specifically for the magazine, it can be old images and written reflections/responses, or it can be a collection of images or just one image. 

Or, if you’d like a prompt, you can answer these questions from and submit an image or images to accompany: 

What were your initial thoughts about how lockdown would affect you (back in March last year)?

What was the reality of the first lockdown for you?

Have things changed over time for you as the restrictions have been eased and toughened? 

Have there been easy/positive aspects of lockdown?

Have there been difficult/negative aspects of lockdown? 

(If relevant) Has your work been affected? 

What has helped you get through lockdown? 

Have you learnt anything, during lockdown, that you will want carry forward as it is eased? Are there things that you might even miss?

This zine will act as a document for the future, and a record of what mothers experienced during this time. 

The deadline for submissions is May 31st 2021. All images should be full size and high resolution. Please send submissions or questions to 

By Laura

(In response to the ‘celebrate the mundane’ task’

When focusing on the celebrating the mundane task I found myself noticing the little details of kid paraphernalia which may have previously niggled me. The coat flung anywhere when arriving home from school; the stickers stuck to the floor, the socks left on the table. Documenting these helped me pause and instead of sighing and tidying them away, I found joy in documenting them and celebrating them…it made me smile!

By Lorraine

(In response to the ‘a year in photos’ task)

When lockdown was announced I thought I had to survive on purely the food in the house.

I got Covid at the same time and was quite ill for about 5 weeks at home with my child.  I was told to stay home and could only be tested if I was hospitalised. It was a period of real fear and anxiety, however I started to get better and soon realised how scary isolation had been. 

My child was happy being at home, comfy and confident in completing school work, which was limited at the outset. I worked from home and the sunshine gave us great opportunity to use free time exercising. We cycled all over Salford and found routes I had explored over 20 years previous, plus new ones. This was definitely good to keep us fit and mentally well. 

The things I valued the most were family, nature and birds. 

By Karen

(A year in photos)

I can’t quite believe it’s been a year already, somehow it feels like time has stood still. Maybe it’s something to do with the slower pace of life or just getting older?! I remember watching as the horror of the Pandemic started to impact Europe. The daily rising of the death tolls in Italy and Spain (little did we know that our numbers were going to vastly outnumber them). My sister and her partner were heading to Rome for his birthday and I was getting very anxious for them.

I thought I was relatively organized with shopping, I remember getting up early the Tuesday just before lockdown. I was astonished by the amount of people in Tesco’s already loading their shopping into their boots after they had wiped it down. I was the only one in the shop wearing a mask and gloves and I think people thought I was mad. I bought some Easter eggs, turns out wasn’t the best purchase and they were long gone before Easter!!

The weeks that followed we’re frought with trying to get home deliveries and I had a hungry Teen. I was self isolating due to health issues (some insurance companies won’t insure me). Our neighbour was self-isolating too and as she lived on her own she had shopping priority and she gladly bought us some essentials. Likewise we would return the favour if she ever needed anything.

There were random act’s of kindness, someone who lived on our road had made flyers telling us they were happy to help.

The first time we took part in the Thursday night clapping I was in tears, we could hear and see other people. We didn’t go out for a very long time, we busied ourselves with a garden renovation. My parents hired us a skip for my birthday.

The weather was glorious and a 8ft paddling pool just about fitted into our tiny safe space.

VE day came and went, I encouraged the boys to keep diaries kept telling them that we were living through History, but they soon gave up.

There has been a lot of baking when we eventually could get ingredients and we’ve settled into our new normal. Luckily the boys had already decided they wanted to grow their hair before the pandemic.

There have only been a couple of DIY hair attempts.

Getting a puppy really helped the boys, and luckily he is one cuddly, soppy pooch. My husband and I have both had our first vacations and the boys are being tested twice a week which really does give you peace of mind.

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