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General FAQs

Community guidelines

Who is M/OTHERWORDS for?

M/OTHERWORDS explores writings about motherhood. Our groups have been developed with those in the first year of parenting in mind, but everyone who wants to explore writings about motherhood is welcome: mothers, fathers, non-binary parents, those who have children, those who don’t have children, those who have lost children; everyone of any ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability; whatever the route to motherhood and parenthood or being in a mothering or parenting role, birth or partner of a birthing parent, adoption, surrogacy, fostering, step-parenting.

Babies and young children are welcome in any of the groups.

Do you promote or advocate styles of parenting?

No, we do not promote any one way of parenting; we are a literary appreciation group offering a range of writings on motherhood.

We respect that becoming a parent, and parenting, occurs in infinite ways. All of our experiences differ – for example, mode of becoming a parent, differing ways of feeding your baby, differing sleeping arrangements, differing parenting philosophies, feelings about parenthood, physical and mental wellbeing, family arrangements, childcare decisions, employment situation.

We promote respect and appreciation of everyone’s situation and decisions. We strive for an environment in which everyone feels respected and valued.

Reading Group FAQs

Can I bring my baby and children?

Yes! Babies and children are very welcome. Most participants bring their children. Please don’t hesitate to prioritise your and your child’s needs during the sessions. It is quite normal for participants to drop in and out of the meeting to change nappies, prepare bottles etc. Zoom makes it easy for you to take part and care for your baby at the same time.

Do I need to read before we meet?

No! All the reading material – extracts from novels, memoirs, articles and poems – is provided in the session on screen. The facilitator, Rebecca, will also read it aloud. We provide a full reading list after each meeting so you can follow up on the reading again if you wish.

What kinds of texts do you use in the groups?

There are poems, extracts from memoirs, novels and journals; historical, cultural; well-known and less well-known writers; covering a range of emotions, situations and experiences relating to motherhood.

Does it matter which group I join?

We currently run two different groups: Reading into Motherhood and Musing on Motherhood. The format of the groups is the same, but all authors and texts are different, so you can do either or both in any order. Many of our participants do both!

I haven’t studied English literature. Is this for me?

Yes! This isn’t a formal literature class and no expertise at all is needed. We ask everyone to be respectful of all contributions to discussions. You do not have to contribute to discussions: you are welcome to just listen in.

Do I have to speak or read out loud?

Attendees are welcome just to listen in. The opportunity to speak will come in the discussion groups that are limited to a maximum of 8 people. There is no pressure to speak at all.

I am not in the first year of parenthood. Can I still join?

Yes! The majority of participants are in the first year of parenthood and have a child/children under 12 months, but everyone is welcome.

I have a mental health diagnosis. Is this group suitable for me?

Everyone is welcome to our website and groups. Please bear in mind that our reading groups are not support groups and are no substitute for professional support. If you have any doubts, please discuss it with your health professional.

I know I can’t come one week. Do you record sessions?

We don’t record sessions. We always provide a list of readings after each session for anyone who wishes to read again or read more.

Do I have to put my camera on?

We ask that cameras are on as much as possible as it improves communication, including lip-reading. We do understand that there may be times when you prefer to turn them off.

How do I let you know if I have any special requirements?

On the booking form there is an opportunity to tell us about any special requirements. You can also contact us by emailing:


Do you moderate the RE/VERB comments?

All comments to RE/VERB will be moderated to ensure they comply with our Community Guidelines. Comments are published as soon as possible, normally within 48 hours. All posts are published anonymously. Any names submitted will not be published.

Still have questions? Please get in touch: