Mothers Who Make - Being a Proper Mother/ Artist….
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Being a Proper Mother/ Artist….

In September my son started school. Well, not ‘proper’ school – a Steiner Kindergarten for three mornings a week but as far as he is concerned it’s school. There are many aspects of this transition I had anticipated – lots of fretting ahead of time! -but I want to tell you of one experience I hadn’t expected.

Day one. I got up at 6am to lay out his clothes and to make his packed lunch. Standing alone in the kitchen, dark still outside, laying a slice of cheddar cheese onto a piece of bread for his sandwiches I suddenly felt like a proper mum. It was a powerful feeling but even in the moment the absurdity of it made me smile. Of all the things I have done for my son since he was born – the breastfeeding into his toddlerhood, the distances I have carried him, the upsets I have soothed, the messes I have cleaned up, the rages I have navigated, the crazy games I have played, the nights I have missed sleep – it was this, the making of a cheese sandwich early in the morning, that finally prompted an imaginary badge of honour to descend from above and pin itself to my shirt, on which was written the word: “Mum.”

It made me think about the strength of the images we receive and internalise that impact profoundly on our sense of legitimacy and our confidence. More than once since starting Mothers Who Make, a mother has contacted me to ask whether she would be allowed to come to a meeting since she isn’t really being a ‘proper’ artist at present. Others come but talk about feeling like a fraud. Yes, you can come! No, you are not a fraud!

But here’s my question: What are the images you carry, the yardsticks against which you measure yourself? What, to you, is a ‘proper artist’? Or a ‘proper mum’? What do proper artists and proper mothers do? For me, apparently (and I did not know this till last month) proper mothers make early morning cheese sandwiches. And you?
The GfA funding application is in at last! Well wishes, prayers, incantations, meditations, finger-crossings – bring ‘em on! We’ll hear in early November.
In the meantime if anyone has crowdfunding experience and would like to help or advise me with launching a MWM crowdfunder please get in touch:
I’m excited to announce that new groups will be starting up soon in North London at JW3, East London at The Arcola and South London at Battersea Arts Centre. Until these get going we have another meeting for all at Clapham Omnibus on Saturday October 28th 11am-12.30pm. For full details see below.

Newcastle MWM are partnering with The March of the Mummies – a fantastic event taking place this Halloween. Go here for more details and to join in the march!
Also, an Exhibition on Motherhood and Metamorphosis in Stroud is looking for contributions:
The Lansdown Gallery 7th-11th November
The process of childbirth and the early years of parenting are transformative. When you become a mother, the ordinary becomes the extraordinary – a metamorphosis occurs. This transition from autonomous woman to mother is a deeply personal experience that affects each of us in different ways. 
This exhibition is to provide a platform for mothers to acknowledge their metamorphosis into motherhood; to create a space in the public consciousness exposing the difficulties this change evokes and to celebrate the epic odyssey we've embarked on – the most challenging and rewarding of journeys. Join with us to draw, write, dance, sing, make, and create!
Here’s a link to the Facebook exhibition page
If you are interested please contact ASAP for further details. The final deadline for receipt of work is Nov 3rd.
Next meetings ... 
Saturday October 28th 
11am -12.30pm
Every kind of maker welcome, professional and/or passionate, and every kind of mother. Please also feel free to bring along your children of any age, whether they are inside you, beside you or running round the room. Mothers of older children are also extremely welcome. Also bring toys or whatever creative materials would make you and/ or your child feel most welcome. £5 or £3 concessions requested.

It’s always useful to get a sense of numbers beforehand so please email me on if you intend to come

Meetings are at HOME

Monday 20th November
Monday 18th December
10.30am - 12.30pm.

Meetings are at Bristol Old Vic

Wednesday  25th Oct. 

Wednesday 15th Nov.
Wednesday 13th Dec. 

Thursday 18th Jan.
10 - 11.30am

Meetings are at Northern Stage
Wednesday 1 November
Wednesday 6 December

Meetings are at Craft Locker

Wednesday 25th October
Tuesday 21st November 
Warm wishes,
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