I am not sure whether it is that things have got worse, more complex, frightening, depressing, dangerous since I became a mother or whether it is that motherhood has made me more aware, political and at the same time more sensitive, more easily overwhelmed by the state of the world. Probably it’s both.
What to do? About the overwhelm and about the world and my part in it? Some people have told me that they do not ever want to have children because the world is in such a sorry mess it doesn’t seem right to bring new life into it. Whilst I respect this view I don’t share it. In response to the sorry mess having a child and bringing him/ her up with care seems like a hopeful strategy, equipping the next generation the best we can with the means to meet the challenges ahead.
The only other hopeful thing I know to do is to make art. It isn’t necessarily overtly political work but on some level it is a response to being alive here now. Neither mothering nor making are quick fixes. From day to day I often feel scared, grief-stricken, anxious and helpless. Longterm however I do believe that both the things I do - making and caring - can be world-changing.
Here then are my questions for the month: How do you cope? How do you manage the overwhelm? What gives you hope? How, if at all, do you engage with the change you want to see in the world as a mother or as a maker?
Come to our London meeting to share (details below) or visit our FACEBOOK page to join the discussion there.