Mothers Who Make – Stroud

Photo credit – Lisa Whiting (Mothers Who Make)

At the end of January this year, I took over the coordinating the Stroud Hub of Mothers Who Make. If you haven’t heard of Mothers Who Make, they are a growing national initiative aimed at supporting mothers who are artists. Professional and/or passionate, inclusive of writers, painters, actors, dancers, musicians, film-makers….every kind of maker is welcomed, and every kind of mother. You can find out more here.

New to the area

Having moved to the area only 12 months ago, I came across the Mothers Who Make group completely by accident. Maybe it was a divine intervention? Looking to meet & connect with other creatives in the area, I came across The SVA website. The Site Festival is an annual arts festival in Stroud, organised in part by the team at the Stroud Valleys Artspace (SVA). It is among their event listings that I discovered Mothers Who Make meetings. The best part… can take your children with you!

It took me a long time to recognise that having an outlet for my creativity was a necessity rather than a luxury. Even more so in motherhood. My creative outlet keeps me sane, helps me stay on an even keel. I am much happier, calmer and relaxed, both as a person and a parent. The biggest lesson for me though has been to change my expectations around what that creativity looks like.

Creativity before children

Before children, I would paint, sew, collage and generally get messy. I would leave everything out (much to my husbands’ despair). Materials & tools scattered around our flat so that I could easily pick things up & carry on where I had left off. Anyone that is a parent will know that you can’t do this with small children!

So I had to adapt. My creative practice has adapted, our living space has changed as well as the location we live in. A strong reminder that creativity itself is a journey, constantly evolving, adapting and changing. We just need to be open to it and enjoy the process.

MWM Stroud

Attending my first Mothers Who Make meeting back in September 2019 was a big deal for me. My first time meeting up with a group of like-minded creative mothers. I always used to feel like the odd one out at the mother & baby groups. Mainly because I didn’t work in finance, law or work as a secretary or PA. Living in SE London, office jobs were the norm. The perils of living within the commuter belt of Canary Wharf & the City.

For the first time as a creative mother, I felt seen, heard, valued and understood. We shared our experiences, struggles, successes and just held space for each other. The work and support that Mothers Who Make provide is important. Making it an easy decision for me when asked to take over as coordinator for Stroud.

Interested in joining our lovely Stroud Hub? Meetings are held on the last Friday of the month. You can join our Facebook page here.

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