MWM was born in London in 2014 with theatre maker and Improbable Associate Director, Matilda Leyser. The initiative grew from Matilda’s sense of there being experiences and challenges specific to being both a mother and an artist. She noticed many parallels between the two roles: both are concerned with creativity and play, both require stamina, patience, sensitivity, both keep her up at night. At the same time she was struck by the strength of the cultural assumption that the two were incompatible, that she must compromise on either her creative work or on her mothering. She wanted to challenge this. She put out an invitation to mother-artists, across art forms, to join a peer support group to which they could also bring their children of any age. The response has been extraordinary.
Mothers Who Make has rapidly spread across the country. There are currently regular peer-support groups meeting at 13 major arts-related venues in different regions across the UK, with 17 other groups in the process of starting over the next year. There is also growing interest internationally.