Mother of The month
Liz Richardson - December 2018
1. What’s your name, and your children's names and ages? Where are you based? What kind of making do you do or dream of doing?
Liz Richardson. 3 year old daughter called Eve, based in the Peak District. Run the Manchester MWM. An actor and theatre-maker; youth worker and children's music class leader
2. How do you do it?! How do you make it work?
Thursday and Fridays are my saving grace I suppose- this is when my daughter goes to nursery and do a lot of my work and 'catching up' on myself. It also re-sets me and allows me to be a better mum again come Saturday and beyond! Work on these days includes funding applications for a new show, script writing, emails to artists and producers, play-prep for my play reading class at the theatre; lesson planning and lessons at 3 local primary schools; music class prep...washing, cleaning and walking the dog!! I try to do some catch up work most evenings too but I also help run the local youth club and I also like to fit a run in here and there!
My husband works from home, so we have a system that seems to work where we share the dog walking, the cooking and evening playing and bathing etc. if one of us has a deadline or is feeling overwhelmed with work!
We live in a close-knit community where there's plenty of socialising and activities and such things as a baby sitting circle (run on points, not money!)- so we do get our time to relax and enjoy ourselves, and I even get to pop in to Manchester now and then to see theatre!
3. How has your mothering impacted your making?
We made a 'life-choice' and left London to settle in the countryside to start a family and enable me to stop working daily in jobs unrelated to theatre in order to pay my London-rent, and start working on my career and feeling more fulfilled. Part of this change meant that I stopped classing myself as a 'jobbing actor' and started applying myself to the type of acting I wanted to do by actually creating it. During this time, my daughter was born and it just became normality that my newfound freedom in creativity and theatre making was built around my time with my child. My husband and I factoring in the couple of days where we paid for her to go to nursery seemed to prove successful as it actually allowed me to work and earn money to then cover these costs. There are times however (this is quite a lot!) where I just don't have enough hours in the day to do all that I need to do to bring up my child and pursue all the things my work demands, but so far, I feel I have been well-supported by the theatre I work for and the makers I work with. We acknowledge that things take a little longer to be produced and replied to but will get done (and meetings where my daughter also comes and drawers on their workbooks!). This applies to my youth work too- I say how much I can commit to and only do as much as I can, it is an extra choice to pursue this- my community is important to me.
4. And vice versa?
Eve is my all- we chose to bring her into this world, so we need to honour that by making our lives about her and her and us. It has been hard at times where I have had to tour or go to Edinburgh, for example. But due to my husband working from home and nursery we have made this work and I have always seen her every week during these periods. She tells people 'mummy is doing a show' but she always knows I come back! We have family at either end of the country but they are always there if we need them to be.
5. The best thing? The hardest?
The best thing is having control over what I do with my career and my skillset and then working this around doing the most important job in the world that is raising our future generation. The hardest thing is being diligent with your time: making sure you get the work done within 'work' hours and not staying up too late or leaving deadlines to the last minute- as you never know if that's the night your child is going to wake up vomiting everywhere...making & day-time mothering on minimum sleep makes me an unwell woman!
6. Future dreams?
Of having another child.
Image: Liz Richardson and Daughter Eve (Part of Make Yourself Visible Campaign)
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