Principles & practice
As Mothers Who Make grows in wonderful ways across the country and even over seas, we want to look after it and make sure that we stay connected in our work. As far as possible, we want to ensure that any groups starting up under the Mothers Who Make name are true to the original vision behind the initiative. Here then, below, are the principles that underlie it and inform the running of all the hubs.
The events are adult-centred but children are welcome to attend and participate. One of the motivations behind MWM was my experience that there are two kinds of spaces which most mothers must navigate: child-centred ones with the adults needs marginalised (playgrounds, one o’clock clubs) and adult-centred ones with the children absent or unwelcome (rehearsal rooms, meetings, offices). MWM events model a third kind of adult-centred, child-friendly space. The space should reflect this – bring toys and lay on the crayons and paper!
Any kind of mother
Events are open to all mothers, expectant mothers, new mothers, mothers with older children, grandmothers, mothers who have adopted, mothers who breastfeed, mothers who bottlefeed. Mothers of any race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity. Mothers with a disability.
Any kind of maker
All art forms are welcome – writers, musicians, actors, film-makers, dancers, visual artists. We’ve also welcomed producers, architects, historians – in short anyone engaged in a creative practice that they hold dear. Makers can be professional and/or passionate. No particular level of experience is necessary to attend – women at any stage of their careers or creative journeys are welcome.
Mothering and making valued equally
Each participant is recognised and valued in her dual roles of mother and maker – these are held with equal esteem and regard, in contrast to the wider cultural trend which consistently values professional work over and above personal, domestic or emotional labour. We also hold space for exploring the ways in which the two roles might inform each other, rather than the assumption that they must be always be in conflict.
The events held under the MWM name are egalitarian and collaborative in nature. We sit in circles, not in chairs in rows. We listen to each other with respect and empathy and without judgement. We share experiences and resources. This is a non-hierarchical model– we work collectively and are our own experts.
We respect and recognise that there is no one kind of mother or maker, and no single solution to the myriad challenges facing a woman who holds these two roles in her life. Each woman’s experience is valid and welcomed.