Working from home is a lonely enterprise. So is single parenting.
As someone who does both one of my goals this year has been to get out of the house more and make connections with other artists and single parents.
This past weekend Kettle’s Yard ran a fantastic event called Motherhood, Makers and Female Artists.
The event was a chance for mothers who are artists and makers to get together and take time to explore artworks, do some drawing and making and share our own barriers to committing to an art practice while being a mother.
It was run in collaboration with Mothers Who Make - a national group whose mission is to “support mothers who are artists – professional and/or passionate.”
Children of all ages were welcomed – which always makes it easier for single parents to attend events.
It was good to get out of the house, but it was great to meet up with likeminded people. We looked at art, drank tea and chatted about ourselves as artists.
I felt the difference between this meet up and any regular mum’s coffee mornings that I’ve attended. For most coffee mornings the conversation is usually about parenting, children, house renovations and husbands.
Very few of the mothers are makers – which is fine, and they are all nice people, but when I am with them a huge part of who I am isn’t relatable to the group.
What was nice about the gathering at the weekend is that we spent time in small groups just chatting about our art practice and how we juggle that with motherhood.
There were common topics that I identified with such as guilt over time spent when making (as opposed to being with the kids or cooking nice meals), a lack of confidence in owning the title “artist” or “maker”, and needing brain space away from the family to create.
It was wonderful to be surrounded by artists who can offer support to one another – the potential to collaborate with others – and in general friendships based around a common ingredient of art.
A new Mothers Who Make hub will be starting in Cambridge soon. I’m looking forward to the first meet up! If you’re interested or want to join, visit www.motherswhomake.org