This project has helped me feel understood. Learning about other people’s experiences has helped me feel less alone in my own parenting journey.
Caitlin Saunders - Mum of 1 (soon to be 2) Kingston.
I have found myself 'waiting' for the next task...and really enjoying the network of mothers who comment and are open and like-minded in the challenges that we all face. It's so soothing to know we are not alone. Even if it doesn't really CHANGE my situation...it is reassuring. AND that's awesome.
I was privileged to be a participant in one of the first stage creative development workshops and to witness the showing and film, as well as the groundswell of participation in the Facebook online forum. I laughed, I cried, I felt a new resonance and connection to other women in my community and city. We are all trying to do our best to juggle loving and being loved, making a living and making a difference, all the while trying to raise these amazing little humans who challenge and change us. Now is the time. Women have never before held such a platform. Where does it succeed, and where does it fall apart?
This project is of our time. I questioned whether this idea needed to be a show, women talking about how hard it is. But witnessing the compelling content the team produced in such a short time—the rough edges, the raucous laughter and revelation--and being moved by the richness in the groundswell of expression coming from mothers at all stages, I think this project has got incredible potential for audience connection and healing. Life is a mother load and seeking a means to express that buoys us up and knits us together. This moment of the mother should be explored celebrated.
Sara Wright – artist, mumma, participant
Totally exciting to be a mum now! I don't follow all the threads but I find it very interesting and it is like a special treat to check this group when I have time (between cooking and washing and picking up and working...😂)
I think that connection with other mothers is the single most supportive thing I have found for coping with the mental load of motherhood. So the workshop managed that in a small but real way. I particularly appreciate connection with women with older children - I find that my social networks with other mums are strong when our babes are little but that drops off steadily over the years, so having mother’s present with kids across the age spectrum was great. And, surprisingly for me, exploring creativity (yes even dance and drawing with crayons which is way outside my comfort zone) was energising and fun. So thank you!!
It was amazing. I didn't shatre much on FBbut I loved reading what everyine said and thinking about my situation. It was so supportive.
What a fabulous morning! Thank you for creating and offering such a gorgeous space for mothers to gather together. I was moved, inspired, humored and reminded of how we all come together to create a beautiful tapestry of motherhood, each one bringing a different story.
Lisa - Hobart workshop participant
The media/public expectation is that mothers are super humans and we can do a million things with maximum ability. I want to change this stereotype/mindset and make the image of motherhood more realistic so that we reduce mental illness, and self-destructive behaviors in mothers.
It’s also been lovely to be apart of a community of like minded mothers all just doing our best.
Jess Fisher - VIC, mum of one
Workshop & FB Mumma
This project gave me the opportunity to be totally raw and real as a woman and a mother. It was hard, but the truth is sometimes. But it is wonderful too. It has played an important path in my path to better things.
Kathleen Atherton - Hobart
I'm impressed by the concept of developing a work from online thoughts and weekly responses. It is an original and inclusive project that has many unexplored paths that need further investigation. I imagine screen, voice, music- the collective minds have much still to chat about. And for something as important and life giving as motherhood- funding a theatre work will definitely reach the masses. Funding will equal access that goes beyond the theatre seat and beyond the isle itself.
There's something interesting going on ... Jacqueline Rose has published the essay "Mothers: an essay on Love and Cruelty", while here in Australia, Jamila Rizvi has edited a collection of letters called The Motherhood. Later this year, University of Western Australia Press will publish a book called Dangerous Ideas About Mothers, full of essays on all kinds of aspects of contemporary motherhood (and one from me on mothers in fairy tales and children's literature). Also in the last year, I've seen Jessica Friedmann's Things That Helped, about her experience of post-natal depression. It's as if women, everywhere, have decided that the silence - and the competing - has to end. And creative women are doing creative things to lift the veil and demonstrate that most of us mere mortals are often tired, stretched, challenged, and unsure. Perhaps Mental's daily/weekly reminders that we're all in similar boats, facing similar challenges, lightens the load because we're not telling ourselves, quite so often, that we're the only ones collapsing in exhaustion at the end of every day, wondering if we're getting it right, or not
It (the project) has impacted me positively! Particularly the sense of solidarity with like minded women. Some tasks I've found confronting and haven't been able to do, but I've thought a lot about them and been really interested in what others have written. I'm inspired by the everyday stories of women pursuing arts practice while raising children and it has made me think that I should try to create some more art at some point when I have some time to myself... whenever that may be. 💓