I called this session to hear what other people thought. I feel we have stories as parents which are an essential part of life, of nurturing life, saving our dependent children's lives, and sometimes, we feel, of losing our own.

We had a heartfelt response. From the first contribution which was accompanied by tears of frustration and loss.

“I am not sure what stories I have to tell. I feel if I am succeeding as a mother I am failing as an artist”.

We discussed the fact none of us had understood until we were parents ourselves.

The external judgements : diminishing of our experiences, of Post Traumatic Stress, Post Natal Depression, surgery, being promoted into a job caring for another life with no training or experience, and sometimes no team.

“ All you do is sit around and drink coffee all day”…Countered by a response from a business woman now a parent “ It is exactly the same as a business meeting, we get together to discuss problems arising from our work, drink coffee, compare experience and find solutions”.

Invisibilty as women once we have children. Added to invisibility as women as we get older. Especially in performance and in the stories that our currently told. Our current roles in the stories in film, theatre, media “We are either mothers or sluts, how do we recast ourselves. Can we be seen in stories as sexual being when we have children?” “ Is this essentially anthropological, to do with our usefulness?”

Socially our stories are invisible too. People don't ask. As a mother we are asked how our children are. “ My brother gave me a birthday present, it was something for my daughter.”

And back to the stories:

“If I don't have stories I don't exist. I don't exist as an artist any more”.

“Who would find it interesting?”

“Is it only those who have lived it who would be interested?”

“Or is it how we tell the stories?”

“It has to be good”. “The medium is important too.”

“Our interests have changed, so our stories have changed”.

And concluding with another issue:

Focus.“Our focus is always partly with our children”. “How can we create work when our process is constantly interrupted?” “We can't remember!”

Thank you for sharing the discussion, the fracturing, the loss, the joy, the vision.