Welcome to Top 5# Tips –
Where I ask the experts in my circus community, to share their Top 5# Tips on any given subject.
This Top 5# Tips is about mothers Juggling work and raising small children.
I have asked a bunch of amazing performing, producing & directing mothers I know to share their tips. I have focused on mothers as no matter what we believe it ‘should be’ like, mothers are affected by this, way more than their partners. Power to the working mums out there!
Jodie Farrugia – Performer & Artistic director of The Flying Fruit Fly Circus
- Use the inspirational and beautiful experience of being a mum of young children to inspire your art making. What a gift to share the world with a child!
- When rehearsals are in a good place (not too stressful) let them come in and watch the process of making work, let them be part of it.
- Make clear family time- and commit to it.
- Be prepared for some people to not be overly supportive of my parenting needs and let this be their problem not yours!
- Leave some of your energy in reserve so you can give to your kids when you get home.
Chelsea McGuffin – Performer, Company Director & ‘Co-Driver’ of Company 2
1. Be on our kids time as much as possible
2. Have them with you
3. Always have food snacks
4. Make sure you have some support around
5. Don’t write the schedule down on paper it is way to overwhelming.
Penny Baron – Performer, Co- Founder & Artistic Director at Born in A Taxi
- Marry the right man! (or woman!)
- Know when to hang on
- Know when to let go
- Remember they will leave home one day
- You do your best work when you are over tired
Bronte Webster – The Pitts family Circus
- Put the kids in the show!
- Try to go with the flow – you might have to give up some stuff!
- Breastfeed your babies – its great for travelling (as well as all the other health benefits)
- Co-sleeping with your babies/young kids when your travelling
- having a good partner helps of course
*NB – As Bronte also pointed out, as an acrobat/aerialist you have to get used to the fact that your body goes through massive changes (obviously). That can be really difficult at times and can challenge your sense of identity.
Valley Lipcer – Performer, Artistic Director & Producer of Roundabout Theatre
- Involve them in the creative process as much as possible – I think thats why now I create work thats relevant for kids more.
- Plan a bigger window to work which is longer than you think you need, to accommodate unexpected kid related things like sickness etc
- when they are little get them into as much of a regular routine as possible then you know the windows of time you have.
- In saying that – get used to working irregular hours.
- Get your partner on board and also ask for help from your friends and community.
Alice Cadwell – General Manager Spaghetti Circus & Creative Producer Mullum Circus Festival
- Encourage them to make good buddies and then trade looking after kids – get used to looking after lots of kids at the same time to enable trading!
- Work with a Youth Circus – then they can be involved hahaha
- Try to look after yourself too – kids are just a part of your life.
- Have plans in place for when unexpected things come up – sickness, broken limbs etc
- Talking books on Mobile phones (for library members in Australia – theres a great app called Borrow Box)
Sue Simpson – Musician, Composer, Teacher & Performer ( Club Swizzle, Company 2, Circus Oz)
- Happy mum = Happy Kids, so insist on taking time for your creative practice each day, even if its small.I have to constantly remind myself of that.
- Be prepared as much as possible but expect the unexpected.
- Learn to do things ‘on the fly’.
- Get used to being tired
- Surrender to the fact that something often has to give ie The Washing!
Shaena Brandel – Performer & Producer Pirates of The Carabina
- work as a team with your partner- raising a family is a business! The circus is a brilliant environment to bring up a family.
- make sure your family are a welcome part of the work environment- include the children in the Company touring rider! No seriously do!!
- work with a brilliant child friendly team ( Jade Dunbar xxx)
- make time to be physical – training taking classes etc regularly. Introduce your children to the idea that this physical discipline is essential.
- take time off with your kids and partner, turn off your phone and hang out!
- we love grandparents and Aunties and Godmothers!
Malia Walsh – Performer, Director & Creator at Circus Trick Tease
Balancing the parent verses performing thing is like doing a three high with knives being thrown at you… my only tip is to refrain from punching that random (performer) f*#ker in the face when they say they are “so tired” during festival season – Feels good at the time, gets messy later!
. . . . . . . . . .
Hope you got some good tips from that!
Thank you so much to you awesome creative friends for sharing your advice.
- So to all us partners of the amazing mums out there who are striving to do their artistic practice, we’ve got to make sure we step up, understand when they’re going through crucial times in their projects and help them as much as possible – I’m sure the majority of us in this community do or strive to – But I also know how I fail at this sometimes, so its always good to be reminded (by someone whose NOT your partner, hey babe haha).
- As i read on a t-shirt recently (That DJ Garner was wearing) – “Its not babysitting if they’re your kids, its called parenting”.
- Also a shout out to all the single parents out there, juggling parenting and your artistic pursuits, all power to you, don’t forget to call on your friends and community – ‘it takes a village to raise a child’.
- For those friends and community surrounding creative mums – a cooked meal dropped in at the crucial time in a project is a golden gift.
Don’t forget to click on the company links to see the amazing work these women do.
Other working creative mums please feel free to add your Top 5# Tips in the comments below.
. . . . . . . . . . . .
*Also if you enjoy these articles and believe this magazine is adding value to our awesome subculture and community , please consider supporting it by becoming a Carnival Cinema Member at –https://www.patreon.com/carnivalcinema