Marnie Baxter, Writer & Director of ‘Bad Mother’

#MoreThanAMutha is all about celebrating the things that women are, as well as being amazing mothers.  In a world where many women feel like they lose their identity when they become a mum, it is important to celebrate and shout that we might be mums, but we are not only that and we are still a force to be reckoned with.

What makes you more than a mother? 

I am more than a mutha because, as well as having 2 lovely (monstrous, hilarious, energetic, argumentative, wonderful) children, I am an actress. I work across the entertainment field in TV, theatre, film and commercials. But most importantly, I am in preproduction on my first short film, along with my friend and colleague Nicola Stuart-Hill. It’s a ten minute film exploring the HOOD in motherhood. It is based on something that happened to me when my children were younger and it’s about how we trust each other as mums in the modern world.

Are people surprised when they realise you are more than a mum? Does that bother you?

I had my first child quite young (27) so I carried on working as an actress. A lot of people within my field wouldn’t have known that I had a child, and I used to really enjoy surprising them. They always found it impressive that I was also a mum.. Nowadays (depressingly) I don’t get that reaction – people expect me to be a parent.  A sign of my age?

What challenges do you face when you’re juggling motherhood and being more than a mum?

It’s funny how many challenges there are isn’t it! Everything is a challenge. The biggest practical thing is that I don’t have any extra money to spend on constant childcare as my work is so sporadic. So when I get work it’s a scramble to find playdates and favours. I am lucky that I have a big network of supportive parents in my area and we all help each other out. On a more emotional level, the constant battle with guilt and worry is exhausting.

How long did it take you to remember you were more than a mother after you had your child(ren)?

Although I have always had one eye on my work, I feel like I only really surfaced when my second child went to school. I think my brain was a bit wooly until then. When she went to school I felt a silence in my head and I realised I hadn’t heard that silence for years. It was like I got my head back above water. Which is why it has taken me this long to get round to making the film – I feel like I now have enough space in my head to do it.

Who, or what, helps you to make time for yourself? What do you do to escape the stresses of motherhood?

I watch films. I have dinner with my husband or friends. I think you can never escape being a mother – you’re always on call to a certain extent. But I wouldn’t really want it any other way..

What advice would you offer a mum who might not be feeling like they are more than someones mum right now?

I think I would just say that you ARE more than a mum! Even if it feels like you’ve lost yourself at the moment – you haven’t! You are in there – just a bit dormant..I spent years feeling like being a mum wasn’t good enough and that I had to be able to talk about work to validate myself. You don’t need to always be proving that you’re more than a mutha – you just are. Allow the times when being a mother is the majority of what you ‘do’ to be ok – don’t let society make you feel like you have to be able to do everything. But know that whenever you feel ready, you can do whatever you want and the fact that you’re a mum will only inform it and enrich it. Even if if means slightly larger bags under the eyes..!

Any advice for someone who is going through the same things as you are right now in their quest to be #MoreThanAMutha?

Give it a go and be kind to yourself – the most you can do is try. You probably won’t manage to be quite as productive or efficient as you were pre-children but that’s completely ok, being responsible for keeping another human (or humans!) alive is a pretty good excuse for most things that could possibly go wrong.

Who would you like to see featured next in the #MoreThanAMutha series?

Joeli Brierly. We are proudly donating 10% of everything we raise through our crowdfunding campaign for Bad Mother to her organisation Pregnant Then Screwed. She’s blooming brilliant.

Marnie is currently crowdfunding and would love your support, please click here to support them & watch the trailer for the Bad Mother film which looks AMAZING.  You can also search for #BadMotherFilm on all platforms

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Are you #MoreThanAMutha?  Get in touch to share your story.

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