Clockwise from top left: Aisha Carrington; Rebecca Walker; Leila Fataar; Katy Worwood; Caroline Watson; Rima Theisen; Founder of Mothers Meeting, Jenny Scott; Carrie Anne Roberts
‘Mothers Meeting is a collective, a community, a welcoming space for women, because motherhood is hard. When you wake up and feel really sad for no reason, even though you’ve got a healthy child, only another mother could understand that. So, it’s really important to have a platform where you can vent, whether it’s how you didn’t sleep the night before, or because you’ve got a business idea and don’t know how to make it happen. Having that group of women around you – who are ready to listen and give you feedback – empowers mothers to be the best version of themselves.
‘The idea for Mothers Meeting came from my heart. It wasn’t about making money, it was
about making friends. I gave birth to my first baby, Sonny, when I was 28, and had no idea
that having a child would change anything. I didn’t realise motherhood would be so hard,
or that I’d be so lonely. So, I thought, I’ve got to do something about this. I looked in Time Out
for an exhibition that I wanted to go to, but knew if I just said I was going, I’d end up watching The Jeremy Kyle Show in my pyjamas and feeling sorry for myself. So, because I’m a graphic designer, I designed a poster [inviting others] to go to the exhibition and put it on social media. Then I had to go, in case someone else turned up. One person came to the first one, and that was the beginning of Mothers Meeting. I started a blog and it grew organically; [it seemed there were] more and more women who wanted to be mums, but also didn’t want it to be the end of their lives.
‘Mothers Meeting has been my saviour; it’s like my fourth child. I’ve got three children:
Sonny is nine, Jasmine is five and Sky is two, and each time I’ve had a newborn, I’ve found
motherhood lonely in different ways. When Jasmine was eight months old and Sonny was
five, their dad cheated on me and left, so Mothers Meeting became my best friend in
a way, and it has changed and evolved with me. ‘We’ve hosted more than 500 Mothers
Meeting events now. We have our meet-ups for Soho House members, we do events for brands
from Netflix to Estée Lauder, and we have an online group with about 200 members. It’s full
of so many different types of women.
One of the things I was really psyched about before
I had my first baby, was meeting people who worked in different jobs beyond the industry
that I was operating in. As a graphic designer working in streetwear, I was going to the same
type of events and talking to the same kind of people. I was so excited that I’d be able to sit in
a room with lawyers and estate agents and people from all different walks of life when I
had a baby. I think a lot of mum groups are very white and very middle class, but Mothers
Meeting has always been diverse. Our Instagram [page] is full of quotes you can relate
to, whatever your age or background. I try to find our common ground.
‘We’re all here to inspire and support each other; to watch these women grow together is
just amazing. Mothers Meeting gives so many women a springboard. Loads of mums have
come to me and said they’d really like to do a talk about a certain subject, then that talk has
been seen by [someone from] a publishing company. More than 20 women have launched
books off the back of attending our events. ‘Honesty is really important in building
a community. When you have a baby and meet people, it’s always, “How are you doing?” “Great!” Because for that split second, you are alright. But when I introduce Mothers Meeting events, I’m always like, “I’m really grateful for you being here today because, no matter what type of mum you are, whether you work full time or stay at home, it’s really hard.” I want everyone in Mothers Meeting to feel like they’re on an equal footing; all the speakers at the events that we put on talk in a way that’s accessible. It might be a highbrow subject, but we always make it digestible. ‘How do you build a family out of a group of strangers? Talk from your heart. I think that’s really important. There’s so much bullshit out there these days – as soon as people feel like you are being real, it gives them licence to drop their guard. I try to pair people up, knowing who’s doing what and who would get on with who. I’ve done that since I was a kid; my mum used to say I was like the Pied Piper. I love
bringing everyone together, I get a thrill from introducing people to one another.’