Monday, 18 March 2013

Yo Mama! An Interview with Michelle Shearer

A couple of years ago I came across a wonderful group called MamaBake. MamaBake hinges on the idea of women, mamas, banding together to bake - big batch baking - and produce meals en masse to free up time in each mamas diary. 

I know myself when mealtime hits I lack inspiration - and fumble to throw things together (unless I've got spare time, and that's like hunting for hen's teeth in a foxes den). 

A catalyst for change, MamaBake is the revisiting of real community and real-life support. Founder, Michelle Shearer is one of those funny, intelligent women that you find yourself drawn to. She's real - no pretenses, which is utterly charming in itself. 

This week I talk to her and find out more about MamaBake and why it's important to us mamas. 

PMM: MamaBake is an inclusive revolutionary group for mamas - particularly in a time when we're struggling for community. MamaBake was birthed three years ago - how was it conceived?

MS: It was conceived when my good friend Bec (who I went to school with back in England. We found each other again after she spotted a photo of mine on Facebook that looked alot like a place near where she lived.  We were both living in Australia and just up the road from each other.  So 20 years on, we're still best buddies.) came to school with a lasagne for me to take home for dinner.  I didn't have to cook a meal that evening so went surfing instead and it all felt incredibly liberating.  I immediately wanted to reciprocate and started to think around the concept of how we could get this feeling for every mum.  From there the group, big batch sharing concept of MamaBake was born.

Tell us why MamaBake is important.

MamaBake is important because the job of mothering is vital to a healthy society and that to do that job well we need community.  It is not a job that we are meant to do alone and we are not meant to be doing absolutely everything alone either.  No wonder depression rates are what they are in mothers.  The way we are doing it now is just not cutting it and we have to find other ways that supports women when they have children.  MamaBake provides tight knit community to mums, it lightens her domestic load and it demonstrates the power of her community to her children - so we leave a lasting legacy of togetherness for the future generations.

Running an online community is busy work. Running an online community AND a real life community is totally demanding. How do you manage the juggle?

I take windows of opportunity.  Karen runs MamaBake with me so we work together managing things and juggle between us but yes, it is demanding.

What's a normal day look like for you?

Best case: get up and go for a surf
Sometimes: get up run on the beach, swim across the lake and get home before the kids are up
Usually: get up put the parrots out, feed the chickens and said parrots. Make breakfasts for everyone, coffee.

The rest of the day is a combo of the following:

What's the best bit of your job?

Day to day: I love the banter on Facebook.  I sit here like Mutley sometimes snorting and exhaling loudly like an old smoker, alone. Ah dear.  I love reading and learning of new groups popping up and how MamaBake has impacted on them and seeing MamaBake grow and people taking that first step towards change for the better. I have some very special friendships that have come about as a result of MamaBake too and I value that very much.

Do your children cook?

Oh yes they love to get knee deep in whatever I'm doing.  

Sometimes if I work late, or I'm stupidly tired, I just can't muster the ability to make anything for dinner beyond toasted sandwiches and some veggies on the side. Do you ever get stuck for a meal?

I would say about half my week is me getting stuck for a meal and involves me opening the fridge, closing the fridge, wondering, frowning and walking away - repeat cycle.  I have the odd day where I'm inspired but mostly meh...(hence MamaBake!)

Do you ever get to take time out for yourself?

Yes I do but I have to claim it when the opportunity arises or it gets lost in a swamp of to-dos and dirty dishes.  If I do get time I like to surf, swim across the lake or walk across the headlands with my camera or a musty old book.

What's coming up next for Michelle Shearer?

Well, that all depends on our Pozible campaign...  I certainly hope to be building vaster in-real-life MamaBake communities for mothers across the world.

Join MamaBake here
Check out more MamaBake here
And have fun at the MamaBake Facebook community here. 
Please support The Mother's Revolution here at Pozible. Seeking funding for spreading the MamaBake vibe even further around the world. 

This is the seventh interview in my Yo Mama! series. Interviews with creative working mamas. Look out for them weekly. 


Kate Moore said...

Oh Lordy, this is so good. What a great movement. What great gals.

rachael @ Mogantosh said...

Great interview Lexi. And I love that image of Michelle sitting and snorting over her keyboard like an old smoker. So funny. She is an absolute gem.