Who Does She Think She Is?

I was asked to be on a panel for the screening of the Documentary, “Who Does She Think She Is?”.

Who Does She Think She Is? is new documentary film directed by Academy Award winning producer, Pamela Tanner Boll. The film follows the struggles and joys of five women trying to lead creative lives as artists while keeping up as parents and partners. For these women, art does not have to be “self-centered,” and care-taking doesn’t have to be “selfless,” and it is in fact the mix that gives them their vitality.

I was on a panel with 5 additional artists all of who are mothers as well.

The 5 women in the film were mostly visual artists and one performance/theatre artist. There wasn’t a dancer represented and I felt that my issues with creating art and being a parent are vastly different from those of  visual artists. No offense visual artists, but hear me out.

Visual artists are typically described as those who work with mediums such as canvas, paints, paper, metal, stone, clay, photography..etc

As a dance performance artist, I work with a company. I am not a solo artist and while the women in the film found time late at night to work on their craft, I cannot do that. It is physically dangerous to have dance rehearsals at midnight and I don’t think I would be able to find any dancer willing to put their body in that sort of harm.

My creative process is very intense, I immerse myself in my projects and it consumes me. In the art world you hear this saying, ” your piece of art is like birthing a baby“. It comes from within you with a lot of love and hard work and preparation. The idea of waking up extra early to create dance just does not fully work. Also, you have to take into consideration the power of the creative mind…it can strike at any time and what do you do when you have the sweetest 5 Year Old needing care and attention and love and dinner? I for one ignore the creative mind and go with the mommy brain. It’s painful.

Today, I had a crappy day, actually I have had a crappy few weeks really, I just can’t find a way to work on my art and be a parent…where is the balance? Who do I think I am?? Do I really think I can manage this?

I started this blog as a creative outlet. When we had Lily, I had to curb my dance career. Yes I did. as much as I would like to think I didn’t…I did. It was really tough for a long time. I cried about losing my life, I weeped about losing my dance, I mourned the loss of my art community and immersed myself in mommy world.

I lost friends over being a parent. Relationships that were near and dear to me were lost because I had a child and this took up my time and I was unable to function as a social butterfly.

I started this blog to find my voice again and to have an outlet that did not necessarily have to deal with using my “passive” voice all the time. I created this blog so I could write about Lily and how amazing she is, I created this blog so I could have this community that gets what I am saying, and I created this blog for survival..really.

So I thank you, Dear Reader for nudging me along with your kind comments. Everytime I get a comment on my posts I feel like its a lifeline.

My little blog has become not so little and I find this being my “jobby” = hobby that’s pretending to be a job. I make no money off of this. It is purely for my sanity.

I have opportunities coming my way all the time and while I made a decision to NOT be a fulltime working parent, I find myself working fulltime on my blog… in addition to making dances of course.

Is it too much for a mom to want to be more than a mom? meaning…want another title?

I have lost ME in this Mom-me.

I find a resistance to this. My mommy friends sometimes think I’m nuts. Maybe I am. Maybe being a mom is not fully satysfying, maybe I need additional stimulation to make me a better mom. I need to be inspired, and while laundry is ultra challenging, (I mean my guest bedroom has a mound of clean laundry on the bed, it’s shameful!), I have this need for intellegence, inspiration, mental stimulation and big words as opposed to,”do you need to go potty”.

Is it too much to want to make your ‘jobby’ your job? While being a parent?

Since starting this blog, I have been published in publications, offered ‘expert’ advice on many outlets, been invited to fab events all through NYC and receive “presents’ in the mail daily! This blog has given me something that my daily life couldnt … drive, inspiration, truth and stimulation.

The truth is, parents are people and these people are real and this switch of person to parent is a tough one…for some. It does not happen quickly and it sometimes does not happen without a loss, a mourning of a previous life. It’s ok to mourn your pre-parent life, you should do that for closure and then celebrate, celebrate fully your parent life. I find myself wanting more than what’s in front of me. I find it hard for me to settle with the repitition of parenthood.  Is it too much to want a little more than the daily routine that revolves around your kid?

I think it’s in my creative nature to want to learn about the environement which I am in. Not only to learn… but to contribute. This is my nature and it’s purely a part of who I am. I can’t sit on the sidelines and WATCH it happen, I want to help MAKE it happen, I want to invest in my life and my childs life , which is also…my life.

So is it too much to want more for YOUR parent- life?

The answer that I have come to is

NO. Find a balance and go for it.

What is your answer?