Many times I’ve seen it written in online arenas. the introduction. “Hi, I’m a mother and an artist”- you can almost hear the pause that follows after “mother.” the pause that says that a mother is who they are first and foremost. and in that introduction, whether intended or not, the “artist” part ends up sounding like a hobby.
Many galleries and museums are taking women less seriously for this very reason. the thought that we will lose everything once we become parents. that women, especially, will subsume ourselves into our offspring. And this is the concern Most women face in many jobs. Will she have a child? will she leave us? Will she be distracted or called away? Should we keep her in a non critical role to protect against this eventuality? this disparity never seems to extend to the fathers. there are more fathers than mothers in the museums, surely some of them were primary caregivers…
It was always planned that I would be the parent to go work, I had the better paying job and the career path. I may not have the salary anymore, but I am still the parent with a day job. my job is being an artist. I’ve met many successful artists who are also mothers, and many women who have given up their art in favor of their children. and if they choose to make art a hobby that is great! if they want to be a stay at home mom that is fantastic, a stay at home parent is a great gift for your children. I consider Erica fortunate because she has both of us at home. my studio is based here. but don’t let that fool you, I have a lock on my door and a firm understanding that when I am working I am not to be disturbed (unless there is a severed limb involved…).
I am a mother, I love my little girl with every fiber of my being. when I stop for the day I spend time with her, when I am in the studio I miss her. but I also have a career.
I introduce myself as an artist. it’s more than what I do, it’s who I am.
but will all the drive in the world make up for the fact that I am also a mother? even if I am not the primary caregiver? I guess that’s up to the museums.