The Journey Begins With Two Challenges
A Career in the Arts, Single Parenthood
Each have their unique obstacles and opportunities. They are outside the bounds of “traditional” society, yet necessary for a full and lush culture. Both require creative brains, to find new solutions, to make it all work. The nature of the arts and freelancing often means operating in a solo caregiver situation. Single parenthood brings the opportunity to build a new extended family for support. Each of these paths may seem lonely, solitary, at times overwhelming, but there is so much hope and space for beautiful things. I have walked these paths, and know that I am always surrounded by the spark of life, the joy of breathing into being ideas, actions, and love.
I am a theatre brat, sitting in dance studios and rehearsal rooms since before I could walk. Although I have changed hats a few times, I have never strayed far from the stage. In 2012, I welcomed my child to the world. Choosing to parent solo was the only way to fully realize my dream of motherhood. Therefore, as we grow as parent and child, we are also extremely blessed to grow a family around us.
It has not been easy. Theater in particular offers an ever changing schedule, late nights, long weekends. Freelancing means leaving, moving, coming, going, never knowing exactly where the next where is. Arts professions are an eternal struggle, both in the practical and the creative. But creation and destruction are twins. As one project ends, another always begins. From what we leave, we find where we are going.
Solo parenthood requires a new creativity. Thinking ahead, a week, a month, and on your feet, in the moment, here and now. Every hitch in the plan feels like an unraveling of the whole tapestry. Sewing skills are quickly learned to mend the fabric of life. We become the ultimate seamstresses, weaving elaborate patterns of daily life to hold our families together.
New Challenges Arise
Blending Families, Changing Jobs
I have a particular strength in creative budgeting. In one year, with one income for my household, I cut my debt in half, while juggling rotating childcare, private preschool, and a mostly nighttime work schedule. Since then, I have eliminated my debt completely, even after switching jobs to the tune of a significant pay cut.
In our home, we make play a priority, singing, laughing, dancing, gaming, and reading, in some combination, daily. There are always various projects littered around the house. We continue to grow our family, currently navigating a household of three. My child and I are a package, and that presents it’s own challenges. I believe we are successfully sailing those waters.
As I move out of “single parenthood” and into a loving, supportive partnership, I am reminded how much we all need each other. It’s not just enough to have a romantic or sexual life partner. We need friends of all levels as well. We need connection to fill our wells.
As I move into a career of customer service, rather than behind the scenes, my heart is opening to an array of experiences. I am no longer the odd one out, but see and feel how interconnected we are. Mothers make the world work. Working mothers change the world. All mothers are working mothers.
As I move into a workplace that values me, one in which I have upward mobility, I am inspired to pass on that value; to create systems and services to fulfill the needs of the working mother. We all have something to share and we all have something to learn.
The Next Challenge
To Be The Resource I Didn’t Have
What is a Support Artist??
This idea came to me because I wanted a new, different way to describe someone who is helping others reach their full potential. There are too many “coaches”, not enough “mentors”. And personally, I feel like I am somewhere in between. My approach is dynamic, not fixed. I work WITH and FOR my clients, building individualized systems. No two people are the same, and cookie cutter doesn’t work for everyone. I know I have struggled with trying to mold myself into someone else’s pattern. As much as I have learned from brilliant coaches, I still see the need for another way.
My intention is to build community and share solutions. As working mothers, we find ourselves in unique situations daily, navigating non-traditional scenarios in child raising. I want to share my struggles and my solutions; to open up difficult and relieving conversations. I want YOU to know someone else out there understands and wants you to SUCCEED. We all have something to offer, and together we can build a strong network of support and connection.
Health, Wealth, and Happiness