Today for the first session of We, Family: Held about 12 of us came together under the identities of mother artists to support each other. We had moms with fresh babies and some with older kids, moms from all over the country (even one in Europe!), and moms representing music, literature, fashion, and visual arts.
After facilitating these types of gatherings, I always feel extremely vulnerable.
In part I think, “Who am I to hold this space? What do I have to offer?”
I suppose this feeling is just an extension of the role we play as artist mothers, one in continuous self-doubt. A nagging feeling that we are not enough for our careers or our children, that we are not doing enough, that we are not doing it right. Anytime mothers can come together and feel safe and supported to speak about our experience, we can empower ourselves through one another. We see ourselves reflected in one another, and that simple act of being seen can be transformative. In a post-session talk, a friend and attendee reminded me that this space is exactly what I have to offer. I will still feel vulnerable afterwards, but instead because we are able to be vulnerable together.
Our time was brief, but full. We discussed how the systems that claim to be the most progressive continue to fail us, make us doubt our worth, our commitment to our practice or our children or both. We spoke of isolation and a dire need for community but how our persistent overextension keeps us from fulfilling that need. We spoke of the things that we lost over the last two years. And we spoke of the things that we intentionally let go. Imposter syndrome was a big one that a lot of us began to let go.
I, too, am in the process of shedding an imposter syndrome. It’s really an honor to hold these spaces for my fellow artist moms and I am so grateful to the feedback I get from my peers to keep this work going.
I am enough. We are enough. We have so much to offer.
Thank you to all the mothers who showed up today and everyone who took time to share this with their contacts. Thank you to Sara and Angela of Extended Practice for their support and coordination in making this happen. We will meet again on April 9th and there are a few spots left if you’d like to join, please RSVP here.