Name five female accomplished artists (as in painters and sculptors) that you can think of? (No Googling!) This question raised a good point from the film “Who Does She Think She Is?” Many people can rattle off five male artists, yet one or two female artists is a stretch.
I entered the a/perture last night, eager to view the feature length documentary about mothers who refuse to choose between family and their calling. The film was hosted by the Winston-Salem Magazine. The editor Emily-Sarah Lineback was our forum moderator who coordinated the entire event and was spectacular in addressing a delicate social question.
The film exposed society’s need to support and recognize mothers who attempt to juggle both passion and family. How do we balance our time and efforts in what we are passionate about when we pursue a career and maintain a healthy role in the family? Doing both simultaneously does take hard work, and to do both perfectly – well that’s for supermom!
The film depicted several moms who followed their passions – some succeeded to do both raise a family and pursue a career, and some moms choose their career over their marriage and family.
After the film, I was interviewed, along with 4 other working moms, with an open discussion from the audience pertaining to the film and our own personal experiences. Unanimously, we all agreed times are changing; women are being recognized more readily and encouraged to pursue their passion in this generation.
I briefly shared with the audience from my own experience; after I supported my husband, Eric, for 15 years in his career, he in-turn encouraged me pursue my passion stating simply to “go for it!”
Being an elementary education teacher, and stepping out of the classroom to raise a family, I discovered later that my new role/profession had been there secretly for years (but I didn’t tell anyone until it was time to consider going back into education). I shared with the audience this whole adventure has been an answer to prayer as a stay at home mom. I wanted something I could do from home while the kids were around. Writing and speaking, has been the answer God has for me.
In answer to the question of how to juggle both roles, I shared that when I put my faith, family, and then my passion in that order, things flow. Choosing those priorities helps me with decision making, accepting interruptions, etc. (I do think self-discipline needs to occur to reach your goals – in any family the tyranny of the urgent will quickly steal from us what is important.) Prayer helps me keep God’s pace for my life, and keeps me from barging ahead on my own.
Several of the other working moms chimed in to share how they involve their children into their responsibilities for work. And we agreed that the choices we make will most likely influence our children to seek and fulfill their own passions someday. I encouraged the ladies to listen to their hearts, and communicate with others what they think their passion might be. (I love to talk about this – Chapter 12 in my book – Discovering Your Purpose!) When we discover our purpose, we come alive. And what the world needs is people who have come alive with passion!
Writing in my journal this morning, as I reflected on the evening, I wish there had been more time, but I can expound on a few of my thoughts right here. In the movie the passions to create were so strong; I think it’s vital to know that we are created in God’s image (we are not goddesses – as the film exhorted through one mom ) but we do reflect God’s character. We do reflect God’s creativity! We are created with a desire to create – to express ourselves.
Each of us is designed to make a significant difference, to contribute to society. Yet, at times this drive can become so strong it’s to the detriment of our families – resulting in the breakdown of healthy relationships. (Red flag – warning for me!) Another thought I wish I’d shared, that my family is my vortex-barometer! When I get sucked into working on the computer for too long, too many hours, or days, or months – my husband and children pull me back into reality that life is for loving, not lassoing alone!
We moms on the panel agreed that technology does help women to “get out there,” yet I find Facebook, emails, online searches can also be a hindrance by consuming precious time that keeps me from doing what’s important – like writing or spending quality time with my kids and husband. My husband has made an observation that the computer drains me – and he’s right; communicating through technology can drain me. I am more energized speaking with people face to face.
Life truly comes from giving of ourselves. According to God’s systematic order – we give to our families first and then to our community to truly be fulfilled and satisfied. So society may ask, “Who does she think she is?” She’s a mom who is responding to her call to create – a family and pursue her passion; she’s learning to listen to the rhythms of grace.
By the way, let me save you a minute or two… five female artists you may recognize – Sarah Peale, Georgia O’Keefe, Theresa Berstein, Grandma Moses, and Alma Woodsey Thomas – just to name a few.