17 May 2006

self portrait #28



hello, I'm a mother.

if I met you on the street and you asked me what I did for a living, this is what I'd tell you. inside I'd be screaming AND SO MUCH MORE and I'd want to talk about the outreach program I've been teaching for/dancing with for the past fifteen years and the degree I have in dance education and how I love to write and make art. on most occasions, I would feel as if you had already mentally filed me away in the universal category of stay-at-home moms (yawn) because culturally, that's what we do-- we find great comfort in putting people, places and things in neat little boxes with broad labels attached. I speak with authority here because I am guilty of this. so yes, I'm a mother and you can find me at any given moment nursing a child, pushing a stroller, shopping for groceries with a toddler on my hip, sounding out words with a little girl who is just learning to read and answering the endless string of 'why' questions that get fired off in my direction (and the list goes on and on). everyday I struggle for balance, to put my children first but keep that part of me alive that is my own. so that they'll know-- ava and ezra, they'll know.

after taking a closer look at this week's self portrait, nothing holds more truth than this thing that I am, this everyday/every night/for the rest of my life state of motherhood. do you see ava in the background? at the end of the day, this is the biggest part of who I am.

(more introductory self portraits here)

22 comments:

  1. you are also a role model of how to be a mother and artist and teacher to me. thankk you for you.

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  2. I'm having an emotional day and can sooo relate to your words. Oh man I can't wait to see you. Two more days.

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  3. took the blog right out of my mouth! great pic! we LUV that elevator!

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  4. didn't even notice ava but how cute! great pic.

    i love your blog!

    shinyruby in australia xx

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  5. didn't even notice ava but how cute! great pic.

    i love your blog!

    shinyruby in australia xx

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  6. I so hear what you're saying. I do struggle with this myself, daily.

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  7. if anyone is outside of the box it is YOU. you are amazing and i have so much respect for your motherhood.... and all the other things that make you you.... you are stunning! xox

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  8. when i am a mom someday, i want to be like you

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  9. Such depth.
    And such a beauty.

    You are walking the path just right!

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  10. I hear ya! Motherhood is the most rewarding job and the hardest I've ever had. It is so nice to read that people feel the same way. I am so glad I found you blog many months ago : )

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  11. Love the picture and the words along with it. I hate labels also and approaching my 20 year reunion in a few months, I'm dreading that, "And what do you do?" question. I HATE the box! Down with the Box! Thanks for your encouraging and motivating words.

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  12. yes to that little box and yawn that goes with saying what you truly are at the end of the day! i wish there was a better term for *stay at home mom* that wrapped up hero, role model, artist, encourager, etc etc list goes on!

    by the way, this picture is so great!! :)

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  13. you're amazing and talented and beautiful and inspiring...

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  14. You are a beautiful, brilliant mother -- AND SO MUCH MORE. Yes, you are amazing.

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  15. First off, your hair if fierce. Secondly, I ASPIRE to be a SHM. You do it well, mama.

    And the legs in the back? Great!

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  16. you are too cool. love it all! well said.

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  17. Yeah, the stay-at-home label is a bit of an albatross, ain't it? (I'm a male of the species--the stay-at-home-dad.) If you dread the reunion, do what I did--have business cards made saying "Full-Time Mom" or something like that. Make 'em really professional and arty. It disarms them.

    And then be proud that you're doing the best and most important job in all the world. Period.

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  18. Love your honesty and your style--and your unbefreakinbelievable photos.

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  19. argh. no babies to speak of as yet, but i still catch flack for saying, when people ask me where i would like to be doing in five years, that i would like to be a stay-at-home mom. "but you're so talented," they say, as if that wouldn't be true without the degrees, without a seventy hour a week career, as if you didn't need to be in order to be a good mother. "won't you miss being challenged?" they ask, as if there were anything more challenging than growing responsible, capable, thoughtful people.

    "I did it the hard way." says bette davis' tombstone. i like bette. identify with her a lot. think that this is true of me now; think that it will be truer once i've had children, and is already true of anyone that stays home with kids.

    i've wanted to be a mother since i was six. after making my misreable, mewling cousin (whom i wanted to kill a minute before) pipe down by rubbing his ears. he even fell asleep. that was a triumph. and i wanted to be amother because i was smart enough at six to realise that i liked doing things the hard way, and that there is nothing more impossible (impossibly hard and impossibly wonderful) than being someone's mother.

    which is why i now say, when people ask me what i'd like to doing in five years, i say "in five years, i'd like to be bette davis."

    rock on, girl.

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  20. Hi Andrea-- I'm working on a paper about online self portraits for a class. Would you mind answering some questions about SPT? Could you email me (clairehelene7[at]yahoo)? I would love to get your perspective.

    Thanks!

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