To be a mother and an artist

"Who does she think she is?" is a film that dares to examine the question of why women must choose between their children or their art.
The film is currently making the rounds at U.S. independent theatres and has been to the Los Angeles area at least a couple of times, but being the busy mom that I am, I've completely missed it. It is only today that Literary Mama sent me an e-mail about their interview this month with filmmaker Pamela Tanner Boll about her film that I've finally found out the film even exists.
I've spent much time on the film's website, watching the trailer and wishing the film comes back to Southern California so I can watch it. If not, I will definitely be buying myself a copy when it comes out on DVD in a few months.
"Who does she think she is?" puts a magnifying glass to the lives of five women artists who are also mothers. Each of them could very well be you or me because the social, economic and personal issues faced by these women are issues faced by most mothers who have any sort of creative pursuit.

These are not quandaries that should still exist, but they do.
I know they do in my house. Every day. Before having children four years ago, I used to have the luxury of having hours on end to write, to play with my writing until the words sang to me. Now, I've learned to write in short, staccato bursts, and sometimes cringe later upon reading my writings and finding repetitive phrases.
I'm grateful when my husband takes the kids to the park for an hour so I can do some writing, then feel guilty when my son asks, "Mama, are you coming with us?" "No, baby, I'm going to stay home and work." A simple question and a simple answer that I mull over for days, heaping guilt on myself.
So many nights, I go to bed wondering why I must be so restless and have a need to write. "Why must I be this way, wanting more for myself when I have two beautiful, healthy kids who adore me? Why must I complicate things?"
The calling is so strong for many of us that it sometimes becomes easier to plan a course of action to accommodate it, rather than to fight it. That's not to say it is easy. This is how the women in the film "Who does she think she is?" inspire me. Despite the complexities of their lives, they have found a way to allow their creative selves to emerge and blend with their role as mothers.
They offer a new blueprint for a life that includes being a mother and someone who heeds her creative calling.
How have you managed to combine these roles for yourself?

To view a list of upcoming screenings, go here. To see the trailer, go here.

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