Mother’s Day can be tricky. If it’s a tangled web of emotions or expectations for you, then I wish you ease and peace this weekend.
If you are a mother, I raise my giant cup of coffee to you in solidarity and with love.
I am Mama to a preschooler and a middle schooler. On the best of days it’s a challenge to navigate family, work, and creative responsibilities. During the COVID-19 epidemic with school closures, event cancellations, financial concerns, family/social distancing, and emotions running rampant, the challenges are even greater.
When I find caregiving-while-creating to be particularly difficult and isolating, I seek out other people who are facing similar challenges; people I know will understand.
This year, I’ve been especially grateful for the opportunity to interview parent artists from across the country on the Artist Soapbox podcast.
If you’d like to hear the perspectives of all types of theatre artists who are also parenting, then I invite you to listen to these interviews with PAAL Chief Reps:
- Erica Lee Haines from Nashville
- Garlia Cornelia Jones from NYC Part One
- Garlia Cornelia Jones from NYC Part Two
- Marni Penning from DC
- Rachel Spencer Hewitt, founder of PAAL
- Lydia Milman Schmidt from Chicago
- Pamela Campi Spee from Seattle
- Johannah Maynard Edwards is our PAAL chief rep in Raleigh/Triangle, NC
The acronym PAAL stands for PARENT ARTIST ADVOCACY LEAGUE (PAAL) for PERFORMING ARTS + MEDIA
PAAL is a national community, resource hub, and solutions generator for individuals with caregiver responsibilities and institutions who strive to support them. PAAL aims to elevate the national standard of care for caregivers in the performing arts and media. PAAL has a fund for caregivers that you can donate to or apply for.
Please also see a recent issue of American Theatre magazine, which includes a series of articles under the heading Care for the Caregivers that was undertaken with the support and insight of the Parent Artist Advocacy League.
The feature article in this series, written by Rachel Spencer Hewitt, the founder of PAAL is titled: Work/Life Balance Is Everyone’s Urgent Business Now. She writes, “As we face the COVID crisis, our field has a chance to restructure itself around human needs. Caregivers can lead the way.”
There’s also a very thoughtful and powerful series of essays on parenting on the Howlround Theatre Commons website.
Happy Mother’s Day to me and to you!
If you know a mama who could use a friendly phone call, please reach out and recognize her labor. Ask her how her writing is going, encourage her, and tell her you care.
I’m wishing you a few uninterrupted moments to write, especially if you are carrying a heavier load than usual.