Final Workshop

by Mindy on June 21, 2012

I saw this series of workshops as a pilot for a new idea I wanted to explore, and after eight weeks of arts-based research into the question of how the pressure to be a good mother affects our lives, I’ve learned a lot. What was most interesting to me is that many women in this group, although they do seem to struggle under that yoke, see the good mother ideal as something to aspire to, rather than resist. Others actively try to resist it, while others just felt that it wasn’t particularly relevant to their lives. The women who had the youngest children seemed to feel the pressure to be a good mother the most, which isn’t surprising at all. I think it’s common to spend the first few years of parenting figuring out your identity as a mother and gaining confidence in your new role. I know that for myself, I spent a lot of time in the early months reading parenting manuals and being confused about what I was doing. By the time I had my second child, three years later, I knew much more about who I was as a mother, and I stopped reading so much advice or being so affected by the myriad of opinions as to the right way to do things.

It’s been so lovely getting to know these women, and I want to thank the Harbourfront Community Centre, especially Gaby Motta, the Family Program Manager, for all of the wonderful support; the other wonderful artists and partners (Lisa Pijuan-Nomura, Cathy Nosaty, and May Friedman) for leading this with me, and of course our funder, the Toronto Arts Council.

I’ll be taking the summer off to recharge, but I look forward to figuring out what comes next.

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