Juggling motherhood and performing arts: Are we thriving or just surviving?

by Alexandra Lopez
Juggling motherhood and performing arts: Are we thriving or just surviving? Photo by Conor Samuel on Unsplash

Even with the best of intentions and effort put in, when you are juggling motherhood and a career in the performing arts, some days ARE JUST ABOUT SURVIVAL.
Lack of sleep, no extra help, tantrums (yours and your child’s)…. The list goes on and on and I hear you, I am with you on this reality.
The first few years of motherhood; beat me down and I hardly recognised myself when I said that’s enough, that’s it, I can’t live this way anymore.

Blog in 30 seconds

* If we are merely surviving ALL the time as mothers, performers and women, unpacking why we are here serves us and those we love the most.
* Having boundaries in our lives creates the space needed for thriving.
* A narrative of motherhood that doesn’t support and lift you up, needs questioning.

Why did I find myself here?

  • I had no boundaries in my life with things like my phone, people who drained me, my work, my mothering, etc. As a result, my mental health suffered and I was ruled by anxiety and stress.
  • I had an ingrained, old narrative of what “motherhood” looked like. I bought into the self-sacrificial version that actually assists no one, not mother or child.
  • I forgot to ask for help. I kept living the way I did pre-children, which didn’t serve me as a mother. I had the “I’ll do it. I don’t need help” story on repeat. Totally unhelpful, dangerous, unrealistic and lonely as hell!
  • I felt ashamed to say out loud “I need my performing career as much as I want motherhood”. Even now that one makes me smile and exhale because it took a lot of soul searching to stand up and shout that one. Again, that self-sacrificial way of mothering is a tough narrative to challenge. It can be at the core of many of your self-limiting thoughts. Once I realised that my two greatest dreams COULD harmoniously live alongside one another, it became a dance, not a battle.
  • I was utterly weighed down by other’s limitations of their own lives from their own life experience, that had nothing to do with me.

Once I recognised the habits and thoughts that were holding me back, I was able to put boundaries in place to get me out of survival mode and onto thriving and successfully juggling motherhood and the performing arts.

These days thriving in motherhood and the performing arts for me looks like:

  • I am always 100% in my lane, going at my pace and I don’t compare my journey to others.
  • I ask for help, all the time. I understand how necessary it is for me to have a break and recharge my batteries with things like my work, massages, seeing friends, baths, hobbies etc.
  • I really studied the model of motherhood we are still being presented with and all its shortcomings and thought “not for me”.
  • I became very strict with my time and how and who I spend it with.
  • Today I surround myself with people who lift me up (and I do them too) and I exercise boundaries around those who don’t.
  • I got clear on whose voice was in my head at all times. What was my voice and what had been said to me that I carried around as a truth, but wasn’t based in reality or didn’t serve me moving forward.

If just one of the many points I have outlined here; serves you in moving towards a more positive way of living, then my job is done.

I believe in the power of thriving as mothers, as performers and as women. Remember that if we don’t fill our own cups first, we are serving the people we love and cherish the most; from an empty cup. In the short and long term nobody wins.

So here’s to doing the difficult work that is often needed to truly harness all your power and capabilities.

I am alongside you every step of the way, with so much respect.

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