Like so many great conversations this one popped up seemingly at random, but on reflection came at a really good time, was bangingly relevant and will hopefully lead to some interesting places.
As I write this I am trying not to disturb a sickly 3 year old sleeping (finally) in the next room. Last week, after finishing some pretty big projects I finally listened to all the telltale signs that us freelancers observe so well; the bags under my eyes were so dark I looked like I’d been punched in the face. So this week I would relax, read books, do some gardening (ok, maybe not that, but perhaps I’d sit in it).
Monday morning, 20 mins in to my indulgences in said garden, new Chuck Palahniuk in hand the call comes from nursery. The Boy has suspected chicken pox and needs to come home. Quick shift and I’m brow mopping, calpol dosing, Peppa Pig administering…Dreams of relaxing idly lying between the untouched pages of the novel.
I love my jobs; all of them and I love being a parent in a creative family, but there are times when it is just a little, well, difficult!
Which is why when friends and fellow Residence members Search Party tweeted about missing the recent ‘Devoted & Disgruntled’ event on creativity & parenting I chimed in (tweeted up?) There is so much to talk about!
We had questions, comments, loads to say on the subject. Then, as is the beauty of social media Theatre Bristol pipes up, ever the catalyst with ‘Why don’t we talk some more about this?’
Which we did...
We talked about gender, we talked about time, we talked about what happens when the kids get older, when more come along. We talked about what it is to be a (horrible phrase alert) ‘mid career artist’ and why we don’t want to sleep on floors anymore. We talked about whether to put childcare on a funding applications and we talked about being bored at baby groups.
We thought maybe other people might like to talk about this stuff too….? (You may have gathered this happened in person, not in a quick fire flurry of 140 characters). We had a few ideas of how we might proceed in getting folk together and for what purpose but we thought it was perhaps a good juncture to put it out there and ask other people (parents or not) what they might find useful and go from there.
Our ideas included:
• A structured event with invited speakers who have inspired us, together with some creative kids activities
• A more casual free for all get together (Who mentioned turning the Arnolfini Light studio into a crèche?)
• A more regular event run by parents focusing on different themes with connecting activities for kids run in turn by parents/practitioners
That’s just our ideas for starters, we’d like to hear yours! We’re not sure where this might go, but we feel its important to us. We’d like to invite anyone who might be interested whether they have children or not to join in the conversation.
Please do send your thoughts, suggestions, chicken pox survival tips to firstname.lastname@example.org