Artwork for podcast Happy Mama Movement with Amy Taylor-Kabbaz
#220 – Who Does She Think She Is? with Pamela Tanner Boll
Episode 22023rd November 2022 • Happy Mama Movement with Amy Taylor-Kabbaz • Amy Taylor-Kabbaz
00:00:00 00:28:22

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Day in, day out I hear stories from mothers all over the world about just how difficult they find it to balance their own needs, desires, creative expressions, dreams with the reality of motherhood. If you've been listening to this podcast and my work for a while, this is of no surprise to you. It raises questions such as - how do we hold a sense of self without support? When today's day and age requires so much of us? I recently watched a documentary called Who Does She Think She Is? and was extremely moved. I highly encourage you to watch the documentary for yourself, which supports what we talk about in this conversation. Listen as Pamela and I talk about:
  • Art, storytelling, and our culture. How the dialogue and stories of mothers is lacking because it feels almost impossible to pursue your desires and be the mother you want to be.
  • Different ways that artists are making the most of their time, doing it in between, alongside and changing our relationship instead of starting at two in the morning.
  • The layers of economy, culture and within ourselves that need to be addressed, alongside the importance of coming together as a community.
  • The impact of prioritising ourselves can have on marriages, relationships and how that changes mothers availability in the home.
For me, this film was a stark reminder of where we are and how far we've got to go. But also lit up a fiery warrior spirit in me that we have to do this even in the smallest way. Please watch, reflect and discuss this powerful film. You can find all the details below: https://www.whodoesshethinksheis.net/buy_rent_the_film. Further to this particular film, Pamela Tanner Boll is the Founder/CEO of Mystic Artists Film Productions.  She directed/produced A Small Good Thing; Who Does She Think She Is?; and her current project, To Which We Belong, which highlights farmers and ranchers leaving behind conventional practices and adopting regenerative ones that are improving the health of our soil and sea and saving our planet. There needs to be a change in the way mothers are valued and seen in our society. We are here to spread the whispers of Matrescence together. Find out more and receive your Matrescence map here https://www.amytaylorkabbaz.com/matrescence/

Transcripts

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Welcome to the Happy Mama Movement Podcast.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

I'm Amy Taylor-Kabbaz.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

I would like to start by acknowledging the Gadigal people of the Aura nation

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

on which this podcast is recorded, as the traditional custodians of this land.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

And pay my respects to the elders past, present and emerging.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

And, as this podcast is dedicated to the wisdom and knowledge of motherhood, I

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

would like to acknowledge the mothers of this land, the elders, their wisdom, their

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

knowing and my own elders and teachers.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Welcome back Mamas.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Day in, day out I hear stories from mothers all over the world about just how

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

difficult they find it to balance their own needs, desires, creative expressions,

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

dreams with the reality of motherhood.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

If you've been listening to this podcast and my work for a while,

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

this is of no surprise to you.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

This is what we talk about over and over again.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

How do we hold a sense of self when motherhood in its very reality in today's

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

day and age requires so much of us?

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

How do we hold a sense of self when we have no other support?

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

And what we do as a mother is so invisible.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

This was never more apparent than a documentary I recently watched

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

called Who Does She Think She Is?

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

This documentary takes a close look at female artists, and in particular

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mothers in the United States, and how difficult it is to sustain your creativity

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

as an artist while also mothering.

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It's a spectacular look at the economic demands on mothers.

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As the documentary clearly says, the world would fall apart economic if women

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stopped doing all of this unpaid work.

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And yet, when we look at art, storytelling, and our culture, we

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don't have the stories of mothers because it is almost impossible

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to pursue your desires in this way and be the mother you want to be.

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The minute I saw this documentary, I knew I needed to talk about it on

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

this podcast, and so I reached out to executive producer Pamela Tanner Boll,

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

and asked her to join us on the podcast.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

The link to watch the documentary is in the show notes.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

You can rent it online.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

I highly recommend it.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

I've also got my elder children to watch it with me, my two teenage girls,

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

to show them how important it is that we continue to highlight the stories

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

and creativity of women and mothers.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

I hope that you go ahead and watch the documentary.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

I hope we talk about this because if we want to change the way we are seen

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

in the world as mothers, we have to get our stories and our art out there.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Enjoy.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Pamela, thank you for joining me on the podcast.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Your film, really hit a chord with me for so many different reasons,

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

and I'm really excited to share the story behind it with, um, my audience.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

So thank you for being here.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Thank you for having me Amy.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

This is so wonderful.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Here we are meeting clear across the world.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

I know with the topic that's important in

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

all parts of the world, which is

Pamela Tanner Boll:

It sure is.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Motherhood, art, women in the arts, the

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

balance between motherhood and our passion and our desires.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

So can you give us a little overview of how this film came together?

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Yes.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

First of all, it came out of my own experience, so pretty directly.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

I have three sons.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

And when they were in their mid, early to mid teens, it suddenly

Pamela Tanner Boll:

seemed I wasn't the sun, the moon and the stars to them anymore.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

They were going out and finding their own way.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

And I had spent their whole childhood both writing, short

Pamela Tanner Boll:

stories and essays and also painting.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

But for me it was a struggle.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

It seemed I was either late for some event with them or I was always

Pamela Tanner Boll:

late to go to my studio, always.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

So it came out of that.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

So then I thought, you know, let's make a film about how people

Pamela Tanner Boll:

do this, how other women do it.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

And I wanted.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

I, I have to make this clear.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

A lot of people said, why do you wanna make this film?

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Of course.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

And I said, because I think the voices of women who are mothering is missing

Pamela Tanner Boll:

from our dialogue in society in general.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

And so artists have access to that voice.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Uh, so another thing that I wanted to do was to make this film about

Pamela Tanner Boll:

artists who were working artists.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

They had to have, uh, you know, actual audiences and get paid, et cetera.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

But I did not want anyone who was world famous.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

I wanted to find women who were uh, perhaps overlooked, but had an

Pamela Tanner Boll:

active presence in their communities.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

So I did not go for the big names or the ones who had made it to the big stage.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Yeah.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

I think that's what makes it so incredibly powerful.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

But in the film you also point out that there are hardly any working

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

mother artists on that big stage.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

The numbers in this film that you talk about, the representation of

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

women, let alone mothers in galleries and exhibitions is just astounding.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

I mean, it shouldn't be.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

I should know that that's what it is.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

But when you hear it again, you think, ah, what are we doing?

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Well, we, we tend to, think.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

We just don't think about it as cultures.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

We don't think, and for me it's, as I just finished saying, I'll repeat it though.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

The experience I had as a mother, having three sons really quickly,

Pamela Tanner Boll:

one after the other, was the most difficult and also the most, beautiful

Pamela Tanner Boll:

experience I ever had in my life.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

I began, writing voraciously.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

I had written as a younger woman, but then I had to sort this out through my writing.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

I had to sort it out through my painting.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

So, um, we're not hearing those voices enough.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

People give lip service to motherhood.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

They, oh, it's so great.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

And then they go on to the next topic.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

And this is women and men, I think, even if you're a mother,

Pamela Tanner Boll:

you kind of go along with that.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

But also artists struggle.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

They don't have an easy time getting their work out into society,

Pamela Tanner Boll:

whether you're a male or female.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

It just happens that for a female it's even harder.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

So yeah.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

And as you say so clearly in the film that art is

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

the way we tell our cultural story, our society's story, and when we are

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

missing the voices of mothers and as women, what does that tell us?

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

What story does that tell us about our culture?

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

And I love how you point out over and over again that, you know, we, when

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

you look at how we don't value mothers and women in the arts, it's the same

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

as how we don't value nursing and caring and teaching all the feminine

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

occupations are underpaid and undervalued.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

And you point out so beautifully, but then we look at carpentry

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

or some of the more masculine skills and how well they are paid.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

It's just, do you, did you find the process, um, disheartening to see that we

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

are still no further along in this way?

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Oh, Of course, but you cannot dwell on that.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

What you can do is bring these voices to the world.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Mm-hmm.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

. And that's been my path to not dwell on the, uh, injustice or the

Pamela Tanner Boll:

political issues or what have you.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

But instead to shine a really strong light on the, uh, contribution that

Pamela Tanner Boll:

these, in this, in this film, the what that these women are making.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Mm-hmm.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

. And it's, to me, that's more persuasive than being, um,

Pamela Tanner Boll:

that's just my temperament.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

It's more persuasive to shine a light on, I mean, to be honest, even to

Pamela Tanner Boll:

this day when I watched that film, I haven't watched it for a while.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

I cried.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

These women are gorgeous.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Mm-hmm.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Their work.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

I agree

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Is so powerful and so for me, that's

Pamela Tanner Boll:

the best argument in the world.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

That these voices need to be heard.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

I totally agree.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

I walked away from it, you know, outraged that we're still here, but

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

also incredibly inspired to continue with my own art, which is this.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

To continue with my own voice.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

You point out really clearly that it's really important for us as mothers to,

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

to not suppress this creativity during those early years of motherhood as well.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

You talk about how if we don't express this urge, the effect it can have on us.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Even though we might be doing it at 2:00 AM because that's the only time we get.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

There, is a really important element as women and as mothers during that time that

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

we have to honor that part of ourselves.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Mm-hmm.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

You know, Janice Wonderlook, the sculptor who does works with Clay.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Her work is amazing, isn't it?

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Amazing.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Yeah, she's, she, uh, I loved her process.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

She was in art school when she got pregnant.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

I mean, she was in college doing an art degree.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

And she married young and she became, immediately became a mother.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

And for her it was imperative that she make the most of her time.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

I guarantee you she wasn't up at 2:00 AM doing her art.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

She did it in between.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

And I had faulted myself for doing that.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

I'm like, oh, if I can't go for three hours to the studio, what's the point?

Pamela Tanner Boll:

But her example, of having notebooks in every room of

Pamela Tanner Boll:

her house with five children.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Five children.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

And then if you looked at those notebooks, you were like

Pamela Tanner Boll:

astonished at what she was doing.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

And it, it was the same with Maye Torres in uh, Taos.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

She included her boys in the process of making art.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

And guess what?

Pamela Tanner Boll:

They're still doing art.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

All three of them.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

We have to change as women, our relationship with ourselves so that we

Pamela Tanner Boll:

respect ourselves enough not to start doing our work at two in the morning.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

That is not okay.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

You put your baby on your back, you're walking around, you're singing,

Pamela Tanner Boll:

you're writing, whatever it is.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

While you have your baby.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Or if you can't, you take the baby on a walk and you bring your

Pamela Tanner Boll:

iPhone and you record into it.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Right?

Pamela Tanner Boll:

So you, we have to change our relationship.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

It's hard for us because there's not a whole lot in culture that supports it.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

So I'd love to just play this little part from

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

the film, which is an insight from the author Courtney E Martin.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Even though a lot of women have fought to get us into museums and

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

other places, we're continually pulled back into the home by the

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

joy and burden of being mothers.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

We obviously need an economic shift, but we also need a psychological shift as

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

long as each of us thinks that this issue, my imbalanced life is my little problem.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

We aren't gonna make the connections we need to make in

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

order to change the situation.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

I wanted to pull that out because it points out the

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

layers of this that we need to address.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Yes, it's an economic problem.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Yes, it's a cultural problem, but also within ourselves, like you just pointed

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

out, we also need to start prioritising this differently and come together as

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

a community and make this like a, a movement, which is what this podcast

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

is called it's the movement of starting to acknowledge this differently.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Well, let me say this, in the past, my mother came to

Pamela Tanner Boll:

see me when I was a young mother with three, uh, two children I didn't have

Pamela Tanner Boll:

my third yet, and she was appalled.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Because in her day, all the mothers shared the mothering.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

They lived in a community where women didn't have an economic, uh, job.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

And so in some ways we've, you know, that's good to get the extra money.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

It's wonderful to have a job, but we ask so much of women.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

And women rise to that challenge, but my mother was appalled and

Pamela Tanner Boll:

I give her every credit for it.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

She said, you know, mothering is so important, but we didn't have another

Pamela Tanner Boll:

job to go to for eight hours or 10 hours.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Um mm-hmm.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

So it's part, that's the cultural element.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

And there's no blame here.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

I don't want any blame for women or even for the men who love them.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

It's uh, it's more that we have to recognise that our gifts are powerful,

Pamela Tanner Boll:

they're powerful for our children.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

There's a thing that we don't talk enough about.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Our kids need to see us as people who are exercising their

Pamela Tanner Boll:

gifts, their contribution mm-hmm.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

, they will change because of that.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

It's this, it's almost as if we need to remember

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

that we need to be more than that one dimensional mother archetype.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Mm-hmm.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

. Mm-hmm.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

. And by doing these creative pursuits, whether it's art, it's our

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

work, it's our business, whatever it is, they need to see that.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

It's really the next step in this um, empowerment of a woman going past

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

the role that she's assumed to have.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Mm-hmm.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

showing her children and the people around her.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

No, this is important to me and this is who I am.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

I'm more than just this role.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

It's not just important to you,

Pamela Tanner Boll:

it's important to society.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Mm.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

That's the thing.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

A lot of us talk to ourselves and we get talked to about this.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Well, it's nice that you can do that hobby.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Isn't that nice?

Pamela Tanner Boll:

There's more important things in the world.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

After all, you're not even making any money.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

I carried that with me and making the film made me realise that was not a way

Pamela Tanner Boll:

that made any sense to anybody really.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

That has to change.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

We have to stop that kind of talk.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Um, every person on this planet has something to contribute.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Find it, do it.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Show your kids.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

That's what life is about.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Contributing to the betterment of everybody, each other,

Pamela Tanner Boll:

even if it's your plant, okay.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

So you can't say I'm doing my kids full on because it doesn't serve them.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

You know, it may not serve them to to be away for weeks on end, either.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

I.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

I don't agree with that.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

But they have to see you passionately involved in something or even mad

Pamela Tanner Boll:

about it, cause you can't do it.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

They have to see that.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

That's a really beautiful point.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

I love you've said that.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

They can see your frustration you're allowed to show them your

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

frustration at this time in your life.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

You can't do the things that are lighting you up.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

I don't know if we feel we are allowed to do that though, Pamela.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

No, we don't.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

But we should.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Because you know, my son, my oldest son at the age of about 16, said

Pamela Tanner Boll:

to me, I don't wanna grow up.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Why would I wanna grow up?

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Nope, grownups don't have any fun.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

They're always, they're always in a hurry, and they're always saying this and that.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

If that's the kind of mothering or your fathering that you're doing,

Pamela Tanner Boll:

you're not doing your child any good.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

So that's where the, that's where the singing comes in.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

The painting, the whatever it is that you're doing.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

If you, if your path is to be a creative person.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Who's expressing Mm, yeah.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

You also point out throughout the film, the, and again,

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

this is not critical of anyone in the story, but a number of the women you

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

highlight the, uh, struggles within their marriage or relationship for when she

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

starts to prioritise this for herself and the impact that has on the partners.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Um, Yes, maybe just reflect on what that was like because

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

it really hit home for me.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

That's been a very real experience for me as well.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

And I think it is important.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

But what I liked about the way you did it was there wasn't blame.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

It was almost a reflection of if the mum changes her availability in the home.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

The person who has to step in there is the father, is the partner.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

And that too is not what we should, we should be doing.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

You know, this isn't the way it works for anybody.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

That's what I took away from it.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Is that what you wanted us to see?

Pamela Tanner Boll:

I did and uh, you know, I, in our country, you

Pamela Tanner Boll:

know, it used to be, again, I'm going to go back to my mother's day.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

There was so much help.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

She didn't live in a house by herself with, I had two sisters, so three of us

Pamela Tanner Boll:

running around like, you know, crazy kids.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

She had a whole community and we talk about it takes a village and all that,

Pamela Tanner Boll:

but we don't necessarily live it.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

So in my opinion, it's not about the man and the woman fighting about who's

Pamela Tanner Boll:

going to do the majority of the work, although that's what ends up happening.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Yes.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

It's make yourself a bigger community.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Yeah.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

And sometimes you can do that.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

It's hard, but it's, it's worth it.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

And you know, in my case, I ended up going to four mother's groups a week.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Just so I could have a break, you know, it was wonderful.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

And they were in churches and we didn't really attend

Pamela Tanner Boll:

church, but it didn't matter.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

And then when the kids got older, I said to my husband, I want to take them to

Pamela Tanner Boll:

church so they'll know some older people.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

And, that kind of worked out.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

But it was a little bit, too little too late to be dead honest.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

But I involved myself in the community and my husband did too.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

So it wasn't me or you, it was this whole group of people.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

We lived in a, I was lucky we lived in a town where if my sons went to the

Pamela Tanner Boll:

little downtown shop, you know, shops, I could go down an hour later and they'd

Pamela Tanner Boll:

say, oh, we saw Alex here with his buddy Pete, and he was doing this and that.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

But how many of us make the effort to have that happen?

Pamela Tanner Boll:

It seems like one more piece of work, doesn't it?

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

It does, and I often talk about in my work that you

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

know, this isn't working for anybody.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Because what was so beautifully portrayed in the film was that, you

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

know, we are asking the woman to do too much or when she then steps into

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

what she wants to do with her art and her, her passion, it falls on him.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

And he's still working full-time as well.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Like it was so beautifully portrayed that this doesn't work for anybody

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

if we are wanting to do it this way.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

I thought you balanced it really well because there can be a tendency,

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Pamela, of that blame in this.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Oh yeah.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

When we look at what the problems are, we kind of pinpoint into the one

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

particular area and it's multilayered.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

And that was so clear in the way you showed it.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Mm-hmm.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

I mean, the fact is, here's something that is very, very relevant and apparent

Pamela Tanner Boll:

to me, and it was from way back.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Some people say, well, I don't have children because the planet, yada yada.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Right, okay.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

There's an argument to be made there.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

But, I said to those people, at one point, you're gonna get older and

Pamela Tanner Boll:

you're going to need medical care.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

And if somebody doesn't raise some decent kids to become doctors,

Pamela Tanner Boll:

who's gonna take care of you?

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Yeah.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

And look what's happening in Europe.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

You know, the birth rates have fallen and Japan, and guess what?

Pamela Tanner Boll:

There's a dearth of people in those professions.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Yeah.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

So it's a bigger issue.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Right?

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

It's a bigger issue.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Yeah.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

And at the center of it, we have to do better with

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

the support and the acknowledgement and the stories of the mothers.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Mm-hmm.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

I think, if it's still invisible, if we still give it

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

lip service, most important job in the world, but then don't actually

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

acknowledge it in any way, then this is why we're going to stop having babies.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

That's why the next generation are saying, why would I do this?

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Why would I do that?

Pamela Tanner Boll:

That's what so expensive.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

It's so much work.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Well, this is where the voice of the artist comes in.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Yeah.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

How many women do you know?

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Or men who actually celebrate this, this, uh, life giving force.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

I mean, Mayumi Oda, her goddesses, she celebrates.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

She was spectacular.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

:

That's why I liked her.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

:

Uh, Janis Wunderlich, even though there's a lot of tension.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

:

I love that in her work.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

:

Mm-hmm.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

:

, she celebrates it.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

:

Uh, Courtney Martin, same thing.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

:

So it, this is why we have to make room for women's voices.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

:

And, um, sometimes women just need to, you know, say, oh, I'm, I'm doing this anyway.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

:

Do you know how many people told me that there was no story here?

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Of course,

Pamela Tanner Boll:

I had.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

I had an editor who was like, oh, yeah, yeah, this is great.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Well, I heard be later that she would turn to my producer and say, I

Pamela Tanner Boll:

don't know what she's trying to do.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

What's the story I had her on for a year?

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Because I'm such a good girl.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Mm.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Right.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Yeah.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Leaving the good girl behind is another thing, but, and then I, I go to New

Pamela Tanner Boll:

York City and I get introduced to all of these editors, they all turn me down.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

What's the story I would kill to have children and a and a career?

Pamela Tanner Boll:

What's the big whoopy?

Pamela Tanner Boll:

I got turned down so many times.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

And guess what?

Pamela Tanner Boll:

If you want your voice heard, you have to be persistent and you have to be willing

Pamela Tanner Boll:

to get through to the people who say no.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Uh, it's an, you know, people are always gonna turn you down, and

Pamela Tanner Boll:

that goes for both men and women in the creative arts, not just women.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

I guess if I was to summarise it, it both, it was a stark

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

reminder of where we are and how far we've got to go, but also this call to

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

that warrior spirit in me that we have to do this even in the smallest way.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

We have to hold onto that thing that lights us up, whether it's art,

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

cooking, writing, whatever it is.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

So for the mama that's listening, who really feels like she can't acknowledge

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

or find the time or have the voice to hold onto that part of herself.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

What would you say?

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Oh my gosh.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Well, I would say stop thinking that mothering is all about

Pamela Tanner Boll:

24/7 focus on your kid.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Yeah.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Kids need to see you.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

They need, I mean, my kids are now grown, so I feel like

Pamela Tanner Boll:

I have something to say here.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

They need to both participate in your work like we saw with Mayumi,

Pamela Tanner Boll:

her sons, and also with Maye.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Oh, I haven't even mentioned the astonishing singer.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

And she brought her daughters with her.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

I mean, she's, she gives me chills.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

The point is children need to see you doing things that are important to you.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

That gives them a view into being a happy and interested adult.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Mm-hmm.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

, we do this disservice of saying, okay, now I'm gonna do this activity with

Pamela Tanner Boll:

my kid and this and this and this.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

They want you to be present.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

But you can be just as present.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

You set them up with a little easel.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Mm-hmm.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

, you set them up with, if you, if it's cooking, if it's baking, you

Pamela Tanner Boll:

set them up to work beside you.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

That's what they want.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Yeah.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

They don't want you to be, no, let me

Pamela Tanner Boll:

see now we're gonna go play.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

Play is good, don't get me wrong, but you have a different job.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

You're their leader too.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

And when they hurt, you pick them up and you make them feel better.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

I'm not saying that's not part of mothering.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

It's huge.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

It's huge.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

When they have an upset at school, be there.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

But the biggest thing is to include them in, in a happiness that you're a part of.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Oh.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Oh, I love that so much, Pamela.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Thank you.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

I'm going to share the link for the documentary in the show notes, and

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

you can rent it online and watch it.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

I would love to see if we could bring some screenings to Australia next

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

year which you and I will talk about.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

But um, yeah, thank you.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

It really moved me and I think it's a really powerful insight into so many of

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

the issues we discuss on this podcast.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

So thank you so much.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

You're very welcome.

Pamela Tanner Boll:

And thank you so much for inviting me.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

It was such a great privilege to be able to have

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

this conversation with Pamela to be able to bring you all the insight

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

that this documentary brought me and to continue to, I guess,

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

highlight just how invisible we are.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Not in a negative way, as Pamela highlighted, this isn't about

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

continually lamenting how bad it is for mothers around the world.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

But instead, show a spotlight on what we are doing.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Celebrate our stories, look at each and everything we do to hold onto that

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

sense of self as an act of activism.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

It's what our kids need us to do.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

We are not here to just sacrifice ourselves into the role of mother.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

That's not what our kids need, and it's definitely not what

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

our culture in society needs.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

So whatever your creative pursuit is, whether it's building a business,

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

painting, drawing, dancing, whatever it is, we have to continue to hold that as

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

just as important as our role as mother.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Please go online, rent and download the documentary and share it around.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

All of the details are in the show notes.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

The documentary is called Who Does She Think She Is?

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

And as always, thanks for listening.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Thanks for being here.

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Please leave a review and let me know what you think about this

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

episode and the documentary.

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