Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Housewife?

I'm having a crisis of confidence today. As Greg and I inch slowly closer to this next-contract-signing time (this summer), we talk a lot about various visions for the future. There are so many possibilities. But the one I've been dwelling on today is the idea of staying with Cirque for more years. And I'm feeling a little panicky at what this would mean for my life.

I look around at the other Cirque wives - in particular, the ones who've been doing this for 5, 10, or 20 years. (!) They are wonderful people, and I've been really enjoying getting to know them. But when it comes down to it - they are housewives. They do not have their own careers, and do not aspire to having any. They worry over the same things my "normal" parenting friends do; kids' illnesses, outgrown clothing, putting healthy meals on the table, and keeping their own sanity by finding projects and throwing birthday parties and baby showers. But they don't even have hobbies of their own. And they never hire babysitters. As far as I can tell, they are content to care for their children and travel around the world, taking life one day at a time.

Cirque du Soleil is such a good place for my family to be. Besides the prestige for Greg's career, we have a better income than we had before with both of us working, we have health insurance, we have free and excellent schooling for the children. I am able to stay home and watch over my little ones growing up, and we are able to see the world together as a family. These are not small things.

For Greg, the price he pays is a very demanding work schedule, and a lack of time/energy for his own creative projects. And for me, it looks like my price may be having my own career. Can I live with that? For how long can I live with that? ...it may simply be a matter of ego. Which I have never been all that good at subduing in the past. stay tuned....

3 comments:

  1. Perhaps when all your children are old enough to attend TOTEM's school you could consider a career in the Tour Services department or something similiar. Your background in Circus Arts may even allow you to apply for roles in artistic direction or stage management, or you could always become a permanent usher which also allows you to be intimately involved with the Cirque site rather than being isolated at home. Lauree Bangs, the mother of the former Quidam singer, Ella, worked in Tour Services whilst her daughter toured, and her father was a back-up drummer I believe. I'm sure you'd have a strong chance of landing a position as a TOTEM crew or company member.

    Enjoy Baltimore! I'm so excited to see TOTEM again in London next January :)

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  2. I think you can effectively manage your current work from afar, via internet, and perhaps seek new opportunities on the Cirque tour circuit. It can be an interesting research for you right now as Greg "inches" towards that deadline.

    FYI, I know many people who "do nothing" on tour. And there are others who create really exceptional, rich lives - but that takes effort. You seem like the 'rich life' type of person. You do have 3 kids, so that makes having a complete solo career more challenging, at least for several more years.

    While these other wives don't do anything else, YOU can make hobbies, YOU can pick up new skills, YOU can do extra traveling, YOU can pick up extra work within Cirque. Yet also realize if you are looking at mothers who were born in foreign countries, they are accustomed to living 'one day at a time'. Americans are used to living three days at a time!

    No matter what you choose to do, NOTHING is forever - not Cirque, not being "a housewife". You have the world at your fingertips, with talent and brains too.

    xox
    Lauren

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  3. Shana - living abroad makes you question who you are more than anything else ever might. You are not the 'you' you were - this experience will change you. And the list of pros (i.e. these are not small things) are really all meaningless if you are truly unhappy - that is a huge thing as well. Good luck on your journey - and know I am here to chat - being a housewife myself. (although I think you should be referred to as a 'tent'wife!) xo

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