Finding Your Artistic Voice As A Mother

‘My artistic voice has emerged stronger and more clear than ever—more centered in the voice of a mother and a female, really coming from within with an agenda. This I only have because of my kids. It feels like it was a necessary process, but it was fucking hard.’

Peng Scheerer’s experience of giving birth was a difficult one. The birth itself was a brutal, life-or-death situation that unearthed a childhood trauma—leaving Peng depressed and suicidal for a full nine months afterward.

But after working through the psychological pain, Peng has emerged stronger than ever. She has regained her artistic voice and is working to break down the cultural construct that paints femininity as faulty or weak.

Today, Peng joins me to explain her change of heart around having children and discuss the challenges associated with parenting and pursuing a career as a freelance artist. She shares her incredibly traumatic birth experience and discusses the identity shift that came with pregnancy and motherhood. I ask her about her PhD work in the realm of feminine voices, and she describes what it means to be a mom in our capitalist, patriarchal world. Listen in for Peng’s insight on becoming part of what she calls a ‘rainbow family’ and learn how she and her husband negotiate parenting AND their work as creatives. 

The Startup Pregnant Podcast Episode #067

Some quotes from the episode 

  • “We went through [couples] therapy, and I went through trauma therapy, and then we decided that we wanted another kid—despite all this crazy-ass shit that had happened.”
  • “[Partnership is] constant compromise, and I would say it’s also [the] constant letting go of expectations.”
  • “It really shot me into a very difficult mental health situation that totally spiraled out of control in the first nine months after [giving] birth. I was highly depressed, thinking about suicide daily. I did not expect that at all—the psychological, emotional impact it would have on me.”
  • “The trauma is like a parasite. It’s always interested in surviving. So, of course, it creates blind spots for you not to recognize what’s working inside you.”
  • “The hormonal status changing so drastically in such short period of time is adding to the craze … of not knowing oneself and losing oneself and experiencing emotions in a totally different way than three months before, or seven months before, or nine months before.”
  • “The first pregnancy totally and utterly destroyed and erased my artistic identity.”
  • “My artistic voice has emerged stronger and more clear than ever—more centered in the voice of a mother and a female, really coming from within with an agenda. This I only have because of my kids. It feels like it was a necessary process, but it was fucking hard.”
  • “My kids force me to try to be the best version of myself every day.”
  • “The biggest scarcity in parenthood is time, and both of the people in the relationship … will feel they do more.”
  • “[Parenting is] not necessarily 50/50 in everything. It’s really, ‘What do I need? What do you need? And how can we align this?’”
  • “I had internalized these notions of femininity being something that is faulty and weak—and softness as a problem.”
  • “We live in a culture that asks everybody to leave something behind in order to function in this hierarchical, patriarchal, capitalist society.”

LEARN MORE ABOUT PENG SCHEERER

Peng Scheerer is a freelance stage and costume designer for theatre and opera, working in performance venues all over Europe. In addition, she is pursuing a PhD in the realm of powerful female narratives and ‘disintegrating into a queer consciousness.’ She is also the author of the children’s book Two Mothers for Oscar which will be available on Amazon in August 2018.


RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
 

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