This is My Circus and These Are My Monkey’s

I want to muse on the assumption that women need to compartmentalise their lives, and men for that matter too. Business in this corner, having babies and raising them over in the other corner. But in truth it doesn’t work that way for anyone who works for themselves or is a passionate creator.  People seem increasingly uncomfortable with the paradox of having all of it run concurrently, in all times and spaces at once. There in lies the lie an the pain of trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.  It does not fit. It is not supposed to.

I remember in my childhood sitting under my fathers desk as he created the things that he loved. He did all this creating after a full days work. I would sit under his feet and under his bureau desk and annoy him for his attention as he focused on what he was creating out in the world. And to make matters worse my mum was on the team too. We would be dragged around the county in the back of Air Force Planes to one more Air Show or one more Aerobatic event. To say I was bored out of my brains is an understatement but I didn’t die from the boredom.

I remember my mother decided to return to University to study English Literature or something of that nature, and I would accompany her when I was sick from school, sit in the desk next to her and draw coloured pictures and want her to look at them, whilst she was listening and taking notes from the lecturer. I remember Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas was being discussed one day. At the time I had no idea what a juggle it would have been for my mother to do what she wanted and to care for me my sister, and my father.

My parents showed up for horse competitions with a float on the tow bar riding around the country side supporting my sister to express her passion as a horse back everything show girl. My mother would drop me off with a thermos flask of warm food and a packed dinner as I would do two or three dance classes back to back in my passion to be the next Twyla Tharp. She would kiss and drop me then return home to continue organising the Australian Aerobatic team to travel overseas for Aerobatic competitions. My parents would do their creative work on their laps, in note books, in fold up chairs or on the phone whilst dinner was served and late into the night.

Fire Sword

As a Mother of two I make my living out of what I create and the service I give. I do that in the early hours of the morning, after school drop off, between school pick up and all the fun things we do in the afternoons. I do my work in the evenings after they go to sleep. It is hard to distinguish which cup of tea is a business meeting or a mother having a break at home because it is all one big tea pot of raising my children, raising the money to raise my children and raising myself in the process.

I am an artist. sometimes a juggling artists but always an artist creating seamless and juxtapose multiple experiences in a single time continuum.There is nothing strange about finding my sons drawings in amidst the pages of my coaching journals and find training manuals with a page turned into a paper aeroplane and to let my son watch movies when he is sick at home whilst I am on a call with a client, running to the kitchen in between calls for food and a quick kiss. There is nothing strange about the fact that getting divorced and all the dramas and add ons of that created volumes of content to serve and support my women clients.

” We are artists, not art factories. Being a mother is being an artist and my art is weaving all the threads of my magical life together in one breathing and sometimes clunking organism. Always refining, listening for what is calling to change, need more or less attention and to be an example of someone who is not diluting but distilling and refining whilst expanding and allowing my children the freedom to do the same. It is not personal and/or business. It is my life. All of it. Together. Inseparable.”

~Amanda Palmer

I have seen how much having children has affected any ‘career’ I may have had. But truth be told, I have never been the career kind. I would be no better off or my talented more steeped in important work without them. On the contrary, I personally am an entire cosmos fuller and integrated through having them in my life as teachers, companions and as conduits of the sheer sweetness of humanity, life, connection. I made my career motherhood and that can be a hard pill to swallow if you are a feminist. And I am a feminist and the whole bloody point is the freedom to choose what I want and so with the freedom afforded me I choose to do both. Be full time mother an business woman and no, there are no nannies in the mix. It is the three of us an a tribe of loving friends.

Whatever version of me I would have been if I had not had children, is gone. She never existed as I do now. Any version of me that would have been doing other things, travelling more, partying more, studying more, making more money, with a flat babyless tummy is a complete figment of my imagination. I choose to be a mother and as much as there are still parts of society that will sell women up the river of separating the hours, separating the dollars and separating the childcare and the art from the artist, I live my life in the messiest, mucked in together way because to have what I want requires making it up as I go along.

The last thing I need or care about is other peoples opinion and insincere concern about if my art will suffer because of my children. I would not be this artist that I am now if not for the experience and expression of motherhood. No woman deserves to have her motives questioned and her capacity brought into doubt.

Hoop WomanA few years ago I was presenting at an evening event. I was presenting an entire evenings worth of content to a group of people and I had my children with me, which was never ideal in my world as I stressed about meeting my children’s needs, the room of clients needs and being professional with the content of the presentation. Well my little boy who was approx 3 or 4 years old at the time and he hurt himself and the only thing to do was to attend to him, leaving everyone waiting and then to have him on my hip for the remainder of the evenings presentation.


I realised in that moment that I didn’t have to be a ‘good’ mother and a ‘good’ presenter, ‘good’ coach, ‘good’ anything. In that moment I WAS a mother and I was presenting. It was happening weather I argued with it or not. that is it. No ‘good’ required.

{more writing on being ‘good’ here }

We hold ourselves to such crazy expectations to be all compartmentalised, professional, appearing to have it all together with hospital corners, when fully integrated feels so much better and reads so much better to those you work with because it is telling the truth. It is time to take down the facade and the flimsy scaffold of pretending and compartmentalising and to own the full blown Juggling Artist, Trapeze Artist, Sword Swallowing Lion Tamer that you are. Roll up… Roll up…. buy a ticket to the greatest show on earth……..

Om Shanti,
Lotus Kruse

{ p.s whilst writing this I have also been requested about 10 times to watch my son win at dirk bike smash up on his iPod }

{Full transcript of Amanda Palmers open letter is here. }


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