In a recent interview with German newspaper Tagesspiegel, artist Marina Abramovic suggested that having children would have ruined her creativity.
I had three abortions because I was certain that it would be a disaster for my work, she said. One only has limited energy in the body, and I would have had to divide it.
There was one new mama that wasn’t having any of that Hein Koh, a Brooklyn-based artist, whorecently responded to Abramovics comments by posting a picture of herself working on her Instagram and Facebook pages while simultaneously breastfeeding her twins.
In a post she shared on Facebook, Koh described the mixed emotions that motherhood brought, along with the conviction that parenting can be seen as a new challenge, not necessarily something that will hold women back, as suggested.
Koh said she never dreamt of marriage and children, and that she felt conflicted about having kids after several years of marriage because of her career.
But after a six year struggle to conceive, she was blessed with twins but alsoterrified about the prospect of juggling her passion and work as an artist with the demands of motherhood.
I was worried that if I didnt get my career started before giving birth, because I am still at the emerging stage, I would never be able to pick up the momentum again,” she said. To my surprise, Ive never been more busy in my career than I have been since giving birth.”
She was quick to point out the difference between how males and females are treated when it comes to work and family.
Somehow as a man you are allowed to have kids and still be perceived as driven in your career, shesaid. While if you are a woman who has a child, people think of it as a huge sacrifice.The new family models are changing mothers dont necessarily have to be the primary caretakers anymore. With a more even distribution of responsibilities, and a support system support is key, and I recognize it is a privilege women can still have children and be successful in their careers.
Her extensive support system includes a husband and part-time nanny, which some people might roll their eyes at, but she acknowledges how lucky she is.
Ive pieced together a schedule that allows me to spend time with the kids for at least a few hours every day, but also have at least a few hours to myself to work in my studio or do other things that I need to do, she notes. Childcare is a privilege, and unfortunately many moms and artists dont have that. That being said, I understand how fortunate I am and I dont waste time.
Koh says she has been shocked by the reaction that her husbands candid photo of her has received (it now has over 4.7K likes and 1.7k shares) but she is grateful for the chance to share the message that motherhood is definitely not a dead end in any path in life.
We all have to do what we think is best for ourselves and our families, she said. Im just trying to live my life, and I know I have limitations but Im doing the best I can.”
“People should just leave moms alone, and mind their own business,” she continued. “Especially other moms, who are always the first to judge. Regardless of our individual choices, women should support other women, and lead by example rather than attack. Thats the kind of culture I want to promote.