Motherhood as Performance Art – How to Choose Your Best Supporting Cast!

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Editor’s Post by Deborah Hetrick Catanese

Project Motherhood is all about “walking the runway of motherhood”. I totally get that!

As Females, Mamas, and Fashionistas, sometimes we can’t resist the urge to get dressed up and put on a show! How about if we playfully take it a step further and think of our lives as performance art? We can embrace the notion that “all the world” is indeed our stage. With that in mind, our role as a mother should be one of the great performances of our lives!

So what does an actress in a role do to prepare?  She makes sure she feels good.  She makes sure she looks good, which is even more important if she doesn’t feel good! An actress makes sure she has done her homework and is ready for anything! And she always knows that the show must go on, regardless of any glitches or missed cues or stumbles along the way.  Now substitute “Mama” for “actress”!

So, yes, we Mamas can follow the lead of these Artists! Even when something is amiss in our performance as a mother, our show must go on! Even when you’ve been up half the night with your little one, you still have to find a way to pull it together the next day.

As any successful actress will tell you in her Academy Award winning speech, there are MANY people she must thank that helped her get to the pinnacle of success!  To us fashionista mamas, these are our very important “Supporting Cast” and we must choose them ever so carefully!

For this post, I thought about the people I need and want to have around me, the people who make me feel good and help me in my “performance”.

For some women, their partners may fill some or many of these roles.  But even with the most compatible, ideal partner, most mothers will still need a great supporting cast outside of their primary relationship.  Your cast may include family members, older children, or people that you have randomly had the good fortune to find. It may be comprised of people of many a varied age and background to provide you with different perspectives.   Whoever they are and however you find them, these people are the ones that make or break your performance!

So here are my nominees for BEST SUPPORTING CAST, from my own life. Hopefully I will inspire you to make a list of who you have and who you need to enhance your own performance on the Runway of Motherhood!

  1.  Babysitter – For rather obvious reasons, this is number one on a mother’s list of Supporting Cast.  I was blessed that my children had two doting grandmothers to help out whenever we needed help. Thanks, MOM!  So, number one on your list is a kind and reliable sitter you can trust to care for your child as capably as a Grandma does! This is worth an exhaustive search, since your child’s well being is not worth risking for one little night out.
  2.  Another mother with a child your kid’s age – This is someone you may meet in the playground or in a play group or at the pre-school drop-off point,  someone who can keep you company and keep you sane while you spend your time and energy with the wee ones. I still have people in my life from when my twenty-something kids were toddlers! (Love ya, Nancy, 20 years later!)
  3.  Hairdresser – Is there anyone more important to your self-esteem?!  Your hair is something that defines your appearance.  Hair is nothing like a special dress that you wear only for special occasions – you must wear your hair every day! All women need someone who can consistently give them a great haircut and great color (if you swing that way). A hairdresser like this is worth their weight in Oscar Gold! (Thanks for rescuing me and my hair, SJ!)
  4.  House cleaner – Even if you are one of “those” who loves to clean, LOL, sometimes even the best of us gets sick or overwhelmed and just needs some help.  Make sure you have someone you can trust to come in your home and treat your precious belongings with care and respect. Even if it is only once a year. Or month. Or week!!  Whatever you need or can afford, just don’t feel guilty about it! Yes, Ben Franklin might have said that cleanliness is next to godliness, but he didn’t say you had to do all the work yourself!  (I have a number of BESTS in this category to thank, from days past:  Kris, Jamie, Alyssa, Marianne!)
  5.  Esthetician – It’s your FACE, I mean, really! Who are you gonna trust with your face?!  Or your nails? Or your…ahem…your waxing!  You have to have someone with whom you feel really comfortable to do your bikini waxing, right? If you are going to treat yourself, then selecting a person who actually knows how to pamper you is a MUST! (Jill, you are so lovely, talented, and kind. And a model of decorum!)
  6.  Personal Trainer – Every once in a while you find someone who single-handedly changes your life for the better.  I found this person in the form of a wonderful young man who is a chiropractor, a sports medicine physical therapist, and a constant seeker of knowledge! This unbelievable person is named Pete, and he has patience and persistence and a very deep bag of tricks to help people who have failed to find help from various medical people more limited in perspective than he. If you have pain or physical dysfunctions, I pray that you can find someone like Pete! DO NOT give up trying to get help.
  7.  A Great Doctor – Your doctor must be your ally. This can be either your Primary Care doc or your OB/GYN or even a Therapist. He or she must respect you and listen to you, without ever touching the door knob until your visit is truly over.  He/she must be willing to dig deep to find a solution to your ails. Do not settle for less! (Thanks ever so much, Morris. You are a Doctor Extraordinaire.)
  8.  Photographer – Do a photo shoot for yourself, of yourself, since you already have HUNDREDS of photos of your kids! Find a photographer who understands good lighting! Splurge!  You will not regret it!  I used Becky, and she made me look like me, but in such a fantastic way! And when Allison said, “I need a head shot for your bio on the Blog”, I was ready! 
  9. Shoe Salesperson – As you all may know by now, I am OBSESSED with shoes!  I even have my own shoe salesperson at what I consider to be one of the world’s greatest shoe stores, Little’s Shoes.  Donna knows my feet, knows what I like and don’t like, and has the patience of Job!  She makes buying shoes even more fun than it already is!!!!!!!!!
  10.  Make-up Artist – OK, then there is AUDRA. I cannot mention “artist”without thinking of Audra. Audra “does make-up” (and then some!) at the Channel counter in Macy’s.  But Audra is more beautiful than you can imagine, and she makes you feel that way too, once she gets her talented hands on your face and works her magic! Having your make-up done by Audra is indeed Performance Art!  I will be writing a Post about Audra next month on Project Motherhood, so stay tuned to learn more about this “Beauty talking Beauty!” Every woman, and especially every mother, needs someone who can dazzle their day like Audra!
  11.  Friends – Friends come in many varieties, and they are essential and invaluable players in your Supporting Cast. Be sure you have a friend who knows your history; a friend who innately gets you; a friend you can confide in; a friend you can count on through thick and thin, and a friend who knows how to lift your spirits and laugh!  Also spectacular is having someone who gets your creative juices flowing! These traits may be found in one person, in several, or in many. I cannot name these friends without risk of forgetting someone. (Doesn’t that sound like an Academy Award winner’s speech?LOL!) So I will just say… you know who you are –  You are all the beating hearts of my life! (That includes my beloved family, of course, but they are above and beyond “Supporting” roles!)

So that’s it!  My fantastic Supporting Cast!  How lucky am I?! So what about you? Tell us how Motherhood is your Performance Art and who you nominate for your Best Supporting Cast!


  1. Laurie Klatscher says:


    from one of the “I know who I am”s.

  2. wow deb you were always such a talented writer

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