BEHIND THE STORY OF UNCHAINED MOTHERING
Unchained mothering was inspired by my story. Women have always known their rights and talents while also being aware of their role in the society.
My maternal and paternal grandmothers were not only housewives, but also active women in their fields, one of whom was a writer and poet in her spare time, while the other was a Hebrew teacher.
On the other hand, my mother is a doctor and became one of the first women to become head of a specialized hospital Unit in Paris France, which showed me that a woman can study and have a professional career while being a mother. It was not an easy road but she has always been able to meet and exceed the requirements for both despite the difficulties. In my husband’s family my mother in law brought another example, as well as being an educated woman she started her career in an innovative field for her generation, teaching computer sciences, to classes mainly composed of adult men. She decided to become a stay at home mom. In my husband's family which has become my family, men respected and supported the women and their choices as well.
Beyond the support in families it is essential that society keeps on evolving in order to empower women and promote their freedom as individuals to make their decisions, to reach a balance, and equality for all. There is no right or wrong choice. There are human values such as, respect, courage, and above all the ability to make these choices.
I worked as a lawyer registered at the Bar of Luxembourg. I have never postponed my family life’s choices for my career. Becoming a successful lawyer did not stop me from becoming a mother of three children. While working, I participated as a volunteer in the personal and professional world; elected and serving mandates both at my children’s elementary school council and at ELSA, the Employment Law Specialist Association of Luxembourg. I was juggling my schedule to be with my young children and deal with a very demanding job. My husband always did his best, often sleeping less and adding hours on the road to be present a couple hours more at home while traveling extensively for his work. Even if I was working full time, I was the one not traveling, so I took on the chores and caring for the children, counting on the nursery school and the help of a cleaning lady on a regular basis, but mainly on my own while without family support as I was an expatriate.
Since my childhood I wanted to be an artist. I never gave up on this dream. It was at the age of 31 that I decided to stop being a lawyer and pursue my dream while dedicating myself to my children. Luckily my husband supported my choice, as it was a drastic change of life. It was not easy. I first discovered that being a stay-at-home mom was very difficult and physically and mentally draining. Being with your children is priceless, but it also means working 7/7 without breaks or pay and without any recognition in society. Ultimately, being a stay-at-home mom means losing the status of an active woman despite the work provided. It is to become invisible. Claiming my choice was not only putting my career on the back burner but also managing the judgment of others. I must have walked a winding path, but I am now happy and proud. ``
My story is not isolated while being in New York City, I met some wonderful women; they exist all over the world but these one made me realize that now I had the means to tell their story. This story is the one of our generation. This is a generation that can be given the choice to pursue an education, a career, work or stay at home. Now is the time to remove the cloak of invisibility that hangs over the lives and actions of these women.
"Freedom comes when you give yourself permission to choose freely"
Jessica de Vreeze
Let the show begin!
The first exhibition Miami in December 2021.
Next Paris, Arles, and NYC.