Ladies know your worth, men, learn to appreciate it! As someone who has given up more than a decade of my life to stay at home and care for my three daughters, I am starting to realize just what a sacrifice that has been; in terms of money, social standing, career and what an impact that will have on my future and the future of our family. In terms of money, my being at home has saved our family a total of at least $305,000 calculating 12 hours per working day, had I be living here in Australia. I would probably double that amount if basing that on the UK! So, had I been working, say as a freelance language teacher or Artist would I have earned that much, to even begin to recover those costs? Probably not! Average costs for a childcare facility here are $109 for 12 hours. I've had my lot for 24 hours, 7 Days a Week, 365 days a year for 12 years, if I only calculate for the first 4 years of each child's life, I am at just under 1 Million Dollars, and that is not counting expenses for meals, day trips, clothes, toys etc. Not to mention the toll on my own health and sanity! I came across a Facebook Video talking about the term Housewife verses Researcher in Human Development. I would have to bracket myself with the latter title too as it sounds a lot more accurate than Housewife or SAHM! The point of this Blog Post is that I and countless other people who stayed at home are worth more than 1 Million Dollars to society, and yet we made to feel worthless, by the people behind the desks, by the Government, even in the eyes of our children and spouses, who fail to see the value in what we have done for them.
Now that I have started trying to work for myself outside the home, I have observed that it is mostly women, who are drawn into my studio, I see this same sacrifice reflected in their eyes, time and time again, some of them don't demonstrate worthiness or belief in themselves, and for whatever reason, the final decision to purchase my art, does not usually rest with them, it rests in the hands of their partners, predominately male! As my field is very specific to animal art, and focused on the connection between the human and the animal subject, more often than not, their human, i.e. who the animal, usually resides or resided with, is a woman, this profound connection between a woman and her animal, is something that a third party could never truly understand. Most women have gone through periods where they have been isolated from society, e.g. due to having a young family, or even lack of a family, and that animal companion has been an essential lifeline to them, as my animals have been to me. So, I can deeply understand their requests for me to capture or preserve that connection through my art. What I can't understand is why the beloved men folk in our society are putting their proverbial feet down when it comes to booking and paying for my services? By saying no, particularly if the animal is lost, you are effectively damning her to never see that spark of life in her animals eyes again and severing all connection she ever had with that creature, she will feel like a large part of her has been cut away from her very soul, and there is nothing that you can do to ever put it back. My art, although it can never bring back her dear friend, keeps that connection alive, it gives her somewhere to go when she feels the loneliness creep in, she can look at that portrait and remember them fondly, when they were at their prime, before death took them away from her, my art is a place where the happy memories can be relived, and the sad ones released from deep inside her, so next time you are asked to hand over a few hundred dollars for a pet portrait, remember your life partner is worth more than a million dollars, not just to you, but to society as a whole, and her sacrifices are only made bearable by the connections she's formed to the living things around her, and more often than not, these living things have four legs and a tail....
Hi, my name is Chrystal Carter, I am a mother to three lovely girls. I emigrated with my husband to Australia in December 2014, and have been living the dream, ever since! We are settled in the Dandenong Ranges and I have recently set up my brand new home art studio , in the heart of the hills, Tecoma. Here, I can follow my life long dream of being an artist drawing another of my greatest passions, animals, in particular, peoples beloved pets. I have always been fascinated by animals, nature and wildlife and where better to pursue my passions than here in Australia, and it certainly hasn't disappointed me! Follow me as a take on this new venture and brave new world, together with my wonderful family, and not forgetting my furry companions, Vin the Cat and Juno the Dog!