Being a mom can be difficult.
Being a housewife can be difficult.
What keeps us sane through all of it? What keeps us happy? Are we happy?
Denise Burks of Naperville, Illinois has set off on an amazing adventure through the ins and outs of suburban life through the eyes of the women that are immersed in it. Her project is called “Success in the Suburbs” and it is deeply intriguing to me.
Here is a brief synopsis of her project: (taken from her website)
My name is Denise Burks and I live in the suburbs with my wonderful husband and our six beautiful and bright children. We have a nice house filled with some nice stuff. I have everything I really need to be happy, which made it nearly impossible to admit that I was absolutely miserable. I was overwhelmed by all of my responsibilities yet I was underwhelmed by the actual work. I soaked in the tub each night to get a few minutes alone and cried because I was lonely.
Then one day I was schlepping through Sam’s Club with my toddlers in tow and I spotted a local celebrity, Dr. Mary Ann Bobosky. Dr. Bobosky was one of those women I followed in the newspaper, yet here she was right beside me at Sam’s Club! Her cart was full with interesting appetizers, asparagus, the good olive oil and teetering on the top was a giant slab of salmon. I drove home wondering how she does it all (and I wondered how she was going to prepare that salmon).
Thus began my obsession with Dr. Bobosky and suburban women.
Each time I’d see a woman zipping around in her mini van I’d try to guess who they were talking to on their cell phone. I started taking long walks around my neighborhood (in the evening when everyone’s home was lit) trying to catch glimpses of the family inside. I wondered what they were doing inside those four bedroom colonials with their perfectly manicured lawns. I wondered what they were having for dinner. Were they having baked chicken-on-the-bone, buttered penne pasta and broccoli, for the second time this week? I wondered what the woman in that house was wearing. Was she playing music? Does she drink coffee? Does she bleach her teeth? Do her teenage kids like her? Does she have one really great girlfriend? What book is she reading? Does she have a reason to get up and get dressed up tomorrow?
So, eventually, I picked-up the phone and started asking women if I could spend time with them. To my delight, women welcomed me into their home with my camera and tape recorder. In turn, they introduced me to more women. Each shared a part of their life story, some big stuff and lots and lots of the fascinating little stuff.
Success In The Suburbs is the result of those meetings.
So what do you think of it all? Can you relate?