The Curated Fridge: Carrie Usmar: Resume Of A Stay At Home Mom
As a mother, I looked at the work that Carrie Usmar submitted to The Curated Fridge with recognition and familiarity and appreciated the humor and honesty she brings to her photographs. Her project, Resume Of A Stay At Home Mom, truthfully and humorously presents a series of self-portraits that reveal a woman trying to stay afloat in the storm of motherhood. Many women struggle with the decision to continue to work after giving birth or be the primary caretaker. Both decisions come with their own set of issues and both often find women, as they enter middle age, wondering who they are. Usmar creates a resume of sorts through the captioning of the images.
Carrie Usmar is an artist, writer, and stay at home mother living in rural Rhode Island with her husband and four children. Living in day-to-day isolation and raising kids in a never enough culture has made her value the beauty of being real and the art of slowing down. Her narrative work is devoted to exposing shame, being vulnerable, and building connection. She uses a documentary practice and fantastical approach to address the stigmas of domestic motherhood and depression.
Usmar received a BFA from the University of Rhode Island with a focus in photography and filmmaking. She has exhibited in group exhibitions at Rhode Island Center For Photographic Arts, Newport Art Museum and The Curated Fridge as well as online exhibitions on The Luupe and L.A. Photo Curator. She also received best series in the Women Seen By Women category of the 18th Julia Margaret Cameron Awards and best series in the Culture and Daily Life category of the 18th Pollux Awards.
Follow Carrie Usmar on Instagram: @mamadaringgreatly
Resume Of A Stay At Home Mom (2021-present)
One in five American parents stay home after having children and mothers are roughly four times as likely to be the stay-at-home-parent. I created “Resume of A Stay-At-Home-Mom”, a series of images, to dispel the stereotypes and show the depth of the stay-at-home-mother role, forcing employers to re-evaluate their assumptions about stay-at-home mothers. The images display ordinary moments that capture the solitude and sacrifice stay-at-home mothers experience and catalogue the myriad of skills used daily.
When the time comes to figure out what’s next and re-enter the work force, one study from American Sociological Review says stay-at-home mothers are half as likely to get a job interview than unemployed mothers. Employers said they viewed stay-at-home parents as less reliable, less deserving and less committed to work than unemployed parents.
Mothers who do find a job after a gap are often penalized. According to a study from Harvard Business Review, women who spend three years or more out of the workforce lose 37% of their earning power.
I chose to put my camera on a tripod and use interval shooting to capture candid self-portraits with my children to show a realistic view of my experience as a stay-at-home mom unlike the curated views we see on social media. The process of editing the images and choosing a title that corresponds to a skill on a resume caused me to re-evaluate my role as primary caregiver to my children. I’ve been a stay-at-home-mother for over 10 years and never felt like it was enough. I was always ashamed when asked “what do you do?”. I’d share about my hobbies and volunteer roles but leave out my primary role of taking care of my children. After going through the process of creating this series, I proudly share about my role as a stay-at-home-mother and hope that one day soon it will be regarded as an asset on my resume.
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