Arts in Society (AiS) Grantee Awarded $30k 2022 Cycle

Jana L Bussanich | Watercolor Artist, Author & Art Instructor

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We had the good fortune of connecting with Jana L Bussanich and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jana L, as a parent, what do you feel is the most meaningful thing you’ve done for them?

Knowing who I am and what it means – what I am made for – and modeling that strong identity empowers our children (and others) to do the same.

Knowing who I am and what it means – what I am made for – and modeling that strong identity empowers our children (and others) to do the same.
I am the mother of four now-grown children and Nana to six grandchildren, ages 2 to 11. I have found that it’s essential to continue self-discovery, know my preferences (likes and dislikes), cultivate vital interests, and pursue my dreams apart from my role as a mother. And now a grandmother. This accomplishes two (likely many more) crucial things: First, children are a temporary assignment. A mother will be better equipped to navigate and support the various stages of the child’s individuation when engaged with her own development. The irony of motherhood is to help your very dependent and needy child (as an infant) know themselves better than they know anyone else and use that self-knowledge to create a satisfying, meaningful life. Children are like presents to be unwrapped through the years. They come to us with all they need for life, love, and relationships. We help them identify their unique shape, usually revealed through their interests like clues to an aptitude. When followed, this grows into competency areas to go out into the world and create a meaningful life. Second, when a mother understands her identity is separate from her role as a mother, her children can see themselves as individuals who function within the family community, bringing their unique wholeness that makes up the family culture. This relieves the child from taking on the role of satisfying the mother’s (parent’s, really) unfulfilled desires, interests, and dreams and frees them to excavate and mine their own interior landscape, looking for clues to the hidden treasures of their very being. Read more...