Musician and Mommy
The balance between being a self-promoted musician and a full- time mom can be tedious, to say the least. Let me cut right to the chase. Having a kid can destroy your career in music. Because of the lack of sleep, the brain isn’t functioning at top speed, causing more musical mistakes and difficulty with technical progression and the voice sounds “tired” (if you are a singer, like me). The amount of time and attention a baby needs is enormous, and most self-promotion tasks can’t be handled with a baby at the breast or with a toddler whining in the background. Song writing requires a certain aura of “peace and quiet” and the reassurance that one has an unlimited amount of time to craft. This is how I like to write songs. Writing knowing that I have only 1 hour to hash out an entire song doesn’t work so well for me, and many song ideas get forgotten as the maternal instinct switches on at the baby’s cries. But I wouldn’t change all of this for the world. Suddenly, my daughter is more important than logging hours of online self-promotion, or spending time calling countless radio stations to beg for a few airplays. Unlike most bands and musicians, I can’t justify spending a lot of time seeking Facebook “likes, Myspace “friends” or Twitter “follows”. If I spend time doing those things, then I take time away from something (or someone) else.
While it has not been easy to continue with the same passion on the business front, my musical creativity has grown in ways I never imagined. Along with the plethora of children’s music that now fills my day, I’ve also been inspired to write some very deep and personal songs about my daughter which have become some of my most valuable songs in my eyes. People who don’t have kids are going to hate me for saying this, but until you’ve had a child you don’t understand that life. I can say this with certainty because I was once a childless person, and when I had Zoey I became aware and understood what all of those friends with children meant. Let me explain it this way…If you have never been in love, you can’t really understand what being in love is like, right? Falling in love is an experience that is unique to itself. People can’t fully understand it until they have lived it. It’s the same with having a broken heart. If you’ve had your heart broken you know what a life-changing experience that can be. Until you have pushed another human being out of your body, you can’t fully understand the attachment, love, concern, stress and connection the parent feels for that child. Scientifically, you can chalk it all up to the hormone oxytocin, (the family hormone) that surges at ridiculously high levels just after birth, making a mother bond with her baby. When couples with children say “you don’t understand”, it’s pertaining to this experience – not the implication that you have no idea what stress or hard work are, or that you are ignorant to the basics of child-rearing, or any of that stuff that people without kids think they mean. Anyway, this intense experience brings with it a whole new way of looking at the world, and a new way of writing music. Not all of my newer songs have been about my daughter, but they have a new freshness and wisdom about them that would attribute to being a mom.
I have so much more to write on this topic, but my baby wants me to fix her eggs now, so I will have to continue this post later….maybe.