Someone once said, “Nobody’s cool when you have kids”. Well, these musician moms are here to prove that statement wrong. These musician moms made it possible to continue their careers in music even with the overwhelming challenges of motherhood (not to mention wifehood and breadwinner-hood). Motherhood equals zero sleep, more mouths to feed, life insurance, groceries, routine, and lots of time with the kids. Come to think of it, even full-time moms find it hard to keep their sanity. What more for musician moms?
Here are some rockin’ female musicians who share the good and the bad of juggling motherhood and music career.
The Moldy Peaches
Panda Delilah, age 4.
Rewards: She makes up little songs and has a really amazing sense of humor. I love that she wants to make songs with me. We’ve been able to take her to a lot of places and she’s been exposed to a lot of cultures and languages.
Challenges: The hardest part is making sure that she doesn’t just get swept up in the chaos of touring, and really taking time to figure out how to meet her needs. She’s old enough to start kindergarten next year, but we’re likely going to take the year off of school and tour.
Delphine Rita Jane Cranley, 6 weeks.
Rewards: Musician pals make a great village. Everyone feels in on your new person and you know your kid’s life is going to be rich with wing-nuts.
Challenges: I’m not sure how much hearing I have lost, so when we play “C is for cookie,” is it way too loud?
Mates of State
Magnolia, age 6; June, age 3
Rewards: showing my daughters that you really can do what you want with your life
Challenges: Sometimes I wish had more routine and a set schedule in my life. Parenting is always easier that way—kids thrive on routine. But I’m guess I’m teaching them how to be adaptable and flexible.
Lost In The Trees
Madeleine, age 2
Rewards: Our house is the band hub for rehearsals, photo shoots, meetings, etc., which means that there are always people coming in and out. My bandmates are Madeleine’s best friends!
Challenges: Touring is pretty difficult, but even worse than being away is the inconsistency and instability of it all. One month I’ll be in performance and late-night socializing mode and the next month I’ll be in full-time Mommy mode!
Rachel (Smith) Galloway
Rosemary, age 10; Esther, age 7; Eleanor, age 4
Rewards: The best part of being a “musician mom” is that my children and I sing and play instruments together all the time. I have a little nook by my fireplace where my guitar and ukulele hang on the wall to remind me to play everyday.
Challenges: I want to do it all. And I can’t.
James, age 5 (and one on the way)
Rewards: Getting to do what I love because I love being a mamma. But like all mammas, you kind of want to go out and do something. I get to experience two worlds that are just really spectacular. I get to be a mamma when I’m at home and I get to do this extreme stuff on the other end.
Challenges: Leaving home, leaving family and having to explain to my little boy when he says, “Well mamma, why do you have to leave so much?” He does really well with it, but even the smallest little question like that can make you feel so sad.
Rewards: Having a child has made me treat my musical career with more respect. When it was just me, I knew I could get by on very little. Now I work very hard to support my son. If I have to be on the road and away from him, I am absolutely certain that it’ll be worth it.
Challenges: A lot of times being a musician means that I have to spend time away from Nico.
Ben + Vesper
Rewards: The best part of being a musician mama (and this is total bliss) is watching my kids cultivate their own passion for creativity, in a home where there is only nurture for their creative pursuits, like an art incubator.
Challenges: Again, you could say the following about any career; replace “music” with “publishing” or “finance.” The hardest part is that I feel my loyalties being constantly pulled in two directions: humans and work. Also, reviewers seem obsessed with us being ‘parents that make music,’ and not simply musicians.
Lily, age 7; Jake, age 6; Lukas age 3
Rewards: Being a musician and a mom is cool for me and cool for my kids. They like having the instruments around. I like sharing my past—songs and photos and videos—with them, although they don’t seem very impressed. Other moms seem to like that I’m a musician.
Challenges: It is nearly impossible for me to tour for any length of time—couple of days at most.
Oryx and Crake
Sebastian Rhys, age 7 ¾; Isobel Laurence, age 2
Rewards: My husband and I write all the music together and play in the band together, so we’re modeling a certain kind of partnership for our kids. They see us being creative together and spending our time making music rather than watching TV, and they’ve followed suit. I love feeling like I’ve played some part in encouraging them to pursue their own passions and spend their time meaningfully.
Challenges: Touring. The idea of doing more extensive touring is both fantastic and terrifying. I love music and I love my band. But my first commitment is to my children. Also, I need more sleep. A lot more sleep.
Condensed from Paste Magazine’s Article 18 Musical Moms Talk Motherhood. If you want to read more about this, visit their site.
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