I remember my first Mother’s Day. My child was just a few months old, and I was being celebrated for… I guess having the guts to give birth to another human being? At the time that’s what it felt like.
It’s not because I hadn’t experienced so much more than that. It’s just that all the people celebrating me on that day couldn’t even begin to understand the experience I was having… or at times, more aptly put, enduring. The people showering me with gifts and praises were doing so out of admiration of something they didn’t quite understand themselves.
I don’t mean to sound ungrateful. I think I got an iPod mini that day, 7 years ago. I still treasure that iPod mini. But I think there was something missing from my life back then; A sisterhood with other mothers; An acknowledgement of “you’re doing a good job” from someone who was also in the trenches. But that past feeling of loneliness has made me more deeply value the importance and necessity of giving love and appreciation to those who share with me this honored title of “Mother.”
This Mother’s Day I want to praise and cherish the other mothers I am blessed to know. I’ll use this opportunity to tell them that they are doing an amazing job. I’ll give THEM a gift.
Here is my gift: a playlist featuring songs inspired by motherhood from artists and songwriters who are themselves moms. This playlist is not only a gift from one mom to another; it is also a recognition of all the ways we are the same and a celebration of all the ways we are different.
HINT: Keep scrolling for a break down of each song on the playlist.
And with that, Happy Mother’s Day to all you fellow moms out there!
If you enjoyed this playlist and want to give some love and encouragement to your mom friends, please share this post and/or the Spotify playlist! This is what’s great about mix-tapes and playlists: they are the 0 waste gift that keeps on giving ❤️
The 2016 Presidential election had a toll on me. Not nessecarily for the reasons you might think. It was simply that I felt there was an ever growing chasm between myself and many people I love and respect, including family members. It felt devastating, and I was only able to share these feelings with couple of close friends. For a year since then I had a song on my heart, but didn’t know how to properly express it. It just kept sounding too dark, too preachy or too cheesy.
Then by a stroke of luck I took part in a songwriting exercise with some friends, where we had an hour to write a song based on a randomly picked genre and topic retrieved from a hat. I reached my hand into the hat and cringed to see I got my own piece of paper which said “Bridge (the metaphorical kind!)” because I thought, SOMEONE needs to write this song, and obviously it won’t be me! Clearly I couldn’t run away from writing about this. I then reached my hand into the other hat and pulled out a paper that said “children’s song”. Well folks, it turns out, sometimes the best way to say something is in a way you’d tell the small children in your life. Which is to say: very simply and with as much lightheartedness as you can muster. I started out sheepishly playing this song, but as it turns out, there are a lot of people who feel the same way I do. Also, kid’s music can be pretty rad. So there you have it 🙂
This photo was taken almost exactly 7 years ago, when I was 5 months pregnant, in my last semester of Berklee.
I had just finished playing my very first album release show with an amazing group of über talented musicians and singers, all of them having played on the album, making it extra special. I was definitely glowing in this picture, and it wasn’t just from the pregnancy hormones 🙂 I genuinely felt like I accomplished something important, and the possibilities ahead of me seemed limitless. At the same time, I was starting to face the reality that, as a 23 year old pregnant woman, it would be a huge uphill battle to be taken seriously by my peers, professors, mentors and basically anyone from the music industry. I didn’t reach this conclusion on my own, but through a painful semester of strange looks and awkward conversations. There were several times where I had to hear in a classroom setting, “even having a boyfriend or girlfriend lessens your chances of getting a good gig out of college”. I think it was fair to be told this, and be given a dose of reality, but it obviously didn’t give me any confidence that my pursuits were in any way realistic due to the life choice I made. It also made me feel truly and utterly alone. There weren’t and STILL aren’t many examples of women who have children at a young age and LATER achieve success in their career. Which I suppose is why people no longer took me seriously… it’s easy to point to a defined path and say “if you take these steps you’ll get there” and it’s hard for the average person to believe in a path that is barely visible and needs to be created step by painful step.
So this picture is me moving forward on a path undefined. I’d like to think I was being brave, but really it was part bravery, part innocent naiveté … I had no idea what I was getting into 🙂 And I still don’t know! But that’s ok. Life isn’t just a series of forked roads… it’s a lot more complex and interesting then that.