Singing while Moming

Many have asked me what it’s like to be a Mamma and a singer. In many ways it’s the struggle of every working parent and in many ways it’s not. Mostly because of the inconsistency of our schedules. 

​After my son was born, I remember our pediatrician asking me (​Well, unintentionally M​om shaming me) how I would ever manage when I’m on the road so much.​ Of course​ when she asked me I felt incredibly guilty. Yes, there would be weeks when my son wouldn’t see me except over facetime. But when I thought about the overall picture, the macro economics v. the micro economics, I felt much better. Sure, I’m on the road sometimes but when I’m not I’m basically a full time, stay at home mom. I get WAY more time with my son than the average 9-5 employee with a commute. He still goes to bed at 6:30pm! So who cares if I miss a week here or there (to date, I’ve not done more than 2 full weeks away) but when I compare hours in a year to my “regular” job working colleges well then, I win. Hands down. 

And as luck had it, for the first ​3​​ years of his life 90% of my work was within an hours drive of where I live or was only a weekend​ concert engagement​. I don’t know how I got this lucky but I am so so grateful that my local Symphony and Opera compan​ies​​ were so welcoming when we first moved. How did I manage that? I pounded the pavement when we first moved and made sure they knew who I was and sang for them in person. That took a lot of legg work without a manager, but I’ve never been one to shy away from that. 

Part of that hard work meant staying in, and getting back into singing shape as soon as possible. I sang with the Louisville Orchestra 2 weeks before delivery and was back to practicing EVERY DAY at 6 weeks postpartum when I was so exhausted I couldn’t think straight but I KNEW I had to get back in physical and singing shape. It also kinda helped that I had an upcoming contract that wanted “Monthly updates on my weight loss progress.” That sounds cold and cruel, but it really helped me get my shit together and chose to work out and practice when really all I wanted to do was take a nap. I still took naps but it added some fuel to the fire to KNOW that my job depended on my getting back into fighting shape. Since I had to get back at it so soon, my son is used to hearing me practice while he naps and sleeps right through it. I still teach lessons while he’s asleep, he doesn’t know any other “normal” than to hear Mamma singing in the backround. 

Here I am with Teddy Abrahms and Michael Tilson Thomas who asked if I would be singing his solo composition as a duet.

​I also fully acknowledge that I’m writing this from a place of incredible privilege. This is something I think that people don’t want to say out loud, but my partner has a GREAT Job. Our household does not depend on my income. So as long as my small business breaks even th​e​n I’m good to go. That in itself is an INCREDIBLE amount of privilege and not everyone is in that kind of financial situation. Yes, I contribute, but if I’m out of work for a few months we’ll still have a roof over our head and food on the table. That hasn’t always been the case in my life so I am just so grateful. Plus, we have a Grandma who is just the Mary Poppins of child care. I love her, and wish she lived closer. All of these things have made singing while being the kind of Mom I want to be possible. 

​It it challenging sometimes? Absolutely! But I’m the only one who can give my Son a happy Mamma and for me, part of that means I continue to make music.