Recently I stumbled upon some articles I wrote for a blog that was never fully birthed called “Rock Mama”. This is an a reflection on my first post children networking event. So step back in time with me to a distant land called 2010, where I was new to mamahood and MySpace was still a thing.
Fake Coffee (Reflections on my first industry event PC)
When bub was about 16 months old I attended a local music industry forum. An opportunity to rub shoulders with fellow musicians, create connections and make new networks. I washed my hair, put clean, somewhat matching clothes on, printed off some bios and packed a few CDs in my bag. And from the minute I walked in the door, I felt like a fraud, like I should have a neon sign hanging over my head gleaming the words “Don’t believe me, I’m just a mum”. I listened to inspired talks on self-promotion and year long touring schedules, face book, MySpace and mailing lists, band competitions and you-tube and thought – f*&k-me! seriously? I haven’t got time for a s*!t let alone a three month tour in a rusty van! How the hell am I supposed to pick up from musical life pre baby and have half a go at keeping the dream alive without completely abandoning my child?
Now I must confess to being one of those neurotic, sugar free, organic food, regular nap time, attachment parenting types and the reality of sitting on a street corner busking with a baby in my guitar case just isn’t me. But total emersion, 1950’s domestic goddess with no career aspirations isn’t either so I concluded I needed to find some middle ground. I launched into networking time with a cup of tea from the catering stall and a delicious home made biscuit on the saucer in hand. This, the result of my most natural conversation of the day – a discussion with the caterers, local parents with kids my boy’s age, aah the comfort zone. And tea cup in hand I looked around, for an opening, someone to “network” with and felt completely out of place.
In a first attempt to fit in I borrowed a takeaway cup so I could at least feign double long black instead of insipid milky weak tea and did away with my CWA saucer and tea cup look. I took a breath and dove in. And for the best part of an hour I sipped on my fake coffee and listened blank eyed to talks of interstate tours and gigs 5 nights a week anywhere in a 3 hour radius, mailing lists, managers and air play and felt like running bawling to my car and home to my child. This was my life before baby, how was I supposed to compete in this world now? How could I walk side by side with stylish, avocado and mashed banana free, 20 somethings or even Dad-musicians with supportive stay at home wives? And the answer I got from the day was, I can’t. Not in a self-defeatist my life is over way but in an, I love my child and I want to be there for him so something will have to give, way.
So I went home and summarised. Unless I’ve been up with a teething child all night the passion is still there, the drive, the creativity. The songs keep on coming, albeit love ditties about my baby not my man these days. And somewhere in there I still exist in this sea of playdates and sugar-free banana bread and I’m reticent to dissolve completely into domestic servitude. So how do I compete head to head with the banana-mash-free, time on our side crew? I need to come up with a new model, a new way of thinking about creating my music and getting it out there. So the paradigm has to shift. Life with a child is about surrender. Surrender to time and gravity, the pert 20-something days are over and my time to subsist in a van whilst touring aren’t realistic if I want to parent in the way I do. So I will keep the dream alive but it will be alive in a whole new way and as I forge forward trying to reinvent my musical self at least I can rest assured I’m giving it a go.
Want to respark those creative fires post children? Come to Bali for my Creative Women’s Retreats. I’ve got 2, one especially for mamas so you can even bring the littles with you!
Check out this beautiful webinar for creative women and mamas.