The Melody of Magnolia

I’m in a Detroit backstage room staring at purple walls covered in misogynistic graffiti.  I’m happy my 20 month-old daughter didn’t come to the club tonight: it’s dark, dismal, and smells moldy.  She, meanwhile, just took a bath back at the hotel with my mom, who is nannying this tour.  I called to say goodnight and to brush her teeth.  She requested Gummi Bears (“Dummi?”): my mom’s reward when she brushes her teeth (typical grandmother spoilage). She’s having a “normal” night at “home.”  That’s my biggest concern living this kind of life – as a mom and a working, touring musician – I want my child to feel normal and at home.

Magnolia has been on about 5 U.S tours and one European tour.  While at home, she goes to daycare for 10 hours a week so that my husband/bandmate and I can write and record.  We’ve justified our lifestyle by noting we spend way more time with her than most working parents do. In fact, there are 2 parents with her 90% of the time.  Regardless, I still often envy the stay-home moms I know.  After all, they have consistency whereas my life is uprooted every time a tour starts.  People tell me that it’s important to “make time to be your own person” once you have a child.  I hope that by example, my daughter will see music is a big part of who I am, and that will inspire her to define herself…through art or music or science, whatever it is that she’ll love.

I’ve found the key to relieving insecurity about bringing up a child in this situation: make it all revolve around her.  Tour drives scheduled around her naps; diapers and toddler food requested on riders; people who love her surround her.  So although I feel guilty at times driving around for weeks, changing hotels nightly, and having a nanny put her to bed at night, she’s happy and her parents love her more than what they do, more than themselves.

I’m doing something different with my life.  But I don’t think it’ll sound weird years ahead. There are thousands more women in bands than ten years ago.  Inevitably there will be more mothers in bands. Maybe we are just pioneers: those who can’t afford 3 tour buses, etc. We believe in our art nonetheless.  And we still believe we are great moms.

I’m for making motherhood and musicianship work hand in hand.  People laugh when I suggest clubs start accommodating mothers and children better. Actually, women don’t laugh at me when I envision this family utopia: it’s usually the men who find it ridiculous.  But how about dressing rooms for women and families only?  How about babysitting provided by a reputable local with references?  How about a clean, private breastfeeding area?  How about a play area backstage? We at least do what we can as a band: our shows are non-smoking.

The next night, it’s sound check in Cleveland and Magnolia is at the drums pounding away and singing simultaneously. The opening band watches and cheers her on.  Having a child on tour really keeps morale up: everyone in this dark, dingy club is smiling.  This is what normal should feel like. That’s what home feels like.  You can’t fake happiness at 20 months old.


Hot Moms Club was founded in 2005 and have had their fingers on the pulse of mom trends ever since. Their philosophy is simple, ‘You are not the best mom unless you are the BEST YOU!’

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