Four weeks away from the due date for #2. I can't believe we are a month away and that's if this little guy or girl doesn't decide to show up early! Here's a pic of Liv, the 8-month bump and I before the CD Release show at The Dakota in Minneapolis:
January was an amazing month and I have so many people to thank. Thanks to all the folks that braved the freaking cold weather to sit and listen to my music. I was touched by your tenacity to be there even though your car must have been about a -20 degrees when you entered it after the show.
I'd also like to thank the local press in Wisconsin and Minnesota because even though I haven't lived here in awhile, you treated me like the hometown girl. Your willingness to listen and offer up words of encouragement is greatly appreciated.
Mother Banjo and her band folk-rocked the stage at The Dakota and help bring a sold-out crowd to our CD Release party. It was an amazing feeling to walk on a stage that so many incredible musicians have performed on and see a full house of smiling faces. Thank you to the Dakota for hosting and also to my incredible band for helping their very pregnant friend play the music of Dust & Echoes with passion.
Many people ask me about the balance between motherhood and music and I can't speak for every mother out there, but for me, it's not without immense struggle. I think back to before Olivia was born and the hours and hours I spent on social media and promoting, booking and preparing for shows. I'll be honest, I have a fraction of that time now. So, what does that mean? It means that you pick what's important.
I'm a perfectionist so it's a real battle to not try and do EVERYTHING. My husband is always reminding me to prioritize and even though I hate to admit it, he's right. Priority number one is always the music. Always. If your performance is sloppy, that is simply not fair to your audience and truly, it's not fair to yourself either because time on stage is so limited, that you really need to make it count. Make the evening as great of a performance as you can. I feel that because my performances are very few and far between, I don't ever hold anything back anymore. Maybe motherhood gave me more guts as a performer and a writer? I'd like to think so.
So, what about the other stuff? The P-word: Promoting. This could truly take over your life if you let it. The key is knowing where and how your fans get there information about your shows, try to be succinct in your message and then walk away--go pick up your music and practice.
Finally, be reasonable. Don't try and go from 250 shows a year, to zero shows, and then back to 250 after you have a baby. Unless you are Beyonce, this will be an unreasonable goal. Go to the venues that have always supported you--with a crowd or when no one shows. Only book a handful of shows because you won't have the time to prepare or promote. Learn to be OK with saying "No" when you know you can't balance everything. It's OK to say it. The world won't stop, I promise.
Trust me, I'm still learning but I thought I would share what little insight i have gained in the last two years. Being a mother is one of the most amazing journeys a woman can take but that doesn't mean all of the other things we were before children just fade away. it just challenges us to learn a new balancing act.
Cheers to my fellow moms in music and I will post pics of the new kiddo in March!