May’s In the Know is a question for the greatest multitaskers, moms who are musicians! Happy Mother’s Day! The question is: How has being a musician enhanced your ability to be a parent?
Patricia Morrison (The Bags, The Gun Club, Sisters of Mercy, The Damned, Legal Weapon)- I understand toddler behaviour after being in bands. Kind of weird how similar a four year old is to a musician. Anyone with a 2 year old knows they believe the world rotates around them. Very self motivated and a tantrum here and there. Both need strong boundaries, and to learn the word ‘no’. Emily started with the violin and viola then the clarinet, piano and now… the guitar. Uh oh… We took a while to get there but now there is no turning back. She did play bass in a rock band in her primary school but with the help of youtube the guitar is fast becoming a favourite. There is an eclectic mix of music in our home so has been exposed to all types/styles of music. Two days ago our friend Brian, who lives around the corner, showed up at our door with an electric guitar he was getting rid of (after cleaning out his daughter’s room who had moved out) and it was immediately and gleefully snatched away by the 12 year old who ran upstairs with it.
Kristen Kreft (The Perfect Children)- Musicians tune into a special spirituality that allows one to create and accomplish pieces of art with a sort of natural ease. I know that as a musician, I am sensitive and take pride in all that I do in creating a song, or record, or performance. I am unique and want to stay true and honest in every aspect of my art. This in turn relates directly to how I am as a parent. I am able to allow my daughter to be unapologetically who she is. I am able to communicate with her on a deeper level and understand her soul from a raw, uninhibited place. As Erikah Badu says: “I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my shit”.
Alice Bag (The Bags, Castration Squad, Alice Bag)- I think parenting and working with children in general are jobs that require creativity because you have to find fun and interesting ways to present ideas to kids in order to engage them. Also, kids will do things that are completely unexpected. Playing in a band prepares you for that because live performances are often full of expected twists and turns. When you play in a group and you’re really in tune with one another, you can sometimes intuit what the other person is going to play. It’s the same with children, you can communicate nonverbally but you have to be connected to figure out what they’re thinking, what they want or what they’re going to do. That’s very important because young children don’t always have the vocabulary to express what they’re feeling or what they need. So yeah, I guess being a musician helped me be a better parent but for me it’s more the other way around, I think being a parent and a teacher helped me become a better bandmate and a better person. Being a parent can be a humbling experience. It forces you to grow up. Suddenly the world that used to revolve around you (in your own mind) now revolves around a child and because you love that child you don’t resent relinquishing that spot. I learned patience, I learned the value of expressing ideas clearly and explicitly or creatively through games and more importantly, to take responsibility for miscommunication. I learned how to put someone else’s welfare before my own. I learned true, unselfish love.