There is nothing better than hearing your child sing at the top of their lungs, off key, passionate, wholehearted, without a concern for judgement from anyone.
That is just one of the reasons that becoming a mother has made me appreciate music even more than I ever have before. And I definitely appreciated it before!
But watching your child, or children, sing for the world to hear brings a whole new appreciation. Hearing them express themselves through song is only one of the things that has made me appreciate it more.
It’s possible that it’s an intrinsic instinct as a mother, or maybe it’s more of a learned behaviour, but rocking your child to sleep, softly singing lullabies is one of my favourite memories of having my babies. The day might have been chaotic, the house may be a disaster, I may not have showered in who knows how long, but in those moments I had not a care in the world.
Time slowed down, deep connections were being made, and there were days when those minutes were the only time I felt like I was actually a good mother. It gave me a sense of purpose, it silenced my self doubt, and calmed my anxiety of what was going on around me.
I have songs I repeatedly sang to my children. With Isla I sang on repeat “I Hope You Dance” by Leanne Womack, with Harlow I sang “My Favourite Things” from The Sound of Music, and with Rune I sang “Hey Jude” by the Beatles, although changed it to Hey Rune. And with all three I often sing a slow version of “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” also by the Beatles.
Another appreciation for music is being able to dance with my children. There is nothing that breaks tension and bad moods like dropping all of my responsibilities so that I can turn the music up, jump around, and dance with them. It can calm fighting, and is guaranteed to have us all smiling and laughing. I hope that these memories are what stands out in their minds when they are adults, not the times I was rushing to get dinner on the table or to clean something up.
We also are fortunate to live in a town that has the longest music festival in the world, 39 Days of July. A very hot topic this year, especially regarding children attending which was written about on the blog by my fellow writer Kristy. We are a family who frequents this event often. Watching the kids dance, sing, and appreciate all the different types of music and various artists warms my heart. I am not musically inclined, but appreciate the art. Seeing them appreciate all different types of music, and in the process expand their minds, is a beautiful thing to witness. It also gets us out of the house, in the fresh air and gives me the opportunity to unwind and just enjoy their company. All because of music.
I also use music to heal myself. After a tough day, when I’m at my wits end and I’ve gone over the edge and back again, putting on some music can help cleanse my soul. I want to tune out my children, check out from the world, and forget the day.
Sometimes I will put on a playlist that will touch me deeply with a ton of personal meaning, just so I can have a good cry and get all of the emotion out. Sometimes I put on music where I can sing and dance while I tidy the house. It makes me feel carefree and without responsibility. Regardless of what I’m listening to, it helps to centre me and make me feel revitalized. It reminds me that I am still an individual who is separate from a being a mom, wife, and nurse.
So for all of the talented individuals in the music industry, from singer and songwriters, to musicians and producers, I appreciate you! Please don’t stop. Music has helped me navigate, cope, and remember who I am while raising these beautiful, and often challenging, little souls.