It's Working Project

"Stop looking at everything as a competition. There is abundance out there, if you look for it and are open to it. Even, or maybe especially, in the music business. And in this mothering business, too."

What is one piece of advice you wish you could offer your former expectant self?

So many things come to mind! Sleep! Sleep all the time! And cook a lot of gourmet food. Revel in chances for silence.

But work/career related? I would say, stop looking at everything as a competition. There is abundance out there, if you look for it and are open to it. Even, or maybe especially, in the music business. And in this mothering business, too.

What was your primary motivation for deciding to return (or not) to work? How early did you tell your employer?

I tend to share on the early side. I have always felt that no matter the outcome of that pregnancy, I want to acknowledge and share my joy in that little life right away. Plus I’m terrible at keeping secrets. Being self-employed and able to choose much of my work schedule means I don’t have to worry as much about what “the boss” will think.

How much leave did you take, and how comfortable were you taking it?

Things were different with each child. I think I sang my last gig at 39 weeks pregnant this last time. I returned to cantoring at one of my jobs with my infant in the sling as I stepped up to the microphone. (I had to stop wearing her in that job when she became old enough to try and grab the mic!) I discussed my plan to have my newborns with me when they were still in the “sleepy and easily quieted by nursing” phase with several people I sing for, and all were incredibly supportive. Most were parents, and many of them shared my philosophy about the importance of the mother-baby dyad in those early months, so it wasn’t a hard sell.



How easy was it to put a childcare arrangement together and did it work for your family?

My husband rearranged his own schedule so that he could be caregiver for our children instead of a babysitter for at least the first year for each child.


Who was your biggest source of support in returning to work? What was your biggest pregnancy indulgence?

My biggest indulgence was massages from an amazing guy I nicknamed “Mean Robby” because he would make me cry during a massage but it hurt soooo good. He also got my breech baby to turn so I avoided having a longer recovery from a cesarean.

Fill in the blanks: As a working parent, I never expected ____ would be so hard and ____ would be so much easier!

I never expected that explaining to colleagues why I was saying no to opportunities in favor of putting our family first would be so hard, and that measuring my success by collaboration instead of competition would be so much easier!