Janelle Thomas

Dubai based singer + songwriter

S2 Ep64

Janelle Thomas

Listen and subscribe on Spotify and  Apple podcasts (itunes) 

This week I welcome Janelle Thomas, a singer, songwriter and performer based in Dubai, UAE. and a mum of 2 boys.


Janelle begin performing at the age of 5, at a ballet school in her hometown in Canada. She took piano lessons, and played in the high school Marching Band playing clarinet and trombone.


Janelle spent her 20's deciding if music was going to be her career. She studied a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music at Concordia College in Montreal. Her day job wasn’t satisfying her, and fortunately, out of the blue, she was offered a lead vocalist gig in Oman for 4 months. Without really knowing where Oman was, she said yes! That was 16 years ago and she has performed overseas ever since. She met her husband Felix while on a short break back in Canada after that first contract, when he joined the band as the guitarist and they have been together ever since.


Janelle and Felix have performed more than 2500 shows together throughout Asia and the Middle East since they teamed up in 2006. Residents of Dubai since 2015, they continue to perform hundreds of shows together each year, working as full time performers, while somehow remaining pretty happily married and parenting two wildly energetic small boys.

Although they now mostly gig as a compact jazzy duo, they spent the first decade of their relationship fronting their loud, high-voltage 5-7 piece pop cover bands (as bandleader and musical director, respectively).


Under the guise of "Lady J Duo" they combine jazz standards, blues and soul classics, and reimagined pop songs of any style to create a contemporary, good-vibes-only listening experience that is elegant, yet funky.


In the Autumn of 2012 they released Noise Rises (Strange Cat Records), an album of retro-inspired funky soul, featuring ten original songs they wrote together.


In the spring of 2020, during the Dubai Covid-19 lockdown, Janelle and Felix began live streaming as a way to connect with fans and keep their sanity, showcasing their favourite tunes, taking on-the-spot requests, and cameos by their firstborn Theo (a natural show-stealer). They continued these for 18 months.


You'll hear Janelle's amazing voice through the podcast today, and her music is used with permission.


Connect with Janelle website / facebook / instagram

Podcast - instagram / website


You'll hear Janelle's amazing voice through the podcast, and her music is used with permission.


When chatting to my guests I greatly appreciate their openness and honestly in sharing their stories. If at any stage their information is found to be incorrect, the podcast bears no responsibility for guests' inaccuracies.

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Podcast transcript at the bottom of the page

Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode of The Art of Being A Mum Podcast. I'm beyond honoured that you're here and would be grateful if you could take 2 minutes to leave me a 5-star review in iTunes or wherever you are listening. It really helps! This way together we can inspire, connect and bring in to the light even more stories from creative mums. Want to connect? Take a screenshot of this episode and share it on Instagram tagging me in with @art_of_being_a_mum_podcast


I can't wait to connect. And remember if you or somebody you know would like to be a guest on the podcast, get in touch! I love meeting and chatting to mammas from all creative backgrounds, from all around the world!

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Thank you!

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Alison acknowledges this Land of the Berrin (Mount Gambier) Region as the Traditional Lands of the Bungandidj People and acknowledge these First Nations people as the custodians of the Region.

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Welcome to the Art of Being a mum, the podcast. It's a platform for mothers who are artists and creatives to share the joys and issues they've encountered, while continuing to make art. Regular themes we explore include the day to day juggle, how mother's work is influenced by the children. Mum guilt, how moms give themselves time to create within the role of mothering and the value that mothers and others placed on their artistic selves. My name's Alison Newman. I'm a singer, songwriter, and a mom of two boys from regional South Australia. You can find links to my guests and topics we discuss in the show notes. Together with music played, how to get in touch, and a link to join our lively and supportive community on Instagram. The art of being a mum acknowledges the Bondic people as the traditional owners of the land, which his podcast is recorded. Thank you so much for tuning into the podcast this week. It really is a pleasure to have you. My guest today is Janelle Thomas, a singer songwriter and performer based in Dubai in the UAE, and a mom of two boys. Janelle began performing at the age of five at a ballet school in her hometown in Canada. She took piano lessons and played in the high school marching band on clarinet and trombone. Janelle spent her 20s deciding if music was going to be her career. She studied a Bachelor of Fine Arts in music at Concordia College in Montreal. her day job wasn't really satisfying. And fortunately, out of the blue, she was offered a lead vocalist gig in Oman for four months. without really even knowing where Oman was. She said yes, that was 16 years ago, and she's performed overseas ever since. She met her husband Felix while on a short break back in Canada after that first contract when he joined the band as the guitarist. Janelle And Felix have performed more than 2500 shows together throughout Asia and the Middle East since they teamed up in 2006. Residents of Dubai since 2015. They continue to perform hundreds of shows together each year, working as full time performers, while somehow remaining pretty happily married and parenting to wildly energetic small boys. Although they now mostly gig as a compact jazzy duo, they spent the first decade of their relationship fronting their loud High Voltage five to seven piece, pot cover band as bandleader and musical director respectively, under the guise of the Lady J. God, Lady J. bein Janelle, they combine jazz standards, blues and soul classics and reimagined pop songs of any style to create a contemporary good vibes only listening experience that is elegant yet funky. In the autumn of 2012. They released noise rises through strange cat records are an album of retro inspired funky soul, featuring 10 original songs that they wrote together in the spring of 2020. During the Dubai COVID-19 lockdown, Janelle And Felix began live streaming as a way to connect with fans and keep their sanity showcasing their favorite chains, taking on the spot requests and featuring cameos by their firstborn Theo and natural show stealer. They continue these for 18 months. You're here Janelle is amazing vocals throughout this podcast today, and their music is used with permission. I hope you enjoy today's episode

Gavin lane, got a fistful. Gonna run that bill will be the end of a long route backwards dad. No place my hands. Man and we're all gonna say

welcome Janelle. It's a pleasure to have you on the podcast today.

Thanks so much for having me. Allison. I'm excited.

Yeah, so I can I can hear your lovely accent. You're from Canada. Is that right?

I am. I'm from Canada, but I live in Dubai.

Alright, so what how like, how long have you lived there for what sort of brought you there?

So while the music Yeah. So my husband and I have been together 16 years. He's also Canadian. And we started traveling in a band. So So we were playing hotel residencies in the Middle East and throughout Asia. We did that for about eight, nine years. And then it brought us to Dubai. So we've been here since January 2015. And we're residents here now. And we've had two little boys here. So this is this is home for the time being.

Yeah. So these are really hot there. Let the moment

super hot. Yeah. I just got in from the pool. So I'm okay at the moment. But yeah, summers are very long they and very hot, especially with small kids. You really feel it so much more, because you're basically just inside for five months? Yeah, but it can get up to 50 degrees Celsius. Sand humid. Yeah. Yeah. So it's, the outdoors is kind of non existent, aside from if you're doing something in the water. Yeah, yeah, it's interesting. With us being from Canada, we do have a bit of that experience. Because you'll have really cool times in the winter, where you don't go outside, you're not gonna go take a stroll or take your baby out or anything. But they don't tend to be constant, you know, you'll have cold days, and then it kind of warms up enough. And you pack on your layers and you go outside, whereas when it's hot, it's just hot.

Yeah. Because you can't do anything you Yeah, yeah. So,

um, so we used to find this. Okay. And since we had kids, we just find them brutal. So we're just counting down till October.

Oh, my gosh. So what's like an average sort of when it when it's not so hot? What's the weather like, then?

So lovely. You know, there's kind of six months of a year where it's gorgeous. And you kind of can't think about living anywhere else. So I would say sort of the coolest it gets probably in January, maybe days that are around 20 to 25. But Sunny, and gorgeous. It's perfect. Yeah, I mean, those are the times where I find it too cold to go swimming. I say that as a Canadian where I grew up swimming in icy lakes. But yeah, I get I get in the water now.

And it's the season you sort of, you're sort of forced to do things that you wouldn't necessarily do if you had your own choice. If you lead with me. Love you. So tell me about how you got into music because it's something you've always done.

Yes. And no, you know, probably like a lot of musicians always been a music lover. There was always lots of music in our house, my parents, neither of whom are musicians, but we had, you know, huge record collection. And there was always lots of singing and dancing that was encouraged. So, actually, I started performing. From age five, I lived in a really small town, and we had we had little ballet school. And that, for me was everything like those ballet recitals at the end of the year, you know, with costumes and makeup and lights. So I would say that that's where it all started was was there. So for the first few years, I danced, I took piano lessons, as you do. And then when it was time to go to high school, actually, I chose to go to high school in the big city, which was Montreal. My dad used to commute he drove back and forth. So actually I commuted with him like super early mornings and stuff like that, to go to high school. But I really wanted that school because it was the only one in the city that had a marching band. I was in the marching band and nerd for years playing the clarinet. And I played the trombone for a year. And then after that, you know sort of spent my 20s I think sort of struggling with am I going to be an artist? Can I be an artist? Or should I get a real job? You know, I did do a Bachelor of Fine Arts in music. Yeah, because when it was time for university, I thought I really like to do something I enjoy. I might spend three years enjoying myself and then need to become an accountant or something serious, but give it a go, you know? Yeah, and then just sort of bounce back and forth, did some contracts, then some admin work and then would be, you know, kind of happy with the lifestyle of neither. But it just kept pulling me back in I really was miserable when I was being an administrator even though I had some great jobs and lovely people. Have you know, and there was just a moment where I realized, like, I cry before I go to work every day at this very nice job. It's just such a nice job for somebody else. It's not for me, I can't do this. I'm only 26, whatever, to have given up. And so actually chance meeting with a musician I knew. And he said, We've just lost our singer. And we have a gig in Oman. And do you want to join our band and travel for four months? And I said, okay, and then said, Where's omen? While it's kind of next to Dubai, it was okay. But I never heard of it. So that was 16 years ago. Yeah, like when, and it was really different experience starting to travel then I mean, we had an app and there was no, YouTube, there was no Facebook, there was none of that kind of even the amount of information that you'd have was limited. It was people's blogs, and, you know, blurry photos and that kind of thing. So it was a relatively scary and endeavor to embark on. I think the thing that saved me is the four guys in the band that I went with, had all been there the year before. So they did have lots of first hand experience. But of course, coming from Canada and traveling to the Middle East for my first real big overseas adventure, let some preconceptions about how it's going to be and I thought, well, I'll just do four months, and then I'll go home. And then 16 years later. Still here.

So your husband's musical as well. You guys played together? Where did you make the line?

So I met him after that first contract. So actually, I did one conch. I did one more than he's done. So I joined here Monday. Oh, yes, we're totally keeping score, who's played more show? So I joined the band in January and somehow got asked to be the bandleader. I really feel it was by default, because everyone else in the band was French Canadian. And I was the only one who spoke English. And with my administrative background, I spoke good business English. So, you know, I would have the current bandleader coming to me and saying, Can you help me formulate this email? And I'm like, Yeah, you can't start it with Pedro. You know, it has to be a little more formal than that. So he kind of went, well, could you just do it? I was like, Okay, I guess so. So I certainly took on all the admin tasks, which also involves liaising with any of the agents or hotels that we were, you know, that we were dealing with, because these are five star properties, you know, the Grand Hyatt and Hilton and everything, like you needed to kind of be a little bit more on it than that it was the time. So we did the one gig. And then we went back to Montreal for this summer and made a couple of changes to the lineup, the guitars that we had was leaving. And so we went through about oh, my gosh, seven guitarists trying to find a good fit. And finally got Felix who was recommended by a friend of a friend. He was only 22. At the time, he lived in an even smaller town than the one I was from, like, 500 people. And, you know, 20,000 Cows was kind of where he was coming from. He'd never been on a plane. And so for him, it was an equally big adventure. And he, but he was kind of in a place in his life where he wasn't really happy and had just finished his musical education, you know, informally in college, and that, and he sort of same as me with, well, I'll do it for four months. And yeah, and then we got together pretty much right away. So that definitely helped us both feel like this was something that we wanted to stick with. And so yeah, so we've been together a long time. Oh, that's an

awesome story. I love that. And isn't it just so typical in the music world? It's like, it's a friend of a friend or someone new this person or it's just the way it goes? Isn't it? Just this connection of people? Yeah. Yeah, it's funny, we're very

lucky. But that and it's also funny, too, that there's, I'm, you know, the more that I have, the longer that I am a musician, the more I'm amazed by stories of bands who have that longevity, you know, like bands like YouTube, where they have the same members forever. Because I know even in a couple, it can be really hard to have exactly the same vision for the music and the same vision for the timing of how you want things to go. You know, when we had mostly we play as a duo now, but But we spent most of our time together playing with larger groups. And there were lots of fantastic musicians we played with, who would say I'm tired of traveling, I want to go home and be with my other half, or we had someone leave to go to med school. And it was kind of doable, but you're an amazing keyboard player, he was okay. But I want to be a doctor. So, so to realize that not only does the music have to work, but where you are in your life at that time. It has to work like that for people could do that for 30 years.

It is it's incredible, isn't it? When you break it down like that you think of all the things that could have changed or gone wrong, or like it's, it's amazing, isn't it? Yeah. And it's still we actually liking each other and getting on like, right. I'm not saying that about you and your husband? I mean, I'm talking about you too.

No, no, no, you can say it about us too. Yeah. Gosh.

Adding up your misery causes in the shop, you've been dumped by text, then being slipped. You're wondering what's next, baby. Though life's looking great. You can choose not to

decide. I have listened to some of your tracks online, you have got a powerhouse voice. I love your voice. It's I love a bit of built voice. It's so good. passion and energy. Yeah, so did you have like formal lessons for your voice? Or did you just sort of instinctively feel it out and work it out yourself?

I've had very few, very few. So I went to university in jazz boys, but have had zero lessons. Before I started I had they went to Concordia, University of Montreal and one of the things I love about their program is they want it to be more inclusive. So unlike some of the other universities that really kind of only take you if you've been through the conservatory stream, or what have you, they just sort of said, if you want to play come audition, first, show us what you can do. And then we'll teach you all the back end, after you know, so. So I was kind of on the edge because I'd had quite a I had a fantastic teacher in high school, you know, but but wasn't quite there. So still needed to do more training, you know that you're training and theory and harmony and all of that to come. So they call that sort of like a zero level to get up to level one to be with everyone else. But but in terms of the singing, I did have contract wasn't really, it really wasn't much. There's only about two semesters of vocal lessons with Jerry Brown, who was their vocal jazz instructor. One of the things I'm really grateful to her for it is she she just gave me a lot of opportunity to get onstage, which I think I really I really needed at that time. As you can see, that's the part that I've hung on to like, gosh, don't ask me any harmony theory now that's long forgotten, but it's still performing. And, and then after that I did. I did a musical review from point and there was a really great vocal coach there as well. So she I mean, the coaching was quite specific to the songs for the show. But she was she came from a musical theater background. So that kind of helps with all that. Belting and being on stage and having to really, again, like project and in a very much like onstage performance way as opposed to recording or anything like that.

Yeah, yeah. And it is so different, isn't it? It's yeah, two completely different things. Yeah. Yes. So in terms of the music that you do, I know, I've seen that you write your husband and yourself right together. And you do have this, but I think the way I can't remember how you worded it now on your website, but it was really clever. It's like you could take any style of song and turn it into your own basically, is that how you look at when you're, you're doing your comments.

That wasn't how we started. But that's very much Where to now that we've seen too, just in general, I think I think YouTube has been great for for that for introducing the general audience to kind of the magic of reinterpreting you know, reinterpreting styles, so, especially groups like postmodern jukebox, and we're big fans of scary pockets who do funk covers of whatever, you know. So we've found in recent times, that's gotten a lot of traction for us. And it's also cool because when we spent a decade basically just playing pop music, and lots of songs that we love, and it was, you know, full on big songs, Sweet Child of Mine and Highway to Hell sometimes and all these kinds of things. And now we don't have to lose that repertoire because we can translate it. So we do funk version of sweet child of mine, we do a jazz version of, you know, you shook me all night long. And, and, and sort of, you know, all kinds of other things. And so it's a lot of fun for us, I find in that way, it's a more creative process than it used to be where we were just sort of the cover band who had to, as best as we could reproduce what was on the record. You know, that's what we kind of did for a long time trying to bring life to the album version, but but it was pretty much you know, in the box, and it's not so much now.

Yeah, that is good. Because like, I don't, obviously, I don't know what the audiences are like in Dubai, I can only speak from my, my tiny little town, but my sister and I had a lot of experience singing in bands, my sister more than me, but, and I did a lot of covers as a soloist. And sometimes your audience just wants to hear the songs that they know, done in the way that they know. And it can be really challenging to get them past that, and to push them a little bit. So it sort of can be hard to know, like, unless your audience is ready for it can be really daunting to try and put in something else and even like putting in originals is like, you know, is that you can sort of relate to that

very much very much. And, you know, the audiences in Dubai are high maintenance, I find that way. They're great. And they love live music. And we, I mean, we have a career as purely full time performing musicians, you know, we don't have other jobs we don't teach, we're so lucky. This is what we've been able to do for 16 years. But at the same time, I think that demands are such from us, the as you said, like if it's Hotel California, just play the solo, don't do anything else they want to sing along, maybe they know this solo, you know, they need to hear it as they know it. So there are some songs where we just kind of were like, we're not even gonna attempt that, that you guys just you need it the way you need it. So that's fine. But actually, it's been surprising that they've been as open as they, as they are to hearing different versions of things, we find there's very few opportunities where they're really open to hearing things that they don't know like in that sort of why we don't one of the reasons why we don't do more original music here. The other reason is we have two small children. We got like no time or brain space to write anything. But also there really isn't the opportunity for that you just and you know it's hard when you're playing and you see everyone's eyes kind of glazing over.

Yes, I know that feels like you feel like I've got these people they go and really good and then you put in you think I'll take a chance now putting this out and then it's like dammit, I want to stop halfway through despite

all the fire alarm. Oh, it's funny, isn't it

it was the story that drew me in. Hell you were so inspired by the man with a Viking didn't know it was just you using views and trying to confuse

So you mentioned that the two small children How old are your children?

So we have two boys who is four and a half and Hendrix is two. Oh, I love it is a great night. Oh that's good. We figured we have to get away at least we're both your parents are musicians. Yeah. Do something a little little left to center it to

each night. Yeah, it's almost like it'd be a shame if you did it. Right. So did they like they enjoy sort of hearing you guys playing the guitar or singing at home?

You know what, it's funny actually, we don't do nearly enough playing at home. I think that that's one of the for us. One of the hard things about maybe gigging as much as we do you know, and I hate to say there's anything hard about it because I know we're very blessed but like we're we're tired during the Ha, we're good. So I know other people will say, Oh, you must just grab a guitar and sing along all the time. And I'm just, I'm just trying to keep it quiet. And I talk too much during the day, because I gotta go work tonight. You know, when we do, they love it, obviously, they're totally exposed, you know, there's instruments around, they can play what they want, they can sing a lot. We, during COVID, one of the things we did to sort of stay in touch with people is we started live streaming, it was new for us. But we were locked down here in Dubai. And like, when we had our lockdown, it was locked in a locked down, like we did not go outside of the apartment for 35 days, at one point, everything is very delivery oriented in Dubai, even before COVID. So it was quite easy. So you can still get, you know, your medication or groceries or whatever, it all came to the door. But so we were struggling with being trapped in the house at the time, I was four months pregnant and you know, being trapped together with your husband and your two year old. Boy, it was like, Okay, we were feeling really lonely. You know, so we thought, let's try live streaming. And it just got a great reaction. And we realized, actually, that we'd spent so long making music and traveling for people all over the world, but not are our families and our, our people at home because what we do go home for our one month of holiday. Most years. We're like we don't, we're on holiday, I know, I need a break. And I'm what we used to play in a band, it was always really loud music six days a week. And vocally, I needed a massage, you know, so I could do the next 11 months, that kind of thing. So, so those people just, they don't know, they don't know what we do. So our family and friends were just tuning in in droves, you know, and people also to have their own, you know, lockdown of whatever degree. So we found, especially people who are alone, so, you know, kind of in the moms category, but a lot of these are women who live alone, who were really, really isolated. So being able to come on and see us and and we started bringing Bo on and then it was like, forget it. Like we felt like we played a 55 minute, like opening act. So they didn't come on for the last five. You just have people chiming in, in the chat going to have the open arms. And other people like No, no, it hasn't come yet. Okay, like whatever, like we're just the warm up. But this was lovely. Yeah, it was great to see that, that he had fans. And it was a way to, for us to also share what we have, like it's so we kind of got released, you know, into the wild, maybe sooner than in Canada or the UK. So we were back out and doing activities. You know, before people there were. And so then actually, we sort of started this whole new feature of also just filming the activities that we did. So if we went we took to the or to the aquarium, or we went to the pizza or just rode the metro or whatever. We just filmed them. And it was just kind of, you know, life in Dubai, and he would come on and he would narrate the whole thing, which people love. So he tell him, you know, if we went to the petting zoo, and all that, so yeah, he was super into that. So it's a bit sad that now that we've gotten busier, we don't have the same kind of time to do that. Because I think it was a really special features special time that we ended up doing. Probably about 100, like full hour or hour, it became an hour and a half because an hour wasn't enough, you know. And we played games, we did like a quiz show, and we did all kinds of stuff.

I'm disappointed because that would have been amazing.

Our Australian friends did have trouble turning it because it was like 12 It was midnight or one in the morning for you know, maybe my nurse friend coming off shift at the hospital. So you catch a bit but that was

awkward on is that oh, yeah, I could certainly relate to that. Like, you know, you're doing it for yourself because you need something to keep that creativity sort of going, you know, but yeah, like you said the the upside of that is people on the other end are getting so much out of it. So yeah, my news for Don Yeah, it's really valuable. Yeah,

it was good. And it's it was really nice to that over the course of the probably about 18 months that we ended up doing it You had to it was kind of starting at just about two, not even two and a half. And so that for me now has been such great memories to preserve to really see him growing. And you hear him singing, and he's singing more in tune as the time goes along, and then his baby, and I'm getting more and more pregnant, you know, and then his baby brothers, and then his baby brother is coming now and singing when we do you know, the two of them sing together and all that. So it's been, it's been really nice to be able to share that with with people for whom it's that's also really meaningful to them. Yeah, it's a very small, but

very important and significant audience. Yeah. Well, that's lovely. That is, it's a lovely little snapshot to have, isn't it of that period of time in your life yeah.

How did you go singing when you were pregnant? Did you find you your breath was affected, like the diaphragm and all that from having this baby? Good times.

For out of breath. And super out of breath. Like, both times, actually, I think I was more out of breath in my first trimester than I was at the end, you know. So that was, so when I was pregnant with Theo, we were actually still on our hotel are the very last of our hotel residency gigs. So it was here in Dubai. But it was still three or four nights a week, nightclub Smokies still jumping up and down that kind of thing. Still being expected to do shots with people like I just had to constantly be making excuses for why more I was telling people that I was pregnant, you know. So that would be jumping up and down still having to do, you know, Highway to Hell. And whenever that was tough, that was tough in that sense. And I think once you start showing and you're pregnant, it's, then people understand, oh, yeah, okay, well, you're going to take it easy, you're not going to jump around so much. So then just my feet were killing. But with deal I performed up until so this was 2017. So I performed up until two days before he was born. Because he came three weeks early. Yeah, I was it was supposed to be my last go. And, and even had my friend, our great friend who's the drummer at the time, and he said, you know, you better take it easy, because you don't want your water to break onstage. I think it's totally said as a joke. And it didn't, but it did 20 hours later, like it nearly did. And I thought oh my gosh, it just would have ruined that status. All the cables, like I could just imagine everything's covered in like goop, you know? Yeah, so I did my last show. And then he was born less than 48 hours later. Was it supposed to be like that, but anyhow, he had other plans. So that was, it was great. Like, actually, I love being pregnant and still singing, I felt really good. I felt really healthy. My feet were sore all the time. But But aside from that, the guys I worked with, were super supportive, you know, and, and people loved it, too. You know, we like we are played at Hard Rock Cafe at that time, which is a very, very much a family venue out here. And so you just have women coming up all the time and and remembering their pregnancies. And it just felt really wholesome, kind of like family, family values sort of thing. And that was definitely my plan being pregnant with Hendrix too, but you know, COVID can kind of hit when I was about four months pregnant. So So one of the things they did here in Dubai is in addition to the lockdown then even when we were, you know, kind of free to go out again, there were still really, really tight restrictions on entertainment for quite a long time. So. So even though I was ready, I was like, you know, we've been out of work, went back at it, even though I'm seven months pregnant now or whatever. I couldn't and so, so then with Hendrix, I actually was back on stage six days after he was born. Oh, we had a gigs that were waiting for us. And I was like, yeah, yeah, I'll be there next Monday. Yeah, I'm coming.

That is incredible. That is amazing. How did you do it though physically like we did you you must have Like, good birth and everything like good after, or was it like really?

I did, like I really, you know, I had great pregnancies and the actual deliveries were a little bit tough at times I have babies who really enjoyed their accommodation. So they kind of had to be like convinced showing us on this Friday, you know, but then once they were out, they were perfectly healthy. I was healthy. I was moving around, you know. That being said, like I had, I had said, I'm gonna be back on stage, everybody was going, Are you sure I was like, that is the wrong thing to say to me. I've said Hampshire, you know, I'm just going to do this. Obviously, the week between birth and actually having to leave newborn baby for, you know, the six, seven hours that is required when you're when you're doing again, even if it's in town. That week was just so stressful. All I could think was I just need to pump enough. I need to be ready. I mean, one of the things that made it easier is we've had the same nanny since Theo was born. So at least she was really ready for that, you know, feels perfectly comfortable with her. So there wasn't any of that kind of stress of who's going to mind the baby, like I had someone I trusted implicitly, but still. And then on the day of just, I was getting ready for work, and I didn't have a single pair of shoes that fit. My feet were so swollen. And I thought, you know, and it's a jazz gig in a nice restaurant, and I thought I'm gonna have to go there in like, trainers that aren't even done up because I literally can. Like, I was totally miss piggy. You know, I was just, I couldn't even put my feet in anything. And so I found this like, ghastly pair of slip ons that were really stretchy. And all I could think is, please, everybody look at my huge massive cleavage. Don't Don't look down at my terrible. Just keep it all up here and then the top half. I'll be fine. Yeah. But, but I got there. And I really, we, you know, we played three sets. And I really spent the first two sets thinking that I was gonna faint. Like I was on stage thinking, this was not a great idea. I maybe shouldn't have done this. And I'd had an episiotomy. So I was still healing from stitches. So I couldn't sit. Also, you know, sitting was actually really uncomfortable. So everyone was going to want a stool. I'm like, no, no, no stool, that's worse. So I've just kind of, you know, trying not to, like cling on to the mic stand for the first few sets. But you know, Felix was great. And the staff were great. It was a place that we we love we play there a long time. So everybody just welcomed us back with open arms are so happy to see as you know, we've been six months since we've been there. Because of COVID. And the audience was amazing. Like the audience were so ready for live entertainment to after COVID. So actually the third set, good. The third set was better and it was kind of okay, well, this is the power of music that what it can actually do for all of us. But oh, yeah, I was in like the fall on adult diaper for that show.

Ah, I'll take my hat off to you. Honestly, that's that is amazing. Good on you. Was there ever any question in your mind that you weren't going to do it though? Did you ever think? No, I just No, I cannot do it was like that. I'm doing it. Yeah. Yeah,

I'm doing it. It's happening. And you know, I will say that, like six months of unemployment is a really good motivator for that, too. You're just like, yeah, no, no, we need to start having the ball of finances you know, ball financial ball rolling, like ASAP so, yeah, I'm gonna get on stage. Now when I look at it. I'm like, that was kind of a terrible idea. You know, and I can't believe that all of you guys let me do you know, and my husband is just like, oh, yeah, like I'm absolutely not going to tell you that you're a crazy person. You know, you were doing it. So you did it.

Good. Take up drinking is Elton cloud syncing, trial fun and give thinking, wow. Get out and founded by Anna less than wrenching. You go

up to your head. Do them. How long did were you away from the station before you came back?

Four weeks, maybe four weeks? Five weeks? Yeah. It took it took longer. I will say at that time. But I felt good. You know, I felt like I was ready to be back. But of course the first time. I just couldn't imagine the legit sticks of having to leave him like it wasn't even necessarily that I was nervous to leave him with somebody else. Because of course, like, free COVID, right, he was kind of everyone had helped him and everybody, you know, we used to just like people cough, germs all of our babies all the time. So, you know, that was okay, I was comfortable with that. But I could barely figure out like how to get out of the house, in under four hours, you know, when we would have a doctor's appointment? Like I would literally be preparing for that. Hours and hours ahead of time and still be late all the time. You know, I think one of the the differences too is I was breastfeeding exclusively. The he didn't do any auto feeding for the first two months. So that too, I was just kind of like, how does that work? How are they gone? So actually, the first gig that I did with Theo was one that had come in, and it was in our neighborhood. So it was like 10 minutes walk from the house, it just happened. And I thought this one I can do, you know, I can live and it was one that had a kind of a strange pacing for the evening. So in the middle of the evening, there was like a one and a half hour break. And I thought I can do that. I'll just run home, like in my show clothes, and then feed my baby and then run back to the gig and then come back after. Yeah, so it just kind of worked out that that was one and then you know, quite quickly realizing I have to make a compromise somewhere like I can't just be exclusively breastfeeding. If I want to also be on stage I have to be able to be away for four gigs. So but that's a hard, a hard, you know, thing to work out in your head the first time whereas then by the second baby, I was more comfortable with the idea of bottle feeding and then it was easier to step away.

Yeah. Oh, good on you. That is awesome. Like, I'm so impressed by that. I'm gonna put a round of applause sound effect

through that. But I will tell you on that gig, which was a bit of a venue that anyway, I was very dark for a reason, let's just say and I was literally in the bathroom, like, you know, pumping milk at one point and watching a cockroach crawling across the wall. And I thought, Here I am making food for my baby like I'm trying like I have the hand sanitizer I'm trying to keep everything is getting there's just a cockroach crawling across in front of my eyes. I thought oh my god, what am I doing?

But having said that, yeah, exactly. You know that they they survive like, I don't know, I think we get really scared that they're not going to survive without us. And then when they do you go. Oh, actually, this is great. What else can I do now? Let's meet Well, I did anyway.

Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. You're listening to the art of being a mom with my mum, Alison Newman.

Sean. Stone, opposing forces. And predictable unknown. Is you the sound? Man, I'll see you on Monday.

Was it important to you that you got back to your pre I want to say you pray baby life, because it's never the same, but holding the things that are important to you. You're performing you're singing? Was that like, the top of the list? This is me. I'm going to get back to this as soon as I can.

Yeah, very much. I'm, you know, I'm a relatively old mum, as they you know, as they go. So, I was 39 when I had the Oh 42 When When I had Hendrix, and one of the reasons that I hadn't started a family any earlier was that I was the bandleader like I, and the dynamic I think in the band because Felix, the musical director, and I was kind of all the admin bandleader side of things, we were very much Mom and Pop, you know, in kind of the structure of whoever we worked with. So we'd work with basically like five to seven piece bands. And for the most part, like, I felt like those people were my kids, you know, kind of dealing with the feelings and drama and scheduling and making sure everybody had clean clothes and you know, that kind of thing. Because also too, when you're traveling that as a whole other aspect of you know, there are a whole other host of issues that come up where you're kind of like living with people and they're living away from home and all of this so sometimes it was a lot to handle and I thought there's no way I could have a real baby that I need to take care of where this band is my baby, you know, and I also for myself, I If I didn't want to not be able to do everything that I was doing, and, and I knew having a baby would change my life, and I knew that there would be compromises that had to be made, and I was just not in any way ready for that. So, for that reason, too, it was really important to me to perform the whole time I was pregnant, you know, kind of up until the bitter end, it was like, I'm still, I'm still doing everything that I could do, you know, with the exception of bending to plug in cables, to a point where I just cannot get down there. I and so then after baby, it was like, Yeah, I'm back, I'm back. Nothing has changed, you know, of course, everything has changed. But that I really kind of had like a death grip, I think on that element of my identity. And that is, the thing that I think I struggle with most really, is I still get really frustrated that I'm not able to do all the things that I used to be able to do, there was a moment where I was thinking maybe that I would have to even give all this up just because of so unhappy with how that all had gone, it kind of coincided with just sort of what happened in the market here in Dubai, you know, for such a long time, Felix and I had been leading a band. And then some of the people we worked with, left the band because they wanted to move on. And also just in the market, the budgets just got a lot smaller. So all of a sudden, there weren't gigs for five or six people, it was no Oh, to Navy, we can stretch to three. And so I was left feeling. And I know it's an all makes sense, but you know, really feeling that I took my hands like off the crank to have a baby. And it all fell apart. Just like I knew it would, you know, and and it was. And so I felt like a lot of that was my fault. Like, we would have still had van and we would have still had gigs, we would have still been just as like, busy and happy had I not done this, you know. And so that took me a while to get over and to sort of you know, it's not all about me. Like there were also other factors at work just like the economy, that's not all my fault.

Yeah, yeah, how you would feel like that, yeah, it's

very high. And it's having to kind of work my head around to, to appreciate and, and adapted to what we do now. So. So that was a thing kind of as things shrunk, you know, we sort of went six, five, all the way down to it just being feeling SCI. And and then the gigs changed, you know, and COVID was a big part of that, too, that we've, you know, we were lucky enough for most of the last two and a half years to actually have that live entertainment has been allowed, there was about 10 months where it was, you know, kind of band completely. But because Felix and I were now a small unit, we were more affordable. And because we also moved away from playing the pop music, the B student big band. And instead, we were doing these, like, Jazzy, you know, covers but still have pop music. We found that there were a lot of and also to one of the rules that they only brought back fairly recently is that there was no dancing allowed anymore, because they didn't want people kind of like being close together mingling. So restaurants were allowed and restaurants could have music with the tables had to have social distancing, you know, and all of that. But then actually, we found ourselves really well positioned because we could just set up husband and wife like in a little corner and play these songs that would still have people sort of dancing in their seat, you know, by not getting up it was all at a quieter value. It was actually really popular, you know, and the other things that came with being in a restaurant like gigs that start at 730 I want to be in bed before midnight. Definitely. Certainly, because you know, I have to get up at six o'clock in the morning. No, and there's none of that, you know, slip until all hours so. So I've worked my way around to really appreciate it but it mentally it's there are times there has been a really hard slog you know, and it's probably been about three years of lots of talking to myself and re The assessing if I'm happy with where things are and where they're going, yeah. Well, I mean, it's not to say that there were, you know, not moments of serious self doubt. And, and us really questioning things, you know, even even at the very beginning of COVID, where they were closing the airports, right, you know, and, and gosh, our prime minister on TV, say Canadians come home, that was exactly what he said. So, of course, our parents are like, get on a plane and come and, and, you know, and we're just going well, do we, though, but we have we live here, you know what I mean, you have an apartment full of stuff. It's not just, it's not like we're on a holiday, you know. So that was a hard decision to sit tight and say, Okay, we're going to stay here. And staying in a place where, you know, there's no, kind of like social safety net for foreigners here. So there's no employment insurance, there's no child, like, kind of welfare thinks that you're on your own. So we had to just try to, you know, tighten our belts manage our savings to make them last as long as they, as they could, you know, borrow money when we had to, to get through it. And of course, the whole time, you're thinking like, is this it? Is this just the end? Because that was one of the things that was so hard about COVID to it was, maybe this is the end forever? Have in person performances, like the repairs were like, is this? Is it just all gone now? And if so, what are we hanging on for like, then we need to be pivoting and learning to be accountants, like, this is what has to happen. And so if they're, there have had so many long periods of just not knowing what the hell we're doing and what the hell's going on. Now, of course, in hindsight, like we see, okay, no, we were, we we made the right call to is to stick it out. And stay here, I think, actually, one of the big factors that, you know, factored into a stain was that I was pregnant. Because it was also I don't have a doctor in Canada, you know, my doctor is here, the quality of care is, is excellent here, and it was still really accessible, you know, whereas in Canada, they kind of like, locked everything down. And

my sister was pregnant at the same time. So we really, so I have a nephew who's only three months older than Hendrix. So we really were kind of, you know, compare and contrast, like through the whole thing. And she was having tele health visits, and I'm like, no, no, I still go in for my, you know, twice a month ultrasound. Like, I'm still allowed to do that. So you know, I think that live streaming was really great to show us that we have a another way of, of reaching people. But I feel like it's not over, I feel sort of that, like our deciding is not over, you know, we really feel like we're here. We're here for the immediate future. But also, I personally know that I'm left with a lot of anxiety and kind of, like a form of, you know, PTSD, almost just the stress of the insecurity of the last two years is, is something that I really struggled to shake, to, to feel secure. Again, in as secure as you ever feel when you're a musician. I mean, I've spent the last 16 years of life on contracts and having like, zero, real financial security, you know, as many artists, you know, that's our life. Right. But this has added a whole like other layer to it, which is kind of permanently stressful. Yeah.

Yeah. And that's thing. It's so it's so unknown, because it's like, I know what you mean, like, it's winter, next gig winds, you know, in normal times, but then it's like, Will there ever be gigs? Like, it totally changes the whole way? That you think about the whole thing, so yeah, I can I can empathize with you there because that's, yeah, and that's thing. It's COVID Still ticking along like things are still happening. And yeah, we just we have no idea where it's going and what's going to happen and yeah, it's full on in

it's been a really, it's been a crazy time to be alive. You know what I mean? Like it's it is one of those hopefully once in a lifetime occurrences, you know, like a war like, something like that, that this is is you know, the thing we'll talk to our grandkids about, basically. Yeah, and, and, um, yeah, I'm still not sure how we're the lasting changes, you know, that this This will make like, one of the things that I was sort of surprised at is how quickly kind of the online side of things really like online performances really dissipated once in person performances were a thing again. Which is great, because I mean, hey, we're like, that's our job is to be in person performers were in the room. But, and in a way, it's fantastic. Because it thinks that it shows me that there's nothing that can replace being in the room with the people making the music, you know, it's just, you can't put that on a record, you can, you know, put that on on a screen, it just you have to be there. So good for us. Because that means people still want to see us in person, but also to is kind of stressful, because it's like, well, then, is there ever really a plan B for for us? Or is it always because certainly when we were live streaming, we made a little bit of money, but it was, you know, dribs and drabs, it was not like enough to sustain us so. So that's kind of where I am now. It's just to feel that over the long term, not sure how much longer we'll be able to kind of get away with doing what we're doing, you know, because if ever to the market changes again, and we're now not so well positioned for what people want, then that's tough. So I mean, this is like a story of all you know, performance artists

also sample if you lead with me, me, me love you you know, that I find it Oh, so hard to let go. Change my mind when you say in your sweet baby

one of the topics I really like to talk to guests on the show is about mom guilt. And I put I put it in air quotes because I recorded an episode with an artist this morning who had to Google what it meant because she literally did not experience it didn't know what it was. And I thought that was awesome. That's the first person I've met that hasn't known. So I'm really that was awesome. So that just goes to show the broad range of experiences that we have with this thing. What's your thoughts?

Oh my gosh, I'm the polar opposite of the poster child for Mom You're getting both ends of the spectrum today. Yeah, yeah, no, mom. Definitely. I mean, I have all kinds of, you know, anguish about things. You know, I have like, bandleader guilt and all this kind of things, too. So it's just another one that I add to my my collection. The mom guilt. Yeah. Where does it hurt? Oh, my gosh. It's, you know, I was listening to to yesterday, I was listening to the podcast you done with Ms. Coleman. And she was talking about it really for her seems to revolve around time. And I think that's, that's absolutely yet you know, feeling that that I'm not giving my boys enough time or feeling that I'm not giving them quality time. That one is, you know, certainly is trouble. I see. So I kind of the logistics of it. Right? You know that our gigs do finish even getting home at midnight, but you know, you're not to bed for 130 or whatever. So when someone comes because they've wet the bed and then the other ones crying the knees. So you know, I mean, there's lots of nights where we're still, you know, maybe up three or four times. So then starting the day at seven, it's like okay, well we've had like five broken hours of sleep, you know, and my husband and I share duties and he's up, you know, with as well. But still we both just find really, really tired in the mornings a lot and That's hard. So then I think I see too that with Hendrix, I don't spend the same time there's a lot more TV. A lot more TV. Do it would be like 12 minutes, one little episode, you know that we're trying to get off and we're working on colors and stuff to with Hendrix, I'm like, Dude, how do you not know any of your colors? Like how do you not know these animals? Right, because no one has taught us that that was the kind of thing with do that I would sit and I would do. And now with two of them, I'm just kind of like, oh, the TV's just gonna have to teach you something today, because I don't go to the realities. The reality but I feel guilty about it, you know, I feel guilty that I'm not kind of there for my second one, in the same way that I was for the, you know, for the first child. And, and it's, it's hard. When we get busy with work, you know, we're lucky to have maybe six or seven gigs a week, regularly, you know. So sometimes we'll only have one night off. And that's hard, where I'm giving them their bath and putting them to bed once a week. And just the feeling that like there's another woman who I love and trust, but somebody else does this all the time, who gives you nighttime cuddles. So those periods are hard, but they're also kind of necessary, sort of the reality here, like, in general, there are summer season, which is about five months long. workwise is quite quiet, you know, there's less tourists, a lot of the families that are here, if they can, they, they'll take their holiday, so they might be gone back to Australia or Canada or UK wherever for two, perhaps two months. So then they're not here eating in restaurants and going out. So we do have a lot less gigs in summer than we do in the over the winter period. And that's hard to the the feeling that we have to take all the work that we can get, you know, when it's offered. I don't find that we have a lot of balance, like either summer, and we're kind of, you know, to in our fingernails a bit going, Okay, hope we can we make it by the end of the month, or it's winter. And we're just like, you know, out every night kind of thing, just just working all the time not feeling dizzy the kids? And if so, and then I think it translates into other ways, right? You know, maybe there's too many trips to McDonald's or too many little presents, or little, you know, ice cream or whatever, because it's like, my, I feel like I don't see you enough. So I just want to just want to treat you. And there are other options. You know, like here in Dubai, there's quite a nanny culture, they don't really do babysitters, and of course, because all of us, like kind of the entire population are away from our families, right? You know, like, everyone has come from all over the world to work here. So you don't have sisters and aunts and uncles and brothers who can watch the kids, you know, so you have a nanny, and they're with you, all the time.

And for many people, it's not our situation, but many people have many live with them that and we often have people saying that, but if you had your nanny live with you, she would get up in the morning with the kids and you know, hey, we think about it, but also to the Trade Office, then then I do lose that part, I do lose that access to my, my kids. And you know, there's a part of me, which feels like, if certainly if we had kids in Canada, we'd be doing it all on our own, you know, we would be up and we would be tired. And we would be just like everybody else, you know, and so trying to still may have that kind of Canadian life, but at the same time, the reality is like, I get to bed at two o'clock in the morning when I'm tired when I wake up at 630 So

there's no escaping. Yeah, but that's the thing that I like. I haven't heard you say once in this, even though there's always stuff I mean, obviously thinking about, you know, the how the market is gonna go but you're not saying that I don't want to do this anymore. Because of, you know, the sacrifices, the compromises that I might be making with my children. You know what I mean? Like it's, this is what is important to you at the end of the day, you know, this is this is you This is in in your heart and soul and yeah, I hope I'm getting

Yeah, yeah, it was interesting because I quite recently have asked myself, you know, if this is if this is right for if this is right for me, if this is right for us, and it's sort of that feeling of a lack of balance, you know, I would like to feel more balanced and and I mean, also to that logistically, the reality of it is just financially, it makes more sense for the two of us to be going out and gigging. And for us to then hire a nanny than for me to stay home. But that's not the whole story, too. When I see things like, Oh, my two year old doesn't know his car, you know? And I'm like, well, maybe I need to be here, and be teaching him those things. And, and is that what's right for us now? And also to in the sense that, you know, we think someday we'll move back to Canada, probably, you know, in the next five years. And we know, we can't do this, when we're there. So there's also that to have, do we need to be putting in place, whatever kind of work, things need to happen, you know, does it obviously involve some kind of retraining or something? And is that what I should be spending my time doing now? So that we're kind of ready for the next step. But, you know, as he said, it's kind of the, it has always pulled me back in like, I can't imagine not putting on the makeup and doing the hair and going out and, and making music with Felix, you know, it's the the reason that we're that we're together. You know, he'll he'll occasionally have other gigs with other people. And as much as I love it, and I'm happy for him. And he needs more variety than I do. Like, I'm like, No, I'm happy to just work with you to know exactly what I'm doing to have someone who I rely on 100% I don't need any kind of instability. In my life. I'm good. I got it. Whereas he'll go, he's happy to jam and happy to take on new projects and learn new things like No, no, I don't have any of that desire. But when he does things, I'm happy for him. But also there's part of me that, like, it really doesn't like that, you know, that he's gone off and is having a life without? Yeah, I mean, we literally in 16 years, like we pretty much, you know, kind of spent every minute together for that time. So yeah, it's if for better, it's far better for us. You know, it really it really is.

No longer gonna backtrack, just exam that you chose wrong. Now you go back and get over it Yeah,

was gonna ask you what you've got coming out. But I know, I've I don't know how to ask that. Because you've got gigs all the time, haven't you? Like? Yeah, yeah. So it's not like, because I had a look at your page of all your shows. It's like, oh, my gosh, you like that. And then, so like, it's just, it just flows on and on and on. Like you said, you have this portion of the year where it's full on full on full on, and then it's the little break time. So yeah, you just sort of ride the waves. And,

yeah, it's like, you know, we describe it as a marathon out here. Right? You know, because it doesn't ever really stop. And which is great. Is you know, as you said, like it does have high season and low season to it. So, for us coming up we're getting into this season probably won't start really full on until October. Which is okay, because Theo is starting school in September. So he's never been to nursery, he was kind of about to go to nursery and then it was COVID. So then he stayed home for that two years with us. Which is a whole other like, Mom, thing my sister laughs at me, she's really okay with sending her eldest to school and I just choked all the time. I'm like, buying, you know, glue sticks and googly eyes, like crying in the grocery store. filling his school list. I, you know, he needs a uniform and I'm kind of dreading going to the store. I just don't I can't like deal with seeing him in that little uniform for the first time. So yeah. So I think actually, it'll be okay that he, you know, we'll start that and we're not super busy yet. So we'll have time to kind of transition him into that and transition us because he has to get up even earlier for us to drive him to school. You know, Oh, it's so I'm nervous about it. Because I think like, already, I'm tired. And already, it's not amazing for me, you know? How is that going to be when now we have to be up even earlier five days a week. And then when I have more gigs, how's it all gonna work? So I'm, I am really nervous about this fall season, coming in and figuring that we will just have to figure it out, as you know, as it goes along. But for us, musically, we have just started our first gig in like, four years with a full band. So that's been exciting for us to actually have, you know, bass, drums and keys again, because most of the time, and although we say most of the time as a duo, Felix is the band. So he is a guitarist, but he does all the drum programming, we work the drum machine that he plays Live, and then he does bass loops and guitar loops on top of that, and then he's doing back vocals, and he's saying the vocals, I'm just singing. I'm playing a little bit tambourine here and there. And then doing all though, like, admin stuff on whatever social media time. Yes, I do. That's all me. But, but so to have a full band is musically is really exciting again, logistically is difficult. It's kind of like, oh, yeah, and people's scheduling and issues and all this. Oh, okay. Yeah. So, so it's great that we're working on that working in a new venue to so getting adjusted to, what did they want? What does the audience want? What do we think is going to work? We've just been asked to perhaps put together a gypsy jazz trio, which would be new for us, we do a little bit of gypsy jazz, but not like full on things. So trying to see if that's something that we can that we can manage. And aside from that, yeah, just mostly have work either as a duo or as a trio. We do have a few different keyboard players that we that we work with. And yeah, most of most of our gigs are restaurant or kind of restaurant lounge, this new full band one is the first one that we seen a long time where people really there's sort of like a dance floor space for them, you know. So that too, has meant Okay, well, we kind of need to rework and bring back in some of that repertoire that we haven't really bothered with for last few years because they weren't allowed to. Yeah. Yeah, and it'll just lead up by Christmas. Usually our week of Christmas is absolutely nuts been rammed, which is I just find crazy challenging. It's with two kids. So also trying to find time to steal like, create the magic of Christmas and, and it's Theo's birthday, he's a Christmas baby. So he's also kind of like

finding a way to make him also birthday, maybe birthday party and, and playing, you know, Christmas Eve, usually we'll do two gigs. And Christmas day, we'll do two gigs. And every night of the week and everything. So it is, it's a tough, it's a tough time of year for me. I mean, you want to talk mom gills is kind of astronomical and have our nanny, you know, reading the Christmas story, and I really struggled with that this last year, you know, that we, we move Christmas as we need to, you know, like we celebrated on the day that we don't have to get up and go to a gig. So we did it on the 26th this year, but that still meant that on Christmas night, like she's putting out cookies for Santa and getting them in their pajamas. And I was just kind of all over the place that night. Like it was to the point where Felix even said to me, he said, you know, do we cancel that gig like you're this upset, you know, in the weeks leading up to it that you're not that you're not going to be able to be there and you know, it's a tough call right like these well paid holiday gigs you know, they're not at our usual rate. They're better than the usual rate and, and having to and maybe it'll be different every year. You know, maybe I won't make the same choice this year as to am I okay with her just sending photos of look, they're in their Christmas jammies. I'm sort of toggling between sets and then going okay, here we go, you know, celebrating Christmas with other people who are there with their families also too, which is just like that. You know, really hard on my heart and, and I, you know, I think maybe in later years it if we're still kicking around and doing this, it will be the kind of thing where maybe they can come and be with us, you know, on the on those occasions just be at those games. But right now there's just so little that, you know, and their bedtime is still early and all of that. So it's, it's, I know that it's better for them to be at home where they're well taken care of and she's doing as much of the tradition is as I have, like, left instructions were hard to do. But, but it's hard like Felix and I both are moms or elementary school teachers. So they had summers off, they had two weeks off at Christmas. So we both kind of have these very strong like holiday traditions of the families always did this and that and Christmas Eve was this kind of celebrating and then Christmas Day was that kind of celebrating. And for us we're just absent, you know, on those times. So find hope Yeah, find the holidays hard. But you know, in the other sense like we're still financially recovering from COVID so it's work work work, work, work work, work much as we can

Yeah, you just sort of do what you can at the time that you make the decisions as you go and like you said next year you might feel different and then a year after you might feel different so it's like Yeah, going with what you need at the time. Yeah. And trying not to feel guilty

I really love talking to you today. It's it's such a routine energy and I like have you got videos on YouTube where we can watch you perform, I want to watch you perform like your vibe is so welcoming and energizing is like awesome to have a say on stage. You know what I mean?

What if you do want to see the videos with feel of which honestly, I swear there's like at full length shows there but they're on our Facebook page. So you can feel free to like scroll through the years. Seriously, just check the last five minutes because that's the start. You can skip ahead. It's fine. We're used to everyone else like tuning out and then coming back five minutes to the hour. I'm University

thanks for your company today. If you've enjoyed this episode, I'd love you to consider leaving us a review following or subscribing to the podcast or even sharing it with a friend who you think might be interested. If you or someone you know would like to be a guest on the podcast please get in touch with us via the link in the show notes. I'll catch you again next week for another chat with an artistic mum

now tomorrow we live saw so simple if you lead with me love you used to be the one always man trying struggling still good seem so sad with you maybe. Monroe I love to also sample if you lead with me love me for me design but love you You know that I find it oh so hard to let go change when you say in your sweet baby start let's let them roll while we while we live in today in some some so simple if you learn to be with me they're gonna love you ever decide that you're gonna love you