Season 1 Special
Season 1 recap
A look back at my guests during Season 1 and a reflection on the origins of the podcast.
The seeds for this podcast were sown early in 2021 when I had a lot of time on my hands, and more than the usual number of children in my home. I was finding it really challenging to create the ideal space which I needed to be able to make my music.
Realising that I needed a little bit of a shift in my perceptions, and perhaps a little help, I decided to reach out to an artistic mum who was a friend of mine and find out just how she was doing it. From them I thought, I wonder if other mums would like to hear how other mums are doing it ! Thus the podcast was born.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my chats with creative mum, and a few dads too, over the course of these past 6 months. I have found it incredibly interesting and insightful, having learned so many new things about topics that I would never have learned about, and meeting some amazing people too. And I have managed to change my perception and shift my thinking on a number of issues, and I hope this has been the same for you.
Here’s a little wrap up of some of my favourite quotes from the episodes which made up Season 1, 2021 I hope you enjoy.
Music used with permission from Alemjo https://open.spotify.com/artist/4dZXIybyIhDog7c6Oahoc3?si=pTHGHD20TWe08KDHtSWFjg&nd=1
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!
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.
Welcome to this special episode of The Art of Being a mom, the podcast where we hear from mothers who are artists and creators sharing their joys and issues around trying to be a mother and continue to make that art. My name is Alison Newman. I'm a singer, songwriter, and mother of two boys from regional South Australia, I have a passion for mental wellness, and a background in early childhood education. The seeds for this podcast was sown early in 2021. When I had a lot of time on my hands, and more than the usual number of children in my home, I was finding it really challenging to create the ideal space which I needed to be able to make my music. Realizing that I needed a little bit of a shift in my perceptions, and perhaps a little help, I decided to reach out to an artistic mom who was a friend of mine, and find out just how she was doing it. And from then I thought, I wonder if other mums would like to hear how they're doing it. And also what other mums are doing. Thus, the podcast was born. I have thoroughly enjoyed my chats with creative mums, and a few dads too. Over the course of these past six months, I have found it incredibly interesting and insightful, having learned so many new things, about topics that I would never have learned about, and meeting some amazing people too. And I have managed to change my perceptions, and shift my thinking on a number of issues. And I hope this has been the same for you. Here's a little wrap up of some of my favorite quotes from the episodes that made up season 120 21 I hope you enjoy.
What's interesting to me with hindsight, perhaps is that we'd hit this sort of point where our mothers had been the first generation of the second wave feminists. And so we'd been told a lot about what our expectations for our life could be, you know, what, that we could have it all, you know, all of those messages that that we were getting, and the sense of freedom and ambition that we all have, and should have. And then suddenly we have children and realize how compromised that can be. And that that is an age old problem and not really an easy problem to solve. So feminism or for you know, no matter how liberated you are. So the fact is we we love our children, and we want to be there for them. And our children love us and I desperately attached to us. And therefore finding space and time for something that we want to do for ourselves is incredibly difficult. Yeah,
I don't know, I just it wasn't for me, not the newborn thing. I've loved their ages now, but would literally prefer to walk the depths of hell than have a newborn again. I'm not even kidding. Yeah, you can.
I'd also think it's part of modeling, modeling behaviors around the things that you're passionate about. I think it's good if they can see that. Those things are priorities in our lives, that don't take away from their experiences. But in addition to that, it shows them how to care for that part of their life, the artists that they are. So yeah, I think it's important that the kids see that and see how that can happen
if I really, really had felt that guilty, when I stopped doing what I was doing, deep down, I knew that what I was doing was giving me purpose and lining me up from within. And you know that old cliche making me a better mother. Deep down, I know that whenever things whenever I had a right to feel guilty whenever it really was affecting my children. I changed I let go of it. I moved away from it, I let it go every single time. So
I kind of feel like you know I need with the time that I've got especially now I'm working full time. I need to be spending more time with my children now while they're young. Making sure I have that connection. But my husband always you know, he's really good. He'll go away. They love you. You know, they really love you. Remember when you weren't feeling well, and they were all worried about you. You know, they really love you don't worry. So my husband tries to sort of, you know, say no, don't worry, don't stress ratio are you here ratio me? Yeah
Facebook keeps reminded me of my what my life used to be before Saturday nights at shadows or little adventures I used to do back in the day you know is a total lifetime ago for me. Yeah, and I guess when you do become a mom, you have to let go of that life. Yeah. You your your life comes second to your kids law. Development and their their health and well being is above above yours Yeah. But you do have to keep it leveled enough that you are your best self where you're at can't be can't be distant. You can't be unwell. You've got to be that for therefore them which I guess I've learned from the past that are needed for my kids first to get out of that for them. Yeah.
Have you feel that mum guilt?
Oh, it is real is definitely I observe it a lot with stuff. People around me say about others to like, Oh, she's doing his job. I was like, maybe she needs to do that. Like, I used to probably be the same in thinking that and it's taught me a lot that that might be her hour that she needs just to feel like a human and be a better mom. So it's been a lot lots of work to pick up on your own. Like, where you're being critical of others, where you like, oh, that's maybe I'm envious of that. Or, you know, I don't really know her story, but it's because they're like, We can't do anything. So you can spend too much time with kids and not and not do anything for yourself. I can spend too much on yourself and nothing for your kids like it's it's a losing battle
the same time my writing have changed? Definitely. Yeah. I have a collection of songs I have a new body of work that I'm I've started recording. And it's it's very much inspired by motherhood and and relationships with my own mother and, and grief and, and yeah, identity and belonging and home. And I don't think I would have explored those themes. Pre children. I don't I don't pray children. My songs weren't all about love and breakups. You know, a number that were and then under that still I you know, but I don't think I would have been inspired to explore those really personal relationships, family relationships, had I not experienced that enlarging of your family, you know?
To me, being a mum is the best thing I have ever done. It is just the biggest blessing. And I'm always it's always in the back of my head, that they're only this little months, like they're growing so fast. And it might not be everyone's cup of tea or how they want to do things. But I have just loved being there and doing that. I think. Yeah, I mean, I'd have 100 kids if I could. I'm not 100 Actually that that would. Yeah, maybe 90. If you
were talking to me about an experience that you'd had, like, let's say, you were finding it hard, giving yourself time to do something. My advice to you would be Alson you're still the person you were before you had a baby. Get out there, you know, you need to spend some time on yourself. So I can give some great advice. But so I would like to say that I don't believe in mom guilt. But I've experienced it. So I think it's definitely it's there. I still have moments, even today where I feel like I could be doing better. I should be making a different decision. I think it's I think it's incredibly real. I think it would be great if it wasn't but I think we would be kidding ourselves if we said that it wasn't a real thing. Because yeah, I have felt it. I've probably even been in a category of martyrdom martyrdom. Is that what they call it? Where Yeah, yeah. Are you just real? sacrifice yourself, for somebody else. And yeah, it's really interesting because like, I've had an understanding prior to having jack of how important it is to look after yourself and to put yourself first and to know that that's actually not being. It's not being selfish. It's like, probably the purest form of self love, is to be able to put yourself before somebody else. But then falling into motherhood and, yeah, it's just a real, like, it just, it up ends that belief. And I think, for me, it probably just, it just happened. Like it was just, I think, a change of lifestyle, knowing that I had a little baby that was like, 100% reliant on me. And I felt I just sacrificed myself.
I imagine for women, especially having kids, it's so important to nurture those kids, and you seem to be putting everything into the children, I know, from seeing it firsthand, through my wife that she puts everything into our kids and your wonder like, now I've you know, she's focused on going back to studying more nursing and, and, and that's something that she's passionate about, she loves, so we make time to fit her, you know, things that she needs to do to into into her life, if you don't have an outlet somewhere or a passion, and you've got nowhere to you know, to do it, and it builds up and you know, probably can end up being the falling down of your marriage because you just got no outlet and you feel like you're locked up with the children and just having this double life that you you know, that just ends up crashing around around you. If it doesn't have you don't have an outlet.
And you know what, I had this conversation with Dan, the husband. And he said to me, Chanel, some people just don't get to he's he's seen the rise and fall, he's seen me get these opportunities, and then me crying a heat when they have just not gone the way I thought they should have at the time. And he said, some people just don't get to do their dream lobby, like and I and I, for me that didn't sit well. Because I was like, No, I'm going to because I need to do it for myself, what are we going to set up so I can see I'm having this premonition of me being 50 or 60 years of age, and kicking myself for not trying at least. So I said, he said, the kids, you're an amazing mum, the kids love you so much. And they will be proud of you if you just worked in a cafe or whatever. And I said, but I'm not proud of me. Because you can work in a cafe, absolutely, if that's what you want to do. But it wasn't what was in my soul to do. And I said, they need to see their mom chasing the path that is right for her, and then encouraging them to do the same thing. Because they're learning from me, don't just stand still, because it's easy to do. So. Yeah, that's what I mean. Like, if it was easy, everyone would do it.
It's something that women need to sort of let go of, and allow themselves to look at it in a way that if I'm doing something for myself, I'm bettering myself so that I can be better for my children. So if I have an art show, and you know, I gotta, you know, my husband has to put the kids to bed and they don't get me seeing them to sleep or whatever it's like, my kid is, is growing from that experience. They're not, it's not losing me for one night, and they're not going to be traumatized by that. I mean, they're learning to be adaptable. And they're learning that, yes, your mother has her own life and, and when you grow up and have kids, you're gonna have your own life too. And I think it sets an example for my daughter, that you don't have to give up your entire life and you don't have to martyr yourself constantly, that you actually deserve to have a life on your own and it's gonna make you a better mom.
I didn't feel guilty about going to work because I knew in my mind that without all this external pressure and whatever else to be a perfect mum, because that wasn't around. You know, you just did the best record that I needed to go back to work for my own sanity. And I did not feel guilty about that. So that was it when Harry was 10 months old. I'm not a maternal person. I'll be the first to say I'm not a I'm not a A person who's in an apron baking a cake, breastfeeding their child at the oven. Like I am not that person. I work I thrive off work, I thrive off intellectual stimulation. Just being a man is not enough for me. So never once did I feel guilty to for going to work and making that decision back then.
I mean, being a parent in general, but especially being a mom does not stop you from being an amazing musician and amazing artists and amazing teacher, whatever it is that you do. It's another thing in your life that is very, very important. And yes, your priorities change. But it doesn't stop you being amazing at what you do in that moment. And I've had people kind of, you know, second guests that I've had people be like, oh, so Oh, you're back at gigs. Oh, really? That's, that's soon? Oh, that's interesting. And you know what I just say to them, I'm like, why wouldn't I be? Actually, I think you'll find I'm playing better than I was beforehand, so that
the mother guilt of putting yourself, you know, at head of your children, sometimes, I've definitely grown learned over time not to have that quite so much. I think as the kids were younger I did, but especially that like when my youngest son in high school, I was like, No, you know, what, I'm okay, I deserve to have some allocated time. And to actually let the whole family know, right? Well, this is actually something that's really important to me, and I'm going to make this happen. And it was actually really nice to see the support that they gave me to write Yeah, really, even my, my middle boyfriend, he would say, he was actually said to me, I'll be really inspiring me with the work that you're doing. And, you know, that's the biggest thing for me ever. And my husband's really supportive, as well just, you know, constantly telling me that he's proud of me, which is really lovely. That definitely helps with not feeling guilty.
If I, you know, had some space and time through the week to, to focus on my artwork and to be quiet in the studio, then absolutely, that reflects in the way that I am with, with my kids in the sense that I think it helps me to be more present. When I am with them, I'm not so much thinking about that. It allows me time and space, I guess, to really focus on them. So I think they shifted from thinking that they all these different things take away from each other, but they don't they all support each other and work together. Like I said, as part of an integrated life. So that's been a big shift for me, and, and being able to shift my thinking around there. And I think it's helped me manage my expectations. I guess I have myself.
And then when I found out it was twins, it was like, all the anxiety kicked in. Because I felt like, well hang on. What does that mean, for me returning to work can I return to I won't be able to return to work, you know. And then you have all the stress about how my, how's my body going to change with two it was, I felt great with one baby and I was happy with being pregnant. But then once I found out it was twins, it did really slow me and I had to really adjust to getting excited about it and not being too anxious. So I'm very lucky that I had twins. And I think that now and I love their bond and I love being a twin mom. But I didn't you know, I didn't initially I really I feel bad that I think that but I really was upset and I was really anxious. So I had pretty bad anxiety when I was pregnant actually, once I found out
I think it's also about making a space for yourself. Like making art, or even just making stuff has just always been a way for me to take space for myself even as a child. You know, and I think that's just become more and more important. As an adult when you've got more responsibilities and have to divide your time more.
It becomes more challenging, but then also probably more important to do
as an absolutely it's like mental health you know, and it's and it's so connected with looking yeah looking after yourself. And so for me it's very much part of my identity I think
when you have children you like if you're if you're a committed parent if you are completely into the next few years being, you know, in a state of creative upheaval If you commit to that, then you know it. It changes it changes everything. You know, you can't it's not possible to to have those those sort of positive relationships without making sacrifices.
How do you feel about mom guilt?
I think it's very alive and well and prevalence. And I, I guess I just had to decide that I didn't care about it. I have, have actually had a lot of flack. Over the years for I think I got, I got told at one point that I was handling my children to their dad. And yeah, so there was that comment? I think I've actually been pretty heavily criticized by other local museums as being ruthless and being overly competitive and quite a lot of other things. Because it seems like a lot of people, I guess, that's not just a mum thing. That's also a an Australian thing. I think we dislike anybody that plays a
big, I had had an identity, I was a health care worker. And then I became a mom, and then I wasn't that anymore. And so you know, people would be like, Oh, what do you do? And I'd be like, Oh, I'm a stay at home mom. And so they would automatically say, oh, then okay, what is your husband do? Which I'm just like, it just felt terrible. To me. It felt terrible to me. I went through an identity crisis, really where I was just like, What am I besides a mom, like, it didn't feel good to me, I felt really, really lost during that kind of transition, because I didn't really know. And like, just, I mean, I'm not saying that, like, just being a mom isn't enough. But for me, it didn't. It just didn't. I just felt lost. You know. So yeah, I mean, it is really important to me to feel like I have something that is just mine.
I spend a lot of time when I'm rehearsing and performing actually away from families. So that's easier for that in that regard for to be able to kind of just concentrate on, on the show that I'm doing with a foreign when now that I'm doing a bit more work here in that Gambia at home, and it's actually really tricky. When you when you work go to work during the day, and then you have to come home and can try and switch it off. So that's a real struggle for me, because I've kind of had and realized it was a bit of a luxury to be able to just get in that bubble. And, and kind of create and then not have to come home and parent that yeah, the really tricky part is trying to combine the two and pay. You know, I have huge admiration for you know, a lot of my working actor friends in Adelaide that have to do that all the time.
organically, disclaim all that stuff is so much different for the mother. It's just this just the ladies thing for fathers, it does change. But nowhere near as much as a mother is going through all that sort of identity is just trying to separate motherhood, you can get lost in the water murky. But it's definitely very important to have those two separate because I think you're just running yourself silly and you lose maybe a lot of that passion that you might have wither away a little bit. Because you just feel like that you've got to put family as a priority. And then this is exhausting and draining. It's easy to just go in there. One day I'll get there but I think if you can find the time to even if it's a little bit just to separate them and educate that individuality neutrality variable.
It's not just that monkey. It's like, it's the wife guilt. It's the brain guilt. It's the WHEN DO WE it's very hard to make time for everybody. I think now I think more so it's important for me to realize that not to think of it as mum guilt anymore, but, but realize that I think they need to have a better version of mum. And if Mum needs to be in that creative space, then they're gonna get a better version of me.