Shifting the Paradigm for Working Mothers in the Music Industry

I formed Mamas in Music (along with co-founder Mary Leay) to support and encourage other mums working in the music industry, while also raising little humans. The idea sprang to life about a month after giving birth.  Those early days, even with all their magic, are so full of vulnerability and often birth trauma.  For me, abandonment is one of my biggest triggers, so when my management dropped out shortly after I gave birth, it hit me hard. I had worked like crazy during my pregnancy to finalize my IAMEVE Archetype EP, so it could be released a few months after having my little one.  But without a team, it felt impossible.

Feeling quite emotional and needing to connect, I shared my experience with a women’s music group and received a flood of responses from other women. This connection gave me an immediate feeling of not being alone and it was so healing. I searched for an existing platform to join in supporting and advocating for moms in music but couldn’t find one.

So in between sleepless nights and nursing advice, myself and Mary Leay began to develop Mamas In Music. There are so many stereotypes that moms experience in entertainment, along with a lack of equal opportunity, resources, and understanding for what it is to balance motherhood and work in a healthy, realistic way.

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We really want to disrupt that.

Obviously, this is a giant issue that is societal and systemic. We know it’s too large of an issue to tackle on our own and one of our big learning curves as new moms has been to have patience and take things slowly. You have to let things grow and evolve at their own pace.  These changes are a collective conversation that will require numbers, the support of larger organizations, and time.

Our growing community is a place to share advice, concerns, and tips to maintain creativity, scheduling, and consistency in an industry that is difficult on everyone – but especially on primary caregivers. We provide a nurturing community, discuss ways to smash the stigma surrounded by motherhood, and collectively create resources to help one another.  Our grand goal is to make creative fields friendly environments for parents. Entertainment doesn’t have an HR department – so we have to pool our efforts to advocate for ourselves if we want to make it work. We would like to see industry leaders creating inclusion practices and riders at major corporations and aligning with like-minded partners to create opportunities for our community.

Our first partnership is with Burnside Distribution/The Orchard, who have recently come on as the official distribution partner for Mamas in Music, providing members a direct line and the company’s marketing resources to release their music worldwide. This December, we will have our first kickoff event with Mom Film Fest to connect our communities together for collaborative opportunity and discussions on how our voices together can push for change for working moms in entertainment.

Sometimes it feels like I focus mostly on the “challenges” of being a mom, so I also just want to take a moment to say that becoming a mom has been the best thing I have ever done. Every challenge has brought a new learning curve and an opportunity to do things differently. I find that because my time is more limited, I have to find ways to work smarter and focus on the big picture because I don’t have the luxury of being obsessed by perfection anymore. That’s been huge for me. More than anything, I feel like I have so much more to offer creatively – which is something I hear over and over from other moms as well.

Artists have always driven important messages to unite people and in a world that seems extremely volatile for the future of our young ones, it strikes me that the becoming of mother is a much needed, potent perspective.

On a personal note, the EP that I put on hold for release after giving birth is finally out!  It’s called Archetype under the name IAMEVE and was also the very first release through our Mamas in Music distribution partnership. It’s an audio-visual release that explores Jungian archetypes like mother, queen, seeker, inner child, and the roles they play in our reactions to the world around us.  One of the songs on it most close to my heart is called “Unnerving,” which was recorded while pregnant and filmed after giving birth. It really captures this vulnerable, fragile experience of bringing a child into a divided, volatile world – and my struggle to find some peace and understanding through it all.

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main photo by Patrick McPheron

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