Posted in Blog, Mother, Shawna, Woman

How mama got her groove back

When Quinn was about five weeks old, I was out walking around Greenlake with another new mama when she hit me with a revelation: She still listened to NPR all day long.

I know it might sound a little stupid, but it had not even occurred to me that I could still listen to the radio.

With the complete upheaval of my entire home and being, and the crush of total wall-to-wall sleep deprivation, I had completely forgotten that there were some things from my old life that I could incorporate into my new life, chief among them my soundtrack.

Since then, my speakers have been my lifeline many times over. Sometimes, I listen to NPR live. Other times, I’ll play podcasts from This American Life or Slate or rock an audio book. This helps me feel like I still have a rough idea of what’s going on in that world outside our nest. Plus, I’m equipped with one or two conversation pieces for those rare occasions when I have to talk to someone not interested in baby poop colors or food introduction schedules.

Some of our old favorite music is also really perfect for listening to with Quinn. Bands like Belle and Sabastian, Tegan and Sara and Devotchka have a good, mellow vibe that suits my new day job. I’ve also found that I really like some baby music, like Duplex and Elizabeth Mitchell. All of the baby world music CDs by Putamayo are really fun, too, and a lot of them are carried by Seattle Public Libraries.

On rainy days, we play Elizabeth Mitchell and other cuddly music and slow dance; on sunny days it’s Hawaiian slack guitar and the hula. I’ve had many blue moments when I willed myself to put something, anything, on, and then before I know it, we’re both feeling better.

Sometimes I even listen to music that is not at all baby friendly. I mean, I’m going to have to ban some of this stuff (I’m looking at you, Missy Elliott) from my house for the next 18 years, so I might as well give it one more whirl while I can, right? Rock on, new mamas.

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  1. Terrific first blog post – I’m looking forward to more!

  2. Shawna! This is great πŸ˜€ And Elizabeth Mitchell is my fave. None of that saccharine icko kiddy music πŸ˜‰ Nice post πŸ˜€

  3. Corinne S. says:

    Some other fun kid music to check out:
    Caspar Babypants (local and fantastic)
    They Might Be Giants
    “For the Kids” albums (there are 3)

    Welcome to mamahood.

  4. Jessamyn says:

    OMG, My “baby” is 14 months old and I just had the revelation that I could still listen to NPR. Now I play Morning Edition every morning in his room from 6 am till 9 am while he plays. It has made a huge difference. I am fairly well educated (Berkeley undergrad, UCLA MBA) and to know what is going on in the world has made a huge difference in my ability to be interesting and to be connected to the outside world. Is that sad? I don’t even know who I am anymore. I was educated to dominate capitalism and now I change dirty nappies happily all day.

  5. I don’t think that’s sad at all! I cried the first time I put on NPR and felt “like me” again listening.

    As a full-time stay-at-home mom who was much more used to a cerebral lifestyle too, I didn’t expect to find so much happiness and fulfillment passing the time with my daughter instead. I hope to be able to teach my daughter that women really do have choices now, and the choice you make might surprise (shock!) you.

    I have also changed the way I think about myself and my career path: I’m doing this now, but who knows where I’ll be next year? Maybe I’ll go back, maybe I’ll stay home again later, who knows? Everything seems much less finite and linear, and I actually find that really comforting.

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