Coping with the struggles

It’s hard enough being a woman in the music industry. Competing against a world of testosterone can bring various challenges, from competitiveness to walking upon predacious and sexual terrain, but what about the single (and struggling) mother musician? This article refers to financial and emotional difficulties, striving to achieve a better life, and having little or no support. We all know that with money comes choice, and with the choice, you are accompanied by a solution (except in the case of ill health).  

By single, I mean no partner, whether from the start or through separation and divorce. Either way, when children reside with their mother, the mother becomes the primary caregiver, and the weight of having children solely reliant upon the mother can create enormous demands physically, emotionally and financially.

A single mother musician has not only her children to think about but her bills too. She balances life surrounding her financial struggles to meet the bills of everyday living, rent, food, gas, etc,  let’s not forget the endless list of chores when running a home. Most mothers would want to run their homes like a tight ship, but what if the musician feels she’s running her home like a sinking ship? Speaking to many female singers who are single mothers, I have felt the sense of their helplessness to the point that they even feel like jumping ship! 

Here I raise awareness for the work that single mother musicians have cut out for them. 

It is through highlighting with great empathy the actual work women do and the emotional strain involved in taking on this ‘dual role’. An appreciation of selfless acts must be recognized when a mother is also a performer. She gives selflessly to her audiences, she makes people happy, bringing pleasure, even when exhausted from her home life. At home, she is the cleaner, the nurse, and the teacher and generally has the everyday tasks of meeting and regulating the emotional and practical needs of her children. 

Playing the roles of more than one person is something most single mothers can relate to. The added role of being a musician involves night-time performances, late nights, paying babysitters, and giving away half the income hence losing money but trying to retain her identity as a musician is critical to her pride and emotional survival.

In the case of absent fathers or living without support for the children, the single mother musician is burning the candles at both ends. The single mother musician is a supermom. She deserves to be kind to herself and to be applauded as a mother, not just an entertainer. 

Trying to play the dual role of mom at home and glitzy musician at night can be totally draining on emotions for both herself and her offspring. Children don’t always understand why mummy has to go out and would probably rather mom play hide n seek with the kids. On the other hand, kids can be very proud of their moms and show incredible maturity through patience and understanding.

What are your views on this? Are you a mom-musician in this position? Do you have any stories to share? We’d love to hear from you and remember to appreciate who you are and…

Be kind to yourself!

Singer-songwriter | Counsellor | Author & researcher: Mel Golding is the founder of Meltopia. Her own experiences of growing up as an artist in the music industry led to her passion for the well-being of artists today. This company is new and will promote products, services and entertainment for all musicians and performing artists. Mel also hosts her show Facing Mel's Music which can be found on Spotify and YouTube.

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