The Rocker Mom Dichotomy 11.11.14 / by Emily Holmes

Well, all, it's been a while. That's what blogging as a mom will get you. Between raising a newly burgeoning personality and revitalizing a career that's been between Neutral and First Gear for the last 3 years, I haven't had a ton of extra time for writing. Oh, I should mention that I just released a new EP with my co-writing partner Art Hays called DETOURSand been promoting that as well. However you slice it, this blog gets the shaft each time. It's a labor of love, as are most thing that don't involve potty training, independence stand-offs, balanced-budget homemaking and the occasional show. Even the latter is next on the shaft list...

So that said, I've been pretty busy with all of the above, plus the EP, plus theBillboard/Hollywood Reporter Film/TV Music Conference and Independent Music Conference. I am also taking on the occasional extra role at Riley's preschool while continuing to co-chair Mom's Night Out Committee for the Silverlake Mom's Club.

So, the dichotomy--how is one the "Rocker Mom"?

I kind of adopted the title as a humorous addition to my signature file for emails. It seemed appropriate. I like to rock out. I have led bands that have rocked out on many occasions. I sometimes still can be seen rocking original or cover songs (like "Sweet Dreams" at the Interpreting New Wave show).

But then I roll in from the show at 1 a.m. (sometimes earlier... in fact, often) and rise again at 7 a.m. to the "Mommy Song" as I call it. (It sounds like this "Ma-ma Ma-ma Ma-ma" on repeat.) So those skills I had from days of yore, where you and 6 others slept in crunched-up form in the back of a van across the English countryside, or where you rolled into your 9 a.m. gig with a raging hangover, those skills, they come in handy as I muster the energy to be the Mama.

I sometimes feel like I'm experiencing whip lash if I move too quickly between the two worlds. It's funny because I just auditioned as a "rocker mom" for a show last week and was talking about this exact point. It's a different groove. I need different skills for each role. And just as you get your sea legs with one, the other role pokes you on the shoulder and punches you in the gut. My kid doesn't care how well my musical pitch is in the industry conference. My daughter's cuteness factor doesn't land me the licensing synch. Or the next big booking. Or a blog review of my new single.

You catch my drift.

I had a tough time just accepting the role of motherhood, and that was just as a woman with my own disturbing fears of intimacy, etc. Isn't the lead singer role kind of the perfect place to park all that insecurity? So be real and be patient and be there as Mama, and be bold, be big, be unattainable and magical as a rocker...

I've never been subtle as a personality. I laugh loudly from the gut. I drop F bombs and talk like a sailor. I like freaks and bohemian types. I'm not afraid to costume wildly. I tell it like it is and my give-a-shitter broke a while ago. I like to think that's what folks like about me. Never could pass myself off as a Junior Leaguer or Sorority Gal. Not my cup of tea...

Now I'm raising a mini-me in many ways, and I'm sure I will struggle with this in the years to come. Like, how do you balance truths you acquire from years of living intensely (often with some less than desirable outcomes) with the safety of your kid in those sticky impressionable years? Do you divulge your "partying" or "dating" history as a means of debunking stigmas against it? Or do you play dumb? Or do you play shadow puppets in the middle? Allude a bit here but keep the reality cloaked in mystery.

I don't know these answers and sometimes I wish I didn't have the artist spirit in me to further complicate an already daunting task of raising a child. I see many other mothers who seem to have streamlined the process. I am not naive to think they don't have conflicts in their lives, but do they yearn for that spot on stage? Do they crave the attention? Do they get a buzz from a live room or even a credit in liner notes? I think I'm part of a very narrow segment in the Mother pie chart. I've met others. We can smell it on each other, and we speak a shared language immediately.

So, once again, no answers. Just ruminations. Feedback always appreciated, especially when humorous...