This song is sweet, right? And I wrote it for my kids, and they sang backup on it, and they did the album art, and all those additional sweet things, and blah, blah, blah. This post started out as the story of how I wrote it and how I recorded it and how it all came to be, but as I wrote, I realized that wasn’t the real story behind “Little Birds” at all.
The real story of “Little Birds” is why it took me two and a half years to release it.
It’s not that I don’t love the song. And it’s not that I didn’t think it was good enough to release, or anything of the sort. It’s just that I truly didn’t know where it fit in my life all that time.
Since becoming a mother, I have fought— both internally and externally— the stereotypes that come with having kids. The thought of being perceived as a mom (or, gasp!, a “soccer mom”!) really bothered me. I unconsciously thought that being a mom was inherently uncool, even though it was hard-core my day-to-day life, and still is. So I went hard the other direction. And that direction comes naturally to me, don’t get me wrong. I love rock, guitar, heavy bass, dark lyrics, and wearing leather. But I allowed those to rule, and pretty much ignored showing my maternal, softer side.
Which is odd, because if one was to weigh how much time I spend doing different things in my life, the time I spend mom-ing would outweigh literally everything else. Perhaps it’s not that odd that I moved away from it, too, in that it was a way of spending time within those other facets of myself that I needed in order to feel well-rounded. I know that in daily life as well, I have always bucked against letting too much family and mothering focus and talk with others take over.
Whatever the case, though, I wasn’t truly letting everything out. I was stifling a part of myself. In the past six months, I have become more accepting of who I am and where I am in my life, and that includes being a mom. I am not 100% sure how that happened, but maybe it’s a product of age. Or maybe I just like my kids more. Currently, I am so overwhelmed with love for those two girls that sometimes it surprises me. (Truth be told, maybe it’s partly because I didn’t particularly enjoy having toddlers, I don’t know.)
Every time I thought of releasing these songs, I worried where they would “fit” in my life and ultimately how they would be received. How would my Facebook page peeps feel about this? These songs are surely too saccharin, too acoustic! They’ll leave in droves! I had positioned myself as this do-it-all rockin’ gal, and now here I was just being a mom. “Just” being a mom…. can you believe I wrote that? Awful, because a) we all have a mom and most likely love her and b) it’s a lot of damn work.
But I knew that if I was going to live up to this “real” moniker that I precede my name with, then I better get to a more real place. I eased into that point, and finally by last fall, I thought, screw it. Let the chips fall where they may. I have to be true to me and true to where I am in my life. In addition to these songs, my husband and I have been working on a children’s book that I have very high hopes for. This is the direction I am going and I just have to follow my heart. So, here goes:
I love being with my kids. I love being a mom. And I will sing about it.*
There. I said it.
*But just for the record, I will still rock.
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