How a musician mama-to-be balances performing and growing a kid

June 27 | Guest post by Miss Ashlee
Here I am two months pregnant with our band Awesome Sauce.

I have been playing music most of my life and share this passion with my singer/songwriter fiancé Rod whom I met three years ago. Along with playing keyboards alongside him in two different bands, I am also currently a self-employed music teacher and absolutely love it. I love teaching children and always wanted some of my own so I am looking forward to my new role as a mother with much anticipation.

As a working musician being sleep deprived is something you get used to — particularly when you play gigs late at night. So when I found out we were going to have a baby, we were extremely excited but also realized we probably wouldn't be sleeping at all anymore once our son is born — thankfully we are already used to it!

Blending the role of musician and mother will be interesting and not without its challenges. So far it has been an interesting experience being pregnant and still playing shows.

One of the first questions I asked my doctor when I first found out I was pregnant was if it was okay for me to be around loud music. He quelled my worries by explaining the baby was safe in the amniotic fluid, likening it to the noise that would be heard at a pool party while swimming under water in the deep end — muffled and quiet.

Once that issue had been addressed, I worried about playing all night. I typically play three hours at most, and I've adapted quite well to this since becoming pregnant. I now opt to sit out during a set if I feel tired. Thankfully I've been able to take it easy during the day so my night time stamina has been good which allows me to keep up with the band. I have also had to adjust how I play, using a chair now instead of standing, and not carrying any musical gear — which I don't mind.

I have had some interesting feedback from people regarding my pregnancy and playing. Most audience members are truly excited for us and want to rub my stomach, and tell me how musical our child will be and ask if he's drumming along inside me. I have noticed a pattern of movement/kicking to a particular original song we play that Rod sings — I think the baby has become quite fond of it and I am curious to see his reaction to the song when he is outside of the womb and older.

Of course I have also experienced some people who think that I should be at home resting and taking it easy but generally people are quite impressed and happy for me, wanting to share their own pregnancy stories or concerts they attended while pregnant.
I am very grateful to be having a child with the love of my life and being able to enjoy my passion of playing music while expecting. I feel it is creating a positive atmosphere and experience for my child while he is in the womb. I am currently seven-and-a-half months pregnant and just finished playing my last show in public as I want to spend the last bit of time nesting and preparing for baby — some of which will more than likely include practicing piano/guitar and singing.

People ask us if we think our son will be a musician like his father and mother, to which we reply that he will definitely grow up in a musical environment but we truly want him to explore that interest for himself and develop his own identity.

  1. This is great! I'm also pregnant and in a band, but likely quite different from the author's. Recently the gigs we've been playing have been at porch parties and neighbourhood festivals, though one time the other three did get tipsy at the garden show we were playing!
    One thing I'm curious about is how you find playing an instrument with your growing belly… I usually alternate between keyboard and ukulele, and it's been amusing but occasionally frustrating to have my belly get in the way!

  2. Good on you! Although I'm not musically talented myself, my husband is a rockabilly musician and I went to gigs right up to the end (well 8 months when I was pretty much too huge and uncomfortable to go anywhere!) Some people were a bit funny about it telling me the music was too stimulating for the baby etc, but she's here now and she still loves it!

    We went to her first gig as a family when she was 3 weeks old and she slept through the whole thing. These days at 7 months old she can get a little grumpy at times, but usually its when she's sitting in her stroller and she wants to be part of the action. As soon as we pick her up and dance with her to the music, she's the happiest kid around! Even at the very end of an all day hot rod show, when we're all a little tired and grumpy!

    Bringing up a kid around music is a wonderful thing. Good luck to you and your fiance!

  3. I'm a cellist and singer and my husband is a guitarist and drummer. Our baby would kick in beat to music when she was in utero and now, at two months old, still does. In fact, she gets very angry if you rock her off beat. This either means that she will have musical talent or a great appreciation of music, we decided either option is fantastic.

    I think it's awesome that you don't plan to push your little dude to pursue something that might not be his thing. But at the very least, you will instill an appreciation of music in him, and that is a very good thing.

  4. It's such a cool thing. I am a bass player and my husband is a drummer. We met playing in a band together. Now, we have a two year old and she has shown real talent for drumming since she was old enough to hold sticks. We have a home studio so there is a plethora of instruments around for her to explore with. Like you, we don't want to push her but I can't imagine a child growing up surrounded by music and not want to be a part of it. Well done to you and your new family!

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