Mom + Career
It’s 2019 and this is still a major math question. You don’t really hear or see anyone asking about dads and careers; not that it isn’t tough for dads. Right now, we’ll just focus on the moms. Dads are just as important.
I have several friends who are so afraid to have kids because they don’t want their career efforts hindered. When you’re still on the rise, you can barely take a breath. You have to nearly start all over again! True story. At least in today’s extra competitive, social media, highlight driven world.
In my experience and field, it’s very much this way. When you’re not out networking, being seen, hanging out or what some called “meeting,” you’ve fallen off. It is hard (not impossible) to maintain your position, especially in an entertainment field, such as music.
When I was pregnant with my second baby in 2016, I just booked a residency at a Laguna Beach club. I found out that I was pregnant shortly after. No big deal. The crowd was 80% women, and at least 30-something all the way up to 50s. I started showing rather quickly since this was my second go, only six months after I gave birth to my first. I wore loose fitting clothing, beachy, boho style. Cute, but not tight and sexy. It was Laguna Beach.
About a month in, the management asked the agent who booked me, “Can she wear sexier clothes and dance more while deejaying?” When the agent told me this, I told him that I could, but I’m pregnant. So, it depends on what sexy is to them. End result, after he told the club, they said that I will spin two more nights and will be cancelling my residency; stating that I was a liability.
I was so upset. I thought, “What if I were a single mom? This is pretty much all I know how to do now. I’ve been doing only this for over 20 years.” Pregnant women are a liability is what was translated. Some of my friends said, “Sue them!” I didn’t have the time or energy. And being an independent contractor, there’s no suing. Mostly, it would not make a change. One of my female DJ peers said, well it’s not like you’re a superstar DJ, so you can’t expect to be hired. WOW. She was not a mom or planning to be anytime soon. Yet, as a woman, she still shocked some reality into me. This is the way many of us are trained to believe!
Gratefully, not all venues (and peers) were this way. I deejayed at a few events, and other venues, including Magnolia House in Pasadena, until I couldn’t fit in the booth anymore! 😂
When you’re a woman hustling to stay in the game, are all of the obstacles worth it? OF COURSE. YOU change the world. Did I wait much longer to have babies, according to societal standards? You bet. I created Beats and Babies because I knew that constantly being out until 3 am was not an option. It was not cost effective, nor healthy. My DJ career is still active, but I’m more selective. I’ve re-prioritized my life and reevaluated my moves.
All this is not to scare any woman away from pursuing her career! Please don’t start thinking pessimistically. You can do it all. I highly suggest using your time wisely. Have fun, but discipline yourself. Re-prioritize your hustle. If you’re in your 20s or hitting your 30s, listen closely. I have some advice especially for you.
I’m still trying to figure out how to be a mom. The transition is awesome, lonely, fulfilling, inspiring, and heart changing.
You are important. Everything will change. If you eventually want to have a baby or more, come back for more.