I started out writing children's songs to capture memories.
I have been singing through my parenting ever since 2006, and actually before because I spent 9 months pregnant trying to imagine what being a mum would be like, and projecting those hopes and wishes and questions into songs too.
I learnt to keep on the level through the highs and lows of early motherhood by singing with my babies daily. I kept a songwriting diary and voice memos, kind of out of habit, since I always did these things as a songwriter before the kids came along, and now they would pop into my recordings as I whispered ssssh mummy is just remembering a song. These song fragments and little chats are so precious now in helping me remember funny things the kids used to say and moments we shared together.
First I was kind of singing these tunes out of desperation, to try and get them to sleep, then it started being a game to play and narrate things around us in our daily life. Then later I used to go in and sing at their kindy and then in their school mat times and assemblies. Now they are teenagers I sing at festivals and libraries and theatre shows and of course online shows these days as well, and all the bright eyed faces I meet bring me back to those tiny years when my little rugrats wouldn't really let me pick up a guitar, because it got in the way of them sitting in my lap, so it was all acapella for ages!!
I feel a real sense of kinship with other parents I meet now who find a creative process that allows them to process their feelings and experiences through art making of any kind, such as the amazing women who are part of the Motherlode community. Some use drawing, crafting, cooking, photography; whatever lets us get stuck in and be tactile and in the moment with our children I feel is a precious outlet. I love to jump back and read through my songbooks sometimes; stepping into a song I wrote then is like stepping back in time, to all the texture and feeling of that moment when I wrote down those words. Tiny Years That Last Forever.