About rockmommyct

I am a mother, writer, rock and roll musician, and guitar teacher.

First Post-Nathan Gigs: Nov. 8 & 9!!

Hey all! Just wanted to update everyone that I’m playing two amazing gigs with three other female frontwomen/instrumentalists — plus my drummer friend Jon, bassists Michelle and Morgan, and lead guitarist Nora (coming home from college to play!).Marisa Mini

We’re playing under the moniker “Marisa Mini & The Underage Hotties” although, currently, only one of us is underage (that would be little Nora). And said underage hottie could probably school me, guitar wise. She’s a music school freshman. Nothing to laugh at about that. She also did a kickass job playing ukulele at my baby son’s first birthday Luau.

Here is all the information you need:

Singer-instrumentalists Gail Silverman, Rew Starr, Michele the Vamp (of Loki the Grump), and Marisa Mini – best known for their ferocious, funny, empowering and sometimes downright raunchy sets – return to their New York roots for a mid-Fall, two-night Girls Rock & Girls Rule showcase!

11/08/13

Branded Saloon

603 Vanderbilt Ave (between Prospect Pl & St Marks Ave)

Brooklyn, NY 11238

www.brandedsaloon.com

8 p.m. – 1 a.m.

 

11/09/13

Two Boots

281 Fairfield Avenue

Bridgeport, CT 06604

Twobootsbridgeport.com

 

About the Music:

 

(A)llerdings!

From the rubble of NYC’s Loki the Grump and Berlin’s Cathode Ray Mission comes (A)llerdings!  a gruesome threesome to attack your senses with crazy noisy, yet somehow fun, music.

 

Gail Silverman akaG.w/ Donald “Duck” Dixon

Former front woman for NYC band G-spot, G’s recent solo efforts showcase her vocals as well as a “somewhat” softer more spiritual side.  Nonetheless G. still delivers her own unique fierce and quirky style; sometimes introspective, often tongue-in-cheek , always taking the listener on a thought provoking  journey, filled with surprises!

 

Marisa Mini

Marisa Mini is a guitarist and singer hailing from Washington, D.C., whose lyrical and performance style reminds one of Liz Phair, with the humor and bluntness of Peaches. She plays standard rock and roll with punk/grunge undertones — and an increasing touch of blues and pop. Whether acoustic or electric, she lives by the motto “less talk and more rock.”

 

Rew Starr

Rew, often called the female *Velvet Underground* sounds like the luv child of Patti Smith & Ronnie Spector (or Courtney Love singing w/ Dylan lyrics). Rew Starr, who is known for quirky two-hour Internet “ReW & WhO?”show, has been compared to a glam-rock Vargas pin-up and is always full of fun and surprises.

 

 

 

 

 

Returning to Blogging (and a show!)

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Hey everyone — I’m back! After an amazing summer (see above), I’m busier than ever — teaching eight students, writing more articles than ever (including several for LearnVest on personal finance), and (finally!) playing a couple of rock shows. 

My friend Heidi helped me redesign my website a bit, and it is much more ‘rockin’ than it was before. 

And, I’m eating for two. 🙂 So, yes, busy. I’m going to try to commit to three things: 

1.) Blogging once a week here

2.) Writing a daily gratitude list

3.) trying my best not to get overwhelmed by the overwhelmingness of it all. 

So I’m watching “The Voice,” and I can’t help but feel really badly for CeeLo Green. Christina Aguilera is getting all the good artists, and he is hardly getting any. It’s a shame, too, because he’s so talented. Should I try out for “The Voice?” I’m technically over the hill, age-wise. And my voice is good, but it isn’t drop-dead amazing. Then again, neither is Liz Phair’s or Courtney Love’s… 

And speaking of Courtney Love, I’m working on a post I’ll tentatively call “Why I feel sorry for Courtney Love.” I haven’t had much time to work on it, so here’s the short version: tI was this huge Hole fan and Courtney worshipper in the 1990s, but now that I’m a 30-something mom, I find her a little inconsiderate. And a little too needy. She is so ungrateful for a half-full audience at a mid-size club. Yet I would kill to play for that kind of audience.

I guess it’s all relative. I often throw myself a little pity party for all the things I don’t have (parents who live up the street, an amazing relationship with certain relatives, money to just go out and buy a Les Paul, etc.), but there are moms in Bangalore pr Beijing who would do anything to be sitting here with me in my super cozy living room, blogging about not having a Les Paul. 

It’s important to remember these things, to be humble and grateful. 

Happy birthday, Nathan!

I haven’t blogged in two months — trust me, life has been especially busy — but I wanted to make sure I took a few moments today to say “Happy First Birthday” to my amazing son Nathan Mariano Bloom.

He is my little dude, my prince, my best guy … so many phrases have been coined for him. He anchors me to my life. He is a miracle, and an amazing, adventurous, joyful little boy.

I am so, so grateful to have him every single day.

On Waiting Till Your 30s to Try for a Baby

My very first Mother’s Day kicked off in the most amazing way — with an article featuring me and Nathan in The Connecticut Post. Just imagine walking into your local CVS and seeing your son’s face on the front page of multiple newspapers (in a newsstand shared by USA Today and The New York Times)!

My son Nathan rocks out.

The article’s purpose — to shed light on the trend of women conceiving their first baby in their 30s — did so many great things. It did a near perfect job of capturing the essence of my rockin’ family life. I especially loved this part:

 “It still comes as a shock to Marisa when she examines her life from the outside. After living in the New York City bubble for so many years, where she felt like she was “living in an ageless place,” she still has trouble realizing she is 37 already and that life is more baby gates and feeding time than Brooklyn bars and concerts.”

The article’s light and uplifting tone made it the perfect Mother’s Day piece.

But, in being the perfect light and fun piece, it didn’t really shed light on the challenges and heartaches many women who wait until their 30s experience. Nor did it really touch on my experiences of almost not being a mom. That’s okay, though. I will touch on both in this blog!

As many of my close friends know, I was diagnosed with “Diminished Ovarian Reserve” after I started trying to get pregnant. My then-OB/GYN referred me to a reproductive endocrinologist who, in turn, told me I had about a 3 percent chance of conceiving because I was running out of eggs. This was shocking to hear — I was only 35, after all! We got a second opinion from another RE, who put me on DHEA and Synthroid to prime my body for IVF. Then, by some miracle and lots of love, Nathan was conceived just two weeks before my IVF estrogen priming was scheduled to begin.

I’m far from alone. A recent iVillage piece touches on difficulties many other women in their mid-30s are having:

“Some 15 percent of couples in which the woman is under 35 will have trouble conceiving, but one-third of those 35-39 and half of those 40 and older will, according to Peter McGovern, M.D., medical director of University Reproductive Associates in Hasbrouck Heights, N.J.

The rate and risk of miscarriages also increase with age. While women overall have a 10 to 25 percent chance of miscarrying, those numbers rise the older you get, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Women under 35 have a 15 percent chance of miscarrying, and the risk goes up to between 20-35 percent for women ages 35 to 45. Half of pregnancies among women 45 and older will end in miscarriage, the group says.”

Unfortunately, most journalism about women waiting till they are older to have a baby doesn’t touch upon these facts. All we hear about is “Halle Berry is pregnant at 46,” giving husbands and boyfriends the impression that their wives have plenty of time to get knocked up. I wish more media outlets would deliver the message that this is not always the case.

Being an infertility patient definitely puts a strain on relationships. It often makes women deeply insecure, and deeply depressed. And while I got lucky, somewhere there is a 35-year-old who won’t. She’ll wish she started trying to conceive much earlier. She’ll wish she didn’t listen to her ignorant but well-intentioned friends who said stuff like “oh, you have plenty of time. My friend Lizzie had a baby at 40!”

From this point on, I’d like to make it my mission to educate those under-informed couples who are choosing to wait, and choosing to believe that just because they’re 33 or whatever, they have “plenty of time.” I do hope they have plenty of time. Odds are, if they’re 30-39, that they do. But if they don’t, perhaps because of the woman’s rapidly diminishing ovarian reserve, they will find themselves regretting they didn’t look more closely at the cold, hard — but not light and fun — statistics.

On a separate note, enough is enough with the “can you afford to have a baby?” brand of journalism. You really can’t afford to wait to have a baby if you consider the cost of multiple rounds of IVF, counseling for the depression that ensues after you can’t conceive, and/or donor eggs (daycare, at $25,000-30,000 per year, is usually cheaper!). Adoption is also about 30K, which is something most people don’t know until they actually start looking into it. Often because they waited too long to start trying because USA Today’s “Can You afford to Have a Baby” quiz said they were about $10,000 short.

While the economy stays lackluster, these prices will only rise.

Sorry if this isn’t positive journalism. But it is the truth. And in that, it’s a service to the public. Exactly the way journalism was intended to be.

Revisiting Stay-at-Home Mommyhood

Today my baby is sick. Well, he’s not that sick. He had a fever of 102 yesterday, so daycare sent him home. In turn, I took him straight to the doctor’s.

The diagnosis was vague. The dippy hippie doctor (our regular one was booked) said he had a “virus.” Probably caught it from daycare. And that he should stay home tomorrow.

Since daddy makes the big bucks with his job, I’m doing a hybrid stay-at-home/work-at-home day (the work part just ended). Though I hate my little dude being sick, I am looking forward to spending the day with my boy. We have plans to do salt dough hand prints and buy Mother’s Day cards for Nathan’s grandmommies. At some point I’ll take a jog with my new BOB stroller, pushing 20 pounds of dude and getting a real workout (3-mile runners without babies barely break a sweat).

Perhaps he’ll cry a little, and take a long nap. Or no nap (that’s why we have the stroller).

Do I want to deal with the mountain of work I’m facing tomorrow that I can’t do today? No, I don’t. But I can certainly try to make the best of this situation, and clock in some valuable one-on-one time with my little guy.

What I Could Do with 8 Hours a Day

I am a highly creative person.

Take my job away and give me eight kid-free hours to “work on my art” and I will work my ass off to write, compose music, write, break for marathon-running drills, blog for RockMommy, and then play some guitar. Perhaps I’ll learn a new recipe or two to make for dinner.

My husband loves to say “you hate cooking.”

He is right. Under the circumstances – you know, having a baby whose diapers need changing and clothes need washing, in addition to a fulltime job – I definitely hate cooking! The last thing I want to do after work is skip my workout just so I can go to the grocery store to leisurely peruse ingredients, and then take an hour to cook something nice (especially when said husband is particular about what he does and doesn’t want for dinner).

Again, I am a highly creative person, but you wouldn’t know it by being around me. I’m just as creative as any rockstar who gets to write songs all day, any writer who spends his hours holed up in a log cabin to work on his “craft,” or any artist who, between brush strokes, takes hours to contemplate life.

Still, I try to remember, when I get down on my lack of time, that there are lots of creative people like me who also don’t have much time to be creative. Work takes a lot of energy. Parenting takes a lot of energy. And if you’re not a night person (I’m not), all you want to do after your kid(s) go to bed is watch a movie or go to sleep (night people don’t want to make out with their partners at night, they just want to go the f#ck to bed!).

 

Fantasy is fun, however. And I love thinking what I would do with those 8 hours a day if I had them all to myself. Here’s how I imagine a “typical” day in my work-free life (that includes daycare for my kid):

 

  1. Wake up at 6:30 or 7 a.m. to feed my baby (same as always).
  2. Put baby in clothes, and put on some attractive leggings/skinny jeans and a cute top (still, same as always).
  3. Drop baby off at daycare, armed with computer (or, if I’m feeling more musical, with guitar).
  4. Head to local coffeehouse/recording studio to spend two hours writing a song/chapter, while eating a waffle/oatmeal and cappuccino.
  5. Go for a run at 10 a.m., or head to a personal training session.
  6. If it’s a Tuesday or Thursday, head to a music/writing class to work on skills that would make my craft better.
  7. At 1 p.m.-ish (or 1:30-ish), meet my husband or my other creative, job-free friends for lunch, maybe stopping at a vintage store to look for cute clothes.
  8. Check Facebook in the afternoon, try to organize a show, or work on my personal website.
  9. Perhaps at 4, because I have nothing but time in my pretend artistic schedule, I’d volunteer for a local animal shelter and walk some dogs.
  10. At 5, pick up my baby, and take him to an early evening play date, exhausted from my day of artistic endeavors.

 

Pretty sweet day, right?

But as I fantasize, it hits me that I actually kind of like the work I do. I teach guitar to children. And I write about important healthcare policies that affect physicians. The work I do helps make the world a better person. And it gets me out of my head! (Do creative artist nonworkers even know what the Affordable Care Act is?)

 

You see, the world isn’t just about me, me, me, and working makes that reality really clear.

 

Perhaps it’s no wonder so many artists who don’t have to work are unhappy. After all, what else is there to think about when the whole world revolves around you and your art?

 

Still, it would be nice, even for two weeks, to have that pretend life. J

 

 

Finding Mommy Balance: Something’s Got to Go … But What?

Just Google “work-life balance” or “mom-work balance” and you’ll find a list of hundreds (maybe even thousands) of articles telling you tips and tricks with balancing work and family. Unless you’re a career musician (most of us aren’t!), these articles aren’t satisfactory.

 What if your job is just a day job, and you have other career aspirations, such as being a fulltime musician? Or, what if you like your day job, but also would like to keep a band and play shows – in addition to having three days a week to exercise?

Balancing, you see, is not just this two-dimensional “mommyhood vs. career” thing. It’s a way of living, about dividing the hours of time into buckets.

 For me, these buckets are: 1. Being a mom who nurses her son; 2. Being a journalist who works, by day, 40 hours per week; 3. Teaching guitar two days a week (aspiring to teach three days per week); 4. Exercising 4x per weeks (aspiring to hit 5x per week); 5. Being part of a community service organization; 6. Household duties; 7. Having a good relationship with my husband; 8. Making time for family and friends.

 Since becoming a mom, I’ve had to give up having a full-time band (and by full-time, I mean full-time in the extracurricular sense) that practices three hours a week and plays regular gigs. I’ve also had to give up Zumba with my favorite instructor in Stamford, because you have to score a spot 30 minutes early. I’ve also given up teaching guitar in Brooklyn on Sundays.

 I’m at the point where I want to add some stuff, like 2-3 new students per month for guitar lessons, two hours per week for Skype lessons, two hours per week for my own music, and one chapter per week for my novel. But I don’t have anything left I can give up!

 I can’t give up exercise; it’s already scaled down from my pre-pregnancy days. Gone are the 5:30-7:30 p.m. 13-mile runs with my running friends, or the half-marathon field trip. And I already mentioned the Zumba.

I can’t give up teaching guitar, because it’s my passion. I certainly can’t give up cleaning, or time with my son. I don’t want to give up the two or three hours I have with my husband per week, talking in bed or watching “Kitchen Nightmare” over sushi takeout.

And I don’t want to give up my regular book club – it’s one of the only chances I get to see my local friends. Speaking of which, I’d like to do more stuff with friends – running, going to rock shows, singing karaoke, attending birthday parties.

 I didn’t start this blog post with any ideas for a solution. But I’ll take suggestions. And with that, my 10-minute break is over, and I’m back to being a journalist.