Today’s post is a reminder to you that – even though it might not always seem this way – your music is within you. Now let’s figure out how to get it out.
Why? Because your baby wants to hear it. Pinky swear.
It might surprise you to hear this but I didn’t sing immediately with my first baby. As someone who teaches parents how to use music with their babies, I imagine you think I sang with my baby from Day One.
Perhaps you imagine me as Julie Andrews, walking around the house dancing and smiling while caring for my calm baby.
Well, guess what? For a while after I had my first baby, I didn’t sing a note.
I distinctly remember sitting on the bed with two breast pumps attached to me, feeling tired, frustrated, irritable and like a milk machine. We had trouble with the latch, which meant that I did a lot of pumping and when I tried to feed I was in excruciating pain.
I remember looking over to see my husband giving our baby a bottle. He sang a sweet song while he did it rocking gently. When the baby was done drinking, my husband picked him up and sang as he walked around the house trying to get him to burp.
Here I was, reduced to the most basic bodily function (that barely functioned) while my husband seemed to be sitting on a private magical cloud with our baby.
It was the sweetest scene. And it pissed me off.
It took me a while for my music to come out of me with my baby.
It’s surprising, I know. But it’s true. So, if you haven’t found your music yet with your baby, then I know how you feel. And I have faith that you will. Even now, I lose my music with my kids every now and then. That’s when you can find me walking around doing tasks far away from rainbows and sparkles.
So how do we find the music within us?
- Give it time.
As I watched my husband with my baby, I needed to know that I, too, would find my music with my son in my own time.
- Connect to music that holds the most emotion for YOU.
Usually, that’s music you heard when you were a little younger – whether it’s from college, high school, grade school or younger. The music that holds emotion for us will reconnect us to the music that’s within us.
- Start small and hum
Try humming softly to your baby. Maybe it’s a lullaby, a song that you love, or a song that you’re making up. Noone else needs to hear.
- Notice the effect it has on your baby.
One day, I found that every time I started to sing with my daughter she immediately started to sing along. Even if she didn’t know the song or the lyrics, she sang along with me as if she did. She just wanted to sing with me. She didn’t care what.
- Breathe deeply and use your full voice.
We try not to sing with that small insecure part of our voice that has listened to judgments from the past because that will make our body tense up even more. Now things are different. We have an unconditionally loving audience. Now we sing from our belly.
- Put on music during moments we would normally forget to enjoy.
Like washing dishes, making dinner, soothing our baby, or cleaning the house. You may already be putting music on during moments you love, like morning or bathtime. But we need to remember to locate our music during those moments that we go a little zombie, too. That will remind us that music enlivens us.
- Channel YOUR own inner Julie Andrews.
Try crooning in the shower or skipping to get a diaper while singing with a sly smile. Find the free and playful part of our voice because you’ll realize that now is the time not only to find your own music but to show your baby that she can find hers, too.
- Take music classes with your baby & be reminded to sing together.
We can learn how best to use our voice and which rhythms our baby responds to in class. In this space, it’s easy to watch your baby respond naturally to the music. (I won’t say which I think is best for this exact task…)
- Bring the music to your partner.
We imagine a day when the whole family will be sitting in the car singing a song together. Even though it’s in the future we can almost see it as a memory we cherish. Make it real by sharing your playlist with your partner today.
Believe me: You have inner music. It’s there. For all of us. Even if sometimes it feels like it’s not. It’s not silly to try these one at a time. Enjoy the experiment and I think you’ll surprise yourself when you start to find your groove.
What brings out your inner music most for you? Is it when you’re cooking, showering, lullabying or something else? Comment and share your experience. Was it like mine or completely different?
Know a parent with inner music? That was a trick question: Everyone has it. But it may take a little nudge to find it. So send this post to them all!
Yes! Please send me more of the Tuesday Tune-In!