Being an artist in the ever-evolving music industry is one thing, but adding motherhood on top of it can be a demanding and life-changing journey. We may see that so-and-so is pregnant, then later learn about the birth through media headlines. Although we aren’t owed details about their personal life, it’s both fascinating and encouraging to witness what artists do now as mothers to continue to navigate their careers in entertainment successfully. How do they make it look so easy? Furthermore, how are the new mothers doing? What did they learn or are still learning about motherhood personally and professionally?
To further get inside an artist’s experiences as a mother, we talked to five Latinas about embracing their pregnancies, balancing their careers and motherhood, and what they learned from it. The artists even shared some advice to expecting mothers in the music industry.
“How do I balance my personal and work priorities? Well, as a new mother, and not really knowing how, I think very instinctively. Letting myself be guided by what I felt at the time, which was wanting to do all the things at the same time, but also following the medical advice. And the instinct I think is very important, which is that my body tells me that I want to be on stage and I can, and it is not a risk for me or for my baby. And it was also beautiful to be able to enjoy being pregnant on stage, which was totally different. For me, being on stage pregnant was a very beautiful experience.”
“Everything was totally challenging. Especially because I had a complex pregnancy in the end. I had to be in bed almost all the time, so it totally changed my world, and [during] the time I was on tour, [it] was also very, very different. There were many things I had trouble doing because my belly was already big. Even the routine on stage was very different because I couldn’t move as much as I wanted to, because I got very tired, because my belly got in the way. Then I was short of breath. I had to learn to breathe and almost sing in a different way. I feel that my voice also sounded different during pregnancy. And now, after having my baby, I know that my life practically changed — my whole schedule and my whole world changed. Everything was turned upside down, and it’s a beautiful and precious chaos. My schedule is a bit dependent on my son.”
Buscabulla’s Raquel Berrios
“It’s never easy. And I’m sure anybody that’s a mother, a working mother, especially in entertainment, it’s not easy. But [our daughter’s] the one that gave us fuel to work really hard, like there was no option but just to work really hard because you’re not just thinking about your own ambitions. You’re also thinking about getting the family ahead. Sometimes you can really lose balance because it’s not an easy thing. You have to be constantly reminded of the work that you’re doing. And it’s a constant struggle to find that perfect balance so that you don’t either get too carried away by work or by just being a mother and not doing anything. It has to be the perfect balance.”
“I think motherhood makes you really grounded. It makes you think about what really is important in life, which is family and loved ones. The music and entertainment industries could really suck you in a really weird wormhole of egos and money. And when you have a family, you realize that nothing is more important than that. So that keeps you grounded. And there are certain things you have to say no to. I would say for women that are expecting, the most important thing to do is that you just have to really kind of rally in your community and know that you can totally do it, that you can integrate it. It’s not going to be easy. It never really is, but it’s definitely doable and possible. And there’s nothing really to be afraid of.”
“I believe we want to think that a balance exists, but I firmly trust in the power of vulnerability. That means it’s not always going to be perfect, balanced, or pretty. I wanted to juggle between motherhood, pregnancy, and work, but there were days I just couldn’t do it. I also had some medical issues during the first few months. Balance does not exist… There are times when you will have to be more of a work-driven woman, and maybe you’ll have to sacrifice time with your kids or vice versa, and THAT’S OK! It took me a long time to understand it and not make myself feel guilty for it.”
“[What I’ve learned as being both a mother and artist is] to have empathy and that you can always better the life of someone else. That you can always inspire, open a conversation, make a person feel a certain way, and create not just for yourself but for the world to create emotions and feelings through my music. I think that motherhood resembles art very much in that way. You become less selfish… You want to give to others and to improve every day.”
Jarina De Marco
“When I first got pregnant, I got really freaked out. I had a moment of panic because there are the old tropes of ‘you can’t have it all’ and ‘once you have a baby, your life is over.’ I guess we kind of internalize those stories because of how women are depicted in the media and things like that. You see a lot of moms becoming just soccer moms, which is totally fine, too. But there’s this one trope of like, ‘oh, you’re a mother – forget about your life now, dedicate your life to a baby.’ And I think I internalized that even though my mother was also a musician. [She] traveled the world with me and my father, who had a band together for 15 years. And I was a tour baby. My mother is also a music anthropologist. So I would go to her recording tribes in the Amazon and also in the countryside of the Dominican Republic. So I had an incredibly, very cultural, and out-of-the-box childhood. And when I got pregnant, I completely forgot that. I only had that trope in my mind.
“So I called my friend Lido Pimienta. She has two children of her own and one adopted. And I called her, I’m like, ‘Girl, how do you do it? Is it possible? I’m worried about me not being able to handle it and also my career going down the shitter.’ And she said, ‘Jarina, first of all, women like you and me need to be having babies in the world. We need creative, compassionate people. And secondly, all you have to do is organize and find community.’ And that’s exactly what I did.”
Jarina is currently documenting her motherhood experience and sharing further advice for mothers through her Youtube series “I Freakin’ Gave Birth Y’all.”
Victoria La Mala
“Being a mom is the most beautiful thing! The connection between you and your child is something you can’t explain. The bond is so strong and for a lifetime – but it is not easy! It is already hard being an artist on its own —and being a mom is so challenging in its own way because you want to do your absolute best for your child. I’m literally responding to the questions as I’m holding my baby in bed. But I’ve learned that it is so important to continue to do what I love: make music and create, so one day I can show my baby the value of work [which is] following your dreams and fighting for what you want! At the same time, it is very important for me to be present in this stage and enjoy my baby super hands-on!”