Photo by Scott Newton ACL

Mother, Musician, Merritt

A dear friend of mine recently sent me this amazing article from Talk House. She knows how much I love anything related to parenting and artists (especially musicians who are also mothers). Written by the talented musician Tift Merritt, the story is a sweet and honest depiction of life on the road with her then six month old daughter Jean.

When I was sitting up at night, what I wished for was a mother/musician 1-800 line with Abigail Washburn, Kim Gordon, Laura Veirs and Amanda Shires answering the phones, doling out the information that I needed to know.

It’s a gorgeous snap shot of how Tift is achieving her dreams, with her child in tow. The difficulties of rearing a child on the road, pale in comparison to the joys they are experiencing together – making it work. Written partly to an inner self that doubted the coexistence of a career in music and being a good mother and partly to other women feeling the same fear, she writes:

I’m like every mother: a woman struggling to keep dreams afloat, building a life without a safety net, on a path that isn’t always tidy and doesn’t always make sense. But I press on. What I will show my daughter by example, I hope, is the great privilege of doing the hard work of making your own way.

A beautiful sentiment by a wonderful musician who no doubt is an even more amazing mother. Jean is a lucky girl.


*Tift Merritt’s sixth studio album Stitches of the World, was released on Yep Roc Records in January 2017.