You Can Have It All, Just Not All At The Same Time

I am walking home from my dear friend’s house at 10pm with my sleeping second son strapped to my chest. It is February 2nd, the eve of my 33rd birthday. I am returning from a song salon, a gathering where songwriters help other songwriters songwrite.

I feel like a waning moon, half lit up and half dark. When we had our first boy I put a lot of energy into preserving my career. I played shows with my baby on my back, I leaned over the car seat to nurse my baby at 60 mph, we all co-slept in strange motel beds. It was a romantic adventure for a while. A few months after Emmett turned one, he was walking and talking and opining. Just try to strap him down for a 5 hour drive and then be a civilized human at a house concert…. just try and strap him down! We would go out on the road as a family, I would end up playing the show solo and still we would all become weary. I had to set down the idea that I could Have It All exactly the way I wanted it and pick up motherhood. I am lit up by my sons as a mother and unlit as a performing songwriter. Just because that side of me is dark at the moment, doesn’t mean it has ceased to exist. It’s just as present, but isn’t illuminated by the sun.

My days fly by without having much to show, just two little people, hopefully sleeping, and gratefully still alive. I was terrified of putting down my career because I always assumed that once you put something down, you walk on, unable to pick it back up again thanks to the ineffable forward march of time. Now I can see my songwriting career as a beautiful boulder i used to push up a hill. I stopped pushing it, and now I can sit in it’s shade, having a picnic with my family.

A very wise woman once told me “You can have it all, just not all at the same time”. I find this statement to be a deep breath. It gives me allowance to stand exactly where I am without the pressure to add more on my shoulders. I don’t have to be a full moon all the time! What would the tides look like that way?

I turn 33 on February 3rd under a full moon in a town that I love, married to a man who supports me no matter what crazy scheme I have hatched, with two healthy and darling boys. What an incredible blessing. Sometimes, I even get to sit down with songwriters and songwrite.

13 thoughts on “You Can Have It All, Just Not All At The Same Time

  1. Reading your blog and posts on FB is like a breath of fresh air to me. Life as it happens and more importantly as it is. There may be some 5000+ miles between Austin and where I live but in essence life ain’t all that much different the world over.

  2. That side of you may be dark at the moment, but there are still songs in your words, even if you’re not putting music to them. And the days of your new mom career will have PLENTY to show. It just takes a while. You do what you gotta do. We ain’t goin’ nowhere. 😉

  3. Time can be shifty on this one, too…it really doesn’t matter how long the boulder rests there, or how far up it went before the picnic. It’ll still be whispering plans to you. There’s this “I have to do it while I’m young” stuff that just completely goes POOF with kids. Which is a blessing. 🙂
    And Happy Birthday!

  4. Raina, that was beautiful and encouraging as well; lots of us are in the middle of that pull between life’s passion (or, let’s face it, a paycheck!) and motherhood. Just know that those of us who enjoy your art will be there once you are ready to get back out there again!

  5. I so love watching you bloom in your life. Even though I do not know you personally I feel a kindred spirit in your musical presence in the world. I am amazed by your motherhood! I could never figure out how to move about the world with a small child…I can only imagine this period of staying close to the heart of your family in one spot can only enrich your writing and people will eagerly await your next project and be more excited than ever to see you;)

  6. As a working mother of two little girls, this resonated deeply for me. As a San Antonian, I hope we meet sometime! My husband plays in Austin frequently (

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