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Juggling careers with motherhood: Soca mums give us the scoop

Life is demanding as a soca artiste. From back to back gigs during Carnival to constantly flying all over the world during the year, life as a performer is demanding. Throw in a family and children into the mix and life becomes a constant case of juggling and scheduling to ensure you keep the fires burning on both ends. We spoke to three top soca stars about motherhood and how they cope with raising their children and managing their careers. 

Fay-Ann Lyons

How do you juggle your career and motherhood?

Priorities are key. I do things in order of importance. What can wait will wait.

Do you involve your daughter in your career?

Definitely, she knows and understands what we’re doing and why. She gets the benefit from travelling but also experiences the feeling of us having to miss some time with her. It’s been good because we’re close as a family and don’t take time together for granted.

Have you had to adjust your schedule to accommodate your daughter?

My schedule includes her. Before we just did things, now she is part of the schedule.

Was there ever a time you felt you should give up your career to take care of your daughter?

No. I have a husband that is very involved. With both parents in her life, it’s easier to have a career and still be mum.

Do you ever feel guilty about your career?

Not at all. It helps to give her the education and life she has. I am thankful for her growing up in a better living environment than I did.

How do you spend quality time with your daughter?

We do the homemade stuff...pizzas, cakes etc to spend time. Sometimes movies. When she’s on the road we do a zoo or museum, or we just hang out telling jokes and playing games.

What is the one thing you want your daughter to learn from you?

You are owed nothing.  Work for what you want.

 

Alison Hinds

How do you juggle your career and motherhood?

It’s a family affair because obviously, my job takes me out of the country so my husband is extremely hands-on and involved so I know I don’t have to worry, he’s doing it when I am not here and my parents are also very instrumental in the support system as well so I am very fortunate and blessed to have family and to have. I never had to have a babysitter or hire one and I don’t knock those who do but I am in that position where I never had to do that, she has always been with family and my mother in law who is awesome.  She is not lacking in anything, she is loved. And we are always in touch via WhatsApp.

Do you involve your daughter in your career?

Not a lot. Even in terms of what I post on social media. When she was younger I would post pictures of her very few and far between. Now she is older she has her own IG page but I still control it. 

Have you had to adjust your schedule to accommodate your daughter?

When it comes to studio times and recordings I used to do late nights into the wee hours of the morning kind of sessions but obviously now with her being at school age that had to change. Having to be up from early in the morning at 4.45 to try to leave home at 6.30 to drop her to school, I can't do those late sessions anymore. Now I tend to do during the day and evening sessions.

Was there ever a time you felt you should give up your career to take care of your daughter?

Not really. When I had her I was at that point where I needed to come off the road cause I was touring steadily with Square One, we were touring constantly. I got to that point where I needed to stop, I was tired. I need to take a year off. Her first year I wanted to be home with her and have that time.  After that it was hard going back out, there were times I would sit on the plane and I would be in tears even though I knew that she’s safe but there is still that oh my gosh what am I doing. I have never hidden anything from her, when she was a toddler we would talk about me going away in the weeks leading up to me leaving and she has grown up understanding what my job entails and why it is the way it is. I wanted to make that transition easy for her, I didn’t want her to feel abandoned.

Now that she is a teen, do you ever feel guilty about being out and having fun while she is at home?

Yeah, and I am always explaining to here that she will be old enough one day and she will go and fete in the same party. For Old Year's night usually that is for adults and there is a yacht club here, a members-only club, they have an Old Year's night event and we take the kids. All her friends are there and she has fun.

How do you spend quality time with your daughter

We like to go to the movies. I like to have girl time with her.  I would take her to lunch and we would just hang. As a family, we like to watch wrestling and my child is a super super super fan. She knows everything that is going on in WWE. My husband is a homebody, he is not big on going out but sometimes we might just go for a drive or we would just be home chilling. I am just happy to not be on a plane sometimes.

What is the one thing you want your daughter to learn from you?

Don’t give up. Never ever give up and don’t let anybody tell you, you can’t. I don’t want her to ever give up her dreams, don’t give up, keep going, keep pushing. I know what that is especially in this business. You could be the hottest thing today and tomorrow nobody eh studying yuh, You have to be strong. I had to learn early in my career to build up a thick skin cause people will come at you with all kinds of different things.

 

Destra Garcia

How do you juggle your career and motherhood?

It is really hard because it is not realistic to think you can do both at the same time especially if you are trying to do both to the best of your ability. It is hard enough managing your career as a female in an industry dominated by men and be prolific at it,  successful at it. Also to be a mother like I am trying to be. I am trying to be a mother like I had, a hands-on mum who is a part of everything that is going on at school, activities, basic everyday training. Kids nowadays lack basic direction, you have to be in their lives to teach them everything...it is a full-time job. It really is a juggle cause when I am being a mum, I am being a mum when I am an artiste I am an artiste. The only difference is you never stop being a mum...I am constantly having my hands in everything that is going on.

Do you involve your daughter in your career?

I try to involve her within reason. My career is an adult one, the content, the wining, the gyrating, the topics, not all of it is age appropriate. I really do want to try to keep her as innocent as long as I possibly can. I keep things age-appropriate so you won't find her watching mummy YouTube videos. She is involved in terms of studio, she knows what the studio is, what producers do, how the band functions. She plays the piano, so she has a thing for music and chords and keys so she kinda connects with it on some level but I keep her involved in her own life.

Have you had to adjust your schedule to accommodate your daughter?

I am no longer able to go to an event and fly out for a show and stay an extra day. I don't have 'me' time and party time and those enjoyable moments. I try my best to share my time so the time I don't have working I dedicate to her, finding out what she needs and putting things in place. I am one of those mums that always likes order so bags are always packed and make sure clothes and uniforms are clean and packed away.

Was there ever a time you felt you should give up your career to take care of your daughter?

The thought crossed my mind especially since my mum did that for us. My mum had great opportunities and when she got pregnant with me she was one of those mums who didn't trust anyone. So she stopped pursuing her own career in nursing and at the time she got a scholarship to go to London and when I came she gave that up to stay with me. I was always safe and always knew mummy was there, so I never had an issue growing up and I always wanted to be that kind of mother. The thought did cross my mind but I like a challenge so when the challenge came up of being both, juggling my career, being good at both, being able to excel at being a great mother and still being a great artist. I still have challenges every day, I don't sleep and that has been my sacrifice.

Do you ever feel guilty about your career?

I never feel guilty about my career cause it is a part of who I am. I would be a fish out of water if I gave it up. As long as you have a decent balance and as long as no one feels neglected. I have a good support system.

How do you spend quality time with your daughter?

Xai and I like to watch movies. I try to be into what she is into, like music. I am not the type who likes to read books but Xaiya is so she reads and tells me about it. Whenever she does not have school I take her on tour so she has a greater understanding of what I do. She likes baking, I don't but I assist her. 

What is the one thing you want your daughter to learn from you?

I want her to learn life is not fair so no matter what do the best you could do and no one could deny you, you will always be great. As long as you could dream it you could be it. Being a women does not make you weaker. I want her to learn to be strong, push past boundaries and do things people think you can't do. I want her to be strong, confident and to be a leader.

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