Being a touring rock musician and raising kids seem like two impossible competing tasks. However, it can be done: the key is to put family first. Pat Benatar is a great role model of this. Find out more lessons learned by leading women raising children in What I Told My Daughter: Lessons From Leaders on Raising the Next Generation of Empowered Women.
From Pat Benatar, Singer-songwriter:
Plenty of nights on the road I would be breast-feeding right up until a few minutes before I had to hit the stage. You learned to be fast on your feet as a performer, so when showtime came, I tucked my boob back in and went onstage to be sexy. My record company at the time was relentless about pressuring us to tour more, and they warned me I’d better be skinny again when I emerged after having Haley. It was exhausting.
The only person I knew who could relate to my experience back then was Chrissie Hynde, the leader of The Pretenders, who had her second baby about four months before I had Haley in 1985. We ran into each other at an awards show and I asked her how she was doing. She said, “I’m not,” and I knew exactly what she meant.
Thankfully, by the time I had Hana in 1994, the world had changed a lot for women in my profession. Spyder [husband Neil Giraldo] and I happily kept doing our own thing with the family. When it was time to hit the road, the girls would make themselves at home on the tour bus, decorating their bunks on the bus with posters and stickers. To them, it was like going to summer camp. For the longest time, they thought everybody’s mom was a singer and that all kids spent their summers touring the country. They got to see so much, and learn so much, on our journeys. The only time our girls were left with nannies was when we were onstage—otherwise we were full-time Mom and Dad.