…The Nashville Mom (part IV):  Advice for SAHMs in a New City

Photo Credit: Tony Mellinger

Welcome back! To those who haven’t been following this series…

I am writing about what it’s like in the world of The Nashville Wife (myself) and what it was like coming here without my own purpose. Along with that came The Nashville Mom. I had to find myself within both titles and I wanted to share my experience. I spoke to many other lovely ladies who have been through the basics of my story but in their own versions.

That is what this series has been about.

Their voices. Our voices. A community of people who share a common thread within our life story, willing to branch out and reach for the lonely or the broken.

These women are wonderful people who have volunteered their time to answer these questions and discuss their life with me. I am so grateful for their willingness to share and I hope this meets someone where they’re at in their story.


Quick Recap

Part III ended with some of the best advice I have ever heard…

STHE NASHVILLE WIFE Support. Embrace. Dream. GRateful. Prepare.upport. Embrace. Dream. Grateful. Prepare

I think I may even print out my own blog graphic, frame it, and remind myself of this every single day. If you’re in a new city for any other reason than for your own purpose, find yourself some support. Embrace your new life. Dream bigger things. Be Grateful for what you have and oh my goodness PREPARE! For what’s ahead, for what’s to come… mentally, physically, financially, you name it. Job well done, ladies.

Beautiful words spoken by beautiful women. It’s time to hear their voices once again.

Question #4

 “If you had one piece of advice to give a new SAHM in a new city, what would it be?”

Here’s what they had to say:

“Find your moms.  Join a moms bible study, book club, mops program, whatever.  Get you some girlfriends STAT.”
– Martyne Palmer

“I’m that mom so I guess what I would say to myself is reach out. Find your community whether that be at a church, a gym etc but you have to put forth an effort. 
– Heather Abbott Burback


“Join Facebook groups, find a school you like, find a good MDO program to give yourself a break at least once a week! ”
– Allison Klein

“Jump all in to your community. Find a moms group and a church. Make all the friends you can, find your tribe, and love them well. 
– Vicki Mason Brown

Jamie Angsten basically combined this question along with the next (and the last) 2 questions of this series. It’s a GREAT summary of advice so I have decided to wait and post it at the end. I will give you a great snippet, though!

Untitled Design 4


I feel like the overall arching theme here is MAKE IT HAPPEN! We have the choice to be miserable or to be happy. This is OUR life and we live it so vastly different than everyone else around us. It can take a long time to find your happiness or for some, it can be a quick turn around. Try not to place big expectations on yourself in that area.

Do your best

My counselor – yes, I am in counseling. The best decision I ever made – said one time before, “You don’t seem to give yourself much grace. I wonder what it would be like if you gave yourself as much grace as you give to others?”

I do wonder. So let’s keep that in mind.

Give grace to others and be gracious to ourselves.

Photo Credit: Tony Mellinger

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Forevermore.

You needed me,
This darkest hour.
You loved me.
You came for rest.

You watched me slip.
Your internal screams.
You didn’t shield me.
I couldn’t breathe.

Arrogance and preservation;
The sin that seals my fate.
And in the face of recognition,
Your forgiveness, what bitter taste.

For well into eternity,
Grateful, I will always be.

– The Nashville Wife

The Nashville Wife (or Husband)

FIVE Things I would tell myself to the pre-Nashville “Me”

1 -Get yourself connected immediately; Job, church, classes, book club, sports, etc. But try to pick one or two and get heavily involved

You will thank me! When you connect yourself to something, you feel a purpose. You also meet new people and start to make friends. You start to feel like you belong here. You breathe the air they breathe now. Get to know it. Get to know them. It can be unbelievably isolating otherwise!

2 – DATE NIGHTS (even if you’re not seeing someone. even if you’re unmarried. even if you can’t find a babysitter)

Try and go on a date night once a week if you can manage or afford it. If you can go at least two times a month, that will be so helpful. If you’re not married, take yourself out! Take a friend out! If you’re a single mom, this is hard, but try? to take your kiddo out. Either way, this ties into #3…

3 – Explore the city on a weekly basis

I cannot stress this enough. GET. TO. KNOW. YOUR. NEW. HOME. Use this as a date night adventure each week. Do it alone if your mate cannot join you. Take your kiddo(s), both human and furry alike. I will touch on this more in an upcoming blog about being a Nashville Mom but regardless if you have kids or not, this is crucial to feeling connected here.

That is what Nashville is all about – being connected. Both professionally and personally.

4 – Become involved in each others’ lives

This one seems like a no-brainer, right? Well it’s more complicated than you think. When they talk about gear, LISTENWhen they want to go to a show, even if it’s in a grungy place, if it’s important to them and you can do it (i.e you’re feeling well either mentally or physically or both), then please do yourselves a favor and go! Same goes for them. They need to go to that charity event. They need to go to your book signing. Whatever you invite them to, they need to try and go as well. This will greatly increase how connected you both feel!

5 – Don’t let them hit the ground running when you move. Well…not exactly

To me, this one is one of the most important ones of all. When you move here, you’re coming with a purpose. As a musician, you have to get connected.

  • You have to pick up any and every gig you can.
  • You have to attend any and every show, writers round, dinner invite, etc that you can attend.

→ It’s so very easy to move here, as a wife / husband / significant other of a musician, and say GO GET ‘EM! But you HAVE to set boundaries for yourselves! You have to create a plan of how much time will be spent doing that and also managing the other four above.

→ There’s nothing wrong with incorporating all of the above! If he (or she) is eager to just go go go when you move here (which they will be) then decide together to go to that show and make it a date night which needs to include something NOT career related.

→ Whether you’re married or not, when you move to Nashville with a musician, you become a Nashville Wife or Husband. You are married to the city if your partner is serious about a career here. And that needs to become a good thing! It took me a long time to understand it here, but I get it. And I love it.

If you ever need help with this, please comment below, share my blog, or write me a message. I’ll be glad to talk to anyone who is struggling or just needs to vent.

Love to you all!

We only get one shadow.

When my husband, Eric, and I moved to Nashville, it was clear why I was here:

→ To support the rising Nashville musician I knew he was going to become.
→ To finish school & get a job (as a stenographer, aka court reporter).
→ Take care of our two huskies
→ Make our house into a home
→ And to someday have a baby or two.

Then everything changed.

I was miserable.

Working towards a degree I truly hated. Lonely as I had no friends, no family, and my husband was working his tail off; out of town two days a week and in Nashville all the rest, making waves and changing tides.

Not to mention I was in a new land, unfamiliar with it’s heartbeat.

I was tired of being miserable. So I did it – I quit school. I started working at an animal shelter which quickly led me to become the Assistant Director, overseeing the animals being adopted.

I was ecstatic!

This was my dream job. Heck, some nights Eric had to call me and ask if I was ever coming home! I sure was walking on my own shadow.

Then in October of 2015, we made the decision to try for our current little boy and within a few weeks, we found out we were pregnant.

   (well that escalated quickly)

My new little man was born in June of 2016. I had every intention of going back to work but one day, I off-handedly said something to Eric about staying at home and he surprised the daylights out of me!

“If you think we can afford it, I think you should do it.”

I. was. SHOCKED.

I thought it wasn’t possible…
I thought it would stress him out too much…
I thought there was no way my dream of not having to work could ever come true…

And it just did!

I was such a happy momma. I still am.

But there came a point (and I couldn’t exactly tell you when) but I felt like I was wasting my time.

Can you imagine how that must feel?
Can you imagine what it was like to admit it?

…that having a baby and feeling like staying at home, taking care of this sweet child and taking care of the house was a waste of time? Was a waste of existence?

That I was taking up space in this world of movers and shakers?

Looking at it from an outsider’s point of view, that has to be the saddest thing I’ve heard. Someone responsible for raising an innocent, someone responsible for making sure this child becomes someone respectful, kind, loving, and a warrior in a land of chaos, that someone should never feel like they are wasting their time. They shouldn’t feel like they have no purpose.

So why did I?

I was no longer walking on my own shadow. Actually, I don’t think I was even standing on it. My husband was amplifying his and at some point, I snuck behind him, lined myself up and matched my shadow to his. (All without ever having realized it happened.)

Well, he is bigger than me (lol), his life is broader than mine, so my shadow disappeared in his. I disappeared.

The reality? You only get one shadow.

→ But what is the point of that?
→ What does that mean?
→ And what is a shadow?

Well, It’s not just a dark area or shape produced by someone or something, standing in front of light. It’s also an action; to follow or observe closely or sometimes in secret. We say people live in other people’s shadow. Usually referring to the fact someone isn’t as great or powerful or worthy as someone else and so anything you do is just blocked out by the “greater person’s” shadow, the mark they “leave behind”.

People want to be seen, to not be hidden inside of someone else’s work. They want to be seen and to cast their own shadow.

Your shadow tells the world who you are and where you’ve been. So what was clear was that I would get nowhere living and hiding inside a shadow that was not my own.

Like Angela Cartwright said, “My shadow in my art is one way I trace who I was and where I have been. My shadow and I have been on a journey for quite a while now!

So while you can stand IN someone’s shadow, you cannot stand ON their shadow. Nor would you want to. We need to find ourselves. We need to BE ourselves.

To start finding myself, my purpose and what life I’m supposed to be living, I need to remember to stand and walk on my own shadow and no one else’s. It’s a reminder of who I was and where I have been. It moves and grows and changes with me. So while I may be lost, my shadow is lost with me. And together, as many times before, we will find where we are next to travel.


Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow – Aesop

Photo Cred: xperimentiv.wordpress.com

…and so She began

“Happiness is an inside job.” – unknown

For the past few days, I’ve been wandering; walking into familiar rooms and not understanding where I was. I was lost. I mean, sure, I know who I am…

 – mother –

 – musician’s wife –

 – daughter –

 – sister –

– friend –

But knowing that isn’t enough for me. I want to be a mother and do more. I want to be my husband’s wife and do more. (etc.)

I. WANT. TO. BE. MORE.

As I walked into my son’s room, picked him up out of his crib, I sighed the most peaceful sigh. It was a breath of freedom. I should have done this months ago. Is it perfect? (lol)… NO. Will it be the answer I’m seeking? I sure wish. But again, NO.

and so today? I began my journey. We began our journey.


 I hope you sigh peacefully tonight.