TMOM: Does running Mamapalooza require much travel?
JOY ROSE: Between that and the band, I do a fair amount of traveling, yes.
TMOM: How do you balance the traveling with your role as a mom?
JOY ROSE: It’s gotten easier over the years. I’ll never forget my first trip, though – I had eight women from all over the country ready to perform, and just as I’m getting in the car to head to Manhattan, I get a message that my youngest son is in the ER with a bad injury to his finger.
TMOM: What did you do?
JOY ROSE: I asked his father to go to the hospital and I headed into the city. All during the performance, I was getting updates on him via cell phone. I even announced the situation to the audience.
TMOM: You told the audience your son was in the ER?
JOY ROSE: That’s the great thing about being a mom rocker. The audience was full of fellow moms who totally understood my dilemma.
TMOM: So you don’t try to separate your role as artist from your role as mom?
JOY ROSE: Not at all! That’s the whole problem – women trying to do that. Just as having kids shouldn’t erase everything a woman was before – artist, career woman, etc. – being a performer doesn’t negate our role as mothers. I work to embrace both roles at all times, which is why I call myself a “feminist mom.” And these kinds of issues – this is what I sing about.
TMOM: Was there a part of you that felt guilty for not being there when your son was in the hospital?
JOY ROSE: Of course. I remember standing there with my hand on the car door thinking, “You’re a bad mom. You should cancel the show and get there.” But I had to let that go. Remind myself that he was in good hands and go do what I was called to do. Because as much as I love my kids, and as much as their happiness is my greatest goal, I believe there has to remain a balance.
TMOM: Has it gotten easier to leave the kids?
JOY ROSE: Yes and no. They’re older now, so obviously they’re less dependent on me. And we can talk things out when they come up. Like my daughter – she always used to get sick right before I’d go on a tour. Now she sort of realizes that it’s the anxiety of me leaving that is making her sick, so we can talk about that ahead of time.
TMOM: Is it hard to leave her knowing that she’s anxious about your going?
JOY ROSE: It is, but I try to focus on the bigger picture. I want her to observe my actions. To see that yes, I’m her mom and she can count on me for anything at any time, but I’m also a woman out there doing what she loves to do. Because that’s the kind of woman I want her to grow up to be.