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. 

Also read Joy Rose, Traveling Rock Mom Part One, Part Two, and Part Three.