Joy Rose’s pink hair, nose ring, bright green shoes and glittery attire causes quite a stir in the upscale suburb of Westchester, N.Y., which is just the way she likes it.  She has made it her mission to redefine what it means to be a modern mom.

Rose spent her post-college years in New York City working as a singer and dancer.  When marriage and children took her to the suburbs, she began to lose her identity. 

“I became a 1950’s housewife,” Rose says.  “I allowed myself to be absorbed by a culture which could have crushed my creativity.”

But then was diagnosed with Lupus, an immune deficiency disease that left her bedridden for nearly three years.  Her “healing journey” inspired her to replace the 50s housewife with the Rockin’ Mom she is today.

“Music is my passion, and I was committed to finding my way back to it as a mom,” said Rose.  “So I started a band.  I wrote a rock musical.  I founded Mamapalooza .”

Mamapalooza Inc. teaches women how to support and empower themselves by amplifying their creative voices.  The organization provides opportunities for mom artists, female educators, and businesswomen.  Through its creation, Rose has pioneered a new culture of mom-inspired art and performance. 

Rose’s music can be heard on radio stations around the country.  She has been profiled by CNN, NPR, and Good Morning America, and her writing has appeared in such publications as Women’s Media Center, The Mom Egg, and The Hot Mom’s Handbook. 

TMOM: What was your life like before having kids?

JOY ROSE: I was a mad artist.  I headed straight from college to New York City so that I could do an internship in custom design at the Julliard School.  I sang in a post punk rock band – even had a couple songs on the billboard dance charts – and lived in an artist’s loft in the heart of Soho. 

TMOM: And then?

JOY ROSE: Then I had kids!  I didn’t abandon my artist’s life immediately, but every kid took me further and further away from that lifestyle until eventually, I crash landed in the suburbs.

Read more about Joy’s crash landing in the burbs (Part 2)