By Sally Perkins
When the twins came along, in a flurry of nappies, no sleep, and baby-related chaos, I put my career to one side for a little while. Having babies is a full-time job and all-consuming, but as any parent will tell you — it is so worth it. The boys became the center of our universe and for a long while all dreams were put on hold, until I bought my guitar.
Signing up for kids clubs
Through the toddler years I took the boys to everything from baby disco classes to yoga for young ones. All parents want to feed their children’s enthusiasm and knowledge because they learn so fast and grow so quick. When the boys started elementary school, though, they came home with forms in their bags to start guitar lessons. I signed them up, but then had a strange pang of jealousy. I had wanted to play the guitar when I was a child, but never got the chance. This made me think — it can be really easy for a parent to continuously fuel their children’s learning, but forget their own. I’m only 35. Okay, so it might be a little late to be dreaming of rock stardom and a life on the road with Guns N’ Roses, but there’s no reason why I can’t learn a few chords right?
Starting out in music
The next day I bought a simple acoustic guitar and started learning how to play the guitar in weekly lessons. It felt almost foreign to do something for myself for a change —it may sound silly but I almost felt guilty. That soon changed when I started learning a few chords. It was nice to sit down in the evening and concentrate on something new. It was only a week or so when my husband said, “Playing the guitar is good for you. You just seem calm and relaxed.” He was right, it was good to do something just for me.
String those chords together
It’s been a few months now and the guitar has become an extra friend in my home. At the end of a long day, or when the twins have been a bit of a challenge, it is nice to sit down and play a little music. I’m not playing Mozart by any stretch. But once I’d worked out the chords of D, C, and G I could play “Bad Moon Rising.” It became my own personal anthem. I’d sing it round the house whilst cooking the boy’s dinner. Music is good for the soul. Then came the triumph, I learned the chords of A and E minor. This opened up my musical world and now my favorite thing in the evening is to sit down and play “Baby Can I Hold You?” by Tracy Chapman. It brings peace to me and gives me a little re-set time.
My guitar has opened my eyes a little after spending so long focused on my children. It’s okay to learn something new and do something for yourself. In fact, it’s more than okay, it’s a necessity, and a little inspiration (and a few chords) goes a long way.
Sally Perkins is a professional freelance writer with many years of experience across many different areas. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, Sally enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family and travelling as much as possible.