The music industry is a demanding field, no matter which area of it you are employed in. There are thousands of people who are striving to carve out a place in the industry, which makes jobs that pay a reasonable wage highly competitive. Oftentimes, this means putting your personal life on the back burner and focusing on work for quite a while.
If your music career has long been the focal point of your life, it can be hard to imagine giving it up for anything. But there comes a time for many when personal life starts to take more of a front seat. The week-to-week changes your body goes through during pregnancy can seem like insurmountable challenges in the face of constant pressure from your career. Unfortunately, due to industry demands, this can mean choosing between a family life and a musical career.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to have both. But there are plenty of things large companies and other influencers within the industry can do to help employees do so. Supporting employees begins with assistance during pregnancy and continues through child care and early child development.
Women, Pregnancy, and the Music Industry
Practically any woman in the music industry will tell you it is a tough and often unfair place to work. Overall, women make up a minority of the industry, comprising only about 32% of all career paths, including artists, producers, distributors, and so on. This can make it especially challenging to maintain a work-life balance when it comes to adding another family member.
There are many stresses that go along with working in an industry that isn’t exactly friendly to working mothers. The industry can make improvements in this regard by supporting new mothers. Giving them the time they need to take off work to attend appointments and parenting classes is an excellent start. This can help mothers to have a healthier pregnancy. Employers that are empathetic toward new parents can make a huge difference in shaping policy throughout the industry.
Workplaces that are not understanding can greatly contribute to the stress placed on expecting mothers who may already struggle with financial stress. Workplaces must be understanding of the time they need for their new baby. Employers may consider looking into other financial resources for pregnant women. Again, the music industry could improve by providing stable support and discussing pregnancy planning with employees early on.
Child Care Opportunities
Once the new bundle of joy arrives, work life doesn’t just go back to how it was before. If anything, it becomes even more challenging. New parents must now figure out how to cover child care expenses, account for time off needed when children are sick or have wellness appointments, and find ways to start saving money for major future expenses.
There are some rather significant problems within the realm of child care today. Many of those working in child care or early childhood education barely make enough to make ends meet. In order to cover expenses, they often raise prices to parents. As a result, today’s child care costs can be higher than mortgage payments and may lead new parents to wonder if continuing to work is actually worth it when one parent staying home may actually save money.
Once again, employers within the music industry can do a lot to retain good employees that are new parents by stepping up in the child care realm. One option is investing in an employer-sponsored child care center. These centers will make industry employees feel less stressed about child care, which can mean greater productivity and creativity while at work.
Children in Music
Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of the musical industry becoming a better supporter of new parents is the impact a musical life can have on children. From the beginning of life, music can play a key role in creativity and brain development. Some people even begin listening to certain genres of music in order to improve intelligence of the child while still in the womb. There are no scientific tests proving that music this early makes a difference, but it never hurts to try!
The benefits of a musical childhood become more pronounced as a new baby grows into a toddler. Music can help young children make more creative connections, develop better social skills, and gain confidence in themselves. Being surrounded by music could have significant lasting benefits to both children and their parents.
Science has also indicated that listening to music and learning to play an instrument from a young age can increase the brain’s ability to process and understand complex concepts. Furthermore, exposure to music from a young age can help the brain combat mental issues such as anxiety and depression. Parents that are able to stay in a musical career may be able to more easily expose their children to the musical industry and create a new generation of lifelong music fanatics.
As it stands, the music industry is a difficult place to work for someone who wants to start a family. There are a number of steps the industry can take to retain employees and make having a family more accessible. This includes supporting employee pregnancies and supporting children through a child care program at work.