1) The Ladies Singing Their Song – Baby the Musical
“Strangers acting like they’ve always known me
They poke me, they stroke me, they treat me like they own me.”
This song is all about how when you’re pregnant, you suddenly become public property and complete strangers seem to think it’s totally acceptable to touch your bump and tell you horror stories about their own birthing experiences. I performed this in a concert when almost seven months’ pregnant. Funnily enough though I had to actively encourage my acting friends to poke and prod me as part of the performance – I guess that’s a good sign that they respected my personal space!
2) Stop, Time – Big the Musical
“Nobody warns you of this parents’ paradox
You want your kid to change and grow
But when he does another child you’ve just begun to know leaves forever.”
Another number I’ve performed in a concert. Beautifully poignant reflection on the bittersweet-ness of being a parent, describing those wonderful moments when your child is a baby, then a toddler but tinged with sadness that those moments are so fleeting and just as you get used to one stage of your child’s life, it is gone and replaced with another one. I suspect we all wish we could slow time down sometimes and just freeze the moment. I found this song particularly moving when I was pregnant with Jessica, frightened that her time in the womb might be all the time I would have with her and desperately wishing I could slow everything down and keep her inside me, feeling those beautiful little kicks for as long as possible.
3) When The Children Are Asleep – Carousel
“But once they close their eyes and we are left alone and free from all their fuss
Then in a manner of speaking, we can be really us.”
Michael and I have performed this twice in concerts in the last few years – once just before we were married and then again when I was pregnant with Sophie. It’s a lovely number, if a little rose-tinted but I think it is a good reminder to enjoy moments as a couple when you get those moments alone and remember what it was that made you fall in love with each other. Because as lovely as it is to be “mummy” and “daddy”, it is also nice to just focus on being husband and wife.
4) I’d Give My Life For You – Miss Saigon
“You who I cradled in my arms
You asking as little as you can
Little snip of a little man
I know I’d give my life for you.”
I think most of us as parents feel like we would die for our children. When you see your child desperately ill in an intensive care unit, you do feel that you would do anything to see them recover and get well. To be able to watch my two little girls playing together today is a huge blessing and I am so thankful for all the medical staff that helped Jessica get through her surgeries and be here today.
5) For Good – Wicked
“Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better?
But because I knew you, I have been changed for good.”
Whilst this song is about two friends reflecting on how they have changed as people as a result of knowing each other, I feel it is also appropriate for illustrating how I have changed as a person since becoming a mummy. I have changed hugely as a person since the day I found out I was pregnant. Finding out about Jessica’s heart condition, meeting Jessica for the first time on the day she was born and Sophie’s arrival into the world have been big steps on this journey of change. My children have changed me significantly and I do believe that it is a change for the better on the whole. I am a stronger person, more empathetic and I have discovered a much greater capacity for love than I ever thought possible.