Well, today I write my most exciting blog ever; Mark and I are delighted to announce that we are expecting a little bundle of Baldwin joy on 5th June 2015!
The decision around when to become a Mother when training to be a classical singer is not an easy one and comes down to one little question…
Do you want to be a Mum?
If the answer is yes, then you will realise that there’s never a good time to become a Mum because being pregnant will severely affect your ability to remain vertical for a day in that first trimester, let alone engaging all your stomach muscles and physical energy to pull off performances. It will affect my body and singing ability long after the baby is born, my core will be shot to pieces and my breathing will be impaired, sometimes vocal chords can even change and a whole new sound will be achieved. However, like anything worth having, hard work will restore the apparatus and I can dust myself off and go again. There is also the question of the little baby itself, I could have waited until after I’ve graduated, when I have my degree under my belt and am about to embark on a course at another conservatoire or work professionally and decided that it would be easier to find childcare for a one year old than it would to be pregnant or have a newborn at that stage in my life. Of course I could wait a little later, graduate at 29, complete a course and get myself onto a performance platform over around 5-6 years and start trying for a baby in my mid thirties but your chances of becoming pregnant at an older age and other complications multiply as you get older. Also, being from a family of young mums (my mum was 17 when she had me, so I’m basically ancient compared) means that I like the idea of being a relatively young mum. Again, it comes down to personal choice.
So the next question I’ve been asked a lot: “will you take a year out?”
No, I don’t want to take a year out, I am so excited to become a Mum to this little one growing inside me and not being due back at college until late September means I’ll have four months to bond and become best mates! After that, I plan to do what many Mothers who have no choice do; go back to work. I would love to stay at home for a year with Baby Baldwin and am already jealous of Mums who can, but I think as our course requires my attendance for 12 official hours, that’s right – read your January timetable BMus 3ers, I might be able to tear myself away for that amount of time. I do 90% of my practise at home and my lovely friend Erika, a singer with a baby, very cleverly put ear defenders on her little one while she practised. Yes, there may be opportunities I’ll have to forego at the beginning but that’s a sacrifice I’ve signed up for, but I strongly believe it’s so I can free myself up later in life when it all truly matters! It might be that the responsibilities as a mother are overwhelming come June and it isn’t feasible for me to complete my final year in 2015/16, but a woman is entitled to her ideals and you can bet a dirty nappy I’ll be back the following September to knock my degree out of the park.
Either way, I will have achieved my two life goals; to be a Mum and to graduate from Trinity Laban with a degree in music performance…