Helen Britton - Six Shooter Records
Where were you at in your music career when you had your first child? Was there much discussion about how that life choice would affect your career within the music/entertainment industry?
I was deep into my career when I had my son (at 40 years old). I had the best example of how to make it work from my partnership with Shauna, so I knew how I could make it work while knowing there are no easy choices. For various reasons including personal choice, I did not take any mat leave. I was working the day after I got home from the hospital and patched it together between my husband's schedule, nap times etc. My husband and son traveled with me for work for the first year. My artists and staff were very generous, understanding and patient with the enormity of working with a newborn. I hired a caregiver part time when my son was four months old, full time daycare at fourteen months.
As a working parent in the music industry, what are some of the biggest challenges you are facing?
Balancing child sick days with work, participating in evening events when needing to be present and awake early the next day, balancing work trips with family needs.
What is one small change within the industry that could make a positive impact for working parents?
Scheduling meetings that work with school drop off and end of the day parenting as standard. I can’t get to an in-person 9am meeting or 5pm.
How do you find support and community with other working parents in or out of the music industry?
By offering support other parents and opening the conversation it becomes reciprocated. Welcoming parents bringing their child to a meeting, being understanding about Zoom meeting interruptions, working meetings around school concerts/childcare arrangements etc.
What’s one specific example of an organization/venue/company doing something great to help support working parents?
What could a music event (festival, conference, etc.), do or provide to make it easier for you to participate?
Offer babysitting on site or have a list of qualified people I can call and book childcare for myself or artists.
Can you shout out another music mama doing great things?
Shout out to all touring mothers bringing their babies on the road or scheduling childcare coverage at home, there are no easy choices and no one is publicly recognizing how hard it is and the barriers both personal and financial.