A Working Mom Playlist

motions I feel throughout the day are usually accompanied by music, something I like to call "brain radio." This is my mental working mom playlist.

Being a working mom, heck, being a mom in general, is like riding a never-ending emotional roller-coaster. One minute you’re riding high, feeling pure joy, the next, you’re feeling down, like you might hurl. The emotions I feel throughout the day are usually accompanied by music, something I like to call “brain radio.” Below is a compilation of tracks that are regulars on my mental working mom playlist.

U2: Beautiful Day

Ahhh, a new day. Full of promise, full of opportunity. The birds are chirping, the sun moon is shining, and I’m ready to tackle the day. Let’s. Do. This.

Lenny Kravitz: Fly Away

Twenty minutes into our “beautiful day,” my preschooler doesn’t want to wear the clothes she picked out the night before. Cue tantrum. At some point in the scuffle, 1-year-old son drops a shadoobie on the carpet. Can I go to work now?

Incubus: Aqueous Transmission

Finally at work. As I sink into my plush office chair with a cup of piping hot coffee, a feeling of calm washes over me. And gratitude. For coffee I can drink without reheating 50 times.

Kanye West: Stronger

After taking a few minutes to unwind, and look through my emails, I begin to put together my to-do list. This is something I do every morning. As someone who is easily distracted, I require the structure of a to-do list to stay on-task throughout the day. In addition to keeping me on-track, crossing items off my list gives me a feeling of sweet satisfaction. Feeling a little bit like a boss.

Jay-Z: Dirt Off Your Shoulder

One of the responsibilities I have as a school psychologist is to evaluate students, and report the findings to their parents and school staff. Sometimes, the evaluation results are not well received. Parents are upset; staff is upset. Usher in Jay-Z. You can’t please them all. “You gotta get, that, dirt off your shoulder.”

Alicia Keys: Girl On Fire

And sometimes, I do make my coworkers and parents happy. After collaborating with a student’s teacher and other related service providers for several weeks, we are finally seeing a child who exhibits behavioral challenges make progress. In the words of Charlie Sheen, #winning.

Pharrell: Happy

It’s 3:15. That means it’s quittin’ time. Need I say more?

Jimmy Eat World: The Middle

Dinner prep. With a 1-year-old and a 3-year-old. Oops, dropped the fluorescent orange Kraft Mac n’ Cheese “cheese” pouch on the burner. It caught on fire. The baby is screaming, and my eldest is demanding glue so she can work on her “craps” (crafts).

UB40: Red Red Wine

Everyone is seated, with a moderately healthy meal in front of him/her (baked chicken, macaroni, and steamed green beans). I excitedly cut into my chicken; I realize I haven’t eaten a thing since breakfast. My youngest proceeds to throw his chicken on the floor; my eldest proclaims “I don’t like this meat, I want spaghetti.” Mama needs fruit. Mama need grapes. The fermented kind.

Michael Franti & Spearheard: Say Hey (I Love You)


Following the sh** show that is dinner time, my family and I transition to the living room, where we all sit on the floor, and the kids play. I watch my daughter as she hops across the floor, careful not to step in the “lava.”  My son joyfully builds a three-block tower, looking expectantly and proudly at my husband and I. My heart can barely contain the love.

George Michael: Faith


I don’t know about you guys, but sometimes, I wonder if I’m doing any of this parenting stuff right. I question everything I do, wondering if the decisions I’ve made are the right ones. But, I realize that constantly questioning myself will make me crazy. I need to have faith in the knowledge I have, and the decisions I’ve made.

That’s my playlist. What about you? What’s on your working mom playlist?

Do you have a soundtrack in your head that goes with your feelings? This is one example of a working mom's mental playlist.

5 thoughts on “A Working Mom Playlist

  1. Umeda Islamova says:

    Loved it. Definitely hits home for me. That feeling of finally I can sit in silence when I get to work. And when things go right, I can be a girl on fire for a little bit. I love listening to dubstep at work. I’ve finally created a channel I love at Pandora through millions of thumbs up and thumbs down; there are lots of great tunes there I truly enjoy. To give you a taste Aes Dana ‘Aftermath 3’ is the type of thing I like at work. At home, I like Shakira and Zumba music to get me pumped up. Bedtime, I’ve created a playlist in Spotify. It’s called ‘;)’, check it out if you can. Gets me in the mood when all I want is to hug my pillow and fall asleep in peace.

    1. Thanks for reading, Umeda! Without music, I don’t know how I’d make it through my days! Prior to your comment, I’d never heard of Dubstep. Commence Googling!

  2. Jacquelyn Baker says:

    This list is pretty good! I think I would end my list with Barenaked Ladies “Who Needs Sleep”, because well…sleep is a delusion and unfortunately a hinderance to progress for this working mama!

    1. Thanks, Jacquelyn! Love me some BNL! It was hard to keep my playlist down- there are so many good songs to choose from! Is it bad that I consider walking dead-like fatigue my baseline?

  3. christie gibson says:

    These are great. I love playlists!!

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