Music Mamas Reflect on Motherhood for Spare the Rock plus GIVEAWAY

KUTX logo work

What better way to celebrate this Mother’s Day in Austin than with some music? At least, that’s what Bill Childs has in mind as he plans for his first Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child show, which will air at 6pm on 98.9 KUTX on Sunday, May 10th and on subsequent Sundays in the same timeslot. Billed as “indie music for indie kids”, Spare the Rock features not only bands geared toward kids, such as Dan Zanes, Caspar Babypants and Lunch Money, but also kid-friendly tunes from other artists, including The Ramones, Brian Eno and Andrew Bird.

Although Spare the Rock is new to the KUTX lineup, Bill has produced over 500 shows which have played on radio stations from Alaska to Virginia which you can stream from the Spare the Rock site. He’s been involved in putting on countless kid-friendly live music events, including some epic shows during South by Southwest and the Austin City Limits Music Festival (disclosure: Bill has produced several concerts with LiveMom). Bill has even helped raise over $100,000 for Haiti relief, girls’ science education, and the Woody Guthrie Foundation through the sales of three benefit albums through his record label. Yet another bonus has been watching the kindie community grow and flourish. “I’ve made friendships that will be lifelong, with artists and others in this little kindie neighborhood,” Bill reflected. “I’ve gotten to meet some of the musicians I most admire in the world.”

Bill Childs with Liam and Ella
Bill Childs with Liam and Ella

From the start, the show was a family affair, with guest appearances from his then 3 and 6-year olds, Liam and Ella. “The most amazing thing to me is that I have a hard drive with 500+ radio shows with my kids growing up on the air,” Bill shared. “From a purely selfish standpoint, it’s an amazing scrapbook of memories I wasn’t really intentional about creating.” Ten years later, his 13 and 16-year-olds still appear on the show, sometimes joined by his nieces and two nephews, who recently moved to Austin. Bill estimates that a quarter of the music on Spare the Rock isn’t officially for kids. “We still use that in part as a way to (quietly) show some connections between music for kids and music for everyone.”

When Bill heard that KUTX was going on the air, he jumped at the chance to partner. “I knew that was where I wanted the show to be,” he recalled. “It’s a perfect fit, with our audiences overlapping and with us sharing a commitment to eclectic and diverse music representing Austin and beyond. It took a while for a time slot to open up that made sense, but once the idea came together, everyone was really excited.”

We asked if he could give us any teasers about the first few shows, and he revealed that Spare the Rock will air two songs that Mates of State recorded for us. He also gave us a heads up about four mama musicians he plans to feature on the Spare the Rock playlist during the first shows. To celebrate the music these mamas are making, we thought we’d share with you a few answers to questions we posed on motherhood. Thank you to Sara Hickman, the 2010-2011 “Official State Musician of Texas”;  Christina Marrs, co-founder of the former Asylum Street Spankers; Elizabeth McQueen, a master of many musical genres and Carrie Rodriguez, soon-to-be-mama and the lady behind the Sacred Heart Project. We thank them so much for their thoughtful responses and wish them a very happy Mother’s Day. Make sure to enter our giveaway at the bottom of this post so you can enjoy a post-Mother’s Day musical night out with a guest to see They Might Be Giants at Stubb’s, courtesy of KUTX!

Sara Hickman and her family
Sara Hickman and her family

LiveMom: What do you like most about raising kids in Austin?

Sara: I have to say “What do I LOVE most about raising kids in Austin?” because we live in a vital, ever changing, curious, open-minded, artistic wilderness where I can share so much of LIFE with my daughters—and it has been a blessing! Austin is a community of parents who thrive on learning ALONGSIDE their children, and I am grateful for all the moms I’ve befriended while our kids grew up hanging out together. I love that my children can be helping the homeless, they can be performing on stage (individually, together, as family, in a choir); they’ve attended great public schools, art exhibits, concerts, charitable events, adventures on the Greenbelt. We are friends with people of different ethnicities, faiths, ages and sexual orientation. Austin is the library and we are the readers who get to discuss and benefits of her depth, history and whimsy.

LiveMom: What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a new mother?

Sara: Engage in conversation with your child while they are still inside you (yes, talk out loud, sing out loud to your baby). Breast feed as long as you can. Read to them at bedtime every night while they are children. Get down on the ground and see things from their eyes, look at that doodlebug or draw with chalk together. Stomp in those puddles! Ask the questions you want to ask, but always be open to listen to their response and absorb what you are hearing before you respond. Set boundaries, but adapt as needed. See your children as someone different from yourself. Be available. Know when to leave them alone. Make your home the one all the kids want to come hang out at so that you can get to know your child(ren’s) friends. Hang up the phone and drive—and I use that as an analogy, as well: If you are with your kids, be present. They WANT to engage with you. Ask for help from your partner, family, friends. You need to rejuvenate! And it’s true—time goes faster and faster so if you are present in every minute, every day will end in satisfaction and you will be left with wonderful memories. Most of all: you are not perfect and you are going to mess up sometimes. THAT IS NORMAL AND OK! Forgive yourself. You’re doing the best you can. I love you. So does your kid :)

LiveMom: What would be your idea of a perfect Mother’s Day?

Sara: I’ve, already, had it! I gave birth to Lili and Iolana. Those were the best Mother’s Days for me! (So, I guess having another baby? Ha ha ha. No can do, but don’t think I haven’t wanted to!)

LiveMom: What do you really want for Mother’s Day?

Sara: My dream is to get a love letter from all three members of my family. I don’t want a card. I don’t want a “thing”. I want a full, two page, hand written letter telling me why I matter to them, about happy memories they have of times we spent together. That would be the ultimate Mother’s Day gift for me! I know I would sob with happiness, so they might want to laminate the letters before they give them to me :)

If they can’t give me that, I better get a pony.

Christina Marrs
Christina Marrs

LiveMom: What do you like most about raising kids in Austin?

Christina: There’s so much to love! There are so many wonderful parks and events that are kid-friendly, and fun can always be had on the cheap. I also adore our school district (Eanes)! In spite of all of its growth, Austin is still one of the friendliest cities around. When I tell people I’m from Austin, it’s only a half-truth, but my kids have full bragging rights.

LiveMom: What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a new mother?

Christina: If you’re a newcomer in the “mommy blogosphere”, don’t bring up breastfeeding, vaccination or co-sleeping. No, seriously… just don’t sweat the small stuff; those first years are stressful enough as it is. Every bit of advice for new moms sounds so cliche, like “enjoy this time because it goes by so fast”. But it’s true. The years fly by but the days are endless.

LiveMom: What would be your idea of a perfect Mother’s Day?

Christina: Haha. I asked my husband what he thought, and he suggested him and the kids leaving and giving me the house to myself for a day. He was spot on.

LiveMom: What do you really want for Mother’s Day?
AdvertisementChristina: A housekeeper.

Elizabeth for Roggie's Website
Elizabeth McQueen

LiveMom: What do you like most about raising kids in Austin?

Elizabeth: I love that kids in Austin are surrounded by opportunities to experience cool things. This town is full of people making music and art and theater and comedy, and so much of it is available for kids to experience. Austin kids are really, really lucky in that regard.

LiveMom: What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a new mother?

Elizabeth: Be kind to yourself. We all have really high expectations for the kind of parents we want to be, and inevitably we have to come to grips with the fact that we aren’t perfect. You’ve never done this before, so you’ll have to learn a lot, and you will make mistakes. I’ve tried to change my perspective about so called “parenting fails” (A term I really actually dislike). My job is to teach my kids how to live in a world where failure is not to be avoided, but learned from. So making mistakes and struggling is a good thing, because my kids get to see me try, not get it right, learn and eventually move forward. And then maybe, hopefully, they’ll take that with them into adulthood, and be kind to themselves as well.

LiveMom: What would be your idea of a perfect Mother’s Day?

Elizabeth: Going to the park on a beautiful Austin spring day with my kids and my husband and some other mom friends and their families. We could take a lunch and hang out and play and chat and bask in how lucky we all are to have each other.

LiveMom: What do you really want for Mother’s Day?

Elizabeth: Just some space to be with my family and friends without any worries or interruptions. And some kind of chocolate. Definitely chocolate.

Carrie RodriguezPhoto credit: Luke Jacobs
Carrie Rodriguez
Photo credit: Luke Jacobs

LiveMom: What changes have you made in your performing and recording schedule to anticipate the arrival of your baby?

Carrie: Well, finding out I was pregnant DID give me a great deadline to get a new record finished by!! :) I will be recording an album with my new band, The Sacred Hearts, in June when I am just starting my 6th month of pregnancy. (Just kicked off a fundraiser for it this week. Check it out here.) I can’t imagine a sweeter time to be creating soulful music in the studio! We won’t be releasing the album until early February so that I will have plenty of quiet time at home with the baby – my due date is Sept 21st. So essentially I will be home and off the road for the longest stretch that I have ever been home: from July through December! This is a drastic change from my normal touring schedule, and I’m excited to see how it feels to be in one place and have the time to work on building relationships and community here in Austin.

LiveMom: Have you gotten any advice from other mama musicians on how to balance motherhood with your career? If so, what has stuck with you?

Carrie: To be honest, I only know 2 or 3 mothers personally who are full time touring/ working musicians…I would love to meet some more..we should start a group! Those that I do know, have all told me that family help is crucial in making it work. I’m so grateful to be surrounded by loving family here in Austin, and I know that when the time comes they will be ready and able to help out in many ways! A friend of mine who is a classical violinist (Rachel Barton Pine) who tours constantly all over the world also told me that finding a great nanny who likes to travel is crucial. She started traveling with her baby at just a few months with the help of a fantastic full time nanny AND her husband. Pretty cool to be traveling the world with your family.

LiveMom: What are you most looking forward to about being a mom?

Carrie: I’m most looking forward to falling in love in a way I’ve never experienced before and learning to experience the world through a different pair of eyes. I’ve heard from so many parents that having a child widens your entire life view. I’m always amazed by the things kids will say…there is so much to learn from their unfiltered and wildly creative minds…I can’t wait to find out what mine has to teach me!!!

LiveMom: What’s your favorite song about motherhood (or…a lullaby)?

Carrie: Well…unfortunately this is a devastatingly sad one, but it’s such a beautiful song! It’s just the first one that popped into my head! “Unwed Fathers” by John Prine. It’s about a young single mother from Appalachia and her lonely story. “From a teenage an unwed mother…kept undercover, like some bad dream. While unwed fathers…they can’t be bothered…they run like water…from a mountain stream.” SO SAD! Sorry to end the interview with this…but a good song is a good song! :)

No need to worry about ending on a sad note, because the lovely folks at KUTX have thrown in some tickets to give away to help commemorate Spare the Rock joining the KUTX lineup!

Giveaway: Would you like to win two tickets to the May 14th They Might Be Giants show at Stubb’s (a $45 value)? All you have to do is leave a comment or fill out the form below by 9:00 a.m. CST on Friday, May 8, 2015 to be entered to win.

Thanks to everyone who entered. We have chosen a winner via and notified the winner via email.

For more details on the show, please click here. Please note that this show is for ages 14 and up only.

The lucky winner must respond to an email to claim this prize within 24 hours or another winner will be chosen. Official rules



About Nicole Basham 793 Articles
A native Austinite and soccer-playing mom, Nicole uses her 10-year-old son as an excuse to rediscover her hometown through his eyes. In Thoreau's words, her mission is to "suck out all the marrow of life", or in her son's words, to cultivate in him a love of "advenchers".

4 Comments on Music Mamas Reflect on Motherhood for Spare the Rock plus GIVEAWAY

  1. We have the radio on KUTX all day long. My kids will be thrilled to have a kids hour on Sundays playing “their music”. Super excited!!

  2. Since I’m in Virginia, the parent here I’m most familiar with is Sara Hickman, and, from what I know about her, it’s no surprise that she gave you a gorgeous tribute to being a mother.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.