As the mother of a preschool girl, my life is saturated in all things Frozen. Frozen books, movies, dramatic play, and soundtrack are part of each day. The story and characters have captured my daughter’s heart and imagination, and I appreciate that. But I yearn for days when I could pop on my music without a 20 minute negotiation on why we don’t need to listen to the Frozen soundtrack exclusively.

I’m a long-time fan of the mix tape, or mix CD. For a solid period of my 20s, I devoted many a weeknight to crafting the perfect mix for my friends, boyfriends, or myself. Each mix had a mood and a purpose, and the sequence of songs was chosen with care. Don’t even get me started on High Fidelity: a great movie and love note to the fine art of the mix tape.

I still make mixes but not nearly as frequently, and never for others. Whether anthems, dance tunes, or lullabies, these songs define the soundtrack of my motherhood so far.

Jersey Girl, Bruce Springsteen
Edie was born in Seattle, my husband’s hometown and where we met. We listened to a ton of Bruce around this time. I remember Edie sleeping on me while I lounged on the couch, drinking coffee under comforting Seattle gloomy skies. I had one baby, a part-time job, and low overhead expenses. Whenever I hear the Boss, it brings me back to these mellow days.

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Peace Like a River, Elizabeth Mitchell
A great friend introduced me to Elizabeth Mitchell, kids’ music I grew fond of as an adult. This singer-songwriter has a catalogue of songs that suit the masses. This was one of the first lullabies I learned, because you need to have some trusty ones on hand.

Home, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes
I love to dance, and so does Edie. Time will tell if Emmeline does too (she’s only one, so her primary interest is eating found Cheerios and household items). This is a great tune, perfect for dancing together and whistling on our living room floor, or blasting as we roll up to daycare.

Cowboy Boots, Macklemore
Edie has trademark red cowboy boots. My mom gave them to her two Christmases ago, and they still miraculously fit. She wears them often and well. I rocked a lot of Macklemore on our commute before Emmeline was born, and she latched onto this song because, well, she likes cowboy boots. It’s catchy, but the lyrics are totally inappropriate.  This was the first non-kid song she ever requested, and at first that was cute. Now it’s a little scary because she can recite the lyrics about partying verbatim. Still a fun song.

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Proud Mary, Tina Turner
Always the song in my back pocket when I need something to sing, and fast. I know 65% of the lyrics and make up the rest. I do two versions: soulful Tina or lullaby style.

Show Me, Mint Royale
An upbeat song that I cannot listen to without dancing. Our favorite Seattle radio station plays this every Friday morning. The DJ has dubbed it “The Friday Song”, because it has that infectious psyched-it’s-the-weekend vibe. Edie’s questioned my judgment when I play it on non-Fridays.

One song or many, which ones comprise your Motherhood Mix Tape?

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