PARENTING: Having children has absolutely ruined my taste in music

Ruth Chambers


Ruth Chambers


PARENTING: Having children has absolutely ruined my taste in music

Blogger and mammy Ruth Chambers shares her weekly take on toddler and parenting dramas...

I went to see UB40 in the Three Arena last year. There, I said it. Sorry for the blasphemy but Lord God, what has happened to me?

I used to have, in my opinion anyway, impeccable taste in music but since Aidan and Sarah’s arrival that’s all changed.

In my defence UB40 happened because my friend had tickets and her original choice of companion couldn’t make it so I headed off with her. And worse still, I enjoyed it. That wouldn’t have happened three years ago I can tell you!

Pre-children all my spare time and money was spent at gigs in Dublin and all over the world in fact. I loved discovering new bands and only ever listened to my iPod or music online.

Radio playlists were not on my radar, because popular music was rubbish, all manufactured and just plain lousy.

Somewhere in the back of my mind I still share the same opinion, except now all I ever listen to is the radio.

I know the Today FM playlist like the back of my hand. In fairness, it’s not a difficult task as they just play the same few songs over and over again and then some more! I’m all about Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Bruno Mars and Lukas Graham these days. And as for that Mike Posner fella, well Aidan is very taken by the fact that he ‘took a train to a pizza!’ What have I become?

Before children I promised to give my offspring a fabulous schooling in good music and it started off well. Aidan was rocked to sleep many a night to the sound of Tom Waits and Bon Iver; they were his white noise. He loved a good dance to the Sultans of Ping’s Where’s Me Jumper and was also partial to a bit of Janis Joplin and Steve Earle.

However, his Granny O’Brien then went and ruined his musical taste buds when she arrived with a book of nursery rhymes and a sing-a-long CD to go with it! I made the mistake of putting said CD on in the car one day and the damage was done.

Instead of listening to acclaimed artists on the long drive to Galway, we were all about the Five Little Ducks, the Incy Wincy Spider and Round and Round the Garden. All the while I was going round and round the twist!

The experts say it only takes 21 days to break a habit though and the sing-along CD became a big feature of our journeys. One morning we had a rip roaring rendition of Row Row Row Your Boat on the short journey to the childminders but it wasn’t until I reached work that I realised that I had ‘treated’ myself to the rest of the CD and sang my little heart out the whole way there!

I also promised myself that I’d be one of those cool parents who took their kids to music festivals, big and small, the length and breadth of the country. I dreamed of Aidan seeing The National live, from on top of my shoulders, at Electric Picnic but the reality is, I’d rather cut a load of chillis up and rub them into my eyes than go to a music festival with the kids! Would I be off my rocker to bring a four year old and a two year old to Electric Picnic?

I can’t remember the last time I discovered new music without it being fed to me by either Ian Dempsey, Dermot and Dave or Al Porter and the last time I went to a proper gig was at the end of my maternity leave on Aidan when myself and Daddy Chambers went to see the aforementioned The National in the Point. It will always be the Point Depot in my mind!

For one, we never get out these days and we also work to pay a childminder and buy nappies so gig tickets are way down the priority list. Ah, who am I kidding, they are not even on the list!

So I now make do with all that amazing music I discovered before Aidan and Sarah arrived. It could be worse I guess. I could have been listening to mainstream radio all my life. Imagine that!

I like to think I have some street cred left, underneath it all though.