Listen, the irony of this post is not lost on me.
It seems like only yesterday I was overly enthusiastically singing along to “Teardrops on My Guitar” as if I had actually ever been in ~*TrUe*~ LoVe (IYKYK). It seems like only yesterday I was off-key reciting the lyrics to “22” along with my friends as we happily ate cheesy bread in our pajamas on a Friday night. It seems like only yesterday I bawled my eyes out while simultaneously singing along with “Never Grow Up” way before I even had a child of my own.
Okay, you get the picture.
The situation has never mattered; I could relate in one way or another. Taylor Swift has always found the words I couldn’t – even if that was not her intention. That’s pretty impressive, right? Seventeen years of the same artist. I am different now, though, aren’t I? A professional, a wife, a homeowner, but, most importantly, a mother.
So, when Midnights dropped, I fought the urge to listen.
“That’s a closed chapter in my book,” I thought. There was no way that I could resonate with the words of a multi-Platinum artist, even after all these years.
Yet, here I am, again – on repeat, reading lyrics, relating… just as I have since my high school days.
Don’t get me wrong. I am no fool. I realize these songs are far from anything I am currently experiencing, but as an English teacher by trade, I enjoy and encourage the beauty of interpretation.
That said, here is a glimpse into how I am currently jamming out to Taylor Swift’s Midnights as a part-time stay-at-home.
Snow on the Beach by Taylor Swift (feat. Lana Del Rey)
While this song is clearly about the beginning of a mutual love story, my mind quickly grasped the main repeated lyric the first time I listened. So much of being a mother is tough: this is no secret. However, there is something beautiful in all its pieces. Yep, you guessed it, just like snow on the beach.
Personally, I wouldn’t leave Midwestern weather in hopes of snow at the beach, but if that were what awaited me, I would gladly appreciate the beauty of it at that moment. Motherhood, especially in this toddler chapter, is kind of like that too.
You’re on Your Own Kid by Taylor Swift
As mentioned earlier, I, in no way think I can relate to Taylor on a personal level. I get that. However, this song is clearly about overcoming hardships. On the most challenging days of motherhood (and, well, life), we all need the reminder of how far we’ve come.
Just when I do not think I can handle another public meltdown as I try to gather our weekly grocery haul, I take a deep breath. I remember the days when I nourished a human being in her earliest days with nothing more than my body. I think back to when the mere thought of having a child scared the living daylights out of me. I think back to the days when my adolescent self did not think she would ever even make it to this day.
As this song says, I think I can face it and always do.
Bedazzled by Taylor Swift
Okay, I’d be lying if I said the hook for me wasn’t referencing the infamous Myspace Top 8 (or so I’d like to think it is). Really, though, this song is “a vibe.” (The kids still use that phrase, right?) Some days, I don’t even bother taking my hair out of its messy bun; I wear yesterday’s giant hoodie as I fold everyone else’s clean laundry.
I think there is something special in getting all dressed up with a face of make-up and hair done every now and then. It’s like a mother’s best-kept secret. As if she’s saying, “Yeah, I can juggle all the things while taking care of tiny humans… and look this good.”
That is why this song is a must-have on my motherhood soundtrack.
“Sweet Nothing” by Taylor Swift
I went through a moment (or several… hundred…) after getting pregnant during a pandemic. I mean, who didn’t? In many ways, the world seems vastly different now than it was almost three years ago. Sometimes, it’s hard not to panic. To look to the future with much uncertainty as others spread their concerns and critiques on a never-ending scroll of social media feeds.
I look at my two-year-old daughter: she has no clue about the world as it happens outside the walls of our home. In her eyes, it only exists when we go to the library, music class, Grandma’s house, and the store—all enjoyable places with more-or-less positive experiences. I glance over to see my husband grabbing her hand and spinning her around the toy-ridden living room. He smiles; she laughs. They invite me to join their silly, yet enjoyable, nonsense.
I won’t say my fears disappear, but for just a moment, they hide away. We enjoy the moments together that we have. That’s what this song brings me back to, time and time again.
For as common and small as they are, words are powerful. This Midnights album shows that what someone describes as their own experience can bring someone else, from a completely different chapter, into a new mindset, memory, or motivation.
While these are just the songs from my current soundtrack to motherhood, I appreciate Swift’s ability to share the words that bring me those things. And, while I didn’t get tickets to her Eras tour, I would still say she is pretty incredible after all these years.
So, I think it’s officially safe to say I am a “Swiftie” for life.
(Check this Indianapolis Mom’s post for great ways to find focus with other types of music!)