Saturday, January 21, 2012

Cat's In The Cradle and Why I Am a Stay-At-Home Mom

Music matters.  I see little girls singing and shaking their hips to Lady Gaga and Nickie Manaj around my town and it makes me sad.  What are these songs teaching our young children?

My early childhood was spent listening mostly to classical, jazz, and easy-listening instrumental music.  I didn't even know Beatle songs had words until I was in my preteens.  However, my grandparents were big fans of folk music and they introduced me to the records of Harry Chapin when I was about eight or nine.  My favorite song was Cat's in the Cradle and I wore that record down playing it over and over again and I memorized every word.

This song is one of the main reasons I became a stay-at-home mom.  Our children aren't parrots, they actually listen to music lyrics and these lyrics help shape them as future adults.  Please take some time and listen to your children's music, even it it makes you want to throw up.  ;-)

I would love to know which songs that you listened to as a child that helped shape your adult self, so please leave a comment below!

By the way, one of my other favorite songs from Harry Chapin was 30,000 Pounds of Bananas (Warning, you might not want to watch this if you are easily offended or if there are kids in the room!). Based on a true story and not inspiring, a bit disgusting, and not child appropriate in any way; this song had us rolling around on the floor cracking up.  To this day when I see a pile of ripe bananas I can't stop myself from singing "all those 30,000 pounds of mashed bananas".

No parent or grandparent is perfect (I just told my kids to get out of my face right now because I am trying to finish this post!) and I suppose everyone needs some comic relief after listening to "Let it Be" without any lyrics.  ;-)

Cat's in the Cradle, Harry Chapin
My child arrived just the other day
He came to the world in the usual way
But there were planes to catch and bills to pay
He learned to walk while I was away
And he was talkin' 'fore I knew it, and as he grew
He'd say "I'm gonna be like you dad
You know I'm gonna be like you"

And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin' home dad?
I don't know when, but we'll get together then son
You know we'll have a good time then

My son turned ten just the other day
He said, "Thanks for the ball, Dad, come on let's play
Can you teach me to throw", I said "Not today
I got a lot to do", he said, "That's ok"
And he walked away but his smile never dimmed
And said, "I'm gonna be like him, yeah
You know I'm gonna be like him"

And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin' home son?
I don't know when, but we'll get together then son
You know we'll have a good time then

Well, he came home from college just the other day
So much like a man I just had to say
"Son, I'm proud of you, can you sit for a while?"
He shook his head and said with a smile
"What I'd really like, Dad, is to borrow the car keys
See you later, can I have them please?"

And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin' home son?
I don't know when, but we'll get together then son
You know we'll have a good time then

I've long since retired, my son's moved away
I called him up just the other day
I said, "I'd like to see you if you don't mind"
He said, "I'd love to, Dad, if I can find the time
You see my new job's a hassle and kids have the flu
But it's sure nice talking to you, Dad
It's been sure nice talking to you"

And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me
He'd grown up just like me
My boy was just like me

And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin' home son?
I don't know when, but we'll get together then son
You know we'll have a good time then


Want all of my favorite CoffeeShop Actions or Design Elements in one simple download AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.

21 comments:

  1. Cats in the Cradle always makes me cry, and yes, I too always giggle inappropriately at the thought of 30,000 pounds of mashed bananas ;).

    I also grew up on folk music, everything from Peter, Paul and Mary to traditional old timey stuff to Phil Ochs. To this day my husband and I are big folkies and I love that my kids are growing up singing everything from that to modern day folksingers like Christine Lavin, Tommy Sands and JP Cormier, and alternating from laughter to tears in the same type of ways.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I LOVE that song! I also grew up listening to it and if you really think about the message, it's a powerful one. Congrats to you on finding a way to do what's important to you - spend time with them and watch them grow up.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I agree the words of the popular songs are crazy. My husband and I were in the car, when my son and his little girl friend (they are 8 and 10) were singing "we stole our parents' liquor"...We were shocked!

    However, there are CDs with the popular music called Kids Bop. They change the words slightly, but the children still feel they get the hear all the new songs. I find it a good alternative!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Other than the chorus, I'd never really listened to the words of that song. It's actually quite sad! I don't have kids yet, but I definitely want to be a work-from-home mom when I do. That song just reinforces the reasons why - if you don't make time for your kids when they're young, they won't make time for you when you're old.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great post. I was raised in the MTV generation so I grew up listening to a bunch of junk. Unfortunately that junk stays with you and pops in and out. My children don't understand why I am so cautious about the music they listen to, maybe some day they will understand.

    ReplyDelete
  6. yes music today is awful and sends horrible messages to our youths. Whatever happened to kids records with things like she'll be coming around the mountain. I know you can still get them but usually only online. We too listened to folk and even classical. I think one of the easiest ways to monitor what your kids listen to these days is to listen yourslef and set up playlists on your ipod/spotify etc for them. I know most kids don;t know what the meanings of the songs are but I have a problem seeing kids run around singing about sex and drugs

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am right there with you. Music has such a powerful influence on our minds and most parents don't even have a clue. We listen to lots Christian music in our home. Anything that is uplifting and touches my soul, really. My favorite right now is this song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyX-I-um5Kk
    Off to listen to Cats in the Cradle :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Music does matter - and makes things stick in your mind. That's why commercials use jingles after all. I know every word to Cat's in the Cradle. Even as a child it made me sad to think of that man all alone at the end.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Such a sad song but I love it!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I've never listened closely to the words before - that makes me want to cry! I don't feel bad that there are piles of (clean) laundry that haven't been put away because I was spending time with my son instead of worrying about keeping the house spotless!
    Music and tv are so different now, it is a shame that we have to monitor so closely what are kids are being exposed to. Even young teen shows on the Disney channel depict kids that dress and act much older than they should.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank You!! Very thought provoking. I've heard that song hundreds of times but never really stopped long enough to really listen. Thanks again for making me understand. Life is not a dress rehearsal.

    ReplyDelete
  12. i LOVE The Cats in the Cradle!! It is definitly one of my all time favs!! I hate today's music so much! I mostly listen to country and SOME of today's only because my oldest is trying to listen to it. My ALL time fav song though is Garth Brooks, The Dance! I love him and his music!! The Dance is another meaningful song for me! It's why i NEVER ask why something happens..God makes everything happen for a reason!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Rebecca, I need to go read the lyrics of the Dance.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I have been fortunate to be a stay-at-home mom/daughter for the past 20 years and do not regret a moment of it. Things were quite tough financially, but I look at my son and see what a fine, young man he has grown into and thank God that I was able to be there for him in his formative years. When my son was starting high school and I thought about going back to work, my parents needed help and moved in with us so I turned into a stay-at-home daughter. You never know how much time you have with your family. That song has been a big reason I stayed home, as well.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I know it may sound old fashioned, but while I enjoyed other music, I was greatly influenced the great hymns that have lasted over the centuries...How Great Thou Art, Great is THY Faithfulness, etc. Our church continues to sing these great hymns of the faith along with new ones and it is a huge blessing to know that I still remember the words and my kids are learning them too!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I thought I was the only one! 30,000lbs of Bananas turns me into a pathetic karaoke wannabe belting at the top of my lungs and, truth is, I love every second.
    My Daddy made sure us girls grew up listening to more than just what the radio said we should. Cats in the Cradle always makes my favs playlist.
    Neil Diamond is another one that always rings in the echos of my childhood. I Am I Said, Cracklin' Rosie, Sweet Caroline, oh, I could go on for days.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I often think of that song, Cats in the Cradle - kids grow up so fast and it's a shame that it's not as affordable as it used to for mum's (or dad's) to stay home more or have shorter hours to spend with their kids (who are ALSO busy!!).
    But I think that at least if you can see that, that means you are blessed enough so those special years don't slip so quickly away.
    My children like Justin Beiber. Hey, at least it's not Lady gag-gag.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I applaud you for being a home-schooling mom for all the right reasons. And from what I read on your blog, your children will some of the few home-schooled children that will be ready to handle the world when that time comes (as it must in all our lives.)

    While I am here, I also want to thank you for your wonderful generosity in sharing your talents with us. I'm not a blogger and don't follow many, but yours always brings a smile to my face. I love your weekly pictures!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I come visit your blog every once in a while....hoping to get up the nerve to actually download something and try to learn this dang Photoshop Elements I have.

    And to give you some encouragement....I'm now a "semi-retired-Mom" (my kids are near adults) and IT DOES MATTER.

    so hang in there.

    And, I'm from the 70's. We heard Cats In the Cradle on our AM Radios in our cars. I knew even back then........

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thank you all for such nice comments! And Mary Beth, I hope you try some of my actions, they can be really fun. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  21. I was older when Cats In the cradle came out and love it even thugh I fel it was a bit sad.
    I cannot remember the nusic tha i listened to when I was very young But as a teenager I listened to Bob Dylan, the Doors,The Four Seasons. Yes, I am old. :)
    Mary

    ReplyDelete