Ani DiFranco Grateful For 'Me' Time Before Becoming a Mom

08/02/2009 at 10:00 AM ET
Bill Haber/AP

When she learned that she was expecting a baby, Ani DiFranco feared what motherhood would mean for her music. “I had a little bit of resistance to the idea of taking energy away from my work, and the baby comes along and, lo and behold, that’s exactly what happens,” the 38-year-old songstress concedes in a new interview with the Daily Camera.

Happily, it’s a change that was long overdue. “I did a lot of work with myself over the course of being pregnant and the first few months of being pregnant,” she explains. “It’s nice, the pace of being pregnant; it gives you a long time to not just germinate a baby but germinate the mother that you’re gonna be.”

Noting that being mom to 2 ½-year-old Petah Lucia “takes a lot of patience,” Ani goes on to express how “thrilled” she is that “more and more women [are] becoming mothers later in life.”

“There’s a lot of sacrifice involved. I had 20 years of just working non-stop, so for me to slow down and redirect a lot of that energy feels great right now and it makes me a happy mother, and I wish for a lot of women that they get a lot of ‘me’ time in either before or after [having] kids.”

Fans need not worry about Ani losing her edge, however. Despite all the changes she has undergone in recent years — including marriage to Petah’s father, music producer Mike Napolitano — she reports: “I still feel very much like myself.” Petah gets credit for pulling mom off her “hamster wheel,” however, and Ani notes that “as opposed to doing, I’m just being.”

“You really have to be present and just go with the flow, follow the moment with a kid and I think that’s helping me get back to myself in a way.”

Bringing baby girl on tour has also opened Petah’s eyes to the notion that mom is often considered “public property.” When the two are leaving a venue, there are often fans angling for a moment with Ani; While Ani herself is happy to oblige, Petah is not so generous! “She is my alter ego,” Ani notes.

“She’s like, ‘F– you! F– off! She’s mine now. You’ve had her all night and now she’s finally mine. Go away. This is my mom now.'”

Source: Daily Camera

— Missy

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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Nika on

Well that’s great for her, and I respect that she wanted to be a mom ‘later in life.’ But she should know that not every mother wants that. Thankfully everyone is different and so not everyone has the same goals or needs in life!

And I hope her 2 and a half year old doesn’t really say ‘f- you.’

Sarah on

I love Ani!

Sofie on

What? Did I read this right? A two and half year old cursing? I could maybe understand if she had older siblings! I wonder where she picked it up?

Marissa on

Well if shes happy at being an old mom thats fine but for us young mommies it seems like she is saying old is better! That is the problem I have with old moms, they think they are better then us young mommies.

And her kid curses?? Thats just wrong a 2.5 year old says that stuff.

aroundtheywaygirl on

Where in her comments did she say older moms are better? Please point it out. She doesn’t say it anywhere. She is expressing her point of view and not once did she say being an older mom was better than being a young one or that being a younger mom was something bad. Sanctimommies just look for something to criticize.

deedot on

I think the F words were sort of Ani translating the emotion behind whatever Petah actually said, not the words. I do that too in adult company. My child might have said “No. Go Away” which I then humourlessly translate when telling the story of the day later to my husband as., ” then Mae was just like , “F off lady, get your hands off my mum”.

Tee on

Deedot, I hope you’re right! I was just horrified when I read this article. Nothing excuses this kind of language coming from a child. I don’t even allow an adult to speak that way in my home!

Julie on

It was really clear to me that Ani was just interpreting how Petah feels when other people try take mom’s attention. She surely does not use the F word, and there is no way a two year old could use such complex sentences. Come on guys, lighten up!

As for people interpreting Ani’s comments to mean “older moms are better,” I understood Ani’s comments to mean that in the past it was looked down upon for older women to have children. Most people had them at a young age, and Ani is glad to see that it’s becoming more accepted for women to have children at a later age.

Just my two cents!

kim on

People please! She didn’t say that her child was swearing or that she would even condone such behavior. What she said was her child was like her alter ego and that her mannerism expressed that emotion. And where did the younger mothers feel she was insinuating older is better when it comes to motherhood? Stop looking for the negative angle. This is one of the reasons artists choose not to be candid re: their personal lives, people always read them wrong when they are just expressing their honest challenges. Good luck to you Ani!

giftbox on

Good lord… Do people really think Ani is repeating what her daughter actually said, and that she is not (as DeeDot says) simply translating the child’s emotional response? And the hyper-sensitivity over her statements about being an older mom… I don’t know. This kind of reflexive pearl-clutching and misplaced finger-wagging is why I read the comments on this site less and less frequently.

Rebecca on

I really doubt that her 2 1/2 year old can articulate thoughts in that manner, “You’ve had her all night and now she’s finally mine.” Really? Y’all thought a 2 year old said that? That’s just daft. I totally get that she’s interpreting her daughter, whether it be a look, action, or what she can or can’t actually say, those are the feelings behind it. My 21 month old totally has a “go to heck” attitude sometimes, she doesn’t say it, but she definitely gets in moods where she just wants mama and the rest of the world can bugger off.

zeezee on

lol giftbox. the pearl-clutching imagery was hilarious. I think that sums up this site’s comments more and more. it’s a shame.

Nika on

Well Rebecca my daughter is 18 months old and she can say complete sentences like that. So yes, it could have been what she said.
As for the f- word, I think for the mother too it is better to not just that kind of words at all. Even if her daughter did not say it. She is an example for her daughter and those words are not neccesary. She seems a bit immature.

Sofie on

Whatever the reason for using the F word in an interview like this is simply tacky and shows a total lack of class.

isis on

i highly doubt her child was actually cursing…seriously people, think about it.

CelebBabyLover on

Nika- Just because she said that word in the interview doesn’t mean she says it in front of her daughter! Also, Petah is 2 1/2. It will be a few years before she’s able to read at all, and several more before she’s reading her mother’s interviews.

I think Ani just has the kind of sense of humor that you either love or can’t stand. 🙂

Kate on

Hey, every mom thinks that we are doing things right some days. On other days, we think that we are doing everything wrong. No one needs to take offense.

I am about as different from Ani as they get. I had my first kid at 25 and 4 kids later… yeah. I totally get the idea that we need to take time for ourselves. I have my plans for what I am going to do after they are a bit bigger all mapped out.

And maybe Ani’s daughter doesn’t curse, but good for her if she did. Assertiveness rocks.

Amanda on

Seriously, chill out. Ani was using her sense of humor – her child didn’t say the “f word”, nor is she condoning mothers of any age; rather, she is stating she hopes all mothers have time to do what they desire in life, before or after having children.
Work on reading comprehension skills and a sense of humor – I hear both are good skills to have for mothers of any age.

Meghann on

It seems to me Petah said nothing at all; Ani was maybe describing an expression she had on her face. It sickens me that in a matter of three comments, the issue is that “her child swears”, when that is not even necessarily true. I also didn’t see her as being “against young mommies”, she even expressed in the beginning that what motherhood has done for her was way overdue- so I see her applauding both kinds of mommies. I would suggest some of you take an Ani album and go listen to it in a quiet place, you might learn something. Quit being so defensive and negative all the time.