One on one with singer and mom Lisa Loeb
Chances are, parents might recognize Lisa Loeb, 49, for her hit song “Stay” from the 1990s or from one of her roles in TV and film, but children likely know her for her catchy tunes written just for them. The mom of Lyla, 7, and Emet, 5, lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Roey Hershkovitz, where she creates award-winning children’s music and stories. Sterling Publishing released Loeb’s first illustrated kids book and CD, “Lisa Loeb’s Silly Sing-Along,” last year. She is currently touring the country to promote the 12 songs on her latest album, “Feel What U Feel.” Upstate Parent chatted with her about parenthood, life in the spotlight, and why she decided to turn her focus to entertaining children.
You’re well known for your hit song “Stay” in 1994 from the movie “Reality Bites” and have had numerous Gold records. What led you to pursue children’s projects?
I wanted an outlet that was different from my regular projects. I have such a sentimental connection to the entertainment of my childhood that I wanted to create something like that. I loved everything from variety shows like the Carol Burnett show and Fernwood Tonight, to TV shows like “The Muppet Show,” early “Sesame Street,” 1970s soft pop on the radio, musical theater, and more. It turned out that this kind of music, filled with storytelling, silliness, and a lot of heart is sometimes categorized as kids’ music.
In addition to singing, you are an actress and have appeared in numerous movies and you’re a voice in the Amazon Originals series “Creative Galaxy.” How often do you get recognized when you’re out in public with your family, and what do your kids think about it?
I get recognized here and there. My kids seem proud and understand that it’s connected to people connecting to my music and some of my other projects.
Out of all your songs for families, which one is your favorite and why?
I love playing “Say Hello” lately. It’s about respecting and acknowledging others. It has an important message, but it also speaks musically as a real song with interesting production.
Do you have any advice to other working parents regarding juggling a career and balancing a positive home life?
I am always asking other parents about the balance! It’s tough, huh? I try to communicate with all involved about scheduling and priorities so that we’re all clear. Lots of calendar synching, checking and double checking the kids’ school schedules, and asking for help from the grandparents and great babysitters too.
What do you do for your own Mommy time to unwind?
I sleep, read, workout, and clean the kitchen a lot. Not sure if the kitchen is relaxing, per se, but it is more organizing and calming to have a house that’s clean and put away.
Craziest thing you’ve done because you were sleep-deprived:
I’m sure I’ve put mayonnaise in the pantry once. Arrived at a birthday party on the wrong day? I don’t do a lot because I’m sleep deprived. I’m more likely to ask someone to keep an eye on the kids while I nap, or pull over on a side street, put my earplugs in, cover my face with a sweater and take a cat nap.
What’s the funniest thing one of your kids has ever done?
They do funny things daily.
What’s your favorite thing about being a mom?
I love seeing my kids growing up. I love getting to know them. They have all kinds of observations and experiences that really enrich my life and the way I see things. I also love the hugs and kisses.
Do you ever catch yourself doing things as a mom you thought you’d never do?
I talk under my breath, which I didn’t think I’d do. Sometimes you have to let things out, but not disrespectfully towards anyone. You have to feel what you feel.
What song do/did you sing most often to your kids?
Lately I’ve been singing “I’m a Little Coconut” (from my Camp Lisa record) to my son when he goes to sleep. It’s not the most relaxing song, but I sing it to him and give him a bedtime massage.
What is your favorite family ritual?
We take a family trip with my siblings and their kids and my parents once a year and we all really look forward to it — eating, swimming, and playing together.
What has surprised you most about being a parent?
I’m surprised that there’s this whole other world, it feels like a secret level in a video game, that you don’t know about until you have kids. I didn’t exactly see it here until I had kids. Also, I’ve been very surprised at how lucky I am to have made a lot of new friends through my kids and their relationships.
What is something important life has taught you?
Just keep doing my best. Look at the glass half full — and that I might have to remind myself of that. The small things do count in life: they make up our life experiences. Don’t undervalue your day to day life.