Taylor Swift Anthems for 13 Stages of Motherhood

If you didn’t already know, this week is officially Taylor Swift week, since her new album, Lover, comes out this Friday (August 23).

Taylor Swift Anthems for 13 Stages of Motherhood - Lover Album

If you’ve somehow missed this Summer of Swift, then welcome to the world out here above that rock you’ve been living under. Please promptly head to your streaming service of choice, and listen to the song Lover, followed by The Archer, and then You Need to Calm Down (because you will, in fact, need to calm down by that point).

I could spend all day speculating about what this new album will be about (and believe me, I have wasted spent many precious nap times doing exactly that), but perhaps there’s a more productive way to spend these last few days before Taylor blesses us with more soundtracks to our lives. Like maybe, reviewing how her previous anthems narrate our memories?

13 Taylor Swift Songs for Every Stage of Motherhood

(Y’all, I swear I didn’t intentionally make it 13 stages. IT WAS FATE.)

1. Trying to Get Pregnant: “Blank Space

Taylor Swift Anthems for 13 Stages of Motherhood - Blank Space

Fun story: Taylor’s 1989 album came out right at the peak (or should I say valley?) of my infertility battle, so a lot of those songs ended up taking on completely different meanings for me than they were intended to.

The most memorable for me was “Blank Space.” I even wrote a mini-parody for myself, that I would belt out in the car on the way home from failed fertility appointments. I’ll spare you the full lyrics, because a songwriter I am not, but here’s a sampling of my chorus:

So I’ll be a mom forever
or I’ll burn this place down in flames
and I’ll tell you on test day
if this cycle was worth the pain
got a long list of failed treatments
my hubby thinks I’m in insane
but you know I want a baby
and he wants the same

Hey, when you’re going through infertility, anything that brings a smile to your face is WORTH IT.

Anyway, Blank Space is fitting for the “getting pregnant” era. Nearly every trying-to-conceive woman goes insane – fertility treatments or not. And they’re all acutely aware of the blank space in their uterus.

2. Pregnancy – First Trimester: “Stay Stay Stay

Taylor Swift Anthems for 13 Stages of Motherhood - Stay Stay Stay

Those early stages of pregnancy are nothing but fear and anxiety for most of us. You don’t want to tell anyone your big news, you don’t want to get too excited, and you don’t want to jinx anything.

You’re just begging that little baby to “stay, stay, stay” put until the next OB appointment. And even though you may have only known that little embryo for a few weeks or months, you know that you’ve been “loving [it] for quite some time, time, time.”

3. Pregnancy – Second Trimester: “Out of the Woods

Taylor Swift Anthems for 13 Stages of Motherhood - Out of the Woods

FINALLY, the second trimester rolls around, and all you can think is: “Are we out of the woods yet? Are we in the clear yet?” Can I stop worrying and just enjoy this pregnancy yet?!

At that 20 week anatomy scan, you get to see every inch of your precious baby, and see that the monsters turned out to be just limbs, and your perfect babe is here to stay.

4. Pregnancy – Last Month: “Bad Blood

Taylor Swift Anthems for 13 Stages of Motherhood - Bad Blood

“Baby now we got bad blood / You know it used to be mad love / So take a look what you’ve done {to my body} / cause baby now we got bad blood, hey! / Now we’ve got problems / and I don’t think we can solve ’em / {we need} a really deep {c-section} cut / cause baby now we got bad blood.”

Need I say more?

5. Labor: “This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

Taylor Swift Anthems for 13 Stages of Motherhood - This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things

Let’s face it, labor is not the beautiful, magical embodiment of womanhood we’re all promised it will be, right?

Drugs or no drugs, we all pretty much spend those hours cursing anyone and anything that crosses our path.

We’re watching our old, pre-baby lives slip away (“it was so nice throwing big parties, jumping to the pool from the balcony”).

We’re watching our bodies be physically broken from the inside out, and swearing we’ll never let our husbands (or anyone, for that matter) touch us again. This is why you can’t have nice things, husbands.

6. Newborn – First 24 Hours: “Never Grow Up

Taylor Swift Anthems for 13 Stages of Motherhood - Never Grow Up

This song was playing when my first child was born, and I sobbed my eyes out. The first 24 hours of your baby’s life are spent in your arms, or at your bedside, sleeping peacefully while you gaze on in admiration.

They’re just so little and perfect and angelic, and all you want in the world is to freeze time.

“Oh, darlin’ don’t you ever grow up, don’t you ever grow up / just stay this little / Oh darlin’ don’t you ever grow up, don’t you ever grow up / it can stay this simple / I won’t let nobody hurt you / won’t let no one break your heart / no one will desert you / just try to never grow up.”

Legitimately, this whole song is a new mom anthem, so if you’ve never heard it, go grab the tissues and give it a good listen.

7. Newborn – Reality: “I Wish You Would

Taylor Swift Anthems for 13 Stages of Motherhood - I Wish You Would

This song takes on so many levels. Taylor Swift may have thought she was writing about star-crossed lovers who secretly still love each other and drive past each other’s houses at 2 a.m.

But what she was really writing about was a sleep-deprived parent driving their wide-awake newborn around the block just to get him to close his dang eyes.

“I wish you would come back {to sleep} / wish I’d never hung up the phone like I did {and turned off the white noise app} / I wish you knew that / I’d never forget you as long as I live {so you can really go back to sleep because I promise you won’t miss anything} / wish you were right here, right now {in bed}, it’s all good / I wish you would {just go the f*&% to sleep}

8. The Golden Period: “The Lucky One

Taylor Swift Anthems for 13 Stages of Motherhood - The Lucky One

I always refer to the age around 6 – 8 months old – when your baby is sitting up, but not mobile yet – as “The Golden Period.”

It’s glorious. You can get baby all set up with a few toys, and then walk away and do your own thing. It’s the best. And therefore, when you’re in that short-lived phase, you are without a doubt The Lucky One, even if you still feel sleep-deprived, and touched out, and exhausted.

“And they tell you that you’re lucky / but you’re so confused / ’cause you don’t feel pretty / you just feel used / and all the young things {a-hem, babies} line up to take your place”

9. First Birthday: “The Best Day

Taylor Swift Anthems for 13 Stages of Motherhood - The Best Day

Baby’s first birthday is a sweet, momentous occasion that somehow makes you instantly forget all the hard times of pregnancy and newborn life. All you remember are the sweet, snuggly moments spent gazing into each others’ eyes (whether those moments actually existed or not).

This song perfectly captures those sweet moments between a mama and her child, from the child’s point of view. Another one to grab the tissues for, if you’ve never heard it.

“I don’t know why all the trees change in the fall / But I know you’re not scared of anything at all / Don’t know if Snow White’s house is near or far away / But I know I had the best day with you today

10. Second Child: “Begin Again

Taylor Swift Anthems for 13 Stages of Motherhood - Begin Again

Like I said, that first birthday rolls around, and you start to forget about all the hard parts of motherhood, and you get the crazy idea to do it all again. And right as you’re about to pop out that second baby, you get ready to watch it all begin again:

“I’ve been spending the last eight months / Thinking all {kids ever do} is break and burn and end / But on a Wednesday, in a {hospital} / I watched it begin again

11. Toddler Years: “You Need to Calm Down

Taylor Swift Anthems for 13 Stages of Motherhood - You Need to Calm Down

I know Taylor wrote this song as an LGBTQ rights anthem, but she inadvertently created a toddler-mom anthem in the process.

I sing this song to my 3-year-old so often, he’s legit memorized the entire song. The lyrics require no context:

“You need to calm down / you’re being too loud / and I’m just like uh-oh, uh-oh, uh-oh, uh-oh, uh-oh / you need to just stop / and can you just not / step on my gown / you need to calm down.”

Just replace “gown” with whatever valuable item your toddler is in the process of destroying, and it fits literally every scenario ever.

12. Kindergarten: “Lover

Taylor Swift Anthems for 13 Stages of Motherhood - Lover

You might think this is a weird song to put in the context of your kids, but HEAR ME OUT. Replace the word “Lover” with “baby”, and it totally / sort of / mostly works.

My kids aren’t old enough to be sent out into the real world of kindergarten yet, but as we inch closer and closer to it with every passing year, I envision a lot of pleading for him to stay my baby, and not wanting to release him into the world:

“Can I go where you go? / Can we always be this close? / forever and ever / and ah, take me out / and take me home / you’re my, my, my, my {baby}

Now, excuse me while I go sob for the next two years.

13. Grandkids / Adult Children: “All Too Well

Taylor Swift Anthems for 13 Stages of Motherhood - All Too Well

Okay, again, I can’t totally speak with confidence here, but knowing how my own mother and mother-in-law talk about both their grandkids and their adult children, I have a feeling they’d say they remember it all too well.

(And also, “All Too Well” is the best Taylor song OF. ALL. TIME [fight me], so it had to be included in this list somehow.)

“Oh, your sweet disposition and my wide-eyed gaze / we’re singing in the car, getting lost upstate / the autumn leaves falling down like pieces into place / and I can picture it after all these days / and I know it’s long gone / and that magic’s not here no more / and I might be okay / but I’m not fine at all”

Taylor Swift is the voice of moms everywhere, without even meaning to be.

Can you guys even imagine the kind of musical gold we’re going to get if/when she becomes a mom?! If Taylor Swift can make us these motherhood anthems without even having experienced it yet, just imagine what she’ll gift us with when she does.

In the meantime, enjoy Swift-mas this week, with the playlist below featuring all these songs. And let me know YOUR favorite Taylor Swift anthem in the comments!

5 Comments

  1. OMG. This is too funny and so right on. I need to listen all these songs now in a new light. 🙂

  2. I honestly don’t love her new stuff that much!! i love the old Taylor songs the best!!!

  3. I am not a Taylor Swift fan at all, however, I LOVE how you were able to apply her songs to everyday mom life. This was pretty cool.

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