“Hey ladies, you can have it all!” and Other Lies I Once Believed. A Mom Navigates the Music Industry: An Essay by Suanna Lynn for Women’s History Month

Suanna Lynn
Suanna Lynn
Throughout the year, Atwood Magazine invites members of the music industry to participate in a series of essays reflecting on identity, music, culture, inclusion, and more.
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Today, Nashville-based Suanna Lynn shares her essay, “‘Hey ladies, you can have it all!’ and Other Lies I Once Believed: A Mom Navigates the Music Industry,” dispelling the myth that women can “have it all” simultaneously, as a part of Atwood Magazine’s Women’s History Month series. Pulling from her journey through the music industry, she advocates instead for setting priorities, embracing limitations, and the power of forgiveness, while challenging societal pressures on women’s roles and choices.
Since moving to Nashville in 2016, Suanna Lynn has established herself as a rising star in the country music scene. Her debut release in Nashville, “Loved You Sober,” garnered attention from both fans and industry insiders, earning her a spot in the NSAI Top 40.
Now, with “Call Me Right,” Lynn continues to captivate audiences with her authentic voice and heartfelt lyrics. “I long to let my music be an instrument that makes someone feel like they’re not alone in what they are going through,” she says. “We’ve all been lost at times, and there is something about hearing a song and saying, ‘Me too’ that makes all the difference.”
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Suanna Lynn

by Suanna Lynn

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I can be everything to everyone.

You can maybe have it all, but not all at once. As women, the culture tells us we can be it all! Boss lady, mom, wife, sexy, fierce, entrepreneur, but the truth is, you can’t. Now, women certainly have the God-given abilities to be all of these things! But, you are human, my sweet friend, and that’s okay. Let me explain, it’s quite possible to be some or all of these over the course of your lifetime, but not all at once. You can’t be the all-in boss, the completely present mom, the fully active, fit woman all in the same season. It’s just not possible to be 100% in with every basket we juggle. Or if you are all those things, I guarantee your mental health or your loved ones are struggling.

So you need to choose, and ask yourself – what are my limits and what are my specific goals in this season? – and then let other things take the back-burner… or even take them off the stove entirely. When you embrace your limits, it is actually the most liberating feeling. I promise! So when I became a mom, I said to myself, what are things I am not willing to set aside? For me it was being a present mom, still writing new music, and taking the time to physically heal from the birth of my child. Am I performing at the pace I once did? Am I as present on social media as I once was? Am I releasing as many songs as I’d like? Am I showing up to every social function? Is my house perfect? All of these are no. No, not right now. And that’s okay, because right now I am focused on other things and I am doing the activities to reach the goals that I have placed on the immediate horizon.

If I set boundaries I will be forgotten and irrelevant.

This is a fear I have to dispel almost daily! Because of my previously mentioned goals, I am having to say no to career opportunities I used to always say yes to when asked. It’s true in this season there are people who might stop reaching out, and they may move on since I’ve had to say no to collaborations or performing. But I guarantee, once you are ready to step back out, they will either gladly hear from you, or you will find a new network of people to do business with to reach your goals. Setting boundaries allows you to show up both when you are ready and with the 100% energy you want to display. If you are always saying yes, the quality of your work will start to stuffer, and THAT is what makes you irrelevant. It is better to be someone who says “thank you, but not right now” than the person who is always saying yes and burning out because of it.

If I love what I do, I will never work a day in my life!

Bulls**t. I love what I do – I am a mom, a musician, and an entrepreneur – and it is hard work! Wherever this notion that you’ll love every aspect of the sweating is such a disservice – it makes us give up when something feels hard – when that is usually when you are on the cusp of success! Think about when you are working out, it’s those last reps when you feel like you are about to break that is making your muscles strong and healthy. It’s the same thing with your work. If what you are working on is never hard, never stretching you, never making you learn hard lessons, then I don’t think you are really working. You are simply going through the motions. Real work is hard and so life-giving all at the same time.

Being a feminist means I am against traditional gender values.

No. Being a feminist means I believe there is intrinsic value in women! It doesn’t mean that I need to go tell men they are toxic, or that I need to remove the fibers of traditional familial roles from my life. It means I need to give those roles value! I’m not saying women can’t work or women should only be at home. I’m saying give value to your calling. Is it at home? Take pride in that! Is it at the workplace? Be a wonderful example to other women! Is it maybe half at home and half in the workplace? You are an inspiration!

You are weak if you let someone hurt you and you don’t get even.

As I set out to release my next single “Call Me Right” which will be live on all streaming services March 22, I am reminded of why I wrote that song. This is the anthem for any woman who has been told she’s crazy and is walking away from a toxic relationship. Sometimes all you needed to know was you were right; you don’t need to take a bat to his car, or kerosene to his house, you just need to let the truth set you free. While revenge might taste good for a second, there is more power in forgiveness. Now, forgiveness is NOT letting the abuser stay in your life – you put up a boundary and you get out. But you do not need to take vengeance as you leave.

Suanna Lynn
Suanna Lynn

As I wrap up my thoughts, I can’t help but play that scene from the 2023 Barbie movie where America Ferrera’s monologue states all of the pressures society has put on women. “You have to be a boss, but you can’t be mean. You have to lead, but you can’t squash other people’s ideas. You’re supposed to love being a mother, but don’t talk about your kids all the damn time. You have to be a career woman but also always be looking out for other people.”

It is true that society has put so much pressure on us as women – but it is up to us if we are willing to accept this pressure. Someone has every right to tell you everything they think you should live up to, but it is up to you to give their words power. It is up to you to say, thanks, but sit down, I have my own path set before me and you have no power here. So, this Women’s History Month, are we going to let the external and internal pressures win? Or are we going to embrace the possible, and work hard for what we have decided really matters?

Now excuse me as I sign off for the afternoon to spend time with my daughter and cook a nutritious meal for my family… – Suanna Lynn

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