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Natalie Hemby is a two-time Grammy winning musician. She’s a member of The Highwomen and has written songs for Lady Gaga, Kacey Musgraves, Kelly Clarkson, Miranda Lambert, just to name a few. She also just released her sophomore solo album, Pins and Needles. A decade ago, just as her songwriting career began to really take off, Hemby gave birth to her daughter Sammie Jo. To quote her band, she was “half-time living on a full-time schedule” and knew that wasn’t healthy for her or her family.

On the latest episode of The Motherly Podcast, Hemby talks to Motherly co-founder Liz Tenety about how learning to say no made her a better mom.

The singer-songwriter leaned on her faith to help her juggle her busy work schedule with being a new mother. “I feel like God was forcing me to go, okay, this is where you have to choose between what is important to you,” she recalled. "I had a hard time with that.” 

But when she learned how to say no, it was life-changing. “It's been the best tool in my toolbox because you cannot do everything,” Hemby confessed. “You just can't, you can't do everything and you can't do everything well at the same time. And you have got to learn how to say no to outside things, because you know, you get your kids for 18 years, really, if you're lucky, and it does go by so fast.”

Now, before making a career decision, Hemby asks herself, “Is this beneficial to my family? Do we really need this right now? Or do I need to be at home?”

“I've missed out on some really awesome things,” she admits, “but I don't really regret it.”

Of course, not all mamas are able to pick and choose when they work and when they stay home, but being okay with not doing it all is something we can all take a moment to pause and reflect on when things get hard.

Elsewhere in the interview, Hemby discusses the pros and cons have having an only child and the song she wrote about her daughter. 

To hear more about Hemby’s experiences in motherhood and her career, listen to The Motherly Podcast for the full interview.