Singer songwriter from Raleigh NC

Daughters are the backbone

April K Music daughters are the backbone blog post image

Was Biden right about marrying into a family with five or more daughters?

I'm not sure why everyone is in a frenzy about Biden saying, "I say to every young man thinking of getting married, marry into a family with five or more daughters ... One of them will always love you." He's right, you know. Think about it. Daughters are literally the backbone of the U.S. long-term care system. This often-overlooked aspect of family dynamics is not just anecdotal; it's deeply rooted in societal norms and caregiving statistics. It's typically the oldest daughter who steps into the unpaid caregiving role of a parent or other adult right around the time she's mid-career and raising teenagers. This time in life for females is often called the 'sandwich generation,' it can be highly stressful. Don't get me wrong. Sons also find themselves in the caregiving role, but nowhere near the extent as daughters. According to The National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, 34.2 million Americans provided unpaid care to an adult aged 50 or older within the last 12 months, and unpaid care is valued at over $600 billion dollars.

Did you know?

1. Daughters make up the majority of unpaid caregivers, comprising approximately 60-75% of the caregiving population.
2. Daughters come from diverse age groups, ranging from young adults caring for aging parents to older adults caring for spouses or siblings, including those who have been wounded as veterans of our military.
3. Many daughters juggle caregiving responsibilities alongside other roles, such as being employed outside the home, parenting children, or managing household duties.
4. Daughters dedicate significant time to caregiving duties, often spending close to 25 hours per week providing care.
5. Daughters in the caregiving role often reported feelings of stress, anxiety, depression, and isolation.
6. Balancing caregiving responsibilities with employment can be financially challenging for daughters. Many are forced to reduce their working hours or leave the workforce altogether, resulting in lost income and reduced retirement savings.
7. Daughters in an unpaid caregiving role are at risk of experiencing adverse health outcomes themselves, including higher rates of chronic conditions, compromised immune function, and increased mortality risk.

I deeply understand the plight of daughters as unpaid caregivers because I am one of them. I cared for my aunt for five years and now have both of my parents living in a basement apartment in my home, my father suffering from severe Parkinson's disease. Medicare doesn't cover long-term care. So, if you fall anywhere between extreme wealth and poverty, chances are super high that you won't be able to afford assisted living. With this as the reality for most Americans, it's no wonder why marrying into a family of daughters would be wise.

Caregiving is sacred and hard. It's rewarding and taxing. One of the ways I manage the stress of caregiving is through songwriting. I wrote the song, Lullaby for my aunt. In this song, I tried to convey the circle of life we all go through. We're born. We become adults. We grow older. And if we live long enough, we'll need someone to care for us like when we were young. Are you caring for an aging or disabled adult in your life? How do you manage the stress? Are there songs that bring you comfort as a caregiver?

Meet artist Jackie Tury

Artwork by Jackie Tury

Meet Jackie Tury, the designer of my album cover and one of several artists creating illustrations for the album companion booklet that also includes the lyrics to each song. Jackie is a childhood friend and fellow dreamer. Her passion includes combining her art and clinical skills to help others ignite their own dreams! Thanks for the personal note below, Jackie.

Read More…

13 Reasons Why You’d Smile

You'd Smile Sunflower

Last night I finished the final episode of the Netflix series, ‘13 Reasons Why’ and sat stunned. Speechless. Haunted. Heavy. Regardless of your opinion of the show - whether you think it glorifies suicide and is dangerous for teens to watch or should be applauded for its jolting reminder of the destructive power of bullying and sexism or both, it’s real. I know its real because I’ve had five - count them - five - people in my life commit suicide and a brother die from an unintentional overdose – so that’s six. Six people. Read More…

How fierce is your love?

Love Fiercely

It’s been almost seven years since my younger brother Jeremy died of an unintentional overdose, and in those years four big life lessons have come to light for me. I mention these in my Kickstarter pitch video, but I’d like to expand on them here. Read More…

Dreams DO come true, but you’ve got to learn to be still!

When it comes to dreams, be relentless.

If you would’ve told me at age 25 that I would be launching my career as a professional songwriter at age 50 – I would’ve most likely made a flippant, sarcastic comment like, “Uh, yeh, if I can launch it from my grave, maybe.” Fast-forward 25 years (like, blink your eyes, fast-forward) and here I am. I launched a Kickstarter campaign on my 50th birthday to fund my first solo album and it hit the $8,000 goal in 3 days! Now I’ve set a stretch goal to reach $16,000 by April 29, 2017 and I’ll be able to create two albums. It’s crazy awesome and I’m super thankful it’s not from my grave. (Btw, if you haven’t seen my Kickstarter yet, you can view it here.)

I do have a confession to make, though. Getting to this place hasn’t been easy. I worked for close to a decade in a job that was truly sucking every ounce of energy I had in me – out of me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m incredibly thankful for everything I learned while in that position, but there were days when I seriously didn’t know if I was going to ‘make it’ and I mean that literally. I was completely exhausted with no passion or zeal and although I walked into my six hours of meetings a day with a smile on my face, I felt dead inside. Corporate America had swallowed me whole and I was stuck somewhere deep in its bowels. I cried the day my company laid off my entire team and kept me. Oh, the irony.
Read More…