Let One-Hit Wonders Inspire You to Be a Wonder-ful Mom


I love one-hit wonder songs.

My cell phone’s ringtone is a one-hit wonder, Bitter Sweet Symphony by The Verve.

If you aren’t familiar with the term “one-hit wonder,” the phrase is used to describe any entity that achieves mainstream popularity for only one piece of work. It is known among the general public for momentary success. One-hit wonders are most used with music performers with only one hit single that overshadows their other work.

I often find myself comparing moments in my life to one-hit wonders.

I sometimes diminish my success in a goal or project by promptly asking, Can I repeat this? Or Will I be able to achieve a similar thing ever again?  I do this before I can even relish in a victory.

For example:

I have a published book. Will I ever write another?

I say that witty comeback that made everyone at the table laugh. Will I be able to say something funny like that again?

I receive a note saying what a good job I did at work. Will I be able to top that achievement?

These are all things I wonder. Will I only be known for one great thing in life and never a second, third, or more?

Sounds silly, right? I’m trying to break my bad habit of this.

Since September 25 is National One-Hit Wonder Day, I give myself a pep talk using a few of my favorite one-hit wonder songs that I love.

Get Hooked on a Feeling

When I get the blues, I let Blue Swede’s “Hooked on a Feeling” fun tune carry me away to far galaxies full of guardians. How can you not smile while singing “Ooga-Chaka Ooga-Ooga” and picturing Peter Quill/Star-Lord dancing around? I play music often to put my kids and me in better moods, especially in the morning when we’re tired and a bit grumpy. These simple moments around the kitchen laughing and singing will be the memories that my children and I will remember forever.

Go Walking on Sunshine

One of my favorite go-to feel-good songs is Katrina and the Waves’ “Walking on Sunshine.” The music and lyrics provide the ultimate pep in my step I need. Even if it’s raining or a Monday, by the end of this song, I’m dancing and believing that I am, in fact, walking on sunshine. This song helps me remember that the sun will come out again even after dark and sad days.

Visit Funkytown

If no one is taking me to Funkytown, I visit there by playing Lipps Inc.’s classic “Funkytown.” This tune is a favorite among my youngest daughter and me. My children remember hearing this song in the Shrek films and The Chipmunks movies. I remember it being a part of my childhood, hearing 70s disco played from my parents’ album collection.  This song helps me remember to keep moving and grooving until I find my place. It’s pre-Dory advice, reminding me to “just keep swimming.” The Funkytown website has a fantastic collection of cover art, videos, and commercials you can view.

Take On Me (or Take Me On, World!)

When I feel like the day is trying to beat me down or my kids are here solely to drive me nuts, I play “Take On Me” by a-ha. The lyrics help remind me that I am in charge of my attitude, happiness, and my success, no one else. I remember that I can break through barriers (and pretend walls and doors) just like one of the most incredible breakthrough videos of all time. So yeah, come take on me, world! I’m ready!

What’s Up? (My Mood!)

One of my unique, silly one-hit wonders that reminds me of my childhood is “What’s Up” by 4 Non Blondes. When my friend, Jynell, and I hear it on the radio, we call or text each other. It instantly takes us back to singing out loud in our middle school gym or on the bus riding to a high school football game. It is that transformational, feel-good song that always brings me to a happy place, no matter what I’m facing. I love belting out the words to it because my mood is as positive as it can be when I’m done.

So, please take my advice: Make a playlist of your favorite one-hit wonder songs to help you get through self-doubt and challenging moments in life. And please, share with me your favorite one-hit wonder songs.

When I hear these songs, I remember that I am a WONDER-ful mom, and I can do anything.

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Mandy Fernandez has lived in Pensacola since 2009. She's originally from southeast Louisiana and has also lived in Ohio and Alabama before finding a home in this region. Mandy is the mom of two daughters (ages 13 and 9) and has been married for 19 years. She is vice president of the West Florida Literary Federation in northwest Florida and serves on the Emerald Coast Review board, a bi-annual publication that showcases regional artists and writers of Gulf Coast Alabama and Florida. Mandy is an award-winning essayist and short story writer. She is also the author of Kazoo Makes the Team, the beloved children's book about the Pensacola Blue Wahoos baseball team mascot, Kazoo. Learn more about her at www.writtenbymandy.com.


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