Who we are

It recently came to my attention that a post was made in social media about this blog that clearly screamed they didn’t “get” who we are. First I was shocked. Then I was, frankly, angry. I later realized the post clearly came from a lack of understanding.

Directly from out About page:

Road Widow (n.)

A person whose spouse or significant other is a touring musician, crew member or artist. Sometimes irrational and emotional, but mostly always supportive.

Synonyms:
Musician’s wife, band wife, musicians wives, band wives, wives of touring musicians, tour widow

254: Showcase
We are the wives, fiances, girlfriends (and sometime even the husbands & boyfriends!) of singers, musicians, crew members, bus drivers, managers, and support staff who tour not just this country but the world. We are stay at home moms. We are working mothers. We are professional women. We are volunteers. We keep our households running while our other half is in let-me-get-a-globe-and-show-you.

Sometimes we get lonely. OKay, we very often get lonely. We find ourselves feeling isolated and like no one in the world can understand our life. Sometimes we find ourselves cursing the road and it taking our loved one away from us for days, weeks and months as a time.

It is in these times we turn to our Road Widow sisters. It’s for these moments that this blog and community exists. We don’t need advice, we need an understanding ear and shoulder to cry on… or to laugh with. Women we might not normally be friends with outside of this crazy lifestyle become our best friends… even if we might never meet them in person.

We exist to keep our marriages alive. Let’s face it, we’ve ALL see marriages and relationships crumble under the strain of the road-life. I’ve witnessed too many divorces in the 7 1/2 years I’ve been married. This blog exists to try to help be a source of strength when it starts to feel just too hard to do. Because sometimes… sometimes it really does feel that way.

Every time we receive a message, comment or tweet saying this blog has helped someone, it makes the time spent writing for it even more worth while. We’ve helped someone, and they unknowingly have helped us through THEIR words.

Thank you to all our fellow Road Widows. We love you all and are here for you any time.

Five on Friday: Questions Road Widows get all the time

1. So were you a groupie? No. No, no, no. NO!

2. Do you worry about groupies? No, I trust my husband. If I didn’t trust him, this whole being on the road thing would never allow our marriage to survive.

3. Do you go on the road with him? Your mileage my vary on this one. MY answer is, “No. I have a couple times, but generally… no.” But I know some wives go out a lot.

4. How big is your house? I bet you live in a mansion. Excuse me while I laugh so hard I cough up a lung.

5. Do you miss him when he’s on the road? Nope, not one bit. … Seriously!? Why is this even a question that gets asked? OF COURSE I DO!

busrun

Vacation when you can

Last week, my husband and I took a totally unplanned “vacation” and didn’t even realize it until afterwards.

I think all Road Widows can agree, vacations generally don’t happen — at least not in the middle of summer, when touring season is at its busiest. It is also the time you find yourself crying out for time away together. But, his time at home is usually busy with in-town errands, trying to get together with other friends you don’t see often, etc.

Last week, my husband and I realized we had somehow landed on a week without any appointments or any major deadlines. I didn’t have to be tied to my laptop. He didn’t have to be anywhere. So we looked at each other and went, “Now what?”

199: Natchez Trace: Water Valley OverlookNow what, turned into getting on my husband’s bike and just going for rides. No real destination in mind. One night ended at one of our new favorite spots to eat on the lake. The next night ended with grilling out in our backyard. The whole thing ended with both of us feeling more refreshed and relaxed than we have in months.

It wasn’t until I was telling someone else about our week that I realized we’d taken a vacation without ever leaving home. He left back out on the road. I returned my focus to my various jobs and organizations. We both were READY to do that. We were both in better mindsets, and we had made some fun memories for the summer.

Sometimes in this crazy life you just have to take a “vacation” any way you can.

So tell me… have you ever taken an impromptu vacation when your husband/fiance/boyfriend was off the road for a little while? What did you go do? I’d love some more ideas!

 

Dear Festivals, I Have an Idea

Dear Festivals,

I realize that you need to be in remote locations in order to accommodate large crowds and play loud music. However, sometimes I don’t hear from my husband for days. He’s in a small band so their “bus” doesn’t have “wifi” and sometimes he stays at the festivals for an extra day or two to sell merch because that’s what you’ve gotta do when you’re an indie band. It would be really nice if you could provide secure, password-protected wifi for band and crew members. It’s 2014. It’s not that hard to do and it’s not that expensive either. It would mean the world to me and all the other frustrated road widows out there if we could keep in touch with our husbands easily. Just an idea. Keep doing what you’re doing!

Signed,

A Band Wife

via blackhoodieco.com

via blackhoodieco.com

Five on Friday: Things only other road widows can really understand

1. There is a never-ending supply of guitar picks. My husband plays keys and STILL I have a huge collection of guitar picks from the dryer.

2. The word groupie is offensive. Never refer to a road widow as a groupie. You’ll receive the glare of death. And quite possibly a tongue-lashing.

3, Things WILL go wrong as soon as your husband goes on the road. Bonus points if he’s overseas. It’s like Murphy’s Law for road widows. Husband leaves, car breaks down. Husband leaves, water heater explodes. Husband leaves, you get pneumonia. Not every run, but you can bet if it’s going to happen, it’s going to be while he’s gone.

4, You Google plane crashes and/or bus accidents when you can’t reach your husband. Admit it. You’ve done it at least once. Or you’ve considered doing it. We worry! And thats just because we care.

5. Plans? We don’t make plans. Everything we do is “penciled in.” Booking agents don’t care if your cousin is getting married. Or that you got this great Groupon vacation deal. Plans are made to be broken… Or to go on alone…

Five on Friday: 5 Ways to Maintain a Healthy Long-Distance Relationship

My husband and I have barely seen each other all year. We have always been a couple that spends a lot of time together. We started dating in college. He lived down the hall and we took all the same classes. We’ve worked a few jobs together and we spent a year volunteering at a camp in France and never left each other’s side. So, when his music career started it was hard not having him around all the time. But on the other hand, I also felt like I’d gotten a few good years of spending plenty of (maybe too much?) time with him. So, since my husband has been on the road almost 150 days of 2014, I am definitely in the throes of a long-distance relationship! I’ve written a list of 5 ways to maintain a healthy long-distance relationship –

1. Communicate in some way every day, if possible. Since you won’t be seeing each other, it’s important to establish and maintain an emotional connection. These don’t always have to be long, in-depth conversations. Tell each other about your little triumphs and tragedies.
2. Work around each other’s schedule. Do your best to maintain communication, even if one of you gets busier than the other. If you are the busy one, warn your partner that you may have limited time, and try to send at least a quick email or text, or a share a brief phone call. If you are the not-as-busy person, take advantage of the time by picking up a new hobby, getting in shape, reading a new book, etc. Flexibility is very important.
3. Don’t hold back. Words are often all we have. Don’t be afraid to be mushy and sappy. Always say “I love you” and “I miss you”. It’s nice to hear.
4. Be invested. Invest in each other in every way possible. Pay attention! Stay focused during phone calls: turn off the TV and try not to have in-depth conversations while you’re driving or with other people, for instance. Try to remember where he is, what venues he’s playing, who he’s with. You can also keep track of your man on social media. Retweet their tweets and like their Facebook posts! Social media can make you feel like you’re with them so keep track of their band.
5. Lower your expectations. Sometimes he’s going to forget to send flowers. Sometimes you’re going to fall asleep before he calls to say goodnight. It’s inevitable: You’re going to fail each other. He’s going to miss birthdays and anniversaries and holidays. Discuss it if you need to, talk about your disappointment and then move on.
What else, ladies? How do you maintain a healthy relationship when your man is gone?

Think before you post

295: KeyboardYesterday, my husband and I had dinner with a group of friends. All but two of us were musicians, and of course the conversation turned primarily to gigs, touring, gear, and all things musician. However, at one point the conversation turned to a topic that caught my attention: what you say on social media.

I’ve hit on this topic here before, but I felt it worth revisiting. The conversation touched on how what you say on social media can hurt friends’ feelings, but, even worse, reflect badly on the artist you work for… or, for all of us, the artist our husbands work for (or bands they are members of).

Try as many of us might to stay anonymous, never underestimate someone’s ability to figure things out. Hey, I’m very guilty of this! I’m all about trying to learn as much as I can about a person without asking. We can all expect fans (and other wives) to do the same for us.

As a blogger, it can be really hard to feel my hands are tied in giving my opinion freely. I’ll find myself going out of my way to make sure my opinions are known to be mine alone, but I also know there’s a good chance it’ll still not be enough.

Whether we like it or not, we have to remain fully cognizant of who our audience might be — be it in a public forum or even on our private profiles — and we must analyze how what we say will be taken. I know at lunch yesterday, I got a big wake-up call once again to be careful what I say. Even us wives can have a major impact on our husband’s careers based on what we say in social media.

Always be yourself, but I hope maybe this post helps someone else think twice before they say something their husband will regret.