Five on Friday: Holidays Most Often Spent Apart

My husband is leaving early Memorial Day to travel to Asia. It’s no surprise really. He’s rarely home for Memorial Day … and honestly a bunch of other holidays. So this Friday, let’s share the most popular holidays for our road warriors to be out on the road rather than at home with us.

  1. Memorial Day – With summer tour season ramping up, Memorial Day weekend is always primetime for fairs, festivals and shows. Which means I’m usually grilling out with my other “single” friends.
  2. July 4th– Fans like to party on July 4th. And that usually means there’s music and concerts. So our husbands are out there working while we’re celebrating the 4th on our own.
  3. Labor Day – As the summer tour season winds down, Labor Day weekend is always a good one for a final push of shows. Giving true meaning to “labor day” for our husbands.
  4. Valentine’s Day – Even though it’s in February, my husband and I inevitably are apart on Valentine’s Day. Whether it’s a short winter tour, TV appearances, award shows or whatever, it seems this holiday is our nemesis.
  5. Birthdays & Anniversaries – So these aren’t technically “holidays,” but you still celebrate them! And, Murphy’s Law most always plays a part in making sure the hubs and I are apart for them.

I’ve spent plenty of other holidays alone (Thanksgiving, New Year’s, Easter), but thankfully those instances have been rare occurrences. What about you? What holidays does it seem your husband is never home for?

Kindness from a Stranger: Spending Mother’s Day Alone

I almost spent Mother’s Day alone, just me and my son. I decided I couldn’t bear it so I wrote on a Facebook group of Nashville band wives that I’d like to go to the lake if anyone wanted to join me. But no one replied and I truly hope that all of the other road mamas had their husbands home. I got a surprise invite to an afternoon bbq and the most amazing part is that it was from a woman I don’t know at all. My husband had met hers at a festival last summer – but she didnt know that. I gladly accepted the invitation and had a lovely time at their house. Her husband was not on the road and they invited over the neighbor (also a road widow whose husband was on the road). It was humbling and it was awesome.  mothersday-2-2014Maybe it was nothing for them to throw 2 extra burgers on the grill. Or maybe it was a real struggle for her (and her husband!) to share her Mother’s Day with a weird, random stranger who just moved here from Seattle. She had no obligation to me at all. I’m not sure if this new friend knows how much it meant to me but it brightened my day by 10,000,000 watts.

I want to challenge us all to pay it forward. Check in with your fellow band wives and other road widows. It can be so lonely and so hard, even for those who have been doing it for decades. Lift each other up, ladies!

Farewell 2013. Hello 2014.

Here we are again. About to bid another year farewell and welcome in a new year.

Every year at this time, we tend to reflect on the year past and look to the year ahead. For the year past some of us say good riddance and some of us say “now that was a good year.” For the new year, some of us look to it with hope and desire for good things, some of us make resolutions so the coming year might be “better” than the year past, and even some of us fret about change in the new year.

But who of us just relishes in contentment about both?

It’s hard not to compare. It’s easy to dwell on the negative. But this New Year’s Eve I challenge you to find contentment.

At the very beginning of this year (2013), I wrote a post about how overwhelming the new year seemed – New Year, New Baby, New Gig. Reading back over that post now I  remember how conflicted I was then – scared and overwhelmed about all the new things happening, yet knowing I should be excited about those same things. As I sit here now, almost a full year later, I can giggle at my past self. All of those feelings were most certainly real and valid. Yet I got past them. Funny how that works, isn’t it? And, when I did, I achieved a whole new level of my self. The challenges I faced at the beginning of 2013? I not only overcame them, I conquered them! But what’s even better is I found contentment in all the things thrown my way – mothering two children, becoming a stay at home mom, supporting my husband’s new (and higher profile) job, juggling various schedules, dedicating more time to writing, and (most importantly) taking care of myself.

So as I sit here now, on the last day of 2013, I am content. And not only about this past year, but also about the year to come. I am content in the decisions my husband and I have made and will make. I am content in my role in our family. I am content with my relationships, not just with my kids and husband, but with my friends and other family too. I am even content with my unknown future.

But don’t mistake this contentment with complacency. I believe that in being happy with who I am and what I’ve achieved, new opportunities and ideas often follow. So instead of looking forward to what this new year brings, I’m just going to enjoy who I am and where I am on this journey I call life.

I hope all of you can say the same.

Happy New Year’s my fellow Road Widows.


Five on Friday: The perfect gifts for Road Widows

IMG_4916If I know my fellow Road Widows, we’re all more worried about getting gifts for our family and friends than we are gifts for ourselves. So I thought I’d compile a list of gifts for Road Widows, to possibly save us all time.

1.  A globe. I was going to say a wall map, but just this week I met a women from Alaska. She told me, very seriously, about being asked why Alaska is so cold if it’s down by Mexico. YOU CAN’T MAKE THAT UP!  So let’s forgo the map and go for a globe. That way we can show our kids, or even just help ourselves fathom, the distance between us and our road warriors when they travel internationally.

2. A calendar. It’s a go-to gift at Christmas, but its quite handy for those of us trying to coordinate our own schedules along with kids schedules and touring schedules.

3. A spa day. Look, it can be stressful, this life we live. A spa day full of facials and massages and mimosas and manicures and… oh man. Make it happen, Santa. Make. It. Happen.

4. Road trip flights. We like getting to go see our guys on the road once in awhile. An open round trip would be so appreciated! For example, my husband has some shows near his hometown next year. I really want to go to those… I’d love even more to have them paid for already.

5. Hubby home for the holiday. Let’s face it. We spend a lot of holidays apart. In fact many of us won’t have our husbands home all the weeks leading up to Christmas. Some will, unfortunately, be apart ON Christmas. But I think I speak for all of us when I say that the best Christmas gift would be to have our husband home and with us on Christmas morning… opening gifts and sharing kisses under the mistletoe.

So tell me… what did I miss? What’s YOUR perfect Road Widow specific Christmas gift?

Five on Friday: People to be Thankful For

In the spirit of Thanksgiving and this month of giving thanks, today’s Five on Friday list is a shout out to all the people in the music industry we are thankful for.

  1. Bus drivers. Thank you for keeping our guys safe while on the road.
  2. Tour managers. Thank you for juggling all that you do, dealing with ticket requests from our family and friends and generally keeping our husbands in check.
  3. Artists. Thank you for giving our husbands a job, believing in them and making them a part of your road family.
  4. Crew members. Thank you for working the long, grueling hours it takes to put on an amazing show night after night and for being so fun to work with.
  5. Fans. Thank you for buying music and attending shows. Without you our husbands wouldn’t get the opportunity to do what they love – make music.

Remembering To Be Thankful. Even When It’s Tough.

As I sit here writing this, my husband is packing. Packing for a tour in Australia for several weeks. We’ve had a good break until this point. He’s mostly been home for two whole months and it’s been so nice having him around to do “normal” things.

The past few days I’ve found myself thinking in various moments, “I’m really gonna miss this.” I’ve thought this when we’re all sitting at the dinner table laughing at my daughter singing the alphabet in her “nice princess” voice and then screaming it in her “mean princess” voice. I’ve thought this every time my husband walks through the door and my son yelps excitedly and then crawls at mach speed to bear hug him. I’ve thought this when we have family movie night in our pajamas because, well, it’s Friday night. And I’ve thought this when my husband, my co-parent, is able to step in and take over when I’m losing my patience with our three year old.

These moments. They’ve made me sad.

When he’s about to leave, it’s easy to start going down that road. The one where you start mourning all the things you’re going to miss. I do it often.

This time though, I’m trying to turn it around. I’m choosing to remember grace and thankfulness. During a holiday season that is sadly losing it’s true meaning to consumerism as so perceptively stated in The Huffington Post, I think it’s important for all of us to stop and reflect on what is truly good in our lives. Even when it seems hard to do so.

giving thanksFor me I am thankful that my husband has a job that allows him extended time at home when he gets it. I am thankful that his job has afforded me the flexibility to be at home, raising our kids, and available to him 100% when he is home with us. I am thankful that our children have a strong and healthy relationship with their father because when he is home, he is able to be in the moment with them.  I am thankful that my children are healthy and happy because their parents are healthy and happy. And, I am thankful that while he is often gone, I still have a partner – as a spouse and as a parent.

So while it saddens me that I will sit at our family’s Thanksgiving table on Thursday while my husband sits at another halfway across the globe, I will still be gracious. I will choose to be thankful for ALL that we are blessed with. Because our blessings, they are plentiful.

What are the moments you miss when your guy leaves for a run? How can you look at that differently from a perspective of thankfulness?