September 14, 2015

So, You Want To Be A Band Wife, Huh?

I started this blog coming up on 3 years ago now for a few simple reasons; I was just completing a Masters program and wanted a outlet to continue writing (since it’s something I really enjoy doing), I thought it would be a great way to learn photography (I had only picked up my first DSLR camera a month before starting the blog), and, well, it just sounded like fun! I called the blog “The Band Wife” because, you know, when you’re creating a “brand”, even a small brand, you want to focus on things you’re good at and things that make you unique. Well, being the wife of a full-time touring musician was certainly unique for Springfield, MO (where we lived at the time) and I definitely felt like I stuck out from everyone else I knew in that regard, so that’s the quirk I chose to center the blog around. What surprised me is that it only took a few weeks before I got an email from a sweet reader saying that they were in a serious relationship with a touring musician and were writing to ask me for advice on how to handle the life. Well, since I didn’t really know anyone else in the same situation at the time, I had never been asked for advice on how to deal with before it so I had to sit down and think about it for a minute. I made a list of my top tips that help me the most, emailed the girl back, and saved the list just in case it ever came up again. It’s a good thing I saved it because it’s been a reoccurring theme in my inbox ever since then and it’s been fun to see that this little (and at times random) snapshot into my life has been a supportive reminder for some of your out there that you aren’t alone in this weird, crazy life.

I actually felt a bit dumb about the title of my blog when I realized we were for sure moving to Nashville this year. I mean, being a band wife here is nothing new, so it felt dorky to have that be a “unique” thing about me in this location. But you know what? For all the band wives that live in musician bubbles like Nashville, L.A., Austin, or New York, there are plenty that live in smaller cities or areas where the music scene is not exactly thriving and they are the only person they know trying to cope with the lifestyle. So, for you gals out there, I’ll keep the name and continue sharing the glimpses into the peaks and valleys that you all deal with too.

Oh, and the actual point of this post is that I’m going to compile and post some more comprehensive thoughts on the subject of dealing with a traveling musician partner, so if you’ve got any questions you’ve always wanted to ask or advice of your own, leave it in the comments below!! Todd will be traveling for the next 6 weeks on a fall tour, so if you’re home alone too, I feel ya! Let me know if you want to talk…signature

17 thoughts on “So, You Want To Be A Band Wife, Huh?

  1. Manon B

    Hey Laura,

    I have been reading your blog as well as Skunkboy’s and ABM for a while now. I really love your tone of voice and the stories you share, especially your recent trip to Paris as I am Parisian ! It was lovely to read about my city from your point of view.

    About this article, I totally understand your point. I just have something I keep thinking about : as I admire your entrepreneur side for your blog, it seems weird to present yourself as someone’s wife instead of as yourself. It looks a bit old school to me. It looks as you are in Todd’s shadow, and I believe you are much more than that. I don’t want to seem like a troll but the feminist in me can’t refrain from commenting about it…

    1. thebandwifeblog Post author

      Hi Manon!
      I do appreciate your thought and the “nicer” way of saying it than I’ve heard before. I feel like I present myself in this blog as a whole person since I talk about lots of different things on the blog, not just the band wife aspect. But the title “band wife/blogger/artist/singer/cat lover/pizza fanatic/theology buff/shopping addict” is too long to make into a blog title, so I couldn’t really use every aspect of my life as the title. It’s just one part of me, not the whole thing, but it’s a part that affects my life A LOT. It’s a big deal to have the person your married to gone for 9 months out of the year and that gets into every aspect of your life. But, it’s totally true that I am a “band wife” just as Todd is a “blogger husband” and has to deal with all the photo shoots and home decor choices that go along with his title. It’s not who he is overall, but he has to deal with certain things having a wife for a full-time blogger. So, I do understand what you’re saying, but I’m proud to be both the wife of an extremely talented musician and lots of other things as well 😉


      1. Manon B

        It all makes sense, no worries 😉
        And I definitelly enjoy see all the ///’s in your blog ! So keep it up 🙂
        And as I am not a band wife, I can’t even imagine what it’s like to be away from you love one for so long, so may the force be with you for these 9 months !

  2. Riki Geyer

    I too am a “band wife” of sorts. My husband toured for 10 years selling merchandise and he now works in the manufacturing and production end of things. His work hours are crazy because bands are in all different time zones ad his work/personal life is not well separated because all his friends also work in the industry so they see no issue with get togethers that focus on work talk…plus he also still goes on a few short tours every year because of what he calls “the itch”. Now that he doesn’t tour as much I have different issues to “deal with” but I think all relationships have these types of things so I wouldn’t complain or focus on them. I can say that when he toured I had to be very trusting. He’s not a phone talker and it was before technology was so advanced so he would leave and we would have short conversations every few days…and he would be brief and not too lovey because the small bus didn’t allow for much privacy and he didn’t feel comfortable talking sweet to me with his buddies around. I only went on tour with him once…it wasn’t for me. A lot of sitting around and waiting and small dirty venues. Plus, the merch guy is one of the first to start working and the last to finish by the time he counts out and settles and the end of the night. Like I said, a lot of sitting around and waiting for nothing. I would actually get used to him being gone on tour rather quickly, I had a busy life of my own and stayed active. I always found it harder to be the person at home though…my life went on with the most important piece missing while he as off on an adventure. Then he would come home and I’d have to re-introduce him into my/our life and change my routines to accommodate. Even harder now when he goes because we have two kids and his work schedule means he’s not around to see them most days, so I single parent a lot…then he comes home and tries to do things “his way” and it’s really hard for all of us to adjust. Not sure the purpose of my comment other than to vent…while his tour/band friends have started finding serious relationships I’m the only girl that’s been around more than a year or two (18 actually) so none of them really understand the experience in the same way, and since I have kids we are in different life stages and aren’t close friends. I’ve never had another “band wife” to talk through it all with and something about your post got me going…I could talk about this and the challenges associated with this “not so glamorous life” for days, I’m sure you can relate….

    1. thebandwifeblog Post author

      Hi Riki!
      I totally understand the part about having to switch back and forth between two routines all the time and yes, that has to make it much harder to be the only long term relationship in the group. It’s great to have Todd in a band with guys that are also super committed to their wives and kids, it’s much more family friendly than I know some other bands can be. And yeah, visiting on the road isn’t for everyone, that’s for sure! March guys do have the longest schedules too, so that sucks when visiting. I feel ya, hang in there!

      Laura 😉

  3. Kaitlin

    I’m no band wife but I have been a long time reader of your blog since I discovered you via A Beautiful Mess. I just wanted to tell you that I admire your positivity, honesty and creativity. Thanks for being a kind and funny voice on the Internet.

    P.S. I live in Nashville too! If you ever wanna grab coffee (my treat!) and cuddle a cute baby (I may be biased but my 2 month old son is pretty darn precious), hit me up on Instagram (kaitlinmcduffie)! 🙂

  4. Cassandra

    Being a band wife isn’t easy. It wasn’t easy for me, although, I made it look easy. I had my husband’s publicist tell me once how great I was, not whiny at all, or angry at him for being away all of the time. She said so many wives/girlfriends she had met were like that. Well, I held a lot inside. My husband was a work addict. When he wasn’t on tour he was writing, producing, producing for others, writing with other musicians, always concocting new ideas. There was always something else to do outside of his band. He even wrote, recorded, and produced a symphony. Now the thing is, he loved me, with all of his heart, and I knew that. I loved him, too, but the resentment built and built… He was no longer there for our relationship. He no longer gave it the attention it deserved, and I hated him for it. I used to love music. I loved going to his shows and being the wife of a creative genius, an amazing musician, and an incredible lead singer. But that’s not enough to sustain a relationship on. I made a really difficult decision to leave him after one too many nights of cooking for one, of collapsing on my kitchen floor in tears because I just couldn’t handle the loneliness any longer. It may seem like I couldn’t handle him being away, but that’s not it. I supported him in his career, touring was something I could buck up and handle. It was when he was home, and he still wasn’t with me.

    Now I have a completely normal life with a boyfriend who comes home to me every night. Yes, I miss touring sometimes and being the proud wife of that guy up there all those kids were cheering for, but I no longer have to sleep alone or cook for one. My husband never learned how to balance his “work” with his family life, and he was never going to change. His career was all encompassing for him.

    I do look back on and appreciate so much from our time together. I got to travel the country multiple times, I lived in various states, and even toured Australia a couple times on a festival tour. I was a pretty lucky gal and I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything.

    1. thebandwifeblog Post author

      Oh wow Cassandra, that must have been so difficult to go through! It totally takes two people to make this life work and both have to be willing to make sacrifices as needed and put other things aside to put in the necessary time to keep the relationship healthy. Sorry you went through such heartache, hope this next chapter is a sunny one for you!

      Laura 🙂

  5. Sydney

    Hi Laura!

    I’m not a band “wife” per se, but I have been a band girlfriend for almost 2 years now and it definitely has it’s ups and downs. I would never want my guy to sacrifice anything musically or creatively, just as he would want for me, so compromise is something I’ve become accustom to. There is so much love and trust between us, which is why every time he leaves for tour a little piece of my heart goes with him. I was wondering how you learned to cope with your husband having amazing experiences abroad while you’re dealing with commitments like work at home? I care for him so much that I want to enjoy all of our best times together (which I realize can’t always happen), how did you learn to cope with enjoying life apart? ie: hobbies, fill your time with friend hang outs, etc?

  6. Bekah

    My partner isn’t a musician, however as we’ve both graduated we’ve moved back to our hometowns and are now long distance – any advice on how to cope when apart is much appreciated!

  7. Daryn

    Hey Laura Girl!
    I’ve had your blog bookmarked for quite a long time. I remember first seeing you over on ABM, and I was like “OMG! SHE’S CUTE AND SHE LIKES LEATHER AND BLACK AND STUDS AND STUFF.” So I knew I’d like your blog! I just wanted to give you a little encouragement. I obviously don’t know you on a personal level, but I think your personality really comes through your writing. I’m always stoked to see you have a new post because of it!

    I think the title of your blog is fitting, whether you’re in a small city, or the biggest musical capital in America, You’re still a wife to a dude in a band, ya know?. I personally really like the title. I’m sure in your case- you’re so proud of your hubster, and you’re probably proud to be his wife, and I think you being proud of your title makes him feel special too! I think it’s just a sweet, simple nod to your life and relationship! I might have rambled a bit here, but my main point was: Own it. It’s fitting, cute, and true.

    I also give you massive props for your positivity. I’m sure it must be insanely difficult to be apart from your dude for such long periods of time. But I think you’re graceful, supportive, and I admire your strength in that area!
    Keep being you. :]

    Proverbs 31:25

  8. Carla

    To be honest, I absolutely love the title of you blog! (It’s the reason I started reading it.) I too am a “band” wife-to-be (soon-to-be wife) and before we moved to Nashville, it was really hard for me to meet other women in the same position. That’s when I found your blog, which I love because you are a musician’s wife, among other things. I do get where other women will protest the name (yay feminism?) because you are more than just a “band wife,” but to me that is a given. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I am happy that you are keeping the name and embracing it for what it is.

    Good news is that now that you live in Nashville you will meet lots of musician’s significant others and while our boys are out of town, we like to get together and hang out. There is a huge sense of community here and you will for sure eventually find a great group of strong women who will 100% get you, support you, and drink lots of wine with you. Did I mention the cheese? Yea, that too.

  9. Daniela

    My boyfriend’s band is just starting to tour. He’s about to leave for three weeks. I’m definitely feeling it! I look forward to your post with tips!

  10. Alexis

    Love this! I’m a band wife too, and it’s always comforting to hear about another lady living in a similar situation! Looking forward to hearing more of your perspective 🙂

    Alexis Smith

  11. Tany

    Mrs Cat lover,
    I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed reading your blog’s post, I love the fact that you portrait a very positive image of a “band wife” that are usually pictured as trophy wives and it’s also easy to get confused by the fact that you are a gorgeous girl but all of the sudden you realize that this girl has killer design skills and this lovely cat obsession that you can only feel like she is your dearest friend from elementary school, so please continue creating “bandwife” projects besides ABM because some of your DIY’s are in the top of my hugh list of favorite projects to be completed.


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