Drumming with a Family

SadOnion

Member
Hi Drummerworld community!

This is my first post here and I want to open a discussion about the above topic.

Let me start by saying that I love the drums! The thrill of playing live and the happiness when you learn new things is just amazing and never seems to wear off. I'm sure you all share my feelings, so you all know where I'm coming from.

Let me add by saying that I have recently become a married man! You know how much I love the drums? Well I love my wife just as much. Actually more, but for the sake of this post we'll just say equally.

With being married, a lot has had to change. I'm resigned to practice only on pillows and rubber pads. I don't have any room to set the kit up and I don't ACTUALLY remember what my cymbals sound like. Well a little, anyways, I'm not complaining. Pillows and rubber pads are good for practice and now I guess have more space for... Furniture and... Stuff. S'all good. Happy face. The main thing is, my wife is against me gigging. It comes from a money perspective and I can respect that, in Australia playing music isn't exactly lucrative. Another side note, she doesn't like the idea of me being out every weekend rockin' out. This could change but right now it's on the 'con' side of her list.

Here's my question to everyone who might have an answer - How can you have a family and play music?

Is there anyone out there in a similar situation to mine? Anyone who has overcome with dilemma? I'm a little bit desperate, drumming is what makes me me, and it would be a the worst shame to give it up.

Many thanks to all!
 

poika

Silver Member
I'm a little bit desperate, drumming is what makes me me, and it would be a the worst shame to give it up.
Hi!
The most important thing, in my opinion, is to be totally honest. If this is how you feel, you should tell it to her and talk about it.

A lot of times when two people get married, they kind of give up on things important to them, for the sake of marriage, thus losing a part of themselves in the process.

Then again, of course money is a big thing, especially when it comes to a mutual household. But money is just money. Having your own hobbies and your own time is crucial!
Maybe try to find a balance. Do you need to rock out every weekend, or could you cut back on some gigs?


I stopped playing for years, to "concentrate on the family", although it ate me up inside.
I can tell you now that it wasn't a good move.
 

toddmc

Gold Member
The state of live music in Oz being what it is at the moment, I wouldn't worry about being out every single weekend (maybe you can compromise with a gig a month)?
I was a weekend warrior for about 5 years (last gig in 2008). Back then we could have played 2 or 3 gigs every weekend (covers band).
Sadly, things have taken a turn for the worse for live music so it's all DJ's or the one guy with a guitar and drum machine....
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
Hey. I know people in your situation. Sounds like you're trying to "do the right thing," but it's just going to eat you up inside, make you resentful, and eventually come to a head UNLESS you deal with it. I'm gonna be honest about your situation, based on what I've witnessed friends and colleagues go through, and it may come across as being harsh, but whatever resonates with you, take it to heart.

Let me add by saying that I have recently become a married man! You know how much I love the drums? Well I love my wife just as much. Actually more, but for the sake of this post we'll just say equally.
You really don't need to play the "compare game" to justify your decisions to yourself. This is red flag number one.

With being married, a lot has had to change.
Actually, no it didn't. Red flag number two. Hopefully your wife married you for who you are, not who you are trying to be around her.

I'm resigned to practice only on pillows and rubber pads. I don't have any room to set the kit up and I don't ACTUALLY remember what my cymbals sound like. Well a little, anyways, I'm not complaining. Pillows and rubber pads are good for practice and now I guess have more space for... Furniture and... Stuff.
Sounds like you've already set the precedent for being the martyr in this relationship. Another red flag. Ask yourself: would your relationship survive if you didn't sacrifice these things for the sake of harmony?

S'all good. Happy face.
This is what concerns me most. BIG red flag here...you're putting a candy coating on the situation, blissfully ignoring dealing with it, glossing over it in your mind, putting it off for "later," or all of the above. The longer you go not resolving this issue, the bigger it will get in your mind. You're already seeking "outside counsel" for what sounds like justifying a decision you regret. Deal with it head on. Have the conversation, either one on one or with a counselor.

The main thing is, my wife is against me gigging.
It sounds as if she's against you practicing, too.

It comes from a money perspective and I can respect that, in Australia playing music isn't exactly lucrative. Another side note, she doesn't like the idea of me being out every weekend rockin' out.
If it's THAT important to you, it would be worth your time and the money shouldn't matter. Also, if it's THAT important to you, she should be supportive.

This could change but right now it's on the 'con' side of her list.
Tell me...what will make it "change" for her? Want to know what I've seen? Countless musicians gripping tightly to the hope that "things will change, even though she's not into ________ right now." I've never seen one girlfriend/wife "change" to suddenly love music and be supportive.

Here's my question to everyone who might have an answer - How can you have a family and play music?
You just do. Whether you're making a living at it or just putzing around in the garage as a hobby, if drumming/music is SO important to you, you will make room for it in your own life. Having a family just gives you a more difficult schedule to navigate and more responsibilities to keep up on. If you want it in your life, you need to communicate that to people who you schedule your life with, and schedule some time to do it.

I'm a little bit desperate, drumming is what makes me me, and it would be a the worst shame to give it up.
You. Already. Have.

Please hear me: it sounds to me as though you are deluding yourself. You've already conceded this much in your relationship. Have the conversation you're avoiding with your wife. If she truly loves you, she will not prevent you from pursuing your happiness and passions (unless, of course, your passions happen to be ruining other peoples' lives--drumming does not do this in and of itself...)

I feel for you. When you got married, your wife married you for YOU, not for who you are pretending to be right now (this person who drumming "doesn't matter" to--clearly you care enough about it to at least ask a bunch of anonymous online drummers about it...)

Seriously, good luck.
 

Brian

Gold Member
Good post, caddywumpus.

Sorry I don't have any great advice for you, Sadonion. I've been down this road before though.

Marriage and relationships = becoming someone else's property, and vice versa. I quickly learned that it isn't for everyone and definitely wasn't for me.
 

EarthRocker

Senior Member
Just explain to her how you feel. Chances are, you're still a relative newly wed. After a bit of time passes, chances are, she'll start to love the prospect of you being gone on weekend. My wife and I do indeed love each other, but now we're going on four years (in short, we're very comfortable with each other, and do things we've never even done around our parents), so we say and do things to each other, and have really learned how to push each other's buttons. So when I need to gig or go to a rehearsal, she's never apposed to it, unless I've already made plans. That's her chance to spend time with our daughter without me getting in the way, or even just some personal space.

A lot of people seem to think that you marry someone, and you want to be around that person 24/7 for the rest of your life. But in all honesty, after a year or so, maybe even months depending on your patience, there WILL be times when you want to kill each other. And these are just small issues - there will be big ones, also. Just keep in mind, it's always better to fix something if it is broken, rather than throw it away.

I really lucked out with my wife I believe. She doesn't care for me banging on my drums full blast as long as the door is closed to somewhat muffle the sound, and I warn her ( in case she's napping or tryin' to get our daughter to nap, etc.) She's also perfectly okay with me tapping on my practice pad while we're all watching TV, as long as I don't get too carried away and start to drown out the TV.

Before a really long post gets too much longer, I'll finish with this: your wife is probably not used to drums... at all. She's not used to the lifestyle, and doesn't understand. Give her time to warm up to them, and the idea of what it means for you to play. She has to adjust to the idea of there being two beautiful women in your life - herself, and your drum set.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
I felt sad reading the OP. This is the bottom line ...

If she truly loves you, she will not prevent you from pursuing your happiness and passions (unless, of course, your passions happen to be ruining other peoples' lives--drumming does not do this in and of itself...)
 

MaryO

Platinum Member
Caddywumpus said it all.

She must have known how much your drumming meant to you BEFORE you married her...if not than you weren't being honest with her and now you're in a pickle. Sure, there should be some compromise but it sounds as if it's just you giving in.

Better set it straight now, or it will just eat at you until your happy face, it's all good attitude turns into bitterness.

Good luck!
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Many years ago I got married to an 18 year old girl. I was 24 years old. From day one she knew I was a drummer. Whenever I went to play she put up a fuss. She came with me most of the time, but she was unhappy with me playing drums. As I later discovered, her reaction to my drum playing was due to her immaturity and her lack of self-esteem.

However, later on in my life I discovered that it is always difficult to share your significant other with the things that they love to do.

Imagine for a moment that your wife is an actress or a dancer. And she goes off on a regular basis and performs on the stage with other actors and dancers. The actors in the acting community can be very close to each other. And when she get tons of praise from other actors and the audience, you would find yourself feeling jealousy and many other emotions as you share your partner with the entertainment community.

Someone who is deeply involved in their own hobbies must always be aware of how it affects others. And you must always be sure that your significant other and your children get enough face time. And you need to continually assure them and show them by your actions that they are number one on your list.


.
 

spleeeeen

Platinum Member
I too think Caddy lays it out well here. This in particular resonates with me:

, if drumming/music is SO important to you, you will make room for it in your own life. Having a family just gives you a more difficult schedule to navigate and more responsibilities to keep up on. If you want it in your life, you need to communicate that to people who you schedule your life with, and schedule some time to do it.
 

dazzlez

Senior Member
Agree with Caddys advice as well. You need a reality check, you are being controlled BIG TIME. Not only will u be sick of it eventually, she will probably lose respect and feelings as well. Its attractive with people women and men who puts the foot down every now and then. It shows you are more than a empty shell that says "yes darling" to her every wish.
Was as nice as I could be, whenever I see a friend being controlled in a relationship I get upset.
 

Magenta

Platinum Member
Not a great deal to add to Caddy's comprehensive reply, except to compare your situation with mine. I had been happily married for 22 years when, to my astonishment and Mr Madge's, I fell in love with drumming. It came pretty much out of nowhere; it's not as if the poor man was eased into it in any way. I suppose I should add that it was his fault for buying me the kit in the first place, but that really is a detail.

Three years later, I'm a still-happily-married happy drummer. I recently joined my first band, and we have had the conversation about gigs: he said he didn't want me to go gigging. When I told him that one of our friends had said that we could open for his band occasionally, he was thrilled. When I told him that we are aiming to find a niche for ourselves playing at functions, he thought it was a great idea. My point is that there are gigs and gigs, and the gigs Mr Madge doesn't want me to play are the gigs I don't want to play either. Neither of us feels as if we are having to compromise: we both want the same thing.

There has to be give and take in any relationship, but I think the less difficult ones require the least amount.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
It seems these are things that should be discussed and worked out BEFORE getting married.

I met my wife was I was gigging a lot. She has always been 100% supportive of any musical endeavors I've wanted to do. I can't imagine it any other way.
 

Dutch

Senior Member
+1 for Caddy, and Magenta has a really valid point too: give and take. So perhaps your wife doesn't like the idea of you going out gigging all the time, or being too noisy practising drums in the house. So why not go to a practice space? I know Soundlevel in Ultimo is open 7 days a week, you can bring your drums and play to your heart's content, and they won't charge you more than $10 an hour for using the space.

Keep on drumming, keep on talking about it, make sure your wife knows what it means to you. She loves you, she wants you to be happy.

Good luck,

Dutch
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
It seems these are things that should be discussed and worked out BEFORE getting married.
I must say, it's the first thing that came to my mind too.

Before the fact, was the time to do it I would have thought.

I met my wife was I was gigging a lot.
Me too. We seem to have a very similar "tale of the tape" you and I.

Although having stopped some years ago, I do believe I've now set a new "trend"....in that if I tried to go back and work as regularly as I was, I reckon I'd certainly meet some opposition. There's no doubt they get used to having you around and the longer you sit idle, the harder it is to get back to what it was. Still, to be fair, it is my job....not my wife....that keeps me from committing to regular band work.
 

JustJames

Platinum Member
This:



And grow one of these:



In any relationship, if you are not happy you are not in a position to make anybody else happy either.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Me too. We seem to have a very similar "tale of the tape" you and I.
Yes, we seem to have many parallels, despite being on different sides of the earth. lol

Although having stopped some years ago, I do believe I've now set a new "trend"....in that if I tried to go back and work as regularly as I was, I reckon I'd certainly meet some opposition. There's no doubt they get used to having you around and the longer you sit idle, the harder it is to get back to what it was. Still, to be fair, it is my job....not my wife....that keeps me from committing to regular band work.
I'd get zero resistance from my wife. My kids would be a different story.

I have plenty of buddies I can recommend to take a Saturday night gig. I can't sub out being dad.
 

Angus Macinnes

Senior Member
Okay you have gotten some good advise here so let me be the bad guy. Your Doomed, You should have addressed all this before getting married. I can't imagine she did not know you played drums while you were dating.

I have a friend that recently got married, she is not into what he and I and most of all his friends were (acting) nothing kinky. I dont expect we will see him again and that is very sad state of affairs.
 

groove1

Silver Member
Drumming, family etc.....it's easy....Marry the RIGHT person and BE the right person.
I know guys that ended up practicing 3 or 5 minutes at a time when they could for years because of family duties/responsibilities. They stuck with it, practicing whenever they could and in retirement they are full time musicians that have decent chops. I know other married guys who play every weekend and jam a lot etc. It really depends on yourself, who you married, and if you are having children etc....gotta prioritize and everybody has different priorities....gotta do what works for your situation if you want to keep the marriage intact.
 
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