The Parent Trip: Being in a band

A year ago, I wrote a column about starting a band. My girlfriends and I started a band to … well, to be used as an escape mechanism.

  • Nov. 18, 2014 7:00 a.m.

By Shelby Cain


A year ago, I wrote a column about starting a band. My girlfriends and I started a band to … well, to be used as an escape mechanism. We needed a reason to get together without the kids. We needed to do something, just for us. So a band seemed logical. We call ourselves Wild Honey. We considered the name ‘Excuse to Leave’, but thought that might be a bit too transparent to our husbands.

Recently a few people have asked me about the status of the band, so I thought I’d give you a little update. The band is charging, full steam ahead. We’ve played several gigs, even been paid once. The show was at a clothing store, so the payment was in pants, but hey…free pants.

Whenever someone finds out I’m in a band, I always get this great reaction, like “Really? Good for you!” I have to admit it feels awesome. You don’t usually get that reaction when someone asks you what you do and you tell them you’re a mom. Somehow it doesn’t seem quite as glamourous. And I think when you and everyone you know has the same job, no matter what the job is, it doesn’t feel very cool. It’s just normal.

This summer, I invested in a shiny red guitar. I think it might be my less expensive equivalent to a crisis Ferrari but I’m okay with that. The highlight of the band so far has been working with the dad of one of our members, who happens to be a famous musician and an incredibly cool guy. He’s taken mercy on us, embraced our musical ignorance, and tucked us gently under his experienced wing. After several eye-opening tutorials we even got to join him on stage this fall. During sound check, I kept expecting someone to come and drag me off. I probably would’ve gone, my tail tucked between my legs, apologizing profusely for my mental lapse. But that didn’t happen. Instead we belted out three of our songs, one of his classics and we didn’t screw it up too badly. It was a blast. After we finished we were standing beside the stage talking with some other musicians who’d been playing that day. One of them asked me what we did. “Actually, we’re moms. All together, we have eight kids under nine.” As I said it, I braced myself for his response, like somehow I’d just blown my temporary rock star disguise. “You guys are moms? No way, that’s so cool! Hey Jay, these girls are moms! Can you believe that? When do you practice?” As he yelled over to his band mate, I couldn’t help but smile. To him, that was definitely not normal. Yup. We’re moms. Cool.