Your Gateway to Music and More from a Christian Perspective
Slow down as you approach the gate, and have your change ready....
the Rock Doc
Sound Advice for a Song
By psychologist, Dr Bruce L. Thiessen, aka Dr BLT
***Content of response may be altered as well as other aspects of the piece to keep the inquiring party's inquiry confidential and to emphasize certain key psychological and scriptural points.
Dear Rock Doc:
I'm just 19, but I'm already a father. What's difficult is that my 5-year-old daughter, Haley, has very little time to spend with her father. Her mother and I have been married for several years, but I am touring with a band that has just had a string of top 40 hits and I just can't afford to be spending much time with my family right now. I'm the lead singer and I write most of the songs, so the band depends heavily on me.
I feel soooooooo guilty, and when I am at home, I'm constantly trying to make it up to my daughter, Haley, but I feel like it's never enough. My wife, Laura, also demands a lot from me while I'm home (though she's very understanding and supportive when it comes to my touring). Some of my buddies in the band saw you on MTV and one of them told me you have a column for musicians. I want to hear if you have any "musically-enhanced" advice regarding me and my daughter, and would also like to request a link to your song, Short Part/Long Cake Music Video that's all about your experience working on the Cake video.
Young Daddy with Deprived Daughter
Dear Young Daddy:
I understand your dilemma. I cannot tell you to stop touring, or to cut back on your touring dates in order to spend more time with Haley and Laura. That is a decision that must be made between you, your family, and those who manage your music career.
What I can recommend is that you make the most out of your time with your daughter, and that you find creative ways of letting her know that you care. Your wife should be receiving such attention also. Sometimes, when I see and hear my daughter cry because I have to go to work, it breaks my heart, and I find myself missing her throughout the day.
One of the things I did to express my love for my daughter is to include her in my music. I began when she was only a few days old. She is included on my re-make of Vanilla Ice's Ice Ice Baby (our version is called Nice, Nice Baby. Her cries and baby sounds really make the song.
Within a few weeks, she was actually aired at a college radio station in Christchild, New Zealand where I was interviewed via telephone and one of my songs, featuring her, was aired.
Of course there is a danger when a parent imposes their own dreams on their children in a manner in which the children feel they have no choice in the matter. Of course, at the age of 5 days, she didn't have much of a choice, but as she gets older, I want her to feel "invited" to participate in music, not manipulated or pressured. I want her to follow her own dreams. Many parents are so invested in living their own dreams vicariously through their children, that their children end up developing emotional and mental problems as a result.
But finding a way to include your daughter, and your wife, in your career could relieve your feelings of guilt, while strengthening your relationship with each of them.
Also, since you are a songwriter, I would suggest incorporating your feelings about your wife and your daughter into your music. Father's day is coming up, and this song of mine seems to have been adopted by some on the internet as a Father's Day theme of sorts. I thought I'd offer you a listen to the song as an example of what you could do for your daughter, your wife, or both, through your own music.
My Very Own Daddy's Girl
Based on what you've told me so far, this is not a situation that necessarily requires therapy. It requires that you share with your family, your sense of being torn between two important sets of priorities. It requires that you, being a singer/songwriter try to address the problem and become a part of the solution, through your song creations. And it requires prayer. Pray that God will reveal the path your should follow as it pertains to balancing these two sets of priorities in your life. God can use you in a mighty way through your music. But unless your family ties are strong, and your family feels your love, much of your success will begin to feel shallow.
Before I end this, let me fulfill your other request. Here's
Short Part/Long Cake Music
If you're a musician in distress,
or a friend or family member of one, write Dr BLT at firstname.lastname@example.org