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Before settling down in Chicago I played in a band, a couple bands actually. But one in particular helped shape the younger me and how I experienced life. I never would’ve thought then that it would also prepare me to be a better father and a partner in parenthood.

Here are 6 things I learned while playing in a band that have helped me with this dad thing:

1) Coming up with names can be the biggest source of frustration and debate
Someone thinks it’s generic, one thinks it’s perfect, over and over and over again.
2) The quieter you try to be, the louder you actually are
When recording music, it’s inevitable that you bump a mic, drop a stick, cough or fart exactly when you shouldn’t. when your little is sleeping and you just want to wash some dishes, something always slips and someone wakes up ready to party.
3) One member of the group didn’t get enough sleep
Sometimes it’s you, sometimes it’s them but it always spells trouble at some point in the day.
4) What you think will be the big hits probably won’t be the big hits
The song you spent weeks on won’t compare to the one you wrote in the shower and that toy with 300 5-star reviews doesn’t stand a chance against the box it came in.
5) Someone in the audience always thinks they know better
“Turn your amp down for better low end!”, “Let them cry, it’ll teach them to self soothe.”, “You would be better if you played more cover songs!!!”, “In my day, a little boy would never wear a pink shirt.”
6) When all is said and done, if everyone is happy, it was a success
Art, like parenting, shouldn’t be a competition. Do what feels right, create something you’re proud of, and don’t let anyone make you feel like you’re doing it wrong.

Have you, or do you currently, play in a band AND have children? Tell me what similarities you see and how raising a toddler is like dealing with a crazy band member or the shitty music industry!