Pat Monahan’s Blog: Phases of Fatherhood

11/11/2010 at 08:00 AM ET

Thanks for welcoming our newest celebrity bloggerPat Monahan!

The Train frontman is dad to two teens — Patrick, 17, and Emelia, 13 — as well as Autumn, his 2-year-old daughter with wife Amber.

In addition to Train — whose latest album Save Me, San Francisco has spawned the hit singles “Hey, Soul Sister,” “If It’s Love” and “Marry Me” — Monahan also voices the lead character on Sprout’s Driver Dan’s Story Train.

In his latest blog, Monahan, 41, discusses the tradeoffs that come with being a dad on the road — and why if you bring your children to a Train show, they may just end up on stage!

Autumn joins Dad for a shave – Courtesy Pat Monahan


Over the years, I’ve been asked a lot about having children — how it has affected my music and how it is touring with a family. There are a ton of answers to these questions. First of all, having children has really defined me as a person, a musician and mostly as a writer. The responsibility that comes with trying to be a good parent really forms everything for you without having to force it.

I was 23 years old when my son Patrick was born; 28 years old when my daughter Emelia was born and I was 39 years old when Autumn was born. Each phase of life as an artist was also a phase as a father. I have no idea what my music would be without children. I don’t want to know.

I’ve always been a guy who felt like I was getting to the real meanings of life through children way more than music. Music, however, has been my healer and energy force and I am so lucky to have both a voice and a family.

Patrick and Emelia horse around – Courtesy Pat Monahan


As the last of seven kids myself, I’ve always been surrounded by children. I was an uncle at age 5! Having children around me just feels right. This is why I usually choose kids to come onstage and be “trainettes” at Train shows. They’re so much fun and they’re really sincere — I love sincerity most in life.

Speaking of, I sincerely miss my children right now. I’m in Argentina with the band and without Skype and a cell phone, I’d be a crazy (well, crazier) person.

Being a father has been natural for me, but I am sad about all the time I miss with my children. I don’t get to go to games, see plays, attend PTA meetings, etc. I do, however, get to be with my kids in beautiful places and do amazing things that I only dreamed of as a child.

So, I suppose there really is no perfect way to live life. Loving your family is what you all deserve in the end. Someone has to believe in you and have your back. I love my family and we have each other’s backs.

My father taught me at a very young age that blood is thicker than water. Not sure exactly what that means, but I plan to say it to my children a lot as time goes on. Thanks, Dad … I think? 🙂

Daddy’s girls – Courtesy Pat Monahan


Sending you love,

— Pat Monahan

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Showing 38 comments

Alexis Ceule on

Love that you have Pat doing these blogs for you. If you get to a show, enjoy those moments he takes to interact with the young kids in attendance. He makes them feel right at home. I think he speaks their language. LOL!

Cindy Abramo on

You know what it means (or how that feels)! I feel as parents we unconsciously direct our children and pass along those family messages, rituals, anecdotes we learned as children. Whether it be a good message or not. It sounds like you were blessed to be surrounded by a ton of love as a child and are passing those same comforts and support along to your “kiddos”. Good for you Mr. Monahan, we need more of that.

Sorry you don’t get to be with your kids as much as you would like. There are always sacrifices we make for the betterment of our clan. But it looks like you have a pretty solid foundation and a great woman to back you and great kids (yet trying, I’m sure ;-)) to be proud of.

Keep on doin’! We love ya and wish you total happiness in life! Again, thanks for sharing:-)

Lynne on

I teared up reading about how he views family, because he is so right on about it! Thank you, Pat for being the soul that you are, and giving your children the life you have given them. Also, thank you for the great music you and the band put out there. I caught your show here (at the Rialto) last year, and it was awesome–truly one of the best shows I have ever seen!

Sharon on

Beautiful! What a good daddy!

mommyof2 on

what a wonderful daddy!! his kids are absolutly beautiful!! what a wonderful blogger!!!

ELO on

Super sweet photos.

Lilianne on

Love the pictures..they are really sweet and beautiful. I love photos of people because to me they are like the most wonderful sort of art you can look at.

I appreciate the words about music and children. Music has helped me get through some tough times and if I am having a bad day I put on a song that makes me smile. I am sorry you have to miss your kids so much when you are away. I am sure there is no easy balance and I wish you peace when you are away from them.

Lastly, thanks for giving me my newest ringtone for my phone…I downloaded Hey Soul Sister and every time I get a text I have to smile! 🙂

Katie on

they all have the same beautiful smile!

Mel on

Pat is really great with kids! I have gotten a couple of what my daughter labled “odografs” from him for both of my girls… A few years ago they even drew him pictures, I have no idea what they looked like because they sealed them before they gave them to me to deliver. He was so sweet when he accepted them after his House of Blues show in Dallas.

Last week, I saw a young girl at Denver airport who was dying to approach him for a “hello” but her mother wasn’t so sure… Once I looked over and realized it was him, I told him about her. His first response was, “I need to go give her a hug”. You should have seen her face light up… What a great guy!

Lee on

My dad used to do the same thing with me – give me some shaving cream and a comb for a razor – and we used to “shave” together. One of my favorite memories as a kid.

erin on

@lee haha I was about to say the same thing. My dad and I used to do that as well. That first photo had me laughing at those memories.

Robin on

His older daughter Emelia looks just like him!! I love his blog!

Erika on

He seems like a great father! His older daughter is his spitting image-she’s beautiful. I can’t really see much of his sons face because its a profile shot, but he appears to look like him as well. And little Autumn is so cute. He seems so down to earth and fun!

Joan on

It’s no surprise that Pat values sincerity….when you attend a live performance of his band, you can’t help but notice how genuine he is. Everyone falls in love with Pat because it feels so good to hear someone talk straight from the heart. His sincerity is apparent and welcomed by his fans.

Alannah-Danielle on

Pat, this is so cute. You are probably the best friggin dad ever! Your kids are so cute, especially little Autumn 🙂
I found it really cool that Emelia is my age… But I’m guess i’m just weird like that. When Train came to Hershey and picked the Trainettes, I stood up on a chair to even try and be seen since i’m so short. (LOL) Maybe i’ll get picked next time 🙂 I hope you guys come back soon, we miss you up here in PA. Have an awesome time and be safe!

Mickie on

a post that’s full of sincerity and positivity? no pretentiousness? no big fights in the comments section? why can’t all CBB guest blogs be like this? (keep up the good work)

JustMe on

… gonna have to go back and re read his post… my brain is just hung up on the shirtless pic… **swooooooooooooooooooooooooon** LOL

t on

Love that you added a dad blogger

Christena A. on

I value sincerity as well and I sincerely believe you are an amazing father. Perfect is an opinion and you are providing your children with an amazing life lots and paving the way for opportunity. I’m loving the pictures, all your children are so beautiful. Autumn is so adorable with the shaving cream all over but if your 2yr old girl is having 5 o’clock shadow issues she may need to see her pediatrician 😉 LOL

Lola Marie on

Cute pictures, I like your girls names too!

Marilyn on

I’ve only just discovered Train, and especially Pat, as an artist. Now I realize that he is so much more than that. He is a father, first and foremost. I can only hope that I get the chance to see him on stage someday.

steph on

Mickie its because Pat is a guy..if a female celeb said the exact same thing there would be a thousand negative comments…sad but true.

Dar on

His son Patrick goes to my school.

simi on

I love reading his blog. There is just something about him that makes you love him even if you have never met him. I think it’s his heart and love that show in his songs and writing.

From someone who really never had a father, he believes that as a man you have to put food on the table, roof over the head, and when it comes to children he job ends when the women becomes pregnant, “a man has nothing to do with his children that is a woman’s job” is how he puts it. So I never had a father but I always wondered what it would be like to have a great dad who truly love you.

Thank you for sharing your family with us, and giving me a chance to see all that I missed as a child. Your children are truly beautiful and blessed to have you as their dad. I wish you more happiness, unconditional love, and most of all more time with your family, cause I am sure they miss you like crazy when you are gone just as you miss them. Wishing you and your family all the best.

sullyjo on

I loved reading your blog as much as i love your music. My two year old asks to listen to “Hey hey” (as she calls it) and knows like every fifth word and dances and sings around our kitchen. And she counts the cloud on the album cover!

It’s nice to know you are so down-to-earth and you seem like a great dad, in addition to being a great performer. It’s refreshing. And all the stories of ppl who have seen you in concert…I believe I will buy a ticket next time you come to MA.

Good luck and God Bless. (and your kids are all adorable!) 🙂

Vicki on

I so agree with you, Pat in that we need to tell and show our kids that “blood is thicker than water”. Kids need to know that no matter what their family will always be in their corner. I am telling my girls constantly that they are the best thing that ever happened to me-along with meeting their father (who is a terrific dad and I am so blessed to have him in my life).

You have to parent from the heart and be able to make the hard decisions when the time comes and sometimes it’s just not easy. But the love and the pure joy you receive back from kids is the best thing ever and beyond description!!! Love the blog – keep’em coming!!!

Annie on

Pat lives by setting an example…and we are noticing! Pat your LOVE and KINDNESS and TALENT is making a difference in the world! Me and my family can’t wait for you to come back to Switzerland!

Kim on

You can tell that you love being a dad, some fathers need to take a look at others and take notes. Yeah you may feel bad about not being there for games, plays, pta, ect…. but you are showing your children a whole different world, which only some of wish we could do. You are letting them see that it is not always a nice place to live and that there are places that are cruel, you are giving them a whole other insight to this world. Sometimes that is the best education of all. Keep up the good work.

Kayla on

I love your outlook on family. It’s so refreshing to hear it from a father’s perspective. You seem so genuine and you’re someone to look up to! Keep being a fantastic father and keep bringing us fans some inspiring music! I look forward to reading your next blog 🙂

molly on

HIs music is beautiful but clearly the way he chooses to live his life and be an example to his children is also so…
Love me some Train!

Beverly on

I have loved Train for years but had never attended a concert. After seeing you bring the “Trainettes” up on stage with you in March 2010 in Norfolk, VA, I was so impressed with the way you interacted with kids, I “googled” to see whether or not you had any of your own! I always wondered because of the Calling All Angels lyrics “children have to play in inside so they won’t disappear” sounded like something a parent would fear. Pat, NOTHING is sexier than a dad who loves and cares for his kids. The best to Amber and your “trio”!

Anne on

Pat truly speaks from purely within his heart and soul, not only with his songs, but about his family as well. Anyone who has seen the band in concert, or simply watched concert clips, can see the warmth,affection, and connection he has with the fans…..and the love the fans give right back. I hope that in some small way, that can carry him through those times when he is so far awaw from home and misses his family.

sometimes when we are far away from loved ones,the ‘quality’ of our time spent together has to exceed the ‘quantity’.

I really enjoy your posts, please continue as time permits you to. Don’t worry, we won’t get tired of you!
Take care…

angie on

It’a nice to see Pat as not only as an artist, but also as a normal person with his family. I would think as a parent myself (mother) It would be difficult to deal with. “thank god for skype”, at least he gets to see his family that way. It must make it alot easier to keep sane. Love you Pat, beautiful family you have, i’m sure you’re a fantastic father…. Love you xox Angie

Rhonda on

Always great to read about a father who loves his children. One tiny criticism; “blood is thicker than water” is not a kind phrase. As part of a family built through adoption and with a large extended family that I do not share any DNA with I find that phrase to be archaic. Might want to try “family first” instead.

Amy on

I discovered Train on Soundstage via cable. I have it recorded as a “Keep” under DVR. I play it at least once a week for my one year old daughter, who is transfixed by the music and she loves to clap and dance to it. How amazing and wonderful how much she enjoys this wonderful music. Train is now my favorite artist. Thank you Train.

Kathi on

Would like to use your song on my web site for wedding photography, its awesome!

charlotte on

Your family is adorable!! and dude, Emelia has WICKED hair! I love the red =]

Theresa on

My children attended Our Lady’s Christian School as well. The strong sense of family that is so much a part of the Erie community radiates through your own parenting. Good people come from here. You continue to be a source of pride!