A Rant From The Wife

Hi blog world. I’m hijacking mamaintrovert to go on a little rant. Your normal programming regarding motherhood and anxiety will resume shortly.

As you may have gathered, Jordann and I do a lot of projects. She has a lot of ideas. And I have a lot of patience. After moving in October, her idea list went a little crazy. So began the process of personalizing every square inch of our new home. But here’s the thing: I’m not one of those partners that is given a Pinterest picture and then agrees to go build said project. No. I make her help. Which leads me to my rant. I do NOT build all of this crap by myself. Stop giving me credit for it!

Exhibit A: Atticus’ wainscoting.

Why, yes. This was a Pinterest find. Thanks Pinterest. This project took us weeks. A lot of late night cutting and measuring and trying to find ways for the kids to help. Okay, Jordann did less miter saw cutting on this particular project because she was carrying life. But she rocked the jig saw and hammered in just as many nails as I did. And man, does that woman know how to wield a caulk gun. And yet, every time someone comes over and sees the amazing work WE did they look me square in the eyes and say, “Wow Betsy! Good job! It looks amazing!” Every. Single. Person. Then I get to say, “Actually, Jordann did just as much work on this as I did. She deserves just as much credit.”

Exhibit B: Chicken Run

Yes, I love the chickens. We all know how much I love the chickens. If you are unsure of my love for those little peckers, refer to blog post #3. However, the chicken run was not my idea. Again, thanks Pinterest. Jordann comes to me and says, “I think we should build a 12 foot long chicken run.” (Side note: If Jordann approaches you and starts a sentence with ‘I think’ turn around and walk away. No good can come from it. I think we should stripe the walls. I think we should build a chicken run. I think we should sew Halloween costumes this year. Just run. I digress.) To which I say, “Knock yourself out babe. You know where the hammer is.” Upon completion of chicken condominium, Every. Single. Person looks at me and says (can you guess?) “Wow Betsy! Good job! It looks amazing!” No people. You see the picture of Jordann painting? You know how much painting I did? Zero percent. I’m not great at math, but I’m pretty sure that’s not a lot. You know how many of those boards I measured and cut with our miter saw? Zero. I handed her boards and played lovely assistant. I built the walls, she did the roof. I stapled the front of half of the chicken wire. She did the back half. She rocked that pneumatic stapled gun just as well as I did. “Actually, Jordann did just as much work on this as I did.” Rinse and repeat.

Yes. My hair is short. Yes. I like power tools. Yes. I shop in the men’s department. But does that mean that I am the only one in this house capable of building something? NO! People, I am way too lazy to do this shit on my own. PLEASE stop giving me all the credit for all of the projects. If it wasn’t for Jordann (and bloody Pinterest!) our walls would be white and our chickens would still be potential hawk food. Can someone please explain to me why we are still stuck in gender roles when there’s only one gender in the house?! Seriously, next time a project is completed in our house (which on average is every other day) turn to Jordann and say, “Wow Jordann! Great job! It looks amazing!” And then she’ll probably say, “Thanks. Betsy didn’t do shit.”

On Close Friends Having Kids

Over the summer Betsy and I took the kids to one of those play water parks. We also invited some friends who are expecting their first child soon. Now, I don’t normally bring toys to these places because there’s nothing worse than twenty toddlers that don’t understand sharing attempting to share. It’s meltdown station. But this park is different, it has a cool waterfall that can keep Atticus entertained for days. So, we made the terrible mistake of bringing a few boats to let the kids float them off the waterfall. The kids took the boats out to the waterfall and were happily playing. Meanwhile, another child began playing with one of the toy boats. Noa saw this and decided it was not okay. She promptly removed the toy from the child and returned it to our blanket. We explained to Noa the importance of sharing and told her to give the boat back to the kid because she wasn’t using it. Yeah, I know, she doesn’t give a shit.

We resumed chatting with our friends and I expressed my anxiety over them having a child. I think I actually told them, “I’m kind of nervous about you having kids because I’m afraid I’m going to judge you.”

Let me explain, I wouldn’t consider myself a super judge-y mom. I don’t care how you had your baby: epidural, no epidural, C-section. You want to breastfeed until your kid is five? Go for it. Banning sugar for the first 10 years? Cool. Only dressing your kid in white onesies for the first year? I might suggest a jacket in the winter.

As a very honest friend once said, ‘I was the best parent, until I had kids.’

And I was. I was going to be the mom that had a newborn that ‘slept through the night.’ The one year old that had never experienced ‘screen time.’ The toddler that didn’t scream over broken cheese. Oh yeah, and then I woke up and realized parenting is hard. Like, sleep deprived, postpartum anxiety, who told me this was a good idea, hard. And the things we are judging other moms about have little influence over the character of their children.

I love being a mom. I know every parent loves their kids, but not every parent loves parenting. But I genuinely like my kids. They’re funny and sweet and typically super rad to be around. I had three in four years that should say enough.

They are formula fed, sugar eating, TV watching, co-sleeping kids.

But I intervene when my kid won’t share. I show up daily to teach them how to be good humans. I read with them and we talk about our feelings. We do ‘family hugs.’ They help us build chicken coops. We go on nature walks and treasure hunts. These are the things that have an influence on the character of my children. (Side note, although it probably doesn’t effect your children, you’re a shitty parent if you won’t change your kids shitty diaper. Your partner dislikes it equally as much as you. It’s the first red flag you’re going to suck at parenting. End rant.)

Back to my concern about my friends having kids. Kids add a whole new dynamic to a friendship. We all have our beliefs and parenting approaches. And not liking someone’s kid can break a friendship. It’s like the friend that marries someone that you don’t really like but they’re happy so you try to support it. Five years later the friendship has fizzled away. Now imagine that felling with someone’s child. If you don’t like your kids being around their kids, it probably won’t last.

Every time one of our close friends announce they are expecting, I think to myself, please don’t be the righteous parent. Just be the parent that intervenes when your kid is being a brat, that doesn’t expect someone else to do the parenting. Show up and your kids will be fine.