Season 2 Episode 3: Great Dads, Low Standards

Have you seen Ali Wong’s Netflix special?

You haven’t? Well, let me tell you… It’s a treat. And it’s also what sparked this topic about how to be a great dad.

Lucky for all you dads out there, the steps are pretty simple:

  1. Get someone pregnant.
  2. Go to a few doctors appointments.
  3. Make dad jokes.
  4. That’s it.
  5. You’re done.
  6. You’re now officially a Great Dad!

Obviously we’re kidding.

Kinda.

But really, in this episode we talk a lot about the low threshold dads seem to have when it comes to being considered a great dad.

I mean, viral YouTube videos get passed around when they so much as show an interest in learning how to braid their daughter’s hair. (and yes, we realize this is really sweet but it’s also laughable; don’t come at us.)

But when a mother isn’t able to seamlessly juggle career, motherhood, and “wifely duties,” she’s a failure?

The amount of times I (Melissa) have felt frazzled because I was rushing between school, work, and home in order to do it all is… countless. And the amount of times I’ve beat myself up because I would forget one packed lunch or paying one bill is also countless.

And as for Shawn? The same “mistake” never seems to phase him, somehow life still moves on when he forgets to take the trash out or misses a doctors appointment.

And maybe the trick is that we don’t need to bring them up to standards but lower ourselves to theirs.

There’s always a certain amount of anxiety in a relationship. And the more it ends up on you, the less the other person has to carry it.

A trick Marie picked up in while doing marriage coaching was that your partner will naturally pick up the slack if you just let them.

Hear me out on this. I know it sounds a little far-fetched, but it’s true.

Don’t believe me?

Here’s an example:

During my 2L fall semester of law school, my schedule on Mondays and Wednesdays used to look like this:

5am: wake up + get ready
6am: make breakfast + pack lunches + prep/cook dinner
7am: drop Shawn off at work and head to school
7am-8:30am: sit in freaking traffic
9am-5pm: school
5pm-6:30/pm: sit in freaking traffic

And for some ungodly reason, I still felt the need to be the one to cook dinner (even though I was getting home almost 3 hours after Shawn was.)

It’s like it didn’t even occur to me that “hey, he could make dinner while you’re stuck in Atlanta rush-hour traffic!” And it’s not that Shawn told me that I had to be the one to make dinner on those nights or that making dinner was only my responsibility.

I just chose to pick up that anxiety and hold on to it for dear life.

And for the first 2 months of that semester, I tried to fanagle ways so that dinner would already be prepped for us.

I did crockpot meals (one time we I left it on too long and it somehow got moldy?)

I tried meal prepping on Sundays.

I cooked it in the morning (as well as our breakfast AND packed our lunches).

But it never failed! I still held so much stress and anxiety about dinner and making it home in time to prepare it on Monday and Wednesday nights.

But eventually, I just let it go. I stopped worrying, prepping, and trying to find ways to not get Shawn involved.

I started just winging it, sometimes just swinging by Chick-Fil-A before coming home.

And after awhile, do you know what happened?

I came home to cooked dinners. He picked up his share of the “anxiety” and did the dang thing.

So like Marie says, maybe the trick isn’t trying to convince them to care more or put in as much effort as we do. Trying to force them into doing or being something they aren’t isn’t going to fix the problem.

Maybe the trick is that we need to stop giving them the option to let the “anxiety” sit. Maybe we need to stop picking it up (the clothes, dishes, anxiety, milk on the way home, etc).

Much like our ancestors, the cavemen, our brains just want to do what it takes to survive. They weren’t carving the fanciest sticks, they were carving the sticks that got the job done.

Men, for the most part, are simply doing what it takes to survive. And if you’re covering all the bases for the entire time, there’s really not much else for him to do but to sit back.

Next time you’re feeling like the load is a little lopsided, consider the fact that your spouse is only doing the bare minimum because they know you’re there to hold the rest of it.

And when you remember that, pull an Elsa and let it the f*ck go.

Season 2 Episode 1: Let Me Reintroduce Myself

We’re Baaaaaaacckkkkk!!!

So we’re back and at it and recording our podcast.

A lot of people (our mom) kept begging us to start again, and who are we to deny the people what they want?

You can listen to The Sisterwives Podcast here.

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Advice For New Moms

With great power comes great responsibility.

And as women, we have this incredible power to create human life. And the responsibility? Raising those lil babies into kind humans.

But when it’s your first rodeo, it can be a little intimidating. We all go into this with preconceived ideas and expectations of what motherhood (and parenting in general) will be like.

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Are You A Relationship Score Keeper?

Keeping score in a relationship is, unfortunately, all too common. It becomes even more obvious when it’s the third time this week you’ve done dishes or you literally can’t remember the last time your partner initiated sex.

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Long Distance Relationship

Shawn’s job requires him to travel a lot. Usually it’s within the States, but this past year he has almost exclusively been traveling to China.

He usually has to be there for 3-5 weeks at a time, which can put a damper on our dynamic.

And for those of you that doesn’t listen to the podcast (yet), our dynamic is that of two co-dependent dogs. (please refer to season 2 episode 2: China, please don’t take my man).

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Episode # 032 – Feminism

This can be a tricky topic, and we’re very aware of that. But Melissa, and now Marie, are proponents of Feminism and what it stands for. We talk about what Feminism is to us, what our husbands think about it, and how it can play a role in our marriage.

Feminism has gotten a bad rap lately, and many women say they believe in the ideas behind it but don’t want to be associated with the term or movement. Marie was in that boat, too. Although we get where you’re coming from, we discuss how every group– religious, or not– all have their extremist. It doesn’t matter if it’s being vegan or being a crossfitter, there is always someone associated with the group that will “ruin” its name. That’s just the way it is. So that’s why Melissa is a big proponent of owning the title of Feminist, take back the meaning.

And although she doesn’t articulate what Feminism means to her that well, she’ll definitely take a shot at it in writing (because she’s a lot better at that than talking on the spot).

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A Long Distance Marriage

When Shawn was interviewing for the job he has currently, they told him that it would include traveling. As an (almost) newlywed, he made it known that he didn’t want to constantly be on the road going from installation from installation at the drop of a hat. They agreed that he shouldn’t, and wouldn’t go through that– especially since he had a really awesome wife he didn’t want to be away from he was going to be newly married and in a new state.

They said they understood that marriage is important, especially in the beginning years. They’re formative and can really set the tone of the marriage. And our tone wasn’t going to be Lonely Melissa, that was for sure.

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