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ThatWife is making progress...


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I have (dare I say) been a little impressed with Jenna's recent turn to questioning what she's been taught. I think doubt is an important element in a healthy belief system and Jenna and TH seem to have swallowed wholesale, part and pacel, the entirety of the Mormon church dogma without ever really considering that they are individuals working within a larger organization - and therefore, they need to find the lifestyle that works for them as individuals, which may not be EXACTLY what the Mormon church says line for line and verse for verse. While I certainly am not drinking the Jenna kool-aid, it does take courage to question what you've been taught, and it's clear she's been doing this.

This is the point in the post where I, as a mother, get real. I love my son, as he is a part of me. It’s biological, emotional, and spiritual. There are moments throughout the day when I pull him in close and feel the desire to never let go, smothering him with kisses and telling him how beautiful and wonderful he is to me. Sometimes when we are headed to the elevator I will run ahead, push the button, bend down and open my arms. He picks up speed and throws his own arms open, running full speed into me and that moment of impact is full of some of the most pure joy I have ever felt. Overall though, I’m not a baby mom.

My friend leaves her apartment a minimum of twice a day for museum trips, swimming, free classes and other adventures. Just the thought of doing that leaves me feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. How can you possibly keep up the house, cook all the meals, finish all of your goals for the day when you do those things? There are people out there running programs filled with employees who want to do nothing but those things with their charges. It’s so freeing to think that I can spend my time capitalizing on my strengths, while giving my child the opportunity to spend time with someone who is capitalizing on theirs. ... I am now allowing myself the option to think about full or part-time options for T1 and his siblings before they reach five and enter kindergarten. I have pondered how a social environment might help T1 with his speech delays, but I thought I had to figure out a way to force myself to make that sort of thing happen myself. Now I can look at each child individually and determine what would best meet their unique needs.

I now think that the counsel/command to women about staying home was a product of culture. The law I want to follow moving forward is “How can I be happy and fulfilled, and leave this world knowing I worked to make it a better place? â€

Moving forward, I have so many exciting possibilities ahead of me. I can write out a list of my dreams and make them happen. Before I felt limited, that I had to force my desires and ambitions to fit inside a specific mold. No more.

Wow, should I say it? She seems to be starting to get it, that some women are EXCELLENT, content, and happy stay at home moms and some women will never feel that way. That God doesn't believe that she's a worse person for needing a break from all those things, that God won't punish her for believing T1 may develop better with some time outside of the home. That she can have and pursue her own dreams as well, and that she can find the life that works for her.

Of course, it's only a step. It doesn't solve the myriad of problems of respect in her marriage, keeping her baby in the bathroom, etc etc. But it is a step - and that's further than she's come before. Knowing she doesn't have to be perfect Molly Mormon Housewife to fit with God is a great first step. I wonder what TH thinks of all this.

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Do you think she is realizing this on her own, or does she lurk here and starting thinking seriously about things we've said??

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Ha! I came here to post the same thing.

I'm proud of her for thinking outside the norm and for thinking that things CAN be different. ANNNNND, for admitting she's not a "baby" person. That takes GUTS. I hope she continues down this path of self-enlightenment and reaches a true sense of inner happiness.

Good luck, Jenna! I'm rooting for you! :)

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Her post was pretty good & nice to see her evaluating. I hope for T1 & any future children that she is sincere. That being said, I'm a bit cynical. At my prior job, I had to make sure that new employees 'Web Presence' was in line with the company's image. I'm pretty sure someone from TH's new job did research. They are both easily searchable. If you type "That Wife" in google, Bathroom Baby is among the auto suggestions. That and the whole failblog thing. That would raise my curiosity as an employer.

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WOW! That's progress!

I happen to feel the same way about kids' programs. I'm a great mother - but would not be ideal being solely responsible for all of my kids, 24/7 and keeping house. I'm not too proud to admit that my kids benefit from others.

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I don't consider anything she does "progress" until she acquires her poor child a proper bed and puts that bed in a room that is not a bathroom. Everything she does up until that point is moot. I'm going to guess this is damage control and nothing else.

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I don't consider anything she does "progress" until she acquires her poor child a proper bed and puts that bed in a room that is not a bathroom. Everything she does up until that point is moot. I'm going to guess this is damage control and nothing else.

This

Its all just words and a way of scrubbing her blog. She still has not replaced the therapist she fired, and in reading her blog and tweets, its likely she has no intentions to do so. For now there is a two year old living in her bathroom. Last weeks big accomplishment was teaching her son to take pictures of her while she rolled around on the floor and posed. I think a baby step would be putting the child in a bedroom with a bed and eating at the table like a family and not in front of the toob.

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I hope its not just words.

I recognize a lot of my own personality traits in ThatWife. I almost ended up married to a guy like ThatHusband. I didn't do a powerpoint to get him to propose, but I did spend 4.5 years doing everything possible to make myself perfect for him. There was much hoop jumping and many rules. I'm a very goal driven person, and unfortunately, I got in my head that my goal was to get married, and that this guy I had found was perfect. I was 30 years old when I met him, and the only reason why we didn't marry is because he dumped me four years later. (Thank god!)

So, I could see, if I was born into a mormon family, and taught that being a wife and mother was the ultimate goal, falling into the ThatWife trap. One bad thing about being very goal motivated is that its is SO easy to put everything else aside. I'd hope that I wouldn't do that to my own child, but if the entire focus of my life up to that point had been to be the very best wife and the very best housekeeper, it'd be easy to fool yourself into thinking that you don't really need to pay much attention to the baby, beyond keeping them fed and alive. Add in some post partum depression, and you suddenly have someone spending all their time cleaning, cooking and distracting herself on the internet. A good husband would pay attention and realize what is going on, but ThatHusband is just going to be happy that things are going how he wants.

Or, maybe she's just an awful awful person. Or both. People are complicated. :)

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good for her! if she is thinking more clearly than her son will be a million times better off.

my own kids (only 2) were in daycare from the age of one to two for this very reason. they are both happy, well adjusted boys and i'm happy to be their mother, much more so than if i had to keep them at home with me.

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I'd like to think she's being genuine, but as another poster pointed out -- actions speak louder than words. Until she moves that poor child out of the bathroom, gives him not only an actual bedroom but a real bed to sleep in, finds an appropriate therapist for his developmental delays (in other words, walks the walk), she's just typing characters on a keyboard.

I hope she's really examining herself, but with this one, seems the self-centered traits go all the way down to the bone. May she prove me wrong, and soon.

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It's baby steps, and she certainly had a LONG way to go when it comes to meeting T1's needs.

At the same time, I suspect there is some real soul searching happening. Logically, for someone like her, I'd think that her image to her community as a perfect Mormon and fitting into the perfect wife/housekeeper/mother mold would be more important that her image as someone who is genuinely child-focused as judged by internet strangers. I just don't see a Mormon saying "I'm questioning everything" for show, if they don't mean it, because the ramifications could be huge.

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I'm glad she's starting to think things through. As others have said, I hope all this translates into action that will benefit poor bathroom baby.

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Is her husband working or is he still in school? I assumed that was the reason why they were in a one room apartment in Chicago was due to being poor. Although if they were willing to move a little further out they could probably afford something.

I do think it's kind of riduclous that TW and TH think the biggest barrier to them having a kid is TW losing weight (because you know getting pregnant will just put weight back on) and not say having a bigger space for two kids where a toddler or preschool aged child can be separated from an infant.

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Guest Anonymous

This

Its all just words and a way of scrubbing her blog. She still has not replaced the therapist she fired, and in reading her blog and tweets, its likely she has no intentions to do so. For now there is a two year old living in her bathroom. Last weeks big accomplishment was teaching her son to take pictures of her while she rolled around on the floor and posed. I think a baby step would be putting the child in a bedroom with a bed and eating at the table like a family and not in front of the toob.

All this.

And not only is it 'just words' right now, the words are all about Jenna.

It’s so freeing to think that I can spend my time capitalizing on my strengths, while giving my child the opportunity to spend time with someone who is capitalizing on theirs.

Moving forward, I have so many exciting possibilities ahead of me. I can write out a list of my dreams and make them happen. Before I felt limited, that I had to force my desires and ambitions to fit inside a specific mold. No more.

Get the baby a bed, a bedroom and a therapist, Jenna. It's not all about you.

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Is her husband working or is he still in school? I assumed that was the reason why they were in a one room apartment in Chicago was due to being poor. Although if they were willing to move a little further out they could probably afford something.

Oh I only WISH that was the case. I honestly don't think people would begrudge her as much if she was really trying her best but the best she could afford was a tiny one bedroom and the bathroom was the only place for T1 to possibly sleep.

Noooooope. Jenna and TH live in a luxury building in Chicago overlooking the lake. They have TWO bedrooms, but don't want to clear one of them out and plus "T1 likes the coolness and darkness better." Rather than, I don't know, getting night shades and a portable AC and putting T1 in a bedroom, they keep him in a pack and play in the bathroom.

Also, TH is still a student but has NOT lived on a "student" budget as (until this semester) his employer was paying for school and paying him a salary while in school. TH has reneged on his agreement to return to work for his employer after school, and thus, will have to pay the employer back and (presumably) is taking out loans for this last semester.

In any case, I don't think Jenna is anywhere near where she needs to be - but I DO think she is moving somewhere positive. At the very least level, if T1 was in preschool/daycare, there'd be more adults looking out for him on a day to day basis (as opposed to the developmental therapist once a week or so) and she would likely get access to more parenting resources and other moms.

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Oh I only WISH that was the case. I honestly don't think people would begrudge her as much if she was really trying her best but the best she could afford was a tiny one bedroom and the bathroom was the only place for T1 to possibly sleep.

Noooooope. Jenna and TH live in a luxury building in Chicago overlooking the lake. They have TWO bedrooms, but don't want to clear one of them out and plus "T1 likes the coolness and darkness better." Rather than, I don't know, getting night shades and a portable AC and putting T1 in a bedroom, they keep him in a pack and play in the bathroom.

Also, TH is still a student but has NOT lived on a "student" budget as (until this semester) his employer was paying for school and paying him a salary while in school. TH has reneged on his agreement to return to work for his employer after school, and thus, will have to pay the employer back and (presumably) is taking out loans for this last semester.

In any case, I don't think Jenna is anywhere near where she needs to be - but I DO think she is moving somewhere positive. At the very least level, if T1 was in preschool/daycare, there'd be more adults looking out for him on a day to day basis (as opposed to the developmental therapist once a week or so) and she would likely get access to more parenting resources and other moms.

Yeah. I think just having more interaction in general will be good for him.

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I don't consider anything she does "progress" until she acquires her poor child a proper bed and puts that bed in a room that is not a bathroom. Everything she does up until that point is moot. I'm going to guess this is damage control and nothing else.

I'm predicting that a post with T1's new bed/and room is coming. Along with 100 pictures of her striking the same pose in the new room. It's damage control. :D :D :D

Is her husband working or is he still in school? I assumed that was the reason why they were in a one room apartment in Chicago was due to being poor. Although if they were willing to move a little further out they could probably afford something.

They are no way poor. Her husband is very financially wise. thatwifeblog.com/tag/travel/

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I was all excited and hopeful but everyone else is bringing me back to reality. I hope there are some actions taken soon like a room for T1 with a real bed!

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Yes, she's still a long way from child-focused - but if she's not T1's one and only source of regular human interaction, it will matter less. He'll have space to play and run around, access to appropriate toys and books, other tots to play with and adults whose full-time job consists of paying attention to kids.

I can't believe that she never went out with him. When I was on my mat leaves, I was constantly out at places where they had play programs for babies and tots.

Staying home all the time would have made me crazy, and it's obvious that Jenna didn't cope well with it. If she could work in a photo studio, and use the money to get some cleaning help and a decent daycare for T1, she may actually focus on him when she's home, because she wouldn't be so desperate to carve out space and time for herself when she's there.

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