While brainstorming topics to talk about for my blog, I made a discovery that is either really interesting or everyone will think, "Jackie, should you be living alone?"
Since moving to Chicago in 2018, I babysit for 7 families. I have my full time family and 6 other families that hit me up for date nights, random errands or when their normal babysitter has a schedule conflict, etc...
Since graduating from college in 2013, I've been a bridesmaid in 7 different weddings. For 3 weddings, I was the Maid of Honor and in another one they tried to deem me the Matron of Honor because I was older than the bride...to which I said, "Fuck you, it's if you're married you're a matron of honor. Go fuck yourself."
(As you can tell by my choice of words, this upset me and I am sensitive about it. Therapist Brett, take a note.)
Two very different situations, on one side money is coming into my savings account and on the other side, money goes out at an alarming rate because the other bridesmaids didn't want to step up and pay for the bride's drinks.
(That will be the only time I will ever be super passive about being a bridesmaid...Clearly, still holding a grudge. Therapist Brett, take a note.)
Not to toot my own horn or anything but, when I'm not being passive, I'm pretty certain that I'm a likable person.
(If you think otherwise, please don't tell me, it's all I have.)
I have a great sense of humor, I'm charming, charismatic and I'm very empathetic, almost too empathetic.
My sense of humor is great for all ages, I have a PG sense of humor for when I'm working with kids and that is as simple as making weird faces and funny noises.
My sense of humor for everyone else, I would describe it as a 16 year old boy in the body of an awkward almost 30 female and that is as simple as making weird faces, funny noises and grabbing my boobs from time to time.
I play to my strengths.
My background in children's theatre, my marital status and my overall adult responsibility makes me appealing to parents looking for a babysitter.
When I babysit I try not to put the kids in front of the TV the entire time. Where the hell are the Barbies or blocks because we're playing and we're using our imaginations!
(My nieces are a different story, I know my sister will message me and call BS because I always suggest watching The Nightmare Before Christmas to them.)
UPDATE: While reading this to my sister last night over the phone she said, "bullshit." to which I replied, "wait for it."
If the parents say the kid can watch a movie or an episode of something, then hell yeah, we're watching TV.
I will not become emotionally invested in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic or Spirit: Riding Free...I refuse.
Babysitting activities that don't involve the boob tube:
If they're into it and possess the mobility skills, we color
Dress up, they put on princess dresses and I put a tutu on my head because it's the only thing that fits.
Running back and forth and allowing the kid to tackle me and acting like it hurts (really great ab workout and sometimes it does actually hurt)
If it's not freezing, go outside
If they're really independent and they like to play by themselves, you give them space.
When a new family reaches out it is hard for me to say "no," because I was recommended by one of my other families, I need money to panic buy more bougie beer, the family will buy you dinner if it's a late night, fun snacks and most of all,
Parents need a fucking break.
DISCLAIMER: I am strictly talking about kids I work with;
I am not saying that all children are this way.
What I've gathered from the kiddos I babysit, the girls tend to lean more into imaginative play and they want you to be more involved. However, boys will lean more into rough housing and throwing things with a more laid back attitude and they're fine with being by themselves.
I do enjoy working with kids but, do I want to babysit for the rest of my life?
I cannot survive on a diet of Pirate's Booty, fruit snacks and chocolate milk.
How the hell do you expect me to fit into my next bridesmaid dress?
My background in theatre, being a good friend, my marital status (probably) and my overall adult female responsibility makes me appealing to a bride looking to create their bridal party.
I enjoy being a bridesmaid, to an extent...When a friend or a family member reaches out it is hard for me to say "no," because I want to be there for them on their special day. I love to dance, I love to get dolled up, open bar and maybe they'll give me a plus one.
(Why does this hardly ever happen?)
(Jesus, I can do just about all of these things without being in the bridal
party...Therapist Brett, take a note.)
What I forget to think about when asked to be in a wedding is the financial
investment (this is why I should get a +1), I'm about to make into this marriage.
The Bridal Shower
Airfare, if required
The night before the wedding
The day of the wedding
A note to the brides, you have stop telling your bridal party,
"this dress can be worn again."
It's not fucking true and do you realize in order for a bridesmaid dress to be worn again, alterations will be involved and that is just more money.
Unless you're letting them pick out their own dress.
Bridal party hacks that allow everyone to have a good time:
Make it all co-ed
Everyone gets a plus one, especially if they're single
If you want them all to look the same, buy the dresses yourself
Remind your party to bring their own flask
Toss an edible bouquet to get more people out on the floor or just cut it all together. I have pushed down women a total of 3 times in my life and I am still single. MYTH BUSTED!
Cut the single people some slack
I'd like to make note that I am talking about weddings I've been in;
I am not saying that all weddings are this way.
What I've gathered from the weddings I've been apart of is that when I'm a bridesmaid, you're expected to be right on schedule, fully involved and sometimes looking just like everyone else in the party. When I've been a grooms-woman, you just show up. Weddings are more enjoyable when you're standing on the groom's side. There is no expectation, you just look good and show up.
The last wedding I was in, I shit you not; I was stressing out because I thought I wasn't doing enough. Let's all think about that, when we get married; how can we transfer the groom's side energy to the bride's side.
I do enjoy being a bridesmaid but, do I want to be a bridesmaid for the rest of my life?
I cannot financially survive and live on a diet of wedding cake, the vegetarian option and whatever is available at the open bar.
The perks of being a babysitter, I hangout with kids and I give them back. The kids will always remember me as the coolest person on the planet. I get an endless supply of Pirate's Booty, fruit snacks and chocolate milk...
If I'm lucky, they have a dog.
The perks of being a bridesmaid...
I'm not a Bridezilla...and just to reiterate, I will not wear that dress again.
DISCLAIMER: To any of my "bride tribe" women that I've been apart of, thank you for letting me be apart of your special day. If this pisses you off, why was I in your wedding party? looove you.
*I DIDN'T PANIC PURCHASE ANY BEER LAST WEEK AND NOW I'M REALLY PANICKING*