The COVID-19 pandemic saw the rise of the tradwife concept, which basically refers to women who spend most of their time doing the traditional duties of a wife, from taking care of plants to cooking food. Due to the lockdown, many wives document their everyday life and share them on social media. Whitney Lauritsen challenges this relatively new concept that brings back the old, discussing how it can limit women rather than empower them. Meanwhile, Jason Wrobel explains how jumping into bandwagon movements may push people to their limits and crush their individuality.
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How The Tradwife Concept May Be Crushing Our Individualities
Jason, have you ever heard of a tradwife?
I have absolutely no clue what you’re talking about. Not even of generalized reference tradwife.
It is short for traditional wife and it is the name for a housewife who broadcasts her domestic life and adherence to traditional gender roles on social media.
This is a hashtag where people who are calling themselves tradwives with a certain level of pride. They’re using this hashtag in their posts. Is that what’s going on?
I don’t know if it’s a hashtag. It’s an actual term that people are using now. I guess it’s a whole thing. I’m sure I’ve seen the content but I didn’t know there was a name for it.
How did this even come across your path? This reminds me of back in 2015. I remember our mutual friend, Elle Marquis, was telling me about this thing called normcore. I was like, “I’ve never heard of normcore.” She ended up showing me all of these accounts that were posting images of them vacuuming, cleaning their ovens, scooping up their cat box. It was all this movement called normcore, which was in response to the curated, perfected idealized shots that most people have, to some degree or another, on their social media accounts. When you say tradwife, for some reason it reminds me of normcore in a tangential way. How did this even cross your path, Whitney? Have you dug deeper into what people are saying or how they’re using this? How does this even come up in the world?
I believe I came across it through this website and newsletter I subscribed to called Influence.co. I signed up for their Influencer Marketing Platform, and then I started getting the newsletters, and then they featured me on the series that they do call No Filter which is what I’m reading. There’s a wonderful writer named Kate Lindsay, who I believe is also the editor. She’s a good writer. She writes about interesting topics and this was one of them. They’re good about the clickbait and their newsletter. I was like, “What the heck is a tradwife?” She wrote this wonderful article.
I’m learning more about this because it’s a little bit more interesting and more honest versus spending all this time prepping and having all the answers. We’ll discover this together, Jason. It is similar to this normcore that you’re talking about. Tradwives are women who refer themselves based on their slower, quieter way of life. This started to build this 2020, during COVID. Bread baking sourdough was a big thing this year so tradwives are baking bread, picking vegetables from the garden, which has grown in popularity because of the pandemic.
A lot of people felt more comfortable growing their own food, which is cool. Apparently, some of this tradwife also will do things like wearing bonnets. They’re talking about homeschooling their children. They love books like Anne of Green Gables and beeswax candles. It’s an old school thing and part of what I’m interested in is something that aligns with me and appeals to me. I’m not a wife at this time, but I could do a lot of these same things, even though I’m not being quite that version of domestic.
Anybody can bake bread, pick vegetables, and enjoy candles. What I’m curious about as I learn more about this is whether this falls into a lot of my feminist viewpoints. Is this going back to this ‘women belong in the kitchen’ mentality, women are putting themselves in a place of old school domestic, or is it a new school domestically combining feminism with a desire to have this slower, quieter way of life? We’ve talked about minimalism, about slowing down versus hustling, the joys of road trips, going about life, and reconnecting with the things that we love.
You’ve talked about moving, trimming down, and having a slower life in general. A lot of those things appeal and I am not surprised that this is appealing to a lot of women but I do think it’s interesting because I have this viewpoint as Millennial women being very independent and more on the feminist way of wavelength. I’m curious how this corresponds. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being a “housewife” but there is part of me that sees that as limiting or constraining.
When do you say limiting and constraining, how so? When you imagine this in your mind, like limiting and constraining in what ways?
In the sense of, does that mean that you still have your independence? Do I need to get married to feel fulfilled, to feel a woman, or what’s wrong with being single, unmarried, and not having kids? I don’t believe that as a woman, I need to follow this path of getting married necessarily. I’m not against marriage. I’m not in a rush to get married. I hope that that doesn’t define my life being a wife.
This is interesting because I’m not insinuating you’re saying that there’s anything wrong with that because with this movement, there are some people that being a wife, mother, sister, or caretaker is part of their identity but it doesn’t sound like that would resonate with you. Back to our conversation about labels and titles. It’s too constricting for you. Do you feel like it restricts your freedom to express yourself? What exactly would you feel?
I’m not saying that. It’s hard to verbalize as interesting to express out loud because it makes sense in my head. I’m saying that for me, in general, I fall into mostly a middle ground perspective on life. A lot of the traditional viewpoints for women is like, “Your life path is getting married, having kids, letting go of your dreams, your independence, and your desires to start a business.” There are other extremes of women who never get married and rebel against the whole thing, never have kids, or so focused on their career. There are some women who find a balance or say that they find a balance when they don’t. There are so many different perspectives. I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with anything. I’m looking at it from my viewpoint. Would I want to play the role of this “traditional wife?” I’m not sure because the way that I view being a traditional wife feels limiting to me.
I also want to touch on something that I’m curious what your opinion is on this. A) Do you consider yourself a feminist? B) What is your definition of feminism and how does that show up in your life? You mentioned that at the beginning, and I don’t want to let that go because I want to know what you feel that is in your life and how that shows up, Whitney.There is a fine line between being prepared and creating your life in a structure based on fear. Click To Tweet
I don’t consider myself a feminist because I’m not sure that my definition of feminism is fully in line with it. Going back to titles. There are a lot of people that when you say you’re something if you’re not 100% that way, they think that you’re a hypocrite. We’ve talked about this as vegans. I identify as a vegan but I get very irritated when people are like, “That isn’t vegan and you’re doing that thing.” You can go down this ongoing list of things that you’re either doing right or not doing right. Being so strict about definitions is not my thing. I would say the closest I get to being strict is being vegan and I don’t think I’m strict by a lot of means.
When it comes to feminism, I suppose that my very loose definition of it is based on women being equal and whatever they want to be. That’s part of the exploration here. My ideal definition of feminism would have room for women to live life however they choose. Examining my viewpoints on the traditional housewife, a lot of my preconceived notions around that are like, “You don’t need to go to work. I’ll make all the money and you stay home, clean, cook, and take care of the kids.” Again, there’s nothing wrong with that but in my viewpoint, that feels limiting. I’m somebody who wants to work, having my own time, and being independent.
Noticing my friends that are married with kids, I have seen a lot of change in their lives, sometimes for the “better” and I see them changing in ways that I don’t think that they’re fully happy with. Number one is that they all seem exhausted and they collect all seem to be very frustrated with how little time they have to themselves. I equate time with independence. When I think about the pros and cons of having children, a big con to me is losing my time independence.
Being married feels quite different because my friends that are married without children don’t seem like anything is different. How different is it from being in a relationship? It is another level of commitment. It’s almost like, “I feel settled now.” There’s that energy around that. I think it’s the word tradition that throws me off. I don’t have an issue with being a mom, dad, wife, husband, whatever that is but when you throw in the word tradition a lot, that’s where I immediately like, “I don’t know if that’s for me.” I don’t consider myself traditional.
That’s almost a trigger word for you in a way. It brings up this idea of why movements start in the first place. Looking at the Suffragette Movement, the rise of feminism, and equal rights. You look at a system that in America and many other systems were created to benefit a very small group of people. Here in the US, we’ve talked a lot about how many gender and racial biases there are. Look at most of the wealth, privilege, political power, financial abundance, and it’s white men of European descent still to this day. On the one hand, when you bring up the word traditionalism, Whitney, there are some aspects of it that sound appealing to a degree. Layering it back on some of these things of homesteading, growing your own food, pickling, canning food, having a great pantry at home, and this idea of food security.
Some of the things that were brought up in these articles that Kate wrote was not only sourdough bread baking but intricate skincare routines and taking inspiration from the 1800s like making soup and walking through fields. If you think about it, a lot of people were posting stuff like that. There’s a draw to that. It is traditional. It feels like, “Can we go back to the olden times?” What’s fascinating is this same author wrote a follow-up article. Originally, she wrote about tradwife in October 2020 and then she did one in December 2020 about how she fell out of love with the term tradwife and how her perspective of it started to change.
I’m going to paraphrase Abraham Hicks for a second, “The only reason that anybody would do anything is they think it will make them feel better.” That’s a close paraphrasing of Abraham Hicks’ quote. In this sense, if people are returning to a “traditional” old-world style or a more rustic homegrown DIY aesthetic, my curiosity goes to, is it a reaction to someone being burnt out on the fast-paced, digital “modern lifestyle?” Is it a reactionary lifestyle shift toward that, like raging against the modern machine so we’re going to bake sourdough and canned vegetables, wear frilly, lace dresses and traipse through the fields behind our home where we have acreage? Is the little house on a Prairie paradigm reactionary to modernism and/or an offshoot of that? Is it someone like, “Maybe this will make me happy,” or, “I think he will simplify my life, I’ll be happier as a result of it?” I’m wondering what is the psychology behind someone choosing this?
I agree, it is fascinating. I wonder the same thing. I’m not 100% sure because I’m still learning about this but it’s interesting to read about it mostly through the lens of Kate Lindsay from Influence.co because she said it feels like the last remaining card she has to play. She’s gone through all the normal coping mechanisms, volunteering, donating, changing jobs, changing apartments, exercising regularly, drinking hot water with lemon in it, growing herbs in her window sill, knitting socks, and making sourdough bread, yet the pandemic didn’t end. At the time she originally wrote this, Donald Trump was still president and she was like, “Can I opt-out of all of this hardship?” To quote her, she says, “What if I disappear and one day, someone finds me upstate married to a man named Ezekiel? I have no idea who’s president. I don’t care that I can’t go to a movie theater, meet my friends at a restaurant, or literally go anywhere because I have chicken pot pie in the oven and three babies to bathe.”
I’ve had similar thoughts specifically about a man named Ezekiel. Kidding. It’s funny, I joke but I’m also serious. I have had thoughts of “disappearing.” This is a bit tangential but it’s important for me to speak to this. You and I have talked about this, not only offline friend-to-friend but here on the show of the feelings of overwhelm, social media burnout, and me wanting to do the detox. Beyond that, I have these ideas sometimes like, “Let’s pack up the cats, pack up the car, and go to a cabin. If you can find me, you can find me and if you can’t, you can’t.”
The part of my brain is like, “That would be irresponsible. People would worry about you. They wondered if you died. They’d have to call the police and send out a missing person’s report.” I do have fantasies of disappearing. This might be not completely apropos of what we’re discussing but the idea of exiting “modern life,” all of its stress, anxiety, all of its oppression, and living in the woods somewhere, there is a deep appeal to me with that. When you said that in her paradigm, I was like, “I’ve had my own version of that fantasy.” I still do.
I know you do. This is what’s interesting. You might want to be a tradwife, Jason.
It’s the idea of growing a big ass garden, having acreage, a quiet house in the woods, and a bunch of animals. To answer my own question, these desires to minimize, be simpler, grow food, be more DIY, live, a simpler, quieter life, it is a reaction because I’ve had so much of the opposite in many years of some of the biggest cities on earth and the pace of entrepreneurship and digital technology. A lot of the things we’ve already talked about, we didn’t want to rehash all of these things ad nauseum but it is a reactionary measure. To your point, I don’t know that that would necessarily “make me more content” or make me more joyful, but super-fast, hectic, crazy modern life in a big city, I’m like, “I got it. There’s nothing else I need to explore or grok from that experience.” My soul is like, “What if we do something that’s totally opposite because we’ve never done that before?” At least, that’s my own personal dialogue around it.
That leads me to wonder like, “Is it a coping mechanism?” Similar to the episode we did about pseudo-self-boosters and pseudo-maturity. Are we looking to escape as a way of thinking that that’s going to make us feel better in the long-term? That’s part of the point that Kate Lindsay ultimately comes to through her articles. She starts the article about coping mechanisms and ends with them. I can affirm that it is about coping and that’s what drew her to tradwife. What caused her to fall out of love with that trend because I didn’t realize that they were correlated? They might not, but she said that one of the accounts that she was enjoying turned out to be COVID denying.
A lot of the people that were associated with that one account or with tradwives, in general, were saying a lot of things that weren’t accurate about COVID. There was a comment that she uses an example that said, “I know you’re into the 1800 living but the disease spreading is taking it a hair too far.” That doesn’t fully make sense out of context, but it is interesting. I wonder is there an appeal to living like we’re in the 1800s because we can pretend that COVID doesn’t exist or something? This is life before we developed in certain ways and we’re more protected from COVID. That’s interesting as well.
Again, I’m not trying to make this blanket statement that tradwives are COVID deniers, but they may be are. It might be a QAnon thing. Ultimately, that experience turned Kate Lindsay off of tradwives and she recognized that she was interested in it because it was a coping mechanism that she was clinging to. As you’re saying, Jason, even if you don’t choose to live that lifestyle, looking at social media accounts like that could be an escape for you.
That does fall into that pseudo-self-boosting. It’s like, “I can have temporary relief from my anxiety. I can pretend that COVID isn’t happening because we can all pretend that we’re living in 1800.” That sounds soothing in the moment but is it sustainable for you? Are you somebody that is going to continue growing your own food for the rest of your life? Maybe, maybe not, or it’s fun to look at for a few months. You realize that’s not something that is helping you.
This is like the grass is always a greener conversation. We observe people’s lives and their lifestyles and think that might be more nourishing, joyful, and give me more contentment. Beyond the theoretical you’re talking about, Whitney, there’s the actual of, “If I had goats, pigs, chickens, and a bunch more animals, acreage, lawns to mow, gardens to tend, and food to grow,” it brings up the conversation of, “Where does work, family and leisure time fit in that conversation?” I’ve never lived that lifestyle but I suppose part of it is the curiosity for me because it is so opposite of modernized, commoditized city living. The other thing I wanted to piggyback on to and this is only my observation.
I have several acquaintances in real life but we’re also following each other on social media. I’ve observed that some of their motivation that they’ve discussed in their social posts in relation to COVID, the vaccines that have been rolled out, the idea of higher levels of government control, observation, and surveillance, I don’t know what we would call this whole thing anymore. Conspiracy theory is not the best way to describe all these, but they’re concerned about where we’re all heading as a human society, let’s say that.
What I’ve noticed in these acquaintances and friends posting is the idea of moving to a place to grow one’s own food and create a higher level of acumen around herbalism. It’s like, “Let’s not depend on Western medicine, air travel, and corporatized food in the sense that there’s a theory going around that. There’s going to be these microchips or written digitized vaccination records that if you’re not vaccinated, there’s a theory that the government will begin to deny you certain things like access to food, travel, concerts, and sporting events.”
In some of the people I’ve noticed, this homesteading or tradwifing, now that I’m familiar with this term, seems to be a somewhat proactive/fear-based reaction against what may happen which is interesting because we don’t know if that’s going to happen. Some people are very convinced it will, that we’ll be forced to be microchipped, vaccinated, and have to have digital vacs records. If we don’t, they’re going to shut down our bank accounts and food supply. I don’t like to go down that road because I don’t know if that’s true. Some people believe that that’s what’s going to happen. My point is I’ve seen people doing that for that reason, Whitney, which is fascinating to me to observe.Movements tend to crush the individual because they are not adhering to its tenets. Click To Tweet
As an offshoot of the conversation, I’ve thought about this a lot in terms of disaster preparedness. We live in California and for years, it’s been this idea of having a disaster bag ready in case of an earthquake or some huge natural disaster. You want to make sure that you’re ready to pack up and go in minutes. I have some of those things prepared. Some of them I don’t in the sense that if the proverbial shit were to hit the fan, how would I collect my most important belongings and get the cats? If my partner, Laura, is here, how do we have an exit plan? It’s interesting because that’s wise. Preparedness is wise to a degree but what is the line between being prepared and creating your life in a structure that is based on fear or trying to prepare for things that may never happen.
On the biggest end of the spectrum are doomsday preppers. People that have built bunkers for themselves underground have years’ worth of food, ammunition, and supplies. It’s funny because sometimes I think what would happen if we had martial law and food shortage? What would I do? Compared to what I could be doing, I’m woefully unprepared for those things. We’re going a little bit off-topic here but I’m curious what do you think about of this earthquake preparedness or disaster preparedness? If the shit hit the fan, do you have a system in your mind of like, “Grab Evie, grab this, do this, do that,” or are you like, “I’ll figure it out?”
I’ve gone through phases of being prepared, especially after earthquakes. It’s a wake-up call for me. COVID also brought some more awareness for me. I have some basics. I have 70% to 80% of a solid earthquake kit in my car and at home near the door. I’ve read a lot about that stuff. When COVID hit, I made sure that I stocked up on soups. Shout out to Amy’s Kitchen. Amy’s Kitchen has always been part of my emergency preparedness kit. I remember the first time I made an earthquake kit, I put a can of Amy’s soup in there and it’s good. I’ve been into it during COVID because it’s so convenient and has great ingredients. Things like that like having soup around which you can eat cold or you can use a little propane tank.
A lot of my experiences on my road trip and we can link to the episodes about the foods that I brought, things that I had, especially the episode we did on my return trip back from Massachusetts to Los Angeles at the end of October 2020. I believe I talked about how I used a propane burner in real-time. It’s a camping kit that you could have. It was so cool. I felt like, “I can live off the grid.” I was traveling across the country and camping. You learn a lot of skills from those things. That is part of the appeal here. It’s like, “What do we do? What do you do without electricity?” The power went out for only two hours but it threw me off.
Suddenly, you realize how dependent you are on electric lighting because this happened at night. The internet was off. I kept going and trying to switch on the lights. No matter how many times I did, I kept doing it over and over again because it’s such a habit. Recognizing how dependent I am and then like, “What do I do if my batteries run out and this and that?” It is cool when we have these opportunities to prepare. To your point, Jason, some of us are not nearly as prepared. Statistically, most people are not prepared for a disaster. If we look on the bright side of a national emergency or even a local emergency, we do have that opportunity to think about these things like having access to masks.
I had an N95 mask in my emergency preparedness kit but I’d never thought about it in the context that we think about the mask. I don’t think most people do. They don’t think about what would happen if all the food runs out of the grocery store. Remember, Jason, those first experiences of going to the grocery store in March 2020 and walking around when the shelves were empty was so bizarre. Mentally, we’ve never been in that situation before. I started to panic. I’m like, “What would I do if all the food ran out and I had nothing to eat?” It’s scary. Going through that, stocking up on some foods like soups, also doing my road trip where I was camping and had to think very differently about daily survival.
Where do you use the bathroom? How do you discard off things? How do you warm up your food? Where do you get water from? Another product that played a huge role in my travels over the years, but definitely on my road trip is LifeStraw, and shout-out to them as well. LifeStraw is awesome. I’ve still been a little too scared to do it but I’m fairly certain you can put them in a stream. That’s what they’re designed for. They’re designed for all different scenarios of when you need emergency water. Double-check on their website. Don’t quote me on but their images do show people drinking out of a stream.
I’m scared to do that. I would choose not to drink out of a stream. One time, I did that without a filter and got sick, but the LifeStraw is designed to prevent you from getting sick. That’s another cool thing. On my road trips, I’m thinking about not only where I was getting water from but, “Is this filtered water?” Having portable water or an emergency water filter is awesome. I feel the same way about my Berkey because you can travel around with those. They’re not as convenient as a LifeStraw because that goes in your water bottle but having access to water is such an important thing that we take for granted until you’re camping, your power goes out, or something like that.
One thing that I’ve been a little bit interested in over the years has been food foraging. I have a throwback to one of our earliest episodes where you’re in complete disbelief of my original idea for my TV series, which was Food Fetch. The whole idea for this series was me going around to different cities in the US, finding food to forage, bringing that to a family in the neighborhood, and showing them how to make meals out of free food. They could forge in their own neighborhood. We were going to shoot it in Portland, LA, and New York. You talk about food shortage, Whitney. I’ve thought about this in the sense of not water filtration like, “if we had to go to the LA river, bring buckets of water back, and filter them, done, but what about food?” Every neighborhood that I’ve lived in since I started to get interested in food foraging years ago, I remember the first time I ever forged for food. I was in Portland and I used a website.
I don’t know if it’s still available, but it was Falling Fruit. They had these interactive maps. I was mapping all over the City of Portland going and finding persimmons, kumquat, and figs. It was the fall when I was there. I remember getting bags of free food. The neighborhood that I’m in Los Angeles is on this tip if things “got bad” and we ran out of food at the store. There are avocado trees in my neighborhood. I’ve noticed there are lemon trees and all kinds of citrus trees. There are people who have massive amounts of nasturtiums, rosemary, and natural herbs growing around. It wouldn’t necessarily be the most diverse feast ever but a diet of avocado, citrus fruits, greens, nasturtiums, and things you could forage, one could survive on that.
I always flocked to forging because it’s so interesting. In old neighborhoods, I found blackberry bushes and fig trees. In my old apartment in Korea Town that you know, there was a fig tree next to the church that was next to my apartment building. It may not be the easiest thing to do but if you want to look online, there’s Falling Fruit and there are a couple of others. My point is if we know what to look for in our neighborhoods, it may not be this case in Alaska, per se, but at least here on the West Coast, there’s an ample amount of free food hanging out in many neighborhoods. You just need to look for it.Step out of habits that are coming out of a desire to cope and feel better temporarily. Click To Tweet
I think that the foraging website still exists. I also feel like we might’ve mentioned this on an episode, but there are definitely websites like that. It’s very empowering and that’s why things like tradwife are so appealing. It’s not a pandemic thing. In general, there has been a desire especially for younger generations which are the ones that coined this term tradwife. There’s a desire to minimize. It’s like, “How simple can I live?” I don’t know if that’s coming out of a desire to rebel or have more control, freedom, and a desire to go back to basics. The rise of minimalism over the years has been a huge trend and it appealed to people like you, Jason. Both of us can relate to that.
I find it interesting when it was combined with the word wife and then I’ll have to dig a little bit deeper. It is based on religion. I don’t have any problem with Christianity, for example. There are elements of Christianity that don’t align with me with the traditional roots of it. I like to take a modern spin on living that way. I’d have to coin a new term like modwife, a modern wife. That would appeal to me or a mod-tradwife. You can be modern and traditional at the same time as modern you’re thinking and independent but traditional in terms of getting back to basics. That would work for me. I’d be into that.
This is about, be what you want to be even if there’s not a term for it. I was giggling because I’m a modtrad, “What kind of wife are you, modtrad?” “What’s modtrad?” It’s funny because, in some ways, individuals might be looking for a different way to live that’s more in line with their values, religious beliefs, or spirituality. As you said, Whit, wanting to minimize their life and live simply. There’s a lot that, as I mentioned, appeals to me in simplifying, being closer to nature, and living a quieter life. Those desires for me are not abating.
They’re growing stronger by the day. As you said, the danger with labels is once things catch on and they become a thing, and there’s a lot of people that identify with being that thing, there can be this tyranny of the majority. You talked about at the beginning of, “If you label yourself as a tradwife, modtrad, or tradmod, partial modtrad, there are a million different things that we could go here with this terminology. It’s important to ask ourselves why we’re doing it. This is a very humanistic thing to do because we’re tribal creatures, we seek approval, attention, significance, and community, these are things that we seek out in life.
Are we doing things like tradwife or modwife because we’re trying to align with an identity that we saw other people doing and went, “That looks good? I want to be that too?” You’ve mentioned veganism, Whitney. We talk about Christianity. We can interject any type of system of belief in this conversation. The danger is someone seeking an element of radical individuality or like, “I want to join this movement. This movement looks good.” The unfortunate aspect is movements have a tendency to crush the individual at a certain point because the individual isn’t adhering to the tenets of the movement.
That’s one of the reasons that I have such a distaste for the vegan movement. I have many vegan friends. I have people that I love in my life that are both vegan and non-vegan, but the movement “the umbrella,” there are tactics, thought forms, and ways of being that do not resonate with me. I don’t want to be associated with the movement. It’s the same way when I left Catholicism when I was a teenager. I remember telling my mom, “I don’t want to go to church anymore.” She said, “Why?” I said, “I don’t agree with what they’re saying.”
I remember having this conversation of I believe in compassion, generosity, forgiveness, and striving to extend unconditional love but having to be interpreted in the way that the church was interpreting the “word of God.” I was like, “I’m not down with this. I don’t want to be part of the Catholic religion any more. I want to have my own beliefs, my own relationship with God and spirit, whatever that means to me. I don’t give a shit what anyone else thinks.” My long-winded diatribe, Whit, is it can be appealing to be, “I’m going to join this movement, religion, faction, tribe,” whatever it is. I feel that the bigger movements get, the more they have the ability to crush the individual will of the person.
That’s why coming back to what we talked about, it’s important for us to define our own way of thinking and step out of these habits that we have that are coming out of a desire to cope and feel better temporarily. That’s one of the biggest issues we face as humans. We are wired to look for the biggest bang for our buck and put the least amount of effort into something to get what we need. This is like fast food. It’s a huge challenge for us because this is about short-term thinking. We can’t help it.
That’s how we are as human beings. A lot of this is the reason that we feel overwhelmed and burnt out for two reasons. One, if we choose a short-term solution, let’s say fast food, there’s usually a long-term consequence. If you eat poor food, it could be processed food or drive-thru food, whatever you define as fast food or junk food. It tastes great at the moment. It might be inexpensive. You might feel satisfied but it’s also common knowledge that it’s not going to make you feel great. You might gain weight from it. It might not give you a lot of energy. You might feel inflamed and sick.
The list goes on and one of the long-term side effects. If you don’t do it all the time, then it’s got less of an impact on you. Also, in terms of the long-term effect, if you’re doing something like eating super processed food all the time then your body is going to have a harder time coping. That’s the trade-off. It might be a short-term coping mechanism because a lot of fast food and processed food tastes good at the moment.
A lot of us go to foods like that when we’re stressed. It’s like, “I don’t want to spend a lot of money. Let me get the cheapest thing that makes me feel good at this moment. I’m too busy to cook. Let me get the fastest thing,” or, “Let me get the food that I know immediately makes me feel good because it’s been designed and engineered to make me feel good.” We may even know at that moment that it’s not good for long-term health, but we choose it anyway. We regret it in the long-term. We look back and wonder why we did so much of that. Why has that decision happened?
Now, we’re sitting here feeling exhausted because our body can’t even function properly when eating those types of food. We start to equate that with burnout. It’s harder for us to deal with burnout and overwhelm when our bodies are physically weighed down by those decisions. This is where this idea of the pseudo side of things. It’s very similar to the short-term because if we’re not careful and continuously choose the superficial, the short-term, the pseudo, we have to pay a price eventually. The United States is constantly in that situation. If we don’t get enough sleep, eventually our bodies will break down and we’ll no longer be able to cope. If we’re constantly hustling to make money, our bodies can’t take it anymore.
We might have that money and that money might be great in the short-term. It also might be great in the long-term but then a lot of people are horrible at managing their money. I can go on and on with these examples. The United States struggles with this and I’m sure other countries do as well. We, as Americans, tend to idolize European countries like, “They have it easy. They’re taking siestas or they’re going to the farmer’s markets and getting fresh banquets in France. Their food doesn’t have as many chemicals in it,” and whatever else. We idolize these other countries and they are living well. They are better at managing their short-term desire. It’s a bigger issue not just in the United States, but globally. We do need to pay a lot of attention to this and catch ourselves like, “Are we choosing something for the short-term or the long-term, and are we willing to deal with the consequences of either?”
It’s a hard conversation in a way because we don’t know what the long-term effects of our decisions are going to be whether that’s stock market investing. Do we put our money in water futures? Do we put our money into Tesla, which has finally been on the S&P500? Do we put our money into Bitcoin and crypto? This idea of short-term versus long-term, Whitney, is a daily subconscious conversation of what we’re eating, our choices, how they’re compounding. I sit with this all the time. The ultimate reality is life is a gamble. Even the way that I eat, it’s hedging bets.
Do I know that the way that I eat and live is going to make me impervious to disease or pain? Of course not, but I’m hedging my bets that if I eat organic, plants, nutrient-dense food, and drink clean water, we’re betting. If we think about most of life, whether again, that’s a financial investment, an investment in our health, investing our time energy and attention into a relationship, we have no idea how things are going to turn out. As humans, we like to play an expectation game that we think, “If I do X, Y and Z, I set all my ducks up in a row, make this investment, do this thing, it will result in this.”
It goes back to one of the things that you and I have discussed ad nauseum in many different forms on this show, which we don’t know. To your point about fast food, there’s always that person who’s like, “My grandma ate marshmallow bacon sandwiches and smoked for 80 years of her life. She lived until she was 107 so fuck your tofu.” There’s always that person. I don’t personally think that eating bacon, marshmallow sandwiches, spending beyond my means, and having toxic negative people around me is going to necessarily result in the kind of life I want in the future.By continuously choosing the superficial, there will be a price to pay eventually. Click To Tweet
At the end of the day, we’re hedging our bets with everything in life, because we have no idea how anything’s going to turn out but we try and stack the deck in our favor as much as we can. We know there’s no guarantee of an outcome, but all of us are trying to do is be joyful, content, and live a good life. We don’t know if our choices are going to result in that. For me, what I want to do is investigate, start a sub-genre of this movement, and call it tradhubs, instead of tradwife.
In my mind, I’m thinking, “What would a traditional husband do?” In my mind’s eye, it’s to build stuff, erect a barn, chop a lot of wood, and fend off marauding hoards to the border of our home. I was going to say go hunting but I wouldn’t do that. I’d go hunting for rutabagas. As we’re wrapping this episode, I’m wondering out loud if I were to do an offshoot of this and be like, “I wonder what a traditional husband would do.” When I say tradhubs, what comes up for you? What do you think a tradhubby would do?
Go to work. There are two sides to tradition. You have the man that goes off to the office and he’s bringing home the proverbial bacon. He’s making the money for the family so that everybody can live the life that they want I suppose, or you can look at it as a permanent hunter-gatherer perspective and be like, “He’s the one going out to get food.”
It makes me wonder especially in the context of where my life may or may not be leading to simplifying and living closer to nature if I make it to the Pacific Northwest having to chop wood for a fireplace. Speaking of which, I got to be in front of a fireplace and log burning fireplace for the first time in I don’t remember how long. It was such a magical experience. There was something about building a fire and being in front of a fire from scratch with actual burning wood inside a house. That is so magical.
It’s so special. Building fires, chopping wood, felling trees, bringing things out. I’m going to investigate this whole idea of tradhubs. If you, dear readers, have any ideas of what we’ve discussed with this movement of traditionalism and going back to “traditional gender roles,” we always love hearing from you. We get your emails from time-to-time and think, “This is some good perspective.” If you want to reach out with any comments, we always love hearing from you. You can shoot us an email directly, it’s [email protected].
Whitney and I read all of your emails and do our best to respond in a timely manner. Also on social media, we’ve got some great stuff going on our Instagram account. We’re also on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest and TikTok, @Wellevatr. If you have any topics you’d like us to cover, any questions you may have, we do that from time-to-time when readers like you email us and say, “Would you do an episode about so-and-so?” Anything you have in mind, please submit your episode ideas and we’ll cover your questions or ideas in the future. Until then, thanks for getting uncomfortable with us. Thank you for your listenership, your reviews, your positive support, and we will be back soon with another episode. Thanks for reading.
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- Eco Vegan Gal’s Tips for Negotiating Rates and Achieving True Engagement
- Screw It, I’m Going Full Tradwife – Influence.co article
- Anne of Green Gables
- Going on a Cross-Country Road Trip: Here’s What To Bring Episodes – Previous episode
- Berkey Water Filters
- Falling Fruit
- Keeping Stress and Anxiety in Check – Previous episode
- [email protected]
- How I Finally Fell Out of Love With My Tradwife
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