(38) What a Motherhood Coach Sees with Graeme

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Witness my brain being exploded by progressive mom coach, community builder, and writer, Graeme Seabrook. Graeme shares what she sees most as a mentor to mothers, and what’s really at the center of all of it. We also talk about dads, how they are the wardens of their own prisons, and how they deserve – and are capable of – so much more. Graeme helps answer my question: are moms more essential than dads? And we go DEEP there. So join us as Graeme lays down some much-needed wisdom, advice, perspective, and humor.

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Brandy:            Hello, Adult Conversation Podcast listeners. In today’s episode, I am talking with and having my brain exploded by progressive mom coach and writer, Graeme Seabrook. Graeme shares what she sees most as a motherhood coach, and it’s interesting – as she says, “It’s the same story every time.” Maybe you will see yourself in her clients as she shares her most impactful advice, what’s really at the center of all of it. We also talk a lot about dads and how they are the wardens of their own prisons (cough patriarchy cough), and how they deserve and are capable of so much more. Graeme helps answer my question, “Are moms more essential than dads?” And we go deep there. So, join us as Graeme lays down some much-needed wisdom, advice, perspective, and lots of humor.

Brandy:            Also, Graeme and I recorded this before the pandemic and before all the uprisings against police violence that have taken place across the world. Had we recorded this now, our conversation would have included a discussion around that. And maybe, that’s something we can do in the future. Who knows? But for now, Black Lives Matter. Onto the show —

Brandy:            Okay, so today on the podcast, we have Graeme Seabrook who is many things, but namely, she’s a writer, speaker, and community creator for moms, as well as a mom coach and founder of The Mom Center, an online community. Oh, and she’s also a mom herself. So, Graeme made her way into my world when I saw one of her articles go by, titled An Open Letter to Dads From A Mom Coach. That article cuts deep, and we’ll talk about that in a minute. So, welcome to the podcast, Graeme.

Graeme:           Thank you. It does cut deep. It does.

Brandy:            {laughter} You sound so nice right there. You’re like, “Hi,” and then you just, like, go for the jugular in the article. I love it.

Graeme:           {laughter} I sort of, maybe, a little bit, yes. I wish you could see my face right now. Umm…..

Brandy:            {laugher} Are you hiding behind something?

Graeme:           Maybe, a little.

Brandy:            We’re going to talk about that, but you are someone who I immediately knew that I needed to know in life because like Beth Berry, Darcy Lockman, and Eve Rodsky, who wrote the book Fair Play, you are one of these that I call ‘changemakers’ (thank you, Beth Berry, for that term) in the motherhood sphere. You’re not saying the same tired old things to moms about how they can engage with their kids more and do it all and be #mombosses. You are talking about shit like smashing the patriarchy, examining capitalism, and moms putting themselves at the top of their priority lists. So, I have been chasing you for months because I need you in my life.

Graeme:           {laughter} I don’t run that fast. It’s not hard to chase me. I swear I am on my couch 24/7.

Brandy:            {laughter} I feel like Winter 2019 took you down.

Graeme:           It did.

Brandy:            Yeah. So, that’s what made you hard to catch, but I’ve got you. I can’t wait for us to talk about a handful of all of these things today. But before we begin, what is something that the listeners need to know about you?

Graeme:           Dude, I am a hot mess. I do not have all of this stuff figured out. I do not have all of the answers. I have read ten billion books and listen to all of the podcasts and gone to see so many of the speakers, and all of their contradictory stuff is all sitting in my head. I’m wading through all of this possibly like three steps ahead of most of the people that I work with. I tell the moms, especially in The Mom Center, I’m like, “Look, y’all. I’m telling you that we’re on a path, and I’m telling you that there’s a river coming up. And the reason I know that there’s a river coming up is because I almost drowned in it, and I’m soaking wet.” And so, I’m turning around and saying, “Hey, you guys, you guys! There’s a river!” I’m not on the top of some mountain somewhere like, “I have figured out all of these things and follow this tablet and then you will know the truth.” Like, “Nah.”

Brandy:            Right.

Graeme:           That’s not how it works in real life.

Brandy:            And that’s what makes you so lovable is you’re somebody who’s in it but is just a couple steps ahead. And I think your brain works in a really unique way which is, I think, what makes you a changemaker.

Graeme:           It’s very scary in here. {laughter} It’s very frightening in my head, but I’m glad it’s helpful. It seems to be helpful to other people – all of my overthinking.

Brandy:            Yes. Right. I think that that’s what makes you good at what you do is not only are you saying, “Watch out for the crocodile over here,” but there’s something that you have figured out even though — I know you’re saying you don’t have it all figured out, but that’s what I love about you is there are some specific things that (you may not say it but) but you really do have figured out, and the way that you help moms to figure that out for themselves is really amazing. I think that you walk the talk, so you implement things that you talk about in your own life.

Graeme:           Oh, yeah.

Brandy:            And you can feel it. I mean, as somebody on the outside, I can feel that you’re doing those things. I know you’re doing those things. So, it gives you, like, cred. It gives you huge cred.

Graeme:           Well I mean, when a mom comes to me, usually it’s just a brain dump at first. It’s like all of the crap that they have been holding in for however many years, right?

Brandy:            Yeah.

Graeme:           It all comes out, and the first thing that I always say is, “Oh my God that’s so much, and that sounds so hard,” because it always is. It always is so much, and it always sounds so hard. And it’s also never anything that I haven’t heard before. I mean, I’ve worked with literally thousands of moms. I had a virtual assistant almost a year ago {stutters} (Oh, wow. I know what month it is. I do. {whispers} I did not. {laughter}) who counted for me, and it was over 2000 moms at that point. And so, there’s not much that somebody can say to me that I haven’t heard before, but we all feel like we’re specially broken.

Brandy:            Right.

Graeme:           Like we are the weakest link. Right? And we never are.

Brandy:            Oh, my gosh. Yeah, exactly. That age-old question that I’m always striving for, “Is motherhood broken, or am I?” Like, which is which? And it’s probably a little bit of both I’m finding.

Graeme:           I really feel like it’s motherhood that’s broken and is breaking us. So, it might be both, but it didn’t come from you. It is not an internal “Brandy did this” or “Graeme did this.” It is that this system that we’re all living under and these combination of systems that make up motherhood are not sustainable, are extremely painful, and are not good for us or our partners or spouses or whatever your situation is. They’re not good for our kids.

Brandy:            Exactly.

Graeme:           And so, yeah. It is breaking us.

Brandy:            And I think, too, that’s one of the things when you said that it’s not good for our partners either. I think that there can be a misconception here about the kind of work that you and I do, that it’s “man hating” or something of that nature. Not that I’ve ever heard that.

Graeme:           Man, I have so much more respect for dads than the average person. I really feel like that. I expect them to be able to do things that the average grown adult can do, and others don’t. {laughter}

Brandy:            The thing is that I feel like having a happy, maternal figure in your home, and that person’s well-being only benefits dads and partners in the situation also.

Graeme:           Yes.

Brandy:            I have a friend who made a comment like, “Oh yeah, I was at this wedding. I was talking to a friend, and she’d heard your podcast and really loved it, but her husband was like ‘Yeah, I don’t know if I want her listening to that. Haha.’” Or something to that effect. I was just like, “Man –“

Graeme:           Do better, sir.

Brandy:            Thank you. I thinking, “If she’s happier, you win. You win from that. This is not against you. Fucking sack up.”

Graeme:           Yeah! Thank you. Can that be a hashtag? Can that be a t-shirt? Can I have that on a t-shirt? {laughter}

Brandy:            Yes. Oh, my God, you know what’s so sad? I’m going to admit a bad parenting moment here. The other day, my sweet 13-year-old son was going to take out the trash, but it was dark. And so he’s like, “Can you come out there with me?” I’m out there with him, and he has to take six steps to the trashcan in the dark. And he was breaking down. He’s like, “I can’t.” I’m like, “I’m right here. Why will you not just walk six steps? There’s literally nothing that can happen to you.” And it was at the end of the day, and I was at the end of my rope. I was like, “Dude, you gotta sack up here.”

Graeme:           {laughter}

Brandy:            And then later, after we after he was asleep and I was overthinking the whole thing and imagining how — I was imagining how this moment was gonna be the moment that he’s at the therapist just like, “And she told me to sack up, and I feel like I’ve never sacked up my whole life.” So anyway, the term “sack up” is triggering me. {laughter}

Graeme:           {laughter} It’s not the one moment. Okay.

Brandy:            It might be. How do you know? {laughter}

Graeme:           Okay, I’m just making sure that, eventually, upstairs brain kicked in, and you were like, “That’s crap. One moment is not going to do it.”

Brandy:            Yeah.

Graeme:           No. One moment is not going to send him to therapy. He might end up in therapy. My kids are probably going to end up in therapy. I don’t want them to end up in therapy for the same shit that I’m in therapy for right now.

Brandy:            Different stuff. New stuff.

Graeme:           New stuff. Get creative. Like, for real.

Brandy:            That’s a great point.

Graeme:           Well, I feel like, “Then, why am I in therapy?” If my healing isn’t rolling downhill, then what am I doing it for?”

Brandy:            Yeah, good point.

Graeme:           I actually tell I tell moms, and this is obviously on a case by case basis — I have worked with a lot of moms who are going through something big, and there is money for one person to go to therapy: either them or their kid. And I’ll talk it through. The actual benefit of them going to therapy is that they can take the things that they’ve learned, the tools, and their own healing, and they can support their kids with it. We can’t ask kids to do that. Kids can’t go and do their own work, work on their own healing, and then come home and help you. That’s not their job.

Brandy:            Yeah, great point. Trickle down.

Graeme.           If you have to make that choice, then it does make sense. Not saying that your kid shouldn’t be in therapy. My kid is in therapy right now, but I did it first because I could.

Brandy:            Right. What would you say about spouses? What would you say if there’s only money for one spouse to go to therapy?

Graeme:           It really depends on who’s hurting the most. Who is in the most need? But a lot of times, (and this is capitalism and patriarchy) telling men that they have to be strong, they have to be providers, they can’t have emotions, they can’t need support, they’re not allowed, it’s not manly, they’re not doing their jobs for their family if they are leaning at all — so, a lot of times, get getting straight CIS dudes to go to therapy, I mean, you might as well just bash your head against the wall.

Brandy:            Right.

Graeme:           And so, there are a lot of moms that I work with who are in therapy and they’re in coaching, and some of what we’re working on is, “How do I get him to understand the value of this thing? How do I get him to understand that I can’t fix him? I don’t have training as a therapist and cannot be his therapist and cannot stand between him and our kids when his anxiety is through the roof or his depression has him in a hole or his OCD is flaring or just that he’s struggling with these traumas or these things that are happening in our lives which are human freakin’ struggles.” But all of this stuff gets so gendered, and it goes through all of these lenses. And if we’re not looking at them and if we don’t ever say, “Oh, that’s not an internal thing for my husband. That is capitalism. That is patriarchy. That is the way he was raised, and all of the shit that he’s been through.” It doesn’t excuse it, but it gives you room to breathe. It lifts that anger and frustration and you can be like “Okay. So, now it is the two of us working against these systems instead of me trying to drag him to this thing.”

Brandy:            Absolutely, and side note, this is another thing for the dude (not my son, but the dude that I was like, “Dude, you gotta sack up here.”) is these things that us changemakers in the motherhood sphere are trying to break down, actually, are a prison to men as well.

Graeme:           Oh my God, yeah.

Brandy:            Exactly what you’re talking about where they have to always be strong. They can’t have emotions. They can’t have other interests outside of wanting a career. If they can get on board with us to get on board with breaking these things down, what could that look like?

Graeme:           Yeah.

Brandy:            It’s like it’s freedom for all of us. That’s the other thing. The misconception that this is against men or something. It’s like, “No. We’re all working for everybody’s equality.” Like, “I’m not working to get what you have. I’m not working to have the matriarchy.”

Graeme:           God, no. I don’t want what you have. Oh my God. There’s no amount of money you could pay me to be a dude. None. Zero.

Brandy:            {laughter}

Graeme:           And partially, it is because it isn’t hurting them as much as it’s hurting us or in as many obvious ways as it’s hurting us. Like, you look at things like the wage gap. It’s obvious. It’s number based. You can track it.  You can see it.  You can put your hands on it. It makes logical sense. So, that is something where you can easily get on board. It was like, “Yeah, we need to fix this.” Trying to explain to a guy that the fact that he doesn’t have close friends that he can talk about his feelings with is hurting him and is a part of patriarchy and is damaging him and is not allowing him to live his full life as a human being. It’s so hard for them to hear that. And I understand why it’s hard for them to hear that because they’ve been taught their entire life that emotions are bad.

Brandy:            Yeah, because they’ve been conditioned against it.

Graeme:           Right. It sounds like I’m saying that he should go live on Mars. Like, it sounds like I’m saying this this absolutely ridiculous thing. But from the outside, I’m like, “Dude, yeah. That hurts. That’s bad. That’s not good. You’re missing out on so much. It could be so helpful to you, and your life could be so much deeper and richer and more married. God, don’t you miss it?” And they’ve never had it, so they don’t.

Brandy:            Right. Yes.

Graeme:           And it’s not concrete. There are no numbers you can put — I mean, you can look at suicide rates among men, and you can put numbers to these things.

Brandy:            Do you know the suicide rates between men and women?

Graeme:           I do not know the latest stats, but I do know that men are the most likely people to –men commit suicide way more than women do.

Brandy:            Hmm, interesting.

Graeme:           And that makes sense, right? All of the things that are protective against suicidal ideation and suicidal actions are things that we deny to men as a society.

Brandy:            Yes.

Graeme:           It really takes all of us to break down these systems, and it does help everybody. When moms get free, their whole families get free.

Brandy:            Right. So, I just looked up the stats real fast, and it says, “In 2017, men died by suicide 3.54 times more than women.” But what I think is even more interesting is white males accounted for 69.67% of suicide deaths in 2017. That’s astounding. Like, guys if you’re listening — I mean, the guys who are listening are already like woke-ish.

Graeme:           They’re on this.

Brandy:            Right. They’re already on it. The things that we are trying to break down are to help take that number down for you.

Graeme:           Yeah.

Brandy:            I just have to say that.

Graeme:           It is a prison for everybody. It’s just that they are also the wardens of their own prison.

Brandy:            Ah, yes!

Graeme:           One of the things that oppression actually teaches us is how to create community because we have to to survive the oppression. And so, that’s one of the things that they don’t understand how to do because they don’t have to to survive the oppression. So really, they should be learning from us. I say this not even just about a gender differential, but I’ve said this many times. In every conversation, whatever you’re talking about in whatever situation, if you center the most marginalized person and you make sure that they are okay and that they have all the support that they need and everything that they need to thrive, everybody will benefit. Trickle down does not work. There are upward explosions that happen. It moves so quickly, constantly. And this has been shown over and over again in different ways. When trans people get better health care, everybody gets better healthcare because you can’t do one without the other.

Brandy:            Hmm. Right.

Graeme:           Even microloans that started all across the continent of Africa that were given, specifically, to women who had been previously powerless — microloans to start their own businesses changed entire communities. It just always works. It’s never not worked. Yeah, it explodes up. Nothing ever trickles down, but it does explode up constantly.

Brandy:            See — so — {laughter} Okay, that’s what she said — number one.

Graeme:           {laughter}

Brandy:            Number two — {laughter} Sorry.

Graeme:           {laughter} I love you so much. Please leave it.

Brandy:            Number two, I love at the beginning, you’re like, “I don’t really know. I don’t have all this figured out.” And then you come in here and just, like, decimate my brain with awesome points and information.

Graeme:           {laughter} Okay, maybe I know some shit. Like, a couple of things I know.

Brandy:            Yeah, you know some shit. It’s funny because this totally goes into a couple things that I wanted to ask you about today. The place that I want to start is this article that you wrote which is called An Open Letter To Dads From A Mom Coach. And it’s basically a list of questions related to children and household tasks. You’re asking dads if they know the answers to these things which is how you said, like, “I’m treating dads like they should know the answers to these things and the adults.” And if they don’t know the answer, you’re basically saying, “Why are you in this relationship, marriage, and household? Are you a father, or are you a guy who lives with a mother and some kids? If what you bring to your household is a paycheck, then why are you here? You don’t have to live there to support them financially.” It’s like, “Ah. Burn.”

Graeme:           {laughter}

Brandy:            But I know, and yes, it’s so spot on. But some of my favorite questions that you pose are, “Who is your child’s pediatrician? Where are they located? What are their hours? What is their phone number? Does your child like them?” Another one is. “How do you create a meal plan that takes into account everyone’s nutritional needs, allergies, preferences, what is already in your fridge and pantry, as well as the family budget?” Another one is, “What is your babysitter’s name? What are they paid? How are they paid? What is their experience and background with children? Who else have they worked for?” And then, “What sizes of clothing and shoes do your kids wear? Where do you usually buy them? What are your plans (I love this one) plans for childcare during school breaks?” I sometimes think that the non-default parent has no idea. Like, that’s a “no clue.”

Graeme:           Do they know that if you haven’t gotten it locked down for the summer, at least here in Colorado…

Brandy:            Right? By February.

Graeme:           By February, you’re completely, utterly screwed, and your kid is staying in your house. Do you know that? Most guys don’t know that. But again, I didn’t know that. So, when my kids were in daycare, daycare is year-round, so, I never had to worry about it. Our son started kindergarten, and I was in a couple of mom groups, and it’s January/February, everybody’s freaking out about summer camps. And I’m like, “Oh, wait, that’s a thing? I thought I could do that in April.” I had no clue. But, because I had those networks of information and support around me, I got clued in, and I said to Adam, “Holy crap, did you know?” Then, because he’s the logistics dude, he took care of it.

Brandy:            Oh, what does the “logistics dude” mean?

Graeme:           So, his actual brain is comprised of ones and zeros.

Brandy:            {laughter}

Graeme:           He is a spreadsheet with a beard and some legs. {laughter} No, he’s the sweetest, most awesome guy, but his brain works totally differently from mine.

Brandy:            So, what tasks do you give him in the household?

Graeme:           I don’t give him — so, here’s the thing. I don’t give him tasks. That’s not my job. I’m not a CEO. I’m not his manager. I’m not his mom. We sat down a while back and realized that I was doing stuff that I suck at. {laughter}

Brandy:            {laughter}

Graeme:           And he was doing stuff that he sucks at, and maybe this was not the most efficient use of either of our time or energy or emotion. He’s a software engineer, and a lot of what he had to study in college and in grad school was logistics. Like, “How do you do things in a way that makes sense for a program or a group of people or whatever?” My brain does not do that. My brain is like, “Feelings, feelings, feelings, feelings.” So, why would I be the person planning a vacation? Why would I be the person finding a summer camp? Why would it be the person who has to look at budgets and calendars and timetables? Why? That doesn’t make any sense. I am naturally going to suck at that thing.

Brandy:            So, he’s the sorting and form-filling kind of guy.

Graeme:           Yes, If it involves any type of planning, that’s all him.

Brandy:            Okay, but then if you’re bringing the feelings and you’re clued into a community, you probably have an idea of which camps would be best for your kids and their personality. So then do you tell him, “These are the camps I think would be great for them. Make it happen.”

Graeme:           Uh, no.

Brandy:            Okay. How does it work?

Graeme:           Because he’s also a dad who spends a lot of time with his kids and knows them pretty well, he knows what they like and what they don’t like. He knows that my son – that if there are dinosaurs involved in any way, shape, or form, both of our children are going to be like, “Yes!” {laughter}

Brandy:            Yes. So, wait. Did you, legitimately, have nothing to do at all?

Graeme:           I, legitimately, had nothing to do with it.

Brandy:            See, you’re bending my mind here. I’m like, “How does this work?”

Graeme:           Dude, I had nothing to do with it. It’s not my job.

Brandy:            Yeah, I love you.

Graeme:           I did say, you know, I was like, “You know what would be great?” (because our daughter is still in daycare) I knew that daycare had been sending out these emails saying, “Hey, we’re running a summer camp.” We both got the emails because we are both on their list. He is actually on their list as the primary parent to call because, “Hello, anxiety.” I can’t pick up my phone when you call me. Unless I know you’re going to call me, it’s not gonna work out. So, he, on the other hand, doesn’t care. Ones and zeroes. He doesn’t care. It doesn’t freak him out. He can pick up the phone, and, “Oh, she’s sick. We need to come get her? Cool.” And then he’ll look at his calendar and see if he can. If he can’t, he’ll be like, “Babe, she’s sick. We need to come get her. I can’t do it for an hour. Can you do it faster than that?” And that’s the way those conversations go.

Brandy:            Okay, I love this so much. And I’m sorry I derailed you on that when you said “logistics guy,” but I was like, “Wait a minute.” Yeah, this sounds amazing.

Graeme:           Yeah. Like, if couples would just sit down and say, “What are you good at?” And I don’t mean, “Are you better at laundry than I am,” because that’s gonna be gendered. Odds are, you are going to, as a mom, be better at laundry or feel like you are. So, I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about deeper stuff. “Are you better at planning? Is he better at executing? Are you better at researching?” Like, when it comes to reading parenting books and stuff, that’s all on me because I can connect a paragraph and a parenting book with something that one of our kids did. His brain doesn’t do that. So, I do the feelings part, and it evens out. He does the meal planning.

Brandy:            Oh, my gosh.

Graeme:           Because, again, it’s logistics. It’s, “What do we have? What do we want to make?” He has spreadsheets.

Brandy:            Do you do the cooking, though?

Graeme:           Umm, it goes back and forth.

Brandy:            Okay. So, you guys share in that.

Graeme:           Big meals, all the fancy meals — I do all the fancy meals because I am Southern, and there are rules. {laughter}

Brandy:            {laughter} Okay.

Graeme:           There rules about what you have for holidays, and he does not care about the rules. But he also wants to stay alive and stay married, so he pretends to care about the rules. {laughter} He puts the things that I need on the grocery list. Then, we kind of just split it up by energy and how each of us is doing that week. We kind of go back and forth between weeks.

Brandy:            I love that.

Graeme:           Yeah. Which one of us our kids are jumping up and down on the most?

Brandy:            {laughter} Right.

Graeme:           So, the other person — whoever’s already being woken up at 4:30 in the morning because somebody’s toes are cold –

Brandy:            Right. So, who is a shell of a person this week? Oh, then we’ll figure out who’s cooking.

Graeme:           Yeah, exactly. That’s how it goes.

Brandy:            What I loved about this list of things that you — and the ones that I picked out from your article were just some of my favorite ones. What I love about the questions is they speak to this unseen labor that women typically take on that dads often have no idea about. So, in the past couple years, it seems like we’re starting to talk about these things more and uncover them. Your list – I can just imagine handing that to a dad and them getting not very good grade on that. It doesn’t mean they’re shit. It just is a wakeup call.

Graeme:           Yeah.

Brandy:            All these things happen without you having to even think about them. So, “Hey, maybe, it would be easier on the person who’s doing all the thinking if you could do some of the thinking.” I’m wondering, where did the inspiration for the article come from?

Graeme:           I had four clients one day, and the first two clients were single moms. The second two clients were married moms, but I had the exact same conversation four times that day.

Brandy:            Wow.

Graeme:           And by the end, I was so apocalyptically angry. I can’t explain to you the depth of how angry I was. Then I got an email from Adam that said, “Hey, babe. We have to take Andrew back into the pediatrician’s office because they won’t write him a new prescription without having seen him — like, every couple of months or whatever. Like, they need to actually see him.” And he’s like, “I was looking at our calendar. And I can do it on whatever (some day and time), but would you rather do it? Would you feel better if you went (because sometimes anxiety)? Or do you want me to do it?” And after the morning that I had had, I was like, “Wait! If he can do this –.” And he’s awesome, and I love him, but he’s not that special. Like, he’s just a regular dude.

Brandy:            {laughter}

Graeme:           You know, he’s just a regular dude.

Brandy:            Right. It’s not like he grew up in a commune with women, and he was assimilated into their way of thinking.

Graeme:           No. No. Right? He didn’t even grow up with spectacularly politically involved parents.  He’s really just an average dude. He lives in Colorado, and he has a beard. That’s every dude in Colorado.

Brandy:            He’s every Colorado dude. Let me guess, does he like beer?

Graeme:           Yes!

Brandy:            Oh, funny.

Graeme:           So much! And has a list of beers to try and breweries to check out. Like, he’s that guy. That guy can do this, but what the hell is wrong with these other guys? I, totally, understand working with a single mom who is burned out and overwhelmed, and working with that mom to create communities and networks of support because there is no – especially, if they are fully a single mom. They’re not a divorced parent, and there isn’t a dad presence. Right? I get that. That sucks. It is horrible, but it makes logical sense. There’s no one else there. You’re the sole adult. Why the hell was I having the exact same conversation with moms who were married? They weren’t the sole adult. There’s a whole other adult — there’s 100% more adult in the household.

Brandy:            {laughter}  Now, with 100% more adult!

Graeme:           There’s 100% more adult in the household. Why are we having this conversation? I lost it. So, I just lost it in a blog post.

Brandy:            {laughter} Perfect. Perfect.

Graeme:           Now, my confession is that, off the top of my head, I don’t know the answer to every single one of those questions. That’s my confession. A lot of moms wrote me back and were like, “I don’t know the answers to all of these. I’m a terrible mother.” And I was like, “No, no, no, no, no.” The difference is, I am expected to know them. It’s not a big deal if I know the answers to all these questions. It’s like, “Oh, cool. You know that. That’s awesome. Good job.” If Adam knows the answer to any of those questions, it’s, “Oh my God. He’s such a good dad. Oh my gosh. You’re so lucky.” “Excuse me? No.”

Brandy:            Yeah.

Graeme:           No. Not at all. That is not luck. That is him being a parent. He’s a parent who’s being a parent.

Brandy:            What was the response you got from people? I’m sure you got responses on both sides.

Graeme:           {laughter} Umm, well. {laughter}

Brandy:            Death threats?

Graeme:           No, actually, you know what’s interesting is that one of my friends said, “Well, you’ve kind of trained your people. They know what to expect from you.” And I was like, “Yeah, that’s true.” They were used to getting many rants along this line for a really long time. So, nobody was surprised. It was when it went outside of my little bubble.

Brandy:            Yeah.

Graeme:           Which it did probably by day two. It was mostly moms who were writing back to me, and so many of them said, “Thank you. I didn’t know how to say any of this to him, so I just sent him the link,” or, “I printed it out,” or, “I copied it and pasted it.” A couple of people were like, “I’m so sorry. I copied and pasted this into an email, and I didn’t credit you. I’m so sorry.” I’m like, “Dude, did it work? I don’t care, but did it work? Like, did it help?”

Brandy:            Right. Yes.

Graeme:           I’m not precious — like, just as long as it worked. And I got a couple of mean messages on Facebook, but I just delete them. I don’t pay attention to that. I just really don’t pay attention. I’m like, “Blah.”

Brandy:            Yeah.

Graeme:           Once I’ve read through the first two or three sentences — and I’ll get things like, “Why do you hate being a mother? You shouldn’t have had ‘blah.’” Like, I don’t even – why?

Brandy:            Right. Why?

Graeme:           Yeah. Some people had valid questions. Some people said, “I like being the person who knows all of these things.” And I was like, “Then, cool. Yay.”

Brandy:            Then stop contacting me. {laughter}

Graeme:           People would be like, “What about the moms who really –” And I was like, “Then they should do that. They should do that, but they should also know how the message that they’re sending to their children and how their children may parent.”

Brandy:            Hmm. Yes.

Graeme:           And so, they should have conversations that say, “Hey, me as a person, I like doing these things for you with you. I like being the one that you come to and lean on and who knows all of your stuff. I like that. Not every mom likes that. Not every person who identifies as a woman likes that. This isn’t everybody. This is just me and our relationship and our family. I don’t really care what happens in your family as long as you’re happy with it.”

Brandy:            Right? So, what are some of – like you were saying, you’ve worked with over 2000 moms. What are the hardships you see plaguing moms the most that you work with? What do you see come up most often? Because you were saying that it’s not new. It’s the same stuff that comes up. What are some of those things?

Graeme:           The same story every time. {laughter}

Brandy:            Yeah, what is it?

Graeme:           It’s the same story every time. It’s, “I love him so much, and I don’t know if I can do this anymore.” As moms, we have this idea that we’re supposed to be able to handle all of it and with joy. You can have it all. Yeah. Okay. Sure. In what world? I mean, if you’re Beyoncé, maybe. But no, not with your 24 hours. Beyoncé has her 24 hours and a full staff of 24 hours of other people.

Brandy:            Exactly.

Graeme:           So, her one 24 hours is like hundreds of hours in a day, you know?

Brandy:            Yeah. If you could pay other people to do all of those menial tasks, you could have it all.

Graeme:           Yes. If you’ve ever watched any of her tour videos — she’s making sacrifices. Her kids are making sacrifices. Is it worth it? To them, yeah. Right?

Brandy:            Yeah.

Graeme:           So, okay. Cool. Do your thing. But there’s this idea that we can have it all and joyfully and just be so happy all the time. If I don’t want to be around my children 24/7, if I am not so in love with everything they do, then I’m a horrible person.

Brandy:            Yeah.

Graeme:           Okay, but that’s not humanly possible. In humanity, that stretches across every type and style and situation of moms. From single moms thinking that they should be able to do it all on their own and that if they ask for help, they’re weak or they’ve somehow failed, to married moms thinking that they shouldn’t be complaining because, “Well, he’s here, and he’s one of the good ones, and sometimes he’ll pick up dinner on his way home.”

Brandy:            Right.

Graeme:           And there’s this feeling that somebody always has it worse than you, and so you can’t say anything because you’re somehow disrespecting them if you speak about your own pain.

Brandy:            Right.

Graeme:           There is always somebody who has it worse, I guess. I mean, sure. But there’s somebody who’s always happier than you too, and we don’t let that stop us.

Brandy:            I know. Because then you just get into a competition where you’re trying to see whose is worst, and there’s always somebody worse. So then nobody else can ask for help. Nobody else can have a feeling.

Graeme:           And there’s this code of silence around the whole thing. I think the code of silence is only broken in those super cheesy wine memes and stuff like that. Like, those really bother me.

Brandy:            I’m with you.

Graeme:           I feel like they’re a cry for help, disguised as a joke.

Brandy:            I feel like the more that we post about that kind of stuff about, “Oh, mommy juice,” we’re just ignoring the bigger issue. Like, the issue is that we need to be asking for help. We don’t have systemic communities and systemic —

Graeme:           Why do we have to medicate motherhood with alcohol?

Brandy:            Right. So maybe, let’s change motherhood so that we don’t need to medicate it. I want to go back real fast to the story that you say is like, “This is the story.” So, is 99.9% of your work with moms dealing with their spouses, namely, husbands?

Graeme:           Um, no. It is dealing with support, but I do work with a lot of single moms. I work with a lot of lesbian moms. I work with a lot of queer moms. So, it’s not necessarily a gender thing. Sometimes it’s just perfectionism, childhood trauma, not knowing how to reach out, and having a circle around you that you can’t really be honest with — like, really, really honest.

Brandy:            Yeah.

Graeme:           And there’s a general feeling of, “Everybody’s so busy. I can’t ask them.” Right? Because you know how busy you are. So, there’s that, and then there’s also the moms that are married to dudes. And that’s a whole other thing. {laughter}

Brandy:            {laughter}

Graeme:           But no matter what kind of mom you are, capitalism and patriarchy are working on all of us. So, all of us have that perfect mom that we think we’re supposed to be that we’re judging ourselves against all the time. All of us have our own shit from our own moms, good or bad, that we’re judging ourselves against. This constant judging and silencing and not speaking our truth — at some point, you start to choke on that. And when I asked moms to visualize — fast forward however many years, and your kid has now become a parent. What do you want their experience of parenting to be like? How do you want it to feel for them? What do you want them to do? What do you want their priorities to be? How do you want it to be? Like, really sit and daydream for two minutes. It really doesn’t have to be a long time. Think about the holistic experience of being a parent. What do you want it to be like for them? And they’ll come up with these just liberatory ideas of how they want their kids to be able to parent in community. They want their kids to know that somebody always has their back, that they can do this, that they’re going to be amazing parents, that they have places to get resources, that they have places to get direction, that they have places to lean, and that they have friends that understand them. They want all of these amazing things for their kids. I look at them, and I’m like, “Why can’t you have that right now? How is your kid ever going to know that that’s how it’s supposed to be if they don’t see it? Why aren’t you modeling that?” It’s always like, “I don’t know how. Like, I don’t know how.” I think all of us, innately in our guts know what we want, even if all we know is, “I don’t want this shit.” {laughter}

Brandy:            {laughter} Right. Yes.

Graeme:           Sometimes all you got is like, “I don’t know what it is, but it’s not this.” {laughter}

Brandy:            Exactly.

Graeme:           Okay, but how do I do that? And that’s where I come in. That’s where I’m like, “Alright, let’s get real clear on who you actually are, which a lot of us have lost.” I’ve worked with moms who are like, “I don’t even know what my favorite color is.”

Brandy:            Oh, my gosh. Yeah.

Graeme:           “I know my daughter’s favorite color is blue, and my son’s favorite color is red. I know my husband’s favorite color is green. I have no clue what I like.” They’re like Julia Roberts with the eggs in that movie where she got married every day. Runaway Bride. That’s what it was. But she kept saying that she liked her eggs the way whoever she was engaged to liked their eggs. She had lost who she was. There’s that scene where there’s like 20 million different egg dishes on the counter in the diner, and she’s trying them all to figure out how she, actually, likes her eggs. So, that’s a little bit of the work that I do with moms, actually. It’s like, “Who the hell are you — really, you in the center?”

Brandy:            That’s such important work. Oh, my gosh.

Graeme:           Yeah. It is.

Brandy:            Thank you for doing that.

Graeme:           Everything has to come from that. How do we know the life you want to build if you do not know who you are?

Brandy:            Right. I think so many moms are in this space of years of not knowing who they are. And so, it feels like survival mode. It feels like grasping at straws. It feels like you’re just floating in the wind rather than, like, “I have agency and empowerment, and I know what I’m going towards.” And so, the conversations that you have with your clients, I would imagine are literally life changing.

Graeme:           They are. Yeah, and it changes the way that they parent as well because we’re talking about, “Who are you at your core? What are your actual values?” They don’t have to line up with my values, but you need to know what they are because you can read all the parenting books in the world. I have read the vast majority of them. {laughter} What’s missing from them is a conversation about how you share your values with your children and how you pass that along. That’s one of the biggest things that we do. I mean, we are raising future adults. We want them to move through the world in a certain way, and we spend so much of our time focused on the symptoms and not the cause. We spend so much of our time saying, “Don’t run in the house,” or, “Be kind to your sister,” or, “Listen to your teacher.” But once we have our values clarified, then we can say things like, “In this family, everybody helps to care for the family. So, that means you are going to help us put the dishes away after dinner because we are going to teach you how to take care of people physically. And when you scream and yell at your sister, we’re going to teach you how to have a better conversation because in our family, everybody takes care of the family.” But if you don’t know that that’s what you believe, then you’re not going to parent that way. I don’t care how many books you read. You can read the books that will help you know how to have those conversations. They can give you scenarios and stuff, but they’re not going to be able to tell you what to say because you don’t know what you’re trying to teach them.

Brandy:            Right. So, would you say that your piece of advice that you give to people or the coaching that you do with them that gives them the biggest aha moments are this finding out who they are and what matters to them?

Graeme:           Yes.

Brandy:            Okay, wow. That’s the center of all of it?

Graeme:           That’s the center of all of it. It’s called the whole human mama framework and your humanity, reclaiming your humanity, reconnecting to your humanity, and then figuring out what to do next. So, that’s the big aha moment, and then the actual coaching is like, “Okay. Well, how is that going to show up in practical terms? What is it that specifically needs to change first, second, third?” And that’s, I mean, what a coach does is helps you make a plan, hold you accountable, like, “Hey, you’ve got homework, and by next week, I want you to have done X, Y, and Z.” So, that’s the kind of stuff that every coach is doing, but really the art of it is rediscovering your humanity and really understanding how the systems out there are impacting your family, your relationship, and your own view of yourself so that you can make really informed choices. A lot of these things are not things that we ever decided.

Brandy:            Exactly. Right.

Graeme:           You meet a dude and you get married or you get pregnant or you whatever. You end up living together. However your story progresses, a lot of these things just kind of happen without us ever having a conversation about who’s doing the laundry and who’s paying this bill or that bill. It just kind of happens.

Brandy:            Yep.

Graeme.           And then you fast forward ten years, and you are so frustrated that you can’t breathe. And he’s like, “She seems a little pissed off.”

Brandy:            {laughter}

Graeme:           And you’re sitting there like, “I don’t know what’s wrong.”

Brandy:            Right. Because there’s not one moment. It’s the build-up of all the years, and when you set up your framework of how you work with your spouse and you do that before you have children, it can be unbalanced. You don’t notice it because you have enough time and energy to do that, but that’s why I feel like kids are such a clarifier for the systems in your marriage that are not working because anything unequal and somebody having too much of the load, you just feel it. It’s so obvious, but like you’re saying, so many moms are in the survival mode that they can’t even articulate what’s happening. And it’s also a slow build.

Graeme:           Oh, God. Yeah.

Brandy:            How do you say, “The way we’ve been doing things for 15 years is no longer working.” Like you’re not even sleeping. How do you even understand this?

Graeme:           Right. Yes, and that it hasn’t been working. And that it’s slowly turned up to a boil. I watched this documentary the other night, and it blew my mind.

Brandy:            Was it Babies? I think I saw you post about it.

Brandy:            It was Babies. Yeah. I sent out an email about that because it was – like, there’s no biological confirmation of what I have been saying. I love being right. I mean, it’s not the best trait that I have, but I love being right so much. {laughter} But there’s this researcher who discovered that when men are the primary caregivers, their hormone levels of oxytocin are the same as moms. And not just that, but the oxytocin will trigger their amygdalas to activate which is the same thing that triggers in moms. It’s the reason that moms usually hear a baby cry before a dad does.

Brandy:            Yes.

Graeme:           It’s because his brain has not opened to the amygdala which is responsible for protection and vigilance. It’s one of the oldest parts of our brain. So, when there are two parents in a household, the parent who has accepted primary responsibility for the child — and that may or may not have a lot to do with who’s doing physical stuff for the kid, but the parent who internally is like, “It’s on me.”

Brandy:            Right. The parent who’s the end of the line.

Graeme:           Yeah. That is the parent whose oxytocin activates the amygdala. So, when they were studying gay couples, there was usually one who had the amygdala open and operating and one who didn’t. And when they studied single dads, the amygdala was open. So, dudes can do this. There is nothing about being a guy that means that you can’t do this.

Brandy:            Yes. We talked about this on one of my episodes with Darcy Lockman, who wrote this amazing book called All The Rage: Mothers, Fathers, and the Myth of Equal Partnership. She talks about this scientific research about how — I mean, exactly what you’re talking about, like you’re saying, which proves this isn’t a gender thing. We were talking about, on that podcast how this is probably a biological imperative for when moms died in childbirth, so that the baby didn’t just get chucked to the side because the Dad’s like, “Well, I guess I’m not very nurturing.” This is a protection measure.

Graeme:           Or anybody else who adopted that child. So, if it was a grandparent or an extended family member, whoever took primary responsibility for that child, this hormone surge would be like, “Alright, cool. We’re doing this. I hope you’re ready. It’s on now.” {laughter} But what that means is that there isn’t stuff that moms are just better at doing. No, we have been socialized to be better at doing these things.

Brandy:            Yeah, that’s the narrative, and that’s what we all believe. And so, we just keep going with it which is like, “We have to change the narrative.” And I mean, also — Okay, I’m not sure quite how to articulate this.

Graeme:           Do it.

Brandy:            I’m like, “Do I even do I even go here?”

Graeme:           Yeah, go here. Do it.

Brandy:            Okay. So, I’m gonna go here. So, somebody posted in my podcast discussion group on Facebook an article which is an interview with James Taylor, the singer, and he had mentioned about how his dad was an alcoholic and his dad wasn’t around a lot. And so, he made this comment that said something like, “You can make up a dad out of a few good outings, but a mother has to be there for so much more.” And the person who posted it was kind of like, “This is bullshit that this is what we’re brought up in thinking.” But here’s where it gets tricky, and this is where my brain was like, “That’s bullshit.” And also, it speaks to this part that I believe myself, in the back of my brain where I don’t want to believe it. But it’s this belief that there is something special about moms. There is some bond and something where they have to show up in a different way. And I don’t know quite how to rectify that because I strongly believe moms should not have to do all this. We should have the same rights as dads, but it’s held back a little bit by this belief that like, “But I also think there is something special about moms.” So, what’s your take?

Graeme:           So, there’s two things. One is a question that I ask in The Mom Center pretty regularly which is, “If you are not essential, then who are you?” Because it’s real scary. I had big feelings the first time that I left the kids. My son was, like, two-and-a-half. My daughter was, like, six months old the first time I left for a long time, and I was gone for a whole week. I came back, and everybody’s fine. And I was like, “What the hell, y’all?” {laughter} “What did you mean you didn’t notice?” I had to talk to my therapist about that for a while. Like, “Why do I feel really resentful? They gave me exactly what I was asking for. I deeply needed this time away.” She was like, “They did miss you, and they do care. But you’re not essential in that way.” And so, you have to be you have to create a different version of motherhood for yourself. What is it that you have with each of them that nobody else on the planet could have? No one. It’s not necessarily doing the #momthings. It’s more about relating to your child, person to person, and having a relationship that no one else could have.

Brandy:            But is there something biological? I mean, it’s the same thing where the machine that makes the milk – so, when our babies are born, all those mechanisms that I know from my work in the birth world that happen, that are sort of silent, and the smelling of the baby’s head and the milk coming in and all of those things, I can’t imagine there’s not a little bit more than that that we don’t know, that’s also about nurturance and especially, them living inside of us and all of those things, that doesn’t translate over.

Graeme:           Yeah. All of those things are so important, and they can be really amazing building blocks for our relationship. Some of that can tilt over into ownership because it doesn’t allow for them to be their own people. There are times when my daughter doesn’t want to do whatever, and I’m like, “Dude, I made you. Are you kidding me? 27 staples, kid.”

Brandy             {laughter}

Graeme:           But that doesn’t give me any rights over her. That doesn’t give me any claim, those 27 staples or the times when I was breastfeeding her and my body knew that she was sick and started making antibodies. That’s my job, man. She didn’t ask to be born. Like, it is at once mundane and miraculous. And I think part of this, for a lot of moms, is that we have to make space for dads to have mundane and miraculous relationships with their kids too. And it can be hard to not be the only one. It can be hard to not be the martyr. It can be hard to not be the only person who is special. And it can be hard to hold on to, like, the thing that is special about you and them, and then still see and celebrate the thing that’s special about him and them.

Brandy:            Yeah, and what I think compounds this is when you become a stay-at-home mom. I can imagine a lot of moms, this is their only identity. So, then it gets clouded. Everything gets clouded where they’re like, “Well, this is my one job. This is how I bring value to the family. I’m not making money for us, so here’s how I bring value. So, I’m gonna show that I’m the best at this job, and they all need me.”

Graeme:           That’s not actually internal. That’s capitalism.

Brandy:            It’s bullshit.

Graeme:           Your worth has nothing to do with your productivity. Your work has nothing to do with the amount of money that you’re bringing in. Yes, money is necessary and important. My kids have to eat, oh my God so much all day, every day.

Brandy:            What if you were brought up in a family that valued productivity over everything and still does? Asking for a friend. {laughter}

Graeme:           I was brought up in a family where you literally did not walk in the door without A’s. If you walked in the door without A’s, you were not walking out again. You were grounded until the next report card. So, I intimately understand the pressure of perfectionism, of never feeling good enough, of never measuring up, of never being able to rest until all of the things are done.

Brandy:            Oh, my gosh. Yes. That is flowing through my blood, my DNA. Yes.

Graeme:           Yeah. So, part of it is — again, going back to that visualization exercise of what kind of parenting do you want. If your kids decide to have kids — and there’s also a huge generation of young adults right now who are looking at the way their parents and, especially, their mothers’ lives have gone, and are being like, “Hell no, I don’t want to have kids.”

Brandy:            Yeah, totally.

Graeme:           “I don’t want that. That sucked. I saw what my mom went through. Why would I do that?” People talk about millennials not having kids, and that it’s all economics. I’ve talked to a lot of them. It’s not all economics. A lot of it is making conscious choices that like, “I don’t want that life. That looked like shit. I do not want that.”

Brandy:            Yeah.

Graeme:           “I love her. My mom was amazing and awesome, but no.” So, thinking about how you want your children to experience parenthood and just life in general. Do you want them to feel like that? Because they’re going to see you doing it and think that that’s what they’re supposed to do.

Brandy:            That’s always my thing is I want to make my kids future parenthood — I want them to have options, and I want them to have support. That’s why I feel like I raise my son to understand some things about what mothers do and what is required to take care of people and not just have everything handed to him. Because I don’t want him to grow up in his marriage, if he decides to have kids, and do the same thing. But it’s always that fine line because I also don’t want him to go, “My mom looked friggin’ exhausted and annoyed, so I don’t want to do this thing at all.”

Graeme:           Right.

Brandy:            It’s finding that balance where you’re giving them the reality of what is required and some of the sacrifice and setting up systems that are helpful, but not freaking them out so they’re like, “I’m never doing that.”

Graeme:           I mean, I’m just really honest with them. “Hey, I’m having a really bad day. I’m gonna call on Auntie Alexis and talk to her on the phone for a little while, and that’s gonna make me feel better.”

Brandy:            Yeah.

Graeme:           “You know how you sit and talk to Mommy and Daddy when you had a bad day?” “Yeah.” “Okay. Well, Mommy’s gonna go talk to Auntie Alexis for a while, so I need you to sit here and not draw on the wall with crayons, just the paper, only the paper.” And then I go and stand outside on the porch and stare at them through the window because they’re gonna draw on the wall. Right? {laughter}

Brandy:            Exactly. They were like, “I hadn’t even I hadn’t even considered the wall, but you brought up a great point.”

Graeme:           Oh, no. As soon as I pull out the crayons, they’re staring at the wall. But I’m just really honest about that stuff. Like, “Hey, Mommy and Daddy are really tired tonight, so we are having fish sticks. We’re not making a whole dinner. We’re having fish sticks.” Or, “Hey, we haven’t gotten to play with you in a really long time, so let’s all go to the zoo this weekend.” But we talk about the “why” a lot. My son was not at all freaked out about going to see a therapist because I have been his whole life. We called it the “feelings doctor.” {laughter}

Brandy:            {laughter} Cute.

Graeme:           Well, he understood what a doctor was, so we were trying to explain it. So, we called it the “feelings doctor” from the time it was like two-and-a-half, and that’s just what it’s called in our house now. {laughter} And so, he’s like, “I’m gonna go see the feelings doctor, Mr. Gage.” “Yep, you are.” There’s so many things – like, when we let go of the idea that we have to be perfect and when we embrace the idea that we are human and so are they, it releases a lot of pressure.

Brandy:            For both.

Graeme:           It is a practice. You gotta, like, keep doing it every day.

Brandy:            Yeah. My brain is just, like, crunching. There’s just a lot here.

Graeme:           There’s a lot in there.

Brandy:            Graeme, where can people find you, and what do you offer?

Graeme:           All over the place — Nah. {laughter}

Brandy:            No, take that back. You left Facebook. You abandoned us.

Graeme:           I bounced. I did. I was gonna say that I feel bad about it, but that’s not, actually, true. I made a website that’s very hard to find. It’s called graemeseabrook.com. {laughter}  

Brandy:            Spell your name for us.

Graeme:           G-R-A-E-M-E-S-E-A-B-R-O-O-K dot com. And from there, you can get to The Mom Center which is my own private social network. {whispering} It’s much better than Facebook.

Brandy:            {laughter}

Graeme:           I had to whisper because Zuckerberg will find me and take me out.

Brandy:            Right.

Graeme:           In there, we do a little bit of coaching but a lot of community. It’s a lot of moms who feel the same way that you and I do, who are gonna remind each other, like, “That’s not you. That’s capitalism. Calm the F down. Breathe. It’s okay.”  And then I do a lot of coaching. I have a course called Motherload Liberation. So, if you are a mom married to a dude and that part of this podcast was like, “Oh, my God. But how do I get him to do that?” That’s what the course is about.

Brandy:            Awesome.

Graeme:           And then I also do one on one coaching of all different kinds. I have super short packages, and then moms that are that are really going through it who need something longer. So, there’s pretty much every type of support. If it’s real deep, I’ve gotcha. If you’re in the middle, I’ve gotcha. If you just need a little hangout, cool, we can do that too.

Brandy:            Yeah, and you’re also on Instagram and Twitter, though. Right?

Graeme:           I am. Instagram is getting closed down. Don’t — yeah.

Brandy:            What?

Graeme:           Because it’s owned by Facebook, I can’t do it. Man, I can’t.

Brandy:            Okay, just real fast, what’s your reason? I mean, I’m not questioning it because I understand that it sucks.

Graeme:           No, no, no. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s him. {laughter} It’s Zuckerberg.

Brandy:            Just because he looks like Commander Data doesn’t mean you have to just abandon him.

Graeme:           I cannot give him any more of my money, and being on the site is — we’re the product which is fine. I understand that. We’re the product on Twitter. We’re the product on every social network. I get it. I can’t be his product anymore. Really, the last straw — there were two last straws. One was a friend that got banned for just, like, the most ridiculous of reasons. It’s all just — every Black woman that I know has been banned on Twitter. I mean, on Facebook. All of them. Everyone.

Brandy:            For what?

Graeme:           The moms that are just talking about mom shit. {laughter} All the way up to, like, the really political ones. They’ve all been banned at one point or another, and I was like, “Meh, no.” And then when he made the announcement that he wasn’t removing political ads, and that he also wasn’t going to fact check politics. Then it was like, “Well, now we’re coming out with Facebook news.” And he hired one of the leading people from Fox News to run it, and I was like, “Nah, bye.” I also wasn’t using it in super healthy ways. I was spending way too much time on it as well. And I realized once I was off, that I wasn’t running my business in the healthiest of ways. Everything was Facebook-based instead of really being spread out and talking to moms wherever they were. So, now it’s forcing me to grow up a little bit business-wise. Not personally haha.

Brandy:            Yes, right. Graeme, thank you so much for just — you’re hilarious. You make me think. You make my brain hurt in the best of ways because you always come up with these new ways of looking at things. I feel like I look at things pretty progressively, but then you always have a further stretch on that. So, thank you for making my brain stretch. And I know that there are things that you’ve said today that the listeners are going to be like, “Holy shit.” So, your narrative about not knowing anything and not being an expert, I think needs to be just a little bit updated. You know some shit.

Graeme:           I think it’s just that I’m not done, and I’m constantly learning and being really excited by new ideas and thinking of things in new ways and that there are so many women who are so much more radical than I am. I’m constantly learning.

Brandy:            Lots to think about here. During this episode, it hit me what a great gig I have going on. By interviewing these experts and friends, and sharing their voices, I’m basically getting personal sessions with them where I get to ask all of my burning questions. Yeah, it’s pretty great. I highly recommend having a podcast about the shit you want to know more about and interviewing people you find interesting. I mean, it’s also a ton of work, especially, when you are the producer, interviewer, engineer, editor, writer, marketer, webmaster, and basically all the jobs. But damn, I love it.

Graeme:           Just a quick mention about my book that recently came out. If you enjoy the podcast, chances are you’ll love the book too. Especially, right now while you’re likely with your kids 24/7 and might need some validation, humor, and a wild trip to Vegas in your mind. Titled Adult Conversation: A Novel, it’s a darkly comedic story about the relentlessness of modern motherhood where the main character seeks an answer to the question, “Is motherhood broken, or am I?” After a series of mom wins and failures, she and her therapists end up on a “Thelma and Louise style” road trip to Vegas where they are tempted and tested while finding lost pieces of themselves that motherhood swallowed up. You can find it on all the usual places like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and IndieBound, but I highly recommend checking out http://www.bookshop.org which supports local bookstores. You can also go to my website http://www.adultconversation.com to find out more. As always, thanks for listening.

** As always, thank you to Scott Weigel and his band, Seahorse Moon, for providing me with that jaunty intro and outro music. You guy are awesome. Check ’em out on iTunes.