This one time, I had a sister wife.

I’m a little obsessed with Big Love. Have you seen it? Oh, it’s so fabulous. Not fabulous enough to pay for an HBO subscription, but totally fabulous enough to pay for Netflix so we can devour a season at a time in one week. (Hmmm… and now I’m wondering when season 4 comes out. Hopefully soon! I think we’ve overdosed on the Netflix documentaries. I seriously can’t watch any more for fear of not being able to eat ANYTHING.)

It’s odd to me that I’m so fascinated by a show centered around religion and polygamy, but I just can’t get enough of the drama. That’s one sure fire way to have plenty of drama to write about – throw 3 women together in just about any situation, let alone one where they are sleeping with the same man. But, despite the drama, I’m always drawn in by the relationship the three wives have, the ease in which they take care of each other’s kids, split up the errands, juggle tasks between the three of them. Hell, half the time I forget about the whole “sleeping with the same guy” thing and just think, “DAMN, it must be good to have a sister wife.”

So last week Bonnie, one of my very best friends (since we were 12 – first one to befriend me when I moved to Texas in Jr. High), came to stay and brought her 2 year old son. He’s just 6 weeks older than Kendall.  It was sort of close to magical. The boys played and played and played, from the time they got up until they crashed. It was glorious! No squatty little man following me around the house, “momma, momma, momma, momma, snack, mommmmmmmmmmma.” No pressure to entertain the child as he stares at me and pushes my coffee cup aside.

They actually *played*, you know, TOGETHER… without adults orchestrating the whole thing. For a brief moment, very brief, I was a teensy bit envious of those of you with twins… until I saw the destruction they left behind. That’s because, all of the sudden, as if a veil had been lifted, Kendall realized how amazingly awesome ALL his toys are, ALL those toys he NEVER plays with. They took on a whole new level of cool when his friend showed up. Suddenly he was all, “Hey, look at this cool boat! And this, look at this box of blocks! And, whoa, I didn’t know I have a train set! Let me get it ALL OUT RIGHT NOW AND TAKE INVENTORY OF MY COOL TOYS.” This happened at least 3 times a day.

But the mess was fine. It was worth it for the peace we got out of it. We were able to sit back, talk, relax, drink coffee, all from the comfort of the playroom or the backyard. And when it came time to meals or bathtime, we naturally divided up duties. She gave the boys baths each night while I cooked dinner. We took turns preparing snacks and went grocery shopping together. We were like one step away from  french braiding each other’s hair and throwing on prairie dresses and I LOVED IT.

Damn, it was good to have a sister wife.

I mean, I guess she wasn’t actually my “sister wife.” For one, my husband wasn’t even home, and if he was, it’s not like that relationship would have been consummated, but I can sort of understand being okay with another woman sleeping with your husband as long as she’s making half the meals and putting out half the fires. Honestly, it’s not like I’m really up for “it” half the time anyway. Sharing EVERYTHING 50/50 probably has a lot of perks. Unfortunately, my husband can barely afford to support one wife, so a sister wife just isn’t in the cards for us ; )

As much as I miss the extra company and help, I think Kendall misses his new friend Ty, and Ty’s cool mom even more. Ty’s cool mom has lollipops, or “pop-pops.” She gave them to the boys when we needed a few minutes of peace. I am the boring mom who just never thinks to buy lollipops (not that this is me taking some sort of stand against sugar because I’m all for sugar on a stick with magical “quit your whining” powers). It’s been one week since Ty and Bonnie left, and Kendall is still trying to guilt me by telling me, “Pop-pop! Momma, pop-pop!” I say, “No, Kendall. I’m sorry. We don’t have any lollipops.” His response? I kid you not, “TY momma pop-pop.”

Kendall is nearly 2 going on 12, apparently.

  • Danielle - I am glad to know I am not the ONLY one who thought that when watching Big Love! LOL
    I am a huge fan myself.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - I LOVE Big Love! I got to experience almost the same situation with a friend last year. She moved up from CA and we offered to have her stay with us until she got settled. It was all that is magical for about 2 weeks until the new wore off. Then she started to judge our parenting skills and would do things behind our backs that we asked her not too. Mind you see didn’t have kids. Apparently I’m not able to have a sister wife, and DH said he could never understand having more than 1 wife. LOL She ended up staying for 4 months too long. So I totally get how awesome it was to have extra help with chores and kid duties. That part ROCKED, plus it gave me more energy for DH… ;) which he liked very much! Life gets easier once your baby gets older, my girls are 2 and 3 and I’m finally getting more me time. Have a great weekend!ReplyCancel

    • Jill - Oh, dear. That sounds not so fun. Are you two good friends anymore?ReplyCancel

  • thenextmartha - Sign me up. Now. I want all of that sharing going on. I’ll even let her have him extra time if I get a bath in by myself.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - We aren’t friends anymore. Not for that reason though. She’s a lost soul right now that needs help but doesn’t want it. I had to let the friendship go so my kids didn’t get hurt emotionally by her. It’s sad, we had been friends since we were babies. I have a big heart and I’m learning that sometimes I need to just listen and not try to fix everything. Life is good though, and I’m very blessed.ReplyCancel

  • Tammy - I SO need to get myself one of those! Do I qualify if I’m single though? I’d want to be able to date. I might actually have the TIME to find a man if I had myself a sister wife! I suppose in my case, she’d be called a nanny or a maid. :)ReplyCancel

  • Mae - If I get one of those can she go do my job half the time for me as well? Because I am ALL ABOUT that. Plus, she’d have to sleep in my office as that’s the only space available.ReplyCancel

  • Upstatemomof3 - I have never seen that show but this post is awesome!! I get it. Kinda. I mean I don’t know do I want my husband sleeping with another woman? Well, that probably depends on the night. Oh and if she is prettier than me or not. I mean if she is prettier then me than probably not but if I am prettier than I might be able to be talked into it. :) Oh and she has to do the cooking. I will clean but she has to cook. :)ReplyCancel

  • Melodie - I find Fundamental Mormonism so interesting. I would LOVE to watch that show. Unfortunately no HBO for us. But my friends and I often talk about how cool it would be to have a wife. We make our own personal rules in our fantasies. Most often it comes down to just us living together and having sex with our partners on the side, but helping with each other’s kids and meals. Glad to know I’m not the only one!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa - This is how things should be, or at least how they used to be for all of human history. We lived in tribes/small villages where work was shared, including child-wrangling.

    This strange, new existence of one adult and one (or more) child alone together all the time just isn’t natural to me. I wish it were easier to live like you described. I guess that’s why co-housing is getting more popular.

    By the way, did you ever watch “Kate & Allie”? You might be too young. But it was sister-wives without the husband. :-) Two single moms moved in together.ReplyCancel

  • Jess - You are going to LOVE the last season of Big Love. It is sheer awesome but serious drama. Sometimes it felt overwhelming and left you checking the clock wondering how much time was left. Some good shit on a Sunday night. Enjoy :)ReplyCancel

  • Molly in MN - loved this post! We don’t have HBO, so I’ve never seen the show, but now you’ve got me “sister-wife” curious ;)

    I agree with the previous commenter, we really need to get back to the moms helping moms and living in a “community.”ReplyCancel

  • Brandi - Lollipops or known to us as suckers, ARE a magical thing! That is pretty much the only form of candy my daughter gets and on certain occassions (not for any anti-sugar reason either). She has mentally marked them ALL so she NEVER misses her sucker opportunity.

    We’ll play doctor with her medical kit and she asks after her shot “get a sucker?!?”. We got to Frisch’s (local restaurant)…the minute we walk in – “Do I get my sucker now?”. I talk about Halloween and how cute she was as a peacock…she adds, “and I got a sucker!”, same with Easter. I list who might be at a party and on the list Aunt Lisa…her eyes light up and she asks “Does she have a sucker?” She’s an experienced Mom and Grandma and always carries them in her purse. They are more like a magic wand then sugar on a stick. :)ReplyCancel

  • Kim - I had a ‘sister wife’ all last summer in the form of my sister in law to be, and it was awesome! We learned that communal living definately has it’s advantages, and I really do miss her daily. She’s only like 15 minutes away, but it is so not the same. Ahh, now I’m missing her again . . .ReplyCancel

  • TheFeministBreeder - I have often joked that I wouldn’t mind John taking a lover, so long as he came home to help me with these kids. (did I just say that out loud?) But how great would it be if HIS LOVER could help me out with these kids?!?! SCORE!!!!

    One of my BFFs has two kids that are almost exactly my two kid’s ages. It’s one of the reasons we are so drawn to each other. She brings them over at least once a week, and my house is COMPLETELY trashed – but I don’t CARE!!! I love that the kids are occupied! Hmmmm… now if I could just get her to move in ;)ReplyCancel

  • Laurel - WHEN will it come back on?! I’ve not cancelled my HBO all this time just in wait…ReplyCancel

  • Ginny - Love this! In our world, we have a ranking of other women. There are the typical majority, then margarita-worthy women, and a very few are categorized as wife-worthy. This ranking reveals so much.

    And I haven’t written before, but if I lived anywhere near Dallas, I’d get this woman’s bread (at the Farmer’s Market): http://wemebread.wordpress.com/ReplyCancel

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