That Wife on Snapchat

tl;dr – I’m thatwifejenna on Snapchat.

Dev Bootcamp pushes the idea of timeboxing, setting a limit for yourself and producing a Minimum Viable Product within that time. Sometimes an MVP is all you need. I’m testing that out with this post, which needs to be finished in 15-minutes or less. Let’s get into how I ended up signing up for Snapchat today.

All the way back in 2010 the effortlessly-cool Bethany Jackman took my maternity photos. I was as puffy as Bibendum by that time in my first pregnancy, but somehow she made me look fantastic. Because she’s the sort of person who pulls off that sort of thing on a regular basis.
That Wife maternity photo


Today Bethany posted an article to her wall titled “Am I the Only Mom on Snapchat?” by Ilana of Mommy Shorts.  I’ve played around on Snapchat with my sister, but this article was the bump I needed to really understand how I could use the app and achieve some of the things I’ve been mulling over the past few months.

Over the past few years I’ve been making the move from SAHM to WAHM and this coming January, post DBC graduation, I’ll start doing technical interviews and officially become a WOHM (Work Out of the Home Mom). Why did I wait this long? (???) That’s another post entirely. Timboxing says it’s time to be done typing but I’ve still got 2-3 paragraphs to go!

After reading Ilana’s post and watching the video The Alison Show produced about the how/why on Snapchat I felt ready to sign up. You can find me via thatwifejenna. Yes, I know, I’m realizing how it should be a priority for me to sign up for the best usernames when a new service becomes popular. Learn from my mistakes friends! I’m sure I’ll be saying the same thing about Periscope and Vine in a few months.

Why? Why yet another outlet when there are so many ways I’m already blasting my thoughts/photos/perspectives/mistakes/triumphs into the internetsphere? Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how my desire to have a pretty Instagram feed often overshadows my desire to talk about the things that really matter to me, what it means to move into the workforce, why more women don’t do it, why so many women feel trapped in their jobs, why so many women have babies and then feel they have to leave them far too soon to return to work, how hostile the workforce is to females, how much the tech workforce needs diversity, what it means to lead a non-child-centered life in a society that places so much pressure on women to lead child-centered lives, how I’m privileged and wealthy and still this experience is full of hurdles, the responsibility I feel to speak out and share my story because I am privileged and have the ability to do so without fear of lasting damage to my livelihood, and how we form so much of our perspective based on anecdotes (our own, and those shared by others), what we can learn by observing the way other people move through the experience that is mortality.

It’s time for me to stop typing because I’ve got a Javascript Grocery List challenge to get to and I’m not sure I came remotely close to communicating what I want to get across in the previous paragraph. I’ll try again with this: I think the world is better when people strip down the facade and get real with each other. When I talk about eating cereal for dinner for the third night in a row, celebrate mastering something new, put forth the minutiae and attempt to find beauty in it, I become part of a conversation that says “Being alive is being sad” (-Transparent, Season 1, Episode 3) and “If we can embrace everyday unhappiness, embrace the difficulties of life, we can also find a joy and a beauty in it” (-Peter Rollins on You Made It Weird Episode 238). I want to believe that my experience is worth something, and that sharing my perspective can move the needle for goodness in some small way. Maybe I’m wrong but I’d like to try.

(A small addendum to say: I’ll be sharing stupid silly snapshots the way Snapchat is made for. This isn’t me trying to draft a revised version of the Iran deal. If it doesn’t work out I’ll move on, and maybe I’ll think it works out but you don’t get it. I’m willing to take that risk to see what I can learn from trying.) 

(Also, this took me much longer than 15-minutes. Hence the lack of new posts on a regular basis.)


I hit publish and remembered there was one other thing that appealed to me about this – a lot of people find me through the site-that-shall-not-be-named, and end up forming negative opinions about me based on what they read there. Some people are going to believe what they want to believe, so I don’t spend any time worrying about them, but I think there is a subset that acts out based on skewed information. It would be nice to work toward the things mentioned above, and lessen the amount of aggression sent my way at the same time. One can hope, right?