Why Mommy Drinks: A Trip Down Memory Lane | Momcave LIVE

Embark on a hilarious journey into the chaos of motherhood with Betsy Stover and Jen on MomCave LIVE. Brace yourself for laughter and relatable moments as Betsy, the UCB improv teacher and mom of three, teams up with Jen to unveil the secrets behind “Why Mommy Drinks.” In this candid discussion, they reminisce about improv class days, share the challenges of raising teenagers, and dive into the humor and chaos that comes with parenting during a pandemic. Join Betsy and Jen as they shed light on the rollercoaster ride of motherhood, offering a comedic and authentic perspective that will leave you in stitches.

From TV Screens to Mom Talk

Betsy Stover: Hi!

Jen: Welcome to MomCave LIVE, where we may have lost our minds, but we haven’t lost our sense of humor. I have a guest today that’s going to blow your mind because she’s hilarious. And we have so much to talk about. I’m gonna put her on… Tada!

Betsy Stover: Hello, everyone. Hello, Jen. Thanks for having me on.

Jen: I’m psyched to have you on if you guys don’t know, Betsy. She’s a funny lady on all kinds of TV and cool things. She’s a UCB improv teacher person, and she is on Why Mommy Drinks, her very funny podcast that’s on hiatus. Betsy has got a bunch of kids. So, we have so much to talk about. Just a whole bunch. I think the very first thing to talk about is the fact that this is the first time that we’ve spoken to each other in, like, 13 or more years, right?

Betsy Stover: I think so. It’s been a very long time since I’ve been able to speak with you face to face.

Improv Adventures: Navigating Motherhood Memories

Jen: I think that the story, I don’t know what your side of the story will be. But I’ll tell my side of the story because I think it was pretty funny. So, Betsy is a teacher of improv at UCB. So we’re in New York. I’m an actor. I took improv because it was the one kind of acting that I was terrified of. I was like, I don’t know, make myself do this. That’s what improv is, right? For anyone who’s not familiar with the whole improv scene, it’s dominated by boys. I’m gonna say boys, young men, like in their 20s and 30s.

They’re really cool. They know all the what’s trending and all the things that we don’t know anymore. So, I was pretty pregnant at the time, and I walked into the room, and I see my instructor. And it’s Betsy, and she’s just as pregnant as me!

Betsy Stover: I forgot about that. I remember you being pregnant, but I forgot the detail that I was also pregnant.

Hot, Pregnant, and Killing It

Jen: Yes. And I was like, Oh my God, these poor guys. They’re gonna be, what it is. It made me feel better. At least I’m not the only old, female pregnant person in the room. Not that you’re old. But we were older than them. For sure.

Betsy Stover: But yeah, they were all like 23. And we were adult women who were having babies.

Pregnant woman posing for a picture.

Jen: Yeah. So that was that was good. So, you’ve made that easier, and one other quick story: I remember that it was really, really hot one day when we had class, over 100 degrees hot, and Betsy sent out a message telling people they didn’t have to come to class. It was so hot. I don’t even know if there’s air conditioning. And I frickin came to class. I was like, “If the pregnant woman can come, and the other pregnant woman can teach you, 20-year-olds are like snow-flaking out here”.

Betsy Stover: Yeah, so we both showed up on a hot day

Jen: Right. We did. We did.

Teenager Turbulence: Why Mommy Drinks

Betsy Stover:  How’s it going over there in the land of teenagers because

Jen: It’s it’s rough.

Betsy Stover: It’s rough.

Jen: It’s rough. So both of our

Betsy Stover: So, is it better in a lot of ways, right?

Jen: Yeah, I mean, they’re people that you can talk to and enjoy certain things with and watch movies that would have been approved inappropriate or probably still are. But then again, they’re also people, and they have opinions.

Betsy Stover: Yes, they do. They have a lot of sassy, strong opinions.

Jen: Mhhm, I know. How do you deal with it? Are you an improv Mom? Funny?
Are you blowing it all off and being funny? Are you a strict mom?

Little Bit of Columns A and B

Betsy Stover: I’m a little bit of columns A and B. I was raised without a lot of boundaries. So I wasn’t strict in a lot of ways, and everything was kind of loosey-goosey. My response to that is that I’ve got to have boundaries and rules, and I’ve got to make sure that my children can count on what’s what. But then I’m also married to another improviser, and he was raised by perfectly lovely people with boundaries. The good boundaries are much more like loosey-goosey about everything. So, I do tend to be the bad cop, and he tends to be the good cop, but I also think that tends to be the case in a lot of heterosexual parent-child relationships.

Jen: Yeah, I think mom does tend to be the bad cop a lot of the time

Betsy Stover: More often than not.

Jen: Right? My thought is, I’m the one that has to get a lot of shit done around here. And if no one’s behaving,

Betsy Stover: Yeah

Jen:  Look good. For all moms, it is like the CEO of the family a lot of the time.

Embracing Imperfection in the Chaos of Parenting

Betsy Stover: Mmhmm. Yeah. Well, are we allowed to swear on here?

Jen: Oh, swear away!

Betsy Stover: Okay.

Jen: Yeah.

Betsy Stover: I think moms know, if we fuck up, no one is gonna be mean, some people may be, but most people are gonna be like, what did their mother do? But what about the mother and her failing? I’m also like, oh, gosh, especially when they’re 13. It’s like, oh, my gosh, we’re running out of time. I got five more years to train, being a person, and then you’re gonna be out there doing all kinds of wild stuff, and if it’s bad, they’re gonna blame me and

Jen: Totally. Yeah.

Betsy Stover: I’ve gotta do things.

Jen: Yeah. Something I keep doing when he is not good. I think to myself “he wouldn’t be doing this if I had done better up to this point. I obviously did not train the child well enough”.

Betsy Stover: Yes. If I had been perfect, you would be perfect.

Jen: Right? Not gonna happen. We’re not

Betsy Stover: What a lie that we tell ourselves.

From Brooklyn to California: Panning for Gold in the Parenting Journey

Jen: No, no. So you moved out to sunny California years ago?

Betsy Stover: Yes. Yes. We were in Brooklyn there for about three years, of kids. And then we came out to California, mostly just panning for gold. And, you know, stake our claim on territory. None of that’s true. But we did come out here to pursue our entertainment dreams.

Jen: Metaphorically, you are panning for gold.

Betsy Stover: We’re, yeah, metaphorically. We’re panning for gold and hoping to stake our claim in that maybe one day we’ll own a home. But yeah, the nice thing was that my husband was working for a company that at the time was just coming out here. And then of course, the Upright Citizens Brigade theater where we both work, also is out here. And a lot of our friends had already moved out here. You know, having kids in New York City is really hard. It’s not a city that even tolerates kids so much.

Jen: No.

Betsy Stover: Like

Jen: They’re a bother really.

Betsy Stover: What? Yeah, they’re a real bother. Yeah, it’s an adult. It’s a city for adults. Yeah. So, coming out to California, it was like, you know, you can drive places, you don’t have to carry all your groceries home. You don’t have to worry about your child running into the subway mouth or the, you know, on the tracks.

Jen: Running out into the street. Yeah, but I didn’t know. I’ve never lived in LA. I’ve been there. It is more child-friendly.

Street Etiquette & The Unforgettable Characters We Meet

Betsy Stover: It is more child-friendly. It definitely is. Yeah, because you can, at the very least, drive places, and like, people don’t have to encounter your children, if anything.

Jen: Right. They’re in an enclosed vehicle.

Betsy Stover: Like at the very least, if you need to change your baby, and there isn’t a changing station, you change them in your car.

Jen: I know. I pulled over on the side of the road one day to change my kid, and I pulled in front of someone’s house, not on the property, not in the driveway. The man came out yelling at me. And I’ve never forgotten that man.

Betsy Stover: Isn’t that funny how we remember?

Jen: Yeah, just random things.

Betsy Stover: My husband and I went to the Westminster Dog Show one year. It was like, it was on Valentine’s Day. And when you come early, you can kind of be there all day watching all kinds of dog events. And you can kind of sit wherever. But then there are some seats where if the ticket holder shows up, then they can just say hey, these are our seats, and you go find a different seat. And I’ll never forget this older man was so mean to us for sitting in his seats. It’s like 15 years later, and I’m still like that fucking.

Jen: That man. You’ll remember him forever.

Betsy Stover: I will.

Sibling Dynamics Unveiled: The Bestest of Frenemies

Jen: I know. There’s something about that. We have someone watching us from New Zealand. Hi, Tina from New Zealand.

Betsy Stover: Hello, kiwi friend!

Jen: Wow. Okay, cool, I had. I was also thinking about the fact that since both of our oldest children are about the same age, both of our youngest children are about the same age but I only have two, and you have three. Yes. So what like, how did you get. You can see how did you feel? So, how did you know you were ready to have another baby because that’s why my kids are so far apart because I can’t even think about having another kid till they’re like, really old. Because I can’t deal with a lot of little kids.

Betsy Stover: Well, I so I have a lot of siblings. My parents had me. And then when they divorced, my dad remarried and had three children with my stepmom. And my mom adopted three more children. So I’m used to being one four, in any given situation, and I am one of seven.

Building the Sibling Relationship I Never Had

So I knew that I wanted to have a few kids, I was pretty sure I wanted to have at least three because that felt normal to me. And two of my brothers are 18 months apart, and they have always had a beautiful relationship, just like best friends, just peas and carrots, those two and they really complement each other well, in so many ways.

I was like, wow, as someone who was at least, you know, at least eight years older than my next sibling, I really wanted my kids to have what, what I didn’t have, which, you know, in addition to just having the same parents and living in the same house was just like having Yeah, like being able to play with each other. And because I was always like a little adult, you know, and I didn’t have anyone to play with. So I wanted that for them. And so I ended up having my first two 20 months apart, which, in a lot of ways was really great. Because they are the bestest of frenemies. Yeah. But I think, especially when they’re older, I think that’s going to be really valuable. Yeah, I think. But it was like hell on earth. There. I mean, it was really hard.

Jen: Yeah.

Betsy Stover: Really hard.

Jen: I mean, I find it very hard with one so yeah, two that little. Oh, no. Don’t let the chaos bother them. And I’m trying to be that person, but I’m never going to be that person. Hmmm. No. So no.

Pandemic Parenting: A Reason Mommy Drinks

Betsy Stover: I’m a Virgo. I’m a firstborn. Yeah, I’m a perfectionist, I mean, it’s so much parenting though, like, letting go of control and like capitulating to that chaos. improviser. I’m like, in a lot of ways, I am very comfortable in chaos. And sort of like trying to find my little corner of control in the chaos. But, you know, a scene is one thing, your life is a whole other thing. I used to feel a lot more in control until the pandemic and lockdown started. And then I was like, everything’s terrible.

Yeah. I was like Do whatever you need to do to not drive me crazy.

Mommy drinks vodka all day, and you can be on screens. 24/7.

Jen: That’s what happens. Yeah. Yeah. Everybody, though, you know, and I think we lost some ground that we won’t get back. Because of that.

Betsy Stover: 100 100%. So it’s yes. Freeing restrictions. Like, it is 2023, and we are still nowhere near where we were before the pandemic.

Home Turf and School Control

Jen: Oh, US neither. And my kids go to a Waldorf school that technically has a no-media policy. And I’m saying this on the internet’s so please, people from that school don’t kick us out.

But yeah, they’re not supposed to have media up until a certain grade and then after that, only on the weekends, and I don’t fully violate it because I have I have some rules. But my kids have media, you’re shocked.

Betsy Stover: I’m sorry, go back. This school that you pay money to send your children to, told you, a lot of money, told you you’re not allowed to show your kids media until a certain age and even then only on the weekends.

Jen: They do you say that. I get the concept and an all in theory sounds lovely. And everyone could do it. It would be great. And our kids would grow up and be like Little House on the Prairie. It doesn’t like work that way in the real world all the time. You know, I work from home.

Betsy Stover: No.

We Pay for What?

Jen: No. Yeah, but no. You sound like my son because of course he hates that policy.

Betsy Stover: Yeah,

Jen: I was like, wait, what? We pay, we pay the school. They can’t tell us what we can do when we’re at home. You’re paying them. I’m like, Dude, you don’t know how big of a scholarship you’re on, like

Betsy Stover: Your kid’s going up to cops, I pay your salary. You can’t arrest me.

Jen: They can’t give us a ticket. We pay for them. Exactly. That is 13-year-old reasoning if I ever heard it.

Betsy Stover: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah, screens are a whole. Yeah, it’s a sensitive subject in the house.

Sober Mommy Movement

Why Mommy Drinks Podcast

Jen: It is. We’re like twitching when we think about it. Well, this next thing I’m gonna ask you could be a much larger, more serious conversation, but I don’t want to have a serious conversation about you. But you know, I loved when your podcast first came out, and the name of your podcast is Why Mommy Drinks. I thought that was a great title. I love it. Now, of course, I do drink. And this was a little before the whole, like, it really the sober mom movement really kicked in when you started it. But now I feel like there’s a backlash against mommy’s drinking at all, almost or just talking about online. Like as if it’s a glamorization or promoting? I don’t know, I’m wondering, did you have a backlash as a mommy who drinks? How do you deal with that? What are your thoughts?

Betsy Stover: Great question. When we started Why Mommy Drinks felt right for a few reasons. One, it was a taking advantage of wine mom culture, which was just we were right in the middle of it. And, and it truly

Jen: And they are why we drink.

Betsy Stover: That’s why I was drinking quite a bit. And but yeah, as time went on, and moms Mom, mom culture had like a big backlash, you know, and that’s fair, like from moms themselves for the most part, but also from outside of that. Yeah, people were like you, I don’t like that. Yeah, like the title was definitely a turnoff for some people. And if we were to rename it, we probably rename it something else. But

Jen: Mommy smokes weed now.

Betsy Stover: No, Way mommy’s done that!

Jen: Right, that’s a whole other story.

Boundaries and Booze: A Mom’s Balancing Act

Betsy Stover: But I don’t know, I felt like the title was was to the point. It was just like, oh, look, I’m broken. I need a drink. And this is why and in every episode, we’re going to tell you why we’re kind of broken this week. And yeah, but also like, Yeah, fucking, a lot of mommys drink and, and right or wrong. A lot of them use that to cope. And hey, man, get off our chocks was just trying to do their fucking best.

Jen: Right, right. I mean, we’re sensitive to people who are struggling over, but we’re Yeah, we’re not saying everyone should. No, we’re just saying, mommy needs a drink.

Betsy Stover: Yeah, it’s not called Why mommy ought to drink all the time. And if you don’t, you’re out of the club.

Jen: Yeah. Okay. I just I felt like that was something we have to talk about. It’s Thank you.

Betsy Stover: I think that was a great question.

Follow, Venmo, Potato/Potahto

Jen: You’re very welcome. Well, Betsy, I could talk to you all night, but I’m sure nobody wants to watch us hang out all night. But this was super fun. And you guys should check out Betsy on all the places she’s Betsy dash Stover on Instagram I believe

Betsy Stover: Betsy dot Stover

Jen: dot Betsy dot Stover.

Betsy Stover: And Betsy dash Stover on Venmo, though, if you just want to send me money

Jen: To send her some money. Yeah, Venmo her. That’s great thank you for talking with me. This has been super fun.

Betsy Stover: It’s such a thrill to get to see you. I could talk to you all night.

Jen: I know, same. Well, we’ll have to think of something fun to do together. Okay, everybody, go check her out.

Betsy Stover: All right. Goodnight, everyone. Thank you.

Listen to this episode about Why Mommy Drinks | Betsy Stover | MomCave LIVE

Betsy Stover, Host of Why Mommy Drinks

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