Michelle Buteau Discusses The BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival And How Her Fertility Journey Cost Her Some Relationships: “I Really Had To Protect Myself”
This weekend, comedian Michelle Buteau will host the annual BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival, which will feature live performances from Common, Junglepussy, and Quest Love — just to name a few. The outdoor concert series has been a New York City staple for more than forty years, but this year, things will look a little different.
“I know, I mean like look it’s virtual, yes. But it’s still gonna be a good time, good vibes, and a celebration of culture and music. It’s really gonna feel like you are on your picnic blanket, somewhere Prospect Park or you know, having boxed rosé with your friends,” Bruteu told Madame Noire. “Yeah, the BRIC community did, I think, an amazing job with this lineup and just celebrating artists that we’ve heard of and some that we haven’t. So, yeah, man, it’s gonna be dope. I say everybody watch and act like you are out at a park anyways. Go and get you a little white light, you know make a cute little drink and mason jar, whatever and where your mixed prints just do it up because the world is a dumpster fire and we need to have some fun.”
Most recently, the actress and comedian made headlines after getting candid about her fertility journey during an appearance on the podcast, “Infertile AF.” In addition to sharing that she experienced discrimination from doctors, she highlighted some of the insensitive comments made by friends and loved ones. There’s something about difficult experiences, such as Michelle’s fertility journey, that can alter how you see a person forever. So we had to ask where she stands with some of those people now that she’s the proud mom of one-year-old twins, Hazel and Otis.
“Damn, what a where-are-they-now question. Are you trying to plan Thanksgiving dinner?” she joked. “You know, to be honest, I really had a protect myself and I think every like every chapter in your life that you go through you lose people on your gain people. And that’s just the fair trade of it. When I was single, I did the most for everybody it was always me planning a birthday party, me doing this, me doing that. And then when I met my husband I’m like, ‘Oh, I gotta put my energy here.’ And so there are people I don’t talk to you and then there are other people that I’ve met through having a relationship, which is really great whether they’re our neighbors or they’re in a relationship too or whatever it is. And so when it came to the fertility journey, it was really wild because the people that I didn’t think would understand did.”
The actress went on to add that she was a little surprised by who she was and was not able to rely on during that difficult period.
“Friends I really wanted to lean on, didn’t know how to, and women as well, like just didn’t know how to be capable of empathy for something that, you know, they’ve never gone through or just can’t even understand,” she said. “So I don’t talk to some people anymore, but when it comes to the family is like, I got to talk to my dad, that’s crazy.”
In a misguided attempt to help, Michelle’s dad often offered unsolicited advice about what she should and shouldn’t have been doing to make herself more fertile, which temporarily placed a strain on their relationship.
“It’s like when you get to that place where it’s just like look at your grandkids it’s like, you just sort of forget all the stuff you had to go through and all of the fights you had,” she went on.
Of course, as most new parents know, the unsolicited advice definitely doesn’t end once the babies are delivered. In fact, the birth of a new child literally opens the floodgates for the know it alls to offer their two cents on a regular basis. Everyone and their mama wants to tell you what you’re doing wrong and what you need to be doing.
“Oh, my god. I mean what I’m realizing is that I don’t think it’s we’re gonna stop, I don’t think it’s ever going to stop and I just have to figure out how to deal with it cause it’s always like on some new next level and I’m just like at this point I’m just like if you can do better then why don’t you do it?” Michelle quipped. “If you don’t like the way I’m changing the diapers and you think the wipes should be warm, then go warm them. I’m not trying to serve a Japanese toilet to my kids right now. They’re twins we get changed and keep it moving.”
Sure, not all parenting advice is bad, even when unsolicited. Some can actually be helpful; however, the sheer volume of it all can make those random tidbits from loved ones and strangers difficult to stomach.
“Yeah. I don’t really feel like that ever f—ing stops. Like look, sometimes it’s good,” Michelle admits. “Sometimes, you don’t even know, really hit you let it sink in. I mean, a lot of things that I’ve done in my life. I didn’t know till people told me I could, like, I had co-workers telling me I should do stand up and I’m like, “Shut up.” And then at some point, I’m like, I’m gonna try this thing and then, yeah, yeah, and I don’t know, I feel like tread lightly with that everybody especially if nobody asked.”
Another aspect of new parenthood that can be hard to grasp is juggling work and family. While most working moms are in search of the magic pill that will allow those two aspects of their lives to coexist in perfectly balanced harmony, the truth of the matter is that there’s really no such thing.