Household Manual: Bristol Palin
WELCOME TO MY MODEST HOME!
My house is more like a tree fort then it is a formal home, but I bought it myself and I am very proud to call it my home. I live with my sister Willow (18) and my son Tripp (4). We also have two dogs, Charlie and Lucy.
I am the oldest daughter of former Governor Sarah Palin. Our family was born and raised here in Wasilla, Alaska. We are a very close-knit family and we all still live in the area. Seclusion is an understatement in Alaska. The closest major city is Anchorage and that is 45 miles away. Life up here is nothing like life in the lower 48. While you are here, it is daylight for 15+ hours. Willow, Tripp and I are used to this from growing up here, but it can take you a while to acclimate.
I was raised in a strict and structured household, with family dinners and lots of siblings, but I do not run my house like that. It is just Tripp, Willow and I. And truthfully, Tripp is the one who runs this house. He owns me, and knows it. I think of it more of a team situation, but he is stubborn so he may not follow the team rules. Willow is not a big help and just likes to egg Tripp on all the time.
Our days are not set in stone and we fly by the seat of our pants. I work at a doctor’s office in Anchorage. During my days off I am with Tripp 24/7. You will definitely find us out on our snowmachines (That’s a snowmobile to you, you’ll have to start learning the local lingo!). Tripp is quite the snow machine driver at 4-years-old. We also love to ice fish, hunt or go muddin’. NO matter what it is we are always outdoors. He is like any other Alaskan boy; he is just running around all the time and never sitting in front of the TV.
I live a pretty simple life with my son and sister. We live in Wasilla, so we can stay out of the spotlight and keep to ourselves. I have only spent a few days away from Tripp since he was born and he is my whole life. I am very headstrong and do not like to rely on anyone else.
Willow just graduated from cosmetology school in Arizona and moved back up to Wasilla. She is living with me to help out with Tripp, but truthfully she can get him more riled up then anyone else. Although Willow is a big help to me, I typically like to do everything myself.
Since I am a single mother pretty much all of the responsibilities in my household fall onto me. Willow helps out here and there but I do everything around the house; the cooking, the cleaning and anything else that needs to get done. I pride myself on being self-sufficient and not needing much outside help. I am only 22-years-old and I am proud to have my own home, to take care of my son and to be fully on my own. My family is my life and are a big help, but when it comes to daily tasks, it’s usually me. If I do have an event or something to do we will get a babysitter to watch Tripp.
Willow tries to help out, but I am stubborn, much like Tripp, so I end up doing most everything. Tripp can be a handful and he knows he runs this house so I hope you can handle him. I have only given him timeouts a few times and if he doesn’t want to do something, he’s probably not going to do it.
I want him to help with chores but that never happens. He just wants to be a kid and be outside all the time, so I let him. Willow is only 18-years-old so she isn’t much help either.
I’m a single mother and wouldn’t be able to do it without the help of my great family. Willow is not only my sister but I consider her one of my best friends. Family is key being a single mother. Although I am Tripp’s mother, he tends to listen to Willow and other people in my family more then he listens to me. So that is why it is very important to have Willow in my life. She may rile Tripp up sometimes, but I’m not sure what I would do without her.
Tripp is my 4-year-old son. As much as I try to maintain order it’s really Tripp that rules this house! Tripp is my top priority. His needs come before anything else in my life no matter what.
He’s all boy. He doesn’t watch much TV, he’s always on the go and he just wants to be outside 24/7. He’s all about: chasing bugs, fishing, skateboarding, dirt biking and riding his snowmachine around with my Dad. Anything to be outside and get dirty makes Tripp very happy!
When you meet Tripp I hope you have patience and energy because he’s unpredictable! He’s a sweet momma’s boy but definitely knows how to push buttons to get his way.
Our day starts very early around here. When I have to work I’m up at around 4:30AM to get myself ready and to make sure Tripp has everything he needs for the day. Once I’ve gotten Tripp up and dressed it’s time to de-ice the car and then we’re off. I try to get us out of the house by 6:30AM but that doesn’t necessarily always happen. I drop Tripp off at either daycare or my parent’s house and then it’s an hour commute for me into Anchorage for work. Willow is currently working at a local coffee shop. She has random hours, so she is around sometimes to help me with Tripp or around the house.
I work at a dermatology office in Anchorage, as a doctor’s assistant. After work it’s another hour back to Wasilla. I pick up Tripp and then we head home for dinner. In the evening we’ll play, we’ll practice learning the alphabet or Tripp will show me what he did in school.
We try to have meals together, but that doesn’t usually happen, although that is the way I was raised. I’ll make Tripp whatever simple meal he’ll eat and try to get him to sit down to eat it.
There are no set bed times in my house. Tripp will usually get tired and crawl into my bed at around 10PM. I’m trying to break him from sleeping with me, he knows he’s not allowed to sleep in my bed but that has never stopped him.
COOKING & CLEANING
Being out in the middle of nowhere definitely limits our options when it comes to food and meals. Luckily Tripp isn’t very picky so we tend to do a lot of pizza, quesadillas and those types of things. I was raised with family meals, but we don’t really do that in this family. Trying to get Tripp to sit down to a meal seems impossible. Tripp’s favorite food is popsicles. I always keep plenty on hand to use whenever I need to bribe him to do something. So keep that in mind if you need him to cooperate.
Moose and caribou are constants in my freezer. If someone in my family has shot either, then they split the meat up between the all the families. That much meat will keep us fed for the whole winter. I left some moose behind for you in the freezer to make one night for dinner.
I do almost everything in the house. Cook, clean and raise my son. I would hate to have to rely on other people, like a chef or maid. I’d rather do it myself then having to rely on anyone else. I’m very headstrong and having someone else doing my chores does not fly. I made a chore chart for Tripp, but he usually doesn’t follow any of it. I guess I don’t enforce it like I need to. I am a control freak and a neat freak so I like to keep my house clean. Please make sure you keep up with everything because Tripp can be a real whirlwind and destroy the whole place in seconds!
You have to be tough to rough it here in Alaska. When it comes to attire practicality heavily outweighs style. Warmth and comfort is key so I hope you brought your winter coat and some comfy boots.
At heart, I’m still a typical girl who wants to look nice. I do my hair, wear makeup and high heels to work but I don’t find the need to do it 24/7. Clothes and accessories aren’t a hobby or passion of mine. You’ll never find me spending $1,000 on a purse or anything like that.
I care about how I look personally but I don’t really care about how others view me. I don’t understand people who care too much about what others think of their appearance. It seems pointless and like a sad way to live your life.
There are a couple of fancy restaurants up here, but no one really dresses up. There’s never a reason to find the need to be fancy. I mostly wear jeans, sweatshirts and boots. Plus, I’m usually in a down coat covering all my clothes anyway! If you didn’t bring appropriate clothing, I would suggest going to a store and picking up a few things.
I have raised Tripp completely different than the way I was raised. I had a set schedule, family dinners, etc. It’s not like that with Tripp and I. I’m not really the boss. Tripp runs this household and he knows it. He owns me. If he doesn’t want to do something, he’s not going to do it. As a single parent, it’s hard to discipline him because I’m balancing all roles into one. We have a list of rules on the wall but he doesn’t follow ANY of them.
We don’t have bible studies in my house or anything like that, but God is a huge part of our lives. Tripp learns bible verses at his private school. Before bed, Tripp will say a prayer for every person in our family. We will say a prayer before our meals together, as well. My spirituality is like a compass to my life, it’s a guide. I am going to do what I think is right and what I know to be right.
Good luck roughing it up here in Wasilla. Hopefully Tripp behaves himself for you, but no promises!