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The First Year of Parenting: What I Wish I’d Known — Episode #185 with Vanessa Van Edwards

Vanessa Van Edwards learned right away that being an expert in behavioral science did not translate into innate parenting know-how. Vanessa joined us earlier to talk about those first few blurry weeks of infancy and babies in Episode #104. Now, she’s opening up about the first year, explaining that while some phases do indeed “go by so fast,” others can feel like a slog, but telling parents that it goes by so fast is not, well, helpful. We dig into the nitty-gritty of the first year of parenting, what surprised us, what we wish we’d known, and the milestones most parenting books miss.

The Outrageous Expectations We Place On New Mothers

You’re not insane, you’re not wrong, you’re not broken, and you’re not a terrible parent or a terrible worker if you’re having a hard time getting work done while also sustaining the full-time job of caring for a baby. Taking care of a baby is a huge job, one that requires the work of multiple adults. But instead, we ask women to do it all, without help or support, and then to work additional jobs on top of the round-the-clock work of childcare. It’s impossible.

Writing About Family Life on Twitter: Where’s the Line? — Episode #184 with James Breakwell

Growing up, James Breakwell never had to think about what jobs he wasn’t allowed to pursue. That changed when he had kids. As the father of four girls — one of whom recently said she wants to be a construction worker, and another who asked if she could be the Pope — he’s had to put himself in the shoes of the females surrounding him at home. As an author and internet personality behind the popular Twitter account @XplodingUnicorn, James is best known for his viral tweets depicting hilarious snippets of conversations with his daughters. In this interview with our first startup dad, he gets real about how he navigates building a public persona based on his family life — including how much to share and what to withhold.

Raising Them: Gender Creative Parenting — Episode #174 with Dr. Kyl Myers

Dr. Kyl Myers holds a PhD in sociology and gender studies, and is an award-winning educator and a globally recognized advocate for gender creative parenting. Since 2016, Kyl has been speaking and writing about gender creative parenting and using their own parenting story to help the world learn about and embrace a new type of childhood. Dr. Myers is the author of Raising Them: Our Adventure In Gender Creative Parenting. Join us for a fascinating conversation about parenting, gender, and what we can do as parents to help reduce gender violence, oppression against women and men, and create a more playful world.

Why Are The Stories Of Motherhood So White? — Episode #173 with Nefertiti Austin

In America, the word “mother” is nearly always describing white motherhood. That’s what Nefertiti, a single African American woman and the author of “Motherhood So White,” discovered when she decided she wanted to adopt a Black baby boy out of the foster care system. Nefertiti was shocked by the assumptions people had about what adoption, motherhood, and Black motherhood should look like. She realized that American society saw motherhood through a white lens, and that there would be no easy understanding or acceptance of the kind of family she hoped to build.

Come Gather With Parents To Talk — Community Connect

We’re hosting FREE community gatherings for working parents every month. Come gather with other parents and soon-to-be-parents to meet each other and connect. Come as you are, show up in your jammies, with your baby, nursing, hiding in the bathroom, ducking into a car for a meeting—whatever you need to do, by all means. Sounds, noises, messes all welcome.

My Three Year Old Will Now Reply To All Of Your Emails

I’ve given my three year old my laptop to reply to your incoming emails right now. My one-year old might also be chiming in. I’m having a hard time keeping them away from the keyboard. Don’t worry, I’ve invented a magical device that can also translate their thoughts and actions into words. As of Sunday, they are now responsible for my inbox. You can consider them my new personal assistant.

Potty Training In A Pandemic? My Incomplete Notes (From Memory) — Episode #157

My friend has an almost-two-year old and she asked me “So when do I need to think about potty training?” Yeah, as though you needed anything else to consider in the pandemic. Well, I took a few minutes to brain dump everything I remembered about potty training in a quick dash Voxer message to her, all while doing dishes and cleaning up the boys’ room in our house. We both thought that these might be useful memos for you, especially if you happen to be in a similar situation. Consider this an unofficial, scrappy overview of Potty Training that will help you do a good enough job … for now.

I’m Really Sorry I Keep Texting You To Check And See If My Advice Was Useful—I Have No Ability To Self Regulate Because We’re In The Middle Of A Pandemic

I have 83 unread messages on my phone, and my family keeps checking in. I want to write back, but my toddler is mashing cheerios in the couch, and the last time I went pee, he took the gel crayons and drew all over the new carpets. I put stain remover on them and texted my husband, “I shouted them!” The message was not clear. “Who did you shout at?” he replied. The pandemic is not going well.

The Chaos And Unpredictability of Birth (Especially In A Pandemic)

My first child was born on Mothers’ Day, 2016, the day before our anniversary. It blew me open, ripped my birth canal vagina more than I would have liked, and turned so much of my life upside down. So many of you are about to become mothers for the first, second, third time. You’re doing it in the middle of a pandemic, in the midst of changing rules and ideas, amidst a sea of changing information. Motherhood, in many ways, feels like a pandemic. The strange thing about the last four months is this eerie sense I have that this already feels familiar. I’ve been here before. We’ve been here before.

The 6 Easy Steps I Use To Get Writing Done With Children Around—It’s So Simple And Easy!

Begin writing a post that says “Working parents are not okay.”‘ Delete sentences because no one is okay. There isn’t really a comparison game to be played here. Call your friend and realize that you’re having trouble stringing words together. Hang up the telephone because both of your children and pushing buttons on the phone and you can’t actually have a real conversation while children and buttons are in close proximity. What was it that they said? “Opening my computer is like a pavlovian response for my child.” Yeah, that.

Maybe You Don’t Have To Work Harder Right Now

For many of you, there isn’t anything we can control, push, or organize to change the world around us. It’s maddening, but it also has an upside: we can release the pent-up energy of wanting things to change and trust that things will change, eventually, at some point. Sometimes, releasing the pressure of having to do something can release us to find tiny moments of joy—or at least contentment—inside of the space we’re in.

Catch Your Breath: Taking A Minute To Breathe Together — Episode #147

If you’re feeling heightened levels of stress, anxiety, or worry, this episode is for you. I’ve recorded a short breathing practice that can help calm anxiety and reduce stress even if you only have a couple of minutes. These are unprecedented times and while this won’t solve everything, this might give you a moment of reprieve if you’re feeling the heaviness of everything right now.

I Only Have 4 Hours of Childcare—Am I Doing Enough On My Business?

It’s hard enough being a working mom—or a working parent—by the end of the day I’m usually hiding in an unmade bed somewhere, scarfing cookies while watching terribly trashy television like The Bachelor or The Voice and trying to find a quiet moment to myself. After 14 hours on non-stop duty from 5:00am until 7:30pm, my resilience and my willpower are depleted. But here’s why it’s important to not compare yourself to others around you as a new parent or a working mom.

Parenting Logistics: Why It’s Such A Nightmare — Episode #139

Lately I’ve been fielding a lot of questions from people about what to expect in the shift from non-parenting to the parenting world. Personally, I find it really challenging when people smile at you and say things like, “Wait and see,” or “You’ll get it when you become a parent.” No thanks—please tell me now! On this episode, I decided to dive straight into the daily tangle that is the parenting logistics required of managing small humans. It is in these daily nuances—and the morning pitter patter of tiny feet—that our work lives and our careers begin to explode.

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