Voices of Your Village

Latest episodes

A special interview with my mama

voices of your village May 02, 2019

 

In this special episode of Voices of Your Village, I got to interview the most incredible woman I know: my mama. We chatted about her experiences in motherhood, and you may want to grab yourself a box of tissues because some ugly crying definitely went down.

We first dove into the logistics of our family. I am one of five - four boys and one girl - and there is a 13 year age difference between the oldest and youngest. Mom is one of eight (her mom had eight children in ten years; go ahead and pick your jaw off the floor) and dad is one of six, so she explained how having her own big family was never really a thought - having a “basketball team worth of kids” just seemed...

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Fostering a relationship where you are the one your child can be vulnerable with

voices of your village Apr 25, 2019

 

Your children are not responsible for your feelings.

 

Say it louder for the folks in the back! 

This week I dive into why it’s so important that our tiny humans never feel responsible for how we feel. If we want to be that person our child can turn to when they experience life’s challenges, we need to be sure they aren’t afraid they will spike our anxiety or make us feel sad with their problems. When we say things like, “It makes me happy when you clean up your toys, or “It makes me sad when you hit me,” we are placing our feelings on our children, and so years down the road, we are not the human they turn to.  It’s so hard...

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The lowdown on newborn sleep

 

In this week’s episode, I was jazzed to chat with our sleep consultant, Rachel Lounder, all about newborn sleep. Newborn sleep is vastly different than sleep after 4 months of age and Rachel and I dove into the details of how to best support your newborn and maintain your own sanity. 

From birth to four months, Rachel shares that the name of the game is keeping periods of wakefulness short. This prevents too much sleep pressure from building. Too much sleep pressure results in an overtired and overstimulated babe who has an even harder time falling asleep. In newborns, the length of naps can vary widely and that’s okay. The length of naps is not as important and...

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Adoption - Part IV: Navigating foster care, with Renee Henderson

 

I’m jazzed to share part IV of our adoption series with foster and adoptive mama, Renee Henderson. Honestly, I was nervous to cover foster care because I had some preconceived fears about emotional development in the foster care system. Renee shared with us that she has been a foster parent to 15 kids in 4.5 years, and contrary to many foster stories, she adopted three children from foster care. We dove into this quite a bit because it’s important to enter foster care with expectations for how the system operates.

The overarching goal for foster care is reunification with the biological family.

However, a lot of foster parents enter the system hoping to adopt, resulting...

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How to respond to hitting, kicking, biting, spitting!

 


I this week’s episode I dove into challenging behaviors like hitting, kicking, and biting. When we see these behaviors in our tiny humans it can spark feelings of shame, disappointment, and embarrassment, especially if it’s happening in public. When we can work through our own feelings about the situation, we can better serve our kiddos. Rather than reacting, we can take the time to respond in a way that helps our kiddo to process the emotion behind the behavior. 

It is developmentally normal for a tiny human to react to a big emotion by using their bodies when they don’t know what else to do with that feeling. When your kiddo hits or bites another kiddo,...

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Adoption - Part II, with birth mom Annaleece

 

In this week’s episode of Voices of Your Village I dove into part two of our adoption series. I had the opportunity to chat with birth mom, Annaleece, about her experience being pregnant with her birth daughter, making the decision to place Charlie for adoption, and the relationship that she has with her now. 

Annaleece shared the circumstances that led to her becoming pregnant at the age of 17. Having experienced sexual abuse, Annaleece was working through that trauma. She moved out of her parents’ house and soon after she found out she was pregnant. Initially, adoption wasn’t on her radar. Her relationship with the birth father wasn’t ideal, but she...

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Adoption - Part I, with Shelby Dickinson

 

 

In this week’s episode, I dove into the first part of our adoption series with adoptive parent Shelby Dickinson.  Shelby lives in California with her husband and two children. Her 3-year-old son Owen is adopted. She shared with me the process of Owen’s open adoption and the dynamic that she has worked to establish with his birth mom and family. 

Shelby and her husband had a unique experience with Owen’s adoption. From the time they first started pursuing adoption, to the time that they had Owen in their arms was only 7.5 weeks. Adoption is typically a multi-year process. They did use a facilitator rather than an agency, which does tend to speed...

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Nap transitions, from 3:2:1 with Teresa Stewart

 

In this episode of Voices of Your Village, I was jazzed to connect with my long-time colleague Teresa Stewart to chat all about nap transitions. Teresa has master's degrees in both child development and maternal and child health. She has always been passionate about supporting children and families. Although she worked in policy and advocacy early on in her career, her own experience of motherhood led her to more direct education and support work. She spent many years teaching classes and overseeing programs for a company called Isis Parenting. Suddenly the company closed, overnight. This eventually led to starting her current business running online groups, sleep consulting,...

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What happens while you sleep?

 

 

In this week’s episode of Voices of Your Village, I’m chatting all about sleep and why sleep is so crucial not only for our health as parents and caregivers but also for the health of our tiny humans! Sleep gives your heart and blood vessels a break. It is the time when the body can slow down enough to repair and heal. While we sleep, the chemicals flowing in our bodies strengthen and fortify the immune system. It’s when your body recharges and refuels. Sleep is also the time when your brain clears out unnecessary information that you don’t need to remember and stores things into long term memory that you do want to remember. 

I also dive into...

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Breastfeeding questions answered, with IBCLC Barb Demske

voices of your village Jan 31, 2019

 

 

In this week’s episode, I had the opportunity to chat with Barbara Demske, IBCLC, about all things breastfeeding. Barbara experienced immense challenges while nursing her first son. That difficult journey became the catalyst that drove her to become an IBCLC to offer support to new moms who may be struggling to meet their breastfeeding goals. She is the face behind @firstlatch on Instagram and offers e-consultations. Barb and I dove right into all of the questions ya’ll sent my way!

 

What is normal, in terms of breastfeeding, for a newborn? When will my milk come in? 

Barb recommends getting some sort of prenatal breastfeeding education. This can be...

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