Voices of Your Village Podcast

When it comes to wrestling, rough and tumble play, and physical play in general, I had a lot of hesitations. I’ve seen it go awry and y’all know I’m all about teaching consent from infancy.  Can we really teach kids to respect one another’s bodies when they’re throwing each other around? Will they notice the verbal AND non-verbal signs of someone who is not consenting? I had these and so many more questions for our gross motor guy, Ross Thompson.  We dove into all things big body play and, let me tell ya, I learned so much from him.

Did you know that most people diagnosed with MS are women in their child bearing years? Yep, big gulp from me when I heard that.  As if being a woman in your child-bearing years isn’t hard enough, right? Well, Alex from Hello My Tribe joined us to share her journey as a mama with MS– from postpartum realities to breastfeeding truths, she left it all on the table.  I learned so much and also left feeling hopeful. I hope this episode shines light into your world if you’re walking this journey or know someone who is.

What does an emotionally intelligent 5 year old sound like? What tools do they have? I sat down with twin five year olds who are two of the most emotionally regulated kiddos I have ever met.  I got to learn tools they have in their toolbox, and how they approach scenarios in everyday life one another and other children. Tune into this adorable episode for the inside scoop of what a five year old is capable of and how they can navigate emotions and social relationships.  These two have taught me so much about what is possible & I love having the chance to share them with you!

The greatest predictor of success in life is emotional intelligence.  The brain is 90% developed by age five, so what are we doing to lay this foundation birth to five?  I hung out with Logan Blask, mom of two five year olds who have a beautiful emotional foundation. We discussed the ins and outs of laying that foundation, what it looks like on a daily basis, and how we can foster emotional development.  I learn so much from Logan every time I have the opportunity to talk with her. To get you kickstarted, we created a free list of books you can read with your littles to start laying that foundation today.

I had the amazing opportunity of talking with Brittany Murlas, the owner and founder of the website, Little Feminist.  Every book that is sent to a child is carefully selected based on age appropriate content and important, thought-provoking messages. Since 90% of children’s brains are developed by the time they are 5 years old, it is critical that we as caregivers, are sending them clear, intentional messages about gender equality. This Little Feminist Book Club doesn’t just supply fantastic books, but inspires awesome conversations between you and your tiny kiddo. 

When was the last time you dove into conversation with a five year old? They are wise beings, and this one is no different. Mabel Chew opened up about her experience with sleep consulting, on the receiving end that is. She shared what it was like to have new expectations set for a sleep routine, and how she adapted.  Mabel also went into feelings related to being five– transitions to new schools or classrooms, expression through art. She is a spirited young gal who gave us her time and energy!

This was the most requested topic yet! Angela Garcia and I dove into gun play in early childhood.  To be honest, we entered this discussion with different perspectives on whether or not we should let kids play with toy/fake guns, and what the role of the adult is to teach children about the real implications that guns have on society. We had a raw, respectful conversation that changed my opinion on the matter. Angela and I went into white privilege and how it factors into our approach to tiny humans and weapon play. This is a good one that you will not want to miss!

When Nao pictured her family, she imagined typically developing children.  Down Syndrome wasn’t on her radar, it wasn’t something she was prepared for, but now as the mother of a child with DS, she considers herself the lucky few.  Nao dove into her journey of finding out Emalee has Down Syndrome, the fears, the unknown, and the beauty. She shares what the diagnosis means and how they’ve navigated the world of constant doctors appointments and therapies.  I learned so much from Nao in this episode and am excited to share it with you.

From children finding their penis/clitoris, to masturbation, or how a baby got IN mommy’s belly, it’s hard to know how to navigate these conversations, and let’s get real, this stuff all starts to happen before most of us are ready. So, mama of two, with a graduate degree in early childhood education, Jenna Chew, sat down with me to dive into this often uncomfortable topic.  We shared our experiences as well as what is developmentally appropriate. Jenna offered up some resources that she has found particularly helpful along this journey

Lacey Mallett and I picked right back up from where we left off on questions we thought we would important when looking at childcare center, nannies, and home daycare center. This will serve as a guide to help steer you in the right direction and confidently be able to go into these environments with a set of questions and helpful tips to keep in mind.

When it comes to choosing childcare, there are so many factors to consider. From childcare center, to home daycares and nannies, knowing what to look for, what to ask, and who to trust can be an overwhelming journey. I hung out with Lacey Mallet, who has over a decade of experience in various early childhood settings, to examine the ins and outs of childcare so you can decide what’s best for your family unit. Snag our freebie

From emotions to logistics, being a working mom is something we need to talk about.  Bryn Huntpalmer, host of The Birth Hour Podcast joined me to talk about her experience working part time, full time, full time with a side gig, out of the home, working from home, you name it, I feel like she’s done it. She and her husband, Richard are co-parents on this journey, and she shares what has worked for her, and what didn’t.  She gets real about pumping at work, and that first day back in the office. Tune in to hear the ins and outs of the logistics– from school drop offs and pickups to sick days and household chores. You’ve got this mama!

Have you seen someone with disabilities in public and weren’t sure how to support your children with respectful, inclusive dialogue?  We don’t want to be offensive, but we also want to help our children understand the world. Well, Whitney Kallenbach and I dove into ways to address this topic with your kiddos as well as when it varies, i.e. a child versus an adult.  We had an honest conversation about questions we were both bringing to the table, along with personal experiences.

I got the opportunity to chat with Amanda Warren who is the co-director of Bridge School which is an amazing, child-centered, independent K-6 elementary school in Middlebury, Vermont. As Amanda shared Bridge School accepts all different kinds of children and really learns about the children and sees them for who they and all the loves and interests that they have before focusing in on anything else.

There is SO much to learn when it comes to pregnancy, birth, and postpartum.  From setting up a nursery, to creating a birth plan, and then oh ya know, keeping a child alive and thriving, this whole parenting thing can be overwhelming.  I picked Nina Spears, or as you might know her, The Baby Chick’s brain about what you REALLY need to know as you embark on this journey. Tips and tricks, down to favorite products, Nina shares her secrets with all of us.  

Are you tired of sick days? Ready for these colds to go away? Are you done with over the counter meds, or these constant ear infections? Ready to get a good night of sleep or have help battling challenging emotions?  There’s an oil for that– a Young Living Essential Oil, that is. I snagged oil expert and mama of five to talk through what in the world essential oils are all about–what they do, don’t do, and how to incorporate them in your life.

Gender fluidity and identity is something many of us did not grow up talking about, but thankfully, that has changed, and we need the language to evolve, too.  Trystan Reese, a trans father of three, and social justice activist joined me on the show to dive into how to talk to kids about gender. What age is it appropriate to address gender? How do we do it?  

Let’s get real, some issues are really hard to know how to navigate when it comes to addressing them with our little ones.  On today’s podcast, I got the chance to talk to an insightful Professor of Urban Education and African Studies, Dr. Stevenson. The two of us dove into the topic of race in early education and how we, as caregivers, can address this topic at an early age.

My days with my 3 year old are always so calm and chill, said no one ever.  Kelly & Don joined me to talk about boundary setting with their 3 year old, helping her learn how to navigate hearing ‘no’ without an epic meltdown each time.  We also dove into what this all means for their toddler who is starting to really pay attention to her sister’s big emotions. 

From babbling to those first words, how do we support tiny human speech and language development? How many words should kiddos have by certain ages and why does that even matter? What can we do every day to help our littles learn how to communicate with the world around them?! I learned SO much in this interview with Speech & Language Pathologist, Sarah Friel. She brilliantly shared the ins and outs of supporting language development from infancy, along with hot tips to apply every day. She even created an amazing overview of language in the early years just for YOU! 

Going from physical therapist to SAHM was never what Tess Townsend imagined for herself.  She was comfortable and confident at work, but tiny humans? Brain development? This was all new to her and she didn’t see herself sliding into it full time… until her first babe arrived.  After a rocky start, they found their groove, and she realized there was no place she’d rather be than home with him.  All the ins and outs, ups and downs, challenges and triumphs are shared in today’s episode as Tess opens up about her journey through parenthood thus far. Tune in to hear about how much her path shifted when that little dude was placed on her chest. #allthefeels

An amazing mama, Rachel Lounder joined me for some raw, honest conversation about parenting through grief, trauma, and intense obstacles. Parenting is a 24 hour job. We don’t get to hit pause and come back when we are ready. Rachel knows this to be so true and so graciously shares her journey as a cancer survivor, through losing loved ones, and battling her own fears and anxiety all while being a SAHM to a spunky, hilarious little one.

I am SO excited to get to share some of my favorite products with you when it comes to keeping your tiny human snoozing through the night! With so many products on the market, it can get very overwhelming trying to figure out what you actually need, but today I am diving into my top 5 favorite products for the sleep environment. I begin each sleep consultation look at the three most important components: environment, biology, and behavior.

Are ya ready for another taboo subject?! These days screen time typically comes with a winced, quiet voice as we try to pretend it isn’t happening. It seems to be topic that parents are wary about diving into because of the judgment that comes along with it. In this weeks podcast, I got the chance to talk with the inspirational and powerful mama-preneur —Sarah Bivens.

Ahhh, Daylight Savings Time, where 6am will be 7am. Wait, LOSE AN HOUR OF SLEEP?! Do you have a tiny human who didn’t get the memo that and will now be up until 8PM instead of their usual 7? Here’s the thing, they aren’t just doing it to be rude and rob you of that precious extra hour of nighttime freedom you look forward to, they literally didn’t get the memo.

The world of early childhood is made up of an array of people ranging from parents, to families, to friends, and caretakers, to therapists, teachers, and many other professionals. All of these people make up our village and play a vital role in a child’s development. Today, we get to take a closer look into the world of one of these professions. 

There are a number of parenting topics that are taboo.  So many people are in it together, but they don’t even know it because they are silenced by stigma, fear, and judgement.  Today, we get a glimpse into the life of a mom’s perspective as she dives into the topic of co-sleeping. Kelsey McGrath, is a mother to her almost 1 year old son, Finn. 

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where your tiny human is having a full blown tantrum because they didn’t get their first choice. In the moment, you may give in to get them to just stop the crying and put you at ease for a couple of minutes before you both wind up yelling and/or in tears. Girrrrl, I get it.

I am so incredibly excited to announce the launch of my brand new podcast, Voices of Your Village! Throughout this series I hope to support you by building your village and providing answers to all your deep, thought provoking parenting questions. I will be serving you with episodes that dive deep into early childhood, what is going on in those tiny human brains, and how we can respond in the moment.