Episode 60: Old Wives in the Big City

On Episode 60 of the Mama Bear Dares podcast, co-hosts Leslie and Tesi tackle a question submitted by a a curious listener, discuss their weekend spent interviewing podcast guests in the nation's third largest city, and laugh over their embrace of weird and their acceptance of new behaviors in the Old Wives Corner. This episode will make you smile, make you think, and make you want to run to the library. Enjoy!

ASK US ANYTHING

A listener sent the following question for Leslie and Tesi to answer and they tackle it in their first segment:

“What are you currently reading?

— Marguerite, Mama Bear Listener

Do you have a question for the Mama Bear Dares podcast? Email mamabeardares@gmail.com or hit up the MBD social media channels and ask away!

Links to books discussed: Leslie's Pick | Tesi's Pick | Also Discussed

A Weekend of Women:

Tesi and Leslie spent a weekend in Chicago interviewing women for the podcast. As they reflect on the experience they bring up a few important points:

  1. We each respond differently when we're given a mic and a platform.
  2. We are for one another.

Stay tuned for interviews with four fabulous women that you've likely not heard of! Thank you so much to GitMom for hosting us!!

OLD WIVES CORNER:

The hosts discuss the things they do (and don't do) as 30-somethings that their 23-year-old selves might question. Help us add to the list! Are you an old wife? What's on your list?


Mama Bears, what are your thoughts on this fraught topic? We'd love to know what you think! Join the conversation online! Here’s where you can find us:

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let us know what you’re thinking!

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes. We are having so much fun and really appreciate you listening!!

Help support Mama Bear Dares by shopping with us! Here are our affiliate links:

Do your Amazon shopping here. It costs you nothing and we get a bit of change from Amazon with each purchase! Yay!

Today’s episode is brought to you by Audible. Get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial at www.audible.com/mamabeardares.

As always, thanks to Wunderkind for the beats!

Pre-order Leslie's book, Mama Bear's Manifesto, by clicking here!

Episode 59: Show Me Your Story with Lauri Levenfeld

Photo by Jessica Epstein

Photo by Jessica Epstein

On Episode 59 of the Mama Bear Dares podcast, co-hosts Tesi and Leslie interview Lauri Levenfeld, a visionary, photographer, mother, wife, friend, and the soul behind the Project for Women, a forum showcasing inspiring women in fashion, technology, philanthropy, and business. Lauri was born a storyteller and during the podcast the three women dive deep in a conversation about gratitude, giving back, projected perfectionism, and authenticity. The hosts delight in the story of Lauri's profound (and very sweet) encounter with Nelson Mandela and are moved by her deep appreciation for the importance of connection, communication, history, and hard work. Never mind that Lauri has photographed Mark Zuckerberg and Hillary Clinton (just to name a few!), the three women peel back the layers of being a woman, wife, and mother, and enjoy a dialogue about the sweetness, silliness, and profundity of life.

Also discussed on the podcast:

  • The ways in which motherhood shifts a woman's career and art and how the motherhood, womanhood, and art can merge together to make a rich and meaningful life
  • Raising young girls (specifically tweens and teens) within the uncharted landscape of social media
  • The importance of quiet time, "in-between" minutes, meditation, and striving to be in the moment
  • The importance and beauty of connection when story-telling, regardless of the means of delivery

OBSESS SESH:

Lauri is obsessed with Hedi Slimane, anything Saint Laurent, and her star shoes...

LINKS

Project for Women

Project for Girls...Coming Soon!

If you want a little rock-and-roll, Lauri says that Jene Park is your gal! She dresses all the A-listers! Find her HERE and HERE

Lauri loves cooking with her daughter and loves Catherine McCord of Weelicious! Learn more HERE.

If you are a dog lover like Lauri (she says her pup is her second child and her long-lost son!), you gotta look up the pet bling by Carrie Cramer. (Featured on Project for Women HERE.)

Lauri's new fave show, Bravo’s original script Odd Mom Out with Jill Kargman, is raw, real and brilliant!

We all know and love Becky Straw of The Adventure Project!

Join the conversation online! Here’s where you can find us:

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let us know what you’re thinking!

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes. We are having so much fun and really appreciate you listening!!

Help support Mama Bear Dares by shopping with us! Here are our affiliate links:

Do your Amazon shopping here. It costs you nothing and we get a bit of change from Amazon with each purchase! Yay!

Today’s episode is brought to you by Audible. Get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial at www.audible.com/mamabeardares.

As always, thanks to Wunderkind for the beats!

Pre-order Leslie's book, Mama Bear's Manifesto, by clicking here!

Episode 58: Creating Community After A Move

On Episode 58 of the Mama Bear Dares podcast, co-hosts and sisters-in-law Leslie and Tesi jump into a reader question regarding the realities of Mama Bear. Put simply, they discuss what to do when Mama Bear is just too tired for action and believes a hot shower to be the only nonessential thing she's capable of at the moment. Can you relate? Listen in as the hosts respond with candor and encouragement. Leslie and Tesi also dive into the topic of building a community of friends after a move. Loneliness can be devastating, so the hosts first declare "me too" and then dive into solutions and suggestions. They end the episode by exploring their Other Self as a check-in to one another and listeners about the way they engage in the ever-important act of self care.

ASK US ANYTHING

A listener sent the following question for Leslie and Tesi to answer and they tackle it in their first segment:

I love the podcast and I know I SHOULD want to do better and engage my Mama Bear in all the ways discussed, but I just don’t feel like I have the energy to do it. Why and how can I move my Mama Bear to care about more than just surviving every day?
— Jenny, Mama Bear Listener

Do you have a question for the Mama Bear Dares podcast? Email mamabeardares@gmail.com or hit up the MBD social media channels and ask away!

Finding Community after a move:

It's so hard! Both hosts have been the new girl in town and offer the following to listeners who might be experiencing the same:

  • Get out of your comfort zone. Start a book club! Strike up a conversation in a coffee shop! It might feel awkward, but you just might uncover a friend.
  • Strike up a conversation and revel in the hope it brings. You may not have just made your new best friend, but you'll prove to yourself that people are out there and relationships are possible again.
  • Be bold! You may not have ever thought about joining an organized group (moms' group, small group, book group), but now is the time to give one a shot!
  • Start or join an online community. These relationships can be beautiful and fulfilling!
  • Rest in the understanding that it takes time to build a tribe. You'll get there, Mama Bear!

OTHER SELF:

The hosts check in on what they're doing for their "Other Self" in order to keep their whole self healthy.

LINKS:

Barbara Kingsolver, Animal, Miracle, Vegetable

Tesi's BLOG POST about moving and loneliness.

Find a MOPS International group near you! | Mandy Arioto's Episode 41 was terrific!


Mama Bears, what are your thoughts on this fraught topic? We'd love to know what you think! Join the conversation online! Here’s where you can find us:

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let us know what you’re thinking!

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes. We are having so much fun and really appreciate you listening!!

Help support Mama Bear Dares by shopping with us! Here are our affiliate links:

Do your Amazon shopping here. It costs you nothing and we get a bit of change from Amazon with each purchase! Yay!

Today’s episode is brought to you by Audible. Get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial at www.audible.com/mamabeardares.

As always, thanks to Wunderkind for the beats!

Pre-order Leslie's book, Mama Bear's Manifesto, by clicking here!

Episode 57: Finding (and using!) Your Voice

Your perspective, your experience, your blessings and gifts, and your unique place in this world give you an incredible platform from which to stand and sing the song that only you can. There is no one in the world like you! Leslie and Tesi believe this to be true ... and so does Natalie Grant, a four-time Grammy-nominated recording artist, author, creator of the fashion and jewlery line NG by Natalie Grant, and the co-founder of the nonprofit Hope for Justice. On Episode 57 of the Mama Bear Dares podcast, the three women discuss the power each of us hold within and encourage listeners to discover their strength and use it for ultimate good. While celebrating the publication of Natalie's new book, Finding Your Voice: What Every Woman Needs to Live Her God-Given Passions Outloud, the three women explore the ways we each are uniquely created to summon ultimate love to pour onto others. Though there are times that you feel small and powerless, the women have a strong message for you: Not only do you matter, but you are a crucial piece in the puzzle of life.

Other topics discussed:

  • The world needs YOUR unique voice. So many living and breathing souls today do not have a voice. They are marginalized and we must lend them ours.
  • Being vulnerable both requires and breeds courage.
  • The things you DO are not the things that define you. Who you are is more than the activity or output of your day. Sometimes we need to silence the unhealthy lies that we get wrapped up in and call out the truth of who we are as individuals.
  • The beauty of being used in the everyday and hearing God's call, even in the most mundane moments.

LINKS:

Order Natalie's new book, Finding Your Voice, HERE.

Natalie is online! Learn more about her, her mission, and her music here:

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Check out Natalie's jewelry line (and other fashion) HERE.

Interested in learning more about Natalie's work with Hope for Justice? Check out HERE.


Mama Bears, we'd love to know what you think! Join the conversation online! Here’s where you can find us:

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let us know what you’re thinking!

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes. We are having so much fun and really appreciate you listening!!

Help support Mama Bear Dares by shopping with us! Here are our affiliate links:

Do your Amazon shopping here. It costs you nothing and we get a bit of change from Amazon with each purchase! Yay!

Today’s episode is brought to you by Audible. Get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial at www.audible.com/mamabeardares.

As always, thanks to Wunderkind for the beats!

Pre-order Leslie's book, Mama Bear's Manifesto, by clicking here!

Episode 56: Youth Sports: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

On Episode 56, co-hosts Leslie and Tesi tackle the topic of youth sports. It’s a subject fraught with all kinds of high emotion and the women hold nothing back as they discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly. Tesi and Leslie encourage listeners who find themselves on the bleachers or on the sidelines to check their Mama Bear for her motives and conduct themselves in a way that engages the good and prevents the bad and the ugly from seeping into the line-up. The two are breathtakingly honest about their perception of the youth sports phenomenon in the United States and they challenge the conventions of gender, the struggle over expectations, and the physical health and well-being of the generation coming up in the ranks. It’s a huge and hot topic, and the co-hosts dive in deep as they discuss and encourage!

The Good:

  • Teaches time management
  • Motivates other positive behavior and task completion
  • Teaches teamwork and respect
  • Builds a solid foundation of health and wellness

The Bad:

  • Can be ultra competitive and intimidating for a non-competitive kid
  • Forces our babies to grow up too fast
  • Encourages an ugly (and false) expectation of masculinity
  • Time-suck (Is there still time for camp, family vacations, etc. when you're on a team?)
  • Cost prohibitive for some families

The Ugly:

  • The parents! (Let's be positive spectators, Mama Bears.)
  • Overuse and injury

The Take-Away:

Listen to Tesi’s Mama Bear DARE at the end of the episode for encouragement on living your values and loving well amidst a culture of heightened competitiveness, towering energy, and fraught emotion.

LINKS:

Listen to Jody Landers on Episode 3 for more wisdom!

And check out the following video about what kids really want from their spectator parents:


Mama Bears, what are your thoughts on this fraught topic? We'd love to know what you think! Join the conversation online! Here’s where you can find us:

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let us know what you’re thinking!

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes. We are having so much fun and really appreciate you listening!!

Help support Mama Bear Dares by shopping with us! Here are our affiliate links:

Do your Amazon shopping here. It costs you nothing and we get a bit of change from Amazon with each purchase! Yay!

Today’s episode is brought to you by Audible. Get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial at www.audible.com/mamabeardares.

As always, thanks to Wunderkind for the beats!

Pre-order Leslie's book, Mama Bear's Manifesto, by clicking here!

Episode 55: Motherhood Abroad with Tarin Tesfaye

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to parent in a developing nation? Do you ever like to peer through the window of other worlds and observe how parenting plays out? On Episode 55, co-host Leslie grabs the mic in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, and sits down with Tarin Tesfaye, an American woman living and mothering in a culture very different from the one we experience here in the United States. Listen in as she shares what it’s like to live in a mud hut on her in-law's family compound, the challenges and joys she finds in her everyday life with her husband and son, and her pulse on the world refugee crisis as an employee of ZOA, an NGO that focuses on helping internally displaced people, host populations, returnees, and a large population of refugees who fled a lethal combination of violence and drought in Somalia, conflict in South Sudan, and human rights violations in Eritrea.

Other points discussed:

  • Practicalities of mothering in a developing country (ex. laundry!)
  • Slowed-down lifestyle: Frazzled nature of American culture vs. life in Ethiopia
  • Refugee care (South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea)
  • Encouraging the Other Self

LINKS:

Want to learn more about the refugee experience? Tarin recommends the following links:

Read Refugee Stories HERE | Stories from Eritrea and Somalia can be found HERE

Tarin works here: ZOA Ethiopia

Check out these books that focus on motherhood abroad or in worlds different than your own. Leslie has read and enjoyed them all:

Bringing up Bebe | The Battle Hymn of A Tiger Mom | Primates of Park Avenue | How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm: And Other Adventures in Parenting (from Argentina to Tanzania and everywhere in between)

Heading to Ethiopia? We highly recommend the Well Spring Guesthouse!

Mama Bears, we'd love to know what you think! Join the conversation online! Here’s where you can find us:

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let us know what you’re thinking!

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes. We are having so much fun and really appreciate you listening!!

Help support Mama Bear Dares by shopping with us! Here are our affiliate links:

Do your Amazon shopping here. It costs you nothing and we get a bit of change from Amazon with each purchase! Yay!

Today’s episode is brought to you by Audible. Get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial at www.audible.com/mamabeardares.

As always, thanks to Wunderkind for the beats!

Pre-order Leslie's book, Mama Bear's Manifesto, by clicking here!

Episode 54: A Mama Bear Review of Bad Moms

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“You messed with my daughter and now I will have to fight you in the Trader Joe’s parking lot.” You guys! Even bad moms — we're pretty sure we're all bad moms — seek justice for their children and protect their young! Though co-hosts Tesi and Leslie would never condone fighting anyone in the Trader Joe's parking lot or elsewhere, they can't help but laugh with this Bad Moms movie moment. On this episode of the podcast, the co-hosts unpack their views of the movie Bad Moms, including this Mama Bear moment and many more. The two sisters enjoy their first movie review, as well as two segments meant to console and encourage: Leslie gets vulnerable in So What Happened Was... and the sisters unload some everyday hilarity and self-reflection in Things We Should Probably Feel Guilty About, But Don't... Sometimes we need a reminder, even from the cataclysmic and sometimes questionable force of Hollywood, that we can laugh! So let's laugh! This episode dares you to belly laugh down the aisle of life and to be YOU in all of your imperfect glory.

So what happened was...

Leslie shares a story where she cracked under the PTA pressure. Can you relate? Please make her feel better by sharing your own humble moments with us on social media!

Mama Bear goes to the movies...

Tesi and Leslie discuss their take on the movie Bad Moms. Watch the trailer HERE. They focus on the following themes...

  1. Expectations of Perfection (no modern mother is immune)
  2. Modern Men as Infants?
  3. Mama Bear Moments
  4. Insane Love of Offspring

Things We Should Probably Feel Guilty About, But Don't...

Things get real during this segment. Sometimes laughter is the only way to see through the madness, right?!

Mama Bears, did you see the movie? We'd love to know what you think! Join the conversation online! Here’s where you can find us:

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let us know what you’re thinking!

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes. We are having so much fun and really appreciate you listening!!

Help support Mama Bear Dares by shopping with us! Here are our affiliate links:

Do your Amazon shopping here. It costs you nothing and we get a bit of change from Amazon with each purchase! Yay!

Today’s episode is brought to you by Audible. Get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial at www.audible.com/mamabeardares.

As always, thanks to Wunderkind for the beats!

Pre-order Leslie's book, Mama Bear's Manifesto, by clicking here!

Episode 53: Bearing Hope with Liv Ryan

On Episode 53 of Mama Bear Dares, Tesi and Leslie talk to Liv Ryan, a mother, a yoga instructor, an early-riser, a survivor, and an author. Liv has written a book call Bearing Hope: Navigating the Desert of Waiting for a Child and the three women discuss what got Liv to this place and the reasons why she decided to turn her experience of waiting and "the desert of infertility" into a practical book meant to guide and encourage others who may similarly be diving through the depths. After a conversation that covers topics ranging from grief, personal struggle, relationships, risks, and healing, the women leave listeners with a DARE and encourage the strugglers among us to be open to wisdom and to learn from Liv's tremendous strength, optimism, and honesty.

Other topics discussed:

  • The language of grief
  • Holy yoga, healing practice, and self care
  • The power of community
  • "Project-based waiting"
  • Preparing our kids for a life of love and imperfection
  • The practicalities and joys of downsizing

LINKS:

Liv can be found online at HERE!

Buy the book, Bearing Hope: Navigating the Desert of Waiting for a Child, HERE!

Episode 45 is a conversation about cleaning out life's clutter and the Kon Marie Method. Find it HERE.

Check out this popular blog post penned by Liv.

Special thanks to Wunderkind for the music! Keep bringing it!

Don't forget, you can get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial at www.audible.com/mamabeardares.


Mama Bear Dares is online! Here’s where you can find us:

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let us know what you’re thinking!

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes! Please take the time to rate and review us so that we can reach more ears. Thanks!

Pre-order Leslie's book, Mama Bear's Manifesto, by clicking here!

Episode 52: How to Dodge Double-Dealing & Trickery During Late Summer & Always

Ever wonder how the women around you seem to get all the things done? Ever wish parenting had a playbook where rules were hard and fast and yes's and no's were easy to determine? On Episode 52 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, co-hosts Tesi and Leslie dive into both, first with an Ask Us Anything segment during which they tackle a listener question and then in a segment (We Read It, We Loved It, Let's Discuss) in which they discuss their own philosophy and daily practice of standard yes's and no's. After a lively discussion full of examples and solutions, the women wrap up the Mama Bear Mini with a segment called Maybe It's Meditation, detailing their current meditation practice and what their noticing as a result.

Ask Us Anything

A listener sent the following question for Leslie and Tesi to answer and they tackle in their first segment:

How do you balance 8 kids between the two of you, husbands, homes, and careers? Be real. What’s an average day like for you? I see so many women just killing it it at so many different things and my brain just can’t comprehend how everyone seems to get everything done. Please enlighten me…

Do you have a question for the Mama Bear Dares podcast? Email mamabeardares@gmail.com or hit up the MBD social media channels and ask away!

We Read It, We Loved It, Let's Discuss...

Jen Hatmaker wrote a blog post last summer outlining she and her husband's parenting Yes's and No's. These are the hard lines that parents can draw in their homes and lives that help guide their families. For instance, Tesi says NO to doing things (chores, etc.) for her kids, but she allows them to turn her home into a jungle gym. Leslie and her husband draw a hard NO on violent video games and movies, but say YES to music. We love the idea of setting these parameters for our families.

Check out Jen Hatmaker's books and blog. Her most recent book is called For the Love; our favorite is Seven.

Maybe it's Meditation

Tesi and Leslie discuss the benefits of meditation and the ways they see it playing out in their lives currently. Don't forget Leslie's favorite meditation app, Headspace.

Mama Bears, we’re online! Here’s where you can find us:

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let us know what you’re thinking!

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes. We are having so much fun and really appreciate you listening!!

Help support Mama Bear Dares by shopping with us! Here are our affiliate links:

Do your Amazon shopping here. It costs you nothing and we get a bit of change from Amazon with each purchase! Yay!

Today’s episode is brought to you by Audible. Get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial at www.audible.com/mamabeardares.

As always, thanks to Wunderkind for the beats!

Episode 51: Give Your Child the World with Jamie C. Martin

On this episode of Mama Bear Dares, Tesi and Leslie talk to Jamie C. Martin, a mother, an avid reader, a homeschooler, a world traveler, and a witness to the terrible tragedy that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012. Jamie has written a book that the sister-hosts absolutely love and think you will, too! The women discuss Give Your Child the World: Raising Globally Minded Kids One Book at a Time and the ways in which we can help our children develop empathy and compassion through literature and story. After a conversation that covers topics ranging from the gift of public libraries to dealing with tragedy alongside children to the dynamic appeal of list-making to the beauty of our enormous world, the women leave listeners with a DARE that encourages listeners to think about their own story and the stories of others, using the collective narratives to give children the gift of uplifting, beautiful, redemptive tales as a shield from the world's cynicism and a springboard to a life of love and compassion.

Other points discussed:

  • Our shared love of books!
  • Homeschooling and intentional education
  • The power of STORY
  • Parenting through tragedy
  • How/Why to emphasize global-mindedness in your American household today

LINKS:

Leslie is reading a re-telling of Emma by Alexander McCall Smith, the author of The Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency  | Tesi is reading Dot Complicated: Untangling Our Wired Lives. Our kids are reading the new Harry Potter book (of course!), Anna Habiscus, James Harriott, and Sports Illustrated for Kids.

Episode 34 is a conversation about the power and joys of traveling with kids. Find it HERE.

Jamie C. Martin can be found at Simplehomeschool.net and on Facebook.

Buy the book, Give Your Child the World, HERE!

Honey for the Child's Heart

Check out these blog posts penned by Jamie:

How to Homeschool | Newtown | Steady Days Shine Your Light

Special thanks to Wunderkind for the music! Keep bringing it!

Get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial at www.audible.com/mamabeardares.


Mama Bear Dares is online! Here’s where you can find us:

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let us know what you’re thinking!

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes! Please take the time to rate and review us so that we can reach more ears. Thanks!

Episode 50: Love & More Love (Leslie Wrote A Book!)

You guys! Our very own co-host wrote a book! It's called Mama Bear's Manifesto and it's available for pre-order on Amazon! Leslie and Tesi spend the podcast talking about the basic idea of the Mama Bear lurking inside each of us and celebrate the arrival of Leslie's book in the world. Their excitement is real! After all, the Manifesto shares the message of this podcast: We are powerful. We are ferocious. We are perfectly positioned to wreak havoc on this world! You're going to love seeing this spelled out on the page!

Within their celebration, the co-hosts discuss the power of female friendship and the way Mama Bear's Manifesto aims to encourage women to use their relationships and their incredible capacity to love in big and bold ways, all the while encouraging listeners to identify the strength of their own Mama Bear and make the decision to use her power for good. They discuss Leslie's writing process and get real about the making of the book. In both big and small ways we are meant to live authentic, LOVE-filled lives. It's a bonus when you uncover your Mama Bear and begin training her for a better world. As the book and the podcast both enthusiastically declare, it's the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world!

Pre-order Leslie's book, Mama Bear's Manifesto, by clicking here!

Mama Bears, we’re online! Here’s where you can find us:

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let us know what you’re thinking!

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes. We are having so fun and really appreciate you listening!!

Help support Mama Bear Dares by shopping with us! Here are our affiliate links:

Do your Amazon shopping here. It costs you nothing and we get a bit of change from Amazon with each purchase! Yay!

Today’s episode is brought to you by Audible. Get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial at www.audible.com/mamabeardares.

As always, thanks to Wunderkind for the beats!

Episode 49: Mothering & Mental Illness (Your Kids Are Going to be Okay)

On Episode 49 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, co-hosts Tesi and Leslie speak to Cathy Engstrom, a mom of three, a runner, and an all-around lovely woman. As the women discuss Cathy's life, they focus on the strength she has shown while parenting one child with a learning disability and one child with mental illness.

Cathy is honest about both the struggle and the beauty of being a mom to kids who require her Mama Bear to advocate on their behalf every single day. The women celebrate the engaged Mama Bear who is awake not only to the larger world around her, but who realizes that changing the world starts at home. Cathy offers a unique perspective, incredible wisdom, and hope to mothers who are struggling through the ups and downs of parenting children with various needs.

Other topics discussed on the podcast:

  • How to approach teachers, school administrators, and your child's school district as a whole, even when it seems overwhelming to do so
  • Depression, anxiety, attachment disorders, dyslexia, and dysgraphia
  • The importance of allowing yourself to grieve if a child is diagnosed with a disability or illness
  • The importance of self care (hint: People magazine for the win!)
  • The dignity and relief of being honest when it comes to talking about the circumstances of mental illness within your community
  • The ways we can help other mothers who are caring for children with a diagnosis

* A special thanks to Lily and Carver for allowing their mom to share their stories on the podcast. We are positive that their bravery and openness will provide a light for others! *

LINKS:

For mamas who have just received a learning disability diagnosis or see red flags, Cathy recommends the following:

  1. Your local school district's website. (Not your school; the school district.) Start clicking on links to special education, etc., and get some phone numbers for help.
  2. www.ldonline.org
  3. www.ldaamerica.org/parents

For mental health, Cathy recommends the following resources:

  1. www.nimh.gov
  2. www.careforyourmind.org
  3. THIS article on what to do if you can't afford mental health care.

This essay by Jillian Flynn: Dear Parents of Well-Behaved Children


Mama Bears, we’re online! Here’s where you can find us:

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let us know what you’re thinking!

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes. We are having so fun and really appreciate you listening!!

Help support Mama Bear Dares by shopping with us! Here are our affiliate links:

Do your Amazon shopping here. It costs you nothing and we get a bit of change from Amazon with each purchase! Yay!

Today’s episode is brought to you by Audible. Get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial at www.audible.com/mamabeardares.

As always, thanks to Wunderkind for the beats!

Episode 48: Sorry, Not Sorry

Ever wish you could be a bit more forthcoming in putting your ideas and values into the world? Do you ever find yourself apologizing for things that don't merit an "I'm sorry"? On Episode 48 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, co-hosts Tesi and Leslie dive into both issues, first with an Ask Us Anything segment during which they tackle a listener question and then in a segment (Things That Make You Go Hmmm...) in which they talk about the way women often overuse the words "I'm sorry." After a lively discussion full of examples and solutions, the women wrap up the Mama Bear Mini with an Obsesh Sesh, detailing their current favorites.

Ask Us Anything

A listener sent the following question for Leslie and Tesi to answer and they tackle in their first segment:

You’ve talked about some pretty hot button issues in some of your podcasts. Privilege, sex, rape, etc. I think so much of what you said but I don’t feel brave enough to actually voice it out loud or post stuff about it on my social media. Where do you get the ovaries (that’s for you, Tesi) to do it on a podcast that has so many listeners?

Do you have a question for the Mama Bear Dares podcast? Email mamabeardares@gmail.com or hit up the MBD social media channnels and ask away!

Things That Make You Go Hmmmmm...

Pantene Commercial "Shine Strong" — find it HERE.

Why Women Apologize and Should Stop, New York Times, Sloan Crosby

Sorry, Not Sorry—Why Women Need to Stop Apologizing for Everything, Fast Company, by Gwen Moran

Amy Schumer's "I'm Sorry" Skewers A Culture That Makes Women Apologize Constantly, Huffington Post, by Emma Gray

Obsesh Sesh

Tesi's latest obsessions: Summer Camp! | Dry Shampoo | Writing

Leslie's latest obsessions: Sweet Corn | CRUDE Facial Cleanser | #GIRLBOSS


Mama Bears, we’re online! Here’s where you can find us:

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let us know what you’re thinking!

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes. We are having so fun and really appreciate you listening!!

Help support Mama Bear Dares by shopping with us! Here are our affiliate links:

Do your Amazon shopping here. It costs you nothing and we get a bit of change from Amazon with each purchase! Yay!

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As always, thanks to Wunderkind for the beats!

Episode 47: Contentment is a Unicorn

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On Episode 48 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, co-hosts Tesi and Leslie talk to Melanie Dale about her new book It's Not Fair: Learning to Love the Life You Didn't Choose. The three women discuss coping mechanisms (both healthy and harmful), bearing hope during difficult periods, and the healing power of laughter when all you want to do is cry. As they explore the themes of loss and hardship, the women also discuss the ways in which we can be good friends to those who are suffering around us and how we might better express ourselves in times of personal darkness. The conversation is honest, uplifting, and filled with lighthearted moments. Tune in to learn more about Melanie and learn from her unique wisdom encouraging women to move through difficult times with courage and steadfast faith.

MORE of MELANIE:

Find Melanie's new book, It's Not Fair: Learning to Love the Life You Didn't Choose, HERE.

Melanie's first book, Women Are Scary: The Totally Awkward Adventure of Finding Mom Friends, can be purchased HERE.

Find Melanie's blog, Unexpected, HERE. | You'll find her podcast HERE.

Read Melanie's popular post "Dating for Moms".

We mention Grace Bearer Beth Johnson in the podcast. She was interviewed on Episode 7: The Flow of Generosity of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast


Mama Bears, we’re online! Here’s where you can find us:

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let us know what you’re thinking!

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes. We are having so much fun and really appreciate you listening!!

Help support Mama Bear Dares by shopping with us! Here are our affiliate links:

Do your Amazon shopping here. It costs you nothing and we get a bit of change from Amazon with each purchase! Yay!

Today’s episode is brought to you by Audible. Get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial at www.audible.com/mamabeardares.

As always, thanks to Wunderkind for the beats!

Episode 46: The Great American Clothing Fast

So many of us are careful consumers and stewards of the earth. We make sure to recycle, we purchase locally sourced—even organic—foods, and check products for BPA and red dye, but we often pay less attention to where our clothing comes from, who produces it, and what it's made of. Today, the co-hosts respond to Episode 41: The Management, Organization, & Coordination of Stuff and Why We'd Rather Eat Pie, in which Leslie and Tesi interview Jennie Barnds and discuss our consumer habits and the physical "stuff" that we all have so much of. The women talk about the KonMari Method of decluttering and take it a step further by exploring our spiritual relationship to physical things. In Episode 46, Tesi and Leslie continue the conversation and discuss Leslie's extreme response to a fantastic book. 

Published in 2012, Over-Dressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth L. Cline inspired Leslie to engage on a yearlong clothing fast. The women spend time talking about what she learned and offering tips to listeners who might be encouraged to take back the power of the purse and make big or small changes that impact their closets, peace of mind, and, ultimately, the world we live in.

When you know better you do better:

Interested in changing your consumer habits? Even one small change can make a huge difference! Here are a few tips in regards to wardrobe:

  1. Be intentional. Try not to make shopping a five-minute affair. Especially when you're a parent, it's important to plan, plan, plan your purchases.
  2. Shop your closet...and shop your friends' closet!
  3. Shop thrift and re-purpose (check out Refashionista for inspiration!)
  4. Own less, pay more ... in other words, buy quality items that will last forever!
  5. Buy wool or cotton and materials that are not oil dependent and are biodegradable
  6. Tailor your clothes to fit correctly

Learn more by following these LINKS mentioned in the podcast:

Over-Dressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth L. Cline

Jennie Barnds' Episode 45 on Mama Bear Dares | Episode 28 discusses the environmental impact of the agricultural industry worldwide

Leslie's article "Out of Fabric" in Radish Magazine | Leslie's Blog where she highlights her year of not buying clothing

Check out the documentary True Cost on Netflix!

Rent the Runway


Mama Bears, we’re online! Here’s where you can find us:

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let us know what you’re thinking!

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes. We are having so fun and really appreciate you listening!!

Help support Mama Bear Dares by shopping with us! Here are our affiliate links:

Do your Amazon shopping here. It costs you nothing and we get a bit of change from Amazon with each purchase! Yay!

Today’s episode is brought to you by Audible. Get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial at www.audible.com/mamabeardares.

As always, thanks to Wunderkind for the beats!

Episode 45: The Management, Organization, & Coordination of Stuff & Why We'd Rather Be Eating Pie

On Episode 45, Tesi and Leslie talk to Jennie Barnds, a mom-of-three with an interesting perspective on our tendency to collect material things and allow "stuff" to slowly take over our homes and lives. Jennie talks not only about literally cleaning a house, but also explores the metaphor of the space that things take up in our hearts and brains. Jennie shares her experience of following the very popular Marie Kondo method of tidying up, as well as her experience of organizing and cleaning her mother- and father-in-law's home shortly after her father-in-law's sudden death and her mother-in-law's subsequent move to assisted living. The three women dive into the questions that surround our American tendency toward excessive consumerism and explore its impact on the human soul ... and on the freedom of the next generation.

Also discussed on this episode:

  • The rub of letting go: Can we let go to our clothing, things, pictures, jobs, and relationships? What's the benefit of letting go? Is there ever a reason to hold on?
  • Other people's things: Can we form emotional attachments to other people's things? Should we?
  • There are ways that we can help our kids navigate a world focused on things. We can also encourage our parents and grandparents to come up with a plan for what happens to their treasures at the end of life. If not, it's possible to end up living in a museum.
  • The spirituality of "stuff": Can there be a spiritual connection to our things? WWJD with all of our things? What does Christ teach us about being men and women who live for others, not for things.
  • How to be a careful consumer of things and not burden the next generation by shackling them with our things or our obsession with stuff.

Obsess Sesh with Jennie Barnds:

The Outlander Series | Herr's Salt & Vinegar Chips | Chuck Taylors

    Links:

    Style blogger Yasi Beck's BLOG and her appearance on Episode 15 are referenced in the podcast.

    The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

    Cleaning House: A Mom's 12-Month Experiment to Rid Her House of Entitlement

    The Story of Stuff


    Mama Bears, we’re online! Here’s where you can find us:

    Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let us know what you’re thinking!

    Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes. We are having so much fun podcasting and really appreciate you listening!!

    Help support Mama Bear Dares by shopping with us! Here are our affiliate links:

    Do your Amazon shopping here. It costs you nothing and we get a bit of change from Amazon with each purchase! Yay!

    Today’s episode is brought to you by Audible. Get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial at www.audible.com/mamabeardares.

    Thanks, as always, to Wunderkind for the beats!

    Episode 44: Parenting through Tragedy: Thoughts on Nice, Alton Sterling, Phillandro Castille, & the Dallas PD

    On this Mama Bear Mini, Tesi and Leslie reign in the mighty-Mama-Bear-poised-for-action that resides in each of them and attempt to have a disciplined, yet passionate, conversation about the world at large. Leslie just returned from a three-week vacation that involved time in Nice, so the sisters can't help but once again tackle the headlines. The women talk a bit about Leslie’s vacation and a bit about Nice, but the bulk of the conversation is a discussion of how we engage our mama bear to fight for justice in the world and how to raise our kids to be compassionate and loving when it feels like the world is the opposite. Tesi and Leslie do their best to talk through two basic questions in the midst of very challenging times: How do we remain compassionate and nonjudgmental during these times? And how do we raise our kids to do the same?

    Links mentioned in the show:

    Episode 39 and Episode 40 on the Mama Bear Dares Podcast tackle white privilege

    CEO/President of MOPS, Mandy Arioto, talks about empowering kids on Episode 41.

    Tesi's Facebook page to check out her viral post!

    LINKS FOR FURTHER READING

    The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander

    What does it mean to be long for so long? Reflections on Black Reality & White Delusion

    Columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote a five-part series for the The New York Times, When Whites Just Don't Get it


    Mama Bears, we’re online! Here’s where you can find us:

    Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let us know what you’re thinking!

    Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes. We are having so fun and really appreciate you listening!!

    Help support Mama Bear Dares by shopping with us! Here are our affiliate links:

    Do your Amazon shopping here. It costs you nothing and we get a bit of change from Amazon with each purchase! Yay!

    Today’s episode is brought to you by Audible. Get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial at www.audible.com/mamabeardares.

    As always, thanks to Wunderkind for the beats!

    Episode 43: A Midwife to the Next Life

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    On this episode of Mama Bear Dares, Leslie and Tesi talk to Lisa Gaston about death and dying. Lisa is a trained chaplain and mom to three grown children. Listen as she discusses what it's like to accompany individuals in the midst of the dying process and families as they face the death of a loved one. Together, we dig into dying, living, and the search for life's purpose. Lisa offers a unique look into a fascinating, complex, and largely avoided topic, gently encouraging listeners to face their own insecurities and views of death and dying.

    Other points discussed:

    • Serving God from wherever we are
    • Learning from life's minutiae
    • Our societal response to death: Is it the right response? How did we get here? How do other cultures respond to death and dying?
    • How do we die with dignity?
    • How can we prepare for death?

    LINKS:

    Lisa mentions The Five Wishes as a great resource for families as they prepare for their imminent (but hopefully far off) death. Check it out HERE.

    Lisa is starting a podcast! Keep an eye out for What's Up With Dying when she launches on iTunes.

    OBSESS SESH:

    Lisa is obsessed with LUSH cosmetics.


    We love hearing from you! What are you creating these days? What are you making? Email us at mamabeardares@gmail.com

    Special thanks to Wunderkind for the music! Keep bringing it!

    Mama Bear Dares is online! Here’s where you can find us:

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    Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes! Please take the time to rate and review us so that we can reach more ears. Thanks!

    Episode 42: Hamilton & Hip Hop for Moms

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    Following co-host Leslie's obsession with the story of Hamilton and the music of Lin Manual Miranda, she and Tesi jump in and discuss the phenomenon that so many mamas love! Episode 44 unpacks Hamilton's brilliance and explores the reasons why we believe that the rap and hip hop in the show has struck a chord with so many of our Mama Bears. Tesi and Leslie invite their resident music-loving, trend-finding influencer and sister Kait to the room where the podcast happens. Together, the trio dives into the power of music and its incredible ability to influence our culture and define generations. The episode ends with Kait's suggestions for Hamilton-lovin' mamas who want to expand their musical palette and step into the story-telling brilliance and sound of rap and hip hop.

    If you love Hamilton, Mama Bears, be sure to check out these artists:

    1. Outkast
    2. Chance the Rapper
    3. Kendrick Lamar
    4. Nicki Manaj
    5. Santigold
    6. Beyonce
    7. Noname Gypsy

    LINKS:

    Outkast | Chance the Rapper | Kendrick Lamar | Nicki Manaj | NoName Gypsy | Santigold 

    Also mentioned is the forthcoming Hamilton Mixtape

    We also discuss Kanye. If you're not already a fan, start with The College Dropout.

    Poet Aubrey Ryan talks about art as activism and understanding on Episode 33: Poetry for the People. Listen HERE.

    Hamilton the Musical's official website

    Lin Manuel Miranda on TWITTER

    If you find the story and history of Hamilton interesting, Leslie recommends all of these:

    Ron Chernow's biography of Alexander Hamilton

    Hamilton: The Revolution

    Revolutionary Mothers by Carol Berkin


    Mama Bears, we’re online! Here’s where you can find us:

    Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let us know what you’re thinking!

    Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes. We are having so fun and really appreciate you listening!!

    Help support Mama Bear Dares by shopping with us! Here are our affiliate links:

    Do your Amazon shopping here. It costs you nothing and we get a bit of change from Amazon with each purchase! Yay!

    Today’s episode is brought to you by Audible. Get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial at www.audible.com/mamabeardares.

    As always, thanks to Wunderkind for the beats!

    Episode 41: A Swirly Mess of Beautiful with Mandy Arioto

    On Episode 41, Tesi and Leslie interview Mandy Arioto, the president and CEO of MOPS (Mothers of Preschool) International, who will release her debut book Starry-Eyed: Seeing Grace in the Unfolding Constellation of Life and Motherhood in August.

    Tesi and Leslie absolutely love the book and were delighted by their conversation with Mandy, a woman who is smart, sweet, vulnerable, and full of inspiration. Mandy believes in intentionally showing up in relationships (even when it's hard or uncomfortable) and leaning on one another in times of celebration and strife. And, much like Leslie and Tesi, she goes BIG to cultivate joy! The women discuss the ins and outs of motherhood (both the inherent joy and pain), the challenges of finding time to embrace the Other Self, and the amazing opportunity women have to influence the next generation of humans. Ultimately, all three women believe somethings fundamental: Moms are world changers!

    Other ideas discussed on the podcast:

    • Women are idea makers! How wonderful to be so fully and constantly alive in this world ... walking around with astoundingly creative brains! Tesi, Leslie, and Mandy discuss the ways in which big ideas play out in their lives and how it impacts partnership, parenthood, and the general dynamic of a household.
    • The “Me-Too” factor—it's essential to motherhood and to healthy community! Whatever you’re going through, the hosts and guests of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast want you to know that they've been there, too. You'll hear these women loud and clear, listeners. “ME. TOO.”
    • Mandy revealed great tips for combating mommy guilt, and the women discuss their disbelief in a perfectly balanced life. This portion of the conversation will encourage listeners to recognize and accept seasons of life rather than live in constant expectation of a "perfect balance."
    • The women challenge the cultural assumption that if things are HARD, it means that we're doing them WRONG. Rather, they postulate that life can be difficult and that wading through the hurt and sadness is necessary in order to once again experience joy. The women explore embracing personal pain and teaching kids how to embrace hurt in the hopes of growth and maturity.

    Here's where you can find Mandy:

    Order Mandy's fabulous new book, Starry-Eyed, Seeing Grace in the Unfolding Constellation of Life and Motherhood, HERE. It's so good!

    Check out Mandy's website for more of her!

    MOPS is a great organization. If you're mom seeking friendship and community, it's a great resource!

    Mama Bears, we’re online! Here’s where you can find us:

    Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let us know what you’re thinking!

    Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes. We are having so much fun podcasting and really appreciate you listening!!

    Help support Mama Bear Dares by shopping with us! Here are our affiliate links:

    Do your Amazon shopping here. It costs you nothing and we get a bit of change from Amazon with each purchase! Yay!

    Today’s episode is brought to you by Audible. Get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial at www.audible.com/mamabeardares.

    Thanks to Wunderkind for the beats!