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 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 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 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 40: On Privilege

On Part 2 of our series exploring privilege, co-hosts Tesi and Leslie focus more on what privilege even means. We hear from Kait Klipsch (another Mama Bear sister!) on how she has seen her own privilege play out, as well as how easy it is to ignore it as part of your reality.

The co-hosts also explore the disheartening injustices Kait has witnessed while working in the criminal justice system in Brooklyn, New York, with the aim to educate themselves and their listeners on how injustice happens everywhere, including in places like the Midwest.

Today's episode expands on Episode 39, which released Monday, so please go back and listen for context. Tesi and Leslie hope this series with Kait will give Mama Bears the frame of reference they need when they hear current conversations surrounding the phrase "white privilege." After the deaths this week in America, everyone at Mama Bear Dares believe it's of the utmost important to unpack the phrase so that we can learn to live out our lives with compassion.

PRIVILEGES DISCUSSED:

  • Coming from a family who had reliable housing, plenty of food, two parents and loving siblings. One that supported and encouraged and could also financially support one of its members if he/she fell onto hard times.
  • Seemingly straight identifying
  • Having a common name (Examples: Kait, Jennie, Cynthia, Mandy, Meg)
  • Being white
  • Choosing when you have sex and with whom
  • Positive encounters with police officers
  • Access to quality education, not just K-12 but also undergrad and graduate schools
  • Ability to leave a community that is not good for you financially, mentally, emotionally or spiritually
  • The idea that privileges build on one another to set you up for success long term

OTHER IDEAS DISCUSSED ON THIS EPISODE:

  • Those with the least power tend to be the ones who are exploited the most
  • The power of a story
  • Is it worth it to know about your own privilege? To come face-to-face with it and realize even though you've worked really hard to get to where you are, there were other forces outside of that which benefit you? Is it worth it to fully realize those same forces hold back people without the same privileges? Is it worth it to know such these? And is it worth it to teach your kids?

LINKS TO IDEAS DISCUSSED ON THIS EPISODE:

Kait used to work for Brooklyn Justice Initiatives, part of the Center for Court Innovation in Brooklyn, NY.

Kait currently works for STEPS to End Family Violence.


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 39: The Eye-Opening Power of Travel

It has been a really intense week here in America. From Alton Sterling and Philando Castle to the five police officers in Dallas, this week has been seemingly consumed with death. If there has been one thing that is shared among Americans, it's grief.

On Episode 39 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, co-hosts Tesi and Leslie welcome another sister-in-law, Kait Klipsch, to the conversation. Because of Kait's unique outlook on life and their shared interests, the women talked for more than 2 hours. In Part 1, the women deep dive into Kait's extensive experience in living and working in other countries. The women talk about how traveling to new worlds—whether it be across the world to Sri Lanka or across the city to the south side of Chicago—opens eyes to new realities and are so often worlds away from Kait's own experience as a white, upper-middle class woman.

OTHER IDEAS DISCUSSED IN THE PODCAST:

  • What does it mean to work in an area that has virtually no privileges and then go home to your safe, warm, well fed house? How do you live in that tension?
  • How do we as Mama Bears allow our kids to learn these lessons of privilege while also watching them struggle with the reality? How do we watch them walk through it without trying to step in and save them from it? What value is there in our kids knowing the experiences of other races, cultures and countries?
  • Immigration. The false narrative that people immigrating to America would choose America over their own communities if there was enough work. Kait's experience in Mexico opened her eyes to the reality.
  • The idea of identity and how, in America, we are forced to create a singular identity. But when you travel in another country the people don't know your story and so you are free to just be who you are in that moment.
  • Communication. How even when we don't speak a common language, much can be communicated. The shared business of being human.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, FOLLOW THE LINKS ALSO DISCUSSED IN THE PODCAST:

The organization Kait worked for in Chicago was Heartland Alliance.

The organization Kait worked for in Mexico was La Fundacion Comunitaria.

The organization Kait worked for in Sri Lanka was Professional Psychological Counseling Center of Batticaloa.

Episode 23: On Immigration, Compassion, and Complexity with Cynthia Vanderpool Garcia


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!