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 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 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 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!

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!