Episode 224: In Praise of Good Enough

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On Episode 224 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie celebrate the virtue of “good enough.” Though the women value excellence and strive to be the best versions of self possible, they spend this Mama Bear Mini talking about motivation, expectations, and the virtue of imperfection. They discuss enjoying hobbies for the sake of enjoyment rather than mastery, cultural influences that impact our leisure behavior, and the joy of celebrating the “okay-ness” of others. This episode, an ode to the “good enough” mother/friend/human/Mama Bear, will inspire listeners to embrace imperfection and find her power there.

Links to work referenced in the podcast: Article 1 | Article 2

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Episode 222: The Stuff of Summer (Screens, Teens, & Bikini Bodies)

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On Episode 222 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Leslie and Tesi dig in and discuss all things summer. They begin with a conversation about self-love and body shame…namely how we as women internalize the messages surrounding what we wear to the beach. The co-hosts believe deeply that we all have bikini bodies and encourage listeners to celebrate theirs! The women also discuss new research and parenting teens with screens over the summer months. They wrap up the episode talking about health, healthcare, and advocating for ourselves as women seeking attention, understanding, and treatment.

 Check out the screen-time study referenced in the pod HERE.

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Episode 218: In Praise of Lunch

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On Episode 218 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie settle in for a discussion about slowing down and savoring life, even in the midst of the school’s end, summer’s arrival, and the never-ending spectacle of the White House. Lunch, really, is a metaphor for political activism, a fight against the patriarchy, and self-care. The women remind listeners to take a step back the perfection demanded of women by society and instead embrace their true nature during this season, whatever it may be. The sisters/co-hosts end the episode with an impassioned OBSESS SESH, during which they discuss books, television, recipes, clothing, and a questionable DIY health remedy.

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Episode 215: A Response to Floods & Fear

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On Episode 215 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, co-hosts Tesi and Leslie devote their Mama Bear Mini to talking about terrorism, what it is, who is committing acts of terror, and how the media, politicians, and our culture contribute to how we view the topic. It’s an interesting discussion that’s less about actual acts of terrorism and more about the way this modern threat shapes the way we think and the way we live our lives. Leslie also reports on the flooding in the Midwest. This episode is a bit intense, but as always, the sisters do their best to educate and inspire.

Links: Charles Grassley | Article

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Episode 213: (S)Heroes: Sudan & She the People

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On Episode 213 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie discuss a few headlines that have their attention lately. They spend the hour looking at politics around the globe and the ways in which women are insisting upon and leading major change. They discuss the female-led protests in Sudan where women have shown up and watched their dictator, Omar Al Bashir, step down from decades of horrific leadership, and the power that women, particularly women of color, have in the upcoming caucus and election here in the States. They encourage listeners to watch for the women around them who are leading us to more love and more compassion and do what they can to lift their sisters up and encourage positive change in all corners of the world.

Sources: She the People : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | Sudan: 1 | 2 | 3

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Episode 211: Mama Bears Gone Wild

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On Episode 211 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie discuss the college admissions scandal and the influence of wealth, privilege, race, and connection in accessing higher education in America. The two discuss the waste of the mama bear exhibited by the people involved in “Varsity Blues” … and ask themselves hard questions: If we had the wealth and influence, would we do the same? Are there ways in which our mama bear has gone wild in her own unique way? Has she been wasted? The women discuss ways that the mama bear can indeed go wild and how we can actively work on reigning her in when need be. They challenge listeners (and themselves!) to NOT be the ones to use our voices and our rage for those who are already at the top and who are already the benefactors of all the privilege the world offers, but rather use the mama bear on behalf of the truly vulnerable among us.

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Episode 210: The Simple Life

On Episode 210 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie take a break from politics and gnashing of teeth to reflect, recharge, and “get their house in order” so that they can be more effective in the passionate march toward more love and more justice. The women talk about the beauty of simplicity and the challenge of finding peace and balance as a modern-day American woman. They focus on money, media, parenting, and relationships and within each category discuss ways to simplify life in order to live with clearer intentions and meaning. The Mama Bear road to revolution is always complex and today it points inward.

Jen Hatmaker’s Blog Post | Marie Kondo Money Tips

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Episode 208: Stop Interrupting Me

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On Episode 208 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie talk about the power dynamics of language in relation to gender. In an episode that critiques the culture in which we are raising both boys and girls, they share stories, statistics, and why it’s important to encourage one another and teach our daughters to stand up for ourselves in conversation. The sisters are vulnerable, passionate, and adamant about encouraging listeners to recognize the power of your own voice and use your Mama Bear strength to assert your words in the world.

“Stop interrupting me.” / “I just said that.” / “No explanation needed.”

You'll find the article by Soraya Chemaly HERE.

Episode 204: On Intersectionality | Episode 199: Toxic Masculinity…Again | Episode 183: Boys Will Not Be Boys

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Episode 204: On Intersectionality

On Episode 204 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie go back to school to learn more about INTERSECTIONALITY. The co-hosts are earnest in their discussion and do their best to define the term, learn its history, and drive home the importance of considering interectionality in our feminism, advocacy, and march toward justice.

Check out some of the articles and resources mentioned in the podcast:

What is Intersectionality … | 5 Reasons Intersectionality Matters | YouTube Video | Amy Schumer Video | RBG Biography | Grace and Frankie | The Female Persuasion

Listen to Kimberle Crenshaw’s podcast, Intersectionality Matters. Find it HERE.

Listen to Episode 163: Let's Do Better By Black Mothers & Babies: A Look at Racism in the American Healthcare System.

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Episode 202: Can A Mama Bear Get to the Good Place?

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On Episode 202 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, co-hosts Leslie and Tesi talk about their love of Kristen Bell, Maya Rudolph, and The Good Place. Without any spoilers, the two women discuss a quandary presented in Season 3. Can any of us really get to the good place? Are the systems in place keeping us from eternal peace? Is it even possible for a modern-day Mama Bear to be a truly “good” person whose actions reflect her heart? The two women have so many questions and they explore this idea with candor and curiosity. For good measure, the sister-co-hosts end the show with a few segments that listeners are sure to relate to.

Want to learn about Leslie’s Clothing Swap? Click here. | Check out this list of sustainable clothing sources. | Crude Skincare | Argrow’s House | Patagonia | Grund America

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Episode 200: Marie Kondo is a Mama Bear!

On Episode 200 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie talk about the Marie Kondo craze that has so many of us captivated and curious. In true Mama Bear fashion, they provide commentary on Kondo’s Mama Bear methods by acknowledging her sometimes counter-cultural method and her critique of gendered social norms and the excessive consumerism so often exercised in the Western world. The women praise Marie Kondo’s emphasis on gratitude and celebrate her quiet revolution of equality. With a small analysis of the “mental load” so many women share and talk of a little xenophobia thrown in for good measure, the women have a great time discussing the KonMarie method and the layers it entails.

Listen to some of our favorite Mama Bear Minis if you’re looking for cultural commentary on the teens in MAGA hats at the Indigenous Peoples March:

Make America Kind Again | Make America Kind Again, Part II | Boys Will NOT Be Boys | Cultural Appropriation

Watch Kondo work her magic here and check out some our favorite articles responding to the Marie Kondo craze:

Vice | Vice 2 | McSweeneys | NBC | The Atlantic | The Lily | The Huffington Post

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Episode 199: Toxic Masculinity...Again

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On Episode 199 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie celebrate the writers (we see you, Mama Bear marketers!) behind the Gillette Razor commercial and discuss how to talk to those in our lives who disagree or take issue with the message behind the ad. They dive into the cultural waters of toxic masculinity, once again breaking it down and analyzing the rub. How did we get here? How do we do better? How do we talk to people we love about being a woman in this world? The two women share their ideas about the commercial, discuss the government shutdown, and then tackle two listener questions, ultimately leaving listeners with a new dare for a new day.

Want more episodes where the Mama Bears discuss toxic masculinity and how we can do better? Try these!

 Episode 183: Boys will NOT be boys | EPISODE 142: PEACE OUT, PATRIARCHY! (AKA THE HOLIDAY EPISODE!)

EPISODE 134: THE BIRDS, THE BEES, AND BEYOND (#METOO) | Episode 67: Rape Culture and Why We Can’t Not Talk About It

Watch the commercial here and read more here.

Listener questions (send yours to mamabeardares@gmail.com!):

  1. I honestly feel continuously stressed. Your podcast helps in that I feel part of a community of people who are all feeling this. But it also brings up even more issues I Didn’t know! It turns out the more you know, the heavier the head. All this to say, I’m so glad I know more about what everyone around me is going through but some days it just feels really overwhelming. How do you stop from feeling that all the time?

  2. How do you balance lifting up the women around you and also holding other women accountable to our highest potential?

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Episode 197: You're Never Too Old To Do the Scary Stuff

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On Episode 197 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie sit down to rehash highlights from 2018, discuss the things they were thankful to live through, cast a personal and podcast vision for the New Year, and celebrate the dawn of a fresh page of the calendar. They discuss their favorite books and pop culture moments, laugh a lot, shake their fists a few times, and admit some hard truths. Ultimately, anyone listening will feel encouraged to live intentionally and be reminded that they can do the hardest things.

Find the podcast episode (Do No Harm) referenced in this episode here.

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Episode 196: The Other Side of the Mic with Tesi & Leslie

On Episode 196 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie switch seats and instead of hosting the show, they are interviewed by life coach, friend, and podcast host extraordinaire Rumaisa Rahman Khawaja! The ladies love dishing about their relationship (sisters, besties, and biz partners), their marriages (they married a pair of brothers), their parenting styles (they have 8 kids between them), and their passion for hosting a podcast to inspire others to action. It’s a fun switch that will introduce listeners to the Mama Bear Dares hostesses AND keep long-time listeners entertained with new insights (you’ll learn about Leslie’s biggest fear) and observations (like Tesi’s favorite place on the planet). Happy New Year to all the Mama Bears! 2019 is sure to be the best one yet!

Love Rumaisa and want to hear more from her? Listen to Ru’s fabulous podcast Real Talk with Ru HERE!

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Episode 194: The Criminalization of the Poor (AKA The Holiday Episode!)

On Episode 194 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie discuss the alarming facts pointing to the criminalization and additional hardships on America’s marginalized communities. After exploring the fees that our justice system places on the marginalized, the high cost (and inconvenience) of poverty, the additional scrutiny on the Earned Income Tax Credit by the IRS, and the outright criminalization of our country’s poor, the sisters ask listeners to think about news and the perspectives they encounter critically and to always challenge themselves to spread love and compassion out into the world … during the holiday season and beyond.

You’ll find the links discussed in the podcast here:

Episode 173: The High Cost of Poverty | Jazmine Headley and the Danger of Mothering While Black | Increasing Court Fees Punish the Poor (NPR) | Propublica Article | Jazmine Headley Video

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Episode 189: Raising Politically Active Kids (and a Midterm Election Re-Cap)

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On Episode 189, Leslie and Tesi talk about the midterm election and their quest to raise politically active kids. They celebrate the nation’s small victories, reiterate their belief that the #babiesgonnasaveus, and leave listeners with a re-cap of the Water Party, an annual event that this year raised nearly $60,000 for clean water solutions in rural Tanzania. This episode is a reminder to listeners that progress is made at a pace that is almost always slow and steady, and encourage all the Fur/Plant/People mama and papas bears out there to keep doing the hard work in the direction of love and compassion.

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Buy Water Party Jewelry HERE!

Help us reach our goal! 100% of your donation goes to a clean water solution in the village of Nadaruru. Learn more about the Mama Bear’s travels to Africa HERE and the Water Party HERE.

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Episode 185: Make America Kind Again, Part II

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On Episode 185 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie re-visit the topic of kindness in America in 2018. Not only do they reiterate the importance of modeling kindness and teaching kindness to the next generation, but they also discuss how to live a healthy life of kindness. Thanks to a listener suggestion, they take a look at Brene Brown’s theory that the most compassionate people are the most boundaried and they discuss how to incorporate healthy boundaries in the Mama Bear life. Also discussed is the very real and very sobering fact that America has historically not ever been kind to certain groups of people. They acknolwedge this blindspot and vow to work even harder to steer the ship away from an undeniably sullied past and toward a kinder, gentler future for ALL people.

LINKS:

Go back and listen to MBD Podcast Episode 181: Make American Kind Again, Part I.

Read Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie | A summary of Harvard Study mentioned in the podcast can be found HERE | Greater Good in Action findings can be found HERE

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Episode 183: Boys will NOT be boys

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On Episode 183 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie discuss rape culture, toxic masculinity, the Brett Kavanaugh appointment to the Supreme Court, and why they, as fierce Mama Bears, MUST act as cultural disruptors in this moment in time. In other words, they discuss why and how the dangerous old adage “boys will be boys” and everything it stands for must be stopped. The women lament the current state of our culture, but ultimately offer tangible tips on how to talk to the kids in your life about sex, consent, and responsibility, and raise up a new generation that honors the humanity of all.

Links for further study: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Recommended reading: Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape by Peggy Orenstein

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Episode 181: Make America Kind Again

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On Episode 181 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie remind listeners that they refuse to let kindness die. In fact, they audaciously believe that what America needs is more kindness! The women also recognize the responsibility we have as parents raising children in our current American culture to make sure that the virtue of kindness outlasts the test of time. Because, in some spheres, kindness seems to be on life-support, co-hosts Tesi and Leslie spend Episode 181 discussing what we can do to instill this value in the kids we influence. How do we raise kind kids? It turns out, there's actually a language to kindness and it's discussed in this fun and fascinating episode!

LINKS:

A summary of Harvard Study mentioned in the podcast can be found HERE | Carol Dweck's Mindset is a must-read | Greater Good in Action findings can be found HERE

Today's Show Sponsors: Purple Mattress & True Botanicals

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Episode 179: Relax & Reflect

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On Episode 179 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie celebrate big birthdays and back to school! This Labor Day Mama Bear Mini is devoted to milestones, lessons learned, and the beauty of taking the time to check in on your own life through a little time and reflection. Tesi and Leslie both share some of the pivotal lessons they've learned over the last decade, enjoy a few laughs, and encourage their listeners to mark moments, check in with friends, and love the life they've been given. Th episode is filled with sisterly advice as the women practice the reflection that they preach.

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