MamaFuel: The Podcast
EP046: Alissa Daire Nelson on switching guilt for gratitude and moving from fear to freedom

EP046: Alissa Daire Nelson on switching guilt for gratitude and moving from fear to freedom

May 22, 2019

Alissa Daire Nelson is a modern-day superwoman, but not in the way that term is usually used. She is bold and courageous, she takes space when she needs it and models for her girls what it looks like when a woman – who happens to be a mother – follows her dreams and asks for support from her family to get there.

I loved learning about Alissa’s early lesson that as parents, we often resort to using our anger and our power (vocal, physical or otherwise) to control situations with our kids that trigger us, and what she chose to do instead.

Alissa decided years ago to draw on this quote from Scream-Free Parenting as her guide: “we are not responsible FOR our children, we are responsible TO them.” That sentence has shaped how she, her ex-husband and her current (and last!) husband parent their two girls.

Taking radical responsibility for and to herself has meant many conversations and reckonings when things have gone sideways, which in turn has given Alissa’s teen girls permission to mess up and make up, knowing they always have a voice and that they’ll be heard.

Alissa talks about how her girls are the best of friends and shares how asking good questions about when things go well has helped the whole family focus on the positive by choosing to engage in positive behaviours rather than harp on the negative when it arises.

It’s fascinating to hear how Alissa and her co-parenting team manage their daughter’s potentially life-threatening chronic illness and how they’ve used practical solutions to empower both of their girls in all aspects of life.

There’s so much richness in this week’s episode, so be sure to listen all the way to the end and then join the conversation over in the MamaFuel Virtual Village, our free group on Facebook where the discussion deepens every week. 

If you’d like to check out Alissa here and on Instagram here.

EP045: Shari D Teigman on carving her own path as a woman and a mother, the maverick way

EP045: Shari D Teigman on carving her own path as a woman and a mother, the maverick way

May 13, 2019

I love all my guests, and this week's is no exception. Shari Teigman is a whirlwind of straight-talking, powerhouse New York determination and grit. In this week's conversation we talk about her realisation that to live and thrive, she needed to break away from the traditional mother and matriarch roles handed down through her Modern Orthodox Jewish upbringing, and what it meant to do that in the community where she was raised.

Shari still lives and mothers in the place where she grew up; she's founded her business, launched three podcasts, raises her two boys on her own and keeps exploring different ways to belong in this new, truer form of herself. Shari and I talk about the insidiousness of mothers being valued for being selfless, how living in the place you grew up can blind you to the structures that others impose upon you, and how damaging it is that we don't learn to trust ourselves from the outset.

We talk about Byron Katie's The Work, which you can learn more about here, how important it is to choose the stories you believe, the importance of learning to be ok with yourself FIRST and foremost, how damaging it is to judge and compare ourselves to others, and so much more.

I know I'll be listening over and over to this episode, and I can't wait to hear what you think of it. Make sure you visit us over in the free Facebook group here to continue the conversation about this episode.

If you'd like to learn more about Shari and her work, you can find her here online, check out her Facebook profile or follow her on Instagram

EP044: Maternal mental health: my journey and why we need to talk about it

EP044: Maternal mental health: my journey and why we need to talk about it

May 6, 2019

At the time of recording, it’s the end of Global Maternal Mental Health Week (early May 2019). This is an episode with a difference, and it feels vulnerable and frightening to share it with you.

But I’m doing it because this story matters. My mental health journey matters, and as I’ve been sharing it this week online, the response has been incredible. So many women are suffering silently, convinced they’re alone. They aren’t. You aren’t.

In this week’s episode you’ll learn why I know first-hand that we must keep conversation and education growing around maternal mental health. I learned about it the hard way, and I wish I’d known of people talking about it at the time. Maternal mental illness is an epidemic that must be stopped.

If you know me outside of motherhood, this episode might surprise you. If you know me as a mama, you might still be surprised because I present as (and am) fiercely smart, sharp-minded and quick-witted. I’m also incredibly fragile, just like everyone else out there. Some people sail through life without any mental wobbles. Many don’t. Those of us in the latter camp need support, visibility and most of all, we need the shame and stigma associated with mental illness to be dropped.

If you’re a return listener to MamaFuel, you’ll know that mental health struggles come up often during our conversations. We’ve talked about depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive behaviour, post-natal bi-polar and more. If any of those topics speak to you, click on the links above and you’ll find much to comfort and possibly educate you.

If you haven’t ever wrestled with your mental health, I’m so happy for you. But chances are you know a mum (likely many) who are struggling and aren’t talking about it. For them, please listen to this episode and share it broadly. We all need to be part of the conversation.

If you’d like to join the MamaFuel-Up Sessions, starting May 7th, 2019, please click on this link to join us. We’ll be gathering for five consecutive days, one hour per day, to start sharing stories, shifting perspectives and collecting tools to help us lead our best life, even when it feels impossible. I’d love you to join us, it’s absolutely free.

If you’re struggling, please reach out to your local community, a friend or a health professional near you. Nothing is unsolvable, once we find the right help.

Here are some resources in the UK, Canada, South Africa, the US and Switzerland. If you have any more to share for your country, please email me here and I'll gladly add them to list list. Thank you. 

Here's the link to the MamaFuel Virtual Village, where the conversation about this episode will continue!

EP043: Sarah Tucker on living her biggest dream and stepping into the spotlight as an artist and a mother

EP043: Sarah Tucker on living her biggest dream and stepping into the spotlight as an artist and a mother

April 29, 2019

If you’re a fan of The Voice UK, you’ll likely recognise the voice of this week’s guest. Sarah Tucker was a breathtakingly talented contestant on the 2019 version of the show, and she captured hearts and carried the dreams of many mamas as she soared in the competition.

A few months ago Sarah’s run on the show came to an end, but not before scores of people had fallen under the spell of her voice. What few people knew, however, was what Sarah had gone through to get onto that mythical stage. In this week’s episode, Sarah talks about her lifelong dream to become a mother and the parallel dream she tirelessly pursued to become a professional singer.

We talk about Sarah’s difficult passage into motherhood following a missed miscarriage, the power of manifestation, spirituality, social media and the role it played in triggering a crippling post-natal depression after the birth of her second child Josh, and much more.

For more detailed show notes, click here. If you’d like to talk to Sarah directly and ask her some questions, then join us over in the MamaFuel Virtual Village here where we’ll be carrying on the conversation.

If you’d like to learn more about the MamaFuel Sisterhood, be sure to email me here at anne@mamafuel.me and I’ll get right back in touch to tell you all about it. And remember to keep May 7th in your diary, because that’s when the fun will begin!

To follow Sarah's journey and hear her amazing voice, check out her Instagram profile.

To learn more about her mortgage business, click here

 

EP042: Sarah Sproule on talking to kids about sex in ways that connect and deepen bonds

EP042: Sarah Sproule on talking to kids about sex in ways that connect and deepen bonds

April 15, 2019

Many parents dread having "THE TALK" with their kids, fearful of using true anatomical language, saying too much or having to answer uncomfortable questions.

Today's guest, Sarah Sproule, learned first-hand about the importance of the talk AND how much of an impact having (or not having) the talk could have on her social circle and her children's network of friends. Ever since, Sarah's dedicated her life to helping parents navigate the potentially treacherous waters of talking about sex in ways that connect and build stronger bonds with their children.

We explore how to talk to your kids, framing their new knowledge in ways that will preserve their friendships (aka: you're lucky to know this stuff, not everyone's parents talk to them about this), how to talk to them about sexual pleasure, and how to create respectful boundaries around conversations that not every family is prepared to have. 

I loved Sarah's perspective on culture, and how we're now at the opposite of the "don't talk" spectrum where some people feel forced to talk about things they don't want to discuss yet with their children. We talk about sexting, videos, consent, cyber intimacy and so much more. Listen for the nugget later in our conversation when Sarah explains about the four-to-one ratio to help keep your relationship with your kids on the right track. 

To learn more about Sarah's work and find out how you can have supportive and loving conversations with your kids about sex, visit https://www.thetalk.ie/ and be sure to join our free Facebook group here to continue the conversation with other mamas. 

EP041: Hannah Hardy-Jones on post-natal mental illness, celebrating wellness and new beginnings

EP041: Hannah Hardy-Jones on post-natal mental illness, celebrating wellness and new beginnings

March 25, 2019

Hannah Hardy-Jones could be a stranger in a far-off land, but instead she's a brand new soul sister. Our digital paths crossed somewhere on the interwebs a few months ago and a gentle conversation began, quickly deepening as we discovered shared values and interests. 

Our first conversation, recorded to share with you, felt more like one in a long string of conversations than a simple beginning. I'm deeply moved by Hannah and touched by her openness about her experiences with post-natal bi-polar disorder. 

Hannah's generous sharing about her life-altering experience and how she manages it now invites us all to look closely at preconceptions or stigmas we may hold about mental illness. We move from trauma in the community (Hannah lives just outside Christchurch and we recorded this conversation a week after the horrific massacre of innocent Muslims in their places of worship), to the importance of sisterhood and support, especially in times of illness, and finally to Hannah's newest baby: an offering that's making the world a better, kinder place for mothers. 

Find out more about Hannah and her work by clicking here. 

Be sure to join the free MamaFuel Facebook group here, where the conversation continues. 

EP040: Debbi Carberry on self-acceptance, self-compassion and the value of building resilience

EP040: Debbi Carberry on self-acceptance, self-compassion and the value of building resilience

March 20, 2019

This week's guest is a force of nature, a leader and a wise, wise woman. Debbi Carberry is a therapist, a clinical social worker, possibly Brené Brown's twin, a mama of four, owner and leader of five businesses, loving partner, friend, and so much more. 

Debbi and I go deep straight away, talking about shame, self-acceptance, self-compassion, kindness and building individual relationships with each person we love. As our conversation weaves from love to self-criticism, via the power and impact of silent genetic messages that are passed from generation to generation, we exchange our experiences as mothers, leaders and women doing our best, every day. 

To find out more about this conversation, visit https://thecenteredmamaproject.com/podcast/ep040-debbi-carberry/

EP039: Sally Wyatt on the benefits of living outside your comfort zone, celebrating failure and adjusting to life abroad

EP039: Sally Wyatt on the benefits of living outside your comfort zone, celebrating failure and adjusting to life abroad

March 11, 2019

A few months ago I was awe-struck, watching magic in motion. The woman who orchestrated this particular piece of real-life magic is my guest on this week's episode of MamaFuel. Sally Wyatt is an adventurer, a kind, energetic and intelligent woman who happens to be a mama to two tiny human girls, a writer, a dreamer and a courageous soul who spends a lot of time outside her comfort zone.

Sally moved to Switzerland less than a year ago (at time of recording) and has already built up a deep network of close friends and soul sisters through a H-U-G-E leap of faith she took late last year. Her willingness to make things happen and to find ways of making things work is inspiring me, and I know it'll inspire you too. 

In this week's episode we talk about the benefits of living outside your comfort zone (where Sally is happiest), finding your way back to yourself in the midst of mothering and all the things life throws at you, life as an expat, how moments of change and failure remind you that you're alive, why teaching kids that failure is a natural part of life sets them up for success in life, what it's like to be part of the volunteer team creating a massive event for TEDxLausanneWomen, and so much more. 

If you'd like to find out more about Sally and read some of her beautiful and poignant writing, click here to read full show notes and connect with Sally. 

When you've finished listening I'd love you to join our free Facebook community, where we'll continue the conversation and where Sally is available to answer any questions or expand on what we talked about in this week's episode. Click here to join the Facebook group.  

EP038: Musings and passions of an 11 year-old with her mama (meet my daughter, Carolina)

EP038: Musings and passions of an 11 year-old with her mama (meet my daughter, Carolina)

February 28, 2019

This week I'm proud to introduce you to the little being who made me a mama. Her name is Carolina, and she's an incredibly special soul, a super smart girl and a wonderful, complicated, being. We're pressing into the preteen years and today's conversation, as well as being a time capsule of where she's at and how she's thinking, is probably representative of the concerns and priorities shared by a lot of kids her age. 

We talk about dyslexia, what it was like to be undiagnosed and struggling at school, how it felt to get help with her dyslexia, bullying, big transitions and getting used to new circumstances. Carolina shares her thoughts on what parents can do if they think their kids are struggling with dyslexia or any other learning differences, what she thinks about some new guidelines we've just agreed and you'll get a front seat for a MASSIVE event that happened on the day of recording.

It's an unusual and sometimes funny episode which I've left totally unedited, because that's how we roll. I adore my girl, I'm privileged to be her mama and I can't wait for every single day we spend together. She blows my mind every day and I'm happy to share a little of our bond with you.

I'd love to know what you think. Make sure you head into our Facebook group to join the ongoing conversation there. 

EP037: Celia Ward-Wallace on raising activists, upstanders (not bystanders), and building community in her neighbourhood and around the world.

EP037: Celia Ward-Wallace on raising activists, upstanders (not bystanders), and building community in her neighbourhood and around the world.

February 13, 2019

OOOOOhhhhhh my goodness this week's podcast episode is good...

Meet Celia Ward-Wallace. She's an activist, a community building and organiser, a powerhouse entrepreneur, a gatherer of beautiful souls and a mama to two beautiful black girls growing up in South Central Los Angeles.

Along with her husband, Celia is raising two upstanding citizens who are already making a difference in our world. In this week's conversation, Celia and I touch on racial discrimination, what it's like to be growing up black in today's America, activism and the role it played both in her upbringing and how it continues to impact her life now, spirituality, white privilege and how to educate ourselves about it, and so much more.

I could spend ages writing about this conversation but honestly: LISTEN. Then SHARE. We need to be having these (sometimes uncomfortable) conversations. 

If you'd like to connect with Celia, get a list of her recommended reading or learn more about her work in the world, click here to get everything you need. 

When you're finished listening, be sure to head to the MamaFuel Virtual Village to join the conversation about this and other podcast episodes. It's a totally free group and we're waiting there to have you join us. 

And finally, if you'd like to join the MamaFuel Sisterhood, drop me a line at anne@mamafuel.me and let's talk.