In a few short weeks, my daughter Louise will turn one. I would say “bring on the tears,” but trust me– they are already here. Motherhood has been an ongoing series of paradoxes for me, and this first birthday is no different: On one side, I am extremely sad that my baby girl will be passing this milestone, as I wish she could stay this sweet age for much longer. On the other side, I am extremely happy that I will get to “meet” my daughter as she continues to grow into her big, shining personality that I can already see peeking out.
The paradoxical nature of motherhood, especially in the first year, is something that no one could prepare me for.
If I could somehow pass the gift of total understanding of the many worlds that exist and contradict each other in new motherhood to all new moms, I would, but unfortunately it can only be understood through personal experience. Each new stage brings a set of paradoxical emotions that can shift from one moment to the next: “If I don’t sleep soon, I’ll surely die.” (Pause, look down at your baby’s face as you rock them at 3 AM.) “This moment is so precious, I never want it to pass.”
Fortunately, and also unfortunately (this is a post about paradox, after all), there are many resources available to new mothers designed to help them navigate these contradicting stages. The fortunate aspect of this is clear: the at any point in time we can consult a book, podcast, blog, Instagram account, YouTube video, email our pediatricians, or text our friends. An unfortunate aspect of all of this information is that all of these resources may say something completely different from one another, but all with equal conviction.
So who are we to trust?
I can’t answer that question for all women, but I can tell you what I tend to trust: sources with multiple viewpoints, each one explained from a rational, but also an emotional perspective. I had searched long and hard for a motherhood-themed podcast to fit these criteria but never felt satisfied until I stumbled upon Katie’s Crib.
Katie’s Crib is hosted by actress Katie Lowes and is presented by Shondaland. Katie brings on celebrity guests, friends, medical experts, and more to explore the paradoxical nature of motherhood. Each aspect of motherhood that is explored is presented, perhaps unintentionally, from both the factual side and the emotional side of the issue. Furthermore, each issue that is addressed on this podcast is looked at from various viewpoints with highly different experiences and attitudes, all with the feeling of being extremely raw and real with your best mom friends.
Not all women are mothers, but all women know and love mothers. If understanding and providing support to mothers (yourself or other women) is important to you, I highly recommend this podcast. Some of my favorite episodes (starting oldest to most recent) are:
“Why is Breastfeeding so F*cking Complicated: Part 1” (featuring my favorite celebrity mom, Kristen Bell)
“I’ve Got the Postpartum Blues” (featuring a favorite comedian of mine, Casey Wilson)
“Building Your Village”
“What a Year!”
Do you have any podcasts to share that validate, inspire, and educate women? Bonus points if they are produced and presented by women as well.