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How do I cope with the load of motherhood? How do I raise good humans when I'm just trying to survive? How can I take care of my own mental health? And the biggest question of all: how do I redefine myself after going through the metamorphosis of motherhood? On the Happy as a Mother Podcast, host and psychotherapist Erica Djossa teaches strategies to help you cope with the psychological and emotional load of motherhood, guides you on a journey of self love and acceptance, and answers your to ...
 
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The Happy as a Mother Podcast has been live for 100 episodes now, can you believe it?!?! I polled my stories for ideas on how we should celebrate the occasion and y’all said you’d like to hear from my husband and get his perspective. Well, you asked and we delivered! Frenel Djossa aka Mr. Happy as a Mother is here to answer YOUR questions about his…
 
Postpartum blues are a normal part of having a baby. Between sleep deprivation, hormone changes, and the overwhelming responsibility of caring for a newborn, “normal” life can seem impossible. Many moms experience weepiness, irritability, and mood changes as they adjust to life as a new parent. But these symptoms aren’t always typical baby blues—th…
 
Can you remember the last time you slept for five hours in a row? If an infant lives with you, there’s a good chance you can’t. Sleep is essential for us to function and makes us better parents, but sometimes when we talk about sleep training our kiddos, moms can be consumed with guilt. Are we putting our own needs above the babies? And does sleep …
 
Do you find yourself being the “stuff manager” in your home? Do you struggle with keeping up with all things toys? Or have you fallen into the myth that “once I find the perfect bins, the right shelves, color code and label everything - it will solve this constant mess?!” The thing is, mess is not an organization issue, it’s a clutter issue. Declut…
 
Have you ever felt like a simple parenting decision was going to have a lifelong impact? Have you been paralyzed with indecision because you don’t know what is best and don’t want to make the wrong choice? Parenting this way is suffocating and erodes your trust in your own intuition. Psychologist and Stanford clinical assistant professor Dr. Jen Do…
 
Conversations with our partners become very high stakes after children are born. We come from different upbringings with different ideas of what parenting looks like, yet need to learn to work as a team. This can be a recipe for tense conversations or conflict with those we love. Licensed marriage and family therapist Elizabeth Earnshaw is here to …
 
Do you find yourself wrestling with whether to have more children? Many moms I work with struggle with this decision for a number of reasons such as finances, the ideal family they had envisioned, their past birth or postpartum experience, and the readiness of their partner. While other parents may have come to the conclusion that they only want on…
 
When you first learned you were expecting a baby, did you have a preferred gender in mind? Some people do and for a variety of different reasons. It can be hard to admit, but you may have even experienced some sadness if you learned the baby wouldn’t be your preferred gender. This is completely okay and more common than you might think. But since i…
 
Do you worry about how your child will adjust to a sibling? Do you fear you will struggle with dividing your love and attention between children? Expanding your family comes with many mixed emotions about what this transition will mean for you and the relationship you have with your first child. Marriage and family therapist Bryana Kappadakunnel is…
 
Do you find that you are keenly aware of the shifts in the emotions of those around you? Are you wired to please others? Have you ever found yourself feeling panicked for no reason? Anxiety and trauma responses can cause our bodies to act in ways that may not make sense, and that can be scary. Clinical psychologist Dr. Quincee Gideon joins us to he…
 
Do you struggle with family showing up unannounced? Does your family buy too many gifts for your child? Does your mother or mother-in-law ignore your parenting values and do things their own way? You are not alone. In today’s episode, Dr. Ream and I answer your questions to help unpack why boundary setting feels so difficult especially when it come…
 
There are many roads that lead to motherhood, and some moms even start their journey solo. But what happens when you’ve chosen a partner to start a family, and it doesn’t work out? What does ending the partnership mean for your parenting situation, and your child’s situation? When we’re thrust into single parenting unexpectedly, the custody agreeme…
 
In the wake of George Floyd, many parents’ eyes have been opened to the injustices that BIPOC communities face on a day-to-day basis. This has also left many parents questioning how to "do the work" and raise inclusive children. Figuring out where to start when it comes to anti-racism and social justice work can feel quite daunting. Dr. Traci Baxle…
 
Do you ever feel more disorganized and frazzled compared to other moms? Do you regularly forget things you know are important because of how much you hold in your mind? While these might sound typical of most mothers, major factors of ADHD that often go undiagnosed in women include forgetfulness, inattentiveness, distractibility, and disorganizatio…
 
Pregnancy, labor, and delivery are hard enough. But having a baby in NICU is terrifying and can be traumatic. Kristin Reinhart is a social worker and perinatal mental health specialist with 15 years of experience. More importantly, she’s a mom who survived 2 NICU experiences. She’s here to share her experience, how to know when you need help, and h…
 
Pregnancy is a time with lots of new restrictions, and it can feel like we’re losing our freedom. A lot of those new rules stick around during nursing too. With so many “Don’ts,” how do we know what’s okay? Can everything really be that bad for the baby? OB-GYN Dr. Jennifer Lincoln is going to help us unpack the effects of alcohol, CBD, and cannabi…
 
Do you work as a mother or spend time on a hobby? Motherhood is hard enough without losing those other pieces of ourselves that are so important. But society has a clear idea of what a mom should be, and it’s not always juggling corporate calls and leaving daycare pick up to your partner. Dr. Courtney Tracy the Truth Doctor is going to help us unpa…
 
New babies are snuggly and adorable, but they’re also a lot of work. Everyone tells us we need to babyproof our house, but no one tells us we need to babyproof our relationship. Or where do we even start to do that? Happy as a Mother Wellness Therapist Kameela Osman is a social worker and psychotherapist with over ten years of experience, and she’s…
 
Are you well rested today? I’m not! Moms don’t get a lot of sleep, and new moms get almost none. This can be hard on our brain. Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor is here to explain how we can best care for our brains during seasons of life when getting a full night’s sleep is all but impossible. Show Notes: https://bit.ly/2X4SGKW…
 
Growing a whole human and keeping it alive can feel daunting! What are you not allowed to eat while you’re pregnant? More importantly, what can you actually eat? How do you know? And the decisions don’t get easier once the baby comes. Am I damaging my child for life if I sleep train because sleep deprivation is getting to us all? What if there was …
 
Have you ever been on your way out the door, and then one of your kids flopped on the ground like a fish, because they wanted a different color backpack? Or put a well-fed and properly hydrated preschooler to bed only to have them come out of their room 5 minutes later and ask for a drink? These moments can be frustrating, but a lot of times, it’s …
 
If you’re an expecting mother, are you set on breastfeeding? If you already have a child, did your feeding journey go as expected? As moms, we often feel a lot of pressure to get everything right, and feeding is often our first introduction to this. Pressure comes from both ourselves and others to make our feeding experience go according to plan. J…
 
Do you find yourself constantly thinking about the glass of wine you’re going to have at the end of the day? Do you feel a pull to have a drink throughout the day when things get hard? Are the majority of your social events with other moms centered around drinking? Mommy wine culture has been made into a lighthearted merchandisable topic that can h…
 
Do you have a child starting kindergarten this year? That’s always a huge transition, but this year is even more of a transition than usual. Many of our kids haven’t been out of the house in a year and a half, and we haven’t been away from them in that amount of time either. Preparing for this transition and making sure your child is ready has alwa…
 
Have you ever been in a medical situation where you felt completely powerless? Have you ever had decisions made about yours or your child's care and felt like your voice was not heard?? There are so many situations that can cause medical post traumatic stress syndrome, and these are just a couple. Since so many mothers experience medical PTSD, I th…
 
Do you find that you get irritable the week before your cycle? Do you find that your mood or anxiety fluctuate depending on where you are in your cycle? You are not the only one, it is not a secret that our hormones play an important role in our overall mental health. Dr. Nichelle Haynes, a Perinatal Psychiatrist who focuses on mental health during…
 
How old were you the first time you heard the word consent used in connection with your body? For a lot of us, it was the tail end of some really bad high school video. But teaching kids consent—both that they own their body and are in charge of who touches and respecting others boundaries—can start a lot earlier than that. Psychotherapist Jessica …
 
I remember when I was getting ready to have my first baby and researching all the options out there—it can be so overwhelming! When it’s your first child, it’s hard to know what your birth plan should include, and as useful as the internet is, not all information is created equally. Mommy Labor Nurse and Registered Nurse Liesel Teen is here to help…
 
It’s six weeks postpartum. Your OB/GYN visit went well. Exciting things are happening. If you had a c-section, you can likely drive again, and you’re probably cleared for sex too. But are you really ready? You may still be bleeding six weeks after a baby. Even if your body has completely healed, are you really ready? Are you prepared mentally after…
 
If your best friend called you upset because her baby has a horrible diaper rash that she blamed herself for, would you hop on the bandwagon and agree that it was her fault? Or would you offer suggestions to get rid of the rash and remind her that it happens? If she lost her cool on her toddler, would you scold her? Or would you respond with care? …
 
Do you ever feel yourself snapping at your kids or partner when you’re not even angry, you’re just overwhelmed. That’s called overstimulation and it happens when your brain has 50 tabs open and trying to move back and forth is both frustrating and overwhelming. I find myself wanting to wear ear plugs around the house just so that I can hear myself …
 
Did you know that most moms will report experiencing some amount of memory loss during the postpartum period? If you can’t remember what you ate for breakfast, it’s okay! No other mom can either. As a mom of three boys I can totally relate to the forgetfulness and brain fog that sets in during those early postpartum days. Mom brain can be annoying—…
 
Did you know that the majority of mothers experience scary and intrusive thoughts in the postpartum period, but feel so much shame they hardly talk about it? Even worse, these intrusive thoughts can become debilitating and take control of a mother's life leading to postpartum Obsessive compulsive disorder(OCD).” For a lot of people, a thought like …
 
Understanding how your brain works is incredibly empowering. Maybe your go-to emotion is rage when your brain is at capacity or perhaps your brain gets stuck in anxious overdrive. Or perhaps your child's brain gets flooded with big emotions that appear as frequent tantrums, which leaves you feeling like they are intentionally disobeying. If we unde…
 
Motherhood can be an all encompassing journey. It’s hard to know when we’re not doing enough, and when we’re doing too much. The stakes have never been higher—you are protecting and raising a human being. The weight of the responsibility is real. But should motherhood have to cost your identity? Do you truly need to devote every cell of your being …
 
Regulating our own emotions can be difficult enough. Adding a wonderful little bundle of joy who also wakes up at 3 a.m. and may scream loud enough to alert the whole neighborhood can really complicate matters. And there seems to be anxiety around how our triggered moments might affect our children and what they think of us. Clinical psychologist D…
 
Parenting during a pandemic has been so hard! And now a swiftly developed vaccine has been rolled out, and members of my community have expressed a lot of anxiety about how safe these new vaccines might be during pregnancy and nursing. Dr. Marta Perez is an OB-GYN and she’s agreed to explain to us the risks of the vaccine versus not being vaccinate…
 
Has your relationship with your mother changed since becoming a mother? Author, international speaker, and transformation coach Bethany Webster has been here with us before to talk about the mother wound, and it really resonated with my community. So many people had questions about Bethany’s work, so she’s back today to answer audience-submitted qu…
 
We enter into motherhood with the promise of a village of support, and when we get here it can feel surprisingly lonely. The isolation felt in motherhood is a topic that has come up a lot in sessions with my clients and with the pandemic forcing even more isolation, a season of life that could already be lonely to navigate has become even tougher f…
 
Codependent habits and behaviours can prevent us from having meaningful relationships with our children and partners. We all want our children to grow up to be independent, but should that really be the goal? And is there ever a point in childhood when codependency is an acceptable norm? Psychotherapist Sian Crossley is here today to help us unders…
 
From the outside, everyone saw her as a successful woman and mother. Melissa met her partner when she was 19, had six children, and co-founded a well-known global toy company. But her happiness was far from the truth as she battled depression and kept it hidden for many years. Melissa was feeling smothered and resentment was building as she was sac…
 
Nothing tests us more than being a parent. One of those stages is dealing with potty training, bedwetting, and accidents. As parents, we become overwhelmed from information overload and are anxious as we navigate this time with our child. Today, we will look at all things potty training, bedwetting, and accidents from a medical perspective. Join St…
 
Screens have become such an integrated part of our lives and are so accessible. We can feel torn between using screens as a tool and feeling like we shouldn't use them because we've been told they're bad for our kids. Then to top it off, we have the pressure and worries of the pandemic as we navigate working from home and distance learning. Instead…
 
It’s time for a replay episode on a topic that raises so many questions for parents. Have you and your partner struggled to find your groove postpartum? Do you find it hard to prioritize each other and sex while juggling all. of. the. roles and responsibilities of being parents? Join the club! So many women I speak with wonder why they have no sex …
 
Our children are looking for and needing a connection with us, and our main job as parents is to foster a secure attachment with our children. Does disciplining our child and "making them unhappy" interfere with our bond? Is there a difference between respectful boundaries and being permissive? How do we handle discipline and still build that relat…
 
As you welcome your new child into your family, your identity and relationship with your partner instantly change. While navigating your new roles, it takes time to adjust our expectations of parenthood with the reality of our new roles. This can give birth to resentment, especially in new parents. A lot of this resentment comes from our needs bein…
 
As women, the connection with our mother is typically the foundation of our relationship with ourselves. To form our own sense of self, as a young child we internalize deeply, even into our brain chemistry, so much about who our mother is as a person. A lot of this is unconsciously inherited from one generation to the next including pain which is r…
 
As women, our bodies are constantly experiencing hormonal changes whether it’s during our menstrual cycle, pregnancy, postpartum, menopause, and so on. Did you realize there is a correlation between our hormones and how our brain functions? These shifts affect how our neurons work, the actions of our neurotransmitters, and the levels of our hormone…
 
Do you experience these thoughts?....I should be a better Mom. I’m a fraud. Maybe I wasn’t meant to be a Mom. What am I going to do when others find out I have no idea what I’m doing? Why can’t I be a perfect Mom like everyone else? Then this episode on Imposter Syndrome is for you! Imposter syndrome loves to creep in when you are trying something …
 
We know that becoming a parent will bring worry and anxiety. It comes with the territory. You’ve never been responsible for something more important than this tiny human you are now caring for. But where is the line between normal amounts of worry and paralyzing amounts of anxiety? Do you worry and wonder whether it takes up to much of your focus? …
 
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