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Momming at Every Stage

Patty, Melissa and Erica expand on their experiences of motherhood and share resources and advice they've learned along the way. Whether you're a brand new mom, or are dealing with kids in their teens, this episode has something for everyone.

Key Takeaways

• Navigating different stages of childhood

• Resources to help you be the best parent you can be

• Exploring discipline methods

• Navigating the challenges of having teenagers

• Balancing social media and tech

• Share in the joys of being a mom

0:00:00.4 S1: I think it was like the day after my kiddo was born, I was holding him in my arms in the hospital, and I just looked at my mom and I was crying, and I was like, I can't believe I never wanted him... Like It surprised me just how much... I mean, I was built to be a mother, and I truly do love even the hard moments, love being a mom, that it is my favorite thing to do in the world, hands down is be a mom. And I think that's what surprised me the most about it.

0:00:31.0 S2:  Hey! This is the Wellness Essentials podcast. WE for short, the WE Podcast is all thing health and wellness, a place where women like you can come to be their authentic self and be a part of a community that supports them in their health journey and every stage of life. This is the podcast for engaging Health and Wellness entertainment with actionable steps you can take into your everyday life. No topic is off-limits when it comes to health and women's lifestyle. Let's face it, being a woman comes with all sorts of fun. Hear real raw conversations and teachings from experts and everyday women who have been in your shoes and get inspired to make things happen and have the tools to do so. This is the WE podcast. Okay.

0:01:36.7 S1: Let's get into it ladies, so thank you for being with me today and talking about your experiences momming at different stages of life, we have three of the Checkable Medical ladies here today. I'm going to introduce them. Melissa, Erica and Patty, could I have you guys just introduce yourself and tell me what ages your kids are... Melissa, you wanna go first?

0:02:07.8 S2: Melissa Brandt and I'm actually 45, I think age is really gonna be important for this topic today, I have a blended family, I have one biological that's 13 years old, and then my husband has three others from a previous life, and they are all in their 20s, two boys and a girl. So I am also a stepmother. Awesome. Erica.

0:02:30.9 S1: I am Eric Dvorak, and I am 36 years old, and I have a son, Benton, who just turned three in August, and then I am currently, as we're speaking, 29 weeks pregnant, with a little girl on the way so experiencing momming with a three-year-old and then one in the belly. That's so fun. And Patty tell us about your chicklets. Yes, so I'm Patty Post and I have three kids. I am 42 years old. I started having kids, I got pregnant at 22, so my oldest is 18, and then I have a soon-to be 16-year-old son, sotwo boys. And then my youngest is Lilly, and she is 11. Awesome, so we have a range of ages, range of genders, so why don't you guys tell me a little bit about your favorite thing about being a mom, if you can remember a good time about being a mom... I'm sure. There's lots of them. Oh yeah, I think there's tons of times where it's awesome to be a mom. More awesome times being a mom than being a dad, I would say, but I think it's because we're... We take lots of joy in little things of what our children do, whether that's just seen...

0:03:57.4 S1: I always love to be with the kids when they wake up in the morning, even when they're grouchy and saying, trying to get them to get in a happy mood, but it's the little things of the smile and the hugs and... “Thank you for doing this for me” and seeing them grow into being their own people. Ever since they were little ones, it's the big milestones, but then those little things in life that bring me an immense amount of joy as a mother... For me, I think with Benton being so young, he's just learning so much and you look at them like they're just like this little tike and they don't know a lot, and then all of a sudden he says this huge sentence and I'm like, my husband and I look at each other and we just start laughing, we're like, Where did that come from? Like what, I don't get that. We had to just do an all about me poster, 'cause he’s star of the week this week, and so I got to ask him some fun questions about his favorite things or what he wants to be when he grows up, and he was like, I wanna be a garbage man.

0:04:57.5 S1: He said what his favorite sport is... And he said hockey, which, like we don't ever do anything hockey at our house. Which for me personally, that's the one sport I don't want my children to play because I hate being cold, and of course, my three-year-old is already projecting that he's gonna be a hockey player, so awesome. But I think it's just like Patty said, learning who he is, and then just seeing like, Okay, you are only three, but there is so much knowledge in that little brain of yours.

0:05:25.1 S2: It's just really cool. So for me, my 13-year-old, he is smarter than his own good, so having him walk me through on how he sees just even life right now with what we're dealing with covid and school and politics and the world, just listening to how he looks at it and views it and feels about it, I think is really intriguing because it challenges me to potentially open my eyes or my mind to look at a situation differently. For the other three, they're out and about and experiencing the world. So reflecting back to when I was those ages, I was like, Oh my gosh, things have changed, or Oh my gosh, I'm so glad I grew up at the time that I did. It's a joy every single day. 

0:06:15.9 S1: So Patty, you have one of the oldest in the bunch that’s still at home, what do you feel like the transitions have been throughout the years? Do you notice your kids going through different stages of life or do you feel like it all kind of blends together? Do you notice those different seasons of childhood? Oh yeah, I very distinctly when they get their independence, especially when they get their driver's license, and they feel like “I can do anything “ and it's bed time. Bedtime has always been very consistent in our house, I like to go to bed early and want my kids go to bed early, 'cause I think we perform the best when we have enough sleep... Well, with boys, boys play video games, and they tend to play video games very late into the night, so suddenly you get the combination of... “I've got my driver's license and I've got these wheels I can get around. I'm turning into a man. I'm looking more studly, I'm caring about what I look like, so I'm getting the attention from people,” so that boosts the confidence. And then when they're home, then they're on this technology where it's directly into their ears.

0:07:39.3 S1: Kids communicating with them and then they're playing a game on a screen. They're literally in their own world, and that has been a very big thing for us to manage as parents. Bedtime, talking respectfully, being respectful in your house and not screaming at the top of your lungs and having some sort of discipline around it because they get lost on a Saturday, if they don't have a sporting event... They'll play for hours and hours, and hours and hours. I thought it would change when he went to...Will to basic training for nine weeks for the Army, and he had zero technology, so I thought he would have rid himself of being dependent on that, and he just went right back to it. It was like, maybe there's a little bit of a break. But that independence, and for my kids, they're very independent, has always been, and I see as they get more confidence, it gets into a new season of independence, whatever that may be, and so as a parent, that's what we have struggled the most with,. And my husband has more of a routine, very black-and-white set of parenting skills where I am more fluid and I will tolerate things for a lot longer, and then I'll lose it and I'll be like the creep. And they’ll be like, whoa, where’d that come from a mom?! 

0:09:03.4 S1: It’s like, 'cause this is my last straw guys! And we're in that season of parenting right now with that oldest as a senior and trying to manage respectfulness of the family at the same time. Well, Patty, I'm laughing over here because with a three-year-old, I'm experiencing the same thing as you are just 15 years different. But that's the struggle that I have as well, is the independence and then the discipline with it and being super independent and just wanting to do his own thing, and realizing like, No, there's a bedtime, we have to adhere to the bedtime. How would you, Melissa, have a kid that's just on the edge of...just turned 13, right? Yeah, so just went on a cusp of kid to teenager, what’s that season like?

0:09:56.1 S2: He is full teenager. Let me tell you, we’re into the hair gels we’re testing cologne. We have armpit hair, we have a little bit of conversation about girls and buddies and I love it, I embrace it, and it's really important that I continue to have those open conversations with him and make sure that he feels comfortable about talking about anything no matter what it is, and it's something that I really, really wanna keep close and top of mind in terms of that, because my upbringing, I didn't have that, and I think that has a lot to do with how I wanna approach and change how I bring my son up, so yeah, he's in it and I love it. And late-night gaming also, but hey, 10 o'clock is 10 o'clock. So he listens, which I have a really good boy, and he's very respectful. Awesome.

0:10:53.1 S1: So all three of you have partners that are very supportive of you as moms, but could you tell me a little bit about how you feel your partnership is as a mom versus a... dad. Do you feel like you guys have different styles and that you have different ways of parenting as men and women... Yeah, it can happen here. Kind of mimicking what Patty had said. Same thing, I feel like I have more patience. My husband and I have different levels of patience or different, I'd say buckets of patience, and when it comes to our child, I definitely have more patience and that motherly touch and just... I think as a mom you know, because they were inside of you, you know what they need without sometimes them even saying it and a dad doesn't quite understand that, and so I can have more patience because I think I understand my child on a different level, but like Patty said, I have a lot, a lot of patience, and then all of a sudden it's like snap of a finger that I just blow up, where my husband has a totally a different parenting style than that, but he's really, really good.

0:11:55.6 S1: I'm lucky to be a blessed with such a great partner.

0:11:59.2 S2: And there's just different roles that you play, and I don't think this is with every family, but we're pretty traditional in our family where Matt is the playful dad, and so Benton always goes to him to do the manly things, and the wrestling and the playing stuff, and then whenever Benton gets hurt, he runs straight to me and straight to mom because I'm the emotional support, and even at three, he knows where he needs to go and how to play both of us as well.

0:12:24.3 S1: That's the first thing you learn to do is how to pin you against each other.

0:12:33.1 S2: Yeah, so my situation is a little different. I was a single mom for quite a few years, raising Caiden, and so I had the opportunity to play multiple roles or both roles, his dad is very much in his life, but when I was with him, I made sure that it was our time and as a single mom and a career woman, I took him to meetings, I took him to city commission meetings, I took him to restaurants that were really nice, and he learned right there that respect and being... When you are spoken to... Is he answers and you set you in this eyes and... So I think, you know, now with my partner, it made it a little easier for him, I mean... His kids are grown and out of the house. So when Caiden came into our life, he was able to kinda sit back and kinda be a boy with him and not have such a parental role, which is okay, and it works for us, but you know, sometimes it gets a little frustrating and sometimes I'm like, Alright, you both are children, come on, help me on here, but overall, we have figured it out after 10 years, day by day.

0:13:42.7 S1: Awesome. So I don't have kids, I have a dog, and so my way of learning parenting is through dog-training books, how did you guys learn to be parents, did you just naturally wake up one day and you're like, I'm a mom, or did you watch your family, books, videos like, What is your resource for being the best parent you could be... I have two brothers that are 14 and 16 years older than me with six kids combined, so I learned a lot from my sister-in-laws and my brothers. My sister Jean specifically, I'd nannied for her for quite some time, and with four kids that were all under the age of 10, and I was 21, nannying, I learned a lot from her. And then I think you just, I don't know, learn as you go, and then you make lots of mistakes, you're like, I probably shouldn't do that again, and then a lot of times you make the same mistakes over and over again and you kind of course correct. Naturally. I've read parent books. I think I gave it to give it to you. Erica. 1, 2, 3 Magic.

0:14:55.5 S2: No.

0:14:57.0 S1: That was my first parenting book. That's a good one. I'm gonna write that down. I'll send it to you, it was the best thing for us with the boys, when Will was three and he was naughty and wouldn’t stop biting, kicking, just things that... Boy, jumping off of things. And then I did read a good book, Raising Men not Boys, that was a really influential book, and actually a lot of the principles that they teach in that book, my husband really practices. It's about holding boys accountable and having them do things around the house, if they're gonna commit to something, follow through with it, and just basic principles in life that you should know, but a lot of times, especially with boys, and I think we're seeing this in society right now, that they have mothers that do everything for them and they don't end up doing what they should around the house, and they're not taking care of household chores or a lot of the social things that should happen, and so I'm attempting to have my boys do it, although I am realizing that right before my eyes, they are doing things I'm like, This is what I want to prevent from happening.

0:16:16.3 S1: But just happens. Yes. Can't prevent everything. No. Sometimes you can course correct. You be like, That was a real jerk thing to do, like don’t say that to your sister. Or Why did you just pick up and turn around and all of your stuff is still sitting there in the kitchen for someone else to pick up, and it's little things like that, but it snowballs, and as they become an adult and get married, then that wife is gonna be like what the heck, he always makes toast and leaves everything out and then goes to work and then I'm left to pick it up, and it starts with your toast and then it goes to the kids and then it goes to your hobbies with boys specifically, I'm trying to work on that. And I did from a book... And just learning teachings, I guess. What do you two do think? Is momming something you learn? Is it something that comes naturally? Did you pick it up some place? For me, 'cause I'm fairly new at this. I haven't been doing it for very many years, I think there's some stuff that is just innately in you as a mom that you understand...

0:17:31.4 S1: But there's a lot of things that I have to go and Google is a good friend of mine. I also have been blessed with a best friend who has children, she has a 12-year-old now, so she's been mama for a while, and she has three boys, and so I glean a lot of knowledge from her, which is nice, so having a community of friends who know what the heck they're doing is great, but the discipline thing, we had a pure angel of a child for about two and a half years of his life, and then recently, I don't know who came aboard, but somebody took my innocent little boy, and replaces him occasionally with a naughty one, and so honestly we’re at a loss. We didn't know what to do, getting notes from school and not that he's a bad boy, he's just at that age where he needs to start learning discipline, and that is an area where my husband and I did not feel comfortable 'cause we just didn't know what to do with the way he was acting out, and so now we're doing a program called Discipline That Connects... I believe that's what it's called.

0:18:38.0 S1: We can put it in the show notes. It's a course and we do it once a week with each other on Tuesday nights, and then implement it for a week on what we learn and so far it's going well, but we had to turn to a course that we had to purchase because we were just kinda at a loss, 'cause we didn't have that knowledge, so I think it's a mixture of both. There's things that you know and understand, and I think also you have to flex and do what's best for your child, each child is completely different from the other child, so I'm sure with Patty she might discipline her children a little bit differently, each one of them, because one method might not work for the other child, and so we needed to figure out what would work for our kid and so far so good, but... Yeah, it's been a tough one. Did you find any resources as a parent to learn to parent. Figure it out as you go.

0:19:36.4 S2: Well, when I was young, I didn't ever think I wanted to have kids, I wanted just to be a CEO and travel, and I didn't even think that I was wanting to have a family. So when I did, when I was pregnant with Caiden, like Erica, I had friends who were already parents and still close, and I learned from them, but I also really relied on my relationship with my husband and my son and just watch him grow and... We put them through Montessori, which I went through that as well. And just making sure I was very much a part of his education and communication, and just really hands-on learning, opening the doors even when he's three or four, or saying Thank you and Please and cleaning up after himself. So I think that's really important, the etiquette and going back to chivalry and respect. I didn't have time at that moment of my life to read a book, I was busy running businesses and figuring out my own life, so... I think we turned out okay.

0:20:43.0 S1: What's one of the most surprising things you guys have found about being a parent, either about parenting itself or about yourself when once you became a parent? I think for me is just how much I like it. I honestly didn't think that I wanted to be a mom for most of my life, it wasn't something... I don't know when I would see other people's children, and to be honest, this is gonna sound horrible, I'm not very fond of other people's children either.

0:21:10.2 S2: I love my son, I love being a mom, but I'm not one of those people that’s like, Oh, I love kids.

0:21:16.7 S1: My kids boogers aren't bad, but your kids boogers disgust me, so that was just like, I've always been just not into kids as much as the other women who I surrounded myself with, so I didn't know if I wanted to be a mom and even six months before Benton was born, I had a conversation with my friend. Still questioning that, but then I think it was the day after my kid was born, I was holding him in my arms in the hospital, and I just looked at my mom and I was crying and I was like, I can't believe I never wanted him. It surprised me just how much I was built to be a mother, and I just love, I truly do love even the hard moments, love being a mom, that is my favorite thing to do in the world. Hands down is be a mom, and I think that's... What surprised me the most about it. Did you guys have any surprising discoveries through your parenting process.

0:22:13.9 S2: I've learned to live by an example, 'cause when you have little eyes on you all the time and watching every single moment, even though you don't think they're paying attention to you, really understanding that I need to set a great example, be a role model and be humble, be honest, be transparent and mess up, and that's okay. In my child's eyes, so not always having the strong mom face is not my approach, and I think that's really weird from what my upbringing was in my career with my son, it's real and I love it.

0:22:52.3 S1: I learned that it's not like being a nanny, and a lot of times I'm not good at discipline, so I still struggle with that, that I'm not their friend, I'm not their nanny, I'm their mom, and I need to have more control of that role and it has to be more thoughtful. I always knew I was gonna have kids. I always knew I was gonna have two boys and a girl, and I love kids, like any kid that I see, I will stop talking to you and I will go play with that kid, so I love kids any age, I think they're cute and fascinating and hilarious. And the world revolves around children. I'm not that strict person, I have a very joyous childlike way about me, and I like to connect with kids that way, and dogs, kids and dogs. My husband gets mad because he says “why aren’t husbands included in that?” Like in our business cards, I put lover of kids and dogs, and he's like, Why isn’t husband on there? I don't think that my mom is like that too.

0:24:14.8 S1: I think it's, again, because I was surrounded with little kids at a really young eight... That makes a difference. Yeah, for sure. And for me, I wasn't... I think the one and only time I really babysat was when I was like 13 years old, so I think that is a huge...

0:24:31.6 S2: That makes a huge impact. Totally, the way you were raised. And if you were surrounded by them...

0:24:35.8 S1: Yeah, if I've already changed 200 poopy diapers by the time I was 15, it's really not that big a deal, or temper tantrums or trips. I really spent a lot of time with kids, and I think that Will... He claims that Will was the first child that he held when we had him, and that's crazy... Right. And he was the same, I didn't know I was gonna have kids. But my boys talk about having kids, my daughter is like, I don't think I'm gonna have kids, but my boys want kids. 

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So Erica, you have a tiny one with another tiny one on the way, little kids, they require so much of your time and your energy, what do you do for yourself to replenish that energy and make sure that you keep your own wellness top of-mind.

0:26:07.0 S1: For me, I have to wake up early.

0:26:10.2 S2: And I mean that by... I am the type of person who recharges with quiet time, I need that otherwise, if I don't get quiet time or me time, I get a little cranky. And so the only way to do that in my household is to get up a little early, and so I get up early and I do my workout, I have  quiet time, I do my devotions, I have a good hour to two hours by myself to kinda do the things that I wanna do in the day to then do everything for everybody else for the rest of the day, and so

0:26:43.0 S1: That's what I do and my husband is really good about... We don't have a set schedule or anything, but if I wanna go see a girlfriend or go get coffee or do something on the weekend, we do kind of like trade-offs where I'll be able to do that and I can get away, and then he does the same thing with his guys, and so I would just make an effort to just continue to stay true to who you are personally, because like I said, being a mom is my favorite thing to do in the world, but at the same time, I don't wanna lose who I am. And so just making sure that I'm finding the things that bring me joy outside of being a mother and continuing to do those, 'cause sadly one day, he's not gonna be in the house anymore and he's not gonna call me, but once every two weeks, hopefully more than that, but you need to continue the things that bring me joy. Well, listen, Patty, you guys have teenagers in the house, what are some of the challenges of having teenagers under your roof... I know it seems like a whole different world now than when we were teenagers, and they’re so much different from us, like a whole other species, almost...

0:27:50.8 S1: What's it like parenting teenagers?

0:27:53.3 S2: I can go first. It is about social media and always being plugged in. Just figuring out that balance, obviously he's in school all day long, but when he gets home, he obviously needs downtime as well. I really feel when I was his age, I had so much homework, or sports or something, so I didn't have any downtime or boredom, so when I got home from sports and I had to clean up and maybe hurry up and eat dinner, then it was bedtime. Well, with him, yeah, he's in sports, but it's always on his phone or communicating some way, shape or form, and... Yeah, it's just trying to find that balance, but you know, having respect for his time, but also our time and making sure we're not losing that bonding time.

0:28:40.8 S1: Your question was, What's the hardest thing about raising teenagers... What's it like raising teenagers, 'cause like I was saying, it's so different from our experience as teenagers, we didn't have all the social media pressure, we didn't have technology in the classrooms, we went out and rode our bikes and came home when the street lights came on and now, it's just a completely different world. Yeah, I just did it last night with my daughter, she's a tween, she had a friend over, and another friend was really jealous because they were posting pictures of each other and looking like they were having fun without the other friends, and so she got mad and I was impressed that they were expressing how they felt, to say, just, I feel bad when I'm not included and you two are hanging out and I'm disincluded, and I said to her, these problems have lasted forever, I told her times that I remembered that this happened with friendships, it's just when it happens with you all, it's immediate, and it's good that you can share your emotions and you're close enough to say, hey, that hurt my feeling, but you can't always hang out together and you're gonna need to learn to maybe be all left out it's just gonna happen.

0:30:04.7 S1: And I think that's what social media does. It makes you feel left out, and it happens so rapidly that they are dealing with a whole set of things that they are left to interpret so much from social media and then sit with that emotion in solitude. And I think that would be really challenging. And I think emotionally, they're not old enough to process it as they should, so they don't react probably as they should, and it's a whole set of complex challenges that as adults, we are able to navigate through pretty easily, and not even easily, sometimes it really hurts when you feel left out, it's probably one of the worst things to feel like as a child other than being bullied, and they feel it a lot because it's in their face with social media. Do you guys ever stop worrying... I feel like there's so many things to worry about with kids like my parenting them in the right way, am I making sure they're getting formed to be a full-fledged adult some day... Like they're not at home right now. Where are they like, do you ever stop worrying and how do you deal with that worry? I'm not a worrier of a mother, so I am not the person to ask that way, my husband is though, and I think you should have one parent that is.

0:31:30.9 S1: 'cause I think if I didn't worry all the time like, what's that gonna do? Nothing, it just makes me nervous. I worry all the time, but I think I do.

0:31:42.6 S2:I create scenarios in my head and I worry all the time.

0:31:46.4 S1: But I will say, I think that might be something with moms who had premature babies and who had to have babies who were in the hospital for an amount of time and just kind of went through some trauma with that, and I think you're just from the get-go, are kind of on high alert of things that go on with your child, I will say there's certain things that I don't worry about it all that my husband will be super quick to react to, but I'm just like, Just chill. It's okay.

0:32:17.2 S2: And then other things where it's the opposite, where he's like, Well, don't worry about it. That won't happen. It's fine. But yeah, I do worry and I try not to. I still make it as three and we still have the video on him, and every night after he goes to bed for a half hour, I'll go on and tuck him in and make sure his blankets and pillows are away from his face, but he doesn't need that anymore at three years old, but I just still do that 'cause... He's my baby.

0:32:45.2 S1: Right. Call me crazy. Adorable, Erica. Can you be my mom? Yes, Patty, I'll come tuck you in. What are some of the stranger milestones that you guys remember over the spectrum of the years, what are some things that stick out as like, This is a milestone I remember in my parenting journey or in my kid's growth journey, is there a time where you, Patty, you've had three kids, and is there a time where you're like, Oh my gosh, we are finally done with diapers, is that a milestone for you or sending them to school on their own, what are those milestones that you remember from your parenting journey... Totally. Diapers. Being done with diapers, that was huge. We remember that being done with day care costs, that was huge. When my son told me he had his first pubic hair, that was a big deal. Then we'll have one with my daughter when she'll get her period that will be a big deal when the kids go to their first dance or like a formal, driver's license is first time, literally sitting in the seat and your child is driving you around is a big deal. 

0:34:11.7 S1: Melissa, has Caden taken you for a drive? 

0:34:14.9 S2: No comment. I'm known in our household that I'm not a very good driver, I don't know why they say that, but I like to drive fast and I don't know... And I'm in a safe vehicle, but my son is a very, very good driver and he can back up that car and he loves to park it and move it, and I trust him on that. And going back to your question on milestones, he is my only really... And everybody's like, What's your favorite age? Or what's your favorite thing about Caden as he's growing up? And every year it's different, right, when he explores or says or does or whatnot, so I don't know if there's a milestone... I don't know, I think he just woke up with armpit hair one day, and I was like woah... Right. We're here and now he talks really low. And “hi mom”... Yeah, I love it. I don't know, he keeps me on my toes and always challenges me and which I absolutely love, and I tell him every day, and now he’s into fashion and expensive stuff, I'm like, Well, I hope you have a really good job.

0:35:31.4 S1: So would you... Or I suppose the milestones come a little faster when they're young, like that...

0:35:37.6 S2: Oh yeah.

0:35:38.4 S1: Yeah, we have milestones all the time all the time, but I think the ones that have been the funniest recently, it was just like, we're potty training, so how excited we get for him to poop in the toilet is amazing. I never knew how excited I would be at the beginning of it. He's a little boy, and this is maybe too graphic for some of our audience, but there are times where we like make sure he went and poop in the toilet, we look... And I'm like, Buddy, that's better than Momma can do! Where did that come from? My goodness, he's such a tiny little body, I'm like, Where did that come from? And just celebrating those things that are just so gross that you normally wouldn't celebrate that you're like, Okay, you get two M&Ms, 'cause you went poopy in the potty, and just little fun things that I don't know, you just... Those are the milestones right now that I'm dealing with in life are more of the gross ones, but they bring a lot of joy and excitement, which is funny too. It's a big deal for a three-year-old, so I know for some moms, they have their children and they have a built-in community of friends and neighbors and family members, how did you guys build your community of moms and feel like you had a support network when you became moms, and even as you are moms now, I'm sure teenage moms still need support too.

0:37:12.0 S1: I had a best friend that in my own Mom that I talked to, but I was so young that I didn't really have anyone else that had gone through it. My other ones would be my sister-in-laws that I would talk to about it, but there are so many things I had no clue, I sort of thought the baby's gonna sleep through the night. I sort of thought that breastfeeding was gonna be super easy, and I brought my jeans to the hospital that I wore pre-baby thinking that I would look normal again after delivering a baby. I didn't have anyone else that had gone through it, so I was the first to do it, and so I just kind of had to experience all this stuff and just roll with it. For me, as I said before, my best friend who had already had three boys by that time, and so she was a huge help, just prepping me with that, and also I had a child later in age, so to speak, not so much nowadays, but I was 33 when Benton was born, and a lot of my friends had either had children or they...

0:38:20.7 S1: Honestly, I was lucky, there was about a handful of five women in my network who had children within four months of me, and so we were able to make those connections. But in today's day and age, you have Facebook groups that you can join. You can follow influencers who are moms and experts who have a bunch of just great information, and so I turn to social a lot to get a lot of information, and then the network of moms that they have around me, I didn't necessarily build the community, but I sought out the social stuff, so you can kinda create your own digital community in today's day and age. How about you, Melissa. What was your tribe like...

0:39:03.8 S2: I was fortunate enough to have a very secure and present mother who was very much involved and still it was in my life, she's one of my best friends, and then my husband's mom... Caden was the first grandchild on both sides, and then my step-mom, so I had an incredible family support in addition to friends, Caden never had a babysitter growing up, so my parents would fight over babysitting him and supporting us. It was wonderful. And very blessed to have them in place.

0:39:41.2 S1: Awesome, so since we are a medical health company, so I wanted to talk a little bit about how new medical technology kinda helps you in your parenting role and how you use it to keep your family healthy. I know Erica, maybe with a tiny little one, are you using telemedicine a lot or calling the nurse line a lot? How are you using technology to keep your family healthy? Yeah, I'm not using it as much at this stage, at three. But his first two years of life, especially if you send your kids to day care, like they're sick all the time, and I mean it. It's like every other week they're coming home with a fever or cold or something, and especially as the first-time parent, you don't know if it's something serious or not, and you just don't have the time to drop what you're doing and then make an appointment and half the time you can't even make an appointment, so I would use telemedicine like all the time with Benton. Especially if you got certain rashes, you can now use your phone to show the photos, and the doctor would be able to diagnose it straight from there, if it's a concerning rash or just a child rash from a diaper or whatever it may be, and so I would use it all the time, and it saved us and our family one, a ton of money and then two,...

0:41:04.5 S1: A ton of time. And so, yeah, I would always rely on that because it just happens and it's proven that fever spike, like after 4 o'clock when clinics close, or after 7 o'clock when clinics close, like your body just kind of start to spike the fever then, and that's what happens with kids, and so it's either you go to the emergency department or you call the doctor first to see if you need to take that step to do that, so... Yeah, we used it all the time and we'll continue to use it, but thankfully, knock on wood, we don't have to use it as much anymore now that he's getting a little older and his immune system is a little bit beefier. Melissa, do you utilize any kind of technology?

0:41:48.0 S2: Yes. Actually, we use it quite often. We use it all the way from checking out warts, which is awesome, so you're not driving your kid in to check out a wart with the doctor. Caden just finished PT. So it's also nice to not have to get him out of school and for four hours or what not, bring him in, go to PT and now he can use his arms, so we try to use that whenever we possibly can, plus it allows us when we're traveling, if something comes up, so yeah, that's always our first line of defense is to try that first.

0:42:22.6 S1: And Patty, of course, we know you dreamed up some medical technology, what’s some other medical technology that you do use for your family or that if you wanted something in the future, what would you use? I think it's just having anything that's at home, that you can make a decision and move on. And that's the biggest thing for me. You had asked a really good question for about the kind of mom that you are about a worrying mom, and I'm not a worrying mom, and I wanna take action and then I wanna go, and that's why Checkable Medical exists, but we do use telemedicine still for someone as an injury or we'll log on to ask if we need to go in, and I think some day, here's what I think, I think someday we will be able to have a scanner, you put something black behind it, and then you can scan it... And you can see if there is... You're not gonna get to a level in the tissue down to the bone to see if it's broken, but I think you can tell by the amount of swelling if someone should go in, and I think that will be something in our future within the next 10 years, to help with broken bones and trauma. I also think like when you have a cut, 'cause there are so many cuts that people are afraid of, Well, how do I bandage this? What am I gonna need? Oh, they'll do it better at the...

0:43:54.1 S1: When you go into emergency or urgent care, and granted, healthcare professional is superior to any of us that are not, but that's not to say you shouldn't have your first aid stuff, you shouldn't have a butterfly kit, you should have some sort of glue that you can put te wound together and that you should know that it needs frequent cleaning to prevent infection, and it's actually not so much the stitches or the bandaging, it's the risk of infection. Which happens at home. That doesn't happen when you're in the clinic. So I really think that as parents that we should know about a lot of these things that we should be empowered to do at home and educate ourselves and then have the proper training and products at home to make it so you can accomplish what you set out to do. We are so lucky to live in a world that we have all these tools in our tool belt, in just being able to hop on with the doctor via video chat is an amazing thing and saves so much time and energy. Do you guys have any other mom hacks or mom tools that you would recommend to any of our listeners, like an app or a device or anything that you're like, I can't live without this...

0:45:11.5 S1: I have to have this on my mom tool box. There's a NyQuil app that's really good. The NyQuil app will help with tracking a fever and then your medicine intake, which I think is really good. How about you two.. What's your hack? Can be anything, even like Google Calendar, Melissa, I know you're a big fan of using that to manage your family, do you guys have anything like that that you suggest other moms use?

0:45:41.1 S2: Yeah, I have two. Yes, if it does not exist on the Google Calendar, it does not exist at all. In my life, because that's how I live with my ex-husband, my current husband and my child, my child actually had an email address before he was born, and then second hack is, I believe my son... He was probably one of the first to have a cell phone in his hand, the reason why I did that is to teach him responsibility, but also accountability, making sure he's not on the wrong things, he's not texting, he's listening to rules, he's responsible for expensive phone, only people know in his contacts is who is interacting with, things like that, and so I think those are two things that have really helped me as a mom as well as build my relationship and show my son that he can actually be responsible and be held accountable for a nice... He owns it. It's in his name.

0:46:39.9 S1: I think for me, Benton’s so little that there isn't much on his end of things yet, but... That is probably coming soon. I would say what you had said, Lora, just the calender, making sure that my husband and I are on track or like I said, he was Star of the Week this week, if that wasn't in my calendar, I would have forgot about that and I would have been a bad mom this week. So every time I get a notification, school and schools are really good about having technology now, which is super, super nice to update you on how the day went, what they need, those kind of things, but I have to put things in my calendar constantly, even if Pull-Ups at school, if he's out of them, put it in my calendar, so then I make sure that the next morning he has Pull-Ups in his bag to send to school or whatever it may be, because you're just kind of running around with all the responsibilities in life and without that, I would not do very well. You know what, I have a really good app that you guys should download, and especially if you have multiple people in your family, and it's called Maple. And it is basically a project management software platform for your family, and you can do home projects, taxes, groceries, errands, school, pick up, whatever it is on your priority. Chores, bills and expenses, pets, weekly meal planning, kids activities, vacation trips, date nights, child needs, personal planning, all of these...

0:48:13.8 S1: It is like Trello, but in a nice app for your family, and so then I can say to the kids, Okay, I want you to wash the floor in the kitchen with Fabuloso, and I want you to vacuum your room, and I want you to spend 20 minutes reading, you do those three things, and then it can be tied to expenses, like you can go to Chic-Fil-A this weekend or whatever, it's that detailed. I highly recommend it, and then I can give it to Andy very passive, aggressively to say, You need to go to these four different places and don't give me any lip. That's awesome. I love that there's so many ways to organize our lives these days, I too... I'm a fan of the Google Calendar and check it, wake up and live by it, so I can imagine it be great family tool as well. So as we're getting ready to wrap up here on our podcast about mom-ing, what advice or words of encouragement would you have for other moms like yourself, maybe new moms about-to-be-moms or moms that are just struggling with teenager issues, what would you tell them?

0:49:28.2 S2: You are not alone. You're not alone, rely on your friends, have fun and enjoy it because it goes way too fast.

0:49:42.9 S1: For the new moms, I would say, you know, there was an advice that I got from, I think it was like my breastfeeding class or something, and the woman said, just remember that this is not your forever, so when you're in the middle of the night and you've had two hours of sleep and you're exhausted and you're crying and just... You don't know how you're gonna do it, just like... Just remember that this isn't your forever, and that helped me in two ways, help me, one, to know that there was light at the end of the tunnel, and then two, to really appreciate the stage that my child was in, because I think we just go through life and we just do do do go go go and... We don't savor a lot of the moments. And so I will say that when Benton was a baby, I had savored every moment, even when I was tired, just because I had that advice. So for those new moms, just remember that this isn't your forever and it is hard, but it gets so much better and just savor the moment, or don't savor the bad moments, it's easier to be the...

0:50:45.0 S1: Yeah, those two.

0:50:46.0 S2: Remember those aren't forever. I think somebody mentioned breastfeeding, I don't know why someone didn't tell me how breastfeeding was so uncomfortable, so I didn’t forgot about it has tarnished my mind, I love being a mom, but... Oh my goodness. Prepare yourself. 

0:51:08.0 S1: Yeah, you only had one child though too, so maybe it was bad enough for you like I'm not doing that again. Maybe. You're a smart one. You never forgot. Yeah, I would say respect children as they get into be adults for the people that they're becoming, because they might not be like you or your husband or your partner, and they have their own sets of opinions and they have their own life experiences that have formed them to who they are. And I think a gentle guiding hand is nice and use a lot of humor in what you do and go through life laughing and smiling and enjoy their relationship. Well, thank you for sharing your sage mommy words of wisdom. Thanks for talking about different ages and stages of parenting, and for our listeners out there, I would like to encourage you to check us out on social media, we would love to hear from you about your experiences being a parent in some of your momming stories. So check us out on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and all of the platforms we’re all there, tiktok, we're there. Anyway, thank you ladies so much. And we appreciate your knowledge.

0:52:38.1 S1: Thank you.

0:52:42.8 S2: We hope you enjoyed this episode of The WE podcast as much as us. If you want more wellness goodies, head over to the Wellness Essentials Podcast.com for show notes, lengths and resources mentioned in today's podcast. Remember to subscribe on your favorite podcast platform to get all the wellness details as soon as they are released, cheers to living your healthiest and happiest life.