Mama Needs Podcast - Episode 001

My people.

My people.

Jenn: Hi, and welcome to the very first episode of the Mama Needs podcast!  My name is Jenn, and I am so happy that you are with me today.  This podcast is just for you, Mama, because you matter! Each week I’ll be talking with another Mama, and as most conversations with women go, we’ll cover a multitude of topics, but mainly we’ll share stories of motherhood, all the ups and downs, lessons learned, and how these Mamas practice self-care. Each episode is intentionally 30-45 minutes at the most because “ain’t nobody’s got time” to listen to long podcasts.  So take a seat, fold your laundry, drink your coffee, do your dishes.  I know you’re multitasking and listening.  This podcast is sponsored by the Mama Needs Subscription Box. It’s a monthly subscription box to remind you to take time for what you need:  a little bit of self-care. I’ll be creating each box that includes 4-6 items: gifts for you, self-care tools and ideas each month on how to practice self-care.  Even better, the box is themed each month and a surprise.  Go check it out at MamaNeedsBox.com.  

So, this is the very first episode of the podcast, and I am so excited to be here with you.  I so appreciate you listening.  And just for a little bit, I want to introduce myself and what this is all about.  So, I’ll just go ahead and start. My name is Jenn Collins, and I have been a Mama for ten years. My oldest is ten.  She’s a girl.  Then I have a seven-year-old little boy and a three-year-old boy. They are crazy and loud, but awesome!  I love them very much! 

Now, my story starts a little different. I never grew up wanting to be a Mom, and I know that sounds so bad, but it’s not that I never wanted children.  It’s just that if someone asked me what I wanted to be, I said a singer or a dancer (which is terrible because I can’t dance!), but I just would never have answered “a mother.” I have a wonderful mother and a wonderful example of motherhood in my life, but I was afraid. I had all kinds of fears running through my mind all the time, and I just didn’t think that I was cut out for being a mom – and now I have three kids, so God is funny! 

So, because I had all these fears, becoming a mother was not something I could definitely say that I was ready to do. I think some women are like “Yes, I’m ready to have a baby.  Let’s do this.”  But I did not feel that way. I was like, “if this is going to happen, it has to just happen.  I don’t want to plan it,” and I am a planner,” so I had to kind of just let this go. And, all of a sudden – it wasn’t very long – those lines on the pregnancy test were clearly saying that I was pregnant.  So of course I was excited, overwhelmed, anxious. You know, I had all of the feelings.  I remember one of my friends – her name is Emily - told me that God gives you nine months to grow a baby for a reason. That really sunk in. Like, I do have time to prepare my mind and my body and my heart and our home for this little child that was coming. So, I think every Mom can agree that we are very thankful for those nine months – as hard and long as they may seem. But, when she arrived via C-section, which again was not planned, she was beautiful, the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen! Motherhood did not just click, and breastfeeding did not click. My recovery did not go well. You know, everything just has a process. And so, one of the things I learned early on was that I needed to be flexible and that this little person had feelings and desires, and she wanted to be in control of things. So, it was a big learning curve for me. I hadn’t babysat very much, and I hadn’t even changed one diaper – ever.  Whenever I did babysit, my rule was that the child had to be potty-trained, so I didn’t help myself very much. But my husband and I quickly learned how to do it very efficiently, and I would say we’re definitely pros now after three children. 

So, after we had our daughter, we waited for a little while and then God just really gave me the desire to have another child, and I hadn’t felt that the first time. Not, of course, that I didn’t want her, but that I wasn’t ready. This time I felt ready.  I wanted a baby so badly.  Every month nothing happened. I wasn’t getting pregnant. I was getting a little bit nervous about this because I had read and heard about secondary infertility and, of course, all the feelings and fears creep in, and you just think the worst about everything. But I remember it had been about eight months or so that we had been trying – and I know that’s not very long in the grand scheme of things – but each month felt like an eternity. So I wanted to go to the OB/GYN. We talked to her about what was going on and she recommended a book called Taking Control of Your Fertility. It’s one of those books that almost looks like a textbook, but it can help you either get pregnant or not get pregnant. In this case, I wanted to get pregnant, and so that book really helped us, and we were pregnant the next month! Who knows about the timing?  That’s all in God’s hands. But our middle son was born in October of 2011 at 9 pounds, so yes, I was thankful for that C-section yet again. Gosh, he was a beautiful boy, and it was so fun to have a boy instead of a girl this time and just experience new things. He was the most laid-back baby and laid-back kid that we have. He is our best eater, our best sleeper.  He’s amazing!

Well, fast-forward a few more years and we kind of changed our lives.  We quit our jobs that we had. We worked in the ministry, which we loved, but God clearly told us it was time to move on. So, we quit our jobs and we decided to move to a different state. That was a really big deal.  We moved from south Florida to western North Carolina in the mountains, right by the Smoky Mountains. Not soon after we got here, I found out that I was pregnant. So, not expecting that at all, but obviously a welcome surprise. We found out later that he was a boy, and so we were very excited to have another boy. Of course, our middle son was ecstatic to have a brother and actually, our daughter started crying when we told her that it was a boy because she really wanted a sister. So that was a little bit of a let-down, but she’s gotten over that now and she loves him! He was also a C-section, a beautiful baby boy, and he has added so much life to our family, and he keeps us very busy and on our toes. I’m sure as the podcast goes along that you will hear more about him - all of them, actually. So, that’s just kind of the shortish version of how I became a mom.  I have these three beautiful kids that I’m so thankful for. I’m just so thankful that the Lord changed my heart towards being a Mom because I would be missing out on huge blessings in my life. So, I’m very grateful every day for that.

So, like you heard in the intro of the podcast, I’ll be interviewing and talking to Moms every week, which is something that I love doing in my everyday life.  I hope that you enjoy them. My very first podcast guest is going to be my Mom. I’m so excited for her to be on here, for you to meet her, and to ask her some questions. It’s going to be great! Like I said, each week we will be basically talking just about motherhood and the ups and downs, and all the things, the stories. We will be laughing, we’ll be crying. We will also be talking a lot about self-care. That is a huge value in my life because I have been really good at self-care and I have been really bad at self-care. I’ve seen my friends be good at it and my friends not take care of themselves. Something that I’ll go into more detail about later has to do with my youngest child, the one that was the little surprise. He has a speech disorder called apraxia. I won’t go into too much detail right now, but basically what it is, is that he knows what he wants to say but he can’t say it.  He is very verbal and wants to say a lot of things but sometimes we can’t understand him. So, again, I’ll talk more about that in future episodes. But, it caused me to kind of go into a hole of depression and anxiety. I did not take care of myself, and that has kind of spurred me on to this self-care revolution, if you want to call it. I call myself the Chief Self-Care Officer of the MamaNeedsBox, and I am on a mission for moms to take care of themselves.  I have a lot more stories of self-care - when I was good at it, when I was bad at it, and why my youngest son, Jack, why his story has kind of led me on this journey. So, I’ll be sharing more about that in future episodes. But I just wanted to give you a little background on why I am going to be talking about self-care so much. To me, self-care is not just a buzz word that we hear because I feel like it’s everywhere and it has become very generic.  But it’s a lot more and a lot deeper than the media will lead kind of you to believe. It’s not all about spa days and baths( and lighting a candle and eating some chocolate, although those are very nice things and they do help. But, self-care just is a lot more than that, so we’re going to be talking a lot about that. 

One of the main kind of illustrations that I give when we’re talking about mothers and self-care is to picture yourself as an empty carafe of coffee.  You know what I’m talking about: the glass pitchers that are under our coffee makers when we’re making coffee. Those are called carafes. If you picture it full of coffee or water or whatever you like to drink, that is you when you’re filled up, when you’re in a good place, and when you’re ready to pour out to your family.  Then next to it would be cups. The cups would be your family, your children, your husband, your job if you have one, tasks in your home, other things that you have to take care of are the cups. You are filled, then you are ready to pour out into those cups. But if you’re not filled and you’re always empty, you are putting yourself, the carafe, on the back burner and basically, you’re going to crack. That has happened to me. So, I just don’t want you to get to that point. That’s why I’m passionate about this because I want you to know that you matter too. 

I think a lot of this has to do with priorities. We prioritize all kinds of things in our lives, things that should be prioritized like our family, cooking meals, cleaning the house, and doing our job if we have a job outside of the home or inside the home. There is so much to do, and I feel like we need to remember that we matter and that we need to be back on our to-do lists. We don’t always have to be #1 on the to-do list because a lot of times things happen and something else becomes #1 or someone else becomes #1, and that’s okay for a period of time, but we just don’t want to put ourselves at the bottom every single day for years and years and years. I know a lot of moms who have done that, and it breaks my heart.  So, I am here to help and to learn alongside with you. I’m so excited about these Mamas that I’ll be talking to – young and old, in all stages of life. Mamas with one kid, Mamas with six kids. It’s going to be a lot of fun learning about these Mamas and hearing their stories.  I am so excited to start this journey with you guys, and I’m so excited to start this journey of doing a podcast. I have wanted to do podcasts for years, and I am so excited to finally be doing one. So again, thanks so much for listening. In the next episode, like I said, we’ll be hearing from my Mom, Selena Rizzo. I’m so excited to introduce her to you. Have a great day, and we’ll talk to you next week.

Now, if you listen to a lot of podcasts, you’ll hear the host ask you to subscribe and leave a review, and I’m going to do the same thing. It really does help for some reason, so if you would be so kind to just give me some stars, give me some love, a review, share this podcast with your friends and your fellow mamas so we can all kind of share in going on this journey together. Thanks again for listening. We’ll see you next week. You matter, Mama!