It is a busy time of year, isn’t it? With kids out of school, gifts to buy, and relatives to see, the pace of the holidays feels hectic, even more so for a single parent. There are some seasons of life when you feel all the weight of responsibility on your shoulders. Seasons come and go; some are wonderful, and some more difficult. Today, I wanted to highlight just how important it is we keep this in mind during times that are more hectic or troubling. I think this is something my guest, Kelsey Baldwin, knows well.
Kelsey is the owner of Paper +Oats, an online business that has seen a lot of success in recent years. Kelsey is also creating incredible online content including e-courses for budding business owners. On her blog, she often writes about how she manages a business as a single mother. Especially since she is pretty much the whole show at her business, I wanted to pick Kelsey’s mind about how she finds a balance between work and life. She maintains that balance well but acknowledges that it hasn’t always been easy. Keeping in mind the seasons that come and go, Kelsey moves her life in a direction that benefits both her and her daughter, Poppy, in a positive way.
This is a sweet and compassionate interview that will resonate well with those of us who are walking through a difficult set of circumstances. Let Kelsey’s story fill you with hope, and give you a few ideas for how to enter into this next phase of life.
More in this episode:
Paper + Oats
Join our Facebook community for my weekly Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/DrRockettSoloParentLife/
How can we all work together to build a community that supports our children? Our school-aged children spend most of their week at school, so our job as parents is to support and cooperate with the teachers they are spending that time with. Ideally, this process would be as collaborative and compassionate, but sometimes those teacher relationships can be challenging. This is why I am excited to have Dr. Arina Bokas with me today. Her book Building Powerful Learning Environments: From Schools to Communities is directed towards teachers but applies to everyone. She is going to talk about her book, her experiences as both a teacher and a parent, and then give us some strategies to use as our children grow and learn at school.
Building a good relationship with our teachers is essential for supporting your children through the school years. Any good communication you can set up early will help pave the way to success. Dr. Bokas encourages us to approach communication with compassion and curiosity. She has such useful tools to share with us today, with wisdom directed at Solo Parents, who sometimes feel even more pressure to be involved in their child’s education.
You definitely do not want to miss out on this excellent interview! I certainly got a lot out of my conversation with Arina, and I know you will too.
More in this episode:
Kids Standard Magazine: http://www.kidsstandard.org/
Dr. Arina Bokas http://culturesofpartnerships.com/
Link to buy Dr. Bokas’ Book:
Are you feeling a little anxious about The Dating Talk? My kids are still very young, but I am already beginning to think about how to have conversations about healthy relationships. So often we think of words like “consent,” and automatically go to sex. Consent is about more than physical intimacy; it’s also about respect and boundaries. The more our children understand their boundaries and needs, as well as the needs of others, the better they will be when things like sex and dating come up in their lives.
We often get a little stuck on all the heavy emotions around dating and romance, so I wanted to bring to you a resource to help you navigate tricky moments. My guest today is Mike Domitrz, the author of May I Kiss You? And the founder of The Date Safe Project. Mike has created amazing resources for parents and kids to use together to have healthy conversations about relationships. Most important to Mike is that both adults and kids understand true consent requires more than permission to touch. It’s also about wanting that intimate contact. Consent comes down to communication, and you and I both know how tricky it can be to communicate with pre-teens and teens. Luckily, Mike has for us today some easy ways to have conversations that make the whole thing feel less icky and personal.
Do you want your kids to be able to respond well when their peers start joking about sex? What about sexting and pornography? Mike is going to share with you today the tools and skills your kids will need to know in order to navigate these tricky social situations. In the end, I think these conversations are an avenue to really connect deeply with your older kids. You do not want to miss out on all this information today!
More in this episode:
Mike’s Online Home
Reach out to me to join one of our listening groups!
What can you do when your child is acting out? There is a lot of information out there about discipline, behavior modification, and diagnosing the root of your child’s behavior. Some of us have come from traditional, disciplinarian homes. Others have problems setting up boundaries. Have you ever taken a moment to reflect that these moments of acting out are a chance for you and your child to grow closer together? Before you lose your cool entirely, give this interview with Lori Petro a listen. She truly has some great recommendations and resources for parents who might be struggling with everything relating to discipline.
Lori is the mind behind Teach Through Love, a wealth of online resources for parents, solo or not, that serve to build up communication and enhance emotional intelligence with your kids. When your child is acting out, it is usually in response to an inability to express what they are thinking or feeling. We as parents have a huge opportunity to teach our children how to express themselves and then listen to what they have to say. Lori is going to show us today some ways that we can begin to build trust with our kiddos. We can build emotional intelligence starting with our own responses to behavior. It truly is as simple as learning to listen.
More in this episode:
Teach Through Love: http://www.teach-through-love.com/
Have you given much thought to the legacy you want to leave behind? As Solo Parents, we have a great capacity to fill our children with memories of our lives and theirs to empower, inspire, and reassure them during times of hardship or uncertainty. No one understands that better than Melanie Vetter, and that is why I am so excited to start our conversation about legacy today. Melanie’s work with Legacy Letters is incredibly interesting, and the fact that she’s my neighbor makes this conversation an extra treat.
Melanie Vetter is a writing instructor and legacy advisor, but really she helps people use their personal stories to build connections, resilience, and personal legacy. Melanie is passionate about the power of our personal stories and is dedicated to teaching and empowering others to celebrate document, and share a purpose-filled life using fun and joyful tools and techniques. She is an attorney, a certified Legacy Advisor, and a Certified Senior Advisor, and holds a certificate in Guided Autobiography Instruction from the Birren Center for Autobiographical Studies.
Melanie and I had a chance to chat in-person, which is such a gift, let me tell you! As we enter this season of thankfulness and family, this episode will help you cultivate the gratitude and excitement you need to have these conversations with your family. You’ll be amazed! This is a powerful episode filled with so many incredible resources you do not want to miss.
More in this episode:
Melanie’s Website www.wellfleetcircle.com
Contact her at email@example.com
Melanie’s Thanksgiving blog post: http://wellfleetcircle.com/thanksgiving/
Link to sign up for the Free 5 Questions to Ask at the Holiday Table guide http://wellfleetcircle.com/5-questions-ask-holiday-table/.
Melanie’s SMILE Guide for writing thank you notes with ease and joy: http://wellfleetcircle.com/smile-ebook/
Legacy Letters Blogs: http://wellfleetcircle.com/category/legacy-letters/
Legacy Letters Examples: http://wellfleetcircle.com/legacy-letters-and-legacy-books/
Is there such a thing as a perfect parent? Absolutely not! Is there such a thing as a thriving parent? YES! As Solo Parents, the pressure feels like its been pushed up to 11 for us. It can be a struggle to make it through the week with everything in one piece, let alone feeling good about those pieces! How can we begin to enjoy the abundance of life? What is the secret to a thriving life filled with contentment? It’s all about your mindset!
My guest today is Shawn Fink, the founder of Abundant Mama. Shawn’s program and writing are focused on supporting Moms, but her advice applies to everyone. She doesn’t shy away from difficult topics. Instead, she is on a mission to connect moms to one another with programs and tools designed to get you working from the inside out. She wants to show women that they can feel connected to other moms out there in a pursuit of abundance. Find people who are hurting like you are hurting, and then work together to heal and grow!
Shawn’s approach to parenting is compassionate and real. We talk about so many relatable topics, but the takeaway is that it is worthwhile to cultivate a contented life. Trust yourself on your journey, and take it slow. You’ve got this.
More in this episode:
Check out Abundant Mama Online and sign up for Shawn’s newest class!
We love to sing the praises of self-care on the Solo Parent Life Podcast, but for many parents, actually finding the time and space to practice can be a challenge. If they do manage to find the time, we sometimes feel guilty or unsure that self-care is even worth the time! Are you one of those parents? Then this episode is for you! Have you been practicing self-care, but seem to be missing out on all the benefits? Then listen in too. Today, we sing just a little more to share our self-care successes!
One of the joys of my podcast journey has been reaching out to local parents in my area. Today, I got a chance to chat with my new friend Deb Blum. Deb is a Parent Coach who loves working with Moms on self-care. Not only is she a dynamic coach, but she is also quite simply a lovely person. I enjoyed my conversation with Deb, because of her generosity and care for others. She is truly a supporter of all Mamas from all walks of life, and I think you will find yourself encouraged after today. There is no right or wrong way to take care of yourself. It is all about being able to listen to what you need at the moment. Give yourself a little grace, and hop on into this uplifting episode!
Also in this episode:
Connect with Deb online
It’s been a year since I started Solo Parent Life, and I can hardly believe it! Thank you to all of you who have listened and offered feedback and support for me during this exciting journey. Today’s episode is simply a chance for me to pause and reflect on the insights that I have gained doing a year of podcasting. I’ll cover my favorite episodes, favorite guests, and challenging topics that I have used to grow as a parent. You are not alone out there, friend! Thanks for coming along on this journey with me.
More from this episode:
Feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to soloparentlife.com/coaching to get started with your free 15-minute consultation.
Now that school is in full swing and the kids are (hopefully!) back in a routine, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to bring out this pre-recorded interview with Michelle Gale. Michelle is a kind and compassionate mother, who is encouraging parents with her own podcast, “Mindful Parenting in a Messy World.” Today, we sit down and chat a little about how to compassionately and mindfully connect to our children in the messy moments of life.
Michelle is going to share with us today her practical, easy to use strategies to increase our awareness in the middle of our messy lives. Along the way, you’ll pick up a few memorable moments from our own adventures in parenting. All of Michelle’s wisdom comes with a healthy dose of compassion, so if you need a pick-me-up, this episode is for you. Take a breath. Let it out. And let’s begin with Mindfulness!
More to learn in this episode:
Don’t forget to grab your copy of Michelle’s Book!
Mindful Parenting in a Messy World :
I think now is the perfect moment to pause. Pause for a moment, and be thankful for your kids, your support team, and community. From that heart of gratitude, I want to offer comfort and assistance to those who have been in the midst of tragedy. My heart goes out to the victims of the Las Vegas shooting and their families. Locally, we are also experiencing some terrible forest fires that have left many people homeless. As I am reaching out to offer my aid, I am also reaching inward towards my kids.
With tragedy and insecurity in the back of my mind, I am especially grateful today for my conversation with my guest, Scott Noelle. Scott is a passionate parent coach who has built up an incredible model called “Path Parenting.” This parenting style focuses on a cooperative partnership with your child, and without the sense of authoritarian control. I think Scott has a vital perspective on parenting that is so essential while our world feels a little unsteady. When we learn the language of Path Parenting, we can remain more secure in our partnership with our children in what is definitely a tumultuous time. He emphasizes compassion, leadership, and trust above all else, and I think that is just the kind of message we need to hear today. You are going to learn so much from Scott today, so let’s begin!
More in this episode:
Sign up for Scott’s Daily Groove newsletter for a little inspiration right to your inbox!
A Daily Groove Post Related to our talk:
The Continuum Concept
Welcome back, everyone! What a gift it is to see our Solo Parent Community grow and grow as we take this crazy journey together. I love that you have all been so honest with me about the triumphs and the struggles that you experience. Lately, I have been hearing from many solo parents that they struggle with feeling like they are never “good enough.” Being a single parent is tough and isolating. Our feelings of inadequacy can affect not just our self-esteem, but how we react towards our kids. Today, I want to talk a little bit about how to battle the “Not Enough” monster while also staying strong for our kiddos.
You’re tired. It’s the weight-of-the-world kind of tired. Sometimes, it feels like everything has been placed on your shoulders. How are you expected to carry that weight and pay the bills and raise healthy, bright kiddos? I’ve been there! I want to share with you how I learned to manage my unmet expectations, set boundaries, and talk through my own feelings of inadequacy. You are not alone in the journey! Reach out and let’s talk. The dishes can wait!
More in this episode:
Join one of our Parent Coaching Groups
School is back, and things are finally starting to settling in, aren’t they? As school routines, and all the busyness that comes with them, become the norm and not the exception, it is helpful to have a discussion about how we can help our family roll smoothly. Life gets busy during the school year, so how can you manage the chaos in a healthy way? I am excited to share the things that have been lifesavers for my family, with the hope to spread the love to yours!
It’s tempting to want to “wing it,” sometimes, but never underestimate the power of a good plan. I’ll share with you an outline or two for a morning routine that starts your day right. When the kids come home and want to crash, I’ll show you how having a meal plan in place can feed everyone’s bellies without breaking your bank. Finally, I am excited to share the ways that I’ve been making time to connect with my kids. Time is a precious thing, so let’s talk about ways to save your time and your sanity!
More tools for your school year:
How do you rock your morning routine? Reach out to let me know!
Interested in Parent Coaching?
Welcome, everyone! It is such a good thing to have a community of support around you, and that is just what Solo Parent Life has become. Community support for a solo parent can mean the difference between giving up and growing strong during what can be a truly difficult season of parenthood. What makes this community even better is that it is inclusive of all types of solo parents, including single dads! I’m thankful that I can bring a single dad’s perspective to you today.
My guest is Robert Beeson, who hosts his own podcast for us solo folks, “Solo Parent Society.” Robert has a big heart and an even bigger idea of what having a community mindset is all about. After a divorce that left him the full-time caregiver of his three girls, Robert decided that he had an opportunity to get rooted in his identity, strengthen his faith, and come out of a season of hardship even stronger than before. Solo Parent Society was born out of a desire to create resources that single parents can use—free from judgment!
Through Solo Parent Society, Robert is taking the idea of community support group right to the people who need it most. He is right on the brink of launching Solo Parent Society material nationally, and I am excited that he gets the chance to be on the show. He adds so much value to our ongoing discussion about parenthood with vulnerability, passion, and a lot of inspiring personal growth. I hope you are ready because his passion is infectious.
Check out the Beta Site for starting or finding a group near you.
Don’t miss any of the Solo Parent Summit Interviews!
Recently, I asked my community for topics that you most wanted me to cover on the show. You have spoken, and I have listened! So many of you in our Solo Parent Community have asked me about how to navigate Co-Parenting. How can we Co-Parent well, while also keeping myself sane? I hear you loud and clear, so today I am excited to bring my experiences and best tips right into your ears. The way I see it, there are two major issues at stake.
The bottom line to remember is that we are doing this for our kids. How we respond to our Big Feelings will inadvertently give our children a way to manage their own. We want our kids to grow up feeling loved and supported by everyone, including our Ex and any new partners. I know how difficult and isolating it can be to Co-Parent on your own. With that in mind, I want to welcome you to a place of acceptance where your Big Feelings are acknowledged and supported. I appreciate you letting me into your ears today! Happy listening!
Also in the show:
Feel free to reach out with Questions and Comments about the Podcast!
Parent Coaching is still available.
Welcome back to another moment to join together with the Solo Parent Community. We’ve had some exciting times in my household with the addition of our new family dog, Marley! Having a new family member has been such a welcome change and a breath of fresh air. It’s a little bit like self-care for me since having Marley around is such a positive experience. We talk all the time on the show about the importance of taking care of yourself, so it is great to find a new way of putting that into practice.
My guest this week is Karrie Myers Taylor, and she certainly knows a thing or two about self-care too! I am excited to share this interview with you not just because her healthy tips are superb for busy solo parents, but she was also interviewed for the Single Parent Summit happening this month! Karrie focuses on a holistic approach to health and wellness and really puts the focus on why you are eating the foods you eat. Healthy changes can begin today, and I know you will be inspired to start by what Karrie has to say. Go ahead and give it a listen! Karrie battled with perfectionism and its impact on her mental and physical health.
There is still time to sign up for the Single Parent Summit
Let’s talk money! You might hear that and get excited, or you might hear that and start to groan. Money can be a source of both security and anxiety. Which is it for you? Have you ever had a time when an unexpected expense pops up? You know the kind—big birthday gifts, replacing those heavy (and expensive!) winter coats, or a once and a lifetime opportunity to do something you’ve always wanted to do. How did you handle those expenses? Did your budget last? OK, how about this question: do you have a budget?
If your mind is already swirling, take a pause and rest assured that my guest this week is about to make your money madness so much better. Today, I am talking with Jen Hemphill, host of the “Her Money Matters” podcast. I love Jen’s podcast, and it has really helped me keep an eye on my finances without driving me crazy in the process. She has tons of tips and resources to get us through those unexpected expenses. I am excited that she gets to share with you today!
Also in this episode:
Get caught up on the “Her Money Matters” Podcast and seek out Coaching and Community:
Hello and welcome to another special and encouraging episode of Solo Parent Life. Today, my very informative guest is Melissa DaSilva, an LGTBQ+ community activist, and therapist. Melissa’s mission is to support parents and children as they navigate LGBTQ+ issues, and educate the public in the middle of a rapidly changing world. We know more about gender identity and sexuality than we ever have before. So how can we as single parents educate our children and teach them to respect everyone regardless of gender and sexual orientation?
I am thankful that Melissa took the time to educate me in my limited experience with the LGTBQ+ community, and I know that each one of you will take away something encouraging and inspiring from our talk. As parents, we have the exciting privilege of teaching our children respect and love. Let’s let that love grow today!
Also in this episode:
Pride Connections Podcast: https://prideconnections.com/podcast/
Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @PrideConnections
Welcome, everyone! I am so excited to share with you today the pearls of wisdom from fellow podcaster Dr. Robert Puff. Dr. Puff runs the show over at The Happiness Podcast, where he shows you just how easy it is to be happy. This is a show I listen to, and it certainly feeds my positivity as I navigate single parenting.
Robert believes that everyone can be happy, and there are easy, practical steps that we can take as single parents to make that happen. Today’s show is filled to the brim with easy ways to start taking care of ourselves. When our cup runs over, we can better teach and grow our children to mirror that positivity. Single parenting definitely isn’t easy, and I am thankful for Robert’s unique insight into a happier life. I certainly cherish his words, and I know they will make your day just a little bit brighter.
More in this episode:
To connect with Dr. Robert Puff and Listen to his Podcast http://www.happinesspodcast.org/
Today, I am delighted to sit down with Elizabeth Salin, MFT and Ruth Jaeger, LCSW two therapists in my local community that have worked for many years with families in transition. They created a program for parents going through a divorce that teaches mindfulness skills to help reduce stress, anxiety and self-critical thoughts.
I am so amazed by the support and love that Liz and Ruth provide and the wealth of knowledge between them about families going through a divorce is incredible. I can’t wait for you to hear all the wisdom these ladies have to share with you today. Enjoy!
Our Featured Poem today is “Love After Love” by Derek Walcott:
The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
Check out Regaining Balance for Parents for mindfulness resources.
Hello, everyone! This week, I wanted to pause a moment to speak to you all directly about this wonderful (and sometimes exhausting) summer season. Summertime is filled with so many wonderful opportunities for our kiddos, including the ubiquitous summer camp. Camps are fabulous: they help our children socialize, they encourage them to spend time outside, and they provide a creative outlet to fill the long summer hours. But when our kids have been “on” all day, inevitably they are going to melt down. We’re talking tantrums, tears, and too many biting words. So what do we do when the meltdowns happen? How can we support our kids in love without losing our sanity?
It turns out that it is all about connection. Dealing with meltdowns is not easy, but it would be harder to try to stifle those feelings. Anticipate that this summer, your post-camp kiddos will quite possibly be a big, hot mess. Here is your opportunity to slow your life down during the tantrums to be there and listen. Let your kids express some of that exhaustion and frustration. I promise it will be well worth your time and busted eardrums!
Interested in joining a listening group or parent coaching? Feel free to reach out to me!
Life can really get you down, can’t it? As a Solo Parent, there are already so many limitations that seem like they are well beyond our control. We all sometimes feel alone, scattered, or misunderstood. No one could possibly know what I’m going through, right? Well…maybe not. This week, I am happy to share the story of one Mom who wasn’t content to let limitations be her master.
Sara Dean is a Seattle-based podcaster and gym owner. She runs the show at Shameless Mom Academy, a podcast all about sharing stories of parenthood in full honesty. Sara says that her podcast was born out of the struggles of parenthood, and she knew that if she shared how she beat her own limits, you and I might walk away with our heads a little higher. Our stories, our struggles, and our triumphs shape who we are, and transformation begins when we share them. I am consistently being inspired by Sara’s vulnerability, and I know you will be too.
What limits are you holding on to? Let them go today!
Also in this episode:
Work with Sara through her website:
Hey there Solo Parents! This week is all about dating, with a fairly heavy emphasis on women and how they navigate relationships. For all our male listeners, we need your feedback too! There are tidbits of wisdom for everyone in this episode, and what a fun topic too. Dating, for better or for worse, is an exhilarating, complicated task. To help us out we sat down with Nichole DiRocco, a dating and life coach with an eye towards the kinds of struggles single parents will inevitably face once they step out into dating.
Once she started coaching, Nicole noticed that women in leadership positions, while seeing success in the working world, had a much more difficult time in the dating realm. The same could be said for a Solo Parent. As Nichole says, we are essentially the “CEO of our lives.” Used to initiating, taking charge, and setting terms, it can be difficult for a single mom to sit back and be pursued… Not to mention all the other vulnerabilities and anxieties we go through waiting for the phone to ring!
So how do we do it? How do we date with grace and respect towards ourselves and our unique stage of life? Check out this episode to see!
Nicole DiRocco, ACC
Dating and Relationship Coach for Executive Women
Visit: Dating With Grace.me
This week, let’s sit down and do something a little different. I really wanted to share a co-parenting success story that is very near and dear to my heart. Kat was our beloved babysitter, and her parents divorced when she was young. If two parents managed to handle divorce the “right” way, it was Sandra and her husband.
I have Kat and Sandra on the show this week, and together they tell the story of their family, just so we can all gain a little perspective. Sure, their family may look a little different than what they had hoped it would be, but with sacrifice and intrepid spirits, their family still had two supportive parents doing everything in their power to be present with their children. Just like it takes work to make a marriage, it takes work to make a divorce too! I think Sandra’s courage and compassion is so inspiring, so join us this week to see how.
Also in this episode:
One of the best things about this podcast is that we have such a fabulous community. I am thankful for all the comments and questions, and so this week I wanted to change the pace just a bit and tackle one such questions I’m seeing more and more often: How can I take care of myself while my children are away?
Ah, yes. Times of separation from our kids can be painful, uncertain, and difficult to manage. When we spend so much of our time and energy making sure our children are happy, healthy, and cared for, it can be jarring to not have those concerns 24/7. What can we do to take care of ourselves when we have this time? I want to show you in this episode that time away from your kids can be a gift in disguise. I’ll share some of my best ideas, and I hope to hear your self-care ideas in return. Together, we can do this thing!
Want even more cools ways to get involved? Sign up for the Solo Parent Newsletter, and find all the information about the Single Parent Summit coming up soon!
In this episode:
Books I love
Radical Acceptance by Tara Brock
True Refuge by Tara Brock
Join the Newsletter on my Website!
When a marriage ends, the effects are far-reaching—from the emotional, psychological, logistical…and financial. I’m sure for so many of us, the last thing on our minds when we begin our Solo Parent journey is our finances. Eventually, the bills start rolling in, and we have to look at the bank statements up close. Houses get sold, finances that were once shared are no longer in a joint bank account. Who can you turn to when you start swimming in dollar signs?
Enter Shawn Leamon, host of the “Divorce and Your Money” Podcast. Shawn is a Financial Planner and guru who is passionate about being there for folks who are living through a difficult time. Separation and singlehood can bring us many complications, so Shawn is here to help. Let Shawn’s experience and savvy be your guide in this info-packed episode of “Solo Parent Life.”
Find all of Shawn’s episodes and advice at