Have I Raised My Child Right? - Jennifer Rock
Season 10, Ep. 4
Jennifer Rock is a CEO, brand founder, and entrepreneur, but says the best thing she’s ever made is her son Matthew. Coming out the other side of the challenging teenage years, Jennifer shares 4 key nuggets of parenting advice.
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7. Breastfeeding, bedsharing, and the reality of parent shaming, with Melanie Murphy01:02:08Joining me this week on the podcast is Youtuber, author and mother of two Melanie Murphy. Melanie's approach to parenthood really resonates with me, and we talk a lot about both feeling very strongly that whatever way you want to parent is your choice, and no one else's. She discusses her choice to bedshare with her babies, her choice to talk about breastfeeding online – which brought a whole new level of criticism to her door – how her past experience with eating disorders has shaped the way she views feeding her children, and her decision not to share her children's names. When you speak to Melanie, she's so engaging that you can immediately understand why she's got such an adoring following online – I hope you leave this episode feeling like you're not alone in ANY of your parenting struggles.
6. Navigating kids, body image, and food - Clare McKenna55:39Clare McKenna joins me to talk childhood nutrition. Clare is the OG wellness guru, having spent years trialling and testing the latest in wellness trends, diets, and fitness fads, only to discover a few years back that balance was key. As a parent, she wanted to be sure to foster a healthy relationship with body and with food in her two children. As presenter of Newstalk’s Alive and Kicking, Clare has interviewed all the experts on the topic but comes to our chat with an honest and refreshing approach. She admits that although she might like her children to enjoy a beetroot brownie, they roll their eyes and opt for the real deal instead. If you're a parent who wonders about your child's odd food habits, or their attitude to different body types, you'll definitely come away with some aha moments from this one.
5. What it's like to fear your own child, with Audrey Dore-Geraghty55:17My guest this week is Audrey Dore-Geraghty. I first saw her story in the Irish Independent, where she spoke with incredible honesty about the heart-breaking struggle she and her family are facing with their son Harrison. Diagnosed with autism at two years old, he's now 9 and his behaviours have become increasingly physical and aggressive, to the point that Audrey said she can be frightened of her own son. She describes her frustration as she tries desperately to get the type of help her little boy needs, and says she can only live day-to-day because his future is so uncertain. Despite the severity of their situation and their constant fight to have Harrison properly assessed and supported, they have been forced to find psychiatric help in Spain, because the resources are so scarce here in Ireland. Audrey's story is a difficult one to listen to, never mind live it daily, as she and her family do. My hope for this particular episode is that as many people hear it as possible so that resources for families like Audrey's are made more readily available. Thanks for listening.
4. Monotonous or magical? Rosemary Mac Cabe on the reality of parenting59:22All the way from Fort Wayne Indiana, this week's guest is author, journalist and podcaster Rosemary Mac Cabe. We cover a LOT, but one of the most fascinating topics was the difference between maternity leave here in Ireland versus the states – when I say the US system is crazy, I'm not joking. We also talk about how motherhood has come naturally to Rosemary, and yet at times she still finds it challenging, monotonous and not always fulfilling. We chat about how her relationship with her stepsons has changed since her son Atlas came along, and how Miss Rachel is the third parent in both of our households.
3. The solution to the parenting/work struggle - Michelle O'Keeffe, Co-founder of Platform 5554:24Michelle O'Keeffe, co-founder of Platform 55, helps employees and companies balance the demands of family life with their careers. They guide companies around maternity and paternity leave practices, flexible working, and various family needs, by appealing to their bottom line – it costs so much more to rehire and retrain a talented employee than to retain your employee and support a talent you already have. The workplace doesn't have to be a stress-inducer for parents of young families, and they're working hard to make sure it isn't! If you're a working parenting, you'll get a lot from this conversation.
2. Forget the online version of motherhood...with Dearbhla Toal aka Belle Azzure01:04:41Dearbhla Toal, or Belle Azzure, joins me to talk about all the challenges of motherhood, and how she's passionate about keeping things real when it comes to her own experience of being a parent. Expecting her second baby, Dearbhla is a parent to a toddler. She’s also a personal trainer, a Google marketer and an online influencer – you can imagine my first question was HOW?Dearbhla says it's not easy and she wants to show on social media that perception is often not reality. We talk about her struggle with chronic sickness during pregnancy, how it impacts her Crohn's disease and how fitness and health is so important to her. We also talk about online comparison among mothers and how to avoid it.I hope you enjoy my chat with the lovely Dearbhla, and you take some comfort knowing that what you see online is – a lot of the time – not truly representative of real life.
1. Your dream came true, It's twin girls - Jenny Dixon50:04Joining me this episode is actress Jenny Dixon, mum to twin baby girls, Bella and Capri. Herself and her husband Tom Neville went through a three-year-long fertility process, suffering losses along the way, but have found their happy ending with their girls. Jenny chats to me – in her infectiously positive way – about trying to stay positive and strong through loss, the magical moment she discovered she was having twin girls, and how she's getting on as a new mother. She also talks about how gratitude helps her, how Tom was sure he would cause a scene by fainting in the delivery room and how her eldest daughter (by two minutes) really leans into the big sister role, even at less than six months old.
10. "I Might Just Go 'Give Me The F*cking Epidural!'" with Aisling Kearns51:07Joining Aisling Keenan for the season 10 finale is the sparkling and hilarious Aisling Kearns, who you might be more familiar with as the 'Irish mammy' TikTok star. She's made us all laugh with her sketches about Irish mammies, and is now pregnant with her first child. We talk about how her relaxed approach to delivery, her choice to practice hypnobirthing and how she's well aware that plans can change. Aisling has a fascinating approach to connecting body and mind that she learned in dance and acting college, and this episode is a joy to listen!
9. Your Time Is Not Your Own” - Niamh De Brún-Reid On First Time Motherhood47:54Niamh De Brún-Reid chats to host Aisling Keenan about her experience as a first time mum to daughter Harper. Niamh talks about looking after her psychical and mental health during pregnancy and the fourth trimester, and how an undiagnosed tongue complicated her breastfeeding experience. Niamh chats about the decision to share your child's face on social media, and the judgement that comes with that, while also sharing how a sleep coach made a huge difference to Harper’s routine.