Thanks so much for coming by to check out Episode 139 of The New Family Podcast where we talk to neighbours who raise their families together.
We’re joined for this episode by writers Melissa DePino and Elizabeth LaBan. Melissa and Elizabeth have a lovely story to tell that’s so in keeping with the theme of this website and podcast and its mission to celebrate the many ways that family can form. For years Elizabeth and Melissa were next door neighbors who truly became family to one another, sharing the parenting experience from when their children were small, a shared family that continues today. In fact, they’ve co-authored a novel inspired by their story called Pretty Little World. They tell us about how their organic extended family has come to be, and what we can all learn from their story about being open to a connection in creating our own chosen families.
Here are some resources related to my discussion with Melissa and Elizabeth.
Melissa’s Favourite Parenting Advice
“I wish I could remember who gave it to me, but I pass it on to every single, new mother that I encounter. When my first son was born, he was very colicky. You don’t know what you’re doing, it’s really difficult. Of course I had Elizabeth and friends around but it is very, very hard in the beginning. Somebody said to me ‘It’s okay to think it’s hard.’ She actually said it in a more crude way. But the truth is it’s okay to not like it sometimes, and to forgive yourself for thinking ‘Gosh, this is just really, really hard.’ Too often, we’re way too hard to on ourselves as parents, and when you sort of give yourself that little bit of pass for feeling like it’s hard and not always feeling like this is the most perfect thing in the world then it makes it a little easier.”
Elizabeth’s Favourite Parenting Advice
“I think so often of an Anna Quindlen quote, I don’t have the exact quote in front of me, but I read it when my kids were young. She wrote, after her kids were a little older, that she wished she hadn’t spent so much time worrying about getting them fed, getting them bathed, getting them to bed. She wished that she had just relaxed a little more and enjoyed them when they were little. I was lucky enough to read that when my kids were still little enough that I could think it sometimes. Of course it’s always a mad rush, there’s just no way around that. It’s never ending. Sometimes I think of that quote and I think ‘Alright. It’s okay, let me just look around for a second and enjoy what we’re doing.’ That has always stuck with me.”
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