Podcast Episode 23 is all about my cousin Bethany’s life story, and what a life she’s had so far. If you haven’t listened to the show yet, what are you waiting for? If I attempted to write the podpost accompanying the episode, I’d sound pretty foolish. Luckily, Bethany agreed to answer one of the questions I didn’t get to ask during the podcast. As a young, single mother raising five kids, where has she found the most help? Her thoughtful answer is below:

Raising five little children alone is very challenging. Thankfully, I have been incredibly blessed, both in having a family that has helped me every step of the way and in having the help of certain individuals, agencies, and programs when I needed it the most. My entire family has contributed to the love and care of the children. My parents were there for every birth, giving me love and support, and they have continued to give this support through all the years. My dad and mom are very active participants in all the children’s lives. In fact, we live in a home that belongs to my mother, and she lives right next door, allowing her to help and play with the kids. Her boyfriend is also very helpful and has become close with the kids. Additionally, my dad is extremely involved in the lives of the kids. He spends every Saturday up here and the kids spend weekends at his house quite often. He takes us on big trips every summer together. Both my parents participate in their school activities and sports. I also have two awesome brothers who are pretty cool uncles. My older brother with his wife and son live close by and they help watch the kids. My little brother lives in San Diego and he brightens their lives with his visits. [click to continue reading…]

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New Here? Welcome! I'm Meredith, a podcasting, blogging, overthinking, military marrying, sorta homemaking, grammatical phrase abusing mom. (Over)Thinking Mom is my attempt at combining the mommy blog with what I'm calling MPR, mommy public radio. Read more about me and the show or learn how to subscribe.

Four unplanned pregnancies, a history of alcohol abuse, struggles with domestic violence, an uneasy relationship with welfare, and Sacramento State’s most valuable debater award.  And I thought being a well-supported stay at home mom of one baby was tiring.

In this week’s episode, I talk with my cousin Bethany, a single mother of five, about her life’s path from a confused and self-destructive teen mom to a college student with honor role kids.

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If you haven’t heard, the internet is a buzz with discussion about Amy Chua’s article in the WSJ called “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior.” All of the attention hoisted on an article with an already bad name made me want to not read it as fast as I can.  But I couldn’t resist and it is great in a I can’t believe she wrote that kind of way.  I highly recommend taking the time to read it if you want to feel better about your mothering skills, which I’m not sure was the intention of Amy Chua.  Maybe it is more tongue and cheek than I can see.  Probably not.

Anyway, the main point of the article is that Chinese mothers bully and shame their children into perfection, while Western (presumably American) mothers are too concerned with self-esteem and individuality, thus allowing their children to never reach their full potential and therefore causing them to fall short of the actual self-esteem they deserve.  Like a lot of popular articles, this one is a prelude to a book release, causing it to be short on facts and long on bold statements to sell copies and get links (yes, I’m providing that link as well.  Your welcome WSJ and Amy Chua). [click to continue reading…]


Dave thinks I’m joking when I threaten (or entice) Kaiya with a permanent vacation at a farm, and, no, that is not a euphemism.  If we had the money, I’d love to send her away and then visit with her on the weekends and holidays.  When I mentioned my fantasy to Dave, he, aghast about my coldheartedness, asked, “So you want to send our dog to boarding school?”  Yes please.  By the way, I know Kaiya would love this set-up.

Kaiya is annoying.  This is a fact.  I don’t care about the size of her heart or her big brown puppy dog eyes.  She barks.  A lot, and always at the worst time.  I put a taped message over the doorbell, reminding the UPS guy or Jehovah’s Witnesses not to think about ringing it, lest they wake my sleeping beauty.  But more than one package carrier has pointed to the note, as Kaiya barks her head off in the background, and has asked “Can the baby sleep through this?”  The answer.  No.  No, she doesn’t.  Kaiya is annoying. [click to continue reading…]


Finger Puppet + Book=Cool

January 14, 2011

in Books

Babies and toddlers are supposed to have large book collections to build their vocabulary, foster concentration, and give mommy and daddy a pre-set reason to cuddle (as if we needed one).  Amelia is still at the age where reading involves more chewing and throwing than wondrous awe at the written language.  [click to continue reading…]

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As I promised in Podcast Episode 22:  Modern Day Wet Nursing this week’s podpost will be a link to the video of Salma Hayek breastfeeding another woman’s baby while she was on a humanitarian mission in Sierra Leone.  Sierra Leone has the highest infant mortality rate in the world, largely a result of tetanus (the reason for Hayek’s visit), but also because of poor nutrition, something that is exacerbated by stigma surrounding breastfeeding in this nation.  Any thoughts on the video?  As I state in the podcast, my initial reaction was one of “huh?” that eventually changed to one of “how nice.”