The first time I listened to The Birth Hour Podcast, an audio podcast that serves as a place for women all shapes and sizes to share their childbirth stories, I was immediately struck by how much it made me feel at home. The birth story of the woman who was being interviewed was so captivating, honest and raw, and I felt as if I was hanging onto her every word.
Later that week when I listened to another episode, the same thing happened. I literally couldn’t take my ears away, it was that engrossing. The more episodes I listened to, the more hooked I became. That’s when it hit me that although the women who are interviewed on the podcast are engaging storytellers, the person that makes that space possible is the creator of The Birth Hour, Bryn Huntpalmer.
Bryn lives in Austin, TX and is the mother of two. When she gave birth to her first child four years ago, something in her shifted…
Bryn shared, “I found a strength I never knew I had and discovered a passion for supporting women as they prepare to become mothers. I searched for three and a half years for the way that I could use this passion along with my talents in photography, writing, and connecting people to create something bigger than myself and my local community.”
Bryn with family
You can tell by the way Bryn creates her podcast that bringing stories to her listeners that are real and diverse is very important to her. She interviews women who have had home births, hospital births, water births, cesareans, and vaginal births and encourages them to speak about the memorable, challenging and unexpected moments.
In short, Bryn connects women from all over the world by giving them a place to share one of the most transformative events of their lives: their birth stories. It’s because of this that I’m honored to have had the opportunity to learn more about the woman behind the mic in this week’s Moms Who Inspire post.
I love the mothering aspect of being a mother. I heard Ellen Burstyn recently on a podcast say that so much of being a mom is the verb “to mother” and the act of doing the verb is what makes you the noun, “a mother.” That really rang true to me and I loved the idea that being a mother is all about mothering your kids. I relish in the moments when my kiss instantly heals a scrape and stops tears or when one of my kids needs a little extra cuddling at bedtime. I know those moments won’t last long so I soak them all in. At the same time, I’m excited (and slightly terrified) for what will coming with the mothering of a teenager and young adult as well.
My kids are really verbal and have been since a very young age which is amazing and I’m so proud of them. However, it can be hard to remember that they are still so young because they are talking like they are so much older. I have to remind myself that their emotions might not be caught up with their brains when I get frustrated that they’re throwing a fit over something like a sock being too big! We put post-it notes on their bedrooms that say “he’s only 3” or “she’s 4!” with smiley faces and hearts. They love seeing their ages on their doors and it’s a reminder to us that they are still so young and are simply working through emotions at the appropriate level for their age.
I love that this has become a topic that’s talked about so much more now and I see more and more women taking it to heart. I think having a supportive partner who wants you to be at your best self is huge. If you don’t have a partner that is already inclined to encourage self-care, then set aside time for yourself and encourage them to take time for themselves as well.
I guess I kind of jumped the gun there and addressed this in the last question! I’d also let new parents know that the time for sex and romance will return, it may take a few years rather than a few months but a day will come when you aren’t constantly exhausted and have energy to connect on a more regular basis.
Most of the people that know me through The Birth Hour are surprised to hear that I also have a full-time day job as a content manager for a tech start-up in Austin. I always get the comment, “how do you do that and the podcast plus have two young kids?” but really I feel like all of the moms I know are juggling SO much and I’m not unique in that way at all.
Be kind to yourself, be kind to others. We talk a lot about filling up your bucket by filling up others’ buckets and I’ve already seen the impact this has made on them when they are making decisions (this is a great children’s book about that). Of course sometimes it backfires when my 3 year old doesn’t want to go to bed and yells at me “you’re dipping into my bucket mama!!!” Kids, gotta love ’em!
What’s your favorite part about being a mom?
What’s been the biggest challenge being a mom?
Self-care can be a challenge for moms. What advice do you have for moms who want to incorporate more self-care into their lives?
What’s the one piece of relationship advice you would give to new parents?
What’s one thing that people would be surprised to learn about you as a mom?
What lesson do you most want to pass on to your children?
Are you pregnant or new to motherhood?
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