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Talking about sex or what’s going on with our bodies is something most of us are used to doing one way: in private. The Embodied podcast invites those conversations to come out of the dark, into the light. This discussion guide will take you deeper into each episodeof the first season, introduce themes and big ideas to consider as you listen and give you fun bonus resources to keep learning about each of the topics. Are you ready?

Episode Five: Raising Kids Radically

Charnel Hunter

Hashtag Mom life. This episode questions how much our society pays attention to and supports those doing the work of mothering. How do concepts like “work-life balance” and the nuclear family limit us from building a more joy-filled and equitable society?

Episode Five: Raising Kids Radically
Society expects a lot of moms without offering enough support in return. Seems totally fair.

Am I a good enough mom?

Entering the tribe of American motherhood brings with it a whole lot of cultural baggage. As Angela Garbes describes, messages about the “right” and “wrong” ways to do things start long before the kid even comes into the world and are baked into everything, from pregnancy books to medical advice. What beliefs do you hold about what it means to be a ‘good’ mom?

Garbes says: “If you don’t have a full understanding of your body … it’s easy to have rights, choices and freedoms taken away from you.” What do you think about this statement? How rooted are your beliefs about motherhood in data and morally-neutral information?

Is it time to rethink the nuclear family?

Katherine Goldstein says the idea that the ideal family structure is the nuclear family structure is rooted in capitalism and dominant, white ideas about success. She argues that orienting around the ideal of a nuclear family limits the health and resilience of both mothers and children, and building real community support networks is the key to surviving and thriving.

Dani McClain agrees, and says that while Black mothers have been cultivating creative structures of support for generations, our assumptions and stereotypes about Black families overlook the strength and value of these extended family kinship networks. What do you make of Goldstein's assertion that “community is one of the few things that capitalism can’t buy?” If you think about mothering as a verb that can invite in folks beyond your nuclear family, what opportunities does that open up for reimagining what family life could look like — whether or not you have or want kids?

Is that my bias talking?

Whether you are a physician, educator, social worker or journalist, the way you think about and relate to pregnant people and mothers has real-life consequences. This episode outlines how those consequences are especially dire for Black mothers.What did you learn from Dani McClain’s descriptions of her pregnancy and birth process? How does racial bias show up in the way mothers in your own professional universe are treated? Does this episode alert you to any of your own internalized bias against Black mothers? Against all mothers?

Meet the guests

Want to dig in further?

Return To The Embodied Podcast Discussion Guide >>

Anita Rao is an award-winning journalist, host, creator, and executive editor of "Embodied," a weekly radio show and podcast about sex, relationships & health.
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