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The Parenting Junkie Show

Author: Avital Schreiber Levy

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Hi,
I’m Avital.
(pronounced Ah-Vee-Tal)
I’m a mindful parenting coach, childhood designer, and mother. My work is dedicated to empowering intentional, imperfect parents (like you and me!) who face chaos, clutter, and conflict, through online tools to reclaim peace, presence and play for your family.
32 Episodes
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I was chatting with a friend who’s recently become a first time mom. Her baby is just turning one and she told me: “I’ve really let myself go”... she described how she hasn’t been to the gym since her pregnancy, how she’s enslaved herself in service of her baby and how she hasn’t been out with her girlfriends in months.   If this is you, I’m going to share a mindset shift that will help you break free of victimhood and enslavement parenting - and how your child will benefit greatly from this shift as well.   You’ve heard it before, you’ve probably even said it - my children are my WHOLE world, my kids are my life. I know I have. It’s true that when we become a parent our children take a place in our lives that’s greater than anything that has come before them. We would literally lay down our life for our children.    While we would sacrifice our lives to save our children should we also sacrifice our life, well-being, and happiness just to care for them?  And if we do so what are we actually modeling for our children? What type of parents will they grow up to be when we choose this path? Parenting like this can lead to burnout. Maybe it’s time we also focus not just on parenting the whole child but on being the WHOLE parent...here’s what you’ll hear:   [4:29] What is a whole life? [6:37] Tying our worth to our sacrifice [9:08] More sacrifice, more work = better parent? (spoiler alert: NO, it doesn’t) [11:12] This does NOT mean become a narcissist [14:10] You make me… [16:46] The solution! Yes please! [18:14] Nourish yourself 🧘‍♀️ [19:51] Drop “or” - use “and” instead! [20:55] You are MORE than just a parent   Remember, you are the curriculum. How you show up, including most of all, how you treat yourself, is what your child will learn. Are you treating yourself the way you hope they grow up to treat themselves?   If you enjoyed this episode and it inspired you in some way, I’d love to hear about it and know your biggest takeaway. Take a selfie of you listening or a screenshot of the show, post it to instagram stories, and tag me @theparentingjunkie or feel free to DM me on instagram, I try to reply to as many as I can!Are you subscribed to my podcast? Subscribe here so that fresh episodes are delivered directly to you. Those shiny 5 star ratings and sweet reviews have me all gushy, thank you. But more importantly they help other parents discover the Parenting Junkie Show and spread the word about Loving parenting and Parenting from Love. If you have a moment to spare, those reviews mean the world to me, you can leave one here.    Want to connect to like minded parenting junkies? Join our (free & awesome) FB community Love Parenting with Avital.   Show Notes: https://www.theparentingjunkie.com/31
Are you a working parent who tends to feel guilty while at work that you should be with your kids but then also feels guilty while with your kids that you should be working? Or perhaps you’re not a working parent but you are trying to meet your needs and desires in some way be it fitness, or a hobby and also feel guilty when trying to balance the two?   If you’ve ever felt like you’re a failure on all fronts this episode is for you!   This episode will mainly focus on balancing the needs from a work perspective but you can apply it to any faucet of your life. When we try to show up as different versions of ourselves and hide the parts of ourselves we don’t feel belong under that hat we can be left feeling fragmented, like we are a failure in both areas of our lives.   You’ll learn how to change your language to change your mind (spoiler alert: realize you have ONE life). Also, you’ll realize that it is ok and even expected if your experience in one role affects your experience in the other because after all, you are one integrated person.    In this episode we’ll discuss “work-life balance.” Is it an illusion to think that you can truly balance your work life and home life, especially in modern times when there is less separation between the 2? Here’s what you’ll hear:    [5:01] Conform to Society’s Desire? [6:58] Bring home the bacon AND spend more time with your kids [10:39] It’s all in how you frame it [13:11] Drop “or” choose “and” instead! [14:26] You don’t have to hide your “momness” at work [17:17] You don’t have to hide your professional self at home [18:41] Forget work-life, you have ONE life [20:59] Working IS good parenting - drop the guilt! [24:03] What are you teaching your children? (You don’t wanna miss this!) [28:37] Resent the “2nd shift”? If so this is the reframe that will change your life!   So is work-life balance achievable? Yes, of course. But only when you stop treating them as separate things and treat them as faucets of the one integrated life you have.    If you enjoyed this episode and it inspired you in some way, I’d love to hear about it and know your biggest takeaway. Take a selfie of you listening or a screenshot of the show, post it to instagram stories, and tag me @theparentingjunkie or feel free to DM me on instagram, I try to reply to as many as I can!Are you subscribed to my podcast? Subscribe here so that fresh episodes are delivered directly to you. Those shiny 5 star ratings and sweet reviews have me all gushy, thank you. But more importantly they help other parents discover the Parenting Junkie Show and spread the word about Loving parenting and Parenting from Love. If you have a moment to spare, those reviews mean the world to me, you can leave one here.    Come join the messy middle and connect to like minded parenting junkies! Join our (free & awesome) FB community Love Parenting with Avital.   Show Notes: https://www.theparentingjunkie.com/30
We’re faced with many decisions in this parenting journey, and many options seem to be extreme on one side or the other.   Should you be a whole life unschooler, or punish your children when they don’t get straight As in school?   Should you work outside the home and climb the corporate ladder or should you surrender to a life of staying at home, giving up on your interests and income in favor of parenting?   Should you give them free access to screens or should you be completely screen free?   Not only does it feel polarizing but it also can make us feel like we don’t really fit in anywhere if we aren’t on either end of the extreme.    I’m going to offer up an alternative - the radical middle. I won’t say it will be easy. Let’s face it, when you make the decision to stay curious and not sit on either end of the extreme it can be hard. You’re choosing to create a path instead of following one that’s already laid down. Being in the middle means we think about all the decisions and what works for us right now and we stay open to learn more and change our minds if a different decision would better meet our families needs.   In this episode we’ll discuss how you don’t have to choose one extreme over another, and that most of us fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. Here’s what you’ll hear:    [5:03] Decision fatigue is real  [8:36] How to combat decision fatigue [9:53] Example 1: Discipline [13:27] Example 2: Sleep training [17:11] Example 3: Education [19:18] Example 4: Boundaries [23:00] What is my identity in parenting? [24:02] The radical middle. [25:50] Pick what’s best and leave the rest. [29:19] The middle is hard [32:44] The middle is brave  [34:44] The middle is radical.   The middle can be messy. It’s not always neat and clear because there is no one size fits all.  At the end of the day the answer is always “it depends.”    If you enjoyed this episode and it inspired you in some way, I’d love to hear about it and know your biggest takeaway. Take a selfie of you listening or a screenshot of the show, post it to instagram stories, and tag me @theparentingjunkie or feel free to DM me on instagram, I try to reply to as many as I can!Are you subscribed to my podcast? Subscribe here so that fresh episodes are delivered directly to you. Those shiny 5 star ratings and sweet reviews have me all gushy, thank you. But more importantly they help other parents discover the Parenting Junkie Show and spread the word about Loving parenting and Parenting from Love. If you have a moment to spare, those reviews mean the world to me, you can leave one here.    Come join the messy middle and connect to like minded parenting junkies! Join our (free & awesome) FB community Love Parenting with Avital.   Show Notes: https://www.theparentingjunkie.com/29
Are schools like prison? A human rights violation? Is forced education immoral and abusive? If so… what are the millions and millions of parents with school-going kids to do? If this concerns you, listen up.  You've heard the experts like Ken Robinson and Alfie Kohn weigh in that "schools kill creativity" or that "schools are feel bad education." In fact, schools have been compared to prison in that they limit children’s freedom and choices.  In many cases they also do not give the education we want for our children, I know this is true in my case.   But I also know that what works for me does NOT work for everyone. If you are in a situation, whether it be financial, psychological, etc, in which homeschooling does not work for you, I’m here to reassure you that is ok too!   Often times we look at the negative aspects of the school system but we forget to look at the possible negative impact of switching to homeschooling if it’s not a good fit for the family.  Switching to homeschooling could lead to a burnt out mom, stressed from trying to figure out how to replace her income now that she quit her job to homeschool and stressed about whether her child is keeping up or not and what activities she needs to plan. Is that really better for the kids in the long run?    Even if you have accepted your reality that homeschooling is not right for your family perhaps you still worry about the school available to you. Maybe the school focuses a lot on grades creating a very competitive environment. Or perhaps they have the homework “rule” of an hour per grade level. Or maybe it’s just the context of school in general - the “cool” kids and the potential materialism that could lead to or processed sugary foods being the only real foods available.  Whatever it is that you are worrying about I’ll remind you why you need to let it go. You’re worrying does not serve anyone, especially your children, in-fact it may even be making their challenges in school more difficult.   Even if you’ve made your decision and feel completely comfortable in your choice you’ll still gain something from this episode, we even have an expert guest (spoiler alert: Dr. Shefali Tsabary!!) Here’s what you’ll hear:   [6:13] Schools are prisons (at least according to some people)  [15:24] Should my kids stay or go? 🤷‍♀️ [17:19] Does that serve your children? (or you?) [18:15] Pause and take a breath before deciding 🧘‍♀️ [21:38] There’s always a cost 💰 [23:40] Get real [24:26] Accept it [26:04] Be fluid and flexible [27:58] What would Dr. Shefali do? 💕 [30:41] We all need to calm the 🤬down [31:54] You can bring the change you want to see! [33:16] Hack the system!   At the end of the day you have to accept your reality.  You need to find a way to work with whatever you cannot change.   If you enjoyed this episode and it inspired you in some way, I’d love to hear about it and know your biggest takeaway. Take a selfie of you listening or a screenshot of the show, post it to instagram stories, and tag me @theparentingjunkie or feel free to DM me on instagram, I try to reply to as many as I can!Are you subscribed to my podcast? Subscribe here so that fresh episodes are delivered directly to you. Those shiny 5 star ratings and sweet reviews have me all gushy, thank you. But more importantly they help other parents discover the Parenting Junkie Show and spread the word about Loving parenting and Parenting from Love. If you have a moment to spare, those reviews mean the world to me, you can leave one here.    Want to connect to like minded parenting junkies? Join our (free & awesome) FB community Love Parenting with Avital.   Show Notes: https://www.theparentingjunkie.com/28
Should we follow & encourage our children’s passions - like animals, robots or ballerinas - or drill into them the things they need to know, like math, science, and literacy? If you are homeschooling do you find yourself wanting to follow your child’s interest and NOT simply replicate the school system in your home but worry they will miss out on the important skills we need to teach them?   Or maybe your child attends school and it seems you always have to fight with them to finish their homework or to study.   No matter what your path, this episode has some inspiration and practical tangible steps to bring the enchantment back to learning!   So, how can we motivate our children to learn the common core subjects? How can we make sure they get the knowledge without undermining their intrinsic motivation? It can feel like the options are to follow the child completely, as in radical unschooling, or impose our agenda on them either by sending them to school or following a set curriculum at home are our only options.   What if I told you there was a third way? In this episode we’re going to explore how to do both. How to follow your child's interests AND make sure they are learning the skills they need to know. I’ll give you 3 actionable steps as well as 3 practical examples to get you started. Here’s what you’ll hear:   [3:51] How will my child learn math if princesses is all she will talk about? 👸 [6:25] Can’t I just force them to learn? [7:07] What’s wrong with candy in exchange for long division problems completed? 🍭 [8:24] Learning IS fun, right? [11:29] You can learn EVERYTHING through ANYTHING [13:22] Step 1: PJ masks, paw patrol, fairies… what is it? [15:22] Step 2: Map it out [15:57] Step 3: A little planning goes a long way [16:36] Example 1: The world through Lego [23:39] Example 2: Enchant with Harry Potter [33:06] Example 3: Yes even Princesses can be educational!   By using this method we become a partner in their education. We collaborate with them by following their interests all the way through to the myriad of ways it can actually provide the education we may have on our adult agenda. When we teach and guide children in this way much of the resistance falls away and makes way for passion. With this education then becomes a fun and creative endeavor. If you enjoyed this episode and it inspired you in some way, I’d love to hear about it and know your biggest takeaway. Take a selfie of you listening or a screenshot of the show, post it to instagram stories, and tag me @theparentingjunkie or feel free to DM me on instagram, I try to reply to as many as I can! Are you subscribed to my podcast? Subscribe here so that fresh episodes are delivered directly to you. Those shiny 5 star ratings and sweet reviews have me all gushy, thank you. But more importantly they help other parents discover the Parenting Junkie Show and spread the word about Loving parenting and Parenting from Love. If you have a moment to spare, those reviews mean the world to me, you can leave one here.    Want to connect to like minded parenting junkies? Join our (free & awesome) FB community Love Parenting with Avital.   Show Notes: https://www.theparentingjunkie.com/27
Are you an entrepreneur or trying to get a business off the ground but have no idea how to fit it all in with young kids? Are you interested in unschooling or radical unschooling and are unsure of what that even looks like? Or do you just simply struggle to feel brave in your parenting choices given all the uncertainty and conflicting information you find? No matter your situation this episode has something for you!   In this episode you’ll hear a conversation I had with Kim Constable, The Sculpted Vegan. Kim is a yoga teacher, and a competitive vegan body-builder who started her business in the health and fitness industry founding multi-million dollar deyogatox and the sculpted vegan.   If you ask Kim what her first and foremost role is she will tell you it is being a mother.  She decided to take her two eldest children out of school and embark on a journey of radical unschooling. If you’re wondering what radical unschooling looks like, you’re in luck, Kim shares her beliefs, biggest struggles, and biggest wins when it comes to radically unschooling (spoiler alert: it’s okay to not know everything 🤔).    In this episode Kim shares how she scheduled her time and did it all while starting her business before she had any help as well as her views on hiring help. This also includes how her and her husband handled their respective roles in the family and how to stay crystal clear on your vision even through the hard times. We also get to hear what it is like to radically unschool 4 children and how that works in her family.   In this heart to heart talk between two vegan, unschooling, entrepreneurial mothers of 4, you’ll hear: [2:50] How do you have time for it all? 🕰 [9:21] Finding a way to replace your roles [15:12] Thinking of starting a business? The first thing you should do! [17:31] Laundry is not going to grow you or your business 🧺 [21:30] You can’t see the success happen from the beginning [24:31] What opened the door to Kim learning about alternative parenting choices [31:04] Jumping on the trampoline at 2am!?  [32:52] No rules? What!? 🤯 [38:11] What about screens? [47:33] We all get triggered 😡 [53:35] What about the mess!? 🧹 [57:13] Without rules on food won’t my kids just eat cookies? 🍪 [1:02:34] What do you mean you don’t know??🤷‍♀️   The work lies in truly coming to accept your child for who they are and not who you want them to be.   If you enjoyed this episode and it inspired you in some way, I’d love to hear about it and know your biggest takeaway. Take a selfie of you listening or a screenshot of the show, post it to instagram stories, and tag me @theparentingjunkie or feel free to DM me on instagram, I try to reply to as many as I can!Are you subscribed to my podcast? Subscribe here so that fresh episodes are delivered directly to you. Those shiny 5 star ratings and sweet reviews have me all gushy, thank you. But more importantly they help other parents discover the Parenting Junkie Show and spread the word about Loving parenting and Parenting from Love. If you have a moment to spare, those reviews mean the world to me, you can leave one here.    Want to connect to like minded parenting junkies? Join our (free & awesome) FB community Love Parenting with Avital.   Show Notes: https://www.theparentingjunkie.com/26
In this episode, we’ll explore why you can have a clean and beautiful house or you can care for your children, but you can’t have both…at least, not if you want to stay sane.   Or can you? Let’s find out.   [3:59] The sanity triangle. [6:25] Dichotomy vs. integration. [8:09] Can we find a balance? [10:54] Embrace the wobble. [12:58] Life is made up of seasons. [15:05] The interconnectedness of all things. [19:16] You’re worth the effort it takes. [22:10] Your worthiness isn’t dependent on a clean and tidy home. [23:34] You own your sanity.   Links & Resources Show Notes: https://www.theparentingjunkie.com/25 Related Blog Post: How to Get Your Kids to Do Chores   If you enjoyed this episode and it inspired you in some way, I’d love to hear about it and know your biggest takeaway. Take a selfie of you listening or a screenshot of the show, post it to instagram stories, and tag me @theparentingjunkie or feel free to DM me on instagram, I try to reply to as many as I can! Are you subscribed to my podcast? Subscribe here so that fresh episodes are delivered directly to you. Those shiny 5 star ratings and sweet reviews have me all gushy, thank you. But more importantly they help other parents discover the Parenting Junkie Show and spread the word about Loving parenting and Parenting from Love. If you have a moment to spare, those reviews mean the world to me, you can leave one here.   Want to connect to like minded parenting junkies? Join our (free & awesome) FB community Love Parenting with Avital.
Do you desperately need help, but you’re worried you can’t afford it? Do you want a mother’s helper or assistant, but you’re not sure where to find them or how much they’ll cost? Do you wonder if there’s an affordable option for those who are less privileged? Do you feel guilty at the thought of paying for help?   In this episode we’ll discuss getting the help you so desperately need!   [4:24] Nicole’s story: How she found a free mother’s helper. [6:38] Your need for help is someone else’s opportunity for connection, community, & meaningful contribution. [7:54] Find or create a co-op with other parents. [8:30] If you can, pay for help! [10:07] What to do if there’s no wiggle room in your budget. [12:40] Be open and receptive to help. [13:46] It’s not as expensive as you think. You’d be surprised to see how far a few dollars can go. [14:38] Sometimes “I can’t afford it” is an excuse for not prioritizing it or placing enough value on it. [15:42] Help is a worthy expense. [18:20] You may need to rearrange your budget. [21:42] Abraham Hick’s quote: “You can’t get sick enough to help sick people get better. You can’t get poor enough to help poor people thrive. It is only in your thriving that you have anything to offer anyone…” [22:08] Sometimes it comes down to choice. [23:31] You are worth it. [25:47] Don’t kill the golden goose. [29:19] Consider the cost of not getting help.   Links & Resources Show Notes: https://www.theparentingjunkie.com/24 Related Blog Post: Supermom Syndrome (https://www.theparentingjunkie.com/let-go-of-supermom-syndrome/ Podcast episode on Parental Burnout https://www.theparentingjunkie.com/22) Podcast episode on Parenting Like an Olympic Champion (https://www.theparentingjunkie.com/15)   If you enjoyed this episode and it inspired you in some way, I’d love to hear about it and know your biggest takeaway. Take a selfie of you listening or a screenshot of the show, post it to instagram stories, and tag me @theparentingjunkie or feel free to DM me on instagram, I try to reply to as many as I can! Are you subscribed to my podcast? Subscribe here so that fresh episodes are delivered directly to you. Those shiny 5 star ratings and sweet reviews have me all gushy, thank you. But more importantly they help other parents discover the Parenting Junkie Show and spread the word about Loving parenting and Parenting from Love. If you have a moment to spare, those reviews mean the world to me, you can leave one here.   Want to connect to like minded parenting junkies? Join our (free & awesome) FB community Love Parenting with Avital.
Do you desperately need a break, but feel like you can’t trust anyone with your kids? Do you fear what might happen to them (some disaster or catastrophe), what might be said to them, or what might be taught to them if you’re not there?   In this episode we’ll address some common fears that parents have about leaving their kids with other people.     [5:04] Are these fears holding you back? [7:37] Anything that’s rooted in fear will not lead us down the path of joy. [8:26] The inability to trust others with our children leads to burnout. [9:25] There are risks when you don’t trust your kids with other people. [11:49] Allow your children to have secure attachments to more than one adult. [12:43] Are you the only perfect caregiver for your children? [14:04] You can’t work on any job, project or relationship 24/7. You need time off. [15:11] It’s time to get help. [18:03] I get it…some relatives make it really, really hard. [19:12] Practice an attitude of gratitude. [19:48] Practice compassion & mindfulness. [20:22] Have faith in your child’s competency. [20:44] Model politeness & affection without forcing it.   [21:02] Set firm, empathic limits when boundaries are crossed. [21:52] Get professional help with toxicity. [22:44] Don’t be afraid to use mother’s helpers, baby-sitters, or nannies.     To checkout the role play series with Dr. Laura Markham mentioned in this episode head over to the blog.   If you enjoyed this episode and it inspired you in some way, I’d love to hear about it and know your biggest takeaway. Take a selfie of you listening or a screenshot of the show, post it to instagram stories, and tag me @theparentingjunkie or feel free to DM me on instagram, I try to reply to as many as I can!Are you subscribed to my podcast? Subscribe here so that fresh episodes are delivered directly to you. Those shiny 5 star ratings and sweet reviews have me all gushy, thank you. But more importantly they help other parents discover the Parenting Junkie Show and spread the word about Loving parenting and Parenting from Love. If you have a moment to spare, those reviews mean the world to me, you can leave one here.   Want to connect to like minded parenting junkies? Join our (free & awesome) FB community Love Parenting with Avital.   Show Notes: https://www.theparentingjunkie.com/23
Have you ever looked at your kids and wondered why you had them? Do you find yourself why you got into this or wanting some way out at times? Whether you’re feeling burned out or want to prevent burnout, this episode is for you. Burnout is a very real risk we face as parents, and if you’re experiencing it now (or have ever experienced it), you’re not alone. And if you haven’t experienced it yet…prepare yourself, because it’s inevitable unless you take these precautions.   In this episode, I’m sharing what parental burnout is, why it is important to avoid, and practical steps to take to avoid burning out...here’s what you’ll hear:    [2:27] What is parental burnout? [8:31] Your warning light is on [14:29] One more “B” to add to Attachment Parenting [15:36] Take a Break 🏝 [19:27] Get Help! (More on this in upcoming episodes!) [20:31] Just say NO! [24:11] Bundle! 💕 [26:34] Talk to someone [27:07] Back to basics   You are worth it. Your children are worth it. You deserve to enjoy this season of life and your kids deserve to see a parent who enjoys life and who takes good care of herself. Don’t wait until you burnout. Start taking these steps today!   If you enjoyed this episode and it inspired you in some way, I’d love to hear about it and know your biggest takeaway. Take a selfie of you listening or a screenshot of the show, post it to instagram stories, and tag me @theparentingjunkie or feel free to DM me on instagram, I try to reply to as many as I can!Are you subscribed to my podcast? Subscribe here so that fresh episodes are delivered directly to you. Those shiny 5 star ratings and sweet reviews have me all gushy, thank you. But more importantly they help other parents discover the Parenting Junkie Show and spread the word about Loving parenting and Parenting from Love. If you have a moment to spare, those reviews mean the world to me, you can leave one here.   Want to connect to like minded parenting junkies? Join our (free & awesome) FB community Love Parenting with Avital.   Show Notes: https://www.theparentingjunkie.com/22   If nursing happens to be one of the things causing you to feel burnt out checkout my blog post on Gentle Weaning here.
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Comments (1)

Samantha Perry

Thank you Avital! It's like you know what I need to hear and when. You've changed the way I see parenting!

Apr 8th
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