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Manic Mommies The Teen Years
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Manic Mommies The Teen Years

Author: Kristin Brandt & Erin Kane

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Former neighbors and longtime friends, Kristin Brandt and Erin Kane shared the trials and tribulations, joys, and triumphs of being working mothers trying to do it all, and do it all well (or just good enough) for almost 10 years. Now the parents of teenagers, they have relaunched their popular parenting podcast as they continue to manage the chaotic combination of work and family – at home.
30 Episodes
We're kind of hating everything right now as we try to crawl out of this pandemic well. We see the light and know it's there, and yet we're so damn tired. Somehow we pulled it together to record a show. This week we're talking about how it feels to stay in a hotel, eat in a restaurant, and take driver's ed during this long, strange time.
Pandemic screams are a thing, according to the New York Times. Have you let yours out today? We're catching up after an extra week away from the microphones due to work-life unbalance and rehashing it all.
We're all stressed. Add the dark days of January, blocked contact tracing, and violence in our halls of democracy —it's all too much. Maybe that's why we're spewing so many curse words these days. We have our favorites and in this episode, we use them. Warning: not appropriate for young kiddos.
The Manic Mommies are welcoming 2021, which may smell a little like dog poop, farts, and rotten meat (at least at Kristin's house), by catching up on holiday celebrations, college applications, volunteer hours, favorite gifts, and how to survive a winter pandemic.
This week we're talking about all the ways we are feeling older with expanding waistlines, alcohol migraines, and jowls that didn't seem to be there before we zoomed all day long. Then we ask what the long-term effects of the pandemic might be on our personality types. Can an extrovert forced to stay at home eventually become an introvert? Maybe being shut in all winter is just fine.
If ever there were three letters to describe how we're feeling these days, it's m-e-h period. Darkness falls at 4:30 p.m., the first snowstorm has arrived, and we're wondering if we should we pull out all the holiday decorations if no one can come over to see them. School is on pause in Kristin's town due to case numbers and tech challenges infiltrated Erin's virtual Thanksgiving. But we've got you covered with a few Etsy ideas.
As the number of COVID cases continue to rise everywhere, we're adjusting our holiday plans. This week we talk about virtual Thanksgiving, garage gatherings, and what a year without our favorite tradition—the cookie swap—will do to our holiday spirit. How are you changing it up this year?
It was certainly an unusual Halloween with one of the Manic Mommies spending a quiet night at home, and the other sitting outside by a fire, passing out candy by candy chute. With the weather getting colder, we talk about how to approach the coming holidays, swapping ideas for safely socializing. With the election nearing the end, the Manic Mommies also talk about early voting, stress, and our gratitude for patient poll workers and election officials.How do you plan on celebrating the holidays? Leave a comment with your ideas and we will share on a future episode.
Fevers take on a whole new meaning in the time of COVID. First, you lock your teen in their room. Then you pull out your mask, gloves, only can of Lysol, and precious Clorox wipes. Once the house has been sufficiently disinfected, you start the process of trying to get a COVID test. This is where the real work begins. You cross your fingers and wait. Or pray. Later in the show, we discuss a new Atlantic article about America's obsession with niche youth sports. Squash anyone?
SATs are canceled, again. Tours are held virtually. Visitors are discouraged from visiting. Erin and Kristin start their new podcasting schedule, look for new shows every other week, talking about searching for college in the time of COVID. We also discuss how a rapidly changing news cycle that could break even the most enthusiastic news junkie made this week, to quote someone on Twitter, the longest year ever.
Just when it seemed 2020 couldn't get any worse, we learned about the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Then one of our recorders went on the fritz, requiring us to record this episode over Zoom. Join us for a vodka tonic or a beer as we mourn the passing of an icon.
School is starting, both online, remote, and somewhere in between. This week we talk about going back to school in the time of COVID
Recording together Is always better! Erin hits the road for a solo trip to Massachusetts and swings by the old neighborhood for a recording session in Kristin's backyard. We're talking about what it takes to make friends, why some friendships last for years and others seem to drift away. We also talk about the new song "WAP" and our potentially misplaced optimism about the upcoming school year.
Why is it so hard to talk about race and racism? This week, we welcome Stacey Grant-Lewis, MS, PMP®️, founder of Culture x Co., a  site dedicated to providing resources for anti-racism and cultural education for individuals and families. She and Kristin address the discomfort while discussing raising "culturally curious" kids, as well as practical ways to create space for open and respectful dialogue with your friends and family. We also share some of the questions, concerns, and conversations we are having within our own families and communities.
While Erin nurses a surprise hangover, and Kristin basks in the silence of an empty house, we talk about COVID tests, family camp, awkward conversations, and back to school plans.
A listener asks for advice about her teen working and we have thoughts. We wonder why our sons can’t seem to do anything else on the days they are scheduled to work. One of us is losing control of her household while the other is deep cleaning. And of course, we’re talking about fall plans.
With September fast approaching, parents are considering when, if and how our children will be going back to school. We discuss how the decision is being handled in each town, as well as the choice (and expense) faced by college-age students. We also talk about the recent spate of sign thefts in Massachusetts.
What's the opposite of toxic positivity? Erin and Kristin discuss the growing "mom rage," what life in Massachusetts and New York looks like as we re-open, and how COVID-19 has made us forget how to make plans.
Working from home is starting to feel more like living at work and there's no end in sight. We discuss why it is that you can have a job or a kid during COVID, but not both. Mean people without masks are taking over our social media feeds and the teens are testing the limits of our graciousness. Grub Hub deliveries past midnight? Did Mom say you could do that?
This week we chat about how things are changing as our teens officially become adults. Kristin makes her first trip to the mall since COVID and we wonder why is it so hard for young teens to make plans with friends following months of isolation.
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