Do you remember the experience of learning something new as a kid? Maybe it was riding a bike or climbing a tree. Whether you succeeded or failed, who was the first person you wanted to tell all about it?
The desire for a nurturing presence is strong in all of us.
And of course, moms are known for their unwavering support. But who supports them?
Turns out, the answer is still “mom.”
Jamie Erickson is mom to five and a successful homeschool blogger. She considered herself lucky when her mentor invited her to share the successes and failures of raising her family. The relationship became so valuable, in fact, that when Erickson moved two hours away, she knew she needed to find more like it.
In the meantime, Erickson began searching for podcasts that share maternal wisdom, but she couldn’t find anything comparable. “Most of them were run by women my age or younger,” she said. What she was looking for—and what was missing—was the wisdom that comes from experience. She was inspired to remedy that.
“I knew how much an older woman’s voice meant to me. I also knew, if I was going to offer that voice, I needed other women’s perspectives, too, because one woman can only provide so much.”
She began the process of searching for other moms whose perspectives needed to be shared on a podcast.
The first mom she chose was fellow homeschooling mom and writer, September McCarthy. Erickson was already connected to McCarthy on social media, soaking up her wisdom. It seemed like a great fit, but McCarthy was sick and on a year-long sabbatical. “I was really scrappy,” Erickson said with a smile. “I feel like I strong-armed her until she agreed to host the podcast with me.”
“She asked me three times,” McCarthy added winsomely. Considering the opportunity prayerfully, McCarthy agreed. “I thought, this is exactly how my life can come full circle. There is so much I want—and need—to give back.”
Mom to ten children over the last 28 years, McCarthy brings a gentle wisdom to the show. “Everyone asks us if they are all ours, and yes, they are! God has a heart for motherhood,” she said. She describes her children as having arrived in “three batches,” and her parenting style has definitely changed along the way.
With McCarthy onboard, she and Erickson decided a third perspective would add even more depth to the team. Erickson noticed a woman in a writing group who “continually invested in all the other women in the group and unknowingly poured so much wisdom into the ranks.” As Providence would have it, McCarthy already had a ministry relationship with Kate Battistelli, so they invited her to join the podcast, and the team was complete.
Battistelli is an author and speaker who brings a pithy and strong empty-nest perspective to the group. She reminds moms that there is more to life than being a mom, including after your children leave the home. “God made it very clear to me that ‘mom’ is not my only name,” she shared. Readers may know her only child, Franny, as Grammy and Dove Award winner Francesca Battistelli.
All three women have benefited from having experienced mentors in their lives who changed the way they care for their families.
McCarthy clearly recalled the day she met hers.
Having decided to enjoy a more relaxed day than usual around the house with her young family, McCarthy heard a knock on her door. Before she could stop him, her oldest son opened it.
A woman from the neighborhood came in, sat down, and promptly landed her arm in a sticky pile of peanut butter and jelly. She said nothing.
“I was in awe,” McCarthy reflected. “She never once said, ‘I see your house is in disarray. Can I do your dishes?’ She was just there to have a conversation with me.”
That rather sticky moment changed her life. “She became a mentor to me. I learned what it meant to just show up and be present. That moment is forever stuck in my mind.”
McCarthy’s new mentor went a step further, that day, offering to take McCarthy’s recently picked apples and make applesauce for the kids, saving McCarthy time and energy. In other words, this mom knew exactly what would help a young mom most, and she did it.
The three women vowed to infuse their joint venture, the Mom-to-Mom Podcast, with that same kind of nurturing care. “I hope we reach a lot of women,” said Battistelli. “Whatever is going on in the world, whatever a mom faces, that’s what we talk about: the good, the bad, the broken, the ugly.”
“We’re breaking the mold, because there are three of us—three different voices, three different cultural backgrounds,” McCarthy explained. “There’s value in voices and generational living. I want to bring that back, and I believe it’s possible.”
“I hope we’re starting a trend that says listening to older women is where it’s at,” Erickson chimed in. a
As moms all around the world endure seemingly endless days and nights of selfless need-fulfilment for their families, many feel isolated—especially now, during the pandemic of COVID-19. It’s easy to wonder, then, if you are the only mother in the world feeling weary, burned-out, and alone.
You are not!
Erickson, McCarthy, and Battistelli are dedicated to proving that being a mom doesn’t have to be so lonely… and they’re there for you, too.
May 2020 Issue