S2E17 - Reflections on Season 2

Episode 17 January 24, 2024 00:38:42
S2E17 - Reflections on Season 2
Start to Finish Motherhood with Aisha
S2E17 - Reflections on Season 2

Jan 24 2024 | 00:38:42

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Hosted By

Aisha Jenkins

Show Notes

In the final episode of 'Start to Finish Motherhood' Season 2, Aisha takes a reflective journey back through the season. From discussions about single motherhood, dealing with grief, healthcare and navigating personal financial wellbeing, Aisha thanks the phenomenal guests of Season 2 and highlights their impactful insights. This episode provides a warm farewell... until Season 3.

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:04] Speaker A: Welcome to start to finish motherhood, a podcast for those thinking or already single mothers by choice just looking for practical advice for navigating life's relationships. When you decide to have children on your own, it doesn't mean that you're completely alone. I'm Aisha Jenkins, and I'm partnering with you every step of your journey. So wow, I can't believe we made it to the final episode of season two. I could not have done it without all of you who listen, follow, and have rated or reviewed the podcast. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. So when I sat down to consider season two of the podcast, I really wanted to focus on the how question. When I tell people that I'm a single mother by choice, one of the first responses I get is, how are you doing it? So I wanted to dive into the how combined with the natural ups and downs of the process, the different stages, and the many things that we, as intentional single moms, have to consider. I was where many of you are. I was nervous about this monumental decision. I wasn't sure if I was ready. I didn't know how I would survive a loss if, God forbid, a loss happened. I wasn't sure where my journey would end or if I'd even have the courage to end my journey. I never imagined that I would be comfortable with my kids sleeping under another roof. I didn't know where my village would come from. I didn't know if I'd ever date again. But I took the leap and the net appeared. This podcast is not all about me, though I do use my story to support the telling of other people's stories. And as a light at the end of the tunnel waving at you. Those of you moms who are in the trenches parenting young children, I wanted you to know that this too, shall pass. Over the course of the season, I interwove the stories and knowledge of my guests along with my own stories, and I really wanted to take this last episode to acknowledge each guest and to thank them for trusting me with their stories, because I am the one who gets final say in editing. But I also wanted to share some of my favorite moments from their episodes, or just some piece of knowledge that I hope doesn't get lost as you're listening throughout the season. Here we go. I wanted to be thoughtful about elevating adoption stories with every season of the podcast because I don't think that we hear enough of them. So when I heard Lynn's story about adopting transracially, I knew I wanted her story to be part of the season, and I especially knew I wanted it to be the season opener because Lynn's story is a story about unconditional love, and love is what it's all about. Along with Lynn's story, we got into the nitty gritty of secrecy versus privacy. Privacy is what I advocate for my own children. And this exchange between myself and Lynn aligns well with my approach to teaching my children about telling their conception story. How do you get them to connect with when you feel that enough is enough in terms of sharing? Right. So how do you coach them on sharing what you feel comfortable sharing? And that's it? [00:03:31] Speaker B: Yeah, it's really just empowering them and more. So I had to teach this to my older daughter that you just need to tell them to stop. I told you that I was adopted, and that's all you need to know. It's giving them a couple of pocket phrases that they have that they can always use to just shut people down. Not being rude or disrespectful, but that's really none of your business. I said what I said. [00:03:58] Speaker A: So are there any tips you would offer for a person considering becoming a single mother by choice, or just some resources around the topic of adoption, parenting, adopting from foster care, raising children in a transracial family? [00:04:14] Speaker B: I would say do your due diligence. There are many Facebook groups out there catered towards fostering adopted, and then there's actually many cultural groups out there on Facebook for parents, white or black, that are parenting children of a different race, where you can come have conversations. Now, a lot of them are very targeted towards helping center the child. So a lot of white voices in those groups may or may not be as receptive to some of the feedback from blacks that are in those groups, but ultimately, it's to help the child. So just do your due diligence. There are some private groups. I am in a private group for black parents parenting white children specifically because it's a very niche group of us. [00:05:08] Speaker C: Right. [00:05:09] Speaker B: But I'm not the only one. [00:05:12] Speaker A: Thank you, Lynn, for sharing your story with me and with our listeners. So while this podcast is about the single mother by choice lifestyle, it's also about empowering women, and in particular black women, to live your best lives now. And however I can support you, it is my honor and it is my pleasure. World, watch us thrive and destroy your little tiny boxes that you try to put us in. And this clip from Rakma and Chris Marsh, who's a professor and author of the Love Jones Cohort we're discussing living one's best child free life on their own terms. So, Chris, can you talk a little bit about the backlash that you've received about your book? [00:06:00] Speaker D: Absolutely. And I don't want to say I get hate mail every day, but I get hate mail on a regular basis because people say I'm bad for black America. And this is why we have absent fathers in the household. [00:06:11] Speaker A: I was like, where do I start. [00:06:12] Speaker E: Talking about absentee fathers or anything? [00:06:13] Speaker D: I'm so confused. But if you look at the title and it has single in the title, people are automatically thinking, I'm saying, oh, black women out here, we don't need no man. We could do it. We could do it on our own. Read the book before you start making those assumptions about how I'm bad for black America. So I want to be clear before I move one step further. I am all about black love. I am all about black marriage, but I am all about healthy marriages and healthy love. I am not going to just blanketly support marriage for the sake of supporting marriages, but here's what I am going to do. I'm going to destigmatize singlehood so you don't end up in oppressive, toxic, unfulfilling, and even abusive relationships because you don't want to hold the title of singlehood. So I get a lot of backlash. People think I'm like, read the book. Read the book. And then we can have a conversation. I'm trying to have a structural conversation about singlehood. And that's what the book is really trying to do. But unfortunately, people don't read the book, and I get the nasty grams. [00:07:08] Speaker A: And it's almost as if people insert themselves into your individual choice. So, Rakma, this brings me to you. When you informed your village, your friends, folks in your space, that you were choosing to live child free and happy with that decision, did you get any backlash? [00:07:28] Speaker C: I received a ton of backlash. Pushback, unnecessary and unasked for feedback, some of it from within my own family. Just, are you sure you want to give up or you don't want to keep trying? And just from my family, it was coming from a good place of wanting to check and double check and triple and quadruple check that I wasn't going to regret my decision from some of my friends and others in my circle. It was coming from a place where they just could not comprehend a decision to not live a traditional lifestyle. So they couldn't wrap their minds around, like, okay, I'm already single. So it was already hard enough for people to accept that I was pursuing the single mother by choice journey. And then when I decided to walk away from that and just embrace being single and child free, then it became, I don't even know who you are. I just don't get it. But you've always wanted to be a mom. You've always wanted to be married. Well, I was also a lot younger when we were having those conversations. And I've grown. I've evolved, I've changed. I've been through some things, and I really love my life as a single and child free woman. And I don't feel like I'm missing anything from life. And that, particularly for women, I have found for women who are not thrilled in their marriage or not thrilled with motherhood, is really, really difficult for them to grasp. And so a lot of the pushback I personally believe and I have experienced comes from women, and women in particular, who are not 100% thrilled with their choice. [00:09:16] Speaker A: Chris and Rakma, thank you so much for blessing my soul with this much needed conversation. If child free is your journey and your path, please listen to the podcast. No bibs, burps, bottles wherever you get your podcast. Joy, your story stays with me and your advice is timeless. May we all learn to be our own best advocate and be brave enough to find the supportive professionals who we need to support us on our journey to parenthood. You mentioned a few things that I want to unpack. So the first thing was knowing that adoption was somewhere in your future. Did that make it easier to make the pivot when you had to? [00:10:01] Speaker B: Yeah, it made it easier for me. My doctor didn't think it was so easy, which is why she had me sit around and wait for a while. But yeah, it wasn't a hard pivot. It wasn't a hard pivot for me because I was already thinking, this is something that I wanted to do, but I still needed to make sure my mind was right about the next decision. [00:10:23] Speaker A: Are there any tips and tricks you'd like to share about your experience? [00:10:28] Speaker B: I think the biggest thing is just don't take yourself out of the driver's seat. [00:10:33] Speaker A: And Joy, I wholeheartedly agree with never, ever take yourself out of the driver's seat. And if you're interested in finding out what Joy has been up to, you can find Joy on Instagram at peace, love and soul. This is where Joy has a thriving business, where she elevates the vibrant jigsaw puzzles of artists in her ecosystem. Nicole, girlfriend, I love every bit of our conversation over coffee. Your financial advice and your brand story of your firm. Second story wealth. It's touching, it's real, and it's as down to earth as you are. And that's why we're friends. Here's my favorite clip from my conversation with Nicole on financial planning for each stage of your single mother by choice journey. And so let's kind of go rapid fire. The single mother by choice community. We tend to range from mid twenty s to like, let's say mid 50s. What are some things that I should focus on if I'm planning and I am in my twenty s? Okay. [00:11:42] Speaker E: If you're in your start early because time is on your side. You have so much more time. So you don't have to save as much if you don't need to because you have more time. Right. Stay out of debt because if you can learn that early, you learn that lesson early, it will save you more money over time. And then lastly, if you can avoid any student loans, if you can avoid some of those pitfalls that you can learn from the older generations that are coming, please learn those financial lessons that we are all kind of teaching you and max out your 401. [00:12:21] Speaker A: Right. [00:12:22] Speaker E: So those are the things that I would say. Right. If you're in your would say similarly, time is still on your side, but we still want to try to max out our 401. We still want to try to make sure that we now have an emergency fund because now we might be buying a house right now, it might be a little bit more serious. We might be buying a house now. We might have kids involved now we might be traveling a little bit more now we're really kind of in that adulting phase. So it's really more important that we have an emergency fund established because things are going to be coming up a lot more frequently. And now when you're in your think you're kind of at that place where it's like, okay, I'm fully an adult, I'm adulting now and you're starting to realize that I've got big girl bills. [00:13:13] Speaker A: Are we still in our thirty s or did we move to our. [00:13:15] Speaker E: No, we're still in our thirty s. Okay, so you want to make sure that you're really careful on the budget, right? That's where it's really important that we're budgeting really well. And then if you switch to your 40s, if we can, we're going to max out our four hundred and one k. Time is still on our side, but now we have a little bit less of it. And so if we can still max out our 401, max out our hsas that we talked about, make sure that we're still doing all the things that we talked about before, but we also want to make sure that we're checking in on all of the kind of insurance items that we didn't talk about before. Right. Some of those long term care things that we briefly talked about for parents. We want to make sure that we have our estate plans kind of, really kind of notched in. So we didn't really kind of get into detail on estate planning. We could talk about that at another time. But you likely, at this point in your stage of life, have a home, you likely have property, you likely have some ownership in some things. And so it's really important to have an estate plan that's encompassing not only guardianship for the children, but also documents that have your property that's involved. So that might also include trust documents. Right. And then lastly, I would just say it's also important that you're investing outside of your 401. So you should, at this point, have all your student loans behind you, you should have all of your debt behind you, and you should have a fully funded emergency fund, hopefully at this point. And so now we might actually have some additional liquid that we can start to play around with or actually invest. And so maybe now it's the time that we open up that brokerage account, we start to think about what additional ways I can invest. And so maybe there's some opportunity for a brokerage account there as well. [00:15:09] Speaker A: So now as we tiptoe into our 50s, because somebody, one of us is going there and we start thinking about retirement options, I think retirement age in the US is still 67, right? What if you want to retire early? Things like that. So as we go into our 50s, we still might have younger children. I will probably still have like a twelve year old and younger. Right. So what does that look like? [00:15:37] Speaker E: I think it's still really similar to your, with the difference of, to your point is like maybe it is reviewing your Social Security options. Maybe it is thinking about, for some of my clients that are in that stage, it's when is retirement and is it realistic and have I saved enough? Do I want to continue to work? And so it's really kind of asking yourself some of those realistic questions and knowing that I still have time, but I have less time. And so what do I want to do with the time that I now have and how do I make up if I need to make up and if I don't need to make up. What do I do? [00:16:20] Speaker B: What options do I have? [00:16:22] Speaker E: Because there are plenty of people that can retire at any age. You don't have to wait for Social Security. Social Security is an option. You technically can retire at 59 and a half in this country. It's just a matter of if you choose to take Social Security benefits. [00:16:38] Speaker A: Nicole, thank you for walking myself and my listeners through this financial advice through the different stages and ages of the SMC journey. Jada, thank you so much for giving me a crash course in dating in the age of social media. I still don't plan to give potential suitors any likes, but I will definitely take your advice and browse through their Instagram pages. Here's my favorite clip from the episode I had with Jada. When we talk about online dating, we're not just talking about the apps, right? So we're not just talking about Bumble, Tinder, hinge, eharmony, if you go that far back. But we're also talking about utilizing your actual social media profiles, your personal social media profiles as a form of online dating, right? [00:17:27] Speaker E: Yeah. [00:17:27] Speaker F: So it even goes off those dating apps as well. So I know, like I said, my partner originally reached out to me on Snapchat and off of Snapchat. It originally started on my school app where I actually posted something and he had seen my photo and recognized me and got my Snapchat off of there. So even when you're scrolling on your school app asking for textbooks, that could potentially be a profile as well. But I think that a lot of the times we see that sometimes people don't necessarily have luck with the dating apps like I have. Maybe sometimes they find certain apps might have certain reputations. I know Tinder, for example, has more of a reputation to be a hookup app as opposed to a serious relationship. So I think sometimes Instagram, especially because you can see what a person's post might convey about them, what interest they might have, where they like to go, things like that. And then you can also see their photos, so you can see if they would even be of interest. So I think nowadays, our profiles, whether it be on Facebook, Instagram, et cetera, they are all kind of tools for somebody to get to know us, which, of course, can be a good and bad thing. [00:18:34] Speaker A: So I do want to come back to the good and the bad thing because it gives kind of stalker vibes to me when I think. But it could just be because of the error that I come from. I have seen some dating profiles on the different apps, so on bumble, on hinge, where people will say, here's my Spotify list, here's my Instagram handle. [00:18:56] Speaker B: Is that really, like a thing? [00:18:58] Speaker A: Yes, Aisha, it's a thing I'm still. [00:19:01] Speaker C: Going to hold on to. [00:19:02] Speaker A: It gives stalker vibes to look at somebody's Instagram page, but I will just. [00:19:08] Speaker C: Leave it at that. [00:19:09] Speaker A: And I definitely look forward to the new season of your podcast. Sincerely, Jada Bertha. Thank you so much for explaining to myself and the listeners about functional medicine, what it is and the role that it plays in the hormone regulated systems. And really on your entire body, actually, we specifically talked about the role that it plays in fertility, infertility, and menopause in this clip. So what can I do from a functional medicine perspective, a body balancing perspective. [00:19:45] Speaker B: To prepare for menopause, because that's a. [00:19:48] Speaker A: Natural cycle in life. What can I do to prepare my body? [00:19:52] Speaker B: What can I do to level out the sometimes negative effects of it? So definitely for that, it would be like eating cruciferous vegetables, things that help to naturally metabolize excess estrogen and also just get rid of the bad estrogen, but raise the good estrogen. You want to. Black seed is good. One to two teaspoons a day helps with estrogen dominance. You basically want to make sure you keep your hormones in harmony. So another important factor is the things that people put on their skin. A lot of people don't realize that our skin is the largest organ, right? It's the largest organ. They don't realize it's an organ, but it is. It's the largest organ that we have. And whatever you put on your skin, lotion, perfume, whatever that is, it's going to go into your bloodstream. Now, the products that you put on your skin make sure that there are products that are not endocrine disruptors. And this is where a lot of black women get dinged. When I explain this to them, it's a very hard concept for them to understand when I say that Victoria's Secret or that bath and bodywork spray or that perfume collection that you have or those body washes that you're wearing. So the individual product is not harmful in terms of the carcinogenic that are in there. It's not going to cause you cancer, but the accumulation of the amount of products that you put on your skin on a daily basis times 40 years, 20 years, 30 years, that's where that stuff happens. So you hear of people, they're like, that person never even smoke. They didn't do this. They didn't do that. And I'm like, but did they hold a grudge? Were they angry? What products did they use on their skin? There's so much more to cancer infertility than just cigarette smoke. There's these products that are endocrine disruptors. I mean, what is that product that they use on the grass or for fertilizer? Oh, my goodness. Insecticides. It's a type of pesticide that they use on the outside. I cannot remember the. [00:22:13] Speaker A: Not miracle, bro. [00:22:15] Speaker B: No, but it is such a terrible endocrine disruptor. It is awful. And so even stuff like that, having your hands touch it, being around it, the chemicals that then you also use to clean your house, a lot of them have endocrine disruptors. So let me explain what I mean when I say endocrine disruptors. All that means in real simple layman terms is that when that product gets into your bloodstream, your body doesn't know that it's not estrogen or it's not that. And so it's an estrogen mimicker. It's acting like estrogen. And so the body is taking it as estrogen and it treats it as estrogen. And so that creates an estrogen dominance on your body. And then once one hormone begins to get disrupted, it's a domino effect. I like to tell people hormones are like caddy women. When one of them starts, they all start. Every single last one of them are like, if you're not doing what you're supposed to, I don't have to do what I'm supposed to. And it's just a domino effect. [00:23:20] Speaker A: And I will tell you, because of you, I radically change the products that I use on myself and the products that I use on my children. Knowledge is power. [00:23:29] Speaker B: So thank you. [00:23:30] Speaker A: For any of the listeners out there who are looking for more knowledge on functional medicine, you can find Bertha on Instagram at optimal healing for you. That's the number four and the letter U. Renita. Dr. White, thank you so much for joining me on the podcast. We talked about health maintenance at the different ages of your life. So here's my favorite clip, and I think one of the most informative clips about the different health maintenance doctors appointments that should not be missed. So can we go through some of the health maintenance appointments that are critical just for sustaining just good general health? [00:24:11] Speaker G: Absolutely. And I love that you're on top of this, because sometimes it can be hard to make your doctor's appointments. I mean, I used to be embarrassed to say this, but I'm not anymore because this is reality. Many of my peers, when we're in residency in medical school, working to provide the best care for others, we're so busy, we don't even get our own health care stuff taken care of. But this is the best medicine. It's prevention. It's not surprising that you said you didn't know that you were so close to diabetes and you didn't have those symptoms because many times you don't have symptoms until it does get into full blown diabetes or it gets worse. We call hypertension or high blood pressure the silent killer because you can live with it with super high levels of blood pressure and not know it until your kidneys are already making changes that could be harmful. Your heart's making changes. So that's where preventive medicine comes in. The good news is these things are covered once a year by your private and public insurance. So you should be able to see your doctor once a year and your primary doctor and your gynecologist once a year to get evaluated just for general routine care. So what does that look like? First of all, a lot of these appointments should be a lot of talking in the beginning, just getting to know what's going on with your medical history. As you talked about, you picked up some information about colon cancer and finding out what may be going on in your family's health that could impact you. So that can be a starting point to figuring out what things we need to keep a closer eye on as things are going down the line in these appointments, checking your blood pressure every visit, checking your vitals. The whole point of that is to see, are we seeing a rise over the course of each year that you come in? You may not be diagnosed with high blood pressure yet, but if you've got mom, dad, sister, who's got it, then your doctor should be keeping an eye to see what's this trend looking like, what's your diet looking like so we can make sure nothing's heading in that direction. Then there are certain tests we talk about. So you really touched on a lot of them. Some of them are blood test. So diabetes is tested by the a one c. So your doctor is going to look at different things that can look at your liver and kidney function, can look to make sure you're not super anemic or having a low blood count, which can make you dizzy or lightheaded. So those are general things just to see that everything's ticking the way it's supposed to. And then there are certain kind of tests that you do, depending on your age. So kind of thinking from younger age to older age. When you're somebody who's 21 or older for a woman or person with a uterus, that's when we're going to start your pap smears, which is how you screen for cervical cancer. Now, guidelines have changed, as you mentioned, where now you only need the specific test every three years to five years, depending on your age. But that's one component of your yearly visit. So you should still be seen once a year. Your doctor is still going to look at your cervix, still going to look at other parts of your body, but that's just one component of the test. Other things that are really important are breast cancer tests, breast screening. So for most women, a mammogram is going to start at age 40. For most people, the guidelines just changed from one society that now has come down to where all the other societies were saying, so now everyone's on board that 40 is the age, unless you've got any other health, family health conditions. But mammograms are just one way to screen, a very important way, but just one way to screen for breast cancer. Another very important way is you and your provider doing a breast exam. So each year that should be part of your evaluation is a breast exam done by your clinician. As you get a little bit older, we're talking about things like colon cancer screening. So colon cancer screening can be done in a couple of ways, but the gold standard currently is starting at age 45, which is also a newer screen because that used to be age 50. But 45 is when we'd say, let's get that colonoscopy. And that is gold standard, where a camera is placed through the colon to make sure they don't see any signs of cancer. But there's some newer ways to do it. So you could talk to your doctor about other alternatives, like giving a stool sample and things like that. And then eventually we talk about things like screening for risk of abdominal order and then osteoporosis, screening to check your bones. So there's so many things, and it can be overwhelming, and you don't have to know every single detail. You're not going to remember, I'm this age and I need to do this and I need to do that, but that's why it's so important to establish with somebody that you're comfortable with. [00:28:43] Speaker A: So thank you. Renita. Dr. White is not just a doctor. She's also a sister, a wife, a mom and a fellow podcaster. So check out her podcast, cradle and all. Wherever you get your podcasts. Sunday and Sudani, thank you so much for supporting me and sharing your knowledge with other parents who find themselves entering into the IEP process and feeling totally ill equipped. I listen to the episode again and again and again as I continue to go on my journey with ieps. You guys dropped so much knowledge. You shared so much tips and tricks. You gave me such an insider's view and it opened up so many meaningful conversations with other parents going through or having or starting to go through the IEP process. And they shared such a tremendous amount of resources. What are you seeing in terms of trends and what do you think is feeding into the trend? [00:29:47] Speaker H: I see a slow trend, a delay of decades in a trend that affluent and more privileged white people have embraced this. Not only have they embraced it for their children with special needs, but they've embraced it as a way to advantage their children. And I see that brown and black parents slowly beginning to take advantage of a system. Historically, brown and black children have been overrepresented in special education. And that was a system where our children were placed in special education as a way of containing and controlling them. So that history has impacted us in what we think as individuals, as families and communities about special education. However, if you move from having your child who has educational needs that can be serviced through these laws or regulations, and I say that because all children have different needs and some of them need to be serviced through these policies and processes. So getting us to the point where we are able to take the reins of these systems and not be stigmatized by them, but control them and use them to advantage ourselves. So I've seen a slow uptick where I've had more and more families be out and out loud about their needs, their struggles, their wins. But I think a lot of things are behind our unwillingness to let our children be labeled again. Our children have been labeled a lot from birth. It's a brown child, it's a black child. We don't want these labels because these labels can hang around their necks by albatrosses. But let's try to deconstruct that. One of the things I want families and parents to remember, the day your child is diagnosed or found eligible for special education, they are not a different child that day than they were two days before. It is the same child. A diagnosis, ineligibility for a service. We need to start looking at this as a key to unlock access to things we need. [00:31:50] Speaker E: Yeah. [00:31:50] Speaker C: To Dr. Sunday's point, there does seem to be a difference in terms of comfort level with disclosing that one has a disability based on race. Because of the historical issues, in the past, black and brown people, especially black people, have been considered to be like inferior intellectually. And so these kinds of tests, sometimes parents think they're biased, used as a form of oppression. So I think it's going to take time for parents and certain communities to feel like they can trust certain entities and institutions that are responsible for making decisions for their children and also to feel comfortable sharing information about their child's disability classification just because of these historical issues. The only other thing I would add is that, yes, special education can be really beneficial and necessary at the same time. I also do want to caution parents that sometimes more supports or smaller settings or more restrictive settings doesn't necessarily always equal better, because we're talking about the kind of pretentious meetings that I might have. Sometimes parents are informed and my people that their child needs to be in a special class. Their child needs to be in a school that's just for students with special education. Their child needs a parent professional, and these are all more restrictive services and programs and support. And ideally, as much as possible, we want the children to be in more inclusive environments where they are able to be in environments with their general education peers. Because general education peers can learn from students that are receiving special education services and vice versa, all the students can learn and grow from each other. There's a benefit both ways. And ideally, you don't want to necessarily be segregating students and putting them into more restrictive settings. So obviously, if a student really, really needs that, then absolutely give that to them. But if there's a way for a child to be successful without having to be in the most restrictive environment and in the smallest setting away from students that are receiving general education, I just want parents to know that just to keep that in mind, that just because a class is smaller doesn't mean that it's better. [00:33:45] Speaker A: So I thank you. These were two experts who participate in or run IEP meetings regularly. And so this clip here is for all of the marginalized parents in particular and professionals who participate in the IEP process. Now, for those of you who are getting started or in the midst of, remember, the process is daunting. If it feels overwhelming, it's normal. But your participation is so vital as you are your child's best advocate. Madly, madly. Thank you so much for sharing your city with me and with my listeners. For those of you who might find yourselves supporting a friend or a loved one through the loss of a child. Here's some advice from my friend. So what advice would you give for someone who is walking beside someone who's grieving the loss of a child? [00:34:50] Speaker E: For people who are grieving the loss, I might say, or even people who are just watching. I mean, it's a pain you really can't imagine. It's completely okay not to be okay and not to minimize what you're experiencing if you're that person. I mean, it's horrible. And don't let other people let you feel that. It's not. It's traumatic. [00:35:08] Speaker B: It's a big deal. [00:35:09] Speaker E: Like, you deserve time off and you deserve the best support. And it's really physical. So that's what I would tell person in that situation. I might recommend to them to go and find a bereavement group that's local. Those were really important to me. Maybe find a therapist or online group. I had somebody phone me, too, at one point, bimonthly, to check in. Yeah. So don't hesitate to reach out. And as for the people who are out there listening, I would say, who don't know any about this group, I might say something like, don't dismiss it, don't gloss over it. It is a big deal. And try to give the person, like, an opening to talk about it. And instead of saying dismissing it, like, oh, that must be tough. Or like, that's really out. Maybe giving them opening, like, how do you feel? Do you feel like talking about it? Or, okay, if you're even more of the huggy person, maybe do you want to hug or do you just want me to sit there with you? I think some people don't know what to say. I think they won't be able to deal with the person's emotions, that it's some kind of contagious thing, but it's not. It's not contagious. It won't overwhelm you, and you don't need to fix it. I think people feel like they can't intervene because they can't fix this problem. Right. But really, just listening gives people the opportunity to be real, to acknowledge it happened just for a second. And that's really, really healing. [00:36:38] Speaker B: Right. [00:36:38] Speaker E: It helps a person feel level human and helps you feel like your baby is human like that. Sibi's human, that she was there. She's important. It makes you feel connected with people, and it makes you feel like the life and the personhood of that child, of Siby's, really matters. That it's not just something that was a blip. Or just a stillbirth? [00:36:58] Speaker A: Well, madly. Thank you, thank you. [00:37:00] Speaker E: And thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk about Sibi like you did. Right. Mean, I know we've talked about this for a while, and I know it's taken me a while to come and talk about it. It's a hard topic, right? But I really appreciate you giving me this space and giving Sidi this way to maybe even just make it easier for one person that will make her life matter. [00:37:23] Speaker A: Now I want to just take a moment of silence and hold space for all the parents who have lost children. It changes you. And wow, that was season two. As I head off on my break, please relisten, share, and rate the podcast. Let me know which episodes resonated most with you. I'll be back in the spring, so be sure that you're signed up for my mailing list to be notified of the season three release date. And until next time, bye now. Thanks for listening. To start to finish motherhood with Aisha. If you want to keep the conversation going, follow start to finish motherhood on Instagram or email me at [email protected] if you love this episode, please share it with anyone who's thinking of becoming a single mother by choice, anyone who who's already parenting as a single mother by choice and just looking for advice on navigating it all, or a friend or family member who's looking to support someone else's single mother by choice journey. Until next time. Bye now.

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