I don’t know about you, but since being quarantined at home I find I am spending more time listening to podcasts. While I’ve traditionally been drawn to news updates and true crime stories, I’ve been trying to limit my exposure – psyche’s fragile enough right now. I was in search of new content when I stumbled upon, Life After Baby is a parenting podcast focused on the parents rather than kids. Their motto is, “take care of yourself, so you can take better care of them.”
Which is definitely an approach that resonates with me. I have enough to worry about right now without the pressure of crafting the perfect upbringing – again, the psyche here.
The show is recorded and produced locally and often features experts we all know and love. For example, they recently explored early childhood literacy with Michele Guinan, the brain’s behind West Chester’s story time program. They’ve also interviewed Jen Anderson, of West Chester Macaroni Kid, and Patience Domininiski, founder of Chester County Childcare. I got started with a show on organization, which was full of tips to help save time and ways to automate your to dos.
I was curious. Who was behind the show? How did they get started? Was this advice here for me the whole time and I’m just finding it now? So I reached out to show creator, producer and host – the multi-talented Leslie Hudson, former writer for the Town Dish (now PA Eats), who graciously answered my many (many) questions about podcasting and parenting during a pandemic.
An Interview with Life After Baby Creator and Host Leslie Hudson
Q. How long have you been podcasting?
A. Our show is on our second season and started as a radio show before transitioning to a podcast this year. I have been producing the show since day one, coming up with topics, booking guests, and promoting the show, but we originally had another host. After watching me want to chime in a few times during interviews, my husband, Kyle, encouraged me to give hosting a try when we started back up this year, then because of current circumstances, it became a necessity. I’m still in the infant stage of podcasting, however, Kyle has been helping and he has been hosting and producing “The World’s Finest Show” since 2012.
Q. What did you do before – what brought you to podcasting?
A. Throughout my career, I’ve always worn many hats. For years, I planned events – everything from waterway cleanups in Camden to non-profit fundraisers for hundreds of people – while also eating and writing my way through Chester County for The Town Dish (now PA Eats). Nowadays, in addition to being a mom to a 1-year-old (her birthday was last week), I own a content marketing company, Crimson Planet Media, with my husband, and I am a day-of wedding coordinator for Swig Event – Staffing and Coordination. Through all of those avenues, I’ve enjoyed hearing people’s stories and lessons they’ve learned along the way.
Q. What gave you the idea to do a podcast about the after baby parenting experience?
A. Last year, Kyle was looking for content ideas for new shows. Back then, I was deep in the fourth trimester [of pregnancy], I thought a local parenting show that features local experts and advice would appeal to people.
Motherhood is a beautiful and incredible thing, but the transition is freaking hard! I read the pregnancy books and apps, talked at length with my friends with kids, and we took the hospital prep classes. As my May due date approached, I felt knowledgeable and ready for labor and new mom life. Boy, was I WRONG!
Once home from the hospital, I was floored about how to care and recover from the hardest thing that my body has physically or emotionally experienced. Labor made running Broad Street and a half marathon look like a piece of cake! I feel like there are so many resources for moms from the moment they see that positive test up until they deliver, and then it immediately switches to how to care for the baby. There are so many fantastic resources on raising kids out there, and I wanted to create an outlet that focuses on the parents as much as the kids.
What topics do you cover?
Each week I interview parenting experts to help new parents navigate postpartum life. We’ve talked about the importance of a parent tribe, why parents need playdates too, how to maintain your mental and physical health during quarantine, organizational tips to make parenting life easier, and most recently, how to prepare for postpartum life while still pregnant.
What’s the best advice you have heard that parents can use to help survive the stress of a global pandemic, plus, working, teaching, entertaining – all with the loss of support systems?
As a new mom who had a bruised tailbone from labor, this quarantine routine felt a little familiar. To me, I felt like I was back in the first two, blurry months with a newborn: there is no concept of day or time, we are nervous about taking the baby outside, everyone’s sleep is off, I am eating non-stop (I’m still pulling the breastfeeding card), you feel every emotion under the sun (including lost), and don’t wear real pants. That being said, I’ve been hearing the same advice that I heard then – give yourself grace, ask for help, rethink your to-do list and what you can achieve in a day, practice self-care, try to stick to a routine, check in with family and friends, and listen to your body.
If someone is new to your podcast – what is a good episode to start with?
- “Episode 1: The First Chapter with Beyond the Bookends”
- “Episode 8: How Do Nursery Rhymes Help Kids Learn to Read?”
- “Episode 14: Why You Need a Well-Rounded Pregnancy & Postpartum Education“
You can find all the shows on Spotify (or wherever you get your podcasts), new episodes coming each Thursday. Have an idea for a show topic? Shoot Leslie a message through their website.
Plus, see where the class of 2034 and later (boy, that’s scary) will be attending elementary school – redistricting plans are out!