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M Is for Mama Podcast

M Is for Mama Podcast

Author: Abbie Halberstadt

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On the M is for Mama Podcast, you’ll hear encouragement for all things motherhood, practical helps and systems to help you thrive in your home from day to day, funny, relatable kid-stories, examinations of what the Bible has to say about cultural issues, and so much more!
12 Episodes
NOTE: I usually record podcasts when my littles are down for naps and my older kids are gone to our once-a-week homeschool co-op. This episode was recorded while we were all home with a stomach bug, so there's a bit more background noise than usual. Honestly, between the pukey kids and the background squawking, I feel like we managed to set an appropriate tone for an episode called "Hard Is Not The Same Thing as Bad." ; ) Hey, friends! I wrote a new book! And it's available for pre-order! In this episode, I talk about the period in my life during which the Lord impressed the phrase "hard is not the same thing as bad" deep into my soul. (Hint: It wasn't a season of ease.) Since then, I've discovered from the enthusiastic response to my sharing it that it's such a crucial (and biblical!) concept that every mother (and honestly, every Christian) needs to embrace in order to run well the race set out for us by God. Be encouraged that the hard you're experiencing is not random or cruel but instead designed by God to draw you closer to Him and to grow you up in maturity and faith. BONUS: You get an exclusive sneak peek at the introduction of HINTSTAB (funny acronym, I know), which I read during this episode. Mentions: Grape Juice + Activated Charcoal Blog Hard Is Not the Same Thing as Bad, which is now available for Pre-Order! M Is For Mama Book Bible references: Philippians 4:4 John 16:33 James 4:14 Psalm 144:4 1 Peter 2:24 1 Corinthians 1:28-29 John 1:14 Isaiah 40:11 1 Peter 2:2 Hebrew 13:5 Jeremiah 29:11 Proverbs 14:10, 30 Isaiah 40:10 Links: ⁠⁠M Is for Mama⁠⁠ ⁠⁠Penny Reward System⁠⁠ ⁠⁠Leave a Review for the M is for Mama Show⁠⁠ ⁠Paint & Prose⁠⁠ Find Abbie at: ⁠Instagram⁠ ⁠Youtube⁠ ⁠Facebook
Ever looked at another mama and wondered HOW she's managing to do everything she's doing when you seem to only be able to manage the bare minimum? MEEEEE TOO! What I've discovered through the years is, often, when I'm frustrated with where I am and longing for the circumstances that another woman has, I am ignoring some key factors for why the Lord has me where he does. (Because, if we are in Christ, He does everything for our good and His glory.) There is a season for everything in motherhood. And, just like Paul, if we can learn the secret of being content in our circumstances, we can experience so much freedom and purpose right where the Lord has us. Yes, our productivity may be limited in certain periods. No, we won't always be thrilled with the particulars of the season in which God has us. But that's okay! God can still use it! May this episode, which tells a bit of my journey to the stage in life that the Lord has me in currently, encourage you that each season of motherhood has its own unique joys and challenges and that the Lord is never done using and growing and blessing us until we reach glory! Mentions: Book Number 2--Hard Is Not the Same Thing as Bad, which is now available for Pre-Order! Paint & Prose Bible references: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 Philippians 2:13 Ephesians 2:10 Links: ⁠M Is for Mama⁠ ⁠Penny Reward System⁠ ⁠Leave a Review for the M is for Mama Show⁠ Find Abbie at: ⁠Instagram⁠ ⁠Youtube⁠ ⁠Facebook
It can be easy to feel like we're drowning in a tidal wave of "mommy snark," negativity toward children, and a fatalistic view of kids that leaves us with little hope but the prospect of their one day leaving the house. Our culture's view of motherhood often focuses almost exclusively on the hard aspects of being a mama (which I will never deny) to the exclusion of the multitude of joys and opportunities for growth that abound as we navigate the tricky waters of toddler tantrums and teen angst (and every age in between). So, what do we do? In this episode, we'll discuss practical ways to not only keep our heads above the water of cultural disdain for children but actually use our knowledge of the Bible (which says that children are a blessing!) to climb out and find ourselves on the firm ground of the knowledge that, though there will be struggles, we know the One who is greater than any challenge we may face with our kids and who loves us (and them!) more than we could possibly imagine.  Mentions: The Gentleness Challenge (on Instagram @thegentlenesschallenge and available in ebook form soon) Bible references: Philippians 4:4 Links: M Is for Mama Penny Reward System Leave a Review for the M is for Mama Show Find Abbie at: Instagram Youtube Facebook
Toddlers can feel tear-your-hair-out hard, and yet, we are called to be consistent to train them up in the ways of the Lord, just like we do our children of other ages/stages. But how! This episode gives some practical suggestions for how to both speak to the heart of the matter AND help our littles make good choices.  Bible references: Ephesians 6:4 Psalm 51:5-7 Links M Is for Mama Penny Reward System Leave a Review for the M is for Mama Show Find Abbie at: Instagram  Youtube Facebook
Yes, toddlers are hard. And infuriating. And crazy-making.  But they're also adorable and winsome and a great big mirror of our own shortcomings and impatience.  I've parented ten toddlers so far, and I can attest to both their challenges and their many rewards. I pray that these two episodes will encourage and equip you to approach your relationships with your toddlers in a biblical way that honors God and bucks our culture's negativity toward children in general but, perhaps especially, very small ones.  We all know that just because something (or someone!) is hard does not mean it (he/she) is bad. And toddlers have some of the greatest potential for "hard goods" in every mama's life if she will only reject the narrative that they are something to be "gotten through" instead of an amazing opportunity for growth and joy and "professional development."
Ever looked at the way another mom: dresses her kids, exercises, cooks, cleans her house, schools her children, organizes her pantry, brushes her teeth (okay, hopefully not that last one)...and thought, "That's it! I'm done! I can never measure up!"  If so, join the club. Sometimes, it seems like "mom comparison" is an Olympic sport, and we're all competing for a place on the podium.  But, my sisters, this should not be! (Imagine me saying this in my best Pauline "letter to the Ephesians" voice.) Yes, we can notice what others are doing so we can glean new ideas, but when we find ourselves in a place of insecurity and resentment, that's a pretty good sign that we've fallen into the pit of comparison, and we need the light of Scripture to guide us back out.  The theme verse for this episode was 2 Corinthians 10:12, and I mention that I also have a chapter (two, actually!) about comparison and staying the course in the path that the Lord has for us in the M Is for Mama book (available wherever books are sold.) 
Do you struggle to establish and maintain rhythms in your home? To follow through on goals that you make to increase peace and minimize chaos? Then, this episode is for you! I share some basic principles/steps for creating sustainable rhythms as well as share some of the practices that work well for our particular family. I think you will be encouraged that home rhythms are not one-size-fits-all and really are achievable (and oh-so-helpful!) for all kinds of personalities and life circumstances!
One of the biggest stresses of motherhood is sibling fighting. I know from personal experience how frustrating it is to have a home full of strife and bickering. But we are not helpless! Scripture has given us an arsenal of tools to combat our oh-so-human tendencies to squabble and try to get our own way at the expense of peace in our homes. In this episode, we talk about a Christian's response to our culture's assumption that "constant fighting is inevitable" as well as some very practical steps we can take to create a culture of *more* calm and camaraderie in our homes.  I mention our family's Penny Reward System as a resource.  I also have two whole chapters on promoting sibling love + positive/negative media influences in the M Is for Mama book (available most places books are sold).
One of the most common FAQs that I receive is, "How do you lavish individual attention on ten kids?" Or, conversely, "How do *I* connect well with my kids of any number?" Finding ways to fill our kids' love tanks on a daily basis boils down to one key concept: intentionality. In this episode, I address how we specifically go about making sure all of our kids feel seen and loved in our home and also provide lots of practical (UNcomplicated) suggestions for anyone who's feeling a bit frazzled at the pressure to "get it right" in the kid-connection department. Hint: It's not as tricky as some people make it seem. I mention the Penny Reward System in this episode, in case you want to check it out. 
In a world where hyper-sensitivity to even a whiff of offense permeates many social interactions--both in person and online--the Bible calls us to something radical: overlooking offense (being what I term "unoffendable" in this episode). This is not a case for "stuffing emotions" or "ignoring wrongdoing" but rather looking for ways to be an overcomer in Christ rather than a victim of our circumstances or others' unkindness--an invaluable skill not only in motherhood but in every area of our lives!  
Every single week on the Q&A I do on Instagram called Whaddya Wanna Know Wednesday (, I get asked some version of the question: "What made you decide to have SO many kids?" Well, here's the podcast I'll be pointing everybody to from here on out! In this episode, I flesh out why Shaun and I felt called--not to a larger-than-average family--but to seek the Lord's will for the number of children we would ultimately have.  I also answer questions about about my background (you might be surprised by what you learn!) and the motivations that ultimately culminated in my becoming a "mama of many."
On our first ever episode, I'm explaining how I came to choose the name M is for Mama for my blog, social media, book, and--ultimately--this podcast. I think you'll be encouraged by what the Lord taught me through something as simple as wearing the letter "M" around my neck on a daily basis!
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