Don't Mom Alone Podcast
Don't Mom Alone Podcast
Heather MacFadyen
Heather MacFadyen, mother of four boys, connects you the listener with people and resources to help you feel less alone. Consider it an invitation to "withness".
Six Needs of Every Child :: Amy and Jeffrey Olrick [Ep 322]
As moms we are often looking for parenting formulas and quick fixes to solve our latest parenting problems. When they are babies, following formulas for sleeping and eating makes sense, but as they get older and their needs change it gets a lot more complicated.  We often turn to friends and mentors for advice, but that doesn’t always work or what works for one of our kids doesn’t for another and it can make us feel lost.  Jeffrey Olrick, Ph.D. and his wife Amy Olrick join me to share a different way to interpret our kids needs using some practical tools and the science of connection. They offer an alternative question to “What do I do?”, asking instead: “How can I be with this child?”. They go through the six needs of every child and a helpful compass to help you find your way when it gets challenging. “I think some of it is a fear that we have parents. If we lose the trail for even a moment that our children will be put in imminent danger. And we want to set parents free from that and say, no, actually that's actually going to be pretty normal to lose the trail. But you are still together and you're going to find your way back to firm footing with these six needs.” This approach is teaching me a lot in my own parenting and I know it will help you on your parenting journey. To learn more from the Olricks, check out their podcast! Connect with the Olricks:  Website: Facebook:  Instagram: @growingconnected  Links Mentioned:   The Growing Connected Podcast BOOK: The 6 Needs of Every Child. Featured Sponsors:  Hello Bello— Go to to get 25% off your diaper bundle order and 15% off any add ons like vitamins or wipes! StoryWorth—Give your mom the most meaningful gift this Mother’s Day with StoryWorth. No shipping required. Go to and get $10 off your first purchase. 
Apr 11
55 min
Healing from Broken Friendships :: Shundria Riddick [Ep 321]
On a recent Instagram survey I learned that 68% of y’all have experienced broken friendships. I knew we needed an episode to help. The last year has not been easy for any of us. So many things in our lives changed in response to the pandemic, political and racial tensions, and the loneliness of quarantine life. In the midst of everything, it has been hard to keep friendships healthy. Licensed professional counselor Shundria Riddick is here to walk us through some healthy ways to work toward reconciliation and how to know when to walk away from friendship that is hurtful. We talk about setting healthy boundaries, having clarifying conversations, and how to analyze the health of relationships. Connect with Shundria:  Website:  Facebook:  Instagram: @shundriariddick  Links Mentioned:   Relax Relate Release Group Therapy with Shundria [Ep 159] Healing Friendship Wounds :: Lisa-Jo Baker [Ep 289] Strengthening Our Friendships :: Susan Seay  Featured Sponsors:  Rothys—Check out all the amazing shoes, bags and masks available right now at Thrive Market—Join Thrive Market today to get 25% off your first order AND an exclusive FREE gift! The ONLY way to get this offer is by going to Thrive 
Apr 4
43 min
Hosting a Simple Passover Seder :: Chris and Karen Katulka [Ep 320]
With Easter right around the corner, the traditional Jewish feast of Passover is also coming up. The Passover Seder, a ritual feast that marks the beginning of Passover, is a powerful, symbolic meal to help both Christian and Jewish believers remember the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. My friends Chris and Karen Katulka walk us through all the elements in a way that is doable for families with young kids and still poignant for us as adults. You may be surprised all that you learn about how specific foods can serve as meaningful reminders of God’s redemption. “And what you do is you eat the bitter herbs with matzah as a reminder of the bitterness of bondage that was felt for the Israelites. For us as Christians, you know, there was a point where you didn't know Christ, a point where you were separated. So that bitterness is a nice, fresh reminder of what was life like before.” The Katulkas help make this sacred celebration accessible and understandable for families whether you’ve participated in the past or want to start a new tradition this year. Download their helpful Passover packet with recipes and more information. Connect with the Friends of Israel:  Website:  Facebook:  Instagram: @foigm  Links Mentioned:   Ep 217: The Gift of Celebrating the Biblical Feasts :: Amber Lee Get the Passover Seder Downloads More details on Passover from FOI Passover Haggadah FEATURED SPONSORS:  HelloBello — Get 25% off your diaper bundle order and 15% off any add ons like vitamins or wipes: SoulCycle At Home Bike —Get your SoulCycle At Home bike by visiting use promo code: DMA and get a complementary pair of at home Select cycling shoes with your purchase.
Mar 28
54 min
Connecting Through Play :: Charissa Fry [Ep 319]
Licensed Professional Counselor Charissa Fry is back to help parents get the “most bang for our buck” when it comes to one-on-one connected time with our kids — PLAY! Even if you’re a mom who doesn’t love playtime or you feel like you can’t add one more thing to your family schedule, listen in as Charissa breaks down how the benefits of special playtime far exceed the difficulties.  “We follow the child's lead because it allows the child to feel seen, heard, understood, and delighted in like you care about what they care about. You're interested in what they're interested in. It also models cooperation. And it’s helpful with the power dynamic between a parent and a child.” We talk about how to remove the teacher, parent and disciplinarian hats and enter into playtime with a positive and engaged attitude that can reap BIG benefits in our parenting over time. Charissa explains some of the “rules” of special playtime that can help us reinforce positive behavior and give our kids permission to play however they want.  I hope this episode leaves you encouraged to connect with kids through imaginative play. For more information, check out this resource from Charissa!  Helpful Verbal Cue: “Hey, in five minutes, we're going to have special playtime and you get to choose what we do together.” Connect with Charissa:  Website: Facebook: Links Mentioned:   The Window of Tolerance :: Charissa Fry [Ep 260] Special Playtime Keys handout from Charissa   Featured Sponsors:  FabFitFun— use code DMA10 to save $10 off your first FabFitFun box at Acorn TV—try the Acorn TV streaming service for FREE for 30 days. Go to and use code DMA
Mar 21
50 min
True Intimacy with God :: Mo Isom Aiken [Ep 318]
I’m excited to welcome back Mo Isom Aiken  to the podcast. She writes and speaks powerfully about how God has redeemed her own brokenness and set her on a path to challenge, encourage and equip other Christ followers. In this episode we talk about how each of us was made for true intimacy with God on a heart level.  “The ultimate will of the Father is to know him intimately and to be known by him and to press into an intimacy with God that is all-consuming and not based on our doing as much as our being with him -- who we are, who he is. Allowing this intimacy that really takes us to think about marital intimacy, a vulnerable exposed, honest place that draws near to us. And somehow this rhythmic, you know, coming together transforms our heart.” Mo takes us into her own story of God peeling back the layers of shame and her own twisted view of intimacy to heal the deep places of her heart. We talk about how God wants to do the same for each of us, but it’s a process.  In this time when so many of us have lost the support that sustained us and distractions that hid our true feelings, Mo invites us to draw near to God trusting him and exposing our physical vulnerabilities to him.  “If we want to understand the deeper layers of spiritual intimacy with God, we've got to be willing to work through the very physical layers of things that have impacted our life and story because everything in the physical is ultimately served to shape our perspective of intimacy overall and especially intimacy with God.” Connect with Mo:  Website:  Facebook:  Instagram: @moisom  Links Mentioned:   Books by Mo: Wreck My Life: Journeying from Broken to Bold Sex, Jesus, and the Conversations the Church Forgot Fully Known: An Invitation to True Intimacy with God Ep 168 Broken to Bold :: Mo Isom Ep 260 Window of Tolerance :: Charissa Fry Featured Sponsors:  BetterHelp — 10% off your first month of professional counseling online at PrepDish — try 2 weeks of meal plans FREE at
Mar 14
1 hr
Supporting Students with Dyslexia :: Kerri Irvin [Ep 317]
When it comes to learning differences and special education diagnoses, it can feel overwhelming and defeating to see your child struggle. My guest Kerri Irvin is a dyslexia specialist who has worked with countless children, teens and adults to help them thrive and embrace their learning differences.  “It amazes me the gifts that God provides for all children, alongside their challenges. For every challenge, an equally important, if not more significant, gift has been provided and their challenges, without fail, are gifts that support them with their talents and make them better learners and people.” We talk about what dyslexia is, how students with dyslexia learn differently, ways to partner with your child’s teachers to help them succeed, and how to support friends who have children with learning differences. Kerri shares with passion and hope about how dyslexia is not just a learning challenge, but can be a strength.  Connect with Kerri Email:  Site: SK Designs for Learning Links Mentioned:   The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity International Dyslexia Association Neuhaus Education Center Scottish Rite for Children Orton-Gillingham Academy Kerri’s List of Resources Featured Sponsors:  Function of Beauty — Go to to take your quiz and get 20% off your first order.  Rothy’s — Check out their amazing repurposed, eco-friendly shoes, bags and masks available at
Mar 7
55 min
Bruce Learns to Label His Feelings :: Bruce and Heather [Ep 316]
“What’s something you’ve grown in but at different speeds?”. After collecting listener questions, this question stood out to my husband Bruce. So instead of doing a general Q and A episode (in honor of our 22nd wedding anniversary), we decided to discuss Bruce’s journey in learning how to identify what he is feeling, labeling it and sharing it with others.  Listen to how we learned to process our feelings through church small group. And how we’ve grown as a couple to express those emotions in a healthy way. “I think a common theme through all of this is just having a really constructive, clear language to talk about things. It is not like any one of these methods solves things. It's not a formula. The more precise and constructive and simple we make this language,  the more effective communication can be.” Here are the cards we reference in the show (see website show notes).  More Episodes with Bruce: 20th Anniversary Q & A :: Bruce and Heather [Ep 242] The Right to Change My Mind :: Bruce and Heather [Ep 196] This is Us :: Bruce and Heather {Ep 145} Goals, Roles and Superpowers :: Bruce and Heather MacFadyen {Ep 112} When your Husband has a Demanding Job :: Bruce and Heather {Ep 38} Links Mentioned:   Steps into God’s Grace (12 step program) by Lynn Hoffman Recovery for Life :: Lynn Hoffman [Ep 129] BOOK: People Fuel by John Townsend Featured Sponsors:  PrettyLitter — use code DMA to save 20% off a one month supply over at Thrive Market— get 25% off your first order and a free gift. If you go to 
Feb 28
42 min
A Lil Help with Boys and Screens :: David Thomas [Bonus]
David Thomas and I talked for SOOOO long in our interview because he's the BEST. The last part of our convo was specific to handling screen time with boys. The DMA team figured we could shorten the main episode by releasing this part separately. Of course, David and I did not cover every angle of managing technology (people write whole books on that topic). But I hope it helps you feel less alone in the struggle and empowered to do a few things: Create a Family Media Plan (or at least use the media calculator)--see links below Discuss what creative things your family has done outside of screen time. After reminiscing, brainstorm new ideas. Ask your son about one of his favorite video games. Perhaps sit down and play one with him. Let me know how it goes. Links: AAP family media time calculator and Media Plan Among Us game Mafia group game Fortnite  Roblox List of Movie Recs by Raising Boys and Girls (a page on my site, not on IG for you non-Instagram peeps) Time and Space for Flourishing in a Tech World :: Andy Crouch [Ep 208]  
Feb 26
10 min
Understanding Boys Better :: David Thomas [Ep 315]
Understanding the emotions of boys is a challenge no matter the age. Anxiety that presents as anger or distraction. Depression shows up as low-grade irritability. David Thomas returns to the show to answer listener questions about all things boy. David is a family therapist and director at DayStar Counseling Center in Nashville. He has lots of experience counseling families and children and has a set of twin boys himself. We talk about teaching our sons about emotional language, going to counseling, helping sibling relationships, and managing boy energy levels. “I think we need to be clear with boys. I think it's always helpful to use concrete language with them. When we're concise, clear, and concrete, those are kind of three rules of thumb, we can consistently be adopting. The mistake that I think we can make is we kind of soft pedal and dance around things.” If you are a parent of boys, this is an episode for you! Watch for a bonus episode coming out later this week too.   Connect with David:  Website:  Facebook:  Instagram:  @raisingboysandgirls    Links Mentioned:   Ep 119 The Art of Nurturing Boys :: David Thomas Ep 160 Emotional Milestones :: Sissy Goff & David Thomas  BOOK: Are My Kids on Track? by Sissy Goff & David Thomas Ep 260 The Window of Tolerance :: Charissa Fry BOOK: Best Friends, Worst Enemies by Michael Thompson BOOK: Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys by Stephen James and David Thomas Movies & Books Highlights from Raising Boys & Girls MOVIE: Just Mercy VidAngel BOOK: Quiet: The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain BOOK: Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverted Kids by Susan Cain Featured Sponsors:  FabFitFun —use coupon code DMA10 for $10 off your first box at  Function of Beauty — Go to to take your quiz and save 20% off your order. 
Feb 21
1 hr 4 min
Talk to Your Kids about Race :: Kirsten Watson [Ep 314]
The topic of racial inequality and the need for reconciliation and education on race in America is a BIG. It can seem overwhelmingly big when it comes to teaching our kids how to be allies for people who are different from them.    My guest Kirsten Watson breaks down why we shouldn’t shy away from these conversations, but how to show our children the importance of diversity and how to righteously fight for what's right.    “As a believer, as my sister in Christ, the reason it's so imperative for you to have this conversation with your kids is because when it happens to my kid, when the joke is made, I need your kid to stand up for my kid. Because they know that my kid was made in the image of Christ and they know that God made us all different. That they would stand up for my kid, because my kid is any kid who is not white.”   Having these conversations with our kids and bringing it back to God's truth allows us to change the narrative and raise the next generation to continue to work toward racial unity.   Connect with Kirsten:    Website:  Facebook:  Instagram:  @_kirstenwatson_    Links Mentioned:   Why or Why Not With the Watsons podcast Please Talk To Your Kids About Race (Podcast ep) Ep 216: Help Your Children Embrace Differences :: Dorena Williamson Ep 261: Racial Healing Starts with You :: Latasha Morrison Ep 282: Many Hues, One Humanity :: Dr. Lucretia Berry “What About Gary” Season 7, episode 10 Black-ish Mom Life Today     Featured Sponsors:  BetterHelp —Go to and listeners get 10% off their first month of counseling.  SoulCycle At-Home Bike —Get your SoulCycle at-home bike TODAY by visiting , and use promo code DMA to get a free pair of at-home Select cycling shoes with your purchase.
Feb 14
41 min
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