The Shameless Mom Academy

Sara Dean launched the Shameless Mom Academy to help moms lead more positive, powerful and purposeful lives #everydamnday. Sara is an award winning fitness professional, author, speaker, and transformation coach who spent the last 16+ years serving moms in the fields of psychology, sociology, health & wellness. But, it took becoming a mom herself in 2012 to learn that - holy cow - this is hard work, and if you’re not paying attention you can completely lose your own sense of identity while raising babies. Join Sara every Monday and Wednesday as she and her notable guests (such as Gretchen Rubin, Carrie Wilkerson, JJ Virgin, Susan Hyatt, Cathy Heller, Nichole Nordeman, Melanie Shankle, and Jadah Sellner) dig deep into topics like creating the confidence you crave; turn your struggles into strengths, building better boundaries, and tuning into tiny habits that can change your life. Discover how why thousands of moms all over the world are turning to The Shameless Mom Academy to live bigger, bolder, braver lives #everydamnday.
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Now displaying: July, 2016
Jul 27, 2016

I have known a few women impacted by Postpartum Depression (also known as PPD).  It hits moms in different ways - some mildly, some very severely.  It hits moms at different times.  Some women experience symptoms almost immediately after giving birth.  Some women don’t experience symptoms until their babies are a year old.  There is not a pattern or blueprint.  It can look like depression.  It can feel like anxiety.  It can be short lived.  It can last for years.  Sometimes drugs are necessary and helpful.  Sometimes drugs are not necessary.  Sometimes drugs make things worse.  Every women’s experience is a harrowing journey, often filled with overwhelming emotions.  


I am so grateful to Caroline Kwash, the host of the podcast Being Carefull, for coming on the show to talk about her journey with Postpartum Depression.  She shares her story from the time she gave birth 18 months ago until today.  She tells us about the roller coaster she has been riding and how she has learned to manage the twists and turns over the last year and a half.  


Caroline is brutally honest about her experience, which I hugely admire.  I know her story will help many other moms.  Please share this episode with other communities of moms so the women who need help and inspiration can find it in Caroline’s story.  


Caroline kindly shares many tips that help her navigate her daily life and have helped her heal tremendously over time.  Her tips are extremely helpful for any moms dealing with PPD.  Additionally, her tips are GOLD for any new mom navigating the adjustment into motherhood.  


Links Mentioned:



Jul 25, 2016

I have worried about having a second child every single day since Vinnie was born.  


Every. Single. Day.


It’s no secret that motherhood has kicked my butt.  Especially that first year.  Sweet Baby Jesus…


After 4 years of thinking, worrying, and weighing the pros and cons, Vince and I have finally come to a decision.  Our decision doesn’t guarantee any outcomes.  But we have a definitive plan.  For now, at least.  That feels good.  




Listen in to hear how I weighed baby snuggles, magical mommy moments, and a backup for my senior care against all the barf, poop, and sleeplessness promised by a second child. 


Also, I’m in need of your fertility juju.  Please send it on over <3.


Jul 20, 2016

Angela Arsenault is a writer and editor at as well as the host of the new podcast, Where Was I.  Angela has recently written a fantastic series of articles about raising boys and girls and the unique needs of each.  Additionally, she has fantastic advice about raising children and young adults in this insane digital age.  


Angela’s podcast is on a different yet equally valuable topic.  On Where Was I, Angela talks through the process of re-entry into the work force.  As many of you know, there is an evolution to your role as a mom.  Angela explores what happens when moms switch careers from work to home to work again.  It’s a fascinating conversation. 


On this episode, Angela shares:

  • The navigation back in to work after being home for any length of time
  • How boys will be the boys we teach them to be
  • 4 behaviors to model that will make the world better for your daughter
  • How to manage privacy and social media with your teens
  • When to address the dangers of social media with your kids



Links mentioned:


Angela’s podcast: Where Was I

Angela’s articles on Teens and Sex in the Digital Age  

Angela on Twitter

Jul 18, 2016

Let’s get real… We would all die for our kids. We love them so much our hearts physically ache at the mere thought of something bad happening to them.  And we know we could not survive without them.  


But, sometimes we don’t like them.  


When Vinnie smacked my upside the head with a toy car recently, I didn’t really like him for a few minutes.  


The next day when he kicked me in the mouth, I didn’t adore him so much.


Sometimes at bedtime, when I’m heading upstairs for the umpteenth time to give another sip of water, or help him try to poop one more time, or find a misplaced toy, or adjust the cracked door so it’s not too open and not too closed, I want to gouge my eyes out.  


On today’s episode I talk through 5 Ways to Love Your Kids When You Don’t Like Them.  We’ve all been there.  And sorry to break it to you – but you’re gonna be there again – probably sometime today. 


Here’s how you can love your child when his/her behavior has you dreaming of solo beach vacation with unlimited drinks:


1. Speak their language

Know where they are developmentally

Talk about feelings & emotions

Invite cuddles and conversation


2. Learn their currency



Activities – parks, games, shows, etc


3. Take space

Tag team with your partner

Have routine time off/help

Use back up care as needed


4. Take care of YOU





5. Keep Learning

Read books 

Attend talks

Connect with parents who have same age kids (live parent groups or FB groups)

Take time to reflect on what’s working and what’s not


We’re all doing the best we can, but you can’t do it all without your tool box.  Ask for help and support.  Know you’ll screw up.  Stay open to learning and evolving. Be committed to doing your best. Keep the wine close by.

You can read the full show notes and access all the links and resources at

Jul 13, 2016

Susan Hyatt is someone I have admired since hearing her speak at an event a few years ago.  At that event, she told the raw story of the day she was sexually assaulted as a young woman.  She owned the stage as she shared her story – even in tears, at her most vulnerable, she was a pillar of strength and fortitude.  


After that event, I immediately started following everything Susan was doing online.  Over the last few years, I have adored her for all she stands for, for all she fights for and for her 100% shameless attitude in every damn thing she does.  


Listen in to learn from Susan:

  • How two teenagers and Beyonce inspire her everyday
  • How she sets boundaries around her work to improve her work life and family life
  • How motherhood and your life work/passion can evolve together
  • What the one crack in Susan’s foundation is – and why it will probably never go away
  • How to be shameless in work and motherhood


Links mentioned:


Fast Company article: Beyonce, Inc: How Airbnb, Warby Parker, and Others Are Finding Inspiration in Lemonade

Book: Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

Susan’s Website:

Susan on Facebook

Susan on Instagram

Susan’s podcast: GO! 


Jul 11, 2016

Recently, I have been asked repeatedly to do an episode on mommy judgment, specifically on moms who judge other moms. Let’s just call this what it is - Mommy Wars.  And please know – it’s an ugly place for you. And it’s damaging to your kids.  


I’ll be honest, before I was a mom I sat in judgment of my mom friends.  I noticed and quite comfortably critiqued:

  • How Johnny should could benefit from more time outs
  • The atrocity of little Susie’s frequent hitting
  • The obvious problem that was Bobbie’s french fry addiction


Then, I had a kid.


My kid’s behavior is not impacted at all by time outs.  So we don’t really use them much.


Last week, my kid smacked me upside the head with a metal toy car and gave me a goose egg.  The next day he kicked me in the mouth.


On any given Sunday, when we’re out for brunch, you can find my kid eating a well balanced meal of bacon and French fries. 


So, who am I to judge…..


I can no longer comfortably critique.  


I am IN. IT. 


One of the quotes that is always, always close to my heart is, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”


When a horrific accident happens involving a child, let’s not judge.  We do not know the story.  We do not know the circumstances.  And there is no reason to think you are a better mother than any other mother. 


I firmly believe we are all doing the very best we can.  


It is easy to get caught up in community gossip or media mayhem over news stories involving kids.  It’s very easy and very comfortable, sadly, to stand on a holier-than-thou pedestal pointing out the short-comings of another mother. 


And all this does is continue to build walls between moms and walls between women.  At it’s best, it’s fun gossip between moms.  At it’s worst, it’s women discrediting and devaluing other women in front of their kids. 


Let’s do our kids a favor and acknowledge that being a mommy is hard and we all do our best everyday.  Sometimes things don’t happen the way we want.  Sometimes horrible things happen.  In those moments, we have an opportunity to be kind and supportive and gentle.  We have the chance to listen and learn and practice empathy.  


I’m gonna screw up a lot as a mom.  A lot.  


So are you.


It’s ok. 


I’m here for you.  And I hope you’ll be there for me.  


This is what I want my kid to see. 


Jul 6, 2016

Heather Brooker is a mother, actress, and Emmy Award-winning writer. She currently hosts the popular podcast, Motherhood in Hollywood, where she blends her signature sense of humor with a healthy dose of reality about parenthood and the entertainment business.  Heather has had roles on many shows, most notably Grey’s Anatomy, The Office and The Mindy Project (I’m beyond jealous!)


I didn’t know what to expect in an interview with a Hollywood mom.  I’ve been known to have some minor Hollywood obsessions here and there.  So, I was kind of hoping for a new Hollywood BFF.  Heather Brooker totally made all my dreams come true. 


Heather is funny and engaging and totally down to earth.  We talked about the glitz and glam of being an actress and mom in Hollywood – which is not so glitzty glammy in many cases,..  I know you’ll enjoy Heather’s stories and hearing the reality of life as an actress and mom. 


Tune in to hear:


  • Perceptions and body image in Hollywood
  • The reality of 99% of Hollywood moms
  • The rollercoaster of a Hollywood career, especially as a mom
  • What the day-to-day life of an actress is really like
  • What happens when Mindy Kaling wants to take a selfie with you


Links Mentioned:


Heather’s website and podcast:

See Heather’s work: Heather’s Comedy Reel

Mindy Kaling’s Book: Why Not Me?



Jul 4, 2016

I knew it would happen eventually… I received an email with some “constructive criticism” about the podcast.  It was kind of funny, as the “giver” told me she wasn’t going to listen to this podcast anymore, BUT she thought I might want to change my show to be more to her liking in the future.  


Ummmm, why????


At any rate, I’m not going to change my colors for anyone.  I don’t aim to please everyone… Although, I did do that for over 30 years of my life.  


You don’t have to like me.  I’m good.  I have plenty of people who make my life great.  In fact, those are the only kinds of people I’m looking to share my life experience with now – those who want to live big and be themselves, not someone else’s version of them.


So, I’ll do me.  You do you.  


While I’m busy over here doing me, I’m attracting amazing women and moms who want to grow and reach and expand their boundaries.  It’s so cool.  It’s so validating.  It’s so life giving – and life honoring.  I really appreciate all that. 


I certainly can’t risk pleasing everyone or changing my ways to please this listener, in particular, as that would compromise my mission.  That would compromise ME.  


So Imma do me.  If you don’t like me, that’s cool.  The good news is there are a lot of rad women out there. You’ll find someone else who speaks your language, I’m sure.  


And for those of you who are cool with me doing me, we have work to do and place to go.  We have dreams to build and wine to drink.  We have kids to laugh at and passions to follow.  Let’s do this!  Together.