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 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: 2021
Mar 3, 2021

Heather Chauvin is a leadership coach and strategic parenting expert who helps ambitious women become leaders at work and home.

Drawing from her professional experience as a social worker and her life experience raising three boys, Heather created a signature approach to focus her clients on sustainability, profitability, and ease in business and life.

She is the host of the Mom Is In Control Podcast where she reveals her most vulnerable truths about womanhood, marriage, parenting, living through stage 4 cancer, and running a successful business—without burning out.

Heather has been featured as a TEDx speaker and on The OWN Network, CTV, and The Jenny McCarthy Show. She has also appeared in Entrepreneur and Real Simple.

When Heather isn’t being a classic Canadian by driving her boys to hockey practice, you’ll find her curled up on the couch with her husband surfing the internet, researching their next family adventure.

Heather is a returning guest to The Shameless Mom Academy.  She’s joining us to talk about her outstanding new book, Dying To Be A Good Mother.

Listen in to hear Heather share:

  • What inspired her book, Dying To Be A Good Mother
  • How we are all dying to be good mothers and how it’s killing us figuratively and literally
  • Why it’s not your job to make other people comfortable
  • The power of stillness and why you need it #everydamnday
  • The power of energetic time management
  • Why she doesn’t buy into “we can do hard things”
  • Her empowering and liberating alternative to doing hard things
  • The truth about resistance and how to specifically determine what you want
  • Why we need to give ourselves permission to want what we want

Links mentioned:

Thank you to our sponsor:

  • Bulldog Online Yoga: Head to and use promo code SHAMELESS for a 30 day free trial and 50% off your next month!


Mar 1, 2021

People are going to tell you NO. 

You will be rejected.

Over and over and over.

One of the gifts of being an entrepreneur is that you get rejected so often (especially early on) that you get a little callous to it - meaning, you let it roll off you easier and faster each time.  This is a blessing. 

Without this gift (which definitely doesn’t feel like a gift early on), you may find yourself crippled by the NO’s.

The rejection you face often has nothing - NOTHING - to do with you.  Yet we are masters at internalizing it and defaulting to a place of self blame and self doubt, and sadly, even self loathing when we are faced with a NO.

In this episode I’ll talk you through the actual causes of rejection (vs the stories you make up in your head) and 5 ways to manage rejection in an objective way so you can KEEP GOING and get what you want out of relationships and circumstances. 

Links mentioned:


Feb 24, 2021

Nikki Tucker is a 16 year Finance Professional, Divorce Financial Strategist, and founder of The FIIRM Approach. She is also a mom of a teenage boy, part-time foodie, and oat milk latte lover who helps female breadwinners prepare their finances for divorce. She helps those early in the divorce process gain clarity and reduce overwhelm by arming them with information, strategies, and resources to confidently maintain their financial security whether they end up divorced or not.  Nikki primarily works with clients through her signature program Silent Preparation Series which has both on-demand and live learning options.

Listen in to here Nikki share:

  • Why divorce can be empowering and positive and liberating
  • Why she has chosen to work exclusively with women in her business
  • Why it’s crucial for women to be financially independent regardless of the status of your marriage
  • Why financial independence is an insurance policy for women
  • How she works with women as a Divorce Financial Strategist
  • The two questions she helps women answer when they are considering divorce
  • The biggest myths about divorce that keep women in unhealthy marriages
  • How to redefine family in the face of divorce
  • How the pandemic is impacting divorce scenarios and divorce rates
  • Her “Bid ADO” philosophy (that you need now!)

Links mentioned:

Thank you to our sponsor:

  • Bulldog Online Yoga: Head to and use promo code SHAMELESS for a 30 day free trial and 50% off your next month!


Feb 22, 2021

If you were to sit down and make a list of all the identities you hold, what would be on your list?  I made a quick list recently.

I hold the following identities (in no particular order):

woman, mom, wife, infertility warrior, anxiety manager, speaker, leader, hetero, cisgender, white, Seattleite, athlete, skier, writer, ally, podcaster, daughter, sister, business owner, child of divorce, 18 year entrepreneur, CEO, advocate

I’m sure I could come up with even more layers to my identity if I gave it more thought.  We are made up of SO MANY layers.  This makes each of us a true unicorn.

As we navigate our lives, we have the opportunity to embrace different layers of our identity in different ways during different seasons of life.  What layers are you leaning into right now?  What ones are most significant to you as we sit here in 2021?

You get to choose which parts of yourself you really want to lean into at any time.  So, how do you lean into the most powerful parts of yourself?  Here are a few tips:

  • Take responsibility for the stories you hold around your identities
  • Call yourself by your titles - out loud in front of other people
  • Find people who share your identities and be in community with them

In this episode, I talk you through how to lean into the layers of your identity that mean the most to you and have the most potential to deeply impact the world. 


Feb 17, 2021

Rho Thomas is an attorney, mindset strategist, and personal finance coach who believes that true wealth is having control of your time. She helps lawyers make intentional lifestyle and money decisions to regain control of their time, build wealth, and live the lives of freedom and choice they deserve. She has been featured in outlets such as Yahoo! Finance, Refinery29, and Mic and hosts the Wealthyesque podcast, which explores how lawyers can achieve lifestyle freedom by reframing their mindset and by managing their money to achieve financial independence.

Listen in to hear Rho share:

  • How she has restructured her law career during the pandemic in order to step out of the hustle
  • How her and her husbands’ money stories around being raised by single moms on very limited incomes influenced them
  • How they ended up $670,000 in debt after having their first child
  • How they found hope and inspiration to start paying off their debt
  • The first strategic steps they took to start working on their debt
  • How paying down debt built her confidence and created momentum in her life
  • Why financial independence is a form of self care
  • How to rejigger finances based on what brings you joy - instead of mindlessly
  • How women are conditioned to shrink around money and finances and how to build financial confidence
  • The difference between media messages around money for women vs men
  • How she juggles motherhood, marriage, being a lawyer, and running her business to support women and finances
  • How Kobe Bryant’s death inspired her to start her business

Links mentioned:

Book: Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicky Robin

Website: Rho Thomas

Find Rho on Instagram

Find Rho on Facebook

Find Rho on Twitter

Find Rho on LinkedIn

Thank you to our sponsor:

  • Talkspace: To match with your perfect therapist for a fraction of the price of traditional therapy, go to, Make sure to use the code SHAMELESS to get $100 off your first month and show your support for the show.


Feb 15, 2021

We are coming up on a full 12 months of enduring a pandemic that we initially thought would last 2-6 weeks.  How are you?  No, really?

This time is very much like navigating Newbornland - that phase when you’re totally sleep deprived, but you’ve been sleep deprived for so long that it just feels normal and you don’t know what it feels like to actually be rested.  That’s where we’re at. 

We’ve been in survival mode for a year.  So long that it feels normal and we don’t remember what it feels like to not have to juggle constant worry and uncertainty. 

So, in the face of this chronic worry and uncertainty, how are you holding on to hope, power, and connection?  We must be able to harness these if we are to stay sane and functional. 

In this episode I’ll give you tactical steps to restore hope, power, and connection in your everyday life. 

Links mentioned:

Feb 10, 2021

Shaunda Head is a Shameless Mom to her 2 year old daughter and a Shameless full time caretaker of her 96 year old Granny.  She is also an Atlanta-based brand strategist and digital marketer who helps women align ALL THE THINGS in their brand so that their brand message can impact more powerfully. She creates and implements strategies in marketing, branding and copy to help her clients SHOW UP as their whole selves, and drive higher connection with their true, dream clients.

Shaunda has 16 years of experience, including brand design, marketing, communications and business development for global companies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), UPS and E! Entertainment Television. She now coaches and consults for emerging and growing entrepreneurs — past clients consist of coaches, podcasters, stylists, therapists, bloggers, e-commerce site owners and more.

Listen in to hear Shaunda share:

  • How she juggles taking care of her 96 year old grandmother and 2 year old daughter full time - while running her business from home
  • How she leans into flow and alignment to thrive in her life and grow her business
  • How she started relying on her intuition and shut out the noise in 2020
  • How she leveraged being the only Black person and the only woman in many spaces inspired her career
  • What it’s like to be a caretaker in a multigenerational household
  • The decision process of bringing her grandmother to live with her immediately following the loss of her mother
  • How taking care of her grandmother prepared her for motherhood
  • What she wants her daughter to remember about growing up in a multigenerational household
  • The biggest gifts and biggest challenges of being a caregiver to 2 generations at the same time

Links mentioned:


Feb 8, 2021

Months of unpredictability, instability, and chaos can leave a mama feeling disoriented, exhausted, and chronically overwhelmed. 

I know I’ve been feeling this as the last year has started to catch up with me. 

One of the things that really helped me to start feeling grounded again was to identify a few “anchors” that can consistently connect me back to who I am becoming, how I want to show up, and how I have promised to take exquisite care of myself this year.

The anchors I identified for myself are:

  1. Self Trust
  2. Nourishment
  3. Nimbleness
  4. Deep Work 

In this episode, I explain what each of these anchors look like for me and how I’m consistently returning to them to stay grounded this year.

If these anchors appeal to you - STEAL THEM!  They are all yours!  And if they aren’t quite the ones for you, this episode will help you discern some other ones that might be a good fit for you.

2021 is your year to take back the reins and double down on YOU. 

Links mentioned:


Feb 3, 2021

Dayna Parish Dennis is a wife, Shameless Mom, and doctor. Originally from Oklahoma, she relocated to the Bay Area to complete her residency in pediatrics. She has served patients in low income, urgent care, private practice, and Hospitalist settings, and just recently made partner at a multi-specialty group practice in the Bay Area.  She speaks a couple of languages, loves reading books with happy endings, and raising 2 free Black children.

Listen in to hear Dayna share:

  • What it’s like to be a doctor in this pandemic
  • How she’s managing her mental health as a physician, wife, mom, and woman during this time
  • What it was like to be the only Black person in her medical school class
  • The pressure of being the sole Black representative in conversations around race
  • The relief she found in moving from Oklahoma to Oakland for residency and to work with other Black doctors
  • How her employer (Kaiser Permanente) responded to George Floyd’s death and supported the Black Lives Matter movement
  • The benefits she’s seeing in living through this pandemic and why we need not desire going “back to normal”
  • The power in making partner in her medical practice this year
  • The legacy she is building to show her daughters that Black girls can do anything

Links Mentioned:


Feb 1, 2021

Rae McDaniel, MEd, LCPC, CST (They/Them) is a Gender and Certified Sex Therapist and Coach who works with folks feeling anxious and lost about a transition they’re experiencing in sex, gender, sexual identity, or relationships.  Rae also provides consultation & training for professionals and organizations wishing to uplevel their knowledge and expertise in these areas.

Rae is the founder of Practical Audacity, a Gender & Sex Therapy group practice in Chicago, and GenderFck: The Club, an online group coaching community designed to help transgender/non-binary/questioning folks transition with less suffering and more ease.

Listen in to hear Rae share:

  • Their experience growing up adopted into a family of evangelical christian missionary puppeteers
  • The evolution of their identity from bisexual to queer to non binary
  • The relief of coming out as non binary
  • Why not everyone in your life needs to know all the ins and outs of your identity and how you can prioritize safety when coming out
  • How gender exists on a spectrum, not just two categories of male and female
  • Why they are having top surgery and how they came to this decision
  • Why they use they/them pronouns and why pronouns matter
  • Why it’s inaccurate to refer to someone’s pronouns as their “preferred pronouns”
  • How they are working to take the suffering out of transitioning for trans people

Linke mentioned:

Connect with Rae: Practical Audacity

Join Rae’s Genderfck program

Rae on IG/FB: @practicalaudacity


Jan 27, 2021

Megan Hadley, MS, RDN, and LDN is a nutrition therapist and owner of Simple Nutrition, a nutrition counseling practice in Greensboro, NC, and founder of Fork the Food Rules, a membership for people who have decided not to diet. She believes that all bodies are good bodies and that from cake to kale, all foods are good foods. After helping hundreds of clients recover from diet culture, Megan knows that when women think less about food and body and more about what really matters to them, they begin to thrive in all areas of their life.

When she’s not working, Megan enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters. She loves cooking, traveling, long naps, good wine, and french fries. Megan finds her strength, both personally and professionally, rooted in her deep faith in Christ, as she knows she was created to live a life of abundance and to help other women believe and discover that, as well.

Listen in to hear Megan share:

  • Why she walked away from the pharmaceutical industry to become a registered dietician in order to have a bigger impact in people’s lives
  • What originally drew her into her work with intuitive eating and health at any size
  • The difference between an eating disorder, disordered eating, and non-disordered eating
  • All the (tricky and subconscious) ways that negative relationships with food show up
  • What intuitive eating is and how it differs from food plans and programs
  • How the media breaks our ability to trust our own bodies
  • How restrictive eating is the number one predictor of overeating/emotional eating/binge eating behaviors
  • Why comfort foods can be beautiful and affirming and should absolutely be a part of your life
  • What steps to take to start being more intuitive with your eating
  • The truth about BMI and life span/longevity
  • What kind of freedom comes with choosing not to diet or changing your body

Links Mentioned:


Jan 25, 2021

Let’s just stop.

Stop faking fine. 

When you’re hurting, let it be known. 

When you’re tired, let it be known.

When you’re depleted, let it be known.

When you’re worried, let it be known.

When you’re lonely, let it be known.

When you’re uncertain, let it be known.

When you’re DONE, let it be known.

Stop faking fine. 

Everytime you fake being fine, you perpetuate this ideal that women should button up and stuff it down and dishonor themselves by disowning their pain. 

This is not only detrimental, it’s downright dangerous.

Model being less-than-fine to others. 

You go first. 

Let them know:

I’m struggling.

I’m hurting.

I’m tired.

I need help.

It is in owning and honoring where you’re really at that you will find the soft places and most sacred spaces to land - where others will be waiting to hold you, arms open wide.

Links mentioned:



Jan 20, 2021

Today we have an extra special episode with two guests, who are not only powerhouse Shameless Moms and entrepreneurs making deep impact in the world, but also sisters.

Caren Lettiere is the Founder and President of Democracy Clothing, the casual lifestyle brand designed for the modern, multitasking woman who grew up with fashion, then got busy with life.

Best known for its “Ab”solution jeans with fit technology, Democracy Clothing embraces women of all shapes and sizes, providing them with confidence-building clothing that helps them look good and feel good, while doing good.

Alongside Democracy, Caren’s proudest accomplishment is the fulfilling family life she’s built with her husband of 29 years, David, and their amazing kids Nicole and Josh.

Julie Neale is a life and leadership coach, community builder, writer, and mom to two high energy boys who challenge her to grow into her best self. Alongside a 20 year career in youth development, it was Motherhood that transformed her and set her on a course to live a truly E.P.I.C. life.

Now, as the founder of Mother’s Quest and the Mother's Quest Podcast, Julie provides inspiration, coaching, and community-building so that mothers, and those who care for young people, can connect to support and resources, fulfill their unique purpose, and live their E.P.I.C. lives.

I’ve been so excited for this conversation for months now and I just know you’re going to love so much about it.

Listen in to hear Julie and Caren share:

  • How you can have the audacity to forge your own path without having to prequalify yourself
  • The birth of Mother’s Quest podcast and Democracy Jeans
  • How their separate businesses and goals converged into a collaborative working relationship
  • How Julie and Caren were able to participate at Sybrina Fulton’s (Trayvon Martin’s mom) Circle of Mothers event to bring joy to mothers who lost children and family members to gun violence
  • Shawna Free Jeans Freakout article
  • Caren’s philosophy around “My body is the carriage I arrive in”
  • Julie’s philosophy of leading and living an E.P.I.C. life
  • The power of opening the door for yourself instead of waiting for someone else to open the door for you
  • How ignorance can actually help you be a problem solver

Links mentioned:

Julie’s article on committing to anti racism




Jan 18, 2021

As we continue to see white supremacy reign here in the US, it’s critically important to pause and reflect on where we have come from, how we can do better, and how we can talk to our kids about it all. 

I am not a race educator, but I will point you to some excellent people and resources in this episode from whom you can learn on an ongoing basis.

I am showing up for this conversation because, while I want you to be learning about race from people other than middle class white ladies (me!), I want to share some things that we have been doing in our family to educate our 8-year-old while also taking big responsibility for our commitment to our own anti racism journeys. 

My intentions in this episode are 3 pronged:

  1. To share resources
  2. To invite you into longer term commitments in your anti racism journey
  3. To push pause to reflect on the importance of carrying out Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s legacy

Please note all the resources below as you continue to listen and learn and take action.

Links mentioned:

Thank you to our sponsor:

  • Talkspace: To match with your perfect therapist for a fraction of the price of traditional therapy, go to, Make sure to use the code SHAMELESS to get $100 off your first month and show your support for the show.


Jan 13, 2021

Mirna Valerio is a native of Brooklyn, NY, a former educator, cross-country coach, ultramarathoner, and author of the bestselling memoir, A Beautiful Work in Progress. Although she began running in high school, she recommitted to the sport after a health scare in 2008 and started her blog Fatgirlrunning—about her experiences as a larger woman in a world of thinner endurance athletes— while training for her first marathon. Mirna's athletic story has been featured in the WSJ, Runner’s World, on NBC Nightly News, CNN, and in the viral REI-produced documentary short, The Mirnavator. Her writing has been featured in Women’s Running Magazine, Self Magazine Online, Outside Online, and Runner's World Magazine. In 2018 she was chosen as one of the National Geographic Adventurers of the Year, and most recently appeared on the Kelly Clarkson Show, Access Hollywood, and the short Running Through Barriers, produced by LLBean.

Listen in to hear Mirna share:

  • How she is discerning about who gets her time and energy
  • Why she is participating in NANOWRIMO and how it’s been transformational to her
  • What your identity truly is and how it dictates how you interact with the world
  • How she’s leaning into different parts of her identity and learning new things in this year
  • How she manages haters
  • How she steps into fear as she steps into new partnerships, especially her new position with Lululemon
  • How anxiety shows up for her and how she has learned to manage it
  • How she helped Will Smith train for a half marathon
  • The best lesson she learned from Will Smith

Links Mentioned:

Thank you to our sponsor:

  • EveryPlate: Get started with EveryPlate for just $1.99 per meal plus an additional 20% off another 2 weeks by going to and entering code SHAMELESS199.


Jan 11, 2021

As you are thinking about what you want out of 2021, I'm inviting you to keep things super simple.  We tend to make things too hard and way overcomplicated as we enter a new year.  I think this is only because we want to make things super FAB, but still - no need to make things tricky, as this minimizes your chances of actually building any momentum and getting things done

So, how can you build momentum in order to have a few quick wins and feel like you are off to the races in 2021?  Here are 4 tips:

  1. Know Your No’s
  2. Know What Works
  3. Make It Up As You Go
  4. Stay Connected

In today’s episode, I’m going to help you dig into each one of these tips so you can feel lighter and more inspired to GET STARTED in a year that has already proven to be cumbersome and tumultuous in so many ways.

You absolutely have what it takes to make great things happen in 2021.  Let’s get to work.

Links mentioned:


Jan 6, 2021

Jennifer Litner has over a decade of experience working, studying and teaching in the field of sexual health, with a specialization in sex therapy, sexuality education, and helping people thrive in their intimate relationships.

Ms. Litner is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and sexuality educator whose passion is helping couples, individuals and families navigate sexual concerns. Ms. Litner is a Clinical Fellow of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), a Certified Member of the American Association for Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT), and a member of the Society for Sex Therapy and Research (SSTAR).

In addition to her clinical practice, Ms. Litner earned a Master’s of education and is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in human sexuality studies at Widener University with emphasis in human sexuality education. Ms. Litner is also an adjunct professor at Adler University in the Departments of Counseling and Couple and Family Therapy where she teaches masters and doctoral students. Ms. Litner empowers individuals to make healthy choices about sexuality by providing them with accurate sexual health information.

Listen in to hear Jennifer share:

  • Where caregivers can begin when they want to talk to their children about sexuality
  • How to talk to your kids about touch and hugs at an early age
  • Research based myths and truths about having “the talk” with your kids
  • How to talk to your kids about sex in a developmentally appropriate way (in grades 1-3 vs grades 3-5)
  • What it means to be sex positive and how you can be a sex positive caregiver
  • How to talk to your kids about gender identity and gender expression
  • Examples of shaming, sex negative messaging and the harm perpetuated in shameful messaging
  • The intersection of conversations around pleasure and privacy
  • How to be warm and neutral in conversations around sexuality with your kids
  • How to create a sex positive home for your kids - even if you had a sex negative upbringing

Links mentioned:


Jan 4, 2021

You get to start fresh.  It’s true. 

While we are kicking off a new year in the middle of a continuous shitstorm, you still get to choose how you will begin.

Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, says, “Uncertainty is chronic.  Instability is permanent.  Disruption is common. We can neither predict or govern events.  There will be no new normal.  There will only be a continuous series of not normal episodes defying predictions and unforeseen by most of us until they happen.”

How’s that for affirming that change and evolution will continue to be constant disruptors??  Happy 2021, lol!

In spite of all this, there is still plenty you can do to step into 2021 on your terms.  You still get to dream.  You still get to take charge.  You still get to make great things happen. 

I’m waking up #everydamnday ready to own the day and make progress in the face of uncertainty.  I want this for you too. 

Listen in to hear 4 simple steps to start fresh this year - in order take charge and disrupt the doubt and worry that has been so permanent over the last 10 months. 

You got this.  2021 is yours to own and nurture.

Links mentioned: