For more about my work life, (my feature film and television acting credits, producing credits, or blogs on Disney’s parenting site Babble.com and Huffington Post), check out: ellieknaus.com
To CELEBRATE. To COMMISERATE. These are verbs I live by.
There’s nothing better than an unexpected smile that turns into a big stupid grin.
And the heart aches a little less when we hear an empathetic “Me too.”
Years before I became a mom I stumbled upon the healing powers of celebrating the little delights and commiserating about the hardships. After having the bejesus scared out of me with a rare, massive bone-dissolving tumor, I started to blog. It was surprisingly funny. I made videos like “Coffee Break with a Shut In” poking fun at the fact that I couldn’t walk, or drive, or go anywhere (which is a lot like the early months of mothering). Arianna Huffington asked me to share my thoughts on The Huffington Post where my passion grew for understanding resilience, emotional healing, and my own neurotic attempts at mindfulness. My greatest joy was receiving comments like: “This is the first time I’ve laughed at my current situation. Thank you.” To reach out through writing to people who are feeling tired, cranky, and alone, to touch them through my work, and to have the response be laughter, wow. I felt like I had found my purpose.
After my leg surgeries, I got well. I got pregnant. I got a little calmer. And I had a baby girl. Soon after Atomic Moms podcast became my second babe. Never in a million years did I think I’d have a podcast. My throat used to close up whenever I had anything important to say. But a funny thing happened. My curiosity outran my fear of being heard, and with 70 episodes in the archives, I’d say my curiosity won. It turns out a podcast is the perfect platform to reach out to those who feel isolated and make them laugh a little and not feel so alone. Every week when I record, I remember that this podcast has the power to literally give voice to those who feel unheard.
What is this curiosity that keeps me up all night working on the podcast after my toddler has gone to bed? I want to know how other people raise their children, and how they re-parent themselves. I want to know what they believe about the world, and what their journey has been like so far. I like to speak to parents who admit they’re not so sure about what they’re doing, and I love sitting across from experts who are too humble to call themselves that, who are able to share their wisdom on the podcast so that our lives can be a little easier, a little more in the flow.
There are Atomic listeners who write me to say they don’t have children and might never have kids and don’t even particularly like kids, and they still find the podcast helpful and entertaining. It still makes them laugh and it makes their lives a little better. I love these comments because I think of Atomic Moms as so much more than a parenting resource. It’s a place for all sons and daughters of any age to commiserate and celebrate too.