Being a mother may be the greatest job in the world for many women, but it can feel like the hardest, particularly when there is so much conflicting information out there.
What mothers across the Middle East and the world need is some real, honest mom-to-mom advice, and a new podcast created out of Egypt is hoping to offer just that.
Mommy’s Happy Hour is a new bi-weekly podcast hosted by the Cairo-based author, entrepreneur and mom of twins, Heba Shunbo. It focuses on all the topics that moms need to know more about, including child development, nutrition and sleep.
“I want to connect the dots, empower new mothers and those who are expecting to be able to express themselves freely and share their experiences with each other,” she says.
Shunbo has had a varied career, working in banking, training to become a yoga instructor and co-founding The Four Fat Ladies Bakery in Cairo, which she set up with her sisters and in which she remains involved.
Her long journey to motherhood was so focused on getting pregnant that she wasn’t prepared for the real hard work, which started once her children were born. That led her to write a book, Mommy’s Happy Hour, which in turn inspired her podcast.
The 16th podcast to be produced by the UAE’s largest podcast network, Amaeya Media, also covers theories and fads, personal wellbeing and helping moms find a balance between life, parenthood, career and romance. Each episode features parents and experts from different countries and walks of life, all while uncovering the secrets, pains and pleasures of motherhood.
Check out episodes featuring Ann Marks, who runs a consulting service called Full Feedings and gives advice on how to sleep train your child, and Nadine Dumas, an accountant-turned-entrepreneur based in the Cayman Islands who takes her baby everywhere. Next up is a child psychologist talking about how to deal with tantrums, how to encourage your kids, plus strategies to use on kids to produce a positive impact.
Shunbo became a mother at 40 after a long experience with infertility. After her children were born, she found herself navigating through well-meaning but often unsolicited advice from everyone around her, as well as a tendency for other moms to sugar-coat the experience.
“A lot of friends had their kids much earlier than me and would offer parenting advice,” she said. “But I felt it wasn’t honest enough about motherhood and only focused on the good moments and that felt insincere to me.”
As a result, Shunbo wants to create a different kind of space for her listeners, “where vulnerability is not met with criticism and judgement, but with empathy and compassion.”
The Mommy’s Happy Hour podcast is available on most podcasting platforms.
Asha Sherwood owns Abu Dhabi Review, an online and social platform that gives you the scoop on everything happening in the capital.