Hi, I’m Rae Lynn Minke - host of the ‘Raise Your Hand Motherhood Podcast’ a show about the shared experiences and common struggles of motherhood. I’m an educator, writer, and toddler mom to an almost-2-year-old, living abroad in Germany with my husband and son.
My son was born in late 2020, and by early 2022 (about a year and a half out of the ‘paid’ workforce), my brain decided it desperately needed a new ‘adult’ task to focus on.
I’ll start off by saying that motherhood has not been the easiest journey for me - after my son was born, I felt intense loneliness. Self-doubt. Impatience. Wild mood swings. A serious lack of community. And then throw into that already outstanding mix a Global Pandemic with lockdowns and social distancing, a move overseas, and the sudden pressure (and necessity) to learn a 2nd language.
I was such a different person in that first year and a half of becoming a mother. Our son was thriving…but I just felt like a shell of my former self, and I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t ‘coping’ as well as many of the other moms I knew (or the moms I was ‘friends’ with on social media).
I’ve always enjoyed the creative outlet of writing, so one day I started opening up and sharing what I was feeling online through poetry…and I quickly came to realize that I was not the only mama struggling with many of the things I was experiencing!
As a teacher-turned-stay-at-home-mom (again, by necessity), who was used to creating lessons and standing up in front of classrooms of students to deliver them, I began toying with the idea of creating a podcast about motherhood. I reached out to my social media community with a one-question poll: What topics did you struggle with most in your pregnancy, postpartum, or motherhood experiences? The feedback was very encouraging, and I took the responses I received from that initial poll and immediately began working on content that would become the first few episodes of the ‘Raise Your Hand Motherhood Podcast’.
I’ve just finished creating and producing the first 12-episode season of the show, and I can say with confidence (and my newfound experience) that podcasting is not a small undertaking.
To bring you a little bit behind-the-scenes on this whole ‘podcasting’ thing, each episode goes through a very thorough and detailed step-by-step process…involving a lot of planning, writing, scheduling, interviewing, recording, editing, and finally marketing and promotion. When I first had the idea to create the podcast, I did a LOT of article-reading and podcast-listening - primarily to a podcast called ‘How to Start a Podcast’, which did a pretty bang-up job of laying the groundwork that needed to be done before this little idea and passion project of mine could become a podcast reality!
Of course, the reality of MOTHERHOOD is that there aren’t that many free hours in the day, so almost ALL of the work I did do had to happen during my son’s nap time, and/or after bedtime. And THIS is (currently) a one-mama show…..so as much as my stay-at-home-mom brain enjoyed having this project to work on, the hours were long….and my partner has been a real trooper since day one in supporting my not-so-occasional late nights and my very frequent one-track podcaster mind.
I’ve learned a LOT about podcasting in a relatively short period of time - including things like what a podcast hosting service is (it’s like a mother site that sends out your new episodes to ALL of the podcast listening apps), how to edit multiple voice and music tracks at one time, and where to spend (and not spend!) my very limited free time. For example, it took me a few months to realize that I could spend hours creating social media posts about the podcast or a new episode…and then only a very tiny percentage of followers would actually SEE them (you can imagine my disappointed head shake here).
Trial and error, my podcasting friends…..TRIAL. AND. ERROR. I’m learning!
Starting a podcast has sort of felt like going back to school again. In the few short months since I began, I feel like I’ve completed a series of really short and intense courses.
One month, I’m hyper-focused on learning about brand design and how to use different apps and online programs to do promoting and marketing. And then once I’ve kind of figured that out, I start learning how to make Reels for a niche target audience instead (thanks for constantly updating your algorithm, Instagram!). And through ALL of this, I’m trying not to get stuck or fall too deep into any rabbit holes of podcasting, because like I said before and as any mother knows - MOMS DON’T HAVE TONS OF FREE TIME.
With the first season now under my belt, I really want to try and figure out how to spend my creative time more wisely. I also need to remember what the MOST important thing is, which is producing new episodes (...and not spending 2 hours on a reel that hardly gets any views)!
Speaking of…I want EVERY SINGLE MAMA READING THIS RIGHT NOW to give yourself a huge pat on the back for the job you’re doing. You are raising a child in an era where EVERYBODY ELSE is constantly showing you what a GREAT JOB OF RAISING THEIR CHILD they’re doing! Just remember - Instagram is full of snapshots of real life, and not necessarily all the in-between realities of life. So don’t beat yourself up about being too this, or not enough of that.
I get it…it’s tough. I fall into the motherhood comparison trap (AND the podcasting comparison trap) ALL THE TIME. I get what it’s like to want other people’s attention - HELL, I’m creating a podcast here….I WANT people to listen to it! Every post I share or email I send or reel I create is created with likes and shares in mind….because likes and shares generate traffic, and traffic generates curiosity and interest, and interest generates listens and downloads. That’s the reality and that’s the HONEST truth. But the reason I do it all in the first place is because I don’t want there to be moms out there who feel as lonely or frustrated as I did when I became a parent.
I WANT the audience and the followers, because it might mean one more Mama finding a community she desperately needs.
The best part of creating the podcast, HANDS DOWN, has been getting to speak with the guests, and sharing so much wisdom from moms all around the world. I’ve been asked a few times about the name of the show, the ‘Raise Your Hand Motherhood Podcast’, and where it came from or why I chose it. I wanted every mother listening and tuning in to each episode to feel like they were hearing pieces of their own motherhood experience in the stories being shared….not necessarily the EXACT same story as theirs, but something relatable, like a feeling. Something they could engage with and connect with. The podcast name is meant to be ‘two-fold’ - the people featured in each episode have raised their hands to share, and the people listening feel like they can respond to the statement, ‘Raise your hand if you’ve ever experienced X, Y, or Z!’
My brain likes to run in about 6 directions at once, so narrowing down topics for each episode of the first season was challenging. There are so many things I want to cover, and so many under-discussed topics of motherhood I want to discuss, and so many professionals I want to speak with. The list for future episode ideas is long and ever-growing, so if YOU have a topic you’d like to be featured on the show, please head to www.raiseyourhandmotherhoodpodcast.com/contact and leave your suggestion!
It’s been absolutely humbling and motivating to read every single ONE of the comments, emails, and reviews I’ve received about the show so far. It’s what keeps me psyched about producing the next episode, and the one after that.
In a day and age where everything is instant and we seem to have a sense of immediacy about absolutely everything in our lives, it can be really easy to get hung up on stats and numbers and ‘episode downloads’. If I’m being completely honest, it’s been a bit discouraging to not see the instant results and download numbers that I had ‘envisioned’ early on in my head. I care so deeply about getting the message out to mothers that they are NOT the only ones feeling the way they feel, that I guess I painted a picture in my head of the podcast spreading far and wide from mom to mom, continent to continent, with a beautiful chorus of mothers singing ‘I’m not alone!!’ following in its path. Ha! What a dream…
One of the things that keeps coming up in my research and podcast education is that podcasting is a ‘long-game’. You don’t get in the game if you are only in it for fast fame, success, and sponsorships (do you know how many people have asked me if I have any sponsors or make any money from this?). You have to put the time in, be consistent, and wait.
One of my favourite movies of all time is Field of Dreams, and almost everybody has heard the film’s most famous line, ‘If you build it, he will come’.
Well...the field has been built. The Raise Your Hand Motherhood Podcast has its first season under its belt.
And this mama can’t wait for a community of like-minded mothers to arrive.