Amanda Strong is a graphic designer, wife and mother of three living in Cincinnati. Melissa Beck is a stay-at-home mom of three and wife as well who lives on Long Island. She also just so happens to have been on MTV’s Real World New Orleans. Each time they chat, they get to know one another a little better while the audience gets to know them both.
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the origin story
I (Amanda) started a podcast in November 2019 called Your Mom Has a Podcast. To start, my guests were friends or friends of friends and Melissa was my first guest who I didn’t know and didn’t have a mutual connection to. I actually first “met” Melissa with the rest of the world in 2000 when she appeared on the cast of The Real World New Orleans. As the show was airing on MTV, I found Melissa’s blog online called Princess Melissa and began reading along with watching the show. Over the years I enjoyed Melissa’s sense of humor through reading her blog. Turns out, we were in the same seasons of life at the same times, serious boyfriends became husbands, wedding planning turned into trying to conceive, etc. Because I enjoyed Melissa’s transparency and humor about life, about her role as a wife and mother, I thought she’d be a great voice for YMHAP. We chatted late in November about her experiences in motherhood, specifically about making mom friends and how we deal with social anxiety. Melissa had expressed that her reality show experience, both during and after the height of the show’s massive popularity, drove her to retreat from a public life so she joked that social anxiety was and is her area of expertise. She has essentially been hunkered down for a good 15 years so I was shocked she agreed to be a guest on my first podcast.
We had some technical difficulties so we had to re-record but this time we ended up chatting longer until somehow we started talking every week. At the end of our final recording for YMHAP, we were finding that we enjoyed talking to one another. Out of that we floated around some ideas for creating a podcast together and started recording that December. Since December we have gotten to know one another week by week through these phone calls when in April, both navigating new roles as home schoolers, activity directors, camp counselors and short-order cooks due to COVID, we found our voice. The podcast wasn’t about motherhood. It was about total strangers creating a long-distance friendship and finding connection in the face of a pandemic. Each week we find ourselves marveling in our similarities but then also howling in laughter when we discover hilariously tragic differences of opinion.