This is The Great Equalizer, an honest, unfiltered, unapologetic and (at times) irreverent parenting podcast about the realities of being a mom (or dad!) in modern Jozi.
Listen to the latest:
Episode 42: PERFECT(ISH) PARENTING
WITH PARENTY EDITORS LEIGH TAYLER & JACQUI BESTER
This week on The Great Equalizer, Sam scars her child forever, Charlene is feeling surprisingly in control of her life PLUS! Parenty editors Leigh Tayler and Jacqui Bester are IN THE HOUSE to chat perfect(ish) parenting. It was an absolute pleasure to welcome two new clowns to our crazy circus. In fact, we liked them so much we tied them up and put them in our trommel with the rest of our monkeys. So in case anyone has missed Leigh or Jacqui this past week… We’re keeping them. Thanks 🤡
Guys, this episode was made with love for all parents, but especially those who are having a moment. If you feel like you’ve dropped the ball (or several balls), if you’re drowning in high expectations (mostly from yourself), if you’re sort of feeling kind of like a parent but you’re not so sure anymore…
We see you. We salute you. And we think you should listen to this episode 😎
Leigh and Jacqui fill us in on how and why the Parenty platform came to be. They also tell us more about how to fail at being the perfect parent, reminding us that your best is still good enough. So stop trying so damn hard!
Episode 41: HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US!
HOW WONDERFUL LIFE IS NOW WE’RE IN THE WORLD
OKAY, HANDS UP 🙌🏼 Who’s grateful for this podcast? Well, we are 🙋🏼♀️🙋🏻♀️ ☀️ Folks, this week’s episode marks our first trip around the sun. We take a trip down memory lane and hark back to episodes passed. Please tune in and join the nostalgia! Honestly, guys, it feels like we’ve birthed another baby and made it through the first year💪🏼 Someone tell us we've done a good job! This podcast has brought us many, many tears, but many more laughs in between. While the first year has been tough, it’s obviously also been a ton of fun and even cathartic to hook up with a great girlfriend once a week. We debrief about life, love and everything in between and its actually therapeutic and a privilege to focus on our feelings for one hour in a week.
That said, we’ve been through a lot of heartache and a lot life lessons these past twelve months and we can only hope that you, our listener, has been on this journey with us. Through the heartache and the joy, what matters to us most is that we’ve always got a third host in the mix… YOU. So cheers to us 🥂 but also, cheers to you guys 👊🏼 We wouldn’t be here without you (or our kids, obvi).
Episode 40: SPANKING!
WITH A SPLASH OF MOM SHAME
This week on The Great Equalizer, we talk SPANKING (with a splash of mom shame). The recent Constitutional Court ruling that outlaws the “reasonable and moderate chastisement of children” has us feeling all the feels. In a society as violent as ours… Well, we get it. It all makes sense. But are we the only ones feeling a little desperate about discipline now? Like someone took the sharpener out of our Space Case? Are we the only ones confused and overwhelmed by contradictory information about how to handle our kids when they turn into the demon spawn of Satan? Is anyone else feeling judged by perfect(er) parents and the Powers that Be? Just us?
Look, we’re not here to argue with the ruling, or come up in defence of hitting our children. Honestly, we agree that telling our kids hitting is bad but then hitting them when they do something wrong doesn’t make a whole lotta sense. But when we'd exhausted all our options discipline-wise, that was always a last resort. And we no longer have it available to us. We’re down for debate, guys. At the end of the day, none of us wakes in the morning determined to fuck our kids up. What are your thoughts on the matter? #nojudgies
Episode 39: LET’S ALL LEARN FROM LUKE!
WITH JESS ROBERTS
This week on The Great Equalizer, we chat to Learning from Luke’s Jess Roberts about raising a child born with special needs. Jess takes us back to the moment she heard the news that her unborn baby boy, Luke, would be born with Down Syndrome. We also chat about her decision to have a second child after Luke, as well as what’s next for the Roberts family.
Guys, THIS EPISODE IS IMPORTANT. It’s important for parents of “normal” children who’ve never been exposed to someone born with Down Syndrome and It’s equally important for parents of a child born with special needs. Moreover, if Down Syndrome is something you fear, worry about or don’t understand, this one’s for you.
Honestly, we could all stand to learn a lot more from Luke (and Jess, John and baby sister Holly).
Episode 38: Future-Proof Your Child
WITH NIKKI BUSH
This week we talk future-proofing your child with human potential and parenting expert Nikki Bush. Every child will ask their parent what they think they should be when they grow up. Are you ready with an answer? If you just mouthed “Fuck no!” then we’re right there with you. We don’t even know what we wanna be when we grow up! Luckily, Nikki Bush knows a thing or two about parenting AND the future – and she’s written a book about it to help a sister out. Quite honestly, guys, talking to Nikki made us feel a lot less anxious about our kids’ future. You want to read this book! But also… You want to listen to this episode!
Bonus Episode: ENOUGH!
WITH THE NEW NORMAL’S GENEVIEVE PUTTER
This week on the Great Equalizer, Sam flies solo at the end of #hellweek in South Africa. Luckily, post-partum doula and founder of The New Normal Genevieve Putter swoops in to relieve Sam from 60 minutes of monologuing.
It truly was a week from hell. For those of you living in South Africa, you’ll know that life around us – in some places literally – went up in smoke. A lot happened all at once in terms of gender-based violence, on top of a public kidnapping and xenophobic riots. If we weren’t angry we were sad, depressed, anxious, fearful. It was all just a little too much. This was a big topic to tackle, but necessary. Sam and Gen discuss the week’s events, acknowledging their feelings and fears as women, as moms and as South Africans. They also consider what’s next for South Africa.
Episode 37: CLOTH NAPPIES
WHAT DO YOU DO WITH ALL THAT POO?
This week on The Great Equalizer, Sam is chilled like a lemon, Charlene is ready for some nuptials and the duo pull their heads out of the sand and talk Modern Cloth Nappies with South African Cloth Nappy Users founder Catherine Dowie. Tune in to hear all about why cloth nappies are not as complicated as you might think (also, hear all about Sam’s failed cloth nappy journey and find out if she’ll be ready to take the plunge when No 2 becomes a thing. This episode was proudly sponsored by Busy Bottoms Nappy Service.
Episode 36: WOMEN’S DAY 2019
STRIKE A WOMAN, STRIKE A ROCK
This week on The Great Equalizer, Sam's faith in humanity is restored, Charlene takes her weekends back, and Sam argues with Charlene about Women's Day. This episode seeks to honour all the brave South African women who marched to the Union Buildings on 9 August, 1956. Those who protested the Apartheid regime with the utmost grace, dignity, discipline, courage and humility. Bad language aside, these are all virtues we strive to emulate here on TGE.
Episode 35: TANTRUMS!
WITH PHILLIPPA MORASSI
This week on The Great Equalizer, Sam’s about to get fit AF, Charlene is captain of her ship and we talk TEMPER TANTRUMS. PLUS! We welcome back children's counsellor Phillippa Morassi. Now, we all know that it's age-appropriate for toddlers to lose their shit. Maybe you gave them the wrong coloured sippy cup, maybe they can't find the yellow teddy bear they don't actually own, maybe they want the sandwich they rejected ten seconds before crying about wanting the sandwich, maybe they don't want you to look at them. Or breathe. Yes, tantrums are developmental and "this too shall pass" but, firstly, what do you do when you can see the tantrum on the horizon? What do you do to prevent it from being a full-on meltdown? How do you know when the run-of-the-mill tantrum has crossed the line into Satan's territory? How do you know when it's time to get help from a professional? All this and more on this episode of The Great Equalizer.
Episode 34: FIRST FOODS!
WITH SARAH BOOYENS
This week on The Great Equalizer, Sam and Charlene are period twins, because friends who bleed together stay together! PLUS, we talk weaning, solids, toddler foods and picky eaters. Folks, we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again… WE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT WE’RE DOING. But in this episode we acknowledge that the best guidance we ever got about weaning our babies and starting them on solids was(solicited) advice from other mothers. So Sam and Charlene go back to their own weaning experiences, filling listeners in on what worked for them, what didn’t and what they’d do differently if they had to do it all over again.And because she’s IN IT and just published a brand-spanking new blog post on the topic, we also chat to the ever-fabulous girl mom of two @mascara_and_mimosas, who fills us in about her weaning journey, as well as some products that she currently can’t live without..
Episode 33: THE MOTHER LOAD!
WITH RACHEL KOLISI
On this episode of The Great Equalizer, we chat to South Africa’s version of a first lady Rachel Kolisi and we pinpoint exactly why modern moms are so damn tired... Harper's Bazaar dubbs it Emotional Labour and we call it The Mother Load. It's doing 'all the things'. It's finding a way to balance date night and quality time with each child while making sure the fridge is stocked, school fees are paid and there's water in the cat's bowl (let's also not forget about our actual day jobs). It's fighting age-old ingrained inequality but learning to do so without hurting an engaged father's feelings. It's all that, and so much more.
Episode 32: STAY-AT-HOME MOMS!
WITH NADIA GABRIEL
This week on The Great Equalizer, Sam is a deer in the headlights 😳, Charlene is invisible 👻 and Nadia is here too… Wait, what? Yes, folks. Nadia Gabriel, AKA The Non-Adventures of SAHM, is in the house and we are talking STAY-AT-HOME MOMS. Sam and Charlene grill this mommy blogger about what exactly she does all day. You know, between the Netflix binging and all the blogger freebies. Anyone else curious as to what it’s really like to be a stay-at-home mom? Tune in to hear the ups and downs of Nadia’s upside-down.
Episode 31: IT TAKES A VILLAGE!
AND AUNTIES & UNCLES
This week on The Great Equalizer, Sam is missing her #1, Charlene is going through the motions and we talk aunties, uncles and that proverbial village that raises our kids. While the TGE ladies would like to think that we have this raising kids thing waxed (*choke*), we have to admit that we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for our people, our tribe, the village around us that gives the right kind of support exactly when we need it. So in this episode we talk about the super subs – our close friends, brothers, sisters, BILS and SILS. Ag, you guys… We heart you big time. Thanks for loving our kids as if they’re your own. Thanks for recognising when we’re about to crack and showing up exactly when we need it.
Episode 30: SLEEP!
WITH GOOD NIGHT MD JOLANDI BECKER
When it comes to parenting, is there any commodity more precious than sleep? This week on The Great Equalizer, we unpack this foreign concept – the unattainable dream of getting enough zees, assuming your child does the same. Sam and Charlene debate sleep training and discuss how they tackle naps and bedtime in their respective homes. More importantly, they also chat to Jolandi Becker, MD of local sleep consultancy Good Night to get some expert advice on improving your family’s sleep health.
PLUS: We discuss this week’s sponsor, Nurture One, a company dedicated to providing a rich and secure sleep environment for your newborn with their safe and portable nesting cushion
Episode 29: NETFLIX! for moms
#NETFLIXANDCHILL BUT FOR REALS
This week on The Great Equalizer… There’s a tad too much love happening at the Herbsts, Charlene is out of the trenches and we talk NETFLIX FOR MOMS! Guys, Season 2 of Big Little Lies got under way this week and we couldn’t be more stoked. Our advice? Get those kids to bed and put your feet up ASAP because this is a show you don’t want to miss. Sam and Charlene also get chatting about some of their fave binges, as well as some show favourites suggested by our listeners. So if you need to #netflixandchill (but for reals) this episode gives some great suggestions across the board.
Episode 28: BODY IMAGE!
FUCK THE NUMBER ON THE SCALE
This week on The Great Equalizer, Sam is a bad friend, Charlene is doing Sober October (in June) and we’re talking BODY IMAGE. We chat about our tumultuous relationships with our bodies in the past and how we’re striving to overcome that for the sake of our kiddos. We also have a couple of listeners weigh in with their body image experiences (see what we did there?). At the end of the day, a scale cannot measure beauty, talent, purpose, life force, strength or love. You are far more than a fucking number on a scale and you deserve to feel as fabulous as we know you are.
Episode 27: NEWBORNS
AND MADAGASCAR, A MUSICAL ADVENTURE
Some new moms take to new babies like fairies in a forest, while others feel trapped in an apocalyptic upside-down that no-one really likes to talk about. That’s why, this week, we’re talking about our experience as mothers to newborns. Tune in to hear our take on the fourth trimester and comment on this episode so we know we’re not alone! Let us know how those first few months were for you. Good or bad, there are #nojudgies. We also talk to Jill Gerard, producer and director at the People's Theatre in Johannesburg, about the upcoming children's musical, Madagascar.
Episode 26: BAKER’S DAY
AND WRITER AMELIA MEYER
This week on The Great Equalizer, Sam is honouring Sober October (in May), Charlene is nesting (huh!?) and we chat about BAKER’S DAY. In this episode we explore the many pressures that come with this all-important milestone. Sam discusses how Elijah’s Baker’s Day reduced her to the foetal position on her kitchen floor, and Charlene listens wide-eyed and terrified with Josh’s Star Baker day imminent. We also chat to author Amelia Meyer (of the blog Suddenly a Mom) about being an adoptive parent and her children’s adventure book on adoption called Finding my Forever Family.
Episode 25: DIVERSE FAMILIES
WITH DR ELNA RUDOLPH
As cookie-cutter suburban moms, we at The Great Equalizer are hyper aware of the need to be more inclusive. Our reasoning? If inclusivity doesn’t start with us, how can we expect our kids to be kind and accepting individuals. Taking it a step further, what if our kids are the different ones? What if our boys are gay? What if our daughters are transgender? We want to be raising them in a world that accepts whoever they’ll come to be. So it starts with us.
Episode 24: AUTISM ACCEPTANCE
WITH AUTISM SOUTH AFRICA
This week on The Great Equalizer. No-one cares about Sam and Charlene BECAUSE we have Autism South Africa in studio with us! ASA education director Vicky Lamb talks us through Autism Acceptance Month and ASA's 2019 theme: Embrace Neurodiversity. We also chat to several autism moms who share their individual experiences in parenting special needs kids and we hear from an adult living with autism about how he's embracing his neurodiversity.
Episode 23: BURNOUT!
WITH MICHELLE PITT
On this episode of The Great Equalizer, Sam doesn’t have her Matric, Charlene slept through the night and we talk BURNOUT with life coach and mentor for moms, Michelle Pitt. Sam and Charlene pick Michelle’s brain about the realities of work/life balance for ALL moms – stay-at-home, work-at-home, full-time corporate moms – we all have similar fears, struggles and inadequacies and most of us are hard-pressed to reach out for help.
Episode 22: BOOB JUICE
WITH BREASTPUMPS & BEYOND
This week on The Great Equalizer… Sam’s urethra has anxiety, Charlene is ambling aimlessly along and we talk boob juice. Your hosts – as well as some guest contributors – share their breastfeeding journeys and we chat about every mom's decision to boob or not to boob (it's not really a question, #youdoyou). And, because we're not experts, this show is sponsored by Breast Pumps and Beyond – thought leaders in the world of parenting and lactation. Tune in to get the deets...
Episode 21: WORKING MOMS
CAN WE HAVE IT ALL?
Okay, let’s hear it for the working moms shall we? 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 As we’ve said before, no-one who is a mom doesn’t work, but this week we discuss the specific hardships some moms face when juggling working for money and working for their family. The juggle is real, ya’ll! 🤡 And so we ask you, dear listener, can we really have it all?
Episode 20: OH NO! IT’S MOMO
AND DEMON PEPPA PIG
This week on The Great Equalizer, Sam is either living her best life or in the midst of an identity crisis, Charlene still has emotional flu and we talk Momo, Peppa Pig and screen time. The Momo deal has now been exposed to be a hoax but... we should probably still be paying attention to what our kids are ingesting, right? Sam and Charlene unpack this week's pandemonium around Internet safety and we hear from some moms about their screen time rules.
Episode 19: DEALING WITH DIVORCE
This week on The Great Equalizer… Dealing with Divorce. That kick-to-the-stomach moment when you realise your happily-ever-after is Just. Not. Happening. Sam and Charlene talk to counsellor, children’s book author and chronic optimist Phillippa Morassi who took the worst moment of her life and flourished through it. ALSO, Sam has man flu, Charlene has emotional flu and we chat a bit about mental health and breaking through the barrier.
Episode 18: MAINTENANCE NIGHT 2.0
DOING THE VALENTINE’S JIGGY
This week on The Great Equalizer... In honour of Valentine’s Day and the month of L.O.V.E, we’re taking Maintenance Night up a notch. Intimacy specialist Totally Me Tracy joins us on the pod to tackle some serious questions our listeners have about sex post babies PLUS this week's sponsor, Lingerie Letters, has a special gift for YOU. Stay tuned to the end!
Episode 17: MOM GUILT
YOU’RE THE WORST
This week on The Great Equalizer: Happy New Year, Sam’s 2019 has officially begun, Charlene has no momentum (thank you unwelcome interruptions) and we hit up some friends about why they are terrible parents. Hello, Mom Guilt – the one true universality within the universal great equalizer that is parenting. Guys, let’s face it, you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
Episode 16: THE LIES WE TELL OUR KIDS
IS HONESTY REALLY THE BEST POLICY?
We talk about the lies we tell our kids (peppered with some early sex-ed). How do you feel about being blatantly honest with your kids from the get-go? Or do you sugar coat some tough realities to cushion them from some of life's hardest blows? We talk periods, being naked in front of our kids, body autonomy, Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy... Essentially, when do kids simply know too much? Should we be protecting them more or arming them with knowledge?
Episode 15: AMANDLA, UBUNTU BABA! AMANDLA!
THE POWER OF THE MOMMY MARKET
This week on The Great Equalizer, Sam is on the go-slow and a little in denial, Charlene is letting go of her baby boy and it’s fucking hard :( and we talk the Ubuntu Baba/Woolies debacle.
We also discuss whether we'll be boycotting Woolworths for wronging the little guy and chat about the contentious Gillette ad that got the guys' panties in a bunch.
Episode 14: NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS
BRING ON 2019!
This week on The Great Equalizer… BRING ON 2019! Sam is so ready for some fresh starts, Charlene speaks is hitting the reset button and we interview Annette Brokensha, MD of the Johannesburg Children’s Home and discuss how we can help out and lend a hand in the new year. ALSO, we chat New Years Resolutions and review the last 13 episodes of The Great Equalizer. Thanks for tuning in, folks. We look forward to lots more great content in the future.
Episode 13: THINGS TO DO IN JOBURG!
STAYCATION SANITY SAVERS
This week on The Great Equalizer, Sam is fully booked, Charlene speaks fluent mermaid and we talk about things to do with your kid during your Joburg Staycation. We chat about kid-friendly restaurants we love and out-of-the-box activities that we don’t often think of doing. Joburg has so much to offer and we’re all about getting out of the house and wearing those kids out before they wear you out! ALSO, we review this year’ Snow White pantomime (it was a goody).
Episode 12: JEALOUS MOMS!
IT MAKES YOU NASTY
This week on The Great Equalizer, Sam is but a shadow of her former self, Charlene is lost and we talk jealous moms! Let’s admit it for a second, we’ve all had bouts of jealousy and moments of inadequacy among others who seem to have their shit together more than we do. Jealousy makes implementing #nojudgies infinitely harder! So tune in and unpack this with us. ALSO, we catch you up on all our giveaways and what’s next on The Great Equalizer.
Episode 11: DISCIPLINE!
This week on The Great Equalizer, Sam met a boy and now she’s in love. Charlene is tired of being tired and we’re talking corporal punishment... JOKES! But we do chat to discipline guru Dereck Jackson who gives us some tips on how to wrangle our kids. Dereck is no Jesus, nor is his book the gospel BUT, if you're struggling to lay down the law, there are some super useful tips and tricks here and it's definitely worth a listen.
Episode 10: BOOKS!
On this episode of The Great Equalizer, Sam's house is haunted, Charlene is sporting a holiday tan (not) and we talk children's picture books with the gals from Love Books in Melville. PLUS: We showcase four self-made female authors who are killing it in the local book market, and we've teamed up with Kids’ Book Club who is offering one lucky listener something special this festive season. Stay tuned till the end!
Episode 9: CHRISTMAS!
HO, HO, HO
On the latest of The Great Equalizer, Sam is literally the worst, Charlene is taking a breather from projectile vomit BUT it’s all okay because… CHRISTMAS!
Bonus Episode! Being Frank on Tees for Titties
AND KNITTED KNOCKERS
On this bonus episode of The Great Equalizer, we talk tieties, tatas, boobies and breasts with the ladies from Being Frank. This uber cool duo are using design to bring about social change, and they've teamed up with Colourspun and Knitted Knockers South Africa to get people thinking about breast cancer beyond the month of October.
Episode 8: Kids’ Birthday Parties
I’LL CRY IF I WANT TO
This week on The Great Equalizer, Sam is feeling better (thanks for asking), Charlene is on autopilot, and we talk kids’ birthday parties. In the spotlight: Insta-mommy @thee_blackgeisha_chinadoll and mom blogger Being Me Jen.
Also, we talk titties and ta-tas with the ladies from Being Frank.
Episode 7: Never Would I Ever
EAT SOME HUMBLE PIE
This week Charlene and Sam discuss things they vowed NEVER to do as parents and how they’ve fallen short of most of those promises. Whoops.
Bonus Episode! Children’s book illustrator Megan Bird
COOLEST MOM IN TOWN
In this mini-episode, Sam speaks to Megan Bird, who is not only an effortlessly cool mom, but also an amazing graphic design artist and illustrator, who this year started illustrating children’s books, including a locally illustrated version of Alice in Wonderland, another called What on Earth Am I? (by Lara Salomon) and most recently The Brave Turtle (by Brad Harris), which is literally hot off the presses. (Pic by Bernard Brand)
Episode 6: Mom Friends
AND NON-MOM FRIENDS
Making mom friends might not be as easy as we think it is. And holding onto friendships post baby? Infinitely harder. This week on The Great Equalizer, Sam is solo parenting (again), Charlene has had quite enough, and we talk about keeping and making friends after you become a mom. We also chat about Scary Mommy's hilarious but on-point Mother Judger video and... WE HAVE A GIVEAWAY! So stay tuned till the end of the episode to see how you can WIN with The Great Equalizer.
Episode 5: Child Care
WHO’S LOOKING AFTER LITTLE?
This week on The Great Equalizer, Sam calls child services on her ass, Charlene takes stock of what’s important, and we chat about who you leave your child with when they’re not with you.
Episode 4: Maintenance Night
LET’S GET INTIMATE
This week on The Great Equalizer, Sam gets a sneak peak of what’s to come, Charlene is drowning in her kids’ bodily fluids, and we chat about getting intimate.
*Bow chicka wow wow*
P.S. If you raised and/or gave birth to Sam or Charlene (or their spouses), now would be a good time to head on over to the safety of Episode 5.
Episode 3: Self Care
This week on The Great Equalizer, Charlene wades through a sea of emotions and Sam gets her ducks in a row.
Also, we are talking SELF CARE. Do you know what that is? Neither do we! Jokes aside, we come to realise that being the best versions of ourselves is not necessarily cosmetic… Who knew?
Episode 2: Lowering Our Expectations
HOW LOW CAN YOU GO?
On this episode of The Great Equalizer, Sam doesn't know which way is up or down and Charlene's taking it One. Step. At. A. Time.
We also talk about lowering our expectations as mothers. Could this be the coping mechanism we need to ease the pressure of "perfection"? To minimise disappointment and failure?
Episode 1: Hello!
INTRODUCING… YOUR HOSTS
On this first episode of The Great Equalizer, we give some insight into who we are, who we are as mothers, where we find ourselves in this crazy phase of life, and why we've decided to open up about it.
We also mention a blog post by Janelle Hantchett of Renegade Mothering titled I Became a Mother and Died to Live. Read it here.