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Three years ago Hillary Frank found herself somewhere she hadn’t planned on being. She had just given birth to a beloved baby daughter but due to complications during labour she could not walk, stand or take care of her little girl the way she had imagined she would.

It’s the rub of parenthood:  the unexpected sorrows — and all the ways we fall off the path we had intended to travel when we dreamed the dreams of mothers- and fathers-to-be. Those first few months of new parenthood truly are the longest shortest time.

Hillary felt like she needed to reach out. She wanted to connect with other parents; she knew their stories of struggle during those early days of parenting would help her to cope and to feel less alone in what she was experiencing. Her experience as a radio producer gave her an advantage: with microphone in hand no one would wonder why she was asking all these questions. She contacted other parents and began to record their tales of struggle and happiness in those early months of new baby. Those stories have became an exquisite podcast called The Longest Shortest Time.

With insight and honesty, Hillary tells the stories of modern parents struggling with everything from sleep troubles to developmental delays. Sometimes it will make you laugh and sometimes it will make you cry. I didn’t know about The Longest Shortest Time when I was home with a tiny baby and struggling through the interminable challenges and hard-won victories. I wish I had.

Here is an episode that was animated. It’s about a 15-month-old who refused to wear clothes. File under ‘Cry’

So this is for all of you new and expecting moms and dads. But it’s also for all of us who have gone through it or who intend to at some point. Frank’s background as producer on radio shows like This American Life and All Things Considered is evident in her storytelling.

Frank is now fundraising to put out a second season of her podcast: the first season spanned three years and 20 episodes, but she’d now like to produce 12 episodes in 6 months. Her goal is to be the go-to place for the emotional needs of parents. Click here and check out her kickstarter campaign.

Listen now to The Longest Shortest Time on her website or you can subscribe to it through iTunes.

 source: The Longest Shortest Time

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