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VoyageDallas Podcast: Kristi McDonald & Michelle Hooper | Hosts of the Old Moms Club Podcast


Kristi McDonald and Michelle Hooper are friends, entrepreneurs and new to motherhood.  As new mothers in their early 30s they learned that there was so much they wished folks had told them about and so much that they did hear that didn’t match up because it geared towards new mother’s in their 20s.  So, they set out to create a space for first-time mothers who were in their 30s to connect and discuss. As you’ll hear, they are so fun, so lively and so filled with thoughtful insights.

Krisit is also a content partner. Content partners help Voyage in so many ways from sponsoring our mission, to spreading the word about the work we do and collaborating with us on content like this.

With no further ado, we invite you to listen to one of our favorite episodes so far.


Kristi McDonald: The old mom’s club was founded because we were both, in our late thirties, early forties, when we became pregnant and we quickly realized that there is a lot of stuff that nobody tells you.

Kristi McDonald: Nobody tells you about being pregnant. Nobody tells you about having a baby. Nobody tells you about any of it. And the things that they do tell you are completely different. From when you’re in your twenties. So we started out with the purpose to inform and educate and talk about those things nobody else talks about, but then it turned into, it’s also really funny and lively and we get off track pretty often, but all of our episodes are cram packed full of really good information if you’re pregnant or if you’re a [00:03:00] new mom and it’s all information that.

Michelle Hooper: We made note every time it happened, we were like, why didn’t anyone tell us this? And so we’ve made podcast episodes out of all of those topics, just to have a way to help other new moms out.

Alex (Host): That’s incredible. And, and so, I mean, it’s a relatively, so it’s a relatively new show. I believe it launched on mother’s day this year.

Alex (Host): Correct? Mm-hmm yep. what was. Kind of journey from, Hey, we should do a podcast to getting to mother’s day and the launch of the show.

Michelle Hooper: Well, uh, you know, we didn’t actually start the podcast until, I think her daughter was about six months in mine was eight or nine months. So we had. All of those months where we kept telling ourselves, oh, we really need to do a podcast.

Michelle Hooper: People need to know this information. Like, why is no one talking about this? And, I actually have another girlfriend of mine who [00:04:00] has a podcast. And so I reached out to her for some information and she worked with us and, and we just kind of. Had this moment where we were like, we’re, we’re just gonna do it and we’re gonna figure it out as we go kind of like motherhood and that’s exactly what we did.

Michelle Hooper: We had a, a few, pointers from my friend, Lindsay, and then we just kind of pushed record and put it out there. And you know, like we always talks about, talk about in our podcast, we have no idea what we’re doing, so we’re just figur. Figuring it all out in motherhood and it’s the exact same way with the podcast.

Michelle Hooper: yeah.

Alex (Host): mm-hmm that’s I mean, that’s, that’s absolutely in incredible. and, and congratulations, Steve, both, both on, uh, you know, the, the beautiful children that you’ve had and on, on getting the show launched, uh, as we go there, one of the, you mentioned that, you know, Go off on you, go off on tangents and things [00:05:00] throughout.

Alex (Host): And one of the things we talked about before actually sitting down for this actual interview was that you were both, uh, raised as, as Southern women. There are certain things that you don’t discuss in polite society. Uh, how does that impact the show?

Kristi McDonald: Those are all out the window. we are recording as if you were sitting around, you know, having a cup of coffee, cup of coffee with your best friend.

Kristi McDonald: we’re definitely not recording. Like we have a huge audience, because there is a lot of information that. People need to know that nobody’s willing to say out loud. and I’m very, I feel very lucky in that aspect because I have Michelle and she is not afraid to say that

Michelle Hooper: out loud. right. And honestly, I think, you know, both, she and I were really, a lot more like conservative and modest before we had babies. And there is just [00:06:00] something about having a baby. that just changes you. And that modesty goes out the window a little bit and you can definitely see that in our podcast.

Kristi McDonald: and I think part of it too, is, I mean, it’s usually not talked about because it’s really, you know, embarrassing kind of stuff. But when you get the nerve up to ask someone out loud, you find out that everybody wants to know that. I’ve like never asked a question where somebody was like, oh, that’s stupid.

Kristi McDonald: You know, everybody was like, oh my gosh, why doesn’t anybody tell you that? So, and that’s kind of how we stumbled upon it being so fun and informative at the same time.

Alex (Host): That, that does lead me to this question. Uh, why, why doesn’t anybody tell you that? I mean, obviously, you know, people have been having babies for, for millennia at this point.

Alex (Host): Uh, and so why, why do you think there is. Not just as, as much of a wealth of [00:07:00] information as it seems like there should.

Michelle Hooper: Mostly cuz we’re talking about private parts all the time

Michelle Hooper: and the reality is, you know, we live in the digital age of social media and so everyone’s life has this filter on it, so to speak and we see all these highlights and the high points, but we don’t always see the embarrassing and the weird and the gross and you know, those kind of slightly uncomfortable things.

Michelle Hooper: That girlfriends talk about behind the scenes, but that just aren’t talked about in public. And so, you know, we wanted our podcast to be very much one of those places where you could push play. And like Kristi mentioned, just feel like you’re sitting there talking with girlfriends. and I think we’ve done that.

Alex (Host): How do you keep yourselves? from. From, from feeling that some of the embarrassment that might come from knowing that I’m, I’m putting this out into, into put the [00:08:00] public, it’s gonna kind of live on the internet forever. how do, yeah, how do you, how do you either push past that? Or how did you get over that?

Alex (Host): I’m not quite sure where, where you’re both at, on your journey with that feeling.

Michelle Hooper: You know, I think it’s very helpful. When we’re recording in the moment, we kind of get lost in the conversation with each other. I think that really makes it a lot easier. And then, you know, one thing that happened to me recently is one of my girlfriends sent me a message and she was like, oh my gosh, I just listened to the first episode.

Michelle Hooper: And the whole time I was sitting there, like, yes, me too. And I kept wanting to talk back. at, at my phone as I was listening. And so I think just having that, that knowledge and support that from people that are telling us these things, it’s like, okay, yeah, we’re onto something here. And I think that that authenticity.

Michelle Hooper: Is kind of like the secret sauce. You [00:09:00] know, people don’t wanna listen to the, uh, the perfect filtered versions anymore. They wanna hear what really goes down

Kristi McDonald: and we also, we’re not going off of a script. We kind of have a general, this is what we’re talking about today and we just call each other and start recording.

Kristi McDonald: And it really is like, I’m just having a conversation with Michelle and she’s absolutely right. We get so much feedback from so many new moms that are just, yes, yes, yes. That is what we need to know. So that does help.

Alex (Host): And can you kind of talk about, I wanna go back to the, a little bit of the, the impetus of, of.

Alex (Host): Getting the show started of this, this idea that most of the advice that was out there previous to your show was geared towards younger moms. Can you talk about, what some of those differences are between a someone who’s maybe going through a pregnancy in their early twenties versus someone who’s doing it in their mid to late [00:10:00] thirties?

Kristi McDonald: We like to say we have different celebrations. But I think, you know, when you’re first pregnant in your early twenties, there is a ton on your plate to worry about. You’re worried about your job, your career. Have you finished college? Do you have a house? Are you gonna have the money for all of these things that you need?

Kristi McDonald: and then I think, you know, as you get older, now that we’re more settled in our thirties and forties, you know, I don’t have to worry about having a house or a career or. You know, it takes all of those challenges away and then it kind of presents a different set of challenges. I think both of us have talked about this before, where we like each felt like physically.

Kristi McDonald: the healing would have been a lot easier than it was because we see so many of these Instagram moms that you know, where their genes home from the hospital and are totally fine in the next two days. [00:11:00] And it took us both several weeks. Just because of the age. And I mean, we were both in really good shape too.

Kristi McDonald: it was just that age different that made healing, such a different process for us. So I think, you know, there are a lot of things that the younger moms have to worry about that we don’t necessarily have to worry about and vice versa.

Alex (Host): Yeah. I, I think, uh, when you initially started answering that question, my initial instinct was, oh yeah.

Alex (Host): I mean, with the, with the more kind of secure career, probably a little bit more secure financially, this’ll be easier. Were you having that same kind of thought process, uh, going into your pregnancies?

Michelle Hooper: I don’t know that I knew what to expect. I don’t think anyone knows to expect what to expect. when you’re going into a pregnancy and then having a baby.

Michelle Hooper: yeah. So I think you go into it with one set of expectations and you find out. [00:12:00] Very early on that you have no idea, what’s gonna happen and you have nothing under your control, but you know, like Kristi mentioned, it’s just such a completely different set of, topics and concerns and also opportunities.

Michelle Hooper: I think I’m a very different type of mother now than I would’ve been in my twenties. and for that, I’m really grateful actually.

Kristi McDonald: Right. There are a lot of celebrations, I think, with being an old mom

Alex (Host): and then I I’ve got some, some other questions just kind of about your, your, your day to day and how you find the time to record the podcast.

Alex (Host): But to do that, I wanna set up a little bit of context. Can you just tell us a little bit about who you are outside of hosting the show?

Kristi McDonald: Okay. I, well, both Michelle and I are both entrepreneurs and that’s actually how we met, through a networking group. But, I have founded it’s called the E teacher [00:13:00] app and it’s a platform for people to hop on.

Kristi McDonald: It was founded during the pandemic. parents can hop on search by their zip code and find a local tutor. to come to their house. So it’s kind of like Uber for tutors or, you know, Instacart for teachers. you just get on there, pick out the teacher that you want and schedule an appointment right there on the app.

Kristi McDonald: So that was already kind of set up as a work from home situation for me. And I know Michelle was working, digitally as well. I’ll let her tell you about herself, but, I think we were both kind of structured in a way where. Every now, and then we’ll have to go to the studio or we’ll have to, you know, go to a meeting.

Kristi McDonald: But the pandemic really changed so much that not many people are actually going to work those nine to five jobs anymore. Anyway.

Michelle Hooper: Yeah. So I am also in the digital space. So I do a lot with, social media content [00:14:00] creation for small businesses and startups, including EEA teacher . And, so I can work from my phone a lot, which is really great.

Michelle Hooper: And honestly, I think one skill. Both Kristi and I, have picked up as new moms is you can get so much done in a very small timeframe. So for example, even this morning, we had a work meeting and in the past, of course we would maybe schedule an hour long call to go over something. And today we scheduled it for 30 minutes.

Michelle Hooper: There were three of us on the call and we all left with an action. Like 19 minutes later. and we got off the call and we were both like, wow, that was an entire day’s work in about a 30 minute phone call. So I think you just find ways to be a lot more efficient, knowing that, okay, my baby’s gonna wake up any minute.

Michelle Hooper: So what are [00:15:00] the needle moving activities that we have to do right now? and you just press forward.

Alex (Host): Were you, were you always wired to kind of ask that question or, or is that specifically a skill you found yourself have to learn since becoming a mom? I

Kristi McDonald: think both. we were definitely those people that would complain about why are we at this meeting when it could have been an email , I think we are, we are good at time management outside of that.

Kristi McDonald: And I think being a successful entrepreneur, you have to be, your time is the first thing that you have to learn to manage and manage it in a way in between business and personal life. Anyway. So I think then when you add, you know, being a mother on top of that, it’s not that the skill itself is different.

Kristi McDonald: It’s just that you learn how much you can get done in 20 minute increments. . .

Alex (Host): So with the, with the show, with being a mom with your, your businesses, what, [00:16:00] what then does a typical week look like for the two of you?

Kristi McDonald: Well, thankfully this is audio and you don’t see us right now. if you , if you did, I guarantee we are both in workout clothes, we’re both

Michelle Hooper: scarfing food down our faces right now.

Michelle Hooper:

Kristi McDonald: I know that my daughter’s taking a nap. And like Michelle said earlier, we, I, I mean, I woke up this morning, you know, had to take care of my daughter, feed her breakfast. And then immediately I hopped on an E teacher meeting phone call, and then you have to take care of yourself. And then, you know, we had this interview, I had a meeting in the middle with an attorney.

Kristi McDonald: It’s a lot of just running back and forth and back and forth and back and forth. But. I enjoy that kind of thing. I work well under pressure. Some people that can’t, I know there is a security that some people need. I enjoy doing it this [00:17:00] way.

Michelle Hooper: Yeah. I mean, we kind of loosely have a podcast schedule. Where we say, okay, let’s let’s record on Tuesdays in our podcast.

Michelle Hooper: comes out 5:00 AM on every Thursday. So we have that loose schedule. And then when it comes to Tuesday, we keep it pretty, uh, flexible. We’ll be like, okay. So here’s our topics today. Here’s a couple notes that we wanna make sure that we touch on that we think will be really valuable for the listeners.

Michelle Hooper: And then. We’re like, okay, Ava is sleeping for the next 30 minutes. Can we hop on right now? And we just make it happen. and I think part of the magic is also that we save a lot of our conversations for the podcast. so, you know, we might be texting about something and we’ll say, you know what, let’s not go any further on this conversation.

Michelle Hooper: Let’s save this topic for the podcast and we’ll do that. And so it just [00:18:00] comes off being this really, organic, authentic, kind of fun, funny moment. absolutely,

Kristi McDonald: that’s totally true. And it’s, even though we are moms and we do have these businesses and we do have this podcast. I mean, we still have real life stuff that happens to us that you wanna share.

Kristi McDonald: And you wanna talk to your friends about, and we just don’t edit it. We just have those moments publicly.

Michelle Hooper: yeah, we do. We literally will just push play and we do zero editing. And then when it’s done, it’s done and that’s not .

Kristi McDonald: Wow.

Alex (Host): But people are loving it. Yeah. As someone who only hosts edited podcasts, I, I cannot applaud that.

Alex (Host): Bravery enough. were you on the entrepreneurial front, were you always wired as entrepreneurs or were you in the middle of a career and made a pivot? How did that, how did entrepreneur ship enter your lives? [00:19:00]

Kristi McDonald: So

Michelle Hooper: for me, it was a little bit of a unique journey. I grew. Kind of craving that safety and secur financial security and all of that.

Michelle Hooper: and what that looked like in my home was a stable nine to five job that you work at the same company until retirement. and I ended up getting a position with, a CEO organization where I was doing a lot of training and leadership development and the more I worked with them and the more that I saw these entrepreneurs, very successful entrepreneurs, I was like, you know what?

Michelle Hooper: I could totally do. You know, I’m doing this leadership development with them already and why am I not doing this myself? So for me, that was very much, just surrounding myself with people that were in that space that really inspired me to take the risk and go out on my own as well. [00:20:00] So I left that.

Michelle Hooper: Position. and I actually was working there doing some consulting and training and then started my own company. And then about nine months after I started my own company, I was able to leave there and be on my own full time. So, wow. That was kind of how I started my entrepreneur journey. Kristi. Yours is a little different.

Michelle Hooper: Mine is a little different.

Kristi McDonald: I actually, I mean, I had a very stable career. I was in education. I was a teacher. For what feels like a hundred years, but , my dad was always self-employed. My grandpa was always self-employed like, I just kind of thought that was a thing that you did. Like if you didn’t want to get up and, you know, go teach school from seven to three, like then you just start a business.

Kristi McDonald: Like, I, I just thought that’s what you did. And, and it did kind of come to that. I was one of. I think one of the [00:21:00] first people or the first wave of teachers to say, this is not working this way. and then, I mean, I was also one of those people that the pandemic was a blessing for, what happened. I had already started privately teaching instead of teaching in a classroom setting.

Kristi McDonald: And I had so many parents come to me during the pandemic that I was turning away students and I was turning away families cuz there was just one of me. I couldn’t. You know, teach all of them. But then at the same time, I have this whole group of teachers that was saying, how do we do what you do? and everything had gone digital.

Kristi McDonald: So I just had the idea of, you know, creating the platform, making it an app that everybody could access. You have parents can log on and find their teacher teachers can log on and, you know, advertise themselves for families. So it, I feel like it did happen very organically. it kind of makes [00:22:00] sense in the way of, you know, maybe you you’re teaching in a classroom for a little while.

Kristi McDonald: Okay. What happens next? Well, maybe I wanna be a specialist. Okay. Well then what happens next? You know, and it just kind of flow kind of just flows in that, you know, what happens next? And it just seemed like the next step was always the next logical step. And here we are. .

Alex (Host): that. Yeah. I mean, that’s such an incredible, incredible journey.

Alex (Host): Has your. has your calculation for risk changed since becoming mothers?

Kristi McDonald: It has, but I feel like also our expectations for reward have gone up. I know we used to start out or I used to think, okay, if I make this much money a month, I’m gonna be okay. Well now since I have a really great team of people behind me on the E teacher app, and now that I have my daughter Eden, I’ve tripled that number.

Kristi McDonald: I mean, I’m not making that currently, but. What I expect to get out of [00:23:00] it has gone up significantly. but I think that is one of the beautiful things about being an entrepreneur is depending on what you’re willing to do and how much you’re willing to work for it, you can make that happen.

Michelle Hooper: right. And I think also just, it very closely ties in with being a mother to me, because you really have to kind of cut the fat in every area of your life, because your priority is now this tiny person who relies on you for everything.

Michelle Hooper: And so. Your focus has to constantly be okay, where is my time best spent right now? And, and that’s a really high bar for, for things in my life now. And for things that were not, maybe as productive or when I was single and, you know, didn’t have a child, I had a lot more time to kind of spend in things that weren’t.[00:24:00]

Michelle Hooper: Maybe in my top five priorities. but now like any time away from my daughter has to be really productive. And, and so you do, you kind of learn to cut the fat and focus on what is most important and what’s gonna get us to our goals now.

Alex (Host): Wow. I mean, I think that that’s, yeah, that’s such a, such an incredible and powerful piece of advice.

Alex (Host): Uh, and so I kind of wanna shift this over again to. Some advice I wanna ask for a little bit more advice for, for some of our listeners out there. So for someone who might be just beginning their, their motherhood journey, what, what is kind of the initial advice that you might give them? outside of listen to the old mom’s club.

Michelle Hooper: Oh, come on. That’s great

Kristi McDonald: advice. I think, like we say, our tagline is relax. Nothing’s under control. I think after you lose the expectations that you put on yourself, you’ll realize that no one else is expecting those [00:25:00] things of you either. and kind of in combination with what Michelle was saying about trimming the fat, your priorities shift.

Kristi McDonald: In every part of your life, your family time, your friend time, your work time, your workout, time, everything shift. And that’s okay. I think there are a lot of people trying to hold on to a lot of old parts of themselves that don’t exist anymore. And, and that’s okay. Like it’s, you’re supposed to be different.

Michelle Hooper: Yeah. You know, Kristi just mentioned something that I think is really, profound or at least it was for me in becoming a mother. And that is that you change as a person and it’s okay. And you’re supposed to, and for me, I remember, when my daughter was a newborn for those first few months, I. Like, okay, well now I’m not pregnant anymore.

Michelle Hooper: So now I wanna go and meet up with my girlfriends for [00:26:00] brunch and go shopping and go to dinner. And, you know, all of those things kind of jump right back into my old life. And I had that expectation of myself and it was a very unrealistic expectation. and to be honest, I feel like I did have to almost grieve.

Michelle Hooper: My old life, after I had a baby and I think a lot of women feel guilty admitting that, something like that, like, yeah, you do feel bad that you can’t show up for your friends in the same way, that you used to, you can’t make it to every girl’s night. And so yes, grieving your old life. There will be some of that, even though you’re stepping into something that’s really beautiful.

Michelle Hooper: So it’s okay to, to step into that new, I guess, this whole new life and, [00:27:00] And still have parts about your old life that you’re like, wow. I, I might need to take a moment and feel sad about that today.

Kristi McDonald: but I mean, the unknown is always scarier. It’s always scarier. Yeah. You know, so I think it’s, it’s easier for people to fall back into what they used to do.

Kristi McDonald: And it’s kind of, I mean, yeah. I go to brunch with my friends or I will have a glass of wine every now and then. Honestly, I’m so busy just trying to keep everyone alive. I don’t think about it as much. You know, I’m not worried about what I’m doing Friday night, because like, if we’re also alive Friday night, go team.

Kristi McDonald: I mean, it’s like so much juggling all the time. You don’t really have time to even think about what’s next.

Alex (Host): Wow. I mean, that’s, that is, uh, all of that is both incredible advice for, for people starting their journey to motherhood, but just, I mean, just in general people in general, just, uh, I love the, I love [00:28:00] the relax.

Alex (Host): Uh, nothing’s under control. It’s it’s a great, uh, Philosophy for life, really? Like

Kristi McDonald: you just think it’s yeah.

Alex (Host): Yeah. It’s like, yeah. Yeah. Nothing’s really under control. we’re just all, we’re just all making it up as we go along.

Michelle Hooper: yes, we are.

Alex (Host): so, so Kristi, Michelle, uh, as we kind of close out here, uh, what haven’t I asked you about that I should have asked you.

Kristi McDonald: Oh,

Michelle Hooper: wow. Come on Michelle. that’s a really great question. No, it really is. We’ve covered a lot. I feel like even in this short amount of time,

Kristi McDonald: like this is turned into

Michelle Hooper: one of those fun and informative

Kristi McDonald: podcast.

Alex (Host): well, just trying to, just trying to learn from you all as we go is can we get a full season of podcasts into 27 minutes?

Alex (Host): That’s

Kristi McDonald: right. Well, okay. So one thing that I do think, I don’t know how you would ask it in a question. I’m just gonna say one [00:29:00] thing I have always really admired. About Michelle and it kind of carries over into the podcast and into the friendship and into the business world is the way she sets up culture.

Kristi McDonald: Like the culture that she wants in her home, the culture that she wants in her business, the culture that she wants as a mother. And I think it’s, you know, I looked at her list one day of like all of the things that she had gotten done. And I was like, wow, I cannot believe that you do that much stuff in a day.

Kristi McDonald: And she was like, oh, that takes 60. You know, because it was like the stuff you wake up and do with her daughter, like right when she wakes up in the morning. And I think it is about establishing those routines to create that culture in your house. I think it’s important, to do that, if. Your business is your baby, or if you have an actual human baby, but it should be conscious of what that culture is that you’re [00:30:00] creating.

Kristi McDonald: And as an entrepreneur, that it’s up to you to lead that, like it’s not going to happen unless you make it happen.

Michelle Hooper: and as a mother, even if you’re not working outside the office, your family, you are the CEO of that family. Mm-hmm so creating that culture in your home is just as important as it is to creating a culture in your business.

Alex (Host): Now here’s the chance for, for the, the shameless plug. Where can people find you in the show?

Michelle Hooper: You can find us on Instagram at old moms podcast, or I’m sorry, old moms club, podcast, and same place on Facebook and our website should be up. and the next couple weeks. Uh,

Kristi McDonald: we’re also on Spotify, uh, Spotify, apple music.

Kristi McDonald: where podcast

Michelle Hooper: actually is. the podcast is

Kristi McDonald: on all the major platforms. It’s on iHeart, audible, Amazon music, apple. Spotify, all the ones I didn’t name cuz that’s not [00:31:00] my job. I’ve delegated that part.

Alex (Host): if you’re, if you’re listening to this podcast, their podcast is probably available there.

Kristi McDonald: exactly. There you go.

Alex (Host): Awesome. Kristi, Michelle, thank you so much for joining us on the show today.

Michelle Hooper: Thank you. Thank you so much.

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