On today’s episode, Elle and Taylor are joined by Ely Mitchell, a LGBTQ+ mama who works with LGBTQIA+ and special needs families to talk about how to meet the differing needs of these unique and wonderful families. Ely shares the five steps she uses to help families of every kind find support, learn how to make decisions, and do what is best for their family. They also discuss the different kinds of difficulties that LGBTQIA+ families and special needs families face. Ely shares a heart-warming story of a little girl named Kennedy. They discuss what caregiver burnout and loss of identity looks like and how to help combat that.
“When I work with families, I have 5 steps that I guide all families through… The five steps that I work parents through are that I’m going to help them work through the options and advice that’s available to them.” – Ely Mitchell
The 5 steps Ely describes on the episode are:
- Finding resources, communities, and groups that have similarities to what you are going through/the journey you are on.
- Learning to trust your intuition.
- Making a decision.
- Putting those decisions into action.
- Taking those actions into a plan to learn and grow.
“You have to find what advice and what information works for you.” – Ely Mitchell
“I believe all parents are perfectly capable of being able to make the right choices for their family. But over time, we’ve been made to feel that we can’t trust ourselves.” – Ely Mitchell
“What is most important to your belief system? What’s most important to your parenting goals when you’re looking through those options?” – Ely Mitchell
“By the time that your kid is age 3, they totally understand gender. They understand, they know who they are, and they’re very set in that. And if you can embrace that and support them from that age on, there is a much higher likelihood that they will experience life without the gender dysphoria, without the anxiety, and the trauma that can come with trying to suppress who you are.” – Elle Kennedy
“My daily struggles don’t look like your daily struggles.” – Ely Mitchell
“She needed to feel like she was part of a team, and not just doin’ it on her own.” – Elle Kennedy
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Today’s guest: Ely Mitchell
Ely Mitchell is a single rainbow mama with two spirited little girls who fill her life with giggles and keep her busy. In 2007, she graduated from CCU in DC with a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education. She has experience as a public school teacher, early interventionist, birth doula, childbirth educator, and lactation support.
In her free time, you can find her tending her plants or out on the water in her kayak.
Resources related to today’s episode:
Who are Elle and Taylor?
Elle Kennedy is a maternity, birth, and family photographer and doula based in Orange County, California. She’s a mother of two, a member of the LGBTQ+ community, and an advocate for consent and respect for personal preferences during pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartum. She homeschools, is polyamorous, loves tea and scones, and loves using her free time to create and bake.
Dr. Taylor Garcia is a Webster Certified Chiropractor located in the Orange County, California area, with a family practice that focuses on pregnant persons and babies. She is currently going through the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association’s certification program and plans to have that completes by 2021. While not a mama yet, she is the consummate “mom friend,” and hopes to adopt with her partners in about 5 years. She is part of the LGBTQ+ community and polyamorous. She believes in focusing on health and wellness from before birth, and using that as a firm foundation for health and wellness throughout life. She believes in the importance of connection and consent in all aspects of life. She is a dancer, a writer, a bookworm, and a fan of music and musicals.
Facebook: Elle Kennedy Photography
Facebook: Dr. Taylor Garcia, DC