For the past four years, regular listeners to the "Good Enough Moms" weekly radio program on FM 107.1 tuned in every Sunday afternoon to hear Dr. Marti Erickson and her daughter, Erin, dispense a healthy dose of reality about what it really means to be a "good enough" parent, mixed with easygoing mother-daughter patter.
This month, Marti and Erin, who both live in Minneapolis, left FM 107 and began a new weekly podcast of "Good Enough Moms" in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Education and the Working Family Resource Center in St. Paul.
Marti, who retired from the University of Minnesota in 2008, has worked as a developmental psychologist for more than 10 years and now travels throughout the United States and abroad speaking on a variety of parenting subjects.
"There is so much pressure on moms to do and be everything," she said. "You don't need to be perfect and you never will be. By being consistent, loving and meeting your child's basic needs, they will be happy and so will you. Kids need happy moms."
The dynamic of "Good Enough Moms" is unique, according to Erin, a maternal-child health specialist and single parent to Clara, 5, and McKinley, 3.
"I'm at a place now where I'm in the thick of parenting," she said, "and my mom brings the research experience to what I'm living through right now."
Topics for the 30-minute programs will be announced every Monday on the "Good Enough Moms" website, Facebook and Twitter, and will cover a range of subject matter primarily pertaining to infants through age 5. Local and national parenting experts and other guests will also be featured.
Listeners will be encouraged to participate in "Good Enough Moms" online forums linked directly to the Education Department's Minnesota Parents Know website.
"The information Marti and Erin bring is solid, research-based and up to date," said Debbykay Peterson, early childhood specialist with the Education Department. "This partnership helps us reach our goals of providing information and strategies parents can use to support their child's development."
Another component of the new "Good Enough Moms" broadcasts is the chance for moms to gather in the workplace for "GEMS" lunches or socially for "GEMS Night Out" events.
"We have a great opportunity to build a sense of community among moms," said Beth Quist, interim executive director of the Working Family Resource Center. "We want to provide ways for them to connect with each other and share their own experiences about parenting."
Bringing her personal relationship with her only daughter into the public arena has been a fulfilling experience and one Marti Erickson is excited about continuing.
"I have to strike a balance between being supportive and offering unsolicited advice," she said with a laugh. "I'm still trying to figure out how I should be a Good Enough Mom and grandmother." (Her son Ryan also has two children, ages 4 and 1).
Erin agrees about the need for balance. "I don't want to have a professional relationship with my mom," she said. "We really like doing this together and it is a great platform to talk about the parenting issues that are so important to both of us."
Julie Pfitzinger is a West St. Paul freelance writer. Got an idea for the Your Family page? E-mail us at Tellus@startribune.com with "Your Family" in the subject line.