Life is about work, school, friends, hobbies and at least one cup of coffee every morning for basic survival.
But life is also — and perhaps more importantly — about family.
This is what inspired two local moms and aspiring radio journalists to create Homefront Chronicles, a series of podcasts featuring different families and how they deal with parenting. The stories aim to have listeners know they are not alone when it comes to parenting.
The founders and producers, Leisa Goldberg and Rebecca Steinfeld, decided to create this program a year and a half ago, when they became friends at the Seattle Jewish Community School, where both of their children attended.
“We bumped into each other a lot and talked about work and our lives and how we’re both looking for inspiration,” Steinfeld said. “A random conversation at the gym spun this project where we combined our interests into something we had no background in — and chose to create documentaries about family life.”
While Steinfeld and Goldberg were beginners in radio journalism, they had access to Goldberg’s husband’s audio studio.
“We were incredibly fortunate,” Steinfeld said.
The pair also snagged tech people to help them record, edit and produce the shows. Along the way, Steinfeld and Goldberg gained experience in writing scripts and interviewing.
“We learned how to edit and record shows,” Goldberg said. “By spring of that year we were able to put shows together.”
The duo first acquired stories by interviewing family and friends. They interviewed approximately 10 people at that time.
Later on, Steinfeld and Goldberg hit the interview jackpot.
“We partnered with the Momacon conference, a conference for moms in May of last year, with about 250 moms,” Goldberg said. “We had 30 interviews in a row, each interview about 30 minutes.”
“We told people what we were doing — how this was similar to ‘This American Life,’” she said. “We didn’t know how it was going to go, but surprisingly we had many people who wanted to tell stories.”
However, the pair’s goal has been to go beyond the traditional family per se, and reach out to all families.
“Family is not just ‘family,’” Steinfeld said. “Family is your friends, your partners — family means a lot of things. We didn’t want to limit ourselves as to what family means.”
Their latest podcast, which came out in November, was on same-sex families.
“From the mom conference one theme that emerged was same-sex parenting. We also know several people who lived abroad with their kids — those ones seemed interesting, too,” she said.
In addition, the pair tapped experts in the respective topic.
“For same-sex marriage, for instance, we wanted to interview a rabbi or a legislator,” Steinfeld said. “Instead of letting stories find us, we find the stories — we’ve been able to reach into the community.”
The majority of the interviews come from local parents, although the experts are located all over the country.
“We look for themes that emerge, themes that would be interesting for listeners,” Goldberg said. “If the bulk of interviews see to be going one way we go for it — we want what’s interesting, what’s current. If we need more information, we look for more.”
During Homefront Chronicles’ first year and half, the duo has produced three full podcasts.
“Once we get the momentum, the podcasts will come quicker,” Goldberg said.
It takes Steinfeld and Goldberg approximately 20 to 30 hours to produce each podcast — which on average lasts 15 minutes.
Goldberg has a BA in English and theater from Indiana University and a teaching certificate in education from Seattle Pacific University. She has taught preschool through high school and has two children.
Steinfeld has an MPH in health services from UCLA School of Public Health. She has worked in the pharmaceutical industry and in management of patient and professional education programs for health websites. She is the mother of elementary-aged twins.
Steinfeld and Goldberg say their diverse backgrounds make the productions richer.
“This journey has been very rewarding in so many ways,” Steinfeld said.