Watching short Instagram clips of 40-year-old Amber Albin humorously struggling to put on a duvet cover, or roller skating in her garage in funky attire to ring in the new year, or watching her comedically illustrate a parents' struggle to hide gifts from children before Christmas arrives, the word "attorney" wouldn't be the first term to pop into mind.
But everyone needs an outlet.
Albin's is Instagram — and interviewing people for her podcast "The Really Real Mama."
"I'm pretty self-deprecating and make fun of myself a lot. I wanted to create a space for people to come and laugh and not take life so seriously," Albin, a Lake Oswego resident and mother of three, said. "We are surrounded by a lot of darkness and difficult issues that really bog us down every day and there's nothing more unifying and gratifying than laughter."
Albin's podcast episodes — which total 25 so far — and even her Instagram feed focus on challenges parents face, particularly moms.
Her podcasts are often comedic, though they have covered more serious issues.
"I try to keep it lighthearted and fun," said Albin, adding that some involve funny stories about children and are only for comedic purposes, but the topics range. "I'm an attorney so I'm used to asking a lot of questions. I've always been very social and I love talking to people and making new friends — and entertaining people — so it just seems sort of like a natural fit for me."
Albin started creating podcasts with her mobile studio — which mostly consists of microphones, headphones and audio recorders — in her home about a year ago. Each podcast is about 45 minutes to an hour in length, and features people who can relate to motherhood and parenting.
"I just thought it would be super fun and I love talking to people," said Albin, adding that it was like an extension to her Instagram "@reallyrealmama," which her friends encouraged her to make public a few years ago. "Much of what I was doing in my private Instagram, I do on my public Instagram, which is be brutally honest about my life, about motherhood, about marriage, make people laugh.
"I was at a point in my career where I'm an attorney, so being creative and pushing the boundaries is not what most attorneys do. And a lot of people are surprised to find out that I am an attorney because I'm rather unconventional."
So far, Albin has interviewed her friend, who owns BurnCycle, about shame and relatable issues that many people might be experiencing but don't have the courage to talk about. She's also interviewed moms about birthing stories and raising kids, the author of a book called "Am I Doing This Right?" and the executive editor of Good Housekeeping magazine — who she connected with through social media.
She recently interviewed her first non-mom, who is in her early 20s.
"(She) told her story about her upbringing, which was pretty traumatic. Her dad was convicted of money laundering and fraud and wound up having a heart attack before he was supposed to serve his jail term, and she went through addiction issues," Albin said. "So we talked a lot about overcoming that very difficult time in her life — the shame that was associated with that.
"She had an interesting perspective on what some of the kids might need more of from us as parents."
Albin's goal is to produce a podcast twice a month and she said she hopes to eventually interview her marriage therapist.
"95-96% of my followers are women on my Instagram and I only know that because I have a business account, so I've had so many women come to me and thank me for being so open about therapy and counseling (that) they've decided to do that with their husband or individually," Albin said. "(It's) very rewarding and really makes my heart swell."
Albin said her social media presence and podcast has grown in a way that she never expected, but she's excited to see how it continues to flourish.
Albin's podcast can be viewed on iTunes, Spotify, iHeart Radioand other Podcast sites.
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