7 AM to 7 PM: How Instagram Psychologist Dr. Becky Lets Go of Parenting Mistakes

Dr. Becky Kennedy

Becky Kennedy

Parents don’t work 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.—we work 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., from the moment our kids wake up until they go to sleep. This is an unfiltered look at a few days in the life of Good Inside founder and clinical psychologist Dr. Becky Kennedy. 

Rebecca Kennedy, PhD—known online as Dr. Becky—already had a thriving clinical psychology practice in New York City when she decided to launch her Instagram, @drbeckyatgoodinside, in February 2020. (Her credentials are stellar, too: She attended Duke and Columbia Universities and trained at two of New York City's top hospitals, Bellevue and Mount Sinai.)

She thought of Instagram as a way to more broadly share her approach as a therapist. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, she rocketed to social media stardom thanks to her super-relateable posts. Whether talking about "Emotional Regulation" or "Marital Conflict Around Parenting Styles," her approach deeply resonated with parents who were thrown into the pandemic with their young children. (Both of these videos have thousands of views on Instagram as of press time.)

The mother of three now uses her account to share everything from how to talk to your kids about your feelings to what to say after a meltdown with her almost 700,000 followers (at press time). Her IGTV videos have hundreds of thousands of views, proving that she's on the pulse of what parents want advice on, whether it be potty training or setting boundaries.

Not much has changed since those initial posts—she just reaches more people these days. “The way I work is just now on a larger scale," she says. "My approach is the same, my ideas, my straightforwardness. I call it as I see it. I’m not afraid to say what I think."

I call it as I see it. I’m not afraid to say what I think.

Her therapeutic approach is to validate both the parent and child's feelings. “It often feels like we have to choose between two things: either we can be connected to our kids, or we can get good behavior,” she says. “Either we honor their feelings or we honor our feelings. And the model I put forward is that these two things can be true.”

Her Instagram followers love how she concisely shares information in a friendly way as if you are talking to a friend. “So many of my followers have found that when they really get into it, it actually becomes less about their kids,” she says. “I always get comments like, ‘You drew me in with parenting. And what I’m finding is I feel more confident, more sure of myself, more sturdy—not only in my parenting but in so many areas of my life.'" She often gets comments that parents enjoy her content not only because it helps them change parenting behaviors, but other behaviors as well.

That kind of feedback encouraged her to expand her offerings. In January 2021, Dr. Becky launched her company Good Inside, a hub where parents can access not her social media, but a newsletter and virtual workshops, too. In April 2021, she expanded further, launching her podcast "Good Inside with Dr. Becky." It airs weekly and is available for streaming on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Dr. Becky structures the episodes around follower questions, making it feel as if she is inside your head as she discusses hot parenting topics, like tantrums, screen time, or sibling competition. Plus, she keeps each episode to 30 minutes or less. She knows her followers like to listen while driving carpool or folding laundry—multitasking like all parents do!

She hopes that parents not only find her advice useful but that they remember that she is in the trenches with them, parenting in real-time. “I am a real person, I am a real parent outside of my Dr. Becky role,” she laughs. “My husband often jokes that he wants to tag my personal Instagram on my Dr. Becky one because he thinks I would really like her stuff and could benefit from it."

I do the things I talk about a percentage of the time. And when I don’t, I try to give myself grace and collect information about what I need for myself.

Dr. Becky admits that her parenting approach is not perfect, but no ones is. “I do the things I talk about a percentage of the time,” she says. “And when I don’t, I try to give myself grace and collect information about what I need for myself.”

And she struggles with balance like any other parent, making sacrifices every day, whether it be sleep or cooking. “Cooking used to be a really big passion of mine. I took pride in prepping and cooking meals for my family,” she explains. “I do very little cooking beyond the weekends now.”

That is part of what makes her account so relatable. “People always say to me, ‘It is like you have a camera inside my house,'" she says. "[It's not that.] It's just that your house looks like mine. I often find myself reading an old post of mine, thinking, ‘I am going to try that today.’”

Here is how she navigates the schedules of three kids and a full-time job—while still finding time for her own therapy. 

Dr. Becky Kennedy reading a book with her child

Becky Kennedy

Wednesday

5:45 a.m.  Every morning, I’m up 60 to 90 minutes before my family to get some solid work and "me" time in. I’m texting with my business partner, jotting down content ideas, and responding to Instagram DMs and comments. Some days I will do a 30-minute yoga class with Kristin McGee or a cardio class with Jess Sims on Peloton. 

7:45 a.m. While so much of my day is focused on building out our platform, Good Inside, I still maintain my private practice. Today, I have sessions with a few clients over Zoom. My husband is in charge of getting the kids on the bus while our babysitter takes my youngest to school.

 11:30 a.m. Our newsletter, Good Insider, goes out every Thursday, so I’m making some final tweaks before the team gets it queued up for tomorrow. The newsletter covers simple strategies for big topics. You can essentially learn them at lunchtime and put them to work by dinnertime. This week’s focus is the unintended consequences of praise.

1 p.m. Today I am recording two episodes of my podcast. I settle into my "studio,” which is a super simple at-home setup with a mic, some headphones, and a camera. Our listeners call in with their questions in advance. My partner, Erica, and our producer, Beth, predetermine our episode themes and pull relevant questions beforehand. 

I actually don't hear the voicemails until the day of the recording because I like my responses to feel fresh and spontaneous, as I tend to think best on my feet! We record straight through for about two hours.

3 p.m. It is not always doable given the typical day-to-day chaos, but I do my best to prioritize some quick breaks here and there, especially heading into the last leg of the day before the kids get home. I head out of the house for a brisk walk around the block.

5:30 p.m. I defrost meatballs that I made over the weekend and serve them with some pasta and sautéed broccoli. I will often have one dinner with my youngest, who eats by 5:30 p.m. and goes to sleep by 6:45 p.m., and then a second dinner with my older kids and husband around 7 p.m. I am looking forward to one day when we can all eat together. I think it is coming soon!

9 p.m. I set my coffee up so that it is ready to go in the morning. I like to do this for my "tomorrow self" as I am so grateful that it is a task I don't have to worry about first thing in the morning.

10:15 p.m. After a non-stop day of work and family, it is so important for me to carve out a few minutes for myself right before bed. I read a few pages of Bryan Stevenson’s “Just Mercy,” then do a few minutes of deep breathing, and then it is lights out.

Thursday

6:45 a.m. I sleep in a bit later than expected. I guess my body needed it! I only have time for a cup of coffee before my kids get up. I drink it while it is hot, sitting at my kitchen counter. 

7:45 a.m. We dash out of the house so I can get my older kids on the bus to school. Then, at 8:30 a.m., I drop my youngest off and rush back home to get rolling with the rest of my day.  

9 a.m. I hop on a weekly meeting with my team. We are finalizing some back-to-school content, working on some fourth-quarter planning, and talking through our rollout schedule for upcoming workshops. 

We also share the work everyone has accomplished that week that may have gone unseen by other team members. It allows us to show appreciation for one another. 

10 a.m. It is time to meet with our engineering team about the new platform we are building out. I am super hands-on with the entire process. Today we review the design and talk strategy for our new product. (I can’t wait to share more!)

2 p.m. Clinical psychologists still need therapy. It is time for my weekly appointment with my therapist.

4 p.m. My mom is nearby and I am so lucky that she frequently comes by to help with the kids. Today, we are dividing and conquering. She takes my eldest to baseball while I take my son and daughter up to gymnastics.

6:30 p.m. I do plenty of reading with my kids, especially with my youngest. Our current favorites are “We Don't Eat Our Classmates,” “Thank You Omu,” and “The Rabbit Listened.” After a quick bath, it is time to squeeze in a few books as part of our youngest’s nightly bedtime routine. Not long after, we wrap up the night with our two eldest over dessert and card games.

9:30 p.m. Once the kids are in bed, I unwind with my husband and we dig into some “Ted Lasso” before calling it a night.

10:15 p.m. I burn through a few more pages of “Just Mercy.” Then, lights off.

Friday

5:45 a.m. I start by knocking some work to-dos off my list before the weekend. I read through comments and DMs on Instagram and jot down a few newsletter ideas for upcoming editions of Good Insider.

8 a.m. I throw on leggings and a comfy T-shirt and grab a coffee from my local coffee shop. I will do either a coffee with whole milk or an extra hot oat milk latte.

10 a.m. I have over 20 virtual workshops for parents covering everything from tantrums to couples communication, but I am constantly thinking of meaningful topics to zero in on. Today, I am recording an IGTV teaser for one of my newest workshops. 

While I am in filming mode, I squeeze in a couple of Reel Talk videos for Instagram as well.

12:30 p.m. I have a bite for lunch before jumping into a Facebook Audio Room on "Women, Boundaries, and Power with Nedra Tawwab and Kasia Urbaniak."

1 p.m. I realize what time it is. I have been working non-stop and desperately need a break from my screen, so I throw my sneakers on and go grab an iced coffee.

5 p.m. I jump into 10 minutes of one-on-one time with my eldest son. We haven’t been getting a ton of alone time lately. I really wanted to schedule 20 minutes, but tonight we are only able to squeeze in 10. Some time is better than none. He wants to play Set, so that is what we do...and I lose! 

7:45 p.m. Before my two older ones head to bed, my husband and I play a few card games with them as we eat ice cream for dessert. We are currently into President and Gin Rummy.

9:30 p.m.  I drop my phone off in the kitchen for at least 20 minutes of phone-free time before heading to bed.

Dr. Becky Kennedy

Becky Kennedy

Was this page helpful?