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  • Shanna Donhauser

About the Happy Nest blog

Hello there.

It's Shanna, here, founder of Happy Nest. I'm a child and family therapist specializing in early childhood and parenting. I live in Seattle WA with my wonderful husband, Brian. We love hiking in the Cascade mountains, walking in Seattle's scenic parks, and hitting up our favorite coffee shops and restaurants.


Throughout our partnership, Brian and I work together to identify our core values in regards to our marriage and the family that we plan to build. We're both 'planners,' and we're also both acutely aware of how our childhoods have shaped how we grow in our relationship with each other, and how we will parent. We think and talk about what it takes to build a happy, thriving, stress free family all the time. This blog gives me the opportunity to write about the things I see in my practice, and the things I think about for my own family.

How did I get here?

I am a baby whisperer. Ever since I was little, I have known how to connect with babies. I'd like to say it's purely instinct. But I know that my early childhood experiences contribute to my ability to tune into others' needs.

Growing up, I babysat babies and toddlers. Throughout college I was a nanny. And in graduate school, I became a DONA trained doula.

Perhaps, unsurprisingly then, this passion has drawn me toward working clinically with young children and families. I work really hard to understand people. Babies and toddlers have the similar needs to adults. They just tell us differently.

Through this work I have come to develop a deep admiration and fondness for parents. You work so hard to do the best by your children, to give them what they need, and to build a happy life for them and yourself. Becoming a parent necessarily involves a fundamental life shift, from me to us, to we. You move from a relationship with yourself (independence) to a partnership (co-dependence) to parenthood (dependence). The nature of these relationships is so varied, and things can get complicated fast.

In my clinical work, I help families with young children understand each other better, clarify boundaries and expectations, and I also support young children and parents through divorce and separation.

This blog, however, takes a step away from the clinical work I do and sheds some light on more general parenting philosophies and ideas.

I created this blog to help modern parents find resources and support on how to build a happy nest, a happy family. This blog covers a wide range of topics including child development, parenting, and marriage/partnership.


Because I believe in the power of community, and I advocate for supporting every new parent, no matter differences in history, culture, or values. Comment, post, follow me on Instagram. Share what works for you, or where you're feeling stuck. You're not alone. Let this community support you.

I believe in the power of knowledge. I know personally how impactful information about development and relationship building can be, especially in the vulnerable time during pregnancy and early childhood. I want the information on this blog to feel relevant and helpful. Tell me what's on your mind.

I believe in the power of change. I view parenting, relationship building, and reflection as skills and habits we can personally influence. With awareness, intention, and a little help from therapy, you can break the powerful chains of history and change your life and the lives of your children. Let's talk about what it takes to make substantial changes in our lives.

Get in touch with me by commenting on posts, sending me an email, or engaging on social media (Facebook, Instagram). I love hearing what things resonate with you and what questions you have.

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