The Honest Mom Podcast
By Michelle Mansfield
The Honest Mom PodcastMay 26, 2022
Avoiding Pain: WHY We Do It & HOW to Face It
I talk about these subjects because I, too, experience them. So selfishly I find myself researching, learning, and sharing these topics with you so we can all be in the same boat and grow together. Today we talk about avoiding pain. Why we do it. How we can break through our fears to acknowledge the pain, get help, heal and become who we are meant to be because of the pain. We can't avoid painful situations just as much as we can't protect our children from them. PsychCentral writes:
"Dealing with something head on can make the feelings worse before they get better. We can postpone difficult emotions if we suppress dealing with the situation. Avoidance can be harmful in the long run leading to anxiety, fear and unhealthy decisions." They continue talking about the subject of Avoidance Coping which is anything we do to avoid dealing with the pain. It may work temporarily but the things you use to avoid may amplify because of it. One example is drinking wine when you're stressed out from being with your kids all day. Social media is also a huge mechanism we use- and at times the use is amplified when we are using it to avoid something difficult.
I was afraid of not being perfect. Not having my (bleep) together. Afraid of being vulnerable. Thinking (and hoping) that it would eventually get better. It didn't. It never worked. It took women on big platforms telling me it was OK to not be perfect and to have pain in my life. Someone like Molly Shannon when she was a guest on the "Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend" podcast. You can listen to that episode here: https://teamcoco.com/podcasts/conan-obrien-needs-a-friend/episodes/molly-shannon
Thank you for listening and sharing your story with me and others. You can connect with my on Instagram at @michelle.a.mansfield or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mom Card Drawing of the Week: "I am deliberate and afraid of nothing." -Audre Lorde
Quote I love from Helen Keller: "Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing." -Helen Keller
The Myth of Motherhood
I thought I was super strong in so many ways but found that motherhood has held some of my weakest moments of my life. I was always one to stand out, do my own thing, and with no apologies but here I was completely crippled by standards, myths, and BS about what a mom was supposed to be. It took me almost a decade to find where I was supposed to return to. ME.
"The expectation that a mother should always feel joy and fulfillment is a part of the myth of motherhood. The myth of motherhood is our society's notion that a woman achieves her uttermost fulfillment as a woman by being a mother and, as such, should always be happy and strong." - Dr. Michal Regev in her article "The Myth of Motherhood: The Way Unrealistic Societal Expectations of Mothers Shape Their Experience.
At the end of the day, throw away the standards, norms, expectations, and what your MIL tells you to do. It's time to follow our own intuition, our gut, our goals, and to connect with our relationship with motherhood. What it means to us. What we want out of it. What we don't. How we want our days to go. What brings us happiness. Finding people that will support us, empathize and encourage us. Connect with what will make us want to be mothers, not what will make us want to run away from it. Thank you for listening, sharing and being a loyal listener!!!
Mom Card Drawing of the Week: "We begin to find and become ourselves when we notice how we are already found, already truly, entirely, wildly, messily, marvelously who we were born to be." -Anne Lamott
These Are a Few of My Favorite Things: Just Better Fiber. www.justbetter.com
Why We Gossip- & How It's Not Always a Bad Thing
"We all gossip. We all listen to gossip. But it is possible, if you're willing to exercise awareness, to begin to discriminate about how and when you do it.
Obviously, you can't cut out all conversation about other people, and you don't have to. Instead, you can make your conversations more conscious, more disciplined, more measured. You can contemplate exactly why you sometimes feel compelled to bad-mouth a friend, or to spread a rumor that might cause harm. You can look into the feeling of emptiness that often lurks behind the urge to fill spaces in a conversation with gossip. And you can consider whether one of the greatest fruits of our practice is the ability to remain silent, even when you're dying to share a piece of juicy gossip or justify your dissatisfaction with a friend." - Yoga Journal
At the end of the day, our goal is to find the path to compassion versus judgement. Our goal is to be connected to our truth, our happiness, our healing, and our own struggles in order to release judgement and find that compassion for others. That we are all trying our best and we don't always know the first story before the one we've been told.
I hope this episode makes you feel better. Because as humans, we are wired to judge. But we can always be more conscious with our conversation, it's a place to start. Thank you for listening, sharing and letting me know how you feel about the podcast by rating it on Apple Podcasts or simply sending me a message directly.
Mom Card Drawing of the Week: "Begin doing what you want to do now... We have only this moment sparkling like a star in our hand- and melting like a snowflake." -Marie Beynon Ray
These are a few of my favorite things: The Yummly app for meal ideas. I'm not a rigid meal planner. I've tried. But I can at least get some ideas for dinner and I'm not paying a huge subscription fee to do so.
Time article: https://time.com/5680457/why-do-people-gossip/
Expanded Podcast by To Be Magnetic: https://tobemagnetic.com/expanded-podcast/2021/200
Communicating Boundaries in a Healthy Way
Perhaps you're cooked well-done with this topic of boundaries but in my opinion, I don't feel we've even touched the surface. We read the books, we connect with the boundary influencers on Instagram, we even tell our friends over dinner what all of us should do. But are we REALLY doing it? Are we terrified of confrontation (ummm, my hand is raised!)? Is it easier to ghost the person or ignore someone's behavior? Do you find release complaining and declaring how you're being treated like crap, but there's no action because you're afraid? (Again, I'm raising my hand.)
Motherhood brings a slew of situations where we have to set boundaries to find peace. I was even told by my best friend to start setting boundaries while you are MARRIED versus when you become a mother. Set them ASAP so the transition is easier when baby comes and the gloves come off. But what if you haven't set the boundaries and nicey nicey you is now feeling she needs to be a big ol' B in order to get her point across? It doesn't have to be that way. This episode will show you how to keep your dignity while you stand up for your values, what you want to do, your beliefs, your unique situations, and how all if it really isn't anyone's business but your own.
Big credits go to Kimberly Snyder's "Feel Good Podcast", episode 687. Go get Kimberly's most recent book, "You Are More Than You Think You Are." Her book helped me find my inner confidence and self so I could figure out how to communicate my boundaries in a healthy way- for myself!
Mom Card Drawing of the Week: "She quietly expected great things to happen to her and no doubt that's one of the reasons why they did." -Zelda Fitzgerald
BOO! You've Been Ghosted. Now What? With Author, Annie Cathryn
I've opened up a LOT about my own ghosting experience that happened over two years ago. I am so happy that I've been honest about it because it opened the doors for so many women who've reached out to me that experienced a similar situation. They were embarrassed and felt rejected, confused, angry, and just plain old heart broken where they hid their feelings until someone else opened the doors for them. One woman I met along this vulnerability journey is the incredible author, Annie Cathryn. She published her first novel, "The Friendship Breakup", shortly after my book was published and its theme is all about the world of friendships, ghosting, misunderstandings, gossip (that leads to even MORE misunderstandings), chasing, and questioning is the friendship even worth chasing?
Annie's book is the perfect vacation read or if you need a page turner that you can't put down. It's a book that many of you will relate to with the situations Fallon falls into. When I read it, I felt like this was my story. The details and all that Fallon went through and where she landed had me saying, "HOW is this so accurate to my own story?!" I for sure knew I wasn't alone in this friendship breakup world. I reached out to Annie and we had an instant connection. With an entire chapter of my book being about friendships, I knew we had to get together and collaborate. We've had a wonderful experience supporting one another and our books these last six months. I'm blessed to know her and excited to introduce you to her- and her book! Enjoy this episode and let us know what you think! Thank you for listening and supporting the both of us. We appreciate you!
Follow Annie on Instagram @msanniecathryn
Mom Card Drawing of the Week: "Be your own definition of amazing, always." -Nikita Gill
And if you're interested in reading about my experience with being ghosted, you can check that out on Her View From Home with this link: https://herviewfromhome.com/being-ghosted-by-a-friend-stings/
Get YOUR copy of "The Honest Mom Project. Acknowledge Your Feelings. Break Free From Expectations. Build Your Beautiful Life as a Mother." on Amazon with this link: https://a.co/d/2BOCa6Lhttps://a.co/d/2BOCa6L
Let's Ease The Stress of Parenting Teens with Lindy and Kirsten
You hear how teens are "terrible" and all the negatives about entitlement, attitude, laziness, and how exhausting it can be. Parents tell you that they can't wait for their teen to be in college and how their teen treats them. That they don't open up. They shut down. They say hurtful things. Is this the case with ALL teens? The good news is that it isn't.
Lindy & Kirsten are sisters that I adore, admire and am inspired by with how they raise their kids and look at their roles in this stage. How they communicate with them, the challenges & anxieties that can appear, dealing with moods, big feelings, and allowing their teens to make mistakes. They talk about the hard work it takes to raise them to be their own unique person. Being "shepherds" versus "engineers".
You will first hear audio from Dr. Russell A. Barkely where he talks about this "engineering" way of parenting that is bringing us SO much anxiety, too much responsibility, and putting too much power on a parent. Power that we really don't have. Control that we need to release. What's ironic is the more independence and freedom we give our kids to figure life out, the less anxiety & stress we have as parents. Dr. Barkley explains how the "shepherd" role is not only less stress for us but also a stronger option for our kids.
Lindy & Kirsten are just beyond cool and so easy to listen to. They make you want to be their sister too. I don't have a sister and hearing them talk makes me wish I had a sister like them to raise Brooklyn with. That tribe is there for you regardless if it's a blood relative though. So go find that sister as we all need it with raising teens in the world we live in- and in the future.
Thank you for listening, sharing and connecting with me about this episode and all episodes. Share with a mom who may need this or even to a mom with littles who may need to know that the teen years don't have to be terrible!
Mom Card Drawing of the Week: "Remember the feeling as a child when you woke up and morning smiled... it's time you felt like that again." -Gerry Goffin & Carole King
Lindy & Kirsten's Favorite Things & Resources:
Bissel Water Solution Spin Wave Hardwood Floor mop (I got one after this episode!) https://a.co/d/9xgnxYp
"The Modern Denial of Human Nature" by Steven Pinker (Canadian Cognitive Psychologist)
Thrive Causemetics (Yes, Cause, not Cos... their products help support communities in need. I recently started using their smoky eye pencil and it's amazing!) www.thrivecausmetics.com
Life360 app (I must be living in a bubble because I didn't know about this app- Lindy & Kirsten's kids actually like the app too!)
How Yoga Can Transform Your Motherhood with Kelly Vida of Empowered Mama Fitness
You may already know that yoga is a huge part of my life. As I finish my 250hr yoga teacher training this summer, I reflect on this past year and all I've learned about the value of yoga in my life. I reflect back to over 10 years ago when I was in my prenatal yoga classes within the walls of the exact studio I'm getting my certification with. How important prenatal yoga was with my pregnancy as well as Brooklyn's birth. My labor & delivery experience was definitely due to my prenatal yoga.
Today I am with Kelly Vida of Empowered Mama Fitness who teaches locally at Sage Healing Collective, Fitness on the Fox and The Endorphin Effect...but also offers online options of prenatal yoga! She has a YouTube channel that you can access on her website (www.empoweredmamafitness.com) along with monthly webinars with topics such as her July "What's Not Natural After Birth".
We talk about the physical practice and how it benefits you before AND postpartum but we also talk about the spiritual and mental practice that can help with your mental wellness when you become a mother. A quote from Naomi Annand, author of "Yoga and Motherhood", sums it up: "It (motherhood) calls upon every part of you- physical, mental, emotional, spiritual- and it's such an emotional rollercoaster: all that joy, all that exhaustion. Throughout my experience of motherhood, the thing that has kept me going is yoga." WOW.
Thank you for listening and sharing with those you love. Here is more about Kelly:
Find Kelly on Instagram @empoweredmamafitness and her website, www.empoweredmamafitness.com
Kelly's Favorite Things: On Instagram @sweatyasamother @thebellemethod @mamaste and the book, "The First 40 Days."
Kelly's Life Hack: Freeze your fish oil pills- no more icky fish taste and avoid fishy burps!
Mom Card Drawing of the Week: "Prepare your mind to receive the best that life has to offer." -Ernest Holmes
When You're Lost, Letting Go of the Past & Finding Your New with Kristen Harding of PillarBox Gifts
Well this is a topic that is definitely close to my heart and I have experienced in such strong ways. I am so grateful that I was able to sit with Kristen Harding, a local mom and owner of PillarBox Gifts, to talk about how to "find ourselves" in the dense forest of motherhood. The pressures of motherhood have high standards where we feel this need to "mom so hard" all-the-time. It's easy to get a bit lost in that forest. Or very lost. On top of it we don't use our own compass to get to where we need to be- we look around at others and feel we should be where they are or do what they're doing. Trust me, I speak from experience. A piece of advice, you do not have to have the same journey as anyone else. Write your own story. But first- you have to connect with who you truly are beyond the role of a mother. How? Listen to this episode as Kristen and I share our stories and she gives incredible guidance and hope for a life where you can truly be happy and fulfilled on your terms. A bit more about Kristen:
Kristen is a stay-at-home mom to an amazing little boy while running my own business doing something that she loves. Motherhood has inspired her to create a strong yearning for community and connection that she didn't have before. Kristen has a strong passion for art and creating and chose to use these skills to create gifts for other women as a means to show them how truly valuable and loved they are and to help create a community of women supporting women.
Thank you so much for listening and sharing this episode with some friends. I hope that this episode can help you in some way and know I'm here if you ever want to connect and chat. You can find me on Instagram at @thehonestmompodcast
You can connect with Kristen and PillarBox Gifts Here!
https://www.etsy.com/shop/pillarboxgifts, on Instagram @pillarboxmama or if you're local to the Tri-City area, you can find her at the Red Hive Market in downtown Batavia.
Kristen's Resources For You:
Hoopla, Insight Timer (my FAVORITE app as well! It's a free app for meditation, anxiety, sleep, and mindfulness), "The Happiness Lab" podcast with Gretchen Rubin, "Live Awake" podcast with Sarah Blondin (who's also on Insight Timer!), "Simplicity Parenting" book by Kim John Payne.
Kristen's Favorite Things:
Her Lavender Eye Pillow and Keep Calm Roller
The NECESSITY of Empathy & Compassion to HEAL
These are two VERY hard things to do. EXTREMELY difficult. So know that I know this as you listen. I still struggle with empathy and compassion. Every day. Whether it's something connected to my life or when I watch the news, initially my emotions take over and I have a VERY hard time finding that empathy and compassion. It takes time, reading, therapy, podcasts and talking with others to find it again. Especially with evil and unkindness in the world. I had to work hard when a child in Brooklyn's class was constantly saying unkind things to her. I initially wanted to pull a Rebecca De Mornay from "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle" and find that kid on the playground, pull him to the side, and tell him not to F with my daughter. I had to breathe. Talk to people. Have a session with my therapist. I had to find a way to TEACH Brooklyn not only to stick up for herself but to also find empathy and compassion for this child. So that Brooklyn could release the anger.
I don't support many actions or behaviors out there, but how do I move on and not hold on to the anger? The resentment? Sadness? Confusion? How do I grow into a stronger person and avoid crumbling and holding on to feelings that can defeat me? Especially with all that I cannot control in the world. Here are some quotes that resonated with me and may help you with this journey we are all on every day of our lives.
Empathy is simply listening, holding space, withholding judgement, emotionally connecting, and communicating that incredibly healing message of you're not alone. - Brene Brown
Empathy is really the opposite of spiritual meanness. It's the capacity to understand that every war is both won and lost. And that someone else's pain is as meaningful as your own. - Barbara Kingsolver
I think we all have empathy. We may not have enough courage to display it. - Maya Angelou
What we don't realize is that the world does not need more perfection. It needs more compassion and empathy. - Tessa Dare
Mom Card Drawing of the Week: "Listen to the whispers of your heart. Look within." -Sarah Ban Breathnach
My Favorite Thing This Week: Vintner's Daughter Active Botanical Serum and Active Treatment Essence. Find it at www.vintersdaughter.com, Goop or Nordstrom's
Thank you so much for listening, sharing, and if you do have time, reviewing the podcast. If you want to let me know directly, you can connect with me more on Instagram @thehonestmompodcast or on my website www.michellemansfieldauthor.com
An Honest Look at Military Motherhood with Ashley Falkos
We don't have to go the route of calling her a "single mom" or compare to any other life for that matter. Military life as a spouse and mom is HARD in many ways where comparison only takes us further from the support these mothers need. Let's just honor what they're individually going through and help them in any way we can! The first step is learning about their lives and the challenges they face. Along with the triumphs! And this is where my special guest comes in...
Today, Ashley Falkos helps us understand her life as a military spouse and mother. To debunk the stereotypes. Explain shat her life was versus now that her husband is recently retired. We talk about the realities she faced but also the wins that she discovered that worked for her & her family. Her communication lessons, avoiding resentment, involvement of her husband, creating community, fulfilling both roles at times, misunderstandings about military life, and her recommendations on how to help your marriage survive through it all. I hope you enjoy this episode and all Ashley offers. Feel free to share with a military mom so she knows she's not alone. Thank you for listening and let me know how this episode affected you.
Mom Card Drawing of the Week: "Dare to believe: That you are a wonderful, unique person. That you are a once-in-all history event." -Unknown
Ashley's Favorite Things & Resources: Brene Brown, "The Home Edit" podcast, "Best Friend Energy" podcast, "I Mom So Hard" book & podcast. Tiny Beans photo sharing app. "Holderness Family" podcast. "Courage Up" podcast. "We Can Do Hard Things" podcast and "Untamed" book both by Glennon Doyle. Babycenter.com emails. "How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids" book by Jancee Dunn. Join a MOPS group in your local community. New mom support groups on your military base. Joining an in-person fitness studio (with childcare!) like her favorite, SPENGA. Find a studio near you at www.spenga.com.
Ashley Falkos is a Marine wife, mama of 2 little girls, stepmom to a high school boy, and literacy advocate. She is a former elementary school teacher, a reading specialist for over a decade, a private tutor, and brand rep with the publishing company, PaperPie. She grew up in Geneva, IL and ran track in high school, and also in college. She loves to workout at SPENGA, read, spend time with friends, binge Netflix, and take hot bubble baths for self-care. When she isn’t presuming the role of mom taxi, you can most likely find her sipping a coffee! Because, coffee is life. Reach out to her on Instagram to learn more at @afalkos !
Find Confidence When The World Makes You Feel Insecure
This week's episode is inspired by the October 5th, 2022 episode of the Mel Robbins Podcast where she and her daughter discuss situations where we feel the most insecure, doubt ourselves, disconnect from our true self, and give all of our power to the world outside of us. I love Mel and her daughter's relationship and how they work through a pretty humbling experience Mel's daughter was going through. Until they both talked it out and connected to the reality of the situation, and taking the power back.
How do you find your power when life knocks you down? How do you respond when the universe is testing you? How do you find confidence when self-doubt comes in? And most importantly, a learning lesson for myself, is how do we make these moments of insecurity learning opportunities... a win versus a defeat?
This episode will impact you if you are looking at taking your confidence & resilience back. If you're tired of comparing yourself to others, allowing a situation to bring you to a low level, or letting mistakes or hardships define who you are. We are all in this boat together and have experienced this in various ways. Thank you for listening, sharing and supporting this podcast. I hope you come away stronger than yesterday with this episode.
You can connect with me on Instagram at @thehonestmompodcast or my website, www.michellemansfieldauthor.com I look forward to connecting with you!
Mom Guilt is Here to Stay- How to Work WITH It
They say to walk with fear and not run from it... so why doesn't this apply with Mom Guilt?
Today I talk about why the "F the Mom Guilt" movement doesn't work for me and how I have learned to work WITH the guilt versus telling myself I shouldn't feel the guilt.
Learn what mom guilt may actually mean, it isn't as terrible as you may think it is. What is mom guilt telling you?
You'll feel stronger not weaker after this episode. Your struggles with mom guilt don't have to be debilitating anymore.
Thank you for listening, sharing and connecting with me about this important topic. Oh and news flash, I still have mom guilt. I just know how to handle it better now. You can too!
Connect with my more on Instagram @thehonestmompodcast or my website, www.michellemansfieldauthor.com
Why Does Sex Suck After Baby?! And What You Can Do About It With Carrie Koziol
It's hard to talk about, hard to admit, and embarrassing to acknowledge that sex can... how do I say it... SUCK after you have a baby? You don't want to, you're exhausted, perhaps it's painful, or you simply find it awkward and the furthest thing from sexy. That's why I am introducing you to my dear friend and Women's Health Physical Therapist, Carrie Koziol.
Carrie is one of the most honest moms and friends I know. She is the PERFECT person to talk about this subject not only because of her incredible knowledge but because she will make you feel SO comfortable with what you're going through and why. And what to do. NEWS FLASH, you're not alone. Today we are talking about the reasons why you don't want to have sex and you're not enjoying it. Carrie also has solutions and new ways to get out of this funk and into a healthier relationship with sex. And yourself! Carrie doesn't hold back and is super vibrant, bold and raw about our sexual vibrancy at any stage of life.
You don't have to be dry as a desert, roll your eyes when your partner touches you, or get trapped by the #1 boner killer anymore (Carrie shares it in this episode!) Listen, learn, be inspired, have a few giggles, get comfortable and confident in the bedroom. Thank you for listening, sharing, and I hope you enjoy this episode. I know I needed it!
Mom Card Drawing of the Week: "Do not wait for life. Do not long for it. Be aware, always and at every moment, that the miracle is in the here & now." -Marcel Proust
Carrie's Favorite Resources for YOU:
"Kiss Me Quick" Podcast, "Julie Metzger" Podcast, The OMGYES app, "Come as You Are" book by Dr. Emily Negoski, "Mommy Mojo Makeover" book by Dana B. Myers.
Carrie's Favorite Things:
Check out Erika Lust for more sex-positive resources for you and your partner. Euphoria CBD Intimacy Serum www.euphoriaintimacy.com
Find out more about Carrie and how to work with her (virtually as well!) at www.carriekoziol.com and on Instagram at @pilatesbycarrie. You can check out her DRA/Core Restore classes, Pelvic Floor program, Prenatal & Postnatal Pilates as well as her Mommy & Me Menstruation classes. I am currently going through Perimenopause where Carrie has a fabulous program for that stage of life as well (Hint! Your life isn't over, it's beginning again!)
Chapter 10: Social Media is the New Supermodel
Social media isn't "evil" and I'm here to talk about how the key to a healthy relationship with anything in life is moderation. Using or ingesting in the ways that fuel you, challenge you, and create learning opportunities. It doesn't have to be perfect but even with things that are "healthy" for you, let's say an orange, if you eat too much of it, it can be harmful. Do you take away ALL the sugar in your life and declare it's toxic and going to kill you? Like I did back in the day (LOL!)? No.
Social media has helped my motherhood and connections with people in TREMENDOUS ways. However, have I gone down unhealthy rabbit holes with it as well? At 2am nursing Brooklyn and feeling like I'm the ugliest mom on the planet and missing out on a life I "should" have? Of course I have. It was a TON of work but I vowed to have a healthy relationship with social media. And you can to. I've met incredible women, resources for my postpartum depression, learned so much so I could write my book, met people that actually helped make this book come alive, this podcast wouldn't be here if it weren't for the connections I made on social media. I know I've helped women feel better about their unmarketable feelings as they traveled through the jungles of motherhood. I thank social media for all of this.
Today's episode is for you if you're curious about your social media relationship. And if you're feeling swallowed, suffocated, insecure, angry at times, or if you can't control your scrolling... this episode is for you too. You don't have to delete the apps completely and forever, there are different ways to grow a healthy relationship with social media. If you decide social media just isn't for you anymore, that's OK too!
Thank you for listening today and let's start a conversation about ways we can grow with social media. Or say goodbye to it. It's whatever works for you and your motherhood journey.
Connect with me more on Instagram at @thehonestmompodcast, my website www.michellemansfieldauthor.com where you can also get a copy of "The Honest Mom Project" which is an Amazon bestseller in the Postpartum Depression category!
Confessions of Mom Judgers with Brandi Wiatrak
Hello everyone! Welcome back to a tell-all episode featuring one of THE most honest moms I know, and an incredible close friend of mine, Brandi Wiatrak. She is the host of the Mom After Hours podcast, which she needed to take a break from (I'm in denial and feel she will be going back to it in some capacity!) when she returned to work full time. She is the incredible mother to her daughter, Violet, and an amazing stepmom. She is the perfect person to have for this topic as she is as honest as honest can be. And she makes all of you know that it's OK to have our mom judgement moments, we allllllll have them.
Brandi and I chat about our own judgements towards other moms and how we have grown to get out of those weeds that strangle us. We have full-blown confession time where there were ones I didn't want to share, I was embarrassed, but Brandi made me feel so accepted and... not judged for my feelings I had. Listen, it's human nature to judge. Whether we are feeling bleh about our own parenting, eating, exercising, how we spend our time, or what we do on Instagram, we have our moments of judgement. There are values that you may have where you just don't understand "how she could DO THAT?!" when it's OK to have your feelings, but what do we actually do with them so we don't hurt someone that just trying their best like us?
We talk about things that we really don't apologize for judging. But who are your safe people to release your feelings with so you can move on and not care what she is doing? Even if their kids are total a-holes? Why do we even care? I don't know the answer to that. I have feelings that pop in when I witness others and their behaviors. The yogi and personal development fairy inside me coaches me to accept people, focus on myself, find empathy, try to put myself into their shoes, but it's f'in HARD to do that. Does it make me feel better about myself when I have my judgy moments? Sometimes. I'm trying not to be so hard on myself because 95% of the time I'm doing anything BUT judging. And Brandi is one of the coolest chicks and moms I know. She is so accepting and loves variety in her life. If you ever meet her and talk to her for a hot second, you couldn't imagine her judging anyone. But, like you, she's human and we all have our moments. We aren't terrible people.
I hope this episode helps you check in with your judgement zone. Is it something you do constantly with your mom friends? Do you find yourself judging almost everyone you encounter? Do you want to find ways to make a change so you're not focusing on what others are doing? Then this episode is for you. It's also for you if you simply want to feel better and not believe you're a terrible person because you do judge certain people in your life. I hope you love Brandi as much as I do and thank you for listening and sharing this episode!
Instead of the Mom Card Drawing of the Week we are going with a judgment-inspired quote from one of the fathers of Yoga:
"When you see a mistake in somebody else, try to find if you are making the same mistake. This is the way to take judgment & turn it into improvement." -BKS Iyengar
Brandi's Favorite Mom Resources: "Working Moms" on Netflix. Funny mom accounts like @fruitsofmotherhood and @simplyfalaksid on Instagram. Oh and find her podcast, @momafterhours, and listen to her episodes.
Brandi's Favorite Things: Adam & Eve products www.adameve.com , simple Dawn soap and water to get out pesky makeup on those winter coat collars, shop and grab a coffee at your local bookstore every once in a while, "The Body Keeps the Score" by Bessel van der Kolk, M.D., "Temptation" by Ivy Smoak.
Grab your copy of my book, "The Honest Mom Project: Acknowledge Your Feelings. Break Free From Expectations. Build Your Beautiful Life as a Mother." on my website, www.michellemansfieldauthor.com where you can also find the Amazon link.
Knowing & Honoring What Balance Means for YOU with Sarah Otto
If the word "Balance" has your eyes rolling or you're already overwhelmed about it, then this episode is for you. Today Sarah Otto and I chat about the meaning of balance and how there's not a one-size-fits-all version that fits everyone's needs. Balance has many meanings and we talk about the true test and feelings to look for when achieving your own unique version.
Our mission today is to ease anxiety and overwhelm. Period. We aren't here on a see-saw trying to achieve that perfect level of equality with all the things going on in our lives. I knew when Sarah brought up this topic that she was the PERFECT and honest voice that was meant to make you feel a sense of relief, not annoyance or frustration. We bring up seasons of the year, seasons of life, how to allocate time outside your children and career. Connecting with what's uniquely important to YOU. Creating realistic expectations and goals. I mean does the laundry REALLY need to be folded today? Is the Queen of England showing up? We also dive into what to let go of. How to find peace. Where to put your energy and creating those values of how YOU want to spend your time. Without the guilt.
I know you'll enjoy this episode and fall in love with Sarah's incredible personality and spirit. Let us know about your experience with this topic and if you have any incredible tips to share. (I know you do!) Thank you for listening, sharing this episode with someone who needs it, and for being loyal listeners (or a new one!) to this podcast.
You can get my new book, "The Honest Mom Project: Acknowledge Your Feelings. Break Free From Expectations. Build Your Beautiful Life as a Mother." on my website or Amazon today! www.michellemansfieldauthor.com/books/ or https://www.amazon.com/Honest-Mom-Project-Acknowledge-Expectations/dp/1667875094/
Mom Card Drawing of the Week: "Be yourself. Be true to that, to your heart." -Nora Roberts
Sarah's Favorite Things:
Trader Joe's! (Need I say more?!)
Using a humidifier in every room and with www.purewaterinc.com
Winter article we talked about: https://www.lolahairandsoul.com/seasons-of-change/
Chapter 9: Hey, Where the Hell Did Everyone Go?!
This is my passion chapter about friendships in motherhood. Those lost, gained, maintained and how to navigate through the seasons of motherhood. Enjoy this week's reading with snippets from Chapter 9 of my book, "The Honest Mom Podcast: Acknowledge Your Feelings. Break Free From Expectations. Build Your Beautiful Life as a Mother." available on Amazon at: https://www.amazon.com/Honest-Mom-Project-Acknowledge-Expectations/dp/1667875094/ or my website, www.michellemansfieldauthor.com
Thank you for your continuous support in all I am trying to share with moms out there that need this validation. I appreciate you all!
With Love & Honesty,
Hope for Friendships in Motherhood with Megan Elsberg & Dina Green
Get your copy of my new book (an Amazon Best Seller!), The Honest Mom Project: Acknowledge Your Feelings. Break Free From Expectations. Build Your Beautiful Life as a Mother. on Amazon TODAY! https://www.amazon.com/Honest-Mom-Project-Acknowledge-Expectations/dp/1667875094/
OFF TO TODAY'S EPISODE!
Make new friends. But keep the old. One is silver and the other gold. That was easy to sing as a Girl Scout when you were in elementary school. But as an adult? As a mom? It’s a bit harder than we thought.
I quote my book, “The Honest Mom Project”… “Having a baby will change your friendships. Period.” It’s true. It’s not all negative. There are many ways friendships become even stronger. Friendships shift. Values and interests change. We don’t have the free time we used to. Motherhood expands the walls that enclose our friendships safely inside. What used to be easy can be extremely difficult to live up to now.
Megan and Dina are two incredible women of Stay + Play Local (www.stayandplaylocal.com) where one of their missions is connecting people to all the local fun activities, dining, events and attractions. I have attended quite a few events where I was looking for connection in a fun, unique way beyond my “let’s grab drinks and talk about our kids for 2 hours” routine.
The three of us talk about our unique friendship changes, challenges and NEW friendships that were born after becoming a mom. We chat about ways to connect with other women, when to let go of a friendship, and what to focus on. What to look out for. The “normal” of friendships when we become mothers and just get so busy. This episode is for you if you find yourself confused, frustrated, and a bit bleh in the friendship department. Megan and Dina are here to give you hope, motivation, and excitement about your friendships throughout motherhood. Plus they both just have incredible energy pouring out of them. Thank you for listening, sharing, and supporting this podcast!
Mom Card Drawing of the Week: "You're as unlimited as the endless universe." -Shad Helmstetter
Find out more about Stay + Play Local on Instagram @stayandplay.tricities along with their website www.stayandplaylocal.com Check out all the things to do in the Tri-City Area of Chicago, join The Foxy Mamas Facebook group, try their book club and take a chance with their meet ups. Keep up to date on all things to do and see by joining their newsletter. You'll never be bored or wonder what to do after that!
Megan's Favorite Things: Bulletproof Greens (it actually tastes GOOD!) www.bulletproof.com. Ember self-heating mug (it even has an app!)
Dina's Favorite Things: "Going West" podcast. "Comments by Celebs" podcast. Breville Barista Pro espresso machine.
Chapter 8: Why Wasn't I Invited to the Party?
I don't know about you, but I believe that as human beings we have cravings beyond sex and a bag of Doritos. We, as humans, also have emotional cravings. We yearn to feel loved, to feel wanted, appreciated, validated, and included. I desire to be a part of something, to be in a community, to have experiences that I create and am invited to. When we become mothers, that connection is needed even more in order for us to grow. The problem is, we are moving father away from it than ever before.
This chapter is all about mommy FOMO, how to acknowledge you have it, and how to get out of the traps. I hope you enjoy the little pieces I read and that you pick up your copy of The Honest Mom Project today! You can grab your copy on www.michellemansfieldauthor.com/books and leave a review when you're done reading it. Thank you so much for your support and encouragement everyone!
Honesty About Being a Mom in Her Early 20's with Katie Sheehan
Katie has been my BFF since I started with SPENGA in 2018. She was also at the heart of some friendship breakups and was such an incredible part of my healing- and what it means to be a true friend. I've always appreciated her honesty and how she delivers it which is why I knew you would love her on the podcast.
Katie was dating her high school sweetheart where they were both seniors in college, planning to get married, when she learned she was pregnant with her amazing son, Sam. When life throws curveballs, Katie always has such an amazing outlook and way of living through them where she and her husband welcomed this new journey ahead of them. Not in the cards but what is when it comes to becoming a parent?!
You may have listened to my solo episode about being an "old mom" when I had Brooklyn at 36 years old. Katie and I discuss the pros, cons and realities of being a young mom and have quite a few moments where we realize no matter what age you are, motherhood is challenging. Is it better to know nothing and get thrown into motherhood at a young age or to have 10 more years of life on your bookshelf? Do older moms know more? Do young moms have more energy? Do moms in their 30's have more life experience? Do young moms just survive because they don't "know any better" (that was a quote from my MIL who had children in her early 20's). The answers are quite surprising when you listen to this episode.
I hope you enjoy our conversation and whether you're a mom in her early 20's, late 30's or early 40's, we are all in the same motherhood boat. We can all help one another, no matter what ages we are. This episode will help you with your decisions, surprises, feelings, and give you some wonderful tools to keep on hand. Enjoy and thanks for listening!
Mom Card Drawing of the Week: "You have within you all wisdom, all power, all strength, all understanding." -Eileen Caddy
Katie's Recco for Moms: Be an OPEN BOOK with friends and family!
Katie's Favorite Things (I love me some face products!!!):
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare https://drdennisgross.com/ OK mamas, I went on Amazon and 5* ratings are all over the place. I definitely am trying as I'm a face product junkie. Katie loves his Daily Peel Pads and Vitamin C serum. He offers travel sizes as well in case you want to try anything.
She also loves her Nespresso (like me!!) and her frother. Go to www.nespresso.com and see what you're missing. Ladies, my at-home coffee has never been the same since Nespresso. I recommend ordering from their website versus Amazon as you can get a subscription, excellent customer service, and order recycling bags to drop off at your nearest UPS store. So easy!
You can get a copy of my NEW book, "The Honest Mom Project", on my website https://michellemansfieldauthor.com/books/
STOP Analysis Paralysis! Trusting Ourselves & Connection to Mom Intuition
Intuition can be this woo-woo thing that many don't take seriously. Or aren't able to connect with. As moms we are distracted. We are BUSY. We are getting busier by the month after being forced to slow down the last few years. It's like we are making up for lost time. But as this happens, we seem to be getting further and further from our intuition. Our brains are clouded. Our gut instincts are ignored. Our inner knowing is... unknown. We are losing trust in ourselves as mothers. In our decisions. Our lives.
Do you find yourself over-thinking EVERYTHING? Taking forever to make a decision? Do you dismiss your own voice for the external validation - what is everyone else doing, what will they think, will they judge me, OMG make it stop!
This episode is for you if you want to gain confidence in your values, decisions, life and motherhood. If you're tired of comparing yourself to everyone else and wondering if you're doing what's right. Listen today if you want more ease in life, your decisions and to be more in tune with your Mom Compass which aligns with your unique life, baby, family and values. Your life is COMPLETELY different than every other person's on this planet. It's time to trust your voice. Your decisions. It's time to trust YOU.
Mom Card Drawing of the Week: "Be bold in what you stand for." -Ruth Boorstin (How PERFECT is this card?!)
Listen to Tanya Dalton's Episode 264 of "The Intentional Advantage Podcast" with Emily Aarons which inspired this episode here: https://tanyadalton.com/podcasts/episode-264-trusting-yourself/
Get your copy of my NEW book, "The Honest Mom Project: Acknowledge Your Feelings. Break Free From Expectations. Build Your Beautiful Life as a Mother." on Amazon with this link: https://www.amazon.com/Honest-Mom-Project-Acknowledge-Expectations/dp/1667875094/ or it will always be in stock on BookBaby with this link: https://store.bookbaby.com/book/the-honest-mom-project
You can connect with me @thehonestmompodcast on Instagram, email me at email@example.com or travel to my website at www.michellemansfieldauthor.com Thank you for listening, sharing and creating this ripple effect of moms being honest!
Confidence & Fulfillment in Having One Child with Jessica Segreto
This week in my Local Mom Series, I sat with Jessica Segreto where we chatted about having one child. We shared our unique decision and reasons behind having our daughters. How we gained confidence in our motherhood and families. There were some struggles and questioning but we talk about how we got through these weeds and honored the lives that worked for us.
It's definitely getting more common to have one child. The stereotypes of only children are definitely not true. I also feel it's becoming more "accepted" (if that's even the word?!) There are so many benefits to having one child, just like having more than one. Family knows no numbers or size.
This episode is for you if you are questioning how many children you want. Or maybe you have one child and don't want to go through the fertility treatments and emotional struggles you had when having your first child. Perhaps you had debilitating postpartum depression and you're terrified to go through it again? Whatever your decision is, it's the RIGHT decision for you and your family. This episode will give you confidence with this.
Mom Card Drawing of the Week: "As a woman, I have no country... as a woman my country is the whole world." -Virginia Woolf
Jessica's Favorite Things:
Josie Maran Argan Oil Products. Find them here at www.josiemaran.com
"The Honest Mom Project: Acknowledge Your Feelings. Break Free From Expectations. Build Your Beautiful Life as a Mother." is now available and is an AMAZON BEST SELLER in the Postpartum Depression category. Get your copy on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Honest-Mom-Project-Acknowledge-Expectations/dp/1667875094
(*NOTE if you cannot access either of these links you can simply copy & paste into your browser)
C7 Being a Mom can be REALLY Boring!
I said it so you don't have to. But know you're still an awesome mom if you do say it out loud.
Infancy wasn't my thing. Staring at my baby waving things in her face wasn't my jam. Playing Tea Party Princess had me looking at my watch and yawning. My days were so f'in long and I was bored out of my mind. Why? Isn't motherhood supposed to be exciting, fulfilling, and packed with action?
I never heard anyone tell me how bored they were as a mom, so I thought I was alone and I just wasn't "good at it". Was I missing something? Turns out I wasn't. The truth was my boredom was my issue and I could have made motherhood more of my jam and thing. I didn't know how. Which is why I wrote this chapter and talk about it a lot. There is a way ladies, listen to this episode, buy the book and read this chapter to find out how to make your motherhood more exciting.
"The Honest Mom Project: Acknowledge Your Feelings. Break Free From Expectations. Build Your Beautiful Life as a Mother." is now available and is an AMAZON BEST SELLER in the Postpartum Depression category. Get your copy on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Honest-Mom-Project-Acknowledge-Expectations/dp/1667875094 (*NOTE if you cannot access this link you can simply copy & paste into your browser)
Thank you all for your support of this book, the podcast and all I'm trying to share with moms. I appreciate you ALL. YOU put me in the Amazon Best Seller list and I am so grateful.
How to Normalize Your Postpartum Feelings
There is a resistance for people to ask difficult questions. Fear of the answer. That they can't "fix" it. Fear that the answer will be really uncomfortable.
You may find yourself alone in your postpartum feelings. Those unmarketable feelings. Because people around you are scared to ask you, "How are you doing?"
You may be like me and not want to tell your partner or mom your feelings because they love to "fix" the problem. Tell you solutions, their experiences, because they cannot bear to see you unhappy.
It's time to find the courage to have uncomfortable conversations and find the people that can handle them. Along with giving grace to the people that may not be able to handle them. How? Listen to today's episode and find out.
Mom Card Drawing of the Week: “You Can if You Think You Can” -Norman Vincent Peale
Another amazing quote that Cathy with Zen Parenting Radio speaks of in Ep651: “Discomfort is the price we pay for living a meaningful life” -Susan David
Normalizing Postpartum Depression article link: https://breathoflife.cc/blog/normalizing-and-removing-the-shame-of-postpartum-depression
Zen Parenting Radio Podcast Episode 651 "Emotional Well-Being is #1" link: https://zenparentingradio.com/podcasts/emotional-well-being-is-1-podcast651/
“Good Moms Have Scary Thoughts” book by Karen Kleinman link: https://www.amazon.com/Good-Moms-Have-Scary-Thoughts/dp/1641701307/
Instagram account @wittyotter Becky Vieira
You can get YOUR copy of my NEW book, The Honest Mom Project: Acknowledge Your Feelings. Break Free From Expectations. Build Your Beautiful Life as a Mother on Amazon with this link: https://www.amazon.com/Honest-Mom-Project-Acknowledge-Expectations/dp/1667875094/ (copy and paste the link in your browser if clicking on the link isn't available)
You can listen to all the Zen Parenting Radio episodes right here on Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/all-feelings-are-acceptable-podcast-663/id414414318?i=1000567251543
Connect with Cathy & Todd with Zen Parenting Radio podcast here: https://zenparentingradio.com/ and get Cathy's recent book: Zen Parenting: Caring for Ourselves and our Children in an Unpredictable World here: https://www.amazon.com/Zen-Parenting-Ourselves-Children-Unpredictable/dp/0306925206/
Chapter 6: Maybe I'm Just Wired for Mom Guilt?
"F the Mom Guilt!" "You don't deserve to feel Mom Guilt!" Or at least that's what we are told on social, in books, podcasts and sometimes by friends around us. But what if simply "F the Mom Guilt!" doesn't work? What if you STILL feel it? What then?
Pushing my feelings under the rug, ignoring them or telling them to F off just wasn't working. In fact it was crippling me. What did work? Listen to the snippets from this week's chapter reading series where I create some breathing room for you and give you some tools to work with the Mom Guilt instead of against it. It may not be the enemy you think it is.
The Honest Mom Project: Acknowledge Your Feelings. Break Free From Expectations. Build Your Beautiful Life as a Mother is available on Amazon with this link: https://www.amazon.com/Honest-Mom-Project-Acknowledge-Expectations/dp/1667875094/ (Copy and paste the link into your browser if clicking on the link isn't available)
Thank you for your support of the podcast and my NEW book! You can connect with me more on Instagram @thehonestmompodcast or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tori's Postpartum Journey & SurTHRIVEal
Today's episode is another in my series with local moms and friends. I met Tori at Spenga, first as a rock star member and now she works there as an instructor. Tori recently became a new mom (her daughter, Emma is 4 months old) and she opened up about her postpartum journey. We laughed some about how her experience as a dog mom semi-prepared her and her husband (a lot of poop is involved with dogs and babies!), and how that helped them get a glimpse into how each other might parent and compromise.
Tori's pregnancy and birth experiences were pretty "text-book". She credits that to the healthy choices she made while pregnant and really looked forward to a maternity leave that she expected to be more like a vacation. But soon after Emma was born, Tori was given a HUGE dose of reality and her new expectations were to just get through the day.
She noticed something was wrong right away, as she was sad and crying "all of the time". Already feeling guilty, anxious and some regret, her postpartum guilt increased the more she couldn't make sense of the fact that despite an easy pregnancy and birth, she was still not happy.
Most of us assume that new parents are immediately happy when they have a baby - social media plays a big part in this. Often, if we are having any negative thoughts about our baby, we are hesitant to reach out to others for fear of judgement. And without a formal diagnosis we don't think our feelings are big enough and that all we need to do is push through the emotions and it will get better.
For Tori, she wished she had reached out sooner or thought about the role her family history may have played in her postpartum journey. She did eventually start reaching out, and talks about how it got easier and easier each time.
Don't be afraid to talk about your feelings right away. Postpartum depression help, whether it's talk therapy or medication, doesn't have to be a "forever" thing but an important stepping stone to getting the help you need.
Mom Card Drawing of the Week: "You're too marvelous, too marvelous for words." -Johnny Mercer
Tori's Favorite Things and Resources:
Chapter 5: How to Politely Tell Someone to Shut the F Up
Motherhood is overwhelming with all the information you learn before your baby is born- and then it arrives and you get thrown even MORE information your way. This week's chapter series goes into the boundary world and all those well-intentional people in your life that want to tell you "the best" way to do something. You've probably heard "breast is best" (can we stop this one already?!) or judgmental recommendations about first foods, what they're learning, doing, drinking, how they're sleeping, what you shouldn't do, and OH MY GOD make it STOP.
But how do you respond to these people? How do you create your filter and take in what resonates with you? How do you gain confidence to do this all without pissing someone off or getting the silent treatment? This chapter will help you with all of this. And I'm also here if you ever want to reach out to me with your unique challenges and how to work through them.
I hope you enjoy this week's snippet of Chapter 5 in my new book releasing January 27th, The Honest Mom Project: Acknowledge Your Feelings. Break Free From Expectations. Build Your Beautiful Life as a Mother. It's available for PRESALE with this link! https://www.amazon.com/Honest-Mom-Project-Acknowledge-Expectations/dp/1667875094/ Thank you so much for your support and you can connect with me on Instagram at @thehonestmompodcast Enjoy the episode!
Instead of a NY Resolution, I'm Doing THIS
Last year I tried something new for the new year and my goals. Instead of a New Year's Resolution, I chose a WORD OF THE YEAR. My best friend, Bridgett, shared this technique with me as she went through her yoga teacher training (which a huge part of it is self discovery) and I loved the idea. Last year my word of the year was TRUTH. This year, my word of the year is...
This new goal worked for me last year and so far, this year as well. I've done more in a few weeks to EXPAND than I have in months prior. I'm motivated to honor the word. Soon it will be sitting in front of me thanks to a customized sign I ordered on Etsy : https://www.etsy.com/listing/993512173/custom-sign-reversible-sign-personalized?ref=yr_purchases to put in my office.
I talk about how Jessica Zweig's podcast inspired me for my word of the year. Listen to this episode here: Simply Be Podcast along with other inspirational episodes she has (including the one about finding Joy!)
I hope that this new way of setting intentions, goals, and a pathway to your unique motherhood can help you throughout 2023. Thank you so much for listening, sharing, and connecting with me off the podcast.
My new book, "The Honest Mom Project. Acknowledge Your Feelings. Break Free From Expectations. Build Your Beautiful Life as a Mother." is now in PRESALE on Amazon. You can get your paperback or e-book copy with this link: https://www.amazon.com/Honest-Mom-Project-Acknowledge-Expectations/dp/1667875094/
Chapter 4: What do you DO all Day?!
Ending Mommy Competition and Comparison with Meghan Cox & Bridget Nolan
So excited to be kicking off Season 2 with Meghan Cox and Bridget Nolan of Sunshine Social Media!!!
Meghan got her start working in television and advertising, and eventually took her love of social media to create Sunshine Social Media. Bridget was a teacher for 10 years, and after becoming a mom she used her creative, communication, and management skills to become a social media manager. They eventually found each other on Instagram, and when Meghan reached out to collaborate with Bridget they clicked right away!
Coming together with another successful woman could have been intimidating or there might have been feelings of trying to compete with one another. But Meghan and Bridget soon learned that although they had similar personalities they also brought each of their own strengths to the business and they were able to really complement each other and balance each other out. These two women are bucking the stereotype that women don't support other women!
As moms, that need to compare or "compete" with other moms can sometimes inhibit us from building potential friendships. We may beat ourselves up because our child isn't hitting certain milestones at the same time as their peers, so instead of reaching out we find ourselves feeling isolated and alone in our parenting journey. Collaboration doesn't have to happen only in a business environment. Join a mom's group on Facebook. Strike up a conversation with another mom at the park or school. Be confident enough to put yourself out there and own your uniqueness. You might be surprised that there are other women who feel similar to you.
Mom Card Drawing of the Week: "Treasure this day, and treasure yourself. Truly, neither will ever happen again." -Ray Bradbury
Meghan & Bridget's Favorite Things:
Abby Rose Skincare @abbyroseskincare
GO CLEAN CO (cleaning tips!): @gocleanco
Connect with Meghan & Bridget of Sunshine Social Media:
Website: SunshineSocial.media - Check out their individual and group coaching options about all things social media.
Even if you don't have a business, maybe you've been interested in TikTok but don't know how to use it? Meghan & Bridget can help!
Chapter 3: A Baby Didn't Complete Us
Chapter 2: Your Identity Doesn't Have to be a Crisis
Finding Bravery with Boundaries in Motherhood with Dr. Jessica Bauer
The word "boundary" doesn't have to be a scary one, but often setting boundaries goes against what we were modeled growing up so it feels scary to broach the subject with family and friends.
My conversation with Dr. Jessica increased my understanding of boundaries and the importance of talking about this topic. Everyone has to encounter setting boundaries at some point in their life. Boundaries are a way to create space, take care of ourselves mentally, and let others know what we are comfortable or uncomfortable with.
Dr. Jessica and I talked about the misconceptions surrounding setting boundaries. Spoiler: They aren't there to keep people out of our lives!
Another thing that really stuck out to me was that when I set a boundary it's not about other people, but my boundaries are about me and my needs. Know that it will feel overwhelming at first, but practice makes perfect. Find support, have grace with yourself, and don't over explain your needs. Just keep trying!
Dr. Jessica Bauer is a licensed psychologist that specializes in perinatal mental health. She is passionate about helping pregnant women and new mothers feel supported and prepared for the transition into motherhood. She lives in Atlanta, GA and has three young children and lots of pets! She has a virtual practice where she provides both individual and couples therapy. She is a member of PSYPACT, which allows her to see clients virtually in more than 33 states.
Mom Card Drawing of the Week: "Things are possible. The impossible can be possible." - Sarah Paulson
Dr. Jessica's Favorite Things and Resources:
Get out of the funk and change your mood with music and movement! Find a fun playlist on Spotify and jam out to release the stress and anxiety. You can find a playlist to fit your mood by searching for words such as "de-stress", "uplifting" or "feel good".
YouTube video with Mel Robbins telling it like it is in regard to boundaries.
Connect with Dr. Jessica (and work with her!):
Website: www.drjessbauer.com - New and amazing things are coming in January 2023 with her practice and what she will be offering!
Chapter 1: If I Could Turn Back Time
This is the first episode in my "The Honest Mom Project" chapter series where I will be reading excerpts from each of my 10 chapters in my NEW book that is available for presale. "The Honest Mom Project. Acknowledge Your Feelings. Break Free From Expectations. Build Your Beautiful Life as a Mother" officially arrives January 27, 2023!!!
If you're interested in supporting the book in its presale stage, here is the link to Amazon: Presale Link
Thank you so much for listening, for your continued support that motivates me to bring these things to you, and for being a brave and strong mother doing her best to navigate through motherhood. We are all doing our best and through this community we are building, we are getting stronger.
Reach out to me on Instagram at @thehonestmompodcast or email me through my website at www.michellemansfieldauthor.com
With Love & Honesty,
Building the Tween/Teen Communication Breakdown with Elise Knox
I typically keep topics geared toward the new mom or toddler phase, but realized that a lot of my friends are already in the tween/teen stage with their kids and that this info could definitely be useful as my own daughter grows up. So glad I followed my gut!!
Elise Knox is a life and wellness coach and former middle school teacher who works with teens and moms. The #1 thing she sees with her coaching clients is moms who love their teens so much, YET feel at a loss for how to communicate, connect, and support them through their teen years. This phase of life can feel very isolating and alone for moms because women don’t want to share their struggles for fear of other people judging them or their teens requesting privacy. It can be quite overwhelming and often parents forget to take care of themselves and their own mental health along the way.
I'm currently in the "honeymoon" phase as Elise calls it, when our kids are between 5-10 years old and are more independent, but they haven't yet reached adolescence and we start to relax because things are going so well. As our kids grow up they start to dance that line of independence and needing us still, and it's so hard to give up some of that control.
Have a listen as Elise shares some great insights and also a few things we can do to look inward and be more aware how our past bad experiences start to influence how we go into a situation with our kids.
Mom Card Drawing of the Week: "Knowing what you want is the first step toward getting it." - Mae West
Favorite Things & Resources:
"The Awakened Family" by Dr. Shefali (Shefali Tsabary, PhD)
"Hold on to Your Kids" by Gordon Neufeld, PhD and Gabor Mate, MD
IonBiome from Dr. Zach Bush, MD
Connect with Elise:
Website: eliseknox.com, Elise offers Teen Centered Coaching (family participation recommended) and Mom Centered Coaching, as well as her "Communication Master Class".
Heavy Metal Made Me Do It - HAPPY 1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY!
Happy 1-Year Anniversary to The Honest Mom Podcast!
Thank you all for sticking with me and supporting me throughout 2022. I am beyond grateful to all the incredible guests, those that subscribed, listen when they can, recommend, share and talk about the podcast. This week I talk about how heavy metal has kept me going and motivated me to get my book into your hands. Stay tuned throughout December as the book will be in print and e-book formats in January 2023!
With Love and Honesty, Michelle
Check out Rich Roll's episode about Anvil, "Never Quit Before the Miracle" and their incredible story (it will seriously make you want to do ANYTHING)
Also available on YouTube: Never Quit Before the Miracle
How Fitness Can Actually WORK with Motherhood with Lisa Dienes
We are often encouraged, whether it's through the media, cultural expectations or our own thinking that we have to "get our body back" quickly after having a baby. This may lead us to working out too soon and too hard, and often results in burnout.
I'm so grateful for my conversation with Lisa Dienes, where we talked about the misunderstandings of our bodies and working out after the birth of a new baby, and more importantly how to gently ease back into fitness. One of the main themes presented by Lisa is to be kind to yourself and listen to what your body is telling you.
The truth is pregnancy changes your body, but that doesn't mean you still can't feel strong, comfortable and at home in your own body. If you're training too hard every day, it's going to take a toll on your body. Balance out the tough workouts with enough sleep, recovery time and moments in your day where you can relax and not feel stressed.
Lisa is a mother to three teenage daughters so she definitely knows the value of exercise and finding the time to be stress-free! Lisa is a 200-hour certified yoga instructor, NASM Certified Personal Trainer, ACE Certified Group Fitness Instructor and Certified Spin Instructor. You can find Lisa teaching outdoors, indoors and virtually through her studio. She focuses on helping her students build their strength from the inside out to stay committed to a healthy fitness-focused lifestyle.
Mom Card Drawing of the Week: "Within you lies a power greater than what lies before you." -Rhonda Blake
Lisa's Favorite Things:
WHOOP fitness tracker: track your fitness, sleep and recovery for optimal daily strain.
Alo yoga mats
Connect with Lisa:
Website: Lisa D Yoga+Fit - Lisa offers Core, Cardio, HIIT, Strength and Yoga from the comfort of your own home. Get to know Lisa and her workouts by taking advantage of her offer for a 1 Free Month membership just for The Honest Mom Podcast listeners!
The Influence of a Mom's Mental Health on Her Baby with Dr. Amy Conrad
Dr. Amy Conrad is a board certified pediatrician and a working mom. She is the founder of Kinder Digital Pediatric Clinic and the host of the Ask Doctor Amy podcast. Dr. Amy is on a mission to help families raise healthy and happy kids by paving a more simple and natural path to parenting.
We live in a culture of wanting to optimize each part of parenthood and childhood, but this often leads us to believe that we aren't doing enough. The goal of motherhood shouldn't be perfection, but rather a focus on what we are learning along the way. I know I'm grateful for the mistakes I've made as a mother because sometimes the benefit is learning from the things that didn't work.
The mentality surrounding our thoughts of, "Am I doing enough?" tends to trickle down to our kids and affects them and their mental health as well. Learn why Dr. Amy advocates her "Do less, connect more" mantra. If you feel disconnected to your kids in any way, it's not too late to make changes.
Mom Card Drawing of the Week: "Happiness is not in our circumstance, but in ourselves. It is not something we see, like a rainbow, or feel, like the heat of a fire. Happiness is something we are." -John B. Sheerin
Dr. Amy's Favorite Things:
Connect with Dr. Amy:
Podcast: Ask Doctor Amy for health tips and all things mom life!
Connecting With Your Postpartum Wellness with Kelly Jacobson, LCSW
Learning to support ourselves in our postpartum journey can be a struggle. Especially when we are battling the stigma that moms are being selfish for wanting (and needing!) more than to just be with our babies 24/7. We often try to do it 'all' and then feel like we have let someone down if we can't.
There are many factors that can lead to this idea of disconnect from our feelings and our own needs, but ultimately we have to tune into our values and ask ourselves, "Who do I want to be?"
My guest today, Kelly Jacobson, grew up in a home where love was abundant. After the birth of her first child, Kelly's mom came and stayed for a week to help her adjust to motherhood. She knew that kind of support wasn't the case for all new moms so she wanted to be able to offer some support to other moms who needed it.
Kelly is not your typical therapist or group practice owner. Growing up Kelly never pictured herself as a therapist or even being a business owner. She knew she wanted to help people, and from a young age she knew she wanted to work with teens that needed extra support and direction, which then led her to work as a social worker in the school system for most of her professional career. But it wasn't until Kelly had two little kids of her own and was off on summer break that she realized she needed more as a mom and wanted to give back to other moms as well. Slowly but surely Kelly grew Stronger Therapeutic Counseling Services, supporting moms and teens that needed the support she was most fired up about.
Mom Card Drawing of the Week: "You can only go halfway into the darkest forest; then you are coming out the other side."
Find out more ways Kelly can help you and how to work with her (virtual services available!) and her team at Stronger Therapeutic Counseling Services.
You can also find valuable FREE resources and inspirational downloads on Kelly's site, including steps to find your happiness this week, how to stay motivated when you're just not "feelin' it", creating a game plan to cope with anxiety, and many others.
Facebook: Your Stronger Self
Overwhelm & The Motherload: Strategies that WORK! with Megan Sumrell
Time management and motherhood! It seems those two things will never be inclusive of the other. But that doesn't have to be the case.
Before starting her own business, Megan Sumrell worked for over 20 years in the software/IT space as a Quality Architect, creating systems and processes to turn chaos into harmony. And she was good at it! But once she became a mom everything she knew became foreign to her and her old way of doing things wasn't working. So that's when she started to treat herself like the companies she had helped over the past two decades.
Megan has now left the corporate world and has created a signature time management framework system that helps women in all stages of life to manage their calendars, own their schedules, and bring more structure and freedom into their lives.
Mom Card Drawing of the Week: "By being yourself, you put something wonderful into the world that was not there before." - Edwin Elliot
Connect with Megan in SO many ways:
Podcast: Listen to her "Work+Life Harmony" podcast
The Anti-Bounce Back Movement with Cat Geiser
After a traumatic birth experience, including an unplanned c-section, Cat Gieser struggled both physically and mentally after the birth of her first child. She found a lack of support for maternal wellness and when she confided in her OBGYN about her postpartum struggles she was simply dismissed and offered drugs without any thought to what else could be done. After her experience, Cat knew she wanted to help moms in her same situation. "It's a dark feeling and you shouldn't have to do it alone."
Cat Gieser is a pre and postpartum movement specialist and the founder of Mama Flow Studio - a virtual yoga and sculpt studio for postpartum moms. The studio is known as the "anti-bounce back" studio, encouraging moms to move with strength and nourishment instead of the pressure to bounce back. Cat is now a mother of two and is based in the San Francisco Bay Area.
I spoke with Cat about the lack of knowledge surrounding women's specific health issues and bodies. And how tabloids and social media are big promoters of the idea that women need to "bounce back" after a pregnancy. Cat's goal as a health professional is to support moms and women in a way that helps release that expectation and pressure, and allows them to focus on life and just feel good every day.
There is so much that is required as a new mom, and by following Cat's 3 pillars for postpartum recovery, you can learn to listen to your body and do so in a healthy way.
Mom Card Drawing of the Week: "Here's the thing you have to know: your uniqueness is your gift. The dreams you have are your gift to the world." - Shannon Kaiser
Connect with Cat here:
Her website: Mama Flow Studio
*Connect with Cat on Instagram or her website for a special FREE 7-day trial with her online studio, Mama Flow Studio!
The Walking Dead to Successful Sleep Solutions with Meredith Brough of Sweet Slumber
Sleep. It's one thing we can't do without (at least not gracefully) and the one thing that seems to elude us after becoming a parent. Thanks to people like Meredith Brough, there are solutions out there that can help restore sleep for both you and your baby.
Meredith is a mother of five and the owner of Sweet Slumber. After struggling to get her first child to sleep, Meredith knew she had to do things differently with her second. After raising her own kids, she transitioned everything she'd learned as a mom and became a full-time sleep coach for parents of babies and young children with sleep problems. In the last five years, Meredith has helped over 500 families reach their sleep goals using her tear-free methods. She also now trains other experts, runs an agency, hosts her own podcast - "The Sweet Slumber Podcast", and runs a large Facebook group for exhausted mothers.
Typical sleep training methods often include your baby "crying it out", but this one-size fits all approach doesn't take into account a child's specific needs. In today's episode, Meredith touches on the 5 different temperaments (she has a tear-free sleep method for each one!) and how to be aware of the non-verbal cues your baby is sending.
As new parents all we have in our arsenal is experimentation and responding to different things to see what works and what doesn't for our children. And just when we get one kid figured out, the next one comes with a completely new idea of what makes them feel secure. It gets confusing because we have so many messages coming at us telling us what we should do or should not do. In the end, YOU have the most influence on your child's development and Meredith encourages moms to lean into their natural intuition and instincts.
Homework assignment from Meredith: "Be in tune with your body throughout the day with your energy level and respond to it. If your eyes are heavy, sleep. Find your body's natural 'tired time' and see how much better you will feel!"
Find Meredith here:
Website: Sleep Slumber - schedule a free consult with Meredith and learn about all the ways you can work with her.
Facebook Group: Successful Sleep
Podcast: The Sweet Slumber Podcast
Modernizing Domestic Adoption with Erin Quick of PairTree
Erin Quick is the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of PairTree, an app and website dedicated to making the adoption process easier for both expectant mothers and hopeful parents. As an adoptive mom of 2, she has first-hand experience with the challenges and emotions that surround adoption.
So much of the decisions surrounding birth moms and families wanting to adopt are rooted in sadness, with seasons of grief that come and go long after the adoption is finalized. At PairTree, birth moms have access to lifetime support and mental health resources whenever they need it. Another major part of PairTree's mission is all about supporting families without the huge fees that are typical when working with adoption agencies.
Are you a prospective family looking to adopt and wondering if it's right for your family? Education is key when considering adoption and PairTree also provides plenty of resources to help you on your adoption journey.
I loved having this conversation with Erin! I learned so much about the adoption process in general, and especially about the unique matching process PairTree utilizes to make sure that the birth mom feels as confident in her decision as possible.
Download the PairTree App here: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/pairtree-inc/id1618951989
Explore the PairTree website here: https://pairtreefamily.com/
Follow Erin and the PairTree team on Instagram @pairtreefamily
The Power of "And" in Motherhood with Camille Walker
Do you feel a pull to be both a mother and pursue outside interests? Maybe it's starting a business. Maybe it's working for someone else outside the home. Maybe being a full-time SAHM is exactly where you want to be, but you want to carve out some time for your personal interests and hobbies so you don't lose yourself in motherhood.
In today's episode, I spoke with Camille Walker. Camille is the epitome of a mom who has pursued her passions. Through blogging, doing her podcast, and creating some wonderful products to help out busy families, she has created a 6-figure income business all while raising her 4 kids.
You can be a fantastic mom and still pursue your passions. It doesn't have to be either/or, and it doesn't have to be black and white. You may not even know what that path looks like for you, but adding that you're a mom AND...(you feel in the blank)...can lead to some amazing things.
Camille also touches on how charting your energy during your period cycle (Yes, even your period has seasons!) will give you power in your life and even if it's small, to honor your passion driven purpose. You can hear more about that here.
Maybe this isn't your season to go all in for a business, but I hope this episode helps you find a balance that works for you and your family.
Mom Card Drawing of the Week: "Dare to wear your soul on the outside." - Gloria Burgess
Camille's Favorite Things (Books): "Green Lights" by Matthew McConaughey, "Atomic Habits" by James Clear, "The Path Made Clear" by Oprah Winfrey, "Think Like a Monk" by Jay Shetty, and "Here and Hereafter" by Tyler Henry
Check out Episode 87 on the Call Me CEO Podcast where Camille and I talk about honoring your intuition for a slower pace in your life.
Connect with Camille below:
Instagram: @camillewalker.co, and her Call Me CEO Podcast: @callmeceopodcast
Thank you so much for putting in the ear buds, making time, and listening to this episode. I appreciate you all!!! If you want to give feedback on what you love and what you would love to see, go to your Apple Podcasts app (not web browser as that's a story in itself) and scroll down to "Ratings & Reviews" and click "See All". Tap the star rating you want to give and then tap "Write a Review" to give me details about what you need more of. I appreciate it so much!
HELP! I'm Leaving the City for the 'Burbs'!
Once upon a time I made a vow to myself that I would never live anywhere other than the great city of Chicago. I LOVED Chicago! I planned to live in the city forever, raise my kids there, and never, ever leave. Well, "never say never" because life has a funny way of making us eat our words.
What was it about the suburbs that had me leaving the city kicking and screaming? What was it about what the city symbolized in regard to my identity vs what the suburbs symbolized for my future? I had certain assumptions about what life would look like and how that would reflect on my identity, and it was a challenge at first to embrace my new surroundings. The identity crisis was real! But I was in good company - even Carrie Bradshaw struggled with just getting a new area code when she lost her phone even though she still lived in New York City!
We all seem to think that we are letting go of something and that the city is a part of us. And maybe it is, but it's not who we really are. That doesn't change. And even though it took me some time to adjust I'm happy to report that I'm thriving. Yes, even in the suburbs! And because I don't want you to wait as long as I did to embrace your surroundings, I've included three pieces of advice on enjoying where you live.
"Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave and grow old wanting to get back to." -John Ed Pierce
Mom Card Drawing of the Week: "Attitude is everything." -Diane von Furstenberg
These are a few of my Favorite Things: Demdaco Ceramic Succulent Oil Diffuser (can be found on Amazon)
Local to the Tri-Cities area of Chicago? Always at a loss of what to do as a mom, family, a couple, or even if you're single? Check out @stayandplay.tricities on Instagram or their website, www.stayandplaylocal.com. You can also check out Ep 13 with the founder, Chrissy Somers, as we dish about the dangers as well as all the ways social media can amp up your motherhood.
Other Sources for You:
Find Michelle on Instagram at @thehonestmompodcast or stay up to date on NEW episodes by signing up for her weekly email at www.michellemansfieldauthor.com.
Thank you for listening, sharing, leaving an honest review, along with taking the time to do all those things. XO - Michelle
A Slippery Slope With Mommy Wine Culture with Shelley DeJongh, LPC
"MOMMY NEEDS WINE!", "Mommy Juice", "It Takes a Village, and a Vineyard", "Time to Wine Down".
The amount of t-shirts, mugs, wine glasses, and other memorabilia may seem clever and cute at first. But is it? Normally I'm not a party pooper and I'm far from a "Karen", but lately this movement of mommies coping with booze is really affecting me. You probably listened to my solo episode surrounding this topic (check out EP24 if you missed it!), but today I have an expert, a friend, and someone who has actually experienced the slippery and dangerous slope of alcohol and motherhood.
In today's episode we chat with Shelley DeJongh (Licensed Professional Counselor with SO many credentials!) about why drinking to cope is normalized, the stress that mothers are under, and the lack of coping skill knowledge we have. She touches on the definition of a "Wine Mom" (yes it's actually a "thing" and The Atlantic has an actual article on it https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2020/05/wine-moms-explained/612001/ ), how we know if we have entered the danger zone with drinking, how to adjust to changes in your drinking without feeling you've lost your identity, along with so many more ways we can learn about our drinking patterns and if we need to make changes. I did. The goal here is not to condemn anyone for drinking. We are simply here sharing stories, experiences and tools that helped us both have a healthier relationship with alcohol. This is a no judgement zone - EVER!
We also hear Shelley's story behind her choice for her 7 years of sobriety. Trust me, you'll want to listen to this. She is one of the warmest humans you'll meet, someone that doesn't judge but still feels a passion to share her story in case you need it. Sometimes all it takes is knowing someone out there is by your side. At times we aren't in tune with our own mental health (we are consumed with so much!) and how we are traveling through our lives... until we hear a story and connect with it. I know I wouldn't be in tune with how my body was handling alcohol and the potential path I was traveling without Shelley and Kelley (see below for Kelley's info).
Thank you for listening, sharing with someone you love and care about, talking about this with your closest friends, and supporting this podcast. Sending so much love to you all and know you're never alone.
Mom Card Drawing of the Week: "You are loved. You are important. And you matter." - Christie Joyner
Get to know Shelley more (and ask her how her Emotion Code Healing coaching is going!):
Shelley's Favorites & Reccos: "Healing the Shame That Binds You" by John Bradshaw, "My Self" by Kelley Kitley (who I LOVE!) @kelleykitley.
Both books can be found on Amazon.
Shelley's Instagram: @transformingchronically
Shelley's Website: www.shelleyramseydejongh.com
Create Better Conversations & Stop Replying With, "I'm so BUSY!"
"So often we wear busyness as a badge of honor. Or glorify productivity to the point where we don't even know what we're pursuing or why we are chasing down that goal anymore. Busyness can rob you of fruitfulness. The pressure to be productive can rob you of peace. Breathe. Regroup. Thrive." -Susan Narjala
Do you find that when someone asks how your'e doing, your natural response is, "I'm so busy!"? Do you hear your friends respond in the same way? Busy with what? What's going on in life? Where is the substance that creates and sustains connection? Do we simply need a reboot to find other conversation starters to ignite a more meaningful conversation?
Today's episode will take you through a live recording I did on Instagram. I went with the flow and improvised as I usually do but we also get down and dirty to the root of why we feel we need to justify our existence and worth by one word: BUSY. I'll share tools that I've been starting to use (and they are working!) to create stronger connections with my friends and family. I want to get to know the PERSON that I'm talking to, and I want them to get to know ME for who I am. Not because I'm an Uber driver for my kids, I have 5 baseball games to go to and from, 4 birthday parties to take my kids to, house projects, work loads, or how potty training my puppy is brutal. I don't know about you but I need more. Women out there need more from me too.
I hope you find this episode inspirational and you have the energy to take some risks with conversations and grow your connections. I hope you rip that badge of busy off your chest and allow your heart to shine on its own. Thank you for listening, always for sharing, and for supporting this podcast. If you want to tell me what you like (and don't!), feel free to give an honest review on Apple Podcasts!
Mom Card Drawing of the Week: "You have infinite potential. You can do anything, make anything, dream anything." -Neil Gaiman
These are a Few of My Favorite Things: Nespresso Frother www.nespresso.com
Instagram Account: @melissa_giller and her new Life With Soul Podcast
How Living an F-Less Life is Your Freedom in Motherhood with Gianna Biscontini
We've heard the term "She gives zero F's" like it's so easy. It's not. That's why women write books like this. I'm here to introduce you to Gianna Biscontini. She's a Behavioral Analyst. A Scientist. She also brings strong coaching skills to women, like you, who are tired of the limitations that you may not even be aware of. In her new book, Fuckless. A Guide to Wild, Unencumbered Freedom, she will guide you through the process of liberating yourself from the top 10 limitations (AKA Fucks) that we can give the middle finger to.
Just a few Fucks that Gianna takes you through: 1) Be Small. 2) Be Soft. 3) Be Less 4) Be Stifled. 5) Be Everything. That last one got to me. There are 5 more and you will be nodding your head and turning pages to figure out how to work with these Fucks and finally say goodbye. You deserve to be connected to what YOU want. What YOU need. YOUR voice. YOUR feelings. YOUR values. Sticking up for what YOU deserve. Fighting through the fear to do all this. Gianna also has an audiobook version where I encourage you to download her incredible voice that instantly makes you feel important.
Thank you so much for listening. I hope you enjoy this episode and feel comfortable letting me and Gianna know what you think. What help you may need. What really impacted you or surprised you. Share this episode with your best friend and let's find our freedom.
Mom Card Drawing of the Week: "There is only one you. And you are important." -Chuck Sindoll
Find Gianna on Instagram: @giannabiscontini
Connect with Gianna on her website: www.giannabiscontini.com to get on her email list and learn more about her company, W3RKWELL. Gianna also has wonderful downloadables on her website and FUN merch (a Fuckless mug? Yes please!) you can snag.
Link to buy her new book, Fuckless. A Guide to Wild, Unencumbered Freedom : https://www.amazon.com/Fuckless-Guide-Wild-Unencumbered-Freedom/dp/1544530463/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?adid=082VK13VJJCZTQYGWWCZ&campaign=211041&creative=374001&keywords=Fuckless&qid=1652401123&s=books&sr=1-1
P.S. You can also download the Audiobook version with that same link!
Gianna's Favorite Things: getaway.house for your next vacation, Meghan Markle's Archetypes Podcast (https://open.spotify.com/show/6UfyXZgVAUX1UzF8j5L72t), Joan Didion books, Kathrin Zenkina (https://manifestationbabe.com/), Zero Waste shower steamers and candles (www.zerowastestore.com)
How Sitting Still & Feeling Discomfort Creates a Better Story
How many times do you want to ask a difficult question but are afraid of the answer? Do you find yourself wanting to have a discussion, only to pull back for fear of what the other person may say? Are you afraid to ask your child if they've ever felt sad, or even depressed? Even more powerful, are you terrified to ask and acknowledge your OWN feelings? (Yes, they are inside of you!)
As a podcaster, it may seem like I am very comfortable with "telling it like it is" but the truth is (I mean this is the Honest Mom Podcast!), I'm terrified of everything I list above. I push things under the rug. My codependent mind wants to "keep the peace" and not rock the boat. I worry how I may make the other person uncomfortable. I'm scared that the person will get mad at me. If you listened to my ghosting episode, that also affected my feelings about being honest with someone. That they'll just tell me to F off and be done with me.
I grew up in a house where it really wasn't the best idea to bring up anything that would challenge the other side. Defensive responses, or ignoring me for a week, making me feel I'm attacking even if my voice wasn't raised, and many other responses that made me feel I was a terrible person for speaking up. For simply asking "why" or "how come".
The truth is... uncomfortable conversations and acknowledging discomfort in our lives is ESSENTIAL for growth. It's not a fun place to be but it's temporary and will either make your relationships stronger, or it will tell you in black and white where your relationship stands. Even if it's saying goodbye. Sitting in your own discomfort about YOUR feelings in motherhood is also essential. Don't do what I did. Sweeping the feelings under the rug, swimming in shame, feeling guilty for even feeling a certain way, to a point where you ignore them. But they never go away. They grow. They stop you. They prevent you.
It's time to release this and sit in the discomfort. Dig deep to find that bravery to have uncomfortable conversations that will allow you to GROW. To become the mother you're meant to be. The human you're meant to be. I'll be right there with you, you can reach out to me at any time. Listen, breathe, pay attention to what comes to mind, acknowledge, and take one baby step of bravery. I appreciate you listening, sharing, and leaving an honest review of what you think about this episode.
Mom Card Drawing of the Week: "You are amazing, unique, and beautiful. There is nothing more you need to be... You are perfect the way you are." -Jynell St. James
These are a few of my Favorite Things: Cedarwood Essential Oil. I love Young Living or DoTERRA but you can get amazing essential oils from so many places. What does Cedarwood Oil do? Well, it's great for sleep, stimulating hair growth, skin, stress-relief, dryness and cracking of skin (I use on my heels and OMG my heels are so soft now!!), it deodorizes, and so much more.
Check out Zen Parenting Radio on Apple Podcasts and @zenparentingradio on Instagram. Also I mention Gianna Biscontini where you can reach out to her on Instagram @giannabiscontini
A Baby Didn't "Complete" Us with Chelsea Skaggs
You sit in your bed at 4am, propped up by pillows, baby sucking your last bit of energy out of you, and as you gaze to your right you spot it. No, it's not a spider. It's not an unidentified brown stain on the sheets. It's your partner. Sleeping. It's then 8am and your partner grabs their bag, their Starbucks card for their glorious drive thru order, and smooches you on the cheek with a "HAVE A GOOD DAY!" that makes your blood curdle. Why do they get to be with grown ups today? Where's my Starbucks and drive without a screaming baby? They come home, in a great mood, ready to party with your child and you cannot wait to hand them off and just run away. Then comes the clock striking 10pm where they proclaim "Welp! I'm headed up for bed!" and your night is just beginning. The house is a mess, and you aren't asking for help. But why should you? Can't they SEE the dishes piled up or the laundry that is spilling out of the hamper? Is it too much to observe that you're DROWNING and to say, "Honey, I've got dinner tonight, and the dishes, and the laundry. Why don't you rest?"
By now you are realizing that the mind-reading, silent treatment, passive-aggressive games your mom played aren't working for you either. So why are we fighting GREAT communication with our partner so we can actually GET what we want and need? Do we see it as a sign of weakness? That if our partner loved us ENOUGH that they would actually be aware of what is going on? Because that's what WE do, right? I'm tellin' ya ladies, it DOESN'T WORK. What does? Take a listen to today's episode and you will see!!! I'm here to introduce you to to the incredible Chelsea Skaggs.
Chelsea is a Certified Professional Life Coach, Intimacy Expert, and Communication Trainer for parents. She helps you go from WTF?! to "I effin' got this!" in your relationship by giving you the tools to improve your confidence, your connection and your communication. Chelsea keeps it real with her relatable and raw voice and honest connection to the feelings we have as mothers. She has been featured in "Her View From Home", "Motherly", "Scary Mommy", "Today's Parent", "Psychology Today", as well as radio and podcasts.
Mom Card Drawing of the Week: "Never postpone joy." -Unknown
Chelsea's Podcast: Better Relationships After Baby https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/better-relationships-after-baby/id1622270050
Chelsea's Instagram: @thewtftrimester and you can check out her podcast @better.relationship.after.baby
Chelsea's Website: www.thewtftrimester.com
A couple of Chelsea's Favorite Things: Mud Water which can be found on www.mudwtr.com and the Peanut App where you can download on the app store
Thank you so much for listening, sharing and letting me know what you like (or don't!) about the show. You can find me on Instagram at @thehonestmompodcast or my website www.michellemansfieldauthor.com