Why am I so tired?


Today’s Question:

Today’s question comes from almost every one of my clients. So many moms have a hard time articulating what’s bothering them.

They say, “My kids are on my nerves,” “I feel off my game,” or “I feel lost, stuck, bored, easily annoyed.

Whatever they say, it all seems to fall under the umbrella of TIRED. This is why I named my podcast and facebook group “Supermom is Getting Tired.”

Not that my clients think of themselves as Supermoms, but they work so hard and put so much pressure on themselves to get things done and do everything right that I chose this title for them.

I find that there are 5 reasons why Supermoms get tired that have nothing to do with sleep, exercise, nutrition and hormones.

These are invisible forces (kryptonite, if you will) that make moms feel like they are being dragged through their day, going through the motions, and not feeling fully alive.

If you ever feel like a zombie mommy, wondering why you can’t seem to enjoy your life more, today’s podcast is for you.

5 reasons why Supermom is getting TIRED:

1. You are arguing with reality.

Wishing things were different than they are, will drain your energy. This shows up as thoughts like, “My kids should play together nicely and they don’t.” “My daughter shouldn’t resist going to bed at night.” “My son shouldn’t play so many video games.” “My husband should help out more.” “My mother-in-law shouldn’t be so nosy.

It’s like we have this invisible rule book in our brain that says how everyone and everything should behave, and we get annoyed when our rule book isn’t followed. This rule book shows up with ourselves, husbands, our in-laws, other parents, bosses, co-workers; we even have rules about how our pets should behave!

For me, this showed up a lot with my husband. My Dad was the most organized, self-disciplined, and reliable man on the planet. An engineer by trade and an upholder tendency, meant if he said he was going to do something, he did it. Religiously. Every night before bed, like clock work, he would walk around the house, locking the doors and windows and turning off all the lights.

When I got married, I expected my husband to assume this role. However, I married an impulsive, serial entrepreneur with ADHD and a rebellious streak.

This means he does NOTHING on a regular basis. Any kind of routine makes him feel imprisoned, even if it’s something he wants to do.

I’ve been married over 20 years and I still wake up to find every light on in the house. It took me YEARS to realize that my husband will never do things the way my Dad did. He will never do yard work or put the garbage cans on the curb on a regular basis, but he can do a year’s worth of yard work in one day when the mood strikes.

My husband is an amazingly talented, skilled, creative and fun-loving man but it can be hard to remember that when I’m stuck wishing he was more like my dad. Aligning your expectations with the reality of your experience will give you so much more energy and appreciation for the life you are living.

2. You are “shoulding” on yourself.

What is it about our culture that puts so many perfectionistic expectations on moms? Is it that we learned to put pressure on ourselves through school and our careers, that we then bring into parenting?

Many moms think of parenting like it’s their job, meaning that they believe it should be hard work and that they are supposed to do everything right.

The problem with this is that kids learn by imitation and we are stressing them out when we aren’t relaxed, happy, and playful. There is no “right” way to parent but we put so much energy into trying to do everything perfectly that it leaves us exhausted.

Here’s the common problem that myself and many clients, find themselves in:

While folding laundry, you are thinking, “I really should get dinner started.” So you stop folding laundry and start dinner.  As you are cooking you are thinking, “I need to send that email before I forget!” At the computer, you see someone’s facebook post and think, “I’ve got to get our summer vacation plans started”. While researching vacation rentals, you think, “Crap, I have to go pick up the kids but I should have scheduled that doctor’s appointment while I was on the computer and paid that bill.

Three Reasons For Exhaustion

First, we are putting so much pressure on ourselves with the words “have to, need to, should”. These words make us feel like responsible hard workers, but also prisoners.

Second, when we constantly juggle and multi-task, we don’t get the sense of accomplishment and completion that so many of us crave.

Lastly, our energy goes where our attention goes. When your body is doing dishes but your brain is thinking about laundry, your energy is split into two. If you are at work thinking “I’d rather be at home” or at home wishing you had a job to go to, you will exhaust yourself without even knowing how or why you are so tired.

 

 

  

3. You are trying to control something you have no control over.

I know a Mom who has the thought “I can’t relax until my kids are happy.” With 3 dramatic kids, it’s a rare moment when all of them were happy. Which means she spent years believing she couldn’t relax.

She feels like she always needs to be available to them should they need her for anything. She’s a loving mom and very close with her kids, but feels constantly fatigued and lost. She struggles to take time to herself or do things that she would enjoy. This mom thought she controls their happiness.

This causes exhaustion for two reasons, the first is that she wanted her kids to be happy all the time. We are wired to experience a wide range of human emotions, about 50% of which will be negative.

To live a real, human experience, we need to feel happiness, but also disappointment, sadness, anger, jealousy, you name it.

The other reason trying to make kids happy causes fatigue is that people get to feel whatever they want to feel.

Have you ever tried to cheer someone up or talk them out of feeling bad and they just would not budge? Some people WANT to feel negative emotions.

We don’t get to choose other people’s emotions for them and when we try to control it, we end up feeling resentful, lost and TIRED.

 

4. You are resisting emotions.

Some clients have an area of their life that they really don’t want to think about. It could be a fight with a family member that they never reconciled or a job they got fired from which caused them embarrassment.

Trying not to think about something that causes negative emotions is exhausting but it is very easy to solve!

If clients only knew how much more relaxed and energized they would feel for such little effort, they wouldn’t believe it! The problem is that these unprocessed emotions can be very sneaky and hard to spot. I’ll use an example from my own life.

I witnessed a horrible accident while on spring break in Lake Havasu. I was on a boat with a hundred other people, watching a couple of people on their jet skis.

One tried to jump his jet ski over the other one, hitting him in the head and causing his death. It was AWFUL.

No one else on the entire boat seemed to notice, understand, or care about what I had just seen. I was shaken to my core.

I wanted to go out there to comfort or help somehow but I couldn’t. Witnessing this event was traumatic for me but I tried to leave it behind me.

I never thought about it consciously but years later when I had kids and a swimming pool, I developed terrible anxiety that something bad would happen and they would drown.

Anytime I was at a water park, ocean, or community pool, I had the thought, “It’s my job to make sure everyone stays safe” (even when lifeguards were on duty).

This anxiety compounded when my impulsive, fun-loving husband bought a boat for our family. I was in a constant state of fight or flight on that maiden voyage.

My anxiety was preventing me from doing things I really enjoyed so I knew it was time to get over it once and for all. I was a MESS until I got some coaching and used my ACT tools to finally process the emotions of that accident I witnessed years earlier.

Having a pool and boat ended up being a blessing because it gave me lots of opportunities to re-wire my brain to relax around water. Once I was able to process the emotions from witnessing this terrible accident, it FREED me in a way that’s hard to explain.

It’s like suddenly I had access to a deeper level of relaxation and a reservoir of energy that I had never had access to before.

 

5. You are ignoring your calling.

We are all born with certain interests, talents, and proclivities. Our job, during our lifetime, is to figure out what these things are and to use them to make the world a better place.

You felt called to become a mom, now that you have accomplished that task and soaked up your new identity as a mom, it’s time to figure out “what’s next?” Many moms follow what culture suggests, but this can cause exhaustion if a mom is trying to live a life that isn’t right for them.

Client Teresa

My client Teresa was an ivy league, super-achiever.  She knew how to be successful and rise to the top of any organization she worked for and her resume was impressive. Her job and family relied on her full time but when her girls were 4 and 7 she couldn’t deny this nagging voice inside her anymore.

She was terrified, but finally admitted in a faint whisper, that she really just wanted to stay home, bake cookies and lead Girl’s on The Run.

To many of us, this does not sound sinful, but for her, she was going against her upbringing, her peers, her culture, everything she had been raised to believe her life should be at this stage in her life.

Once she gave herself permission to want what she wants, and admit the truth out loud, she relaxed and had many creative ideas and options for the next stage of her life.

Client Mandy

My other client, Mandy, was a stay home mom. She enjoyed it for many years but wasn’t feeling as satisfied as she once had.

There was plenty to do, but she felt busy, but bored, tired and uninspired. She came to our first coaching call with the common phrase, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me”.

She elaborated by saying, “I should be able to get more done. There are all these tasks I keep procrastinating on. I just don’t feel like doing anything. I have a good life, why can’t I enjoy it more? I’m wondering if I should get a job but I don’t know how I’d find the time to do everything.”

When I asked her, “If you had no rules and no fear, what would you love to spend your time doing?

She answered, “I don’t know.”

When I replied softly, “Well, let’s pretend for a minute that you did know. What’s something you always imagined yourself doing?

The line goes silent and the tears start flowing. It takes her a minute but she finally squeaks out a terrified, yet sacred, “I’ve always wanted to be a writer.

What is your calling?

Ignoring a calling can be the source of our greatest suffering.

We try so hard to fit in and live out our parent’s expectations of us, but our calling never goes away.

In fact, the longer you ignore this tugging, the more tired and irritable you will become.

Accepting this calling often means going against societal expectations, otherwise, you would have done it by now.

When you start living a life that is more suited to your uniqueness, your brain is going to freak out. It will come up with every excuse in the book as to why you should NOT take action on your calling.

I’ve coached so many clients into lives they LOVE, where they wake up every day feeling excited and inspired and so grateful they learned to overcome their fears and pursue their passion.

I know the amazing life that awaits clients on the other side of those fears but they can’t see it yet. All they know is that it sucks to not take action, but it’s terrifying TO take action.

I love helping Moms become the hero in their own life and live a life without regret. This is my life’s calling.

If you are feeling TIRED and want to get a glimpse of how much better your life could be, schedule a free discovery call at www.LifeCoachingforParents.com/work-with-me

 

My a-ha moment and why bother doing scary things

Overcoming fear and life coaching for busy, bored moms

I used to worry. A lot. As a kid, I was scared to say the wrong thing, scared to make someone mad, scared of water, bugs, or walking down the street at night. When I became a Mom, this fear just expanded: scared of something bad happening, scared of running out of money, all sorts of things. It’s easy to be fearful in our culture. The media perpetuates it and I’ve worked hard to overcome it. Now I seek out doing new and scary things. Why? What’s the point of doing things that scare you when the world has enough fear already?

The answer came to me in one, clear “a-ha moment”.

I had just finished a life coach training course with my teacher, Brooke Castillo, and she took us to a ropes course in Lake Tahoe. I’m sitting on a 8 inch square platform, 100 ft above the ground with tears rolling down my face. I’m tied to another coach who is behind me, struggling, scared, I didn’t really know, because I was above her and if I looked down to see her, we would both fall. My heart was racing, my breath was short from the effort of the climb, or from the altitude, or the fear, who knows. There was nothing to do but sit and wait for my companion to be coached into climbing up to join me. I was SOBBING crying, and I didn’t know why.

As I sat and got curious about what my tears were all about it, it hit me. I had spent so much time afraid…. of nothing. Here I was sitting high above the ground, scared out of my mind, and it was actually kind of FUN!  I felt exhilarated! Fully alive! It was a beautiful day. I’m surrounded by beautiful scenery. I enjoyed pushing myself and climbing up so high.

Could it be true that REAL, GENUINE FEAR IS ACTUALLY KIND OF FUN?

All those years I spent in “fake fear” were such a waste!

This started my journey pushing myself outside my comfort zone. Looking for opportunities to grow and challenges to take on, what a better way to go through life!  The way I lived my life constantly worrying, left me drained. Now, with my self-imposed, “bring-on-the-fear attitude”, I can’t wait to get out of bed in the morning.

Do you ever feel like your life has become too routine?

If you feel stuck, like you are just going through the motions, busy, but not inspired, then it’s time to shake things up! These feelings happen when we stop growing.

The world we live in doesn’t offer us a lot of REAL LIFE fearful situations. We use TV shows and the news to create scary situations in our minds, but these stop us from taking action. We have to do hard and scary things outside of our comfort zone in order to evolve ourselves as humans.

Don’t let your kids be the only ones who embrace challenge and grow.

Do you have a dream but you are scared to action? Are you so stuck in care-taking that you forgot how to dream for yourself? It’s hard to do scary things without help.

Go to www.LifeCoachingforParents.com/work-with-me to schedule your free life coaching session and start having more fun.

We aren’t meant to be passengers in this life. I believe we are meant to be creators of our future. The reason I believe it is because I’ve done both and living with genuine, deliberate, fun fear, feels SO MUCH BETTER!

 

What’s your vision for your future?

Do you have a vision for your future after kids?

If you’ve got teens or tweens, now is a great time to create a vision for your future that you are excited about. As your kids start to pull away and create a life separate from you, it helps A LOT if you are eager to do the same.

My son is moving to another state this week to start his university career. This is a time I imagined I would be so sad to say goodbye, not just to him, but to my role. I loved being Mommy. Driving him around, witnessing his firsts and his successes, being involved in his sports, it’s been a great ride.  Instead of being sad like I thought I’d be, I could not be more excited. 

This time last year, I had an “Empty-Nest-Mom-Fest” (so much fun!)

I invited a group of moms over who had just sent their kids to university. I realized, after hearing their advice and wisdom, that I did not have a vision for this next stage of MY life that excited me. I was VERY excited for my son to move away from home, meet new people and have new adventures. I was excited to tour schools, visit other states, and see where he’d end up.

The vision I had for myself, once my kid left for college, was boring and sad. It suddenly hit me that unless I deliberately changed my vision, I would just stay home, pay the bills, miss him and wait for him to visit me during school breaks. 

 

I didn’t want my kid being the only one to have adventures! I wanted to have adventures, too!

So I set the intention to create a new vision for my future that I was excited about.

Our brains like to solve puzzles so asking a good question will give it something productive to do. Last year, I had no idea what my new adventure would be but I trusted my brain to answer the question, “What would be fun for me?” This year, I am so excited about my future that I can’t wait for my kid to go off to school!

To figure out what your higher self wants next out of your life:

Pay attention to what feels good to you. I noticed I was watching lots of “International House Hunters” on HGTV. So when the opportunity came to apply for citizenship in Luxembourg, I jumped on it. I don’t know if I’ll ever move to Europe, but the idea sounded adventurous and I knew I was looking for adventure. I didn’t expect to fall in love with Costa Rica in July, but now I can’t wait for my daughter to graduate high school so I can live down there, for at least part of the year.

Another way to listen to what your higher self wants next, is to notice what bugs you and where you get jealous. I had been listening to A LOT of podcasts for the last two years. Some really good ones but some really annoying ones, too! I tried, but I couldn’t find, any parenting ones liked. I felt like I could do so much better! Pet peeves & jealousy, are signs from our higher selves to pay attention.

I’m turning my son’s bedroom into my podcasting studio as soon as he leaves!

(What podcasts do you listen to that you like? I’d love to know!) 

I had a client with two kids in college, looking for what was next for her. She felt bored and directionless, doing the things she thought would fulfill her. She missed her days of mothering and didn’t have anything equally exciting to replace them with.

After my 12 week Supermom is Getting Tired coaching program, she had a whole new life! My client didn’t realize that her higher self was communicating to her through her discontent. She had a very strong calling that she had ignored and resisted and it was not going to let go of her until she accepted her new adventure!

She sent me this email while her kids were home for winter break:

“I’m so excited at how much has changed since we’ve been working together. I can’t believe I’m admitting this, but I secretly can’t wait for my kids to go back to school so I can get back to my new life and my new project!”

If you get sad when you think about your baby moving out of the house, create a vision for your future that feels fun and exciting. If you want help figuring out what adventure is waiting for you, schedule a free life coaching call today. 

 

 

5-minute mood makeover for Moms

You’ve probably heard that practicing gratitude is a good thing to do. The problem is, when something is “good for us” and we hear we “should be grateful for what we have” we feel more obligated than elevated.

I’m not a morning person. I wake up slowly, quietly and a little grumpy. Starting my day by being grateful that I’m alive and that I have a good bed is an easy shift. If I try to be ecstatic first thing in the morning it feels fake. Thinking about my morning latte gets me out of bed but it’s not exactly the mood makeover I’m looking for.

If you really want to elevate your mood, to feel fully alive, appreciated, and full of potential, try being grateful for something you don’t yet have. Think about something you really, really, really yearn for: winning the lottery, swimming with the dolphins while sailing around the Caribbean, your personal villa on Lake Cuomo, winning a coveted award, having 20 more children, whatever your fantasy, write it down in full sensory detail. You are going to use your imagination to create a fabulous feeling.

I used to do this in high school. Instead of doing my homework on the 45 minute bus ride like the smart kids did, I fantasized about the one thing I thought would make my life better: the perfect boyfriend. What he would look like, how jealous everyone would be of me, how he treated me, I’d get off the bus like I was walking on air. (I think one of the reasons teens are struggling today is they are looking at social media to feel bad about what they have, instead of using their imaginations to create what they want….but that’s another blog post)

So let’s do it now!

Imagine you just won the lottery and the holy crap, OMG, mind blown feeling that would come over you. Notice the thoughts that run through your mind, “I never have to worry again!” “I can do anything I want” “I can relax!”.  Allow yourself to be grateful and wowed by this amazing gift! Write down everything you would do. Where would you go? What would you do there? Would I find you Zip Lining through the rain forest of Costa Rica? Skiing all day in Vail then cozying up by the fire with all your loved ones in a beautiful mountain cabin? Sipping a Mai Tai in Maui while watching the sunset on the beach? Chocolate tasting in Brugge?

Imagine the expressions on your families faces when you told them the news. Who would you give money to? What would you buy for your loved ones? Imagine their reaction when they see the gift. Who would be the most excited? Would you have a “Pretty Woman” moment on Rodeo Drive with your fashionista niece? Would I see you at a car dealership with your teenage son? Checking out boats in Hawaii with your hubby? Touring estates in Carmel with your parents and a real estate agent?

Who would you hire? A personal organizer? A really good accountant? An interior designer? The most amazing teachers for your kiddos? A life coach for your husband? 🙂

Write down everything you can think of that you would do and notice how it elevates your mood? It’s important to pick the fantasy that speaks to your deepest yearning. Then, when you are feeling amazing, ask yourself, “What’s one thing I can do today to make my fantasy come to life?”

Aloha & Pura Vida!

 

Is your kid not acting in line with your expectations?

It can happen at any time: 4 weeks, 4 years, or 14 on up.

The child we’re parenting, doesn’t match with the one we expected to be parenting.

Ida’s* story….

Ida thought she had the ADHD thing under control. She adapted her parenting style, adapted his diet, bedroom and after school activities to allow him to be his best self. This Supermom worked with the school teachers and counselors to make sure they understood what his challenges and strengths were. Ida worked hard to help him fit in with the school system and peers, while helping him appreciate his unique gifts. And then he turned 14 and the sh*t hit the fan. Nothing seemed to be working. He was emotionally out of control, stubborn and rebelling against everything she’d worked so hard for. This was NOT what she was expecting. 

Emma’s* story…

Emma was a quiet, gentle, loving mom. She could be content to stay home all day, reading and tinkering in her craft room. Co-sleeping and baby-wearing made her feel closely connected with her daughter. She imagined doing puzzles and art together, quietly co-creating beautiful things. By the time her daughter was 4, Emma was exhausted. Her sweet baby turned into the bully of the playground: pushing, pulling hair, biting, you name it. She would climb anything she could, using furniture to build towers to access higher and higher places. Her art activities lasted about 20 seconds and resulted in huge messes in the house. Emma’s relationship with her daughter was more about keeping her alive than creating beautiful things. 

So what does a Mama do when her expectations are different than her reality?

  1. Take time and recognize that it’s your expectations that are causing you to struggle. When you think thoughts like “She shouldn’t behave this way” or “He should have figured this out by now!” you are making things harder. A better thought to think is “This isn’t what I was expecting and that’s ok.” 
  2. Give yourself permission to grieve the loss of the dream or expectation you had for your kid. Another way to say this is “Be kind to yourself”. Allow yourself to be sad that things aren’t easier and forgive yourself for wanting things to be better. It’s our job to hold a higher vision for our kids but we can do this WHILE accepting they aren’t there yet, and that’s ok.
  3. Hold a higher vision for YOURSELF. What if you’ve got the exact kid you need to help you fulfill your destiny? What if these challenges you are dealing with, are teaching you something you couldn’t learn any other way?  Could it be possible that this crazy kid of yours is growing a side of yourself you didn’t even know you needed to grow?

Ida’s teenage son helped her break out of her belief that “the only path to success is to follow the rules”. Watching him carve his own path through adolescence taught her to let go of expectations and and control and trust in a greater plan. She realigned her values, let go of her people pleasing addiction, and learned to prioritize the things SHE loved doing. By following her son’s example, she made time for mountain biking every weekend, and yoga every day.

Quiet, gentle Emma learned to set clear and consistent boundaries with her daughter. For a long time, she tried to avoid taking the leadership role but once she got the hang of it, she got hooked! She started setting appropriate boundaries in all her relationships, built up so much confidence and self pride that she started selling her art online. She gives herself plenty of breaks from her high energy daughter so she can still be her introverted self. Even though her daughter is still a challenge, she appreciates the lessons she’s learned from her and loves the person she has become because of it.

If you are struggling with a kid who isn’t acting the way you think he/she should be behaving, schedule a free life coaching call. Let’s find out where you can let go, find acceptance, and see if there is a divine lesson in here for you?

 

*names have been changed to protect the exhausted