Question of the Day: Empty Nest
“I feel so strange. My oldest just left for college, my youngest has started her junior year of high school. These are busy and exciting times but I’m nervous about the empty nest. I distracted myself with the busy-ness of college but deep down, I just don’t want to think about what’s next for ME. I’ve had the same job for ages and it’s fine. My marriage and my friendships are fine. My health is fine. Being a mom gave me purpose, adventure and community…..I loved it. But now what? I would like to be excited about the next season of life, but I don’t know how to get there.” Amber
Are you nervous about the empty nest? Go to https://LifeCoachingforParents.com and schedule your free coaching call
Episode 35 – We are being brainwashed:
Do you remember being pregnant and setting up the nursery, folding cute little onesies and socks? The anticipation of this major life event was exciting! We didn’t know what was going to happen. There were risks involved with bringing that baby into the world and keeping it alive. Women gathered around to help us prepare and celebrate this milestone event.
We were warned about the lack of sleep, the poopy diapers, the breastfeeding nightmares, but we didn’t care. We naively walked into this love-filled prison called parenting.
And it sucked!
And it was amazing!
We laughed and we cried.
Argued with our partners.
Lost old friends. We gained new ones.
Why did we think it was exciting instead of terrible?
In a word….HYPE
The media images made it look soft and sweet, lovely and clean. We saw adorable babies and cute little clothes Darling pictures of pastel-coloured nurseries and beautiful pregnant women.
The reality of being pregnant: nausea, swollen feet, stretch marks and peeing on oneself, never made it into these media images.
New moms spend a lot of money and companies want to capture this market so they create a lot of media hype. But we got a lot of hype from friends and family, too.
Everyone around us was excited for us. Telling us to savor the moments and enjoy it all.
Imagine for a minute there was just as much media hype about the empty nest. That every college brochure contained pictures of parents having the time of their lives. Sipping margaritas on the beach, hiking on beautiful mountain trails, enjoying outdoor concerts at wineries under sparkling lights.
Picture friends rallying around you, telling stories of how amazing their first year was. Jealous and excited for you to be saying goodbye to your college student. They agree it’s hard but plead with you to “savor every moment because it goes so fast.” They tell you, “You are going to do great”
Friends and family shower you with gifts. These gifts don’t add clutter to your home (moms at this stage don’t need more things), these gifts are experiences: An Italian cooking class, a bioluminescent kayaking tour, a road trip to explore the national parks, an intuitive painting class. Your presents are all about fun, friends and freedom.
I think it’s time we start creating some HYPE around the empty nest.
If the dominant emotion about becoming a mom is LOVE. The dominant message about the empty nest would be FREEDOM.
The beautiful (and terrifying) thing about this stage of life is there ISN’T strong external pressure telling you what it should and shouldn’t look
like. Whatever your parents did during this transition, is probably what you expect to do. If you look around, you’ll probably notice many divorces happening in this stage. You’ll see people embracing long-forgotten passions, reinventing their careers, or taking up a hobby they always longed to try.
Just like a prisoner who is released from prison, freedom doesn’t always feel good. We find comfort in the familiar, rather than fully enjoying the freedom that comes with this stage of our life.
When too much freedom feels scary, we start saying things that make us feel safe: I have to pay these college bills, I can’t do what I want, No one will do it with me.
We settle back into our comfort zone, only without the love that filled it when our kids were younger.
Supermom Kryptonite: Not Understanding The Cycle of Change
In order to embrace this season of life and make the most of it, it’s best to understand the cycle of change that Martha Beck teaches. She claims that change always happens in a predictable pattern.
Square 1 – Death and Rebirth
Mourning your old life and exploring your new one. This stage often feels terrible (and most of my clients come to me during this stage). We feel empty and aimless. We can’t go back, and yet our future isn’t clearly defined yet. It feels terrible but it doesn’t mean anything has gone wrong. In fact, the mantra to help one through this transition stage is “I don’t know what the hell is going on, and that’s ok.”
This is your opportunity to choose a new identity. Without a lot of social pressures, you are free to tune inward and listen to what your heart really yearns for. Only if you follow this internal compass will you find happiness and excitement in this stage of your life.
Square 2 – Dreaming and Scheming
Once you have truly let go of your old identity and former life, and tuned inward to listen to your heart’s desire, you’ll start getting ideas for a life you are meant to live. You might see something on Facebook and think, “That looks fun” or you might get a picture of how you would redecorate your child’s bedroom. It starts as an image in your mind that lifts you up.
When you give yourself permission to dream and scheme, these inner visions will slowly become clearer in your mind. Eventually, you will know which action steps to take. The mantra for this cycle is “There are no rules and that’s ok.”
Square 3 – The Hero’s Saga
This is where the rubber hits the road. You take your dream from imagination into reality. Eight times out of ten, things don’t go the way we planned so the mantra for this stage is “This is harder than I thought it was going to be and that’s ok.”
If your idea is to start a business, move out of state, start dating again after divorce, or train for a half marathon, this mantra will help you through. It’s called The Hero’s Saga because this is what Joseph Campbell identified as the “Hero’s Journey” that folk tales, movies and books are all about. The trials and tribulations of square 3 make for really good storytelling.
Square 4 – The Promised Land
This is the stage where our dreams are finally coming true. The blood, sweat and tears of square 3 have mellowed out. You are now a runner. You are settled into your new job, home, or identity. There are minor tweeks and improvements but it’s generally easier to navigate.
The mantra for this stage is, “Nothing is changing and that’s ok.” Some people don’t like square 4 and will deliberately enter into square 1 (possibly in another area of their life) just to shake things up. Generally, though, this is where we get to enjoy the fruits of our labor.
Supermom Power Boost: Finding a metaphor to represent your life
Today, I was walking through a garden with a big patch filled with pumpkin vines. It was full of bright pumpkin blossoms, big, sunshine yellow flowers, shining gloriously against the green vines. A few had started to close and on one, I noticed a small, little green pumpkin had started to grow.
I thought to myself, we are like these blossoms, happy and settled in our roles as a mom to our kids. When they leave the house, it’s like the blossoms are closing. It feels sad, it feels like a death, we don’t even realize that we are meant to become pumpkins.
These blossoms were never meant to permanently bloom. We were always meant to have a second stage of life, equally as important, lovely and exciting. Saying goodbye to raising children doesn’t have to be sad. You can be excited for this stage of life if you recognize how the cycle of change works and that being a pumpkin is just as good as being a flower.
All you need is a little hype.
If you find yourself feeling stuck in an empty nest, and aren’t getting the feelings of community, adventure and purpose, then hiring a life coach is a great idea. If you have this longing, then you are meant to have it!
Going after your heart’s desire will make your life exciting for sure. Just like the pumpkins, we are meant for growth and transformation. When everything is “fine” it’s a sign that you’ve stopped growing.
It sounds to me like you are perfectly set up for an exciting year. You just might need someone to help you across the scary parts to get to the amazing parts.
Got some goals you’d like to set for yourself? Schedule your free strategy call https://LifeCoachingforParents.com
Quote of the Day: (paraphrased)
“Don’t fear loss so much that you abandon yourself in order to keep things stable. Losses aren’t cataclysmic if they teach the heart and soul their natural cycle of breaking and healing.” -Martha Beck
Question of the Day: Mom Goals
School is starting soon and I am excited to get back to routine. I’m a stay-at-home mom of three and all of them will be in school full day. I’m finally going to have free time to do something for me, but I’m not sure how to spend this precious time! I want to exercise, socialize, read, watch movies, volunteer, but I’m also thinking some extra money would be nice so working part time is also an option. From previous experience, I know that if I’m not deliberate about it, I’ll just end up running errands and cleaning the house without kids. I just don’t want to waste my hard earned freedom by continuing to do things for the kids and not for me. Can you help me clarify my back to school ‘mom goals’?” Rebecca
Parent Education Answer:
Taking time to think about YOU and what you want is so important, not just for your own happiness, but so you can be refreshed and energized for your kids.
It’s common in our perfectionistic parenting culture to place a higher importance on caring for our children than caring for ourselves. The belief that everything we do should benefit our kids is misguided. Over-parenting robs children of their own efficacy. YOU get to feel capable and responsible, but your child feels needy and dependent. Taking care of YOURSELF is one of the best things you can do FOR your kids!
Do you know anyone whose mother does not take good care of herself? Have you ever had a friend whose Mom did not take care of her physical health, emotional health, or financial health? It is a HUGE drain on the child!
Here are three things I have found that seem to benefit all Supermoms:
Clarity – Knowing who you are and what you want.
Your question, Rebecca, is a perfect one to help you step out of the weeds of your everyday life and think about what you most want to accomplish. The beginning of the school year is a great time to evaluate which areas of your life need a refresher.
Go to www.LifeCoachingforParents.com/back-to-school and sign up for my free webinar. I will send you a life balance wheel where you will rank, on a scale of 1-10, how fulfilled you currently feel in each category: health, family, social/community, spirituality, surroundings, contribution to society, fun and recreation, finances, romantic relationship, career. Your lowest category may be the one to devote more time to in order to feel balanced and fulfilled. Pick ONE area to focus on and make it your priority.
2. Energy – Did you know you can CREATE energy?
I used to think it was something people either had or didn’t have. I believed my energy fluctuated based on outside circumstances: how much sleep I got, how my kids behaved, whether my house was messy or clean. Now I’ve learned that I can create more energy with my thoughts by processing emotions, making decisions, overcoming fears, closing loops. Some of my Supermom clients increase their energy by singing, playing the piano, reading, sitting in the sunshine, planning a vacation, not to mention exercise, sleep and healthy foods. If you want to accomplish a lot in your day AND feel peaceful and balanced, choose to spend your free time on an activity that boosts your energy.
3. Accomplishment – Being a mom involves a lot of circular, repetitive tasks: laundry, cooking, cleaning. If you don’t get a sense of accomplishment from a job, you might get stuck in the mind-numbing trap of taking care of others without really feeling engaged in your activities. Focusing on what you want to accomplish every day can pull you out of the weeds and into a more productive, conscious mindset that focuses on your highest objective. Plus, accomplishing tasks gives you a feel-good dopamine hit so even by writing things down, then checking them off, you can get a sense of satisfaction.
Some of my ‘at-home’ mom clients have found a sense of accomplishment from refurbishing old furniture, decorating their homes, scrapbooking, trying new recipes, or creating a budget. There is no right or wrong way to feel accomplished, just focus on the feeling you are yearning for and go after it.
Life Coaching Answer: What gets in our way?
Believing we aren’t worthy of our own time, money and attention.
Imagine you are looking through the nursery window in a hospital. You see bassinets in a line with little babies swaddled in their blankets. Some are sleeping, some are staring, some are fussing, all are adorable. You look at the fourth one down with the pink hat and you say, “That one there, she’s not good enough. She’s not as deserving as the others. She isn’t worthy of having as much success, relaxation, or joy as those other babies.”
Worthiness doesn’t work that way! There is no such thing as being “unworthy” or “not good enough”. It’s not a competition. You have worth because you have blood in your body. Is a baby who gets tossed in a dumpster by its parents, less worthy or deserving? NO. Is a baby born with birth defects or disabilities any less deserving of success, joy, or relaxation? NO. You are no better and no worse than anyone else. Your kids are not more deserving of love, attention and happiness than you are. You are teaching them how to treat you. As you prioritize yourself and your needs, they will learn that your needs are also important.
Supermom Kryptonite: Giving from an empty cup.
I LOVE taking care of others. Giving is a part of my nature and makes me feel alive and connected.
Until it doesn’t.
Sometimes giving feels like a sacrifice. Sometimes it feels like an obligation.
I am not going to say you should stop taking care of your children, your spouse, your partner, your boss, your sister, your dogs (the list goes on doesn’t it?).
I am going to say it’s time to stop giving from an empty cup.
The cup represents your energy; your spirit. It needs to be full in order for you to feel happy, healthy, and well-balanced. When you have so much love and energy filling your cup that it overflows, that is when you give. Whatever spills onto the saucer is to give away.
You might be thinking… “Torie, I have never had a full cup and I don’t know how to get one. I have to give from an empty cup because my children need me and it’s all I’ve got.”
If that’s the case, then consider working with a life coach. Life coaches are trained to help you plug your invisible energy drains and help you fill up your cup on a regular basis so you can be the best version of you.
Supermom Powerboost: Saying Yes to kid play
Want an energy boost? Try saying yes when your kids ask you to play. If you are like me, your first response to, “Mom, do you want to play?” is “absolutely not”. But 5 minutes of shooting hoops, jumping on a trampoline, or tossing a volleyball around really does boost my energy. Not only do I get my blood pumping, but I feel like a younger, cooler mom who can get out of her head for 5 minutes.
If you’ve got younger kids, just lay on the floor and see what happens. A parent laying on the floor is like a magnet to little ones. They start crawling all over you like a jungle gym and playing and wrestling like little lion cubs. Five minutes of presence while playing will give you a boost of energy and keep you feeling young.
Quote of the Day:
“Rest and self care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” • Eleanor Brownn
I feel so silly asking this but it’s really weighing on my mind! What should I do for mother’s day? I know it’s MY DAY to do whatever I want to do, but I can’t figure it out. Every idea I have feels exhausting. I thought I would invite both grandma’s over for a family celebration but I can’t seem to commit to it. Going out to a restaurant with my kids and long wait times sounds terrible. I’m afraid to lose my one day a year where I have permission to be selfish if I don’t pick something soon! -Erin
I don’t think this is a silly question AT ALL. I actually think it’s a very important one and one that will show up every birthday and mother’s day. The big milestone birthdays can be especially difficult because there is extra pressure to make it spectacular.
Life Coaching Answer:
As I read your question, I’m wondering if you feel like you lost yourself in parenting?
Our wants and desires are key to the essence of who we are. It’s difficult to answer the question, “What do I want?” when we have disconnected from spirit.
Here are some signs that you have disconnected from your spirit:
You feel tired a lot.
You go through the motions of the day, without feeling fully engaged and alive.
You feel lonely and confused.
You’ve tried to solve your problems but it doesn’t change how you feel.
You can tell me what your kids want, your husband wants, your mother in law wants, but struggle to answer the question, “What do I want?”
Reconnecting with your essence is easier than you might think but it helps to understand how you lost the connection in the first place.
How often do your kids ask, “What do you want to do today, mom?” “What do you feel like eating?” “What outfit would you like to wear?” “What did you learn today, Mom?” “Did you have fun at the grocery store?”
The people you are with the most, stopped asking you what you want. So you stopped asking yourself that question.
I love that Erin is asking the question “What do I want to do for mother’s day?”
Unfortunately, it’s tied in with pressure and scarcity so she feels like she has to pick the perfect thing for her, her family, and suck it up for the rest of the year.
You deserve more than ONE day of the year to think about what you want!
When we aren’t giving enough attention to our spirit, we may inadvertently put unrealistically high expectations on this ONE-day event.
It’s easy to slip into thinking this one needs to be perfectly rejuvenating, inexpensive, make everyone happy and bring me back to feeling like myself again.
Let’s throw the perfectionism out the window!
I suggest you declare another day just for you to remove this scarcity around mother’s day.
I always tried to switch father’s day with mother’s day in my family. The golf courses are packed on father’s day but empty on mother’s day so we go against the tide and swap them. We’ll hit a day spa on father’s day and enjoy the absence of crowds, but you have to be careful.
Moms that are good at self-sacrificing and putting everyone else’s needs first, need to watch out for the temptation to skip over their day altogether. If you hear your brain saying, “I can skip it” or “I don’t really need it”, don’t believe it!
Claim your day, set aside some money, know that resistance might come up but don’t allow it to take over. Then start fantasizing about what you really, really want.
Look around you. Everything you see around you began in someone’s imagination. Your job is to let go of rules, fears, and just dwell in your imagination.
What would you do if you could not care what people thought?
What would you do if you had a day to yourself and nobody knew it?
If you hear your brain saying “That could never happen” or “I can’t afford that”, tell it to relax, you are just dreaming as a way to reconnect with your essence.
Children are constantly in transition, which means that our needs as parents are constantly in transition, too.
When they are babies, we just want sleep.
When they are pre-school age, we just want our own attention.
When they are angsty teens we might crave more joy and peace. What do you crave? order? calm? nature? adventure?
One year for mother’s day I was craving productivity and quiet time by myself. So much of my life was spent in circular tasks that never gave me a sense of actual accomplishment.
I sent my family away from the house for 5 hours and painted the dining room. It was so fun. Just me, my thoughts, my music, my aesthetic with a very tangible result I could look at every day.
Write out your fantasy mother’s day in your journal and give yourself permission to want whatever the heck you want. No judgment. No expectation.
Supermom Kryptonite: Maximising
In 1956, prize-winning economist, Herbert A. Simon wrote a paper about the different ways people make buying decisions. He coined the terms “Maximiser” and “Satisficer”.
Maximisers expect themselves to make the most informed, intelligent decisions with the most long lasting benefits.
Most of us would expect that “maximizing” one’s decision making would lead to superior and more satisfying results. Psychologists, however, have discovered no difference in the quality of decision but a big difference in one’s ability to be content with their decisions.
Maximisers are more likely to struggle with making a decision and then beat themselves up afterward if it proves to be less than ideal.
Putting pressure on themselves to make perfect decisions with the most long lasting benefits, drains their energy by making us avoiding decision making altogether.
In Erin’s scenario, she may be trying to “maximise” her mother’s day experience by putting too many expectations on one day.
She wants to tap into her essential self and use this day to reconnect with what she wants, but she also wants to make the grandmas happy, and not be perceived as “selfish”.
Supermom Powerboost: Satisficing
Simon combined the words “satisfy” with “sufficing” to coin the term satisficing. A “satisficer” is one who looks at what they want to gain (or maintain) and chooses based on modest criteria.
They don’t feel pressured to make a perfect decision with long lasting benefits, they just want it to be good enough for right now.
“Satisficers” find contentment with what they have and don’t worry that there might be something else better out there.
What researchers have found is that “satificers” are generally happier than “maximisers”.
They have an easier time making decisions, don’t beat themselves up afterward for making “bad” decisions, (they don’t even label decisions as good or bad!) and don’t dwell in negative emotions like buyer’s remorse.
They make decisions based on what they want at the time, and allow their wants to change over time.
Becoming more of a satificer will boost your energy, your happiness and your decision making abilities.
Making decisions based on what is good enough for you right now, requires you to KNOW what it is you WANT.
This is an easy thing to lose when you are a busy mama, but that’s why it’s the first step towards claiming a day just for you.
Quote of the Day
“Knowing that you’ve made a choice that you will not reverse allows you to pour your energy into improving the relationship that you have rather than constantly second-guessing it.”
― Barry Schwartz, The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less
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.
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.
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
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!
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!
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.