Ep 098: Parent-Child Disconnect After PPD: My Story

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Postpartum Depression is real. It happens to so many women and isn’t talked about enough. PPD is part of my story and it deeply impacted my relationship with Bella, my first born. But we have come a long way and because of that, I think it is time I share our journey and how we got to the healthy place we are today. And I want to give you freedom, if you are struggling with this too. You don’t have to be the victim forever. PPD is only your story if you let the pen keep writing that way. If you don’t want that anymore, write a different story. Make the choice. I did and it saved my relationship with my daughter!

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • Her story with Postpartum Depression and what it looked like in her day to day life.

  • How PPD can impact the memories you make with your kid(s).

  • Things she did to redeem her relationship with her daughter, and how you can apply them to your own situation.

Mentioned in this Episode:


Well, motherhood is hard.  I am not going to lie to you about that. While it is servitude and giving to your family from yourself, it doesn’t have to be something that we are waiting to be over.  Something that we are counting down the minutes till naptime, or bedtime, or waiting for the next day to start. If you are wanting to sort through the clutter in your mind, your heart, your home calendar, your health, routines, and relationships, I created Unburdened just for you!

It is a guide that will help you go from drowning in the sea of stress and overwhelm, to owning your time and living the best version of your motherhood. So you can live abundantly while intentionally focusing on those who matter most.

Unburdened is the overwhelmed beginner’s guide to a simpler motherhood.


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.

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Hey, sweet friend! Welcome to The Purpose Show! I am sharing today something that is really heavy and a part of my story. I've definitely talked a little about PPD and my experience with postpartum depression and depression in the past, but I've never really gone into this deep of a dive publicly about my struggle, the story of me and my daughter Bella, what PPD did to us, what the enemy tried to do to us, and everything that we've gone through.

This always happens when I'm thinking about sharing something hard or I know eventually I will, but when the time comes that topic kind of finds its way in front of me over and over and over again. To me it's God's way of, almost in a humorous way, showing me it's time. It's an unavoidable amount of signs that He gives me.

This has been happening lately with talk about depression and misunderstandings about depression, especially postpartum depression, which is what PPD is. If you've never heard that acronym, that's what PPD stands for.

I want to open up and share this side of my story, especially because lately I've been so overwhelmingly grateful for where Bella and I are today. She's 10 now. She just turned 10 and I've been noticing so many things that have been healed almost without me realizing it. It's really, really a testament to how God works and what happens when you decide that your story is not going to be the way it's been going and you're going to change it. What I'm going to share is really raw and I know that it's really easy to judge if you've never experienced postpartum depression, especially at the level that I had it.

And it's not that one level is more of a badge of honor than another level of PPD. PPD sucks. It's just that the way that mine went really robbed me of a lot of time, a lot of memory and a lot of relational connection with my daughter. At the level that it was at, it took a lot from me. And so, to see what I've gained back is amazing.

If you never understood PPD it's so easy to judge, even if you're not meaning to. Or if you follow me and you like me, it's easy to still judge a little bit, even if it's subconscious. So just keep in mind that I'm a person and I have feelings. This is my experience and it was a panic and I've only done the best that I can do every step of the way.

And this is my story. This is my experience.

I'm sharing because I know for a fact that there's somebody out there who's listening to my voice right now who's had parent/child disconnect after depression, especially PPD. And they feel awful about it. They've probably Googled it a few different ways, trying to find some sense to make out of this situation. They are lost and confused. They're worried and they feel terrible. They feel guilty. They feel like they're a broken mom.

I'm doing this episode to tell you that you're not broken. You went through something really difficult and you can change the way your story is being written and that doesn’t have to be it. The aftereffects of postpartum depression don't have to be a period at the end of the sentence for your relationship with your child. And that's the main message that I want you to get. That’s why I'm starting this out by saying that.

First of all, let's just get a disclaimer out of the way. Postpartum depression is real. PPD, so is PPA, postpartum anxiety, and postpartum psychosis. These are real things. Just because you've never experienced it doesn't mean it's made-up, fake, or any less awful than those of us who have walked that road say it is.

This is one of those things that gets debated all the time. I really don't understand why there's even any debate because the side of the debate that saying that this is “made-up” has never gone through it. It's angers me. Like those of us who have struggled are asking for that or want a pity party or wished it upon ourselves to struggle so hard in an otherwise really sweet season of life.

Having said that, I just want to start by sharing how PPD started for me. Bella was my first born. We weren't really sure if we could have kids. I have PCOS, it's an ovary syndrome that typically comes with infertility issues. When Brian and I were newly married we thought like, “Oh well I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.” But we really weren't concerned with starting a family. I got pregnant very surprisingly about eight months into our marriage and I just was shocked.

So, I'm going through the pregnancy and we're young. We're poor, broke, just trying to figure life out and get to know each other as a married couple. Our first year of marriage was beyond rocky. And then towards the end of my pregnancy I started to just feel weird and different. For me, postpartum depression actually began at the tail end of my pregnancy.

It doesn't really matter what caused it. You can have PPD without logical reasoning and reasons behind it, but our circumstances in life at that time definitely didn't help. We couldn't afford to stay in our little apartment. I had just gotten Bella's nursery all decorated. My mom and dad helped me out and took me to the baby store to get some stuff. We thrifted a lot and I got her nursery all ready to go. Then we found out that Brian was getting laid off from his job at the time and we had to leave. And so, we moved in with my parents and that whole situation just kind of sealed the deal. It really sent me into a difficult time, which was really poorly timed for how I was struggling emotionally and mentally already.

Without knowing it, PPD was creeping in and then this happened and it just made it worse.

My birth with Bella was very, very, very traumatic. It ended in an emergency C-section. It was so awful. I had a panic attack while they had me strapped down on the operation table. I was strapped in and I couldn't move. I was telling them that I could feel the pokes where they were going to do the C-section. They were asking me if I could feel it and I said, “Yes, I feel it.” They kept giving me more anesthesia and more and more. And I kept saying, “I still feel it.” And they said, “Well, you're going to feel that we're doing something but you shouldn't feel pain.” And so I said, “Okay, I don't think I feel pain.” And they needed to get her out. So, they did the surgery and I completely felt the first slice.

It's a feeling that I have all the time in nightmares and it wakes me up in the middle of the night often, because it was so searing of a pain. It was so awful. I just felt out of control and that's when I started to have a panic attack. They couldn't calm me down. They had to put me out because I was freaking out. When I woke up, I didn't know where my baby was. I didn’t know where my husband was. I was next to some lady making notes on a chart next to me, and she told me that my baby was born, that she was healthy and fine and that my husband was giving her a bath. I just remember immediately feeling robbed of something, actually, a lot of things.

I finally got to Bella and I held her and I just remember I felt something, but I didn't feel what I imagined I would feel. I remember noticing my emotions don't fit this circumstance. What's wrong with my emotions? I remember having that thought.

We had a lot of trouble breastfeeding, lots of lactation consultants coming in and out of my room. It was just an excruciating healing time after my first C-section. It was so painful. I felt like I couldn't hold my baby and my cut hurt so bad. I had a lot of issues with the staples. Chronic, constant problems all the way through the healing process.

And postpartum depression - it felt like it took advantage of me in that difficult time of healing. Like it saw an opportunity and it just took over. That's how it felt.

We were living at my parent’s house. We had our own little room, but I felt like I didn't want to be there. I wanted to be a family in my own house and I couldn't understand why this was happening, why Brian had gotten laid off. It didn't make any sense. How was all of this happening?

The postpartum depression got so bad so quickly. Eventually when it really took over and it got to be the worst, it felt like I was out of control of my own self. It felt really scary, really dark, super lonely.

I had detachment from Bella and her cries. I definitely had a few normal days of talking to her, videotaping her when she was cooing and feeling like a little bit of a normal mom. But those days were way outnumbered by the hard days.

For me postpartum looked day-to-day, like watching TV, not being able to get out of my bed, physically not being able to get out of the bed, so much so that I would just hold in urine because I felt like I couldn't even get up and go to the bathroom. It just was debilitating.

It looked like just going through the motions, not being myself, ho-humming my way through events and things that I needed to be at, family birthday parties and things like that. It looked like just throwing myself into other things to avoid my motherhood issues.

I actually ended up studying for the California real estate exam and passing on the first try. I threw myself into that because I couldn't bear what I was dealing with in my relationship with my new daughter.

I was so ashamed of my struggle. I didn't know what was wrong with me. I couldn't fix it. I would lie in bed and pray for help. I felt like nobody was listening. It took a really, really long time for anyone to say, “I think there may be something wrong.” That really hurt me that my family and my husband didn’t realize and help.

There was one incident, Bella was around six months old because I was feeding her baby food. Bella was is in her little feeding seat on top of the dining table and I was standing there feeding her baby food peaches. I was standing there and she was cooing and spitting. You know how they spit the food back out at you and all, that phase. Instead of being happy, silly, talking to her, wiping her mouth, trying to feed her and enjoying the moment, I was really angry with her that she was fidgeting and spitting out her food. That’s the thing right there, what I just said, that isn't even my personality. That's not like me at all. I was just not myself. I was like a Zombie or a robot or something.

I had lost my personality. It was like my soul got sucked out and I was just my body, my anger, my sadness and that's it.

I was feeding her peaches and getting really frustrated. My mom was folding laundry on the couch right across the room from me. And Brian was there too, looking for jobs on the computer. I remember I got so fed up, I said something to Bella like, “Oh my gosh, come on! Just eat!”

I was getting more and more frustrated and my mom came over, took the peaches and spoon from me, trying to be helpful, and said, “Here you go. Just take a break. I'll feed her.” And I grabbed the peaches back from her, slammed it down on the table. They exploded, flew up and peaches got on the ceiling, on the table, on the walls and everywhere. And I yelled, “Don't you think I know how to take care of my own baby? Do you think I'm a terrible mother? Obviously, you do.” I started freaking out, again, just not like myself at all.

And that was the moment where I for sure realized something was wrong. And that night Brian and my mom came into the room where I was lying in bed, and gently suggested that I might need to go to the doctor and get some help. I was already so angry at them for not seeing my issues and helping me, especially Brian. I was so hurt that he didn't notice and think “I need to help her.”

And you know, obviously he did notice, but he was as freaked out as I was. We were new parents. We were 21. He had no idea what to do. It's not his fault, but at that time I was so angry. I was angry, but at the same time I didn't really know what was wrong with me myself, or how to articulate to anybody how I was feeling.

My brain wasn't functioning healthfully. I wasn't my direct self that I normally am. I just sort of sat there and withstood my own personal living nightmare.

It caused resentment and a wall to go up between Brian and I early on in our marriage and it was an issue that stuck that we had to spend a lot of time working on later after I was healthy.

My PPD was so bad for so long (it lasted a little more than a year) that I actually lost memory from Bella’s first year of life. So, what will happen is I'll look back and I will see myself in photos with her, but I don't recall being there at all. I can't really picture her as a baby like I can the boys.

I have one memory of Christmas morning that year (Bella would have been about 10 months old). I had refused to go on medication because there's substance abuse that runs in my family and I was really afraid. I was uneducated about how antidepressants can help. I was scared and again, my brain wasn’t functioning correctly. I didn't have the brain capacity to make that decision wisely for myself. I still wasn't on medicine and I was still just really sick and really struggling.

That Christmas during the depression, Brian gave me one of the seasons of “Friends” on DVD because I had really enjoyed watching that show. I had never seen it before. I was watching them on TBS during the day and it was making me laugh. It was one of the only things that made me laugh and he got me the next season of “Friends” on DVD. I remember opening it and expelling so much energy to try to have a normal reaction to this present, but it was so forced and I could tell and everyone in the room could tell. I could tell that they could tell that it was so forced.

All I wanted in that moment was to just be normal again and it was such a bad feeling. I'll never forget that. That is my most prominent memory of my daughter's entire first year of life.


Do you feel like you are barely getting through your days friend?  Does motherhood feel more like a hurricane of chaos that you are just surviving rather than the awesome, joy-filled season that you want it to be?

Well, motherhood is hard.  I am not going to lie to you about that. While it is servitude and giving to your family from yourself, it doesn’t have to be something that we are waiting to be over.  Something that we are counting down the minutes till naptime, or bedtime, or waiting for the next day to start. If you are wanting to sort through the clutter in your mind, your heart, your home calendar, your health, routines, and relationships, I created Unburdened just for you!

It is a guide that will help you go from drowning in the sea of stress and overwhelm, to owning your time and living the best version of your motherhood. So you can live abundantly while intentionally focusing on those who matter most.

Unburdened is the overwhelmed beginner’s guide to a simpler motherhood.

In Unburdened, I will walk you through how to stop over-complicating, procrastinating, and just start making positive changes now. How to declutter, just a little bit – not super deep into it, because you can’t handle that when you are this overwhelmed – but a surface declutter that will get you real results in your house so you can clean up less.

How to declutter toxic relationships in your life and set some good boundaries. How to simplify cleaning, get healthy and feel better – finally!

How to simplify your calendar. How to start owning your time and not just managing it as life happens to you.

How to stop just setting goals and letting them sit there. Start actually defining where you want to go and getting there through reverse engineering and goal-setting.

How to create a cleaning routine that works for you and your life.

This course is a mini-course. It is small. It is straightforward. But it is everything for the mom who feels like she needs a total overhaul, but is too overwhelmed to start.

It will help you simplify the things that have you stuck and leave survival mode behind for good.

Is this resonating with you? Sound like you? Does this sound like something that would really help you right now? Go to bit.ly/getunburdened.

I really poured my heart into this little course. I created it for the mom who is really wanting to simplify, declutter, and pursue a life of less, but she is so burdened and overwhelmed with the mess of life. It’s not just her house. She wants to simplify at the surface of all the different things in her life so she can focus on her family more. So then she can focus more on really, truly purging her entire house.

If this sounds like you, I encourage you to check it out. You are probably the person I created it for. I want you in there. I want you to have it. I want to help you.

Check it out.  bit.ly/getunburdened.


I saw my family giving each other concerned glances after I opened the present and kind of communicating to each other about me with just their eyes, you know? I just felt so helpless. I was trying so hard to be normal and I couldn't. I was so tired of fighting and so tired of trying.

So basically, as soon as Bella was born, my relationship with her was under attack and it was strained. She was my first baby, but I was pretty sure you're supposed to feel something when your baby cries and I just didn't. And I know that this is the part where some of you are going to have a lot of judgment and that's okay. But that's not the mother that I am. That’s not natural motherhood. Something was off. Something was broken. I could feel it.

I had really hoped that things would be okay, despite my struggle, but I couldn't control the fact that I felt so little connection to my daughter. We just kind of carried on like that. And I tried. I would go to her because I felt it's my obligation to go to her…I'm the mom.

But Brian did a lot of stuff because he was there. He was laid off for a while, a really large chunk of the first year of her life. It was just really, really dark. It was really hard.

At Bella’s first birthday, I had finally gotten on medication about a month before that and I was feeling a little better. As the months went on, I got healed and weaned off my medicine and I stayed okay. And it was good. It served its purpose.

I still felt a disconnect to Bella, not even just a disconnect, but this “tension,” this push-back toward connecting with her. Something in me would fight back anytime I tried to form a deeper connection with my daughter. This was something that I thought about and tried to figure out basically 24/7 because it concerned me. I knew it was wrong. I knew that medicine couldn't fix that and I didn't know what to do about it.

Take this with a grain of salt if this isn't your thing, but I firmly believe that this was a spiritual attack. Mother/daughter relationship issues go way back on my side of the family. There's been legitimate abandonment. My mom was literally dropped off and abandoned by her birth mom. There's verbal abuse, emotional neglect, and other problems in my maternal lineage as far back as my mom and I know of. I believe in generational curses and spiritual warfare. I've seen so much, way too much, to not see that as the truth, especially when it comes to family relationships.

I believe that is a really big part of what happened with me and Bella and that there was a war raging for our relationship.

I want to say that moving forward from that things got better. Bella and I today are incredibly close. I'll get into that more in a few minutes, but I want to give freedom to anybody struggling with this too. And I also want to discuss what I did to make this relationship that we have now happen.

I have never heard anybody talk about this. Why is nobody talking about this? So, I want to do that today.

If you are listening to this and you're feeling that “freedom relief” feeling that somebody's talking to your situation…a situation that is dark, terrifying, heavy, embarrassing, horrifying, and awful…I'm so happy that you're here and I know it's not an accident.

Please know that if you're listening to this and that's you, my gosh, God loves you and He brought you here. Okay?

Secondly, this is not your fault. You are not a bad mother. You are not a broken person who is inept. You're not unable to raise your child. You are not the wrong choice. You are not a mistake. Your child is not a mistake and you can get through this. You can.

There is another side; however far away it feels, however dark it feels, there is another side and you can get there. I want you to have that hope.

I know, even as I'm saying this to you, 10 years out, it's so emotional because it so dark and I've been there. I've stood where you're standing and my gosh, it's so awful. It's just like a black hole and there's nothing. You can't see anything.

When a mother doesn't feel anything when her baby cries, something is damaged. I just want you to know it's not weakness to need to get medicine. It's not weakness to need to get healing. You're not making the wrong choice. You need help.

This example is given a lot, but I'm going to give it again anyway in case you haven't heard it. If you get diagnosed with diabetes you're a diabetic and you need insulin, are you going to feel weak for that and not take it? No, of course not. You're sick and your body needs something. You're going to take the insulin. Depression, especially postpartum depression when it gets this heavy...I do believe that there's a “blues period” for a lot of women, and you'll have to kinda just weigh it out. But for me, and if you're at that level, when it gets bad and you're not okay, it's not going away. It's not lifting. Something is off in your brain. Go and get that insulin. Go get the medicine. You need help. That's what it’s there for.

Outside of that, I want to discuss what I did to make mine and Bella's relationship stronger. After I came out of the PPD, I was maybe about a year out of the postpartum depression tunnel, when I realized our relationship is still strained. She’s so little but I know she feels that, I know she feels the pushback and I don't want to feel it. I don't want to sit and have time with my daughter and feel a resistance to closeness to her.

Over the course of years, what I did to fix things and repair things, I basically just decided that the dark wasn't going to continue to rob me anymore. This was not going to be the story of Bella and I. It just wasn't. It had been so far, but it wasn't going to be anymore

I didn't know what to do. I couldn't find books about this parent/child connection issue. I didn't know what was going to work. I didn't know where to start. But I just started. I started by deciding the dark isn't going to win anymore. I'm not going to be robbed any more, and I'm going to figure this out.

I also got real about what was going on. How exactly did I feel when Bella tried to get close to me? Or came and sat on my lap? Or I tried to get close to her? Where was the pushback and resistance really coming from? What's the source? I would feel it…I didn't know this at the time, but I was going into a little bit of a meditative state, honing into my internal self and feeling that feeling all the way.

Have you guys heard about that technique? Don't push your feelings away. Feel it more. Lean in to that feeling and ask yourself, “Where is this coming from? Why am I feeling this?” Sometimes I would hear nothing. Other times I would “feel” an answer and I would feel like, “Okay, when she touches me I just feel irritated.” That sounds awful, but things like that. Just being honest. Not pushing because it's so awful to be a mother and to feel those feelings and it’s even more awful to admit that you feel those feelings, that you're having those thoughts. But get real about it. Don't suppress it, ignore it and pretend it's not there. Lean into it. Feel it all the way because answers come out of that.

I also prayerfully walked forward trying to figure things out. I talked to God about all of this as I walked through it and I realized that He can handle our realness. Don't be afraid to let Him in on it. He already knows what you're struggling with. I used to feel like I didn't want to tell Him how I was feeling, I felt so bad about it. Here He gave me this gift. I was supposed to struggle with infertility and here's a baby, a toddler girl in front of me, and I didn't want to spend time with her, or I had a resistance to closeness with her.

But I let Him in on it. I was honest and I talked to him about it as I walked this road. I asked that He would show me what I needed to see to heal. And He did. He would show me little things like, “just go over and hold your daughter's hand. Why don't you sit and watch that movie with her instead of cleaning right now?” Things like that. He showed up in the mess and helped me walk the path one moment at a time.

As Bella got older, 6 or 7-years-old and up, I started to find things in common with her and I would take part in those things with her intentionally, even when I didn't feel like it.

For example, today we go and we get manicures together every two weeks religiously. It's our thing. It's our time away from all the boys at our house. We talk on the drive. We listen to whatever music she wants. I go into the coffee shop and I get a coffee and she gets a hot chocolate. We go get our nails done. We just kind of relax and enjoy the time. We pick our colors together and then we spend a little bit of time out together after that. And it's our regular thing every two weeks.

Ever since I was trying to intentionally heal from this parent/child disconnect, we've had things like that and it's changed as she's gotten older. When she was really little, she didn't want to go get manicures so it was different. Maybe it was playing horses with her. Maybe it was reading her stories, whatever. But I found things in common and intentionally took part in those things with her.

Another big thing that I did was I let her talk and I made sure that I actively listened to her. We have developed this thing where we take drives together. Anytime that I've needed to have an important conversation with Bella, I'll take her for a drive. It's come from when she was little and her brothers were toddlers and babies. We would get everyone in their car seats, get in the car and we would talk and the boys would fall asleep in their car seats and it formed this tradition.

When a kid is talking to you, they're usually talking about something that you don't really care about. But the thing is if you don't listen to your kids when they talk about the things that don't really matter when they're little, they're going to see that you don't listen to them and they're not going to talk to you about the things that really do matter when they get older.

So, I listened to her talk about her toys and the show that she's watching on Netflix. Now I listen to her talk about dragons (she's really into dragons) and unicorns, the story that she's writing, whatever movie that she just watched on Netflix. I listened to her talk about those things and now she'll talk to me about the hard things, the awkward things. And we have this super close relationship that I think a lot of parents who didn't struggle with parent/child disconnect don't have with their kids.

We struggled with it so much that it almost was the demise of our relationship before Bella was even old enough to realize. We have that closeness. As she's gotten older, things have gotten easier and better because I've worked so hard at this for so many years.

I want to give you that hope.

Do something. Do something. If you're struggling with postpartum depression, check in with yourself. Is this something that you need to just kind of let run for a little bit? Has it been a while and you're not getting better and you know what you need to do? Go get medicine.

Are you out of the PPD or PPA or postpartum psychosis period and you're just dealing with a parent/child disconnect? That doesn't have to be your story. You can write a new story.

Today Bella and I are so close. We have such a good relationship. I can tell her, “Sweetie, mommy really just needs a little bit of alone time right now, let’s spend time together tomorrow.” And her feelings won’t get hurt. I can share with her anything that I need to share with her. I can talk to her. She can talk to me about anything.

She's 10, so we recently had “the talk” and it went wonderfully. She felt so secure and at ease to ask me questions and it was beautiful. It was a beautiful time for us. We have talks all the time. We have our regular manicures that we get together. She wants to spend time with me and I want to spend time with her. Our relationship is so close. I can't believe that this is the relationship that we have after what we've been through.

The lesson that I have learned here is that you don't have to be the victim forever. That is only your story if you let the pen keep writing that way. If you don't want that anymore, write a different story. Make the choice.

I hope that this has given somebody out there so much hope. I hope it helps.

I don't care about the judgment that's definitely going to come from sharing this.

I just know that there's somebody out here listening that has this right now and has been super scared and worried about what it means and I just hope that this episode brought you a lot of hope and a big light to just bring you some peace.


This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

Ep 097: Ask Allie Anything About Business Part 1

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One of my favorite things is helping other women get creative and create money, revenue and a successful business out of something they love to do - especially when they can run it from their sofa! If you are ready to start your own business, work from home, and create income from your blog or podcast or whatever, this episode is for you! I’ve got a big list of questions you guys asked and I am REALLY excited to dive into them! PS - part 2 of this business Q&A will be out soon!

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • Her tips for getting started and the best ways to fight discouragement.

  • How to balance work and family life.

  • Ways to generate income for your blog.

  • The importance of delegating work and when you know it is time you start bringing on a team.

  • What you need to get started.

Mentioned in this Episode:


Where are my business-minded mama's at? I have something for you that I'm super excited to be sharing. If you've ever wanted the behind-the-scenes and inside scoop on how I grew my business from a tiny hobby blog with zero income to a multiple-seven-figure-per-year corporation, I have so, so much to tell you!

I've compiled all my favorite resources, books, courses and advice. A brain dump of everything that helped teach me what I know now and get me to where I am today (other than a lot of blood, sweat and tears and some serious hustle and late nights.) I've put it all together for you guys and it's in the Blog To Business Guide.


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If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.

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Hey guys! Welcome! All right, we are doing an “ask anything” episode. I love these.

Usually on Instagram (sometimes we involve Facebook, sometimes we'll send an email out and get some questions from there) but what we do is we send out a topic with a question box where people see a topic – family, minimalism, business - and they can submit any question that they have on that topic for me.

A while back we did one centered around business and I think next time we do it, I'm going to be more specific because this is such a beast of a topic. It's really huge, it's really important and is a huge passion of mine. I absolutely love helping other women get creative, get passionate and create money, revenue and a successful business out of what they care about and what their passion is, and absolutely from their living room sofa not needing to go out and be away from their kids if that's not what they want.

Some of you mommas absolutely want that. You need the break and thrive doing your thing outside of the house. And that's great. But not everybody wants that.

So, for those of you who are starting your own businesses, have a dream to work from home and want to create income from your blog or your podcast or whatever it is, I'm your girl. I love helping with that. And although this podcast is not a business podcast, this is something that we can talk about every once in a while.

If you guys have the questions and they're rolling in enough, we'll talk about anything on here because this show is a lifestyle show for moms. It's not one and done. It's not just about one thing.

So, okay, I've got a big list of questions here and what I'm going to do…I'm just really relaxed here, just doing this live. Well, this is recorded, but you know what I'm saying. This isn't super preplanned or anything. I've got a list of questions here in Trello and I am going to go through, skim through and pick out the ones that seem like they'd be the most helpful and we'll just go through it this way.

So, ask me anything about business. Here we go.

Here's some questions that are about the starting process of a business.

What was the hardest part of starting your business? Uh, being broke. If you guys have not listened to episode six of The Purpose Show you might want to go back and do that.

It's basically the story of our business. The story of how we came to run this together, Brian & I. He used to work for a really big company. He worked a ton of hours. He was gone all the time and we were really broke all the time. We lived that way for years. And so not having the financial resources to start out in an easier way, I think starting a business is incredibly grueling no matter what. But also, not having funds for things like a new laptop, a microphone, even some decent headphones. I desperately wanted noise canceling headphones just so that I could get some work done in the evenings when Brian would come home from work and he'd be doing bedtime with the kids. I could hear everything. We lived in the Midwest at the time and it would be icy and cold and, being from SoCal, I just didn't want to brace that and go out and find a coffee shop. Or they'd all be really full and it became too difficult to even find a spot to work in town, you know? It was easier to stay home.

But I could hear everything and it was hard to focus. My laptop was really crappy. I got it off of Craigslist from this creepy guy and it just wouldn't work. The fan was super loud on it. It was old. It was slow.

I was constantly worried about how we were going to make it. How are we going to pay bills? We were behind on our car. We were behind on our rent. So just that stress, that heavy financial burden was the hardest part of starting for me.

But I think also (and this might be more relatable to everyone else) working so hard to create really good content that's going to help people and feeling like nobody is seeing it. That's really frustrating. It takes a lot of time and energy and you're constantly creating this stuff - these blog posts, these podcasts episodes - whatever it is for you. For me (at the time I didn't have the podcast) it was a blog-based business.

I had been blogging for, gosh, I don't know, five years, but had just recently decided, “You know what? I'm going to turn this into a business. We're done with this hand-to-mouth lifestyle. And I'm going to make this something big.” And I told Brian, “I'm going to get to a point where people know my name. This is big. They know my message. And this is going to be a global phenomenon. Just watch.”

And it's really cool because I said that when we were trying to stretch one cereal bowl into four and in the middle of the Midwest, away from all of our friends and family, and really struggling.

And it's hard because you see that picture and you're busting out all of this content to help people, but it does feel sometimes like nobody is even seeing it.

And I think my advice on that…I don't want to just tell you what the hardest part was and then move on. What I would say to anybody in that place who's really relating to that (you know, what I'm saying) I would say you need to realize the power of the few people who are watching. Even if they're not reading every blog post, even if they're not opening up every email, they are there.

Somebody is there. Somebody really likes what you have to say. Even if there's one person. Even if there's 3. If there's 50. If there's a few hundred, you know, but it's just not massive, don't look at what I have now and think. “Man, I just wish…”

It's not helpful. It's not constructive. And you have to realize that I was talking about this same stuff that I'm talking about now, but nobody was there. It was just 10 people, and then it grew to 50 people, and then it grew to 300 people. I thought that was a big deal some days. But then other days I'd get frustrated because I'd see other people having way more than me and I let that frustrate me.

But the thing is that you will never, ever have those tens of thousands or millions of people if you don't start with the 10. If you don't serve those 10 well, show up for them, consistently get in their inbox and create content that's helpful for them, inspiring for them, that's true to who you are so they can connect with you…those are the people who are going to spread you to their friends, their neighbors, their families, share you on social media and talk about you at mom's group.

Those are the people that grew me to the millions now, but it doesn't start that way for most people.

What is the very first step you would take if you had to do it all over again? This is an amazing question. I would start my email list earlier. I blogged for a long time with really no email list. I had an RSS feed and stuff like that, but you have to have an email list.

I recommend Convertkit. That's what I use for my email list. I love them and I like their pricing. It moves up as your list size grows so you're not paying $500 a month right out the gate. It's like $49 a month to start. And then as you grow more followers and more email subscribers, then the price goes up accordingly. Once you hit 500 it goes up a little bit and once you hit 5,000 it goes up a little bit. Your email list is where your money is going to come in.

I don't like to rely on social media and algorithms for my success. I love Instagram and I do use it. I don't really play the algorithm games. I just kind of show there and do my thing. I'm not super rule following and picky on there about when's the perfect time to post this photo. I'm just there. I'm sharing. And once people realize it, they stay and they like the content, and I'm not worried about the algorithms.

But the thing is, is that so many people put all their eggs in one basket, or they just rely so heavily on social media to carry their businesses. And the problem with that is that certain platforms expire. They die out.

Look at Periscope. Periscope was the newest, the latest, the hottest livestreaming platform. It was super popular. It grew. It broke records with how much it grew and how quickly it grew. It was such a success. And then it died because of Facebook Live. Facebook is probably not going anywhere, but that still doesn't mean that you should put all your eggs in that basket because their algorithm is constantly changing. It's like a mind game over there.

I don't want my business success or failure to be in the hands of someone else. Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest…there are other companies running them.

But when you focus on your email list, you put the power in your own hands. Everybody checks their email. No one's gonna miss that. Maybe they'll choose to not open it, but everyone checks their email, so when you get in their inbox, that's powerful. That is where you can make sales, you can connect, you can share your passion in a very deep way. And it's very personal. You're writing like a friend to these people. I always write my emails like they're to a friend because I feel that way about you guys first of all. And secondly, because I want to connect with you because if I can't connect with you, you're not going to hear my message. And my message is important. It's going to change your life if you'll hear it. I know that.

I wish that I would have realized that sooner. I did start my email list pretty early on when I switched my blog to my business, but I just wished that I would've had an email list growing while I was blogging for five years. I did not have any email list and that really sucked. Starting from zero there, you know, it's hard.

How did you start making a steady income from your blog? There are a few different options when it comes to creating income from your blog. The most common way is affiliates. I'm not a huge fan of affiliate marketing. And by this I mean like Amazon affiliate links, talking about other products and trying to get the clicks to make money. It just doesn't vibe with me. I don't like to be paid to tell people what products from Amazon to buy. I don't really do any of that. I do have an Amazon affiliate account because obviously at my level there's millions of people watching what I do. So, if I do happen to find a really great jacket or a great pair of shoes that I absolutely love and I want to share it of my own volition, I will. And I do believe I should be compensated from that. So, every once in a while I'll use an affiliate link like that.

But some people use Amazon affiliate links…they find things that are high priced so that each click gets them more money and they will not even buy the product. They'll just promote it. They make stuff up straight out of the air and then use an Amazon affiliate link to try to get money. And that just doesn't work for me. Like I said, it doesn't vibe with me. It feels dishonest and slimy and I just didn't want to do that.

Also, I’m not a huge fan of getting people to click away from my site. I'm not here to have a blog that makes me money. I'm here to spread my message. So, if you're there to just have a blog that makes you money and to bring an income, there's nothing wrong with that. Your approach is just going to be different and you might want to look into affiliate links and things like that and creating money from things other people have done.

My courses have affiliate programs and a lot of moms sign up for the affiliate program and make money from telling people about my courses that have changed their lives already and then they make the money back that they spent on the course and then some. They bring in hundreds every month. It just depends on how they're sharing it.

There is nothing wrong with affiliate programs. I think they're very powerful. But for me, my message is my passion and it's important that I get that out into the world. And I knew there was a way for me to create a very steady and powerful income by doing that, so I went the route of courses and online programs.

Basically, it's almost impossible to get everything out that you want to say for free on a blog or a podcast if you're a busy mom. But if you put everything in one vault, in one area, and you organize it, you put it in order, you can see that you've covered every single topic, every single base, then you can package it up and sell it. And that's basically what an online course is.

It's for the people who want all the information. They’re done with whatever the problem is that your course solves and they want the solution. They're willing to pay for it and they want all of it. They don't want to just get inspired and listen to a podcast or read a blog. They want to be coached to solving this problem that your course solves.

And so, I created my course because my audience was asking me for one. It was slow going at first, of course, but eventually through growth, guest blogging on other people's blogs, getting podcast interviews, doing things like that, I spread the word enough. I was doing webinars and no one was coming. I just kept doing them and eventually people came.

Eventually the income went from a few hundred dollars a month to a few thousand. Now we have an incorporation, we have an S-corp. We have this big incorporation that employs all these people and makes multiple seven figures every year, from a low-priced course. Most courses are in the thousands. My highest one is less than $300. That's just unheard of. But I want to tell you, now it is heard of and you can do that as well.

I started from nothing, you guys. There was nothing special about my story. There was nothing special about me. I was a normal girl, very overwhelmed. Very afraid of fame, very afraid of being seen. Very private. But I had a burning passion to spread my message and I had a burning passion to create revenue for my family so that my husband could get out of his crappy job and we could step into this lifestyle that we had only dreamed of.

It seemed impossible. Honestly, so many people that I really appreciated and respected told me that it was impossible. Nobody took me seriously. And you know, honestly, still some people don't. They'll say things like “you're lucky” or “wow, you went viral and you are so lucky this happened for you.” Like, “oh, it's so lucky that you get to take Instagram pictures and make a bunch of money.” And it's very demeaning.

It is a lot of hard work and it absolutely is not for everyone. I think it's something like 1% of entrepreneurs actually keep going more than a year and have successful businesses. If you want to be in that 1%, you've got to do the work and it takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears. I mean that quite literally. It's a lot of hustle, a lot of focus, a lot of being willing to learn and being willing to change your mind and be flexible.

So that is the first step that I would do if I could do it all over again. I would start that email list early. Making steady income came from the courses. I know that was a lot, but I hope that answers those two questions.


Where are my business-minded mama's at? I have something for you that I'm super excited to be sharing. If you've ever wanted the behind-the-scenes and inside scoop on how I grew my business from a tiny hobby blog with zero income to a multiple-seven-figure-per-year corporation, I have so, so much to tell you!

I've compiled all my favorite resources, books, courses and advice. A brain dump of everything that helped teach me what I know now and get me to where I am today (other than a lot of blood, sweat and tears and some serious hustle and late nights.) I've put it all together for you guys and it's in the Blog To Business Guide.

Maybe you already have a blog or a platform and you want to grow it into a business. Or you don't have anything yet but you're wanting to get more information. You know you have some ideas but you want some resources. You wish you knew what are the best books to give my time to? What are the best courses? What are the best investments I can make in time or money to learn about growing a successful business?

I've given you all of my opinions in the Blog To Business Guide and you can go get it right now by heading to alliecasazza.com/blogtobiz.


How do you keep the courage to turn your ideas into a business when you see others in the same field succeeding, especially in the mom niche? Well, first of all, I think that it doesn't matter if anyone else is doing something. You have your own personality and your own voice and that's why it's so important to be yourself. It's really easy when the camera starts to roll to switch and get into a different tone of talking, get into this different mode. I still find myself doing it sometimes. To some extent it's just normal. But I think it's important to remain true to yourself.

And that's hard, you know? Things like the words that I'll say or the way I'll phrase something…I'm a really blunt person. “I love Jesus but I cuss a little,” sometimes things like that are hard because you see the judgmental comments and people saying, “I can’t believe that you would phrase that that way. That was so harsh.” Well it's not harsh; I'm just being sarcastic, but I guess you don't like sarcasm and I can't really control that.

So, things like that, the constant running opinions of other people can sometimes make it just a little difficult to not turn on your fake camera face and voice. But typically, you've got to just get over it and you have to create the courage. It's not like, “Oh, how do you keep the courage to do this?” You have to make the choice to be courageous and realize you have your own personality, you have your own voice, you have your own way of saying and doing things and that is what's going to connect you to your audience. If you're not connecting with someone, they're just not your audience. It doesn't matter. You don't want them, they're not your audience. They are someone else's audience.

There's been a lot of frustration for me in my business journey with the minimalism becoming a trend after I had been teaching it, feeling like I was talking to a wall for so long and not growing a following and that was really frustrating. Then minimalism became this trend and all of these other people started doing it and they had very quick success while I'm in the background trying so hard.

A lot of the time people will talk to me, “Oh, you were smart. You jumped on board after this became a trend and you got on it.” “No. I've been doing this for much longer…” But it's fine.

I think keeping your head down and focusing on what you're going for, being yourself and letting your personality shine.

You know, a lot of people try to put me up against and compare me to Marie Kondo and I'll never play that game. There's a lot of differences in the way we teach, a lot of differences in our personalities and that's good. She's very sweet. She's very gentle. She has a totally different way of teaching things. Some things are just not my style; I just won’t do that. And some things I just disagree with. As a mom, that’s not going to work for us, for us overwhelmed, busy moms. So that's good.

I can be really empathetic. I'll often cry with people who are struggling. I take on the emotions of other people. And so, I can be sweet in that way, but I'm typically more blunt. I have a lot of humor that I infuse in things with the way I describe situations and try to make people feel lighter about what they're struggling with. I just have a different, “no nonsense, no BS” approach to clutter. Some people like that and some people don't.

It's good that you're different. It's good that you're doing the same thing as someone else because that means that your niche needs that message. You actually don't want to start a business about something that no one is doing and you can't find anything about. There's a reason for that.

So just stick true to who you are and be persistently you. No matter how big it gets, you need to be consistently you. Let yourself shine. If you're blunt and sarcastic, let that be a part of what you do. If you're really sweet and empathetic, let that be a part of it. If you're a mix of all four of those things like me, then let that be what shines.

People connect to people. They don't connect to business ideas.

What's your number one tip for a mom trying to grow a hobby blog read by mostly family and friends into something bigger that brings in more money?  So, I would go back to the earlier questions I answered. Get yourself an email list. You can use MailChimp. You can use Convertkit. Whatever floats your boat; you could use something else. But get an email list set up.

And you need to create a free opt-in. A free opt-in is a pdf, a checklist of some kind that goes hand-in-hand with what you're sharing, what you're teaching. So, for example, my most popular free opt-in is the Clear The Clutter Starter Kit. It used to be called the Minimalism Starter Kit. That's been around for years. That has about 100,000 downloads to it. So,100,000 people have downloaded that in just three years, which is amazing. That is a free opt-in. In exchange for their email address, I give somebody something helpful for free. That’s what a free opt-in is. You can do a video series. You could do one video. You could do a pdf checklist, an ebook, something like that. You could do an email challenge. You're giving them something valuable for free. They just have to give you their email address. So, you grow your email list like that. That's my number one tip for you.

How do you narrow multiple interests into the one people most connect with? Test it out. Talk passionately about what your interests are and you will probably find not only is your audience responding more to one than the others, but you’re connecting more to one than the others. Probably the same one your audience is connecting with because they are going to connect with your passion. So just start.

I used to talk about all kinds of things. Marriage, faith, parenting, postpartum depression, minimalism, house stuff. As I evolved as a minimalist and as a mom dealing with overwhelm, I became extra passionate about the house part. I came across far too many women who didn't enjoy being at home. They avoided being at home. They felt really depressed when they were at home. They felt very overwhelmed by their homes. I used to be like that. I got out of it and I created a beautiful space that I loved being in, even though we were super broke. I got really good at budgeting, decorating on a budget, minimalism, just simplifying.

It changed my life and that passion showed through. As I became more passionate about that, my audience began to not read the other things. They wouldn't even get clicked. The emails wouldn't get opened. The blog post wouldn’t get read. It wasn't happening. And so, I just naturally scooted over into this specific topic. But of course, you guys who have listened to different podcast episodes, you see you can still have it all. You can still talk about other things.

My podcast is my outlet for discussing life and encouraging people on all topics. We have all kinds of different guests - health guests, marriage guests, sex guests, personal growth guests. I talk about all different things - living well and full, being a strong woman, the enneagram and personality types. We celebrate together. We have fun episodes. We have serious episodes. I cry. I laugh. We are relaxed and some are more strategic. It's all the things. So, don't think that you have to pick one thing.

But at the same time, what am I most known for? Minimalism, home stuff, simplified living. That goes into home, calendar, and life.

I hope that makes sense. You'll figure it out. Just start to talk and start to share. Don't be afraid to survey your audience. Ask them what they think you're best at. But don't do it too soon. Make sure it's been a while of you sharing your multiple interests. See what you connect to sharing most. What do you love sharing about so much that you would do it all day long for free? For me that was minimalism.

Talking about faith and dealing with all the rude and difficult feedback from that…it just drained me. Not in a way where I was ashamed of God, or ashamed of my walk with Him, but I wasn't drawn to it. I actually struggled with that one specifically for a really long time. A lot of people still will tell me, “You need to talk about Jesus more. You don't share your faith enough. I'm offended by that.” And it's like, “Well then you go share your faith.”

Because I can tell you right now, I'm eight years into blogging and I know for a fact that going way deep into that and sharing openly, making that my niche, is not my calling. Just because you believe something doesn't mean it's your “calling” to talk about it exclusively. So, don't let anyone tell you that or try to change your mind about something that you feel strongly is what you're supposed to be talking about.

I know that what I'm talking about now, what I'm most known for - helping women create spaces that they love, helping them simplify so they can focus on what matters - I was born to do this and you should feel that way about what you do with your business, your blog, your podcast or whatever it is.

How many hours is a good amount to dedicate to starting your business without it taking over all your time? I think I'm going to flip your question around and instead say, where are the blocks of time you can fit it in?

Going back to an example from my personal life, when I started this business (it was in January of 2016) and started really learning and focusing on turning my blog into a business, that's when Brian would leave for work around 7:40 in the morning and he would come back after dinner. I got up at 4:00 a.m. for a year and I worked for a few hours before he went to work and that's when I got the bulk of my stuff done. About halfway through the day I would need to take a power nap, so I would turn on Netflix for the kids and snuggle with Emmett. Emmett was a baby and I would nurse him to a nap and we would nap together for half an hour in the middle of the day. Then I would often work again at night before I went to bed and let Brian cook dinner, if he was home in time, or if he wasn't, I would handle dinner and then he would come in and do bath and bedtime and all of that. I wouldn't do that every night because I wanted to have that family time at night. But a few nights a week I would also work at night.

Some days I would end up working 7 hours a day and other days it would be 3 or 4 hours. It's not about how many hours is the magic number, it's about where are the blocks of time that you can fit it in. When I started to look at that and I saw that there were none, I had to make a choice. Am I in this or not? That's when I made the choice to get up at an ungodly hour every morning for a year. And it was so worth it. Those are the kinds of decisions that separate the ones who succeed from the ones who don't.

Okay. Let's switch gears a little bit and go into the questions that are more about balance with work and family.

How do you protect your kids’ privacy and security while still sharing about them? This is a very good question.

I've done a lot of research on this. I would encourage anyone…I was going to say anyone who's looking to be a public figure or a lifestyle person…but I wasn't looking for that. I didn't realize that would happen based on what I do. I always say that I'm so glad I didn't know that this public figure role would happen with what I did with my blog and my business. Because if I had known with my personality and how much I value privacy, I probably wouldn't have done it. It's really hard. That's the hardest part of all of this for me. I'm so much better now. Even talking about it now. I'm like, is it really the hardest part anymore though? Cause I'm really over it. I really don't care. People make up stuff about me all the time and I just don't care.

Sometimes people will figure out things or piece things together that I’ve said from the past that are true and try to use it against me and I don't care. I know that I said that. I know that that happened. I know that that's who I used to be. It doesn't matter. But before this year it was really hard for me.

Once I saw that this was happening, and it was spiraling out of control and people were really obsessively watching our family and looking at us, I started to do some really heavy research on kids’ privacy and safety. There's so much out there, please go look it up for yourself.

Basically there are some rules: Never show the front of your house. Never show the license plate on your car or of a car that is always near where you are (like the license plates on the cars that are in my neighborhood). Things like that. Because people are crazy, much crazier than you probably are, and they will look you up and they will find you. Trust me. I won't get into the details, but we've had some really weird stuff happen and it's disturbing. People are very, very strange, especially when you're connecting with people and you're sharing your heart and you're helping them. Some people get obsessive and strange.

Also be very careful with the types of photos of your kids that you post if you choose to post them at all. I even have some friends who are not influencers and they just live this way. And I have some other influencer friends who don't share anything about their kids. They are not a part of their role. They're not a part of their business, they’re not a part of their image and it does just the way that it is.

For me, I actually really don't like that as much as I love privacy. I wanted to make sure that people were able to see how this is lived out, that they can see our family. I use Instagram Story almost like a vlog most days. Some days I'm not so good at it, but most days I do. I like that and the kids like it too. They'll say, “Mom, can you show this on your Instagram Stories?” We're all involved; we're all in it together. And I like that. I don't mind having my kids a part of what I do and I think it's important.

But be careful - the weirdest, most random photos that you would never think have anything wrong with them will end up snagged from your blog and put on a pedophile site. And I'm not even kidding. You have to watch. You have to be careful. Do it yourself, or if you can't, have somebody be in charge of just watching where blog traffic is coming from. If you ever see a spike on something, follow the trail. Make sure that it's from a reputable site, from a mommy blogger sharing you or something and it’s not from a bunch of creeps looking at your photos. Things like bathing suits, short shorts…just be careful, be respectful, but respect your kids' privacy too.

There's a lot of things…maybe I'm telling a story about a difficult day we had with one of our kids. I won't say who it is unless I've talked to them and I'm like, “Hey, I think this would really be helpful for other moms. I'm going to tell this story but I'm going to leave your name out. Okay? Is that alright with you?” And sometimes they'll say, “Oh, you can say my name mom. I want them to know how old I am.” They get it. They want to help you guys. And sometimes they're like, “Yeah, okay.”

And I won't say which kid it is because I don't want to embarrass or shame my kids and a lot of “public-figure” parents are not aware of this sadly. You have to think, “How can I respect my kids in this way? They don't have a say. So where is their privacy here?”

There was one situation about three years ago when we got offered a reality TV show. And as we met with the producers, we talked with them, we started to see what they were envisioning, I quickly found out that they originally reached out and said they wanted it to be about my business and what I do for women. And then they very quickly switched gears and decided that we were fascinating because we lived in the camper (we were touring the US at the time) and they were like, “Oh my gosh, this is amazing. No, we want to do a reality show about your family and your kids.” And I said, “I'm not okay with that.”

They really pushed and they really wanted it to be that way and it wasn't right for me. It's not that reality TV families are doing anything wrong, but in my gut it didn't feel right. It didn't feel right at that time, and it still doesn't feel right now to have a reality show about our family. It just doesn't feel right to me. You have to follow that. I always say you were chosen out of every mother, whoever lived in any era to be the parent, the mother to your kids. There's a reason for that.

This is why I think that it's ridiculous when moms judge each other for their choices. “Oh, you let your kids watch Spongebob? I would never do that.” And it's like, “Okay, well there's probably some reason that one of your kids just wouldn't do well watching Spongebob then don't do that, but don't hate on us who are like, ‘Oh, Spongebob is hilarious and it's fine.’” You know? I just think it's ridiculous. Same with this sort of thing in my gut. I just knew this isn't right. I would love to do a show about my business. And I don't mind if my kids are in it every once in a while, but I don't want a reality show about our family. It just didn't feel right. And they wouldn't budge, so we didn't do a deal.

You have to gauge with your gut what is important to you, what feels right to you. Pray about it. Think about it. Meditate on it. Process it. It's okay to say, “Let me think about it,” to an opportunity and take a walk. Talk it out with your spouse. Let it sift around in your brain for a weekend. This is your family and this is your life. And once something is out, it's out. People will always try to dig up stuff on you and try to say stuff about you. That's inevitable and it really doesn't matter. It's empty. People are just nosy and who cares? But it is your job to protect your kids’ privacy and security. Be careful. Research. Know the facts and then follow your gut for all the things that seemed kind of fluid and gray.

How do you schedule or protect time with your family and then time for your blog business and then time to be off and away, et cetera, when the Internet really never sleeps? Great question.

I'm really big on batching. I've talked about this a lot in the past and we can link to blog posts and episodes that have been about this in the show notes, but basically there's certain days – guys, take this with a grain of salt because whenever I say something like “I usually take Thursdays off for family day” and then on a Thursday I'll show on Instagram Stories that I'm writing or getting some work done and people will be like, “I thought it was family day.” And it's like, “Good Lord, I don't have a cemented, rigid, schedule with two armed guards next to it that are going to shoot me up if I break my rules.

It's very fluid and what I do, it comes and goes in waves very, very much. So, some seasons it’s so busy and we'll be a little bit more flexible. Maybe I'll work an hour on a morning that I'm normally off, maybe I won't. It's fluid. But typically, my weekends are really protected. We have a lot of family time on the weekends. Then on Mondays it's pretty much really slow going and open-ended. That's a day where we go grocery shopping, we get our stuff done for the week, we prepare for the coming week, a little bit on Sunday night too. We have a family day. We have Legoland passes so that might be a day we go to Legoland.

Also Thursdays are a “nothing” day. If I want to, and I feel like I have the energy, I will sometimes catch up. We use Asana for running tasks for the business. If I have a bunch of unfinished tasks in Asana, I'll maybe spend an hour or so going through them and knocking them out. Approving blog posts, writing up emails for the week or whatever, things like that. But typically, it's a really slow, quiet, at-home day.

And then Tuesday, Wednesday and Fridays are very much go, go, go when it comes to the business. I section off my time during the week like that.

Then we make sure we schedule a week or so off really regularly. We take a lot of trips. We do a lot of travel. Pretty much every month at least I am traveling, but usually I bring my family with me because that's the main reason we homeschool is so we can travel, do fun things together, and have that freedom and flexibility in our schedule to do what we want.

For example, I'm recording this right now and it's February. I finished (well almost finished) my book proposal last week. This week it's all about the podcast and recording episodes, doing all of that. And then next week it's all about work wrap up, so I am wrapping up some plans for an upcoming product launch and doing a couple of interviews for other people's podcasts and press, finalizing a couple of really big projects that are being planned. And then the last week of the month is our team retreat in Nashville. So I'll be gone for nine days at the end of the month. So that's usually how it goes. Pretty much every month, there's a week of travel in there somewhere. Sometimes it’s for work, sometimes it's for fun, sometimes it's for both.

I block out my week to where there's balanced work time, rest time, family time. And then also my mom's like, “Well, we're due for a family vacation. Let's take a trip. Let's go up to San Diego for five days and just rest.” “I'm speaking over here on the east coast this week. Let’s add five days to that trip and just make a family event out of it.” How am I feeling? What's my gut telling me? What do I feel like I need? If I feel burnout coming, we'll plan an extra time of rest. I will cancel a launch, cancel something. I'm never afraid to cancel, never afraid to say, “Nevermind, this isn't gonna work for me. I'm too exhausted.” That's how I find that balance.

I wish we could get into the next section. We're going to need to do a Part II on this because there are so many good questions about courses, paid content, delegating and oh, so good. We're going to do another Part II.

Guys, thank you for these questions. I really appreciate when you guys help write episodes like this because I feel like they're so good. And these are always the ones that you guys love the most because you basically wrote them and you decided what the topic was going to be.

Okay. I love you guys. I will talk to you next time.

If you're starting a business, please just be encouraged. Please be encouraged. Go and download my Blog To Business Guide. It is loaded with literally just names and links to my favorite resources that helped me start my business - the influencers, the leaders, the websites, the content, the courses, the freebies that helped form who I am as a business woman today are all linked in there. It's super, super helpful.

Go get that in the show notes. Let that be your starting point.


This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

Ep 096: Real Women Are Strong Women

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Sometimes we shame ourselves, but a lot of the time it's other people who shame us. From breastfed to formula fed, working from home or at a 9 to 5 office job, having a clean home or a messy home, your birth plan, how you school your kids, and so much more. Shame comes in all directions and most of us feel like we never do anything right because we are being shamed all the time. But we have to stop this! No one is going to come in and help us with this. We have to be on each other's side. We have to shut this down. We have to stop judging each other. All we have is each other and we have to stop turning against each other. Who is with me?? Let’s do this together.

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • Specific ways we shame one another, especially as women.

  • The importance of surrounding yourself with people who support you, not tear you down.

  • What you can do to help fight against shaming.

  • How powerful “not knowing” can be.  

Mentioned in this Episode:


Your Uncluttered Home is my signature online course and it is changing mom lives all over the globe. I'm super, super proud of it. It is the next step into real action for you if you want to go all in with living in an uncluttered home that allows you to spend your time focused on what matters. And there is a community of women waiting to support you and rally around you in the journey!


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.

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Hey, beautiful! Welcome! I'm really glad that you're here! We're going to dive right in to a very important discussion about real women, strong women and mom-shaming.

Sometimes we shame ourselves, but a lot of the time it's other people who shame us. Other people that we love and respect who shame us. This can be a heavy episode, but while focusing on the heavy things, it's also going to be an incredibly lightening episode.

I'm just excited to dive in.

Right before I recorded this, I was sitting at my desk just looking at my notes on the things that I want to cover today and just feeling really honored that I even get to have a platform that I know people listen to, to talk about this on. This is the kind of stuff that just lights me up and makes me feel like everything that it took to build this platform is worth it. If I can shine a light on these things and help bring truth and life to you guys in these areas, then it was all worth it.

I want to discuss the things that are often viewed and treated as failures for women. And I want to point out before I go down this list that I'm going to read to you guys...there's a list that I have here of things that women in my actual audience responded to when I asked them, “What are some things that are a part of your motherhood that you have felt shamed and judged for?” That's all I asked. I didn't give them any other preface to it. I just asked, “Off the top of your head, what are the things in your motherhood that you have felt shamed and judged for,” and they were able to submit their answers.

There wasn't a long space for answers. It was very short. It had to be just really short. I did that on purpose so that they could, “what’s on the top of your head, what's the main point of it” and not give the backstory.

And these responses are incredibly disheartening.

I want to point out the irony of the opposites on this list. Okay? I'm going to read them to you:

Having C-sections. Formula feeding. I get disapproving looks in public and even comments. Mistakes in parenting. Working and not being a stay-at-home mom. Being a stay-at-home mom and not working. Being too young to become a mother when I was 21 and we felt ready. Homeschooling my kids.

Having a clean home. Having a messy home. Extended breastfeeding. Prioritizing our marriage and leaving the kids with a sitter once a week. Not having an out-of-home date night away from the kids because I didn't want to leave them with anyone. Having a home birth. Choosing to be a single mom and not stick it out in an abusive marriage.

Having a large family and overpopulating the earth. My child's meltdowns due to special needs that are not obvious to the casual observer. Co-sleeping with my baby. Losing the baby weight right away without trying. I got so much hate for that.

Being organized and put together. Overscheduling my kids and extra activities. Not having my kids in enough extra activities. Educating myself like crazy and choosing not to vaccinate my kids. Researching a ton and choosing to vaccinate my kids.

Planning to have a natural childbirth but opting for an epidural during labor. I am treated like I was weak.

Feeding my family nonorganic foods. Changing my mind. Having childcare so I can work.

On this one she wrote quote from my mother-in-law: “I don't know why you bother having kids if you're just going to have someone else raise them.”

When these were coming in on my phone, I was reading them live. I left my phone open and let them pour in. For about an hour, I just sat there journaling some thoughts that I had for this episode and some things that I wanted to say, and then I would periodically look at my phone and see what responses had come in.

I got so emotional and just started to cry. My mom was actually over and we talked about it. It just poured out of us. How ridiculous this is. How sad this is.

And the irony of the opposite answers, these opposite responses. Having an outside date night with my husband so we can prioritize our marriage; not having an outside of the house date night away from the kids because I'm not ready to leave them. Homeschooling; sending my kids to school. Like these are opposite - vaccinating; not vaccinating. These are opposite responses.

Some moms feel really judged that their house is clean; some feel judged that their house is messy. “I'm shaming you because your house is clean and it brings out something in me that I feel inadequate about, so I'm going to make you feel bad about it.” “Oh, your house is messy. Why can't you get it together?” You know, it's these opposites? So ironic!

And the fact is what this shows me is that this is ludicrous. We can't win no matter what we do there is someone who is unhappy about our choice. Why do they even care, first of all? And that person lets you know exactly what they think in a very judgmental, shaming way.

I was having a conversation with my friend Kendra, some of you guys know her. She runs motherlikeaboss. We were talking about passive aggressive comments that lead to mom-shaming.

It sounds something like this. Someone asks you something and you answer them and say whatever it is that you and your family do. Like let's say it's not vaccinating, or not feeding your kids every single thing that's organic, whatever it is. And the person will respond with something like, “Wow! I would never do that. But I guess I'm just different.” Something like that. So passive aggressive that it leaves you standing there with your mouth open. Like, “I feel like crap. And what do I even say here?”

There was a study that was done recently that I read about in an article that revealed that most mom-shaming comments come from family members. That is so sad.

And in that same study it showed that 42% of the women who received critical remarks said that it made them feel unsure about their parenting judgment that they'd previously felt really good about after a lot of thought.

So, basically these women are raising people - that's scary in itself. They're doing the best they can. They're thinking it through, probably talking it out with their spouse, researching and they land on a decision: “This feels good to me. For me and my kids, this feels right.” And then they get shamed and judged verbally and it leaves them feeling unsure about a decision they had previously felt really good about.

Here's the thing, those people are not the parents of your kids. I say this all the time and it is worth saying again here: You, sweet mama, you, were chosen out of every single woman who has ever lived in any era of time to be the mother of your child or your children.

It doesn't matter if you have bio kids, if your kids are adopted, if you are a stepmom, it doesn't matter. You were chosen. In some way, shape or form, you were intentionally chosen to be their mom.

It is on you how they're raised. What decisions you make. What kind of food they eat. What kind of school they go to. What kind of stuff you put into their body, vaccine or otherwise. How many siblings they have or don't have. How many babysitters are in their lives or not. How many date nights you and your husband have or not. It's up to you. It is up to you, not them.

So first of all, I just have to say that. Just remember it is on us. And when all is said and done, how our kids turn out - honestly, it's kind of a toss-up. I really am not a fan of when people blame the parents for everything. It's not, you know what I mean? That’s not the case.

Kids are their own people. They're going to grow up with their own brains. They're getting influence from other people in other areas and they're going to do their own thing. They're going to turn into adults. But for now, as we're raising them, it's our responsibility and our choice how their childhood is. How they grow up. The things they eat, see, do, and get signed up for. Where they sleep and how we handle their meltdowns. All of that.

And you know what's really sad is that one. That one that said, “My child's meltdowns that are due to special needs, which are not obvious to the casual observer.” I can just see this poor woman in Target trying to check out and her child having a massive meltdown that just looks like ‘what a brat’ and it's special needs and you can't tell from the outside, not that that should even matter. And strangers leering at her and shooting her looks like ‘get it together’ when she is trying. Even the fact that she's out at Target with her child who she's gone through so much with is a win and people are shooting her down.

We as women have to stop this. We have to stop. No one is going to come in and help us with this. We have to be on each other's side. We have to shut this down. We have to stop judging each other, leering at each other, speaking ill of each other and gossiping about each other. It's poison. All we have is each other and we have to stop turning against each other.

Having said that, I get super emotional about this, obviously. Having said that, I want to go over some things. These are some things I've had come up in conversations with friends, some things that I've learned, you know, by myself and some things that just came to me as I was journaling through this episode while reading these responses from women in my audience to what they felt shamed about.


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Hey guys! This is Nina from Oklahoma. Instead of our house looking like a tornado had gone through it, now when we walk through the door, we feel peace, rest, and happiness. Your Uncluttered Home course has changed our lives by giving us the gift of time. The course gave us the tools to accomplish what we've always dreamed of…a place of rest, a manageable, clean home, and most important, more time with our families. Thanks Allie!

To join the Your Uncluttered Home party go to alliecasazza.com/unclutter.  Enter code PURPOSESHOW at checkout for 10% off. That's for listeners only.

I can't wait to see your introduction in the course community so I can welcome you and see your progress photos.


I want to go over some things that you can do about this. Unfortunately, it's a real problem. It's probably not going to go away anytime soon unfortunately. So on top of being a part of the change and not being a part of the problem, and cutting gossip straight up out of your life, stop talking about other people no matter what you think they did or didn't do.

Guys, I know it's hard. I know it's hard. I had somebody who is very dear to me and worked for me, steal from me, and we're in the same circle. We’ve got friends in common. I will not speak badly about her and her character. I won't. I can say the facts, say what happened, this is what we did about it, and that relationship is over. It's very sad, but I'm not going to pull the whole defamation of character thing. Even if it's true, it doesn't matter. You've got to draw a line.

It's awkward. I've had to say, “I'm not going to gossip about this.” We've got to do that because the line has to be drawn somewhere. That's an example of someone actually doing something terrible.

When one mom is doing parenthood one way and you don't like it, what gives you the right to shoot her a look, put her down or talk badly about her to somebody else because it's different than what you would do? Who cares? It's her child.

So, first of all, we’ve got to go there and stop that. We've got to stop it.

For the moms who are dealing with this kind of thing, who are feeling this way of feeling these reactions from people in your life about the choices that you're making, here's what we can do about it.

Number one, expect to be judged. A motherhood without judgment is unfortunately highly unlikely. Learn to expect it so that when it does happen, you're not so caught off guard. I'm really sad to even be having to give this point in this podcast episode. But I do think that it's worth saying. Just expect it so it's not so, “I'm shocked by this. I'm shocked that someone's unhappy about this.”

Take it from me. A part of my job is to just inevitably get people's opinions about me - how I look, how I talk. You know, I'm a Christian and sometimes I think there's just no other word to describe things than with a curse word and I don't really care. And that's just how I am. People say things about that all the time. If that's your problem then don't do it. Just don't do it.

Don't tell me how to talk.

Don't tell me that I need to dress different because it's not flattering to my shape.

Don't tell me that I go on too many (I've been told this) I go on too many date nights. What about my kids? First of all, I homeschool them and I work from home. I get plenty of my kids. And that's why we have so many date nights. Not that it's any of your freaking business.

So, I get it. It's part of my job. The con of what I do, who I am, what I've built with this audience, is just getting needless remarks, from people that I will never even meet, about exactly what they think about me and my lifestyle.

So, let me take this lesson that I've learned and give it to you who may not be in the same public situation and say, it doesn't matter what you say or do. You're going to be judged and people are going to be unhappy. So be yourself. Follow your gut. Pray about it. See how you feel. Make your decisions for your kids yourself and expect that you're going to be judged.

I promise you, you're going to feel so much better and you're not going to be so caught off guard. You're not going to be hurt. You're not going to be bothered about it all day. It's not going to ruin your day, or even your hour, because you're going to know ‘we're doing this and I'm going to be judged for it.’

Let's go back to the date night example. Brian and I have talked about this so many times and have landed here. We have a lot of date nights. We have basically a weekly meeting about business and homeschooling because there's a lot going on and we're in charge of a lot of things and we need to go over that together. And then we have a date night every week.

And you know what? Sometimes it's just too much and we just need it and we'll go out again. My brother, he works for us and he watches the kids. He's so good with them and I adore him. He comes over like, “Yeah, okay, I'll come over and watch the kids again.” We get so much flack for that.

And you know what? These people are the people who have other problems. It's not about us, it's about them. Maybe they're feeling guilty that they don't prioritize their marriage or sad that their spouse doesn't want to spend time with them. Whatever it is, whatever it's coming from, it's coming from somewhere negative in them, not negative about us. Who cares?

And I only show parts of how much time we spend alone together. If I actually opened up and showed everything (which I don't even want to do because I don't like even having my phone) then what else would people say? Who cares? Leave us alone. It doesn't matter.

Remove yourself from the situation. Let it go. Do what is going to work for you. You know, these are the same people who would be extremely judgmental if our marriage ended and we got a divorce because we didn't prioritize ourselves enough for what our lifestyle needed. So, no matter what you do, they're not going to be happy with you.

And why are you trying to make them happy anyway? Take it from me. Live your life. Do what feels good to you. Do what feels right for you and your family. Talk to your spouse (if you have one). Decide for yourself (if you're a single mom). Decide what's going to work for you and do it expecting that somebody is going to be unhappy about it and remembering that it doesn't freaking matter.

And when all is said and done, if nothing else, remember that your BFF Allie is getting judged a heck of a lot harder than you are. Maybe that will help you feel a little bit better.

Going back to what do we do about this? I think number two has to be realize that, like I said before, that this so often has nothing to do with you as a mom and everything to do with them as a person. For example, maybe your mom makes a comment only to insert herself in your child's life and your parenting so that she feels more involved. That's about her feeling like she doesn't matter. It's not about you being a bad mother. So remember, almost always comments have nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. And that's a really powerful piece of knowledge to remember when you're struggling with something that somebody has said or the way they looked at you and made you feel.

Next thing is ask yourself if this person is just a know-it-all who's talking just to hear themselves talk and to seem smart about something that they're actually really insecure about, or maybe they're making up for something else in their life that they feel ashamed of. A lot of people bring others down to avoid the shame they feel about themselves.

So again, this goes back to #2. It's about them and not you. It brings it into a new light. It can help to feel sad for somebody who's being mean to you and judging you for something if you see it that way. That basically they're just really insecure. They're feeling shamed by themselves so they are putting that shame out on you instead to make themselves feel better.

Next, I think you need to limit your time with the shamers. If they're in your life, if they’re family - as that study showed that most people who feel shamed from somebody, the shame is coming from family members - set some boundaries. Get away from them. Don't spend time with them. Don't say ‘yes’ to that dinner party if you know you're going to leave feeling dogged for your momming. Don't do that.

Read the book Boundaries. Like now. I'll link to it in shownotes. It's amazing and a classic and a life changer.

Limit your time with them. Set boundaries. Step away. Get away from them. Don't make them a part of your life more than they need to be.

Also find your people and surround yourself with the people in the outlets that lift you up and get you. If you're a single mom, find a single mom’s group to hang out with, breastfeeding groups, formula feeding groups, friends who love and accept you, even if you're doing things differently.

Even podcasts and following certain public figures online who make you feel good, inspired, and encouraged can be super helpful if you don't have an in-person circle.

So basically, what is the venue you're feeling really judged and shamed for? Find people who agree with you.

I never want to be closed-minded and only hanging out with people who agree with me about everything, especially in faith and Christianity, that's a dangerous thing to do because people are very closed-minded. They're very judgmental. Honestly, I say this all the time and I'll say it again, Christians can really suck and they can be really embarrassing. So much so that I often don't even like to label myself that because it's embarrassing. They're full of hate and they just are embarrassing.

And so, you know, find people that agree with you.

You know, again, we don't want to be closed-minded and just only hang out with people who are like us and avoid all conflict, but if you're feeling really shamed about something, go and find somebody who gets you. If you're feeling really bad that breastfeeding didn't work out for you, or you just didn't want to do it, you're formula feeding your baby and you feel super dogged about that, go and find a formula feeding group. Be encouraged there. Make a friend. Let yourself be immersed in people who are doing what you're doing and that'll help you so much.

Also, I think you need to know that some days you're going to have guilt and you're going to struggle with a feeling that you've messed up, with or without the shaming, and that's a normal part of being a parent. So here are some things you can do. Maybe you could jot these down. I purposely left this at the end of the episode so you could easily go back and find it. Jot these things down and work through them when you feel guilty or like you've messed up or you're struggling with guilt and shame in yourself about your parenting.

First, evaluate your feelings. Are they authentic? Is this an authentic thing? I feel really guilty because I yelled at my son when he dropped cereal on the floor. That's authentic. You don't want to do that. That's not the kind of parent you want to be. What can we do about that? Evaluate how you're feeling. Where is it coming from?

Also ask yourself is this fear based? Are you feeling really guilty about formula feeding your baby or breastfeeding your baby because you feel like they're not getting enough nutrients and the doctor told you that they're not. But he seems totally healthy and happy. He’s sleeping great. He's happy and he seems to be doing well. That's fear based.

Are you worried about formula feeding because somebody made you feel really guilty about that and the formula is going to cause cancer? That's fear-based.

Are these things authentic? Are they coming from a place of fear?

What do you feel is right for your family in your gut? That's the next question. What do you feel is right for your family in your gut?

Also, never be afraid of research. Research and see for yourself what you think is right.

And also, guys, it is okay to not know everything. It's okay. You're a mom; you're not God. And you're not meant to know every single thing about every single thing. It's okay that you fed your kids something without realizing fully what was in it. It's okay.

It is okay to not know everything. Give yourself some dang grace. Mothers need the most grace out of everybody and receive the least.

What I hope this episode does for you is that I hope it sets you free. I hope you feel set free. And for all you mamas who responded to what you feel shamed and judged for with C-sections, formula feeding and all those things, please know that I get it. I still get it. I so understand, especially with the C-section thing, and that might be another episode.

I totally get it. And I get judged daily for the way I live my life. So, remember your BFF Allie is getting it way worse than you are and I understand, if nothing else, I understand and we can have camaraderie in that.

Remember that you're amazing. You're doing a fantastic job. You're doing what you feel is right and that's your job. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks and just remember that you're doing great!


This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

EP 095: Allie & Brian Get A Marriage Coaching Session From a Personality Expert

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A few months ago I had Enneagram expert and coach, Beth McCord, on the show to discuss all things Enneagram. In this episode, Beth is chatting with Brian and I about the Enneagram in the context of marriage. It’s a fun coaching, therapy session! We get real vulnerable as we discuss our personality differences and the hot button issues in our marriage (everyone has one!). Beth helped us navigate how to handle issues that continuously come up in our marriage! We've seen a big difference in the mutual respect level between us and that is because Beth helped us understand each other’s personality! She is amazing and inspiring, and I know you will walk away challenged in your own marriage.

 
 

In This Episode Allie, Brian, and Beth Discuss:

  • The value of the enneagram in understanding your own personality and how it integrates into your marriage.

  • How the enneagram will help you navigate responding to your spouse and their needs.

  • Ways to handle conflict resolution in light of the enneagram and your spouse’s personality.

Mentioned in this Episode:


The whole premise of Declutter Like a Mother  is to focus on decluttering 30 minutes a day, every day, for 30 days. But you aren’t doing it alone, you are doing it alongside a community of warriors! We rally. We focus. And it just creates this team atmosphere unlike anything else. That's why I get so amped up about it and I'm always urging everybody to join.

This is the time! If you like accountability, if you like that team feeling, if you like me and you want to hang out with me and hear me talk about this in a really focused, intentional way, Declutter Like a Mother is where you need to be! It's totally free to sign up! I hope to see YOU there!


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.

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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.


Hey guys! I'm so glad to be here with you! Welcome to The Purpose Show!

Somebody messaged me the other day on Instagram and said, “I really hate when people say, ‘hey guys.’ I'm a girl. Like, could you stop saying that?” And I think subconsciously I wanted to spite them, because it irked me and I said, ‘hey guys’ accidentally intentionally. Anyway, everyone has an opinion about everything, right?

Today's episode is phenomenal. Not because of me, because of our guests today. My hubby's joining us today. This is going to be so, so good. But there's a couple of things that you need to know before we dive in.

So, this episode is all about marriage and the Enneagram. You can say that word different ways apparently. I've heard the makers of this personality development (it’s not really a personality test; it's like a personality development…a whole big thing) say it one way and then other people who coach in it say Enneagram (anagram). There's so many different ways to say it and opinions. I just say it however it comes out of my mouth in a sentence. So, it's fine.

But we're talking about the Enneagram today and how it has to do with marriage. This episode is really, really special because Brian and I are sitting down and basically getting a coaching call with Enneagram coach and expert Beth McCord.

If you're unfamiliar with the Enneagram, basically it’s sort of like a personality test, but it's an extremely deep dive. It's so much more above and beyond, and deeper than just a personality test like the Myers Brigg test that's been so popular for decades.

If you're not familiar with it, definitely Google it. You might be a little confused on this episode. I mean, not really, but it just helps if you have a basic understanding of the Enneagram, what it is and how it works.

Beth McCord is our coach today. She's basically doing a live Enneagram therapy session with Brian and I and it's really awesome. We get really vulnerable. We even bring to the table one of the common conflicts that we have. We bring it to Beth and ask her with our personalities, the way that our minds work and the way that we function as two different people, how can we better handle this so that we stop hitting this wall and stop coming back to this typical marriage conflict and she was so helpful. Her answer really helped us and we've been applying it ever since we recorded this and it's been so, so helpful.

We've seen a big difference in the mutual respect level between us. This everyday conflict, the thing we bring up, is one of our typical walls that we bump into as a married couple. I think everybody has things like that. We brought Beth ours, one of our main things. It hasn't come up lately and I really think it's because we learned to respect each other a little bit more, understand each other and know how to communicate this issue better to each other. Super, super helpful.

Brian and I talked when we first had the idea to create this episode for you guys and we really got on the same page and both agreed it is always awkward to be vulnerable and raw when there's millions of people listening, but we're not afraid to do that.

We want to help you guys and I really believe that the key to changing the world and helping other people is by being vulnerable. And if people don't like what we have to say, you know, of course they can stop listening. They can unfollow or whatever floats their boat.

But we want to open up and we want to be really vulnerable. I keep using that word, but we do want to be really vulnerable with you guys, open up and say, “Hey, every marriage hits walls and this is the one that comes up not day-to-day, but week-to-week, month-to-month. It's just our main hot button issue.

It's really interesting, I think, to hear an Enneagram coach who's focused on personalities and focused on how we each function and process things, words and the way that God designed us…to hear an expert on these things give that kind of coaching.

So that's who Beth McCord is. She's incredible. I do want to say that Beth has been on our show before. Her episode was # 86 and I really think you need to listen to that first in order for this episode to give you the most bang for your buck, so to speak, to really make it worth your time and have you fully understand.

In Episode 86 Beth basically intros the Enneagram and goes over each of the 9 types. You can listen to that and let the descriptions of each type trigger you or not trigger you, and  figure out which one you might gravitate toward and which one you might be.

I'm an 8 and Brian is a 2. So as an 8, I'm more what Beth calls ‘a snowplow.’ Always striving for something, always pushing towards something, getting things done, super productive, super driven, super blunt. Brian being a type 2 is more like a servant. He's very sweet and humble. He's always putting others first, almost to the point where it can become a flaw. And it often does. He's very, very sweet and mild mannered. He's very sensitive. I'm sure even as I just described our two types, you can see how we would work really, really great together, and how we might run into conflicts, especially in communication.

This episode is super helpful even if you are not in a relationship where one of you is an 8 and one of you is a 2. Beth did a really phenomenal job of leading us in this episode to be helpful for anybody. Anybody who's married or in a serious relationship where you want to learn how to understand and respect the other person more, and deal with conflict and communication.

Brian and I also discuss a really, really big issue that we hit in our marriage almost in a ‘us against them’ way. Not really in our marriage with each other so much, (although it was that way at first in the first few months of a big shift that happened in our lives) but more like other people not understanding our dynamic, not understanding our roles, and not understanding our marriage, particularly in the Christian world where in my best life and my best role for my personality I'm the breadwinner.

I run the business. I am driven. I'm motivated. I'm an entrepreneur. I'm always on fire mentally where I can come up with ideas. I have a bunch of ways to make money, all these great ideas and I could do a million things at once. I'm so goal-oriented and driven – snowplow.

And Brian is really kind of humble and made to serve and support. He does a great job at that. And other people haven't understood that. I don't want to give too much away, and I don't mean to ramble on, I just think it's really important that you understand how important this episode is and how good it is that you're listening right now.

So, if you want to go back and listen to Episode 86 first, then come back and listen to this. This episode is incredible and I'm so honored to have it be a part of my show.

ALLIE: Hi Beth! Welcome to The Purpose Show again.

BETH: It’s so great to be back. Thanks guys!

ALLIE: Brian's here too. Okay. So, I'm super excited about this. Alright, Beth, they already know what's up and what we're doing, so let’s dive in!

BETH: So, we've got obviously a type 8 and a type 2 and you guys have taken my Exploring You course which has both the Discovering You course, which is the foundational piece of what the Enneagram is, how you use it like an internal GPS and an overview of all types. And then you watched the Exploring You, which is my online coaching course.

Just to let the listeners know…what they did was they had 5 pre-recorded coaching sessions with me that are ready for them to go with guide sheets for each of the 5 coaching sessions. It's specifically talking about why you do what you do. It breaks down your personality so you can understand yourself in a much deeper way and grow without being so overwhelmed. “What is this ‘Enneagram thing’? I don't understand what they're talking about in these books.” I bring it down into a Cliff Notes version.

So, what was it like guys? How did it go?

ALLIE:  Good. I feel like you were the most surprised and maybe you seemed comforted by the information?

BRIAN: Yeah, well it was nice to realize what I am and why I do things. Why I get mad or frustrated. Or how I react certain ways and how you don't. And it makes sense. Then thinking about some of my friends and people that I know…I could probably think, “He's probably a 6 or they are a 4.” Even though they haven't taken it, it makes me understand them better but understand myself too.

ALLIE:  For me, I'm usually the one that will dive into something and be reading, studying about it and pass on the information. And so, it's been really cool for him to listen to you, seeing your face, hearing your voice and hearing you explain, “You probably feel like this when this situation happens,” and it's just comforting. I was really happy to see him. It's freeing, I think. And just helpful.

BETH: Here's the cool thing…now this would be, this is a different question specifically for you guys. So, the listeners out there, they're not a couple most likely that are an 8 and a 2. I mean there's obviously going to be some out there, but there's 45 different combinations when you put them all together.

So that being said, we have a female 8 and a type 2 male. How has that been for you guys now learning about the Enneagram and recognizing how God has created you uniquely to have these really incredible attributes, but also in a society where some of these attributes are confusing in the female/male role?

And I'll explain to the listeners real quick. So, the 8’s can be very bold and aggressive and what you see is what you get. They're going to say it like it is. Whereas the 2’s are very warm, kind, gentle, thoughtful and nurturing. So having that background, tell us what has the dynamics been before learning the Enneagram and the confusion that may have brought you guys, but also now recognizing how beautiful that is to have that combination?

BRIAN:  Looking at it on paper and seeing the 8 being the strength and the abilities that the 8 has compared to the 2, it seems like normally you would say, “Oh yeah, the 2 would be a woman and the 8 would be a strong kind of guy, you know?

ALLIE: Like a stereotype. They’re the opposite.

BRIAN: So that's what's funny. As much as I can be that because I'm a guy and I can be an 8, I just feel in myself I want to do these things like the 2 with us together, supporting you and being behind the scenes. I don't want to necessarily be out in front and be in the spotlight and I'm okay with that. And you know, I know some people aren't.

ALLIE: I’m not. And that was our old life. I don't really know how to word that (old life sounds weird) but the way we used to live and we felt good about it. We know that's where God had us, but I definitely struggled. I was a stay-at-home mom and I was happy doing that. I never thought I'd work or do anything else. But once God shifted where He had us and the business happened, I was kind of like you. I didn't know what I was missing for my personality type until I had it and I felt so much better having two things, like my kids & my family and my business. I realized how strong I am and that my strengths were made to do what I do. But we had years of struggling with our roles switching and each other.

I would say the first six months of Brian quitting his job, his corporate job (because of the business we needed to be home together and run it together) were really, really hard. It was so hard and weird. Lots of bickering, lots of confusion. And then once we were okay with it, we moved back home to California and were hit with other people in our lives having a problem with it.

I talk a lot with him about how it's hard for us to find ‘couple friends’ because the man always seems like he doesn't like me or is threatened by me. We actually lost touch with some friends because the husband said something basically to the effect of “I would never stop providing for my family because my wife was.” He obviously has some kind of insecurity. But things like that, especially in the Christian sphere, it's very the ‘traditional roles’ and that's it and that's what's right.

It's been weird and hard. I struggled. My mom worked. My parents ran a business together. But in my school (we went to a private Christian school) and the churches and the people that I grew up around formed me to struggle deeply with being a woman and working. Not only working but creating jobs, running a business, making more money than men in my life, than my own dad, than people that I respected it. It caused a stir.

It's been so hard along the way. It's weird that that would be a problem for some people, but it is. So, we have had to get really comfortable with that is who you are made to be and God brought us together and look at why. Look what this has turned into. What would happen if my life, my business all turned into this and you were also an 8? Fight much? That would've been terrible.

BETH. So true. That's so true. That's why I wanted to bring up that question because what you just talked about is what so many couples are dealing with, obviously with a different type combination. But they're looking around at everyone else, especially the young couples and going, what's wrong with us? Or why is this so hard? And so much of it is because we don't understand why we do what we do. And definitely the person sleeping next to us. Why are they so weird? They just do things so opposite.

But I think the beauty of the Enneagram is that what you're now being able to see is you guys have “fallen” into this beautiful calling (I mean obviously God lead you there) but it kind of feels like it too, right? You were doing this one life and the traditional thing and then it turned and all of a sudden now you're in this completely opposite role and yet it's working, you know? And I feel like that's such a beautiful thing the Lord has done because it's not that what was happening before was wrong. Like you said, that was His calling on your life then. But he also has graciously brought you to a place that fits you guys really well. Am I my speaking the same thing for you, Brian with the role that you’re playing right now?

BRIAN:  Yeah, it feels like this is my purpose. This is what I was really made to do. I struggled with things, being at work when she needed so much help at home with the kids. I just felt a pull to be here and help out with other things too. Now that we've fallen into this and we're in this place now, it feels more right with how we are together than it was before.

ALLIE: Even though he always said that, and I hate that this is part of our process, but even in the beginning I was like, “Don't you want to do something? Don't you want to do something else?” I'm just so driven, I don't understand that he's so content and knows,

“Nope, this is exactly what I'm supposed to be doing.” I would try to pull other things out of him and he's like, “No, I know this is where I'm supposed to be.”

And also despite his guy friends saying like…it's always about what do you do? What do you do? What do you do? It’s working so well. When we stop that noise and we focus on who we were made to be, the way God made each of us, what our strengths are, we are so much more successful. We're reaching more people and changing lives. Making more money. Having more joy in our family this way than the old way.

That was basically because that's what we were taught is God's way and I struggled with, “Well then why did You make me so driven? Why did He make me have these ideas?” I would suffer and struggle and go to Him with them. We reached a point where it was like, “Why are we killing ourselves here? We need to step into this, not push it down.”

BETH:  This is a great place where you would implement a “strength finders” mentality. Why not go with your strengths? Why not go with the way God has designed you? Obviously if God calls you to do something that's difficult and hard, obviously we have to step out into that because He is calling it. You probably agree with what I'm going to say.

The role that I'm playing in my company is the most rewarding but hardest thing I've ever done, but I feel like I'm in the right spot. So I'm not saying do what's easy. It's actually not easy, but it is also right.

That's what I love hearing about what you guys are saying because you guys are now doing a new dance in your life. No longer are you stumbling over each other as much because you're in the right positions. And the other thing that you're learning is, wait, I was designed for this. This isn't I'm less of a person because I'm doing a non-traditional role. In fact, I am not only able to bless others, but I'm reaping the rewards too in my own spirit and soul and providing for my family.

I think that's what's really important for people that are listening is how has God designed you? Who has He created you to be and to live in that freedom?

When I talk to people, I'm wanting to bring the full gospel to each person by knowing who they are and whose they are. The who you are part is how did God design you?

With the Enneagram (and there's lots of assessments out there that are great) but with the Enneagram…like for you guys, like you said Allie, you’re driven. You’re a type 8. You're driven. Now that ‘driveness’ can be good and bad, depending on how you use it. And I'm sure you're fully aware of that. I call 8’s ‘snowplows’ and so either you're plowing a path for others and you see them ahead of you and you're like, “Hey everyone, get behind me and I'll plow the path for you.” And then everyone's like, “Thank you! We have to get here and there and everywhere.” And you're happy to do that. That is just the role God created you to be.

But if your heart's out of alignment with the Gospel, you'll start to nick people on the road or plow over people and that's not good. So, the same gifting can be used for good or bad. And then the same for the type 2’s. We all have those things, but once we recognize what it's like when our heart is aligned, we can then better get ourselves in that position. Then it's knowing whose you are in Christ.

What does that mean? It’s being fully redeemed. Fully set free. Being His beloved. Cherished. All those things that people hear, but do you really understand it? Because it's when you really understand it, especially through the lens of how you’ve been created. And that's what we do, as I'm sure you know, especially in session 5 in Exploring You, we take you through the implications of grace. Basically I’m speaking the Gospel in your “mother tongue or your personalities language” so that you can fully hear and resonate with the Gospel in ways that probably you've never quite heard before.

What was that like for you guys to hear grace it's in a unique way? For you Allie, you will not be betrayed and for you, Brian, you are loved and wanted just as you are. What was that like for you guys to hear those messages?

ALLIE: I got really emotional and I get emotional even just as you were talking about and hearing it again, just because I think as an 8 and all the strengths and features that come with that, it's easy to feel like you're too much. It's easy to feel like you’re taking over when you're not meaning to. Just like you asked and I know what to say, so I'm going to talk about it until I'm done making my point. I will always get this face that says, “that’s a lot.” You just always feel like you're too much, like I need to edit myself.

Reading that, hearing you say that and learning about that…this is how I was made and you're not too much. People always say, “I always feel like I'm not enough, I’m not enough.” And I always felt like I'm way too much. It was so freeing to here that God made me like this intentionally and He loves how much I am and it's not too much. There's a place and a role for how much I am and how driven I am. I just need to find the right places and know when to be sensitive and hold back a little bit. Not editing, just being respectful of other people and holding back and that there's nothing wrong with me I guess.

BETH: Right? Yeah. And that's so freeing, right? Like you're just where you should be. You can just relax in the love of Christ, you know? Because it's there for you. You already have it.

I always tell people when it comes to the Gospel…so if you're in your office and I'm in my office, and if you and I were both like, “Oh man, if we could just get in our offices, life would be like so amazing!” And we're like, “Okay, you're there guys.” And that’s what it’s like with grace. You're there. You already have it. You just aren't fully able to realize it and that's where we have to open ourselves up to allowing Christ to speak it more deeply into us and set us free.

So, what was it like for you, Brian to hear the implications of grace for you?

BRIAN:  It was nice to hear ‘You do love me for what I am doing’, you know? A lot of times I crave that. I do things and want to be loved that way, you know? That's why I'll do a million things for everyone else and not for myself. It's almost like who cares about how I feel because I need that from you. And to hear that and feel that…it's just so nice to get that and know that that's how I am and it's just great.

ALLIE: You’re a server. That’s such a gift.

BETH: One thing I go over in a lot of my personal coaching is Jeremiah 2:13 where it talks about we have forsaken God in two different ways. We have turned from the Spring of Living Water. Let’s say we're standing and right to our left is the Spring of Living Water and it's flowing. It's fresh. It’s amazing. To your right is the cistern. A cistern is like a well that you’ve dug but there’s no fresh water in it. So you've dug it, you put mortar around it and now you have to put water into it. But what it says is not only have you dug your own cistern, it’s broken. So even if we brought water to it, it just goes away. It's not lasting. So, with our spouses, our family, shopping, eating, drugs, whatever it is that we're trying to fill ourselves with, we think is going to bring a satisfaction…it can't ever sustain it. It can never bring us what we want.

So even if we're upset with our spouses, like why aren't you filling up my cistern? You should be doing it this way. Well even if they came with five gallons of water and put it in there, it's broken. But if we turn to the Spring of Living Water - which is right there, we already have it - and we soak up as much as we want, whenever we want. Then when our spouse even gives us a thimble of what we were hoping to get, we will be like, “Oh wow, that's awesome! Thank you so much!” Even this little bit or just a glass full and we'll be so satisfied by what our spouse is doing even if it's just a little bit. Whereas before we were demanding it from them and they just can't do it. It's only Christ that can fulfill it.

For Brian, what you're saying is when I can know that I'm fully loved and wanted by Christ. He literally left the throne of heaven to come and live a really brutal life because He pursued you and wanted you, not because of anything you did. In fact, you were sinning (Romans 5:8) but He wanted you. Then when you soak up in that, it's like, wow, not only am I not rejected, I am fully treasured. Then anything that Allie does or doesn't do, you're already at a great place and you can move towards her instead of demanding her to fulfill you. Does that kind of feel what's right?

BRIAN: For sure. It helps to know that so much and just makes me feel so different than before, thinking that way.

ALLIE: I see him struggle a lot with that “performing” and then the let-down of other people. Especially parents not giving him what he has always needed and so it's been really, really freeing for me, but as his wife, I don't want him to hurt. I don't want him to constantly be let down. He's such a giver that he's kind of attracted in friendships and relationships to ‘takers’ including myself. When I'm in a really good healthy place, I am super giving, but when I get stressed or brought down I don't even think about anybody else. It's been freeing for me as his wife to see him being fulfilled and realizing what a beautiful being he is and what a perfectly made human he is, so that he's not needing to get that from other people.

BETH:  Exactly. And this is where it's going to be really cool with other people that are listening. They're probably sitting there going, “Well, I'm not an 8 or a 2.” Well, guess what? This works for all types. You have to learn about your personality type, which is where the Exploring You course will help you. Basically, you get a course for yourself. I'm a type 9 and my husband is a type 6, so I would get a type 9 course. He would get the type 6 course and then we would watch it together because not only will I learn about myself, but he learns about me and vice versa. In each of the guide sheets, there's these reflection questions where you can start talking, “Oh my goodness, that's how you see the world. I had no idea.”

Then what's really cool is you get to speak into their life and point them back to Christ instead of trying to fix it yourself. Brian isn't that so great?

BRIAN: Yes!

BETH: Brian’s like, “I am not Jesus. Allie, I love you, but you right now are so stressed. You really need Christ and He is your strength. He won't betray you. I'm here for you, but I can't come through for you in the way that you need, but I'm pushing you to Christ.”

What has that been like for you guys to do that pattern in that way, but then in the other way, Allie, how has it been for you to say, “Brian, you really need to take care of yourself. I want to get you away from all of your stress so you can go do something fun or relaxing.” What's that been like to really care for one another?

ALLIE:  Yeah. I feel like, especially because I've been doing the Enneagram stuff longer, it's getting cemented now. I feel like I've practiced it enough to where now if he's…he doesn't really ‘lose it’ ever. I do. But when he does start to get where he's just done and he's stressed…it's always something else unrelated that's bothering him. Somebody did something, didn't value him, or didn't give him the affirmation that he thought he would get for doing something or whatever. Just kind of losing it and volcanoing out because he's been suppressing it.

Like our weekly date nights and letting him talk instead of me just talking the whole time. Going and doing something that he wants. Having family come over and hang with the kids for a little bit while we get out and go for a drive or just talk.

I feel like it's made me less being like a snowplow and there's always more to go, more to do, always working on something and always go, go, go. Realizing how to slow down and just be together. It's not only helped me help him but it's also helped me almost kind of take on some of his traits because I know it so well and calm down myself.

BETH:  Yeah, that's awesome.

BRIAN: It's helped me figure out how to respond to you or help you when you need certain things. I feel instead of looking at a giant book and trying to flip through and figure out what it is that I can do to help you, this narrows it down to one page or a paragraph. I know you’re like this, so you need these things, and I know what to do and what things I shouldn't do too. That has just been so huge for us in everything we do.

BETH: It’s like I'm in the background in the video course going, “Okay, don't go to that landmine. No! There's a landmine over there too. Don't do that either.”

ALLIE: Yeah, don't phrase it like that!”

BETH: “Stay clear!”


Hey friends, if you are not one of my students in the Your Uncluttered Home community, you have got to get your booty over there. Your Uncluttered Home is my signature online course and it is changing mom lives all over the globe. I'm super, super proud of it. It is the next step into real action for you if you want to go all in with living in an uncluttered home that allows you to spend your time focused on what matters. And that's what we're always talking about, right? Don't just take my word for it though. Listen to these words from one of my beautiful Your Uncluttered Home students.

Hey guys! This is Nina from Oklahoma. Instead of our house looking like a tornado had gone through it, now when we walk through the door, we feel peace, rest, and happiness. Your Uncluttered Home course has changed our lives by giving us the gift of time. The course gave us the tools to accomplish what we've always dreamed of…a place of rest, a manageable, clean home, and most important, more time with our families. Thanks Allie!

To join the Your Uncluttered Home party go to alliecasazza.com/unclutter.  Enter code PURPOSESHOW at checkout for 10% off. That's for listeners only.

I can't wait to see your introduction in the course community so I can welcome you and see your progress photos.


I can't wait to see your introduction in the course community so I can welcome you and see your progress photos!

BETH: Here's where this really cool thing is, and where it comes together for marriages, and we talked about this at the beginning before we got on here, was that we literally just today I got the manuscript done, proofed, everything for my Becoming Us book. It’s my husband and I really talking about what has been like for us to use the Enneagram with a gospel perspective through communication, conflict, family of origin, all those things that are really at the core of what we struggle with, right? In marriage?

Then the backside is exactly what you guys are talking about. It's called The Roadmap. It's where there's going to be four pages on let's say type 8 for instance, or type 2, and it's understanding me and then there's two pages on understanding them. Now obviously it's all geared towards that same type, but it just brings it in a mindset of…so Brian can flip to the Understanding Them and go, okay, where's the landmines again? What’s the path I should be taking?

Now, you would obviously read the other part too, just to gleam a little bit more, but we're trying to really address it to each of you so that you could understand how to work better together. That will be coming in October and so that will be really another great piece for people to have.

ALLIE:  Yeah, definitely. We're so thankful for what you do because you explain it…I don't mean this the wrong way, but it's almost like the Enneagram For Dummies broken down. What do you really need to know? And it takes a very complicated deep thing and makes it very clear and understandable. He was able to just jump in and just immediately understand himself and understand me and now we use it in conversation all the time. I'll say, “Well, because of the way that I was made, I wasn't thinking of that or I didn't see that.”

Also, one thing I always really want to push with listeners listening to all of the Enneagram episodes that we're going to do and all the things you're doing, is that I think it's important to never ever use your type as an excuse. I've thought it a couple times. I don't think I've ever really said anything that's like, “Well I'm just like this. That’s the way that I am.”

BETH: We say don't use it as a sword or a shield. So Allie can’t go, “Brian you’re being such a 2, or you’re doing that.” We might think it, we might feel it, but man, this is so vulnerable, right? This is at our core and so we want to treat each other as best we can. If we do, by accident, because I've even done it with my husband who's probably listening at some point. I've said things and he's looking at me like, “Oh, that was kind of a jab.” And I'm like, “Oh, I'm so sorry!”

We just need to realize we have to own it and apologize, but yes, we can't use it as a shield and be like, “I’m a 9 and I can be slothful. Just deal with it.” That’s just not going to help the relationship, you know?

But that's also where the gospel shines because the Enneagram can really expose. And it almost take your breath away of, “Oh my goodness! Those are my not so great spots.” But when we know we're already forgiven, cherished, and loved, and then we have Christ’s righteousness on us, we can look at that because nothing has changed and it allows us to go, “I am sorry.” Knowing that we're still the same. We're still His. We're still loved. We're still cherished. And in fact, by doing that, it actually brings our relationship closer. That's a really, really powerful thing. So yes, don't use it as a sword or a shield.

ALLIE: Yeah. I actually have a question. We had this discussion that we have often last night and I was thinking that even though it's vulnerable, I think we should bring it to Beth and let her hash it out with us on the episode because I think it will be so helpful for the listeners.

Because of our lifestyle, because of our personality types, and because of the roles were in…you know how every couple has their go-to conflicts that comes back in a new way? Those have all shifted. Sometimes I think back about the old ones and I think, “Oh, Allie & Brian, you knew nothing.” I don't know if it’s more complicated, a higher level, big stuff, but it’s a wall we keep bumping into.

I used to be in the role of taking care of the house, taking care of the kids, homeschooling the kids, making meals and that's it. Now, we share the load. He'll help me with pieces of the business and I definitely will cook meals and do some of the kids' schooling, but it's like 70/30, maybe even 80/20 some months. I'm mainly the one making the money, running the business, managing my team, coming up with ideas, working, even if it’s a couple of hours of the day, that's the main thing that I'm doing. And he is mainly the one holding down the fort.

And so, because I used to do it…I’ll be like, “How could you not see that? How come you're not doing it this way? Well you just have to, for lack of a better term, get your head out of your butt and look alive. Plan better. Pay attention!” Or I'll be like, “Oh my gosh, you didn't call about that? How could you not see that I needed you to call? Do I have to do everything?” This is the new dialogue. I'm being dramatic to show the ugly parts of it.

We talk it out. We work on it. And then we're like, “Okay. I see. I'm sorry. I am sorry for being perfectionistic. You're sorry for not maybe being more organized.” Whatever it is that day. But it's just that wall that we keep ‘bumpercaring’ into. I wanted to bring that today because I think it's really vulnerable and honest and also really specific so that people could see how you can use the Enneagram to work through stuff like that.

BETH: Absolutely. One thing that we talk about with the Enneagram is how it's like wearing different sunglasses that have different colored lenses. Allie, for you, let's say you're wearing red lenses and Brian’s wearing blue lenses and you're seeing the same thing, same circumstance, but in a completely different way. For you, Allie, it's like, “Hello! It's clear as day. This is red. How could you not see this?” And he's like, “Can you just put on my glasses for a second?”

Then you put on his glasses from his perspective. So, understanding his core motivations, how he operates, functions and the hard wiring. And then all-of-a-sudden that's when you have this compassion of “Oh wow, you totally see it different!” Or “You've got your mind in a thousand other directions to help other people and you're feeling everyone else's emotions, whether it's here at home, our friends or whatever is going on…you're being pulled. Of course, you're going to drop a few things or not notice a few things because you're really being pulled in lots of directions.”

Now as an 8…it's like an eagle. You see what needs to be aimed at and you just go straight for it. It's obvious. How can this not be so simple? Then plus 8’s can't hold back their opinions most of the time. It takes a lot of effort to, like you said, ‘edit it.’ So for  Brian to realize, okay, when she just spouts out something, her heart most of the time, obviously not all the time, but most of the time is not to hurt and harm me, Even though it just landed on me really harsh because as a 2, they're very sensitive and he's probably like, “Oh wow, that really hurt!” And you're like, “I'm just saying, you know, it's just obvious.”

ALLIE: Exactly.

BETH: And that's where, you know, Brian, you could easily say, “Hey, I totally hear what you're saying…” Now this is hard for 2’s because this goes into a lot of other things, but 2’s, it's hard to admit where they struggle because then you'll reject them. I remember it because the 9 is somewhat similar. I would tell my husband, “It's hard to say ‘I'm sorry,’ because then you're going to see that I failed or something.” He's like, “Yeah, don’t think I haven’t already noticed.” Right? So what I realized is, “Oh, okay, wait. Everyone sees it, so just own it, apologize and move forward.”

That being said, Brian, you could easily say, “Hey, you know, you're right, but I just want you to know, not to make excuses, but I want you to know what else is going on with me, why I may have missed that. Where I could really use your help is not to take it over, but…” Let's say it's a dentist appointment that you forgot to get the paperwork into. Let's say, Allie, maybe that's like breathing air for you. You just get it done. It takes five seconds. For 8’s, you're going a billion miles an hour but for the rest of us, we just don't go that fast.

And so for you, it may not be that you have to do it (because you are busy) but it could be, “Hey, I'm going to write down a note in this one area, put it on your phone or whatever because I know that's maybe not your strong suit and that's okay. But I'm going to give you a leg up on it. I'm not going to take over. I know that you're going to do your best. If you need my help to come through, let me know and we'll work that out.”

Does that sound like a better dance and something that would work for your two types?

ALLIE: Yeah, and the thing that I love about it is that you just removed…because the problem is…like I was saying last night I'm not meaning to belittle anyone's role. But I know what my strengths are and I know that I could run the business, do all of this, do all of it and be okay. But we're in this together and I want us to be a team. I know that I could just not worry about you doing it because you might forget. I could just do it.

BETH: You could just plow it over.

ALLIE: Yeah, I could just do it, but I'm going to get resentful. If I’m carrying all that and I feel like you're not sharing that life, then I'm going to get really resentful and I don't want that for us because that's just a marriage killer.

BETH: And here's the other thing for the 8. This is when we get into lesson two, there's kind of the hidden side. The hidden side of the 8 is it’s not that you don't mind getting lots of things done. In fact, 8’s love the intensity of life and having lots of stuff to do. But the thing that's really painful and hard for them is they feel that there's no one bigger and stronger than them to be able to come in and rescue them, that they have to be the one.

Well first, if you are relying on your spouse for that only, it's never going to work. And sorry, Brian, this has nothing to do with you. Because as a 2, I'm sure you're doing lots of wonderful things. This is just fact across the board. But the cool thing is God is bigger, He is stronger and He proved it through His life, death and resurrection. He is all powerful. And when He says He's not going to betray you, I mean he was the most betrayed.

So as an 8 it's like, “Wow! He really knows what that is and He is not going to betray me. He is stronger and more powerful so I can trust Him.” It doesn't mean you just trust Him and not help Brian at all or point out things. It's not that. It's like, “Okay, I'm going to do the best I can to support Brian in doing some reminders or some leg-ups or things that help that process, but at the same time trusting that it is what it is and God is going to be really good.” But then also asking Brian, “How can I love you better in this? Give me some clarity. What would be freeing for you? How can I support you? Is it reminders? Is it taking it over this one little thing?”

Because I know for me when we were doing our kids’ college applications and stuff or the FAFSA, I mean it just makes me want to shut down. I was trying to do it for my husband. As a 9...procrastinate, procrastinate. It felt too overwhelming. I just had to realize it is so scary for me that I'm going to mess it up. I just need to have him start it. And that's when I said, hey, can you just start this? I'll probably be able to finish it, but I'm just almost too scared to even start it. And that's where it's really cool for us to be vulnerable with each other and knowing that hey, I have weaknesses and you have strengths and vice versa, how can we really tag team this?

But you know, like you were saying for Brian to recognize, and this is going to be really hard because in the moment the feelings get hurt. When your feelings get hurt, you can go, okay, first I'm not rejected by Christ. And I know Allie well enough to know that her intention is not to hurt me. She just has a very blunt personality. Now that doesn't mean you can't say at some point, whether it's in the moment, but probably later, hey, you know when you said that in this way? You have to preface it, “I know you were not meaning to hurt me, but it did kind of land on me harsh. Could you say it maybe this way next time?” That way you're showing them, I see your heart, I see who you really are and your love for me, but a little adjustment would be very helpful.

And that's where the Enneagram can be so powerful because most of the time we can't say “I see your goodness. I see your beauty.” Because we're seeing it through our lens and all we see is you're not doing it right and we just want to put them down. “How could you?” Or “You're so dumb.” Or ‘You're so mean.”  Wait. No. Let's put on each other's lenses. Let's see the world through their eyes and then communicate in a much clearer way.

The big thing (and we may have talked about this last time, Allie, I don't remember) but the big thing to remember is don’t commit a suicide. It's where you assume they're seeing the world through your perspective and they are not. And that's where you ask clarifying questions without pretense of you are wrong and bad and I'm right.

Here's an interesting statistic. John Gottman is a marriage researcher and he found that 67 %, I think it's 67, it might be 69. Anyway, somewhere in that range, of all conflicts or arguments have no right answer. Meaning it's really personality driven or belief system. It's not like there's this really hardcore right or wrong answer. So that just lets us know we really could ask clarifying questions and try to see each other's point of view and how can we come to the middle through prayer and through being with one another and supporting, so that this thing can really move forward in a really dynamic way, which is exactly what you guys are doing with your business and your family life.

You had those rough spots where it was really rocky, but now you're in this really smooth place. Now of course there's bumps and turbulence on the way, but you guys have really gone through the major stuff to now navigate this stuff. Now the Enneagram comes in and it's like, “Now we have this tool to smooth it out even more,” which is so amazing.

ALLIE: Yeah. This was so good. I'm so glad we did this this way. I think it will be super helpful even for people that have different personality types than us.

BETH: Good. Well thanks guys.

BRIAN: Yeah, it’s so helpful!

BETH:  Thanks, guys!

ALLIE: So can you just remind everybody where they can find you? I really love you on Instagram. Can you share your handle there? You're so good at Instagram. You guys Beth shares things that are so helpful and mindblowing. I always watch your highlights over again because you have all the different types. What would each type do at a Christmas party and different situations and it's so helpful. My mom now is all into it and we understand why we butted heads so much when I was a teenager. Share where on Instagram and your website and all that good stuff.

BETH: Thanks! On Instagram it's yourenneagramcoach and then you look at the highlights.

And then our website is yourenneagramcoach.com and that's where you're going to find the online courses that we're talking about here, which is Discovering You and Exploring You.

If you don't know your type, go ahead and get Exploring You and Allie will put a coupon code in her show notes, so grab it there. If you know your type, then go ahead and get Exploring You because Discovering You is already inside it and so then you can watch both of those together.

Then if you're a couple then get one for you and one for your spouse unless you actually are the same type, then you only have to get one. That's kind of rare. But it does happen.

My assistant, both her and her husband are both 9’s.

ALLIE: Wow! We have best friend couples that live in another state. I grew up with the wife and we always mess around with them and joke with them…“Well, I'll just make the decisions for all four of us.” Because I think they might both be 2’s or both 9’s because it's like, “Where do you want to go to lunch? Well where would you want to go? Well…” And I'm like, “Oh my God, we're going to get pizza.”

BETH: Or another solution you could do is you can say, “Okay, here are the three options (or two because that many people just do two options). Okay guys, “I think the pizza or Italian. Which one? Raise your hand.” That way you don't have to always make the final decision.

On October 1st the Becoming Us book is coming out. And we're also going to be doing five date night events in five major cities this summer where we're going to really teach on how to deal with what we're doing here with a big crowd so that they can get used to it.

Also, we're going to have an actual marriage course coming out this summer specifically related around the book of Becoming Us. So that will be probably the next step after you do Exploring You.

There's lots of great things to come. Everyone's waiting for Marriage, so hang on tight. It’s just around the corner.

ALLIE: We’ll link specifically to all the programs with a little bit of a description on each one for you guys so that you can just find all that in the show notes.

Thanks Beth!

To join the Your Uncluttered Home party, go to alliecasazza.com/unclutter. Also, enter code PURPOSEHOW at checkout for 10% off. That's for listeners only.

I can't wait to see your introduction in the course community so I can welcome you and see your progress photos!


This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

Ep 094: The 5 Biggest Mistakes Moms Make When Trying to Ditch the Clutter

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When I started my journey to decluttering my home, I wasted a lot of time trying to figure out how to make it happen. At the time, I could only find help with organizing clutter, not clearing it - and I wanted to clear it out! I learned a lot along the way which is why one of my main missions is to help you declutter faster, quicker, and more effectively. I want to take you all the way to the other side of simplicity and experience the joy and freedom in half the time. So here are the 5 biggest mistakes I see people make (and I have made myself!) when it comes to ditching the clutter.

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • Where her decluttering journey began and the things that were frustrating at the start.

  • How you can use the feeling of overwhelm as a catalyst to motivate yourself to declutter.

  • The best place to start in your decluttering journey that will help you sustain motivation.

  • The balance between taking decluttering too serious and not serious enough.

Mentioned in this Episode:


The whole premise of Declutter Like a Mother  is to focus on decluttering 30 minutes a day, every day, for 30 days. But you aren’t doing it alone, you are doing it alongside a community of warriors! We rally. We focus. And it just creates this team atmosphere unlike anything else. That's why I get so amped up about it and I'm always urging everybody to join.

This is the time! If you like accountability, if you like that team feeling, if you like me and you want to hang out with me and hear me talk about this in a really focused, intentional way, Declutter Like a Mother is where you need to be! It's totally free to sign up! I hope to see YOU there!


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.

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From the dawn of time, mothers have warred through unmatched trials, the pain of child bearing, seemingly insurmountable piles of laundry, PMS.  The time has come. Mothers all over the world will gather, trash bags in hand, war paint on their faces, an unstoppable force against the clutter that fights to steal their time.

Warriors Gather! Declutter Like A Mother 2019 is upon us!

Visit alliecassa.com/warriors to enter this 30-day challenge. Don't worry, it's free!


Hello, beautiful friend! Happy Wednesday (If you're listening to this on its air date or a different Wednesday) I'm so glad you're here! Truly, I'm so, so honored that you're choosing to spend some of the time out of your busy day to listen to me. It really means a lot to me. It means a lot every time. I just love you and I'm super glad that you're here.

I'm extra excited because we get to talk about clutter and the act of letting it go, which is one of my favorite things to talk about, and I get to do it in a way that is my favorite because we're going to talk about the 5 biggest mistakes moms (or really anyone) make while trying to ditch the clutter. This episode is going to give you a kick in the butt and that's my favorite thing to do - give you a kick in the butt.

So disclaimer…this episode is not meant to make you feel worse about yourself, make you feel dumb, or make you feel ‘less than.’ The tone here is not like ‘these are the five biggest mistakes that I see mom's making when they're trying to let go of the clutter. They don't even know how and I know how, and I'm going to tell you how.’ That's not what I mean at all.

It's more like…girl, these are the five most common hurdles that hold people up and I know because they held me up at one point. I see them holding people up every day because it's my job and I talk about this stuff every day, all the time, and I don't want you to get held up. If you are held up, I want to show you what the problem is and help you overcome it and we're going to do this together.

This is meant to be very helpful, hopeful and encouraging. The type of episode that you want to share all day, tell your friends about because it's amazing and it helped you see the truth. It helped you overcome something that's been holding you back because the fact is that this stuff matters, right?

It's not about having a clean house. It's not about having a nice space for the sake of having a nice space. It's not about legalistic minimalism. It's not about less for the sake of less. It's about less for the sake of more of what matters. It's about ditching that massive task list and just simplifying your space so that you can simplify your life. Then you can be the type of mom you want to be because you're less stressed, there's less overwhelm in your life, there's less clutter taking up your time and your space.

Having said all that, let's get into this awesome episode that I've been super excited about for weeks.

My own personal journey into decluttering and becoming a minimalist mom was about six years ago. I really wanted to get to a lighter place with less overwhelm, less clutter and more time to be the mom that I wanted to be. Actually be with my kids and enjoy their childhood. Not be one of the moms that says, “Oh, it goes so fast and I wish I would have been more present. I missed so much of it.”

I think there's always going to be some aspect to that, but I just wanted to live a life where I knew that I had done all I could. That I was there. That I didn't yell all the time, which I was doing before this. I just wasn't the mom I wanted to be. I was depressed. I was anxious. I was making myself sick because I was so overwhelmed in my life.

The first piece of the puzzle to undoing that was decluttering. I remember in the beginning of my journey wishing that there was someone who wanted to help me clear the clutter, not just organize the clutter.

In our society, in magazines, and on Pinterest, organization is seen as the cure-all. I always say organization has its place, but when you're trying to use it to fix your life and your home, it's really just putting a Band-aid on a gaping bullet wound. It doesn't work. It's not a solution. It’s a side note.

At that time that's all I could find…how to get organized. I didn't have anyone to coach me through it and I made a lot of mistakes.

There are actually 5 big mistakes that I made and that I see women making over and over again as they're trying to declutter. They just want to get this done. But they've got kids, work, husbands, cooking, other stuff on their plates, and their minds are just not there. They're not seeing it with the 20/20 vision that I have, this aerial perspective that I have because this is my job and I do this every day. So, I want to help you learn how you can avoid them or get out of it if you're in one of these.

I wasted a lot of time on my journey figuring out how to make it happen, especially with little kids in the house and my husband's crazy work hours. I was all by myself trying to get to this other place that I wanted to get to so badly. It took me way longer than it needed to. One of my main missions now is to help you declutter faster, quicker, more effectively, and get you all the way to the other side.

I always say that Your Uncluttered Home (which is my course if you're new here) is the A-Z of minimalist motherhood. I want to help you get to that. You've done A-Z. You're done. You're on the other side and you're experiencing the joy, freedom in half the time.

We're going to dive into 5 of the biggest mistakes that I see women making when they're trying to ditch the clutter and get to that post-Z point.

The first one is I see them letting overwhelm keep them from taking action. This is super common. I experienced it myself, in this area as well as other areas of my life since then. And it makes sense, but we don't have to let it be our story.

People let overwhelm (and I'm using that as a noun on purpose. I realize that it's not, but it's something that I do) keep them from taking action. You got to this point - where you need this, where you need less and you're craving simplicity - because you're overwhelmed.

You know, you're listening to this podcast because my website or something on it, or something that a friend said, a recommendation, intrigued you and got you here because you're in an overwhelmed place. Now, ironically, the process of simplifying your home and letting go of the clutter is incredibly overwhelming all on its own.

That feeling of overwhelm - you know, how am I even going to get through this house? All of this stuff, every countertop, every drawer, every closet, every shelf, every room. There's no way I can do this - that right there - that overwhelm rises up as you stand in your living room and you look around. It makes it feel like it's never going to happen and you get so overwhelmed you can't move forward.

The good news is that's a totally normal feeling to have. The bad news is that so, so, so many people, so many beautiful moms with a story, a mission, and a purpose that are just bogged down, get sucked into that and they just end up doing nothing, and they think, “Well, I've gone this long. I'll just do it later.”  Or maybe they start to do a couple little things that they think are a good idea, but they get discouraged because nothing's happening. They don't see a difference. They don't see any changes right away. It's like dieting. If you don't see the results right away, it's hard to keep going.

The solution to this is to use that overwhelm that you're feeling, that bogged-down overwhelming feeling of “Ugg!” as a catalyst. Use it to your advantage. This is a trial. It doesn't have to end in the story of you saying, “Well, next time.” Use that overwhelm as your personal catalyst into change. Don't let it bring you down. Don't let it be the thing that keeps you from moving forward. Clear it. Realize that it's there and say, “No, this isn't going to hold me back. I know where I want to go. I know how I want things to be. I'm going to get there. It's not an option. I'm going to get there. I'm going to close my eyes and just start.”

And I mean that pretty literally. I want you to go into a room where you're going to start decluttering - a closet, a drawer or whatever - close your eyes, put your hand out, pick up an item, open your eyes, look at that item and make a decision. Keep, Trash or Donate. Put it in the according pile. You just started.

You can't overthink this stuff. Just decide that you're going to start, close your eyes and do it! There is no magic trick. Just do it!

#2 in biggest mistakes is I see women starting in the wrong place. I realize how this sounds. I don't want to sound like, “Oh, you did it wrong. I’m an expert.” No, that's extremely annoying and if I ever sound like that with somebody, buy a plane ticket and come slap me. I give you full permission. What I mean is this can be detrimental to your journey into minimalism and it's a bad idea to decide that you want to simplify and declutter and then start somewhere that's just full of emotion and sentimental value.

For example, a box of your daughter's old baby clothes, or your shelf full of photo albums. If you start at a place like that, it is kind of the wrong place. It's incredibly overwhelming. You don't need to even touch those things for quite some time. Just leave it for later. Wait until you've built up some confidence and some momentum in the decluttering process.

The right place to start is somewhere emotionless. Maybe you're feeling feelings of overwhelm, but you're not feeling like, oh my gosh, I don't know how to make decisions about this stuff because it's just loaded with emotion. This is my late husband's closet or the stuff for the baby that I was buying that we miscarried, or somewhere like that. You can't do that. Start somewhere more emotionless.

The bathroom is a great place to start. I don't know a lot of people who store photo albums and baby clothes in the bathroom. When you start somewhere simple like that, you allow the process to just begin without all the heart wrenching emotions. Okay? You won't struggle to get rid of old eyeshadows, old hair products, old ponytail holders and things like that. It's likely at least (I guess I can't speak for everyone because I don't know your house) but it's likely that you're going to feel good about the progress you're beginning to see right there in front of you because you're making these easier decisions like “this is trash, this is old, this eyeshadow is older than my daughter and this is unsanitary.” You are making these easier decisions. You'll get this momentum built up and then it helps propel you forward. It’s a snowball effect for sure.

So even though it was a small victory, it was still a victory and you wouldn't have seen that victory if you had started somewhere more complicated. So, don't start in the wrong place.

Mistake #3. They don't take the process seriously. Look, this is a big deal. It's a big project. I'm not gonna lie to you. You're taking on this huge task of trying to simplify your entire life and declutter your entire house so that you can have more intentional free time on your hands and be able to live a fuller, more abundant life. Doesn't that sound awesome? Heck yeah, it does!

But it's not going to come easily. Nothing that good comes without trial. You've got to treat this like it really matters. My suggestion is making an appointment with yourself in your phone. Look at your schedule. Look at what times you need to be at work, when you're at home, when you have to take somebody to a playdate, to school, to soccer or whatever it is that your week looks like, and carve out some really intentional times.  Even if they're small spaces (because you're just that busy; it's okay) and put them on your calendar.

For example, Monday and Saturday mornings for me in the beginning of my journey, were dedicated to decluttering. I called them ‘purge appointments.’ (This was before the Purge movies came out where everyone slaughters each other in America, so I wouldn't call them that now because seeing ‘purge appointment’ in my phone might make somebody call the cops.) This is when my decluttering really got kicked into high gear and I really started to make progress really quickly. I realized that there was something to taking this more seriously and treating it like it actually mattered. So, look at your calendar, check out your schedule, see what you can do even if it's just 30 minutes once a week or a collective six hours a week. Whatever you can do. Make it happen.


Hey friends, if you are not one of my students in the Your Uncluttered Home community, you have got to get your booty over there. Your Uncluttered Home is my signature online course and it is changing mom lives all over the globe. I'm super, super proud of it. It is the next step into real action for you if you want to go all in with living in an uncluttered home that allows you to spend your time focused on what matters. And that's what we're always talking about, right? Don't just take my word for it though. Listen to these words from one of my beautiful Your Uncluttered Home students.

Hey guys! This is Nina from Oklahoma. Instead of our house looking like a tornado had gone through it, now when we walk through the door, we feel peace, rest, and happiness. Your Uncluttered Home course has changed our lives by giving us the gift of time. The course gave us the tools to accomplish what we've always dreamed of…a place of rest, a manageable, clean home, and most important, more time with our families. Thanks Allie!

To join the Your Uncluttered Home party go to alliecasazza.com/unclutter.  Enter code PURPOSESHOW at checkout for 10% off. That's for listeners only.

I can't wait to see your introduction in the course community so I can welcome you and see your progress photos.


We have the time that we make. If you need to get something done and it was like, “If you spend three hours a week doing this, you'll get a million dollars,” you would make it happen. You would. This has a return on investment that you don't realize how big it is until you're in it.

Obviously, the more time you dedicate to this, the quicker you'll work through this. Do what you can, but just realize that this is important. Take this seriously. Treat it like it's any other important appointment that you wouldn't cancel unless you absolutely had to. Put it in your calendar. Make it a date with yourself. Don't cancel it unless you must cancel it. I'm talking like you've got the flu and you're just vomiting every two seconds. Okay?

Mistake #4. People take it too seriously, so it’s coming at a different angle from #3.

You can declutter as you go about your day. It doesn't have to be this huge ordeal every time. You don't have to declutter only when it’s one of your appointments on your calendar. You can make progress while you're waiting for the water to boil for your dinner that night. You can do things as you work through your day. I did a lot of decluttering as I did my regular cleaning. If I was having my Saturday morning pickup session, I would declutter some stuff, throw some things out and put some things in the donation bin as I went. Progress is progress, big or small.

We're doing Declutter Like A Mother right now (if you're listening to this when it airs). January is Declutter Like A Mother. That's what the whole premise is. It's just a few minutes a day, every day, for 30 days, because progress is progress.

If you've set aside big chunks of time during your week or your month where you're dedicated to decluttering your house, that's great. You should take it seriously and do it that way, but that doesn't mean that you can't declutter the kitchen cupboards while you wait for your dinner to boil. You see what I'm saying? So, balance it.

You've got appointments, you've got times where you're like “this matters to me, and the results of this are just too big to screw around with, I'm going to make this happen, and you're balancing that with, ‘hey, while I wait for my tea to brew, I'm going to declutter the junk drawer.’ Balance.

#5 in the 5 biggest mistakes I see moms make when they're trying to ditch the clutter is they don't follow through. I think this might be the biggest mistake that I see again and again and that is that people don't follow through when they are decluttering an area of their home.

What I mean by this is they get in there, they pull all the things out, they sort all the things into piles – Keep, Trash, Donate - and then they walk away and they leave the pile sitting there. Or they think that magically shutting the door to this room is going to keep everyone out. Things don't get bagged up. They're still sitting in the house. The job is not yet complete.

What happens is somebody is going to come in and undo your piles (because kids and pets or husband) or they see something in there and they're like, “Hey, I've been looking for this!” (Even though I haven't known it existed for the last three years.) And all this precious time you spent decluttering is wasted and the job gets undone.

You're not done with the decluttering session until you have bagged up the trash and taken it to the trash can outside of your home, you have bagged up the donations and put them in the back of your car ready to be taken to a donation center, and you have put the things that you are keeping in their new home. Okay?

Also, don't forget to set an alert on your phone to go off in 2-3 days to remind you that this is your deadline to take those donations to the donation center. Be sure you really follow through. When all of this has been completed, you're done decluttering that area. Girl, you've got to follow through, especially if you're a busy mom, because things will get undone and you don't want to waste your time. If you do these things, avoid these mistakes and follow through, I know you're going to have serious success and it's going to be quick.

These can be really great shortcuts for your decluttering process and get you to the other side a lot faster. And you know what? The fact is if you're struggling - if this is good for you and you're like, “yeah, I'm going to overcome these things, I'm going to do these things” - the fact is these are great decluttering hacks, but if you want to follow all the way through and go all the way you need some skin in the game. Okay?

This is the very reason that 3½ years ago I created Your Uncluttered Home. It's everything. It's literally everything. Decluttering - it's not just about your house. It's a lifestyle change. When you're going against the grain, when you're saying ‘no’ to excess and ‘no’ to clutter, stress, and overwhelm, you are literally going the opposite way of our society and what our culture says motherhood has to be.

You're saying ‘no’ to that lie and walking down a different path. It's brighter and happier, more fulfilling, more joy filled. It's abundant life and that's going to upset some people. You're going to make some people feel super convicted just by the way you're living.

Problems are going to come up. What if your husband is having a hard time and he just doesn't get it? What do you say to him? How do you navigate that? What if your kids are giving pushback? How do you get them onboard? You're changing your family's lifestyle. You're changing the fabric of your guys’ family culture. It's a big deal.

What about when holidays roll around and it feels like all your hard work is being undone because there's an influx of stuff coming in? What about birthdays? Does this mean they're joyless now and you can't accept any presents? What kinds of gifts do you get for your kids? How do you raise them to be focused on the right things?

How do you actually declutter your office? What about the homeschool room? What about the garage? Is there even a system for storing things in a way that serves your family?

How do you decide what stays in your kitchen? What if you absolutely love to cook and you don't want a super minimalistic kitchen? Is that okay? What kind of things do you put in there? What kind of things do you say ‘yes’ to? What kind of things do you say ‘no’ to?

How do you get into maintenance mode when you're done? How do you make sure this doesn't get undone? How do you set goals and follow through and make it happen?

All of this stuff is in Your Uncluttered Home. It's 50+ short, to-the-point, powerful lessons of this is exactly what you need to do. I'm taking the brain work out of it. I'm giving you the answer. I'm giving you the shortcut. I'm giving you exactly what you need to become a minimalist, intentional living mother in the way that fits who you are, for your family.

That doesn't exist anywhere else. I created this and I'm so passionate about it because it's one-of-a-kind. It's changed more than 10,000 lives. I've got the testimonials to prove it and the emails that I get pouring in every week that fill my heart to the brim because this is my passion. This is what I was meant to do and I know that.

So, if you want to get some skin in the game and you want to commit and go all the way, you've got to get into Your Uncluttered Home.

This isn't something that I just pulled out of nowhere and said, “I'm going to make this and charge for it.” This is my life's work. This is my wisdom, my experience.

Do you guys know that when I was creating this course, I took money that we really didn't have and I flew back home to California (I was living in the Midwest) and I decluttered 5 houses with friends and friends of family. I studied and took notes. I worked with one woman who was so emotionally pent up about letting go of her stuff. She had a lot of emotional issues and she really struggled and I studied her. I helped her. I learned what was making her emotionally tied to things for the ‘Sentimental Items’ lesson in Your Uncluttered Home. I physically decluttered rooms and full homes - toys, books. I found some of the funniest and saddest things in these people's homes with them and worked through it with them.

I'm not just sitting here from my desk claiming to be an ‘expert’ and charging you money for nothing. This is, like I said, my life's work and I believe in it. If you enroll in this course and you go through it, your life will never be the same.

You've got to get in there if you want some skin in the game and you want to make things happen. Okay?

So, I had to say that because I want you to understand what it is that I do. I want you to understand why I create the things I create and why some are paid and why some are free.

If you want to learn about Your Uncluttered Home. There's a ton of information on this page that I created about it. You can read my story, my process and all about the course. What's in it. The benefits. You can look at a preview of the curriculum. You can watch testimonial videos. All of that good stuff. Get the pricing and all of that. It's http://alliecasazza.com/nomoreclutter.

Okay guys, that's it. I hope it's encouraged you greatly. I hope you feel like, oh man, 1,2,3, or 4, even all of these hurdles just really spoke to me and I know exactly how to overcome them now because that's the goal, that's what I'm here to do, and that's how I want to help you.

So, your action step for this episode is identify which of these big mistakes (or which several of them) are your hurdles. What did I say about that specific hurdle? What spoke to you? What are you gonna do about this? Don't just let yourself get all inspired and then go make lunch and forget about this. How are you going to take action? Set a reminder in your phone for later tonight after the kids are in bed to revisit this episode.

Maybe just read through the show notes. Every episode is transcribed so you can read through it. If you go to alliecasazza.com/shownotes/094 you can just read through and skim this episode's content.

What are you gonna do about this? Don't let this bypass you without taking action.

And action step #2, if you're really wanting to, like I said, get some skin in the game and make this happen, just go to that webpage and just look. If you have a question, email my team. Ask questions about the course. We're here for you. We don't want you to feel like you're purchasing this mystery product. We want you to understand how amazing it is. We want to answer your questions and give clarity.

To check out Your Uncluttered Home it’s alliecasazza.com/nomoreclutter.  And if you want to email my team, just email hello@alliecasazza.com and ask your questions. Kena will get your email and she'll respond within a couple of days and you'll get your answer.

We're here for you. We love you. Everything that I've built, everything that this company does is to support you on this journey to less. So, just know that we're here and you've got my support.


This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

Ep 093: Stop Over-Complicating Exercise

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I don't think there is anything that has been more blown out of proportion and overly complicated than exercise. People obsess over the form, the type, and the amount of exercise. They read massive books on the topic all while procrastinating the actual task of exercising. And so many people set a New Year’s goal around exercise that quickly becomes overcomplicated and they give up within the first few weeks. But exercise doesn’t have to be overcomplicated.

Exercise is a good thing - it decreases stress, improves sex, improves mood, and so much more! Exercise gives you a really great life and improves so many things. But you’ve got to make it happen! You're in charge. You are an action-taking problem-solving woman and that type of woman ditches excuses. Don’t overcomplicate it. Just make it happen!

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • The benefits of exercise and the improvements it can have on you physically, mentally, and emotionally.

  • Why it is important to create consistency with exercise (even if it is just for 10 minutes a day!)

  • Ways you can create a rhythm with your exercise routine which will help you ditch the excuses when it comes to exercising.

  • Ideas you can implement in order to stop over complicating exercise.

Mentioned in this Episode:


The whole premise of Declutter Like a Mother  is to focus on decluttering 30 minutes a day, every day, for 30 days. But you aren’t doing it alone, you are doing it alongside a community of warriors! We rally. We focus. And it just creates this team atmosphere unlike anything else. That's why I get so amped up about it and I'm always urging everybody to join.

This is the time! If you like accountability, if you like that team feeling, if you like me and you want to hang out with me and hear me talk about this in a really focused, intentional way, Declutter Like a Mother is where you need to be! It's totally free to sign up! I hope to see YOU there!


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.

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From the dawn of time, mothers have warred through unmatched trials, the pain of child bearing, seemingly insurmountable piles of laundry, PMS.  The time has come. Mothers all over the world will gather, trash bags in hand, war paint on their faces, an unstoppable force against the clutter that fights to steal their time.

Warriors Gather! Declutter Like A Mother 2019 is upon us!

Visit alliecassa.com/warriors to enter this 30-day challenge. Don't worry, it's free!


Hey, beautiful friend! Good morning, good afternoon, good evening, good middle of the night breastfeeding session. Wherever you are and whatever you're doing, I'm super glad that you're here. And I love that technology allows me to have a seat with you and get in your earbuds and just talk to you. I love that. I absolutely love it

So today we're talking about something that's not my favorite subject and that is exercise. I don't think that there's anything that's gotten more blown out of proportion and overly complicated than exercise. I really don’t think there is anything.

People obsess over the form, the type, the amount of exercise. They're reading massive books on the topic all while procrastinating the actual task of exercising. It's one thing if you love fitness, it's your passion and you do it all the time while also reading, learning and furthering your form and your expertise.

There's nothing wrong with learning about exercise, but a lot of the time that's not the case. It's an average person procrastinating actually doing something that's going to change their life. And that is what happens with so many things so often. I did an episode recently called Stop Overcomplicating Things. It was a short, to-the-point pep talk style episode that came from some things that I tell myself regularly and I was sharing them with you to kick you in the butt too.

And everyone loved it and I love doing it. So, I'm gonna make this a thing. We're going to have these regular ‘stop overcomplicating things’ pep talks here on the podcast and today we're going to talk about how you can stop over complicating exercise.

So I want to know how many of you have made it your New Year's goal to exercise more, whether it's for fitness reasons or the mental benefits of exercise? How many of you have over complicated it so much after you set the goal that you're already not meeting the goal even though we're just a little bit into the New Year? If that's you, definitely share that you're listening to this on Instagram and tag me. You can search for my name or just type allie_that's me.

I love seeing that you guys are listening. I'm not just saying that so that you can share and the podcast can grow (although I love that and I appreciate it) but I really love seeing that you're listening. I love it when you guys type your little blips over the screenshot and tell me, “Oh my gosh, me, I overcomplicate,” or “Yes, I totally do this,” or “I've done this a million times,” or “I've done this already and it's only January 16th.”

I love when you guys share your struggles and what's resonating with you specifically about episodes. So, let me know. I always see them and I love to see that you guys get it. It helps me keep going in all of this. I want to encourage you. I want you to be real with yourself and share, “Yeah. I struggle with this. This is something that I do and I'm going to overcome it because you are.” Because you're action-taking problem-solving woman, right?

I just want to be real myself and share that I spent years overcomplicating exercise. This specific area of my life has been a struggle for me. I always envied women who would make it to the gym every single day no matter what. And also women who loved it. I just never loved it. I never have loved really any type of exercise. I've definitely got my favorites, but I don't love it. I don't super look forward to any form of exercise, whether it's running, yoga, Pilates, dancing or going to the gym. I don't really love anything. I have come back to the same few types of exercise again and again because I like them better, but I've never been one to love exercise. I always procrastinate it. I spent years overcomplicating exercise in my life all while staying 40 to 50 pounds heavier than I am now. It's not just about the weight. That's a very unhealthy place for me to be with my height and my BMI and just the way that my body is.

It was unhealthy. So, don't send me hate messages that “you're focusing on the weight and it's not about that.” I was multiple sizes larger and that size for my height and my body type was very unhealthy. What's more is that my skin was telling me, “I need you to stop. I need help.” I had breakouts like crazy. I had stomach issues. I had leaky gut syndrome. I had adrenal fatigue. I was feeling crappy and tired all the time and that's the point.

All of this was happening while I knew a lot about exercise, but I was overcomplicating it so much that I just stood still and did nothing about it. I wasn't taking any action. Brian did the same thing until he decided to find what he loved and just start, and then fine tune and make changes and adjustments along the way. Now he's lost a bunch of weight and he's still going.

He works out almost every day because he loves what he's doing and he's consistent. He's a person that can learn to love it. And I know that you guys are out there. I know some of you listening do love a form of exercise. Maybe you do procrastinate it. That doesn't mean you don't love it. You're the lucky ones who love something, go do it. When it comes down to it, weight loss, ‘unhealthfulness’ loss is about what you eat.

So, we're going to get into the inspiration for making exercise happen and some ideas to help you stop overcomplicating exercise. Some things that have worked for me that I've seen work for other people. And really shift your mindset from ‘this has to be a certain way.’ It has to be perfect. It has to be so premeditated and preplanned. It's got to be a routine. I've got to get myself set up to do this. Getting yourself out of that ‘all or nothing’ place and just making it happen.


Hey Mama! Have you heard? Declutter Like A Mother has started! Declutter Like A Mother is my annual challenge. It's a huge deal. It is the one time of year that I clear my schedule and focus solely on just showing up, being live, sending emails encouraging and equipping you to get the excess out of your house, out of your way so you can have more time to focus on what matters.

It has started already! It started on January 1st, but I purposely designed this course to be something that you can jump in at anytime and still see massive results. So, if you're even listening to this and we're halfway done, it doesn't matter. Join now! Jump in right where we're at!

We have focus areas that we work on in decluttering our homes each week. I send you two emails a week. I go ‘live’ two days a week just talking to you. Showing up for you. Letting you see my face and hear me talk about the areas you're working on. Answering some questions.

It's a very, very high-touch, highly-engaged, really incredibly inspiring challenge. There's nothing else like this on the Internet, I promise you!

If you haven't joined already, jump in alliecasazza.com/warriors. That's where all my declutter warriors gather and sign up to get started. I want to see you in there. Go join right now! It’s totally free.


So first, some inspiration for making exercise happen. You guys, exercise does so many amazing things more than just shift your body and make you look and feel better. Exercise decreases depression and anxiety, which is huge. And not only does it decrease it if you're suffering from it, but it prevents depression and anxiety from setting in if you don't have it.

Exercise decreases stress. It improves sex. It improves mood. It gives you better sleep. It increases self-confidence. It gives your brain a boost, specifically surrounding your memory. These are long-term benefits.

Think about all those things I just listed…less depression and anxiety, decreased stress, better sex, better sleep, better mood, more self-confidence, a brain boost, better memory. That's basically a really great life. Exercise gives you a really great life and improves so many things.

So let's not focus on weight. Let's get out of that diet culture and this like, oh, I need to change my body and, and shame myself.

If you're struggling with that, please go listen to I think it was episode two of this podcast. I'll link to it in show notes, but I have a lot to say on that. If you're struggling with that and you want to shift your perspective on your body, go listen to that episode.

There's just so many good things that come from this.

So, if you need inspiration, dive into some of the scientific about all this stuff. When I exercise, I feel sexier, I feel more confident. My mood is definitely different. Simple exercise is what got me over adrenal fatigue. It was. That was so hard. I would just literally not be able to stay awake at 1:00 every single day. My body was just shot and so exhausted.

I didn’t go to the gym. I didn't start running. I didn't do anything major. I just started to move for 10 to 30 minutes a day. I stopped overcomplicating it and I healed my body. I healed my leaky gut syndrome. When I exercise, I'm more likely to make healthy food choices. There's so many benefits, it's too much to not do this.

So having said that, let's talk about how we can stop overcomplicating exercise and just do it. Okay?

The first thing I want to say is that you have to decide to do something every single day. No excuses. Practice makes perfect. So here's an example. When I decided that I was ready to start writing my book, the first step of that is to write the book proposal. I used to write all the time, but in order to focus on some really big business goals I wanted to meet last year, I put writing on the back burner and I focused on other parts of the business.

And podcasting doesn't leave room for a lot of writing. I definitely jot down a couple of talking points and an outline before recording episodes so I don't forget anything, but it's not writing. I write my emails to you guys every week. That's pretty much it. So I was very out of the practice of writing.

What I did was I decided that I was going to start writing a thousand words every single morning, no excuses, because practice makes perfect. As I wrote a thousand words every single day, it started out pretty crappy. It was unusable. I was just writing. I didn't let myself edit myself. I didn't let myself stop if I got distracted or lost my train of thought. I just wrote whatever I was thinking. It was almost like starting an article on a certain topic and then you would see where my mind started to get distracted because the sentences would change topic and it would not make sense with the rest of the things I had written because writing is kind of like meditation. You just let your mind go and you acknowledge that you're distracted and then you come back to it. Then the writing would kind of circle back to what I had started writing about in the first place.

I did this every day and I got back into the practice of writing. I didn't want to start writing my book (that's my dream) or working on my book proposal out of practice and so I just started to do it every single day. No excuses. Even on Sundays before we go to church, I would write a thousand words every single day. I'm still doing that and I'm probably not going to stop because it's really therapeutic and it's good for me. It's flexing that muscle that I need to get my message out to the world to help women, so it's important.

And it’s just like that with exercising. Decide that you're going to do some part of exercising or bodily movement. Don't call it exercise if it’s an unhappy trigger word for you because I totally get that. Move your body in some way every single day. No excuses. Intentional movement.

Taking a walk with a timer, like a 20-minute walk. Having a dance party with your kids in the living room or something. That's a new tradition that you can start. Maybe you turn on some loud music and you have a living room dance party with your kids while dinner's cooking on the stove. Even two songs is almost 10 minutes and that's great for your body. Do something every single day. No excuses.

Let's revisit the episode of The Purpose Show with Greg McKeown where he talked about taping the $100 bill to your wall and deciding you're going to do something every single day, no excuses, and if you miss a day, you have to rip up the $100 bill.

Not all of us can afford to just have a $100 bill sitting there, but you get the point. Do something that makes you like, “I can't not do this.” What was the other example he gave? The other example he gave was a guy who had his favorite bottle of wine and if he didn't do this thing that he promised he would do every single day, if he missed a day, he had to dump the bottle of wine down the drain. Sometimes wastefulness like that is just such a hard thing. It's such a trigger for people that they will do whatever that deal they made with themselves is rather than dump that wine down the drain.

Even if it's 12:00 midnight and you're up really late, you've had a crazy day with the kids and you're finally going to go to bed, but you haven't done your exercise for the day. Just walking around your house downstairs. Just pace back and forth and listen to calming music or something. Just something. Don't let yourself not.

The next thing I want to say, other than just doing something every single day no excuses, is how much power there is in 10 minutes. Doing something, and since we're talking about exercise, we'll go into that specifically. Exercising for 10 minutes is so powerful. Ten minutes is better than no minutes and a lot of time saying, “Okay, I'm just going to do this for 10 minutes,” often leads to more.

I love Robin Long. She is the founder of thebalancedlifeonline. It’s a Pilates membership that's a whole blog and website with lots of awesome things on there. She has a Pilates subscription, a monthly membership that I'm a part of and it's awesome. She always says she'll start to just do 10 minutes - she'll do squats and arm dips on the toilet while her kids are in the bath - and it's so easy to squeeze in 10 minutes here, 10 minutes there. And 10 minutes leads to more.

Realize that it doesn't have to be all or nothing. You don't have to go to the gym for an hour three days a week. If that works for you, great. But it might not; it doesn't for me, that's for sure.

So just think 10 minutes. I'm just going to go for a brisk 10-minute walk. That's it. And just let that lead into more if it can. If your kids are being good and you can squeeze in another 10-minute yoga video then do it. If not, okay, maybe you could try 10 minutes later or just let it be 10 minutes a day.

If you were to do intentional movement for 10 minutes a day, every day you would see a difference in your mood. You would feel better. You'd feel more confident. You'd make better food choices. And you would notice a change in yourself.

I think the point is to keep moving throughout the day (and we moms are pretty good at that already, so not a lot of worries there) but just where? How can you make changes? How can you sit less? For me, I sit when I work. I sit at my desk and so I will break it up and just stand up and do some squats, go for a quick walk around the block, or just stand up and stretch my legs and do some arm movements. Just something. Get up. Keep moving. Do whatever you can to just sit less.

Have that mentality. Decide that you're going to take a walk in the morning, in the evening, or both and make that a rhythm. I always am talking to you guys about the importance of developing rhythms and this is a huge one. Just take a walk.

If it's winter and it's freezing, bundle up. If it's not something you want to do, then literally just walk around your house. Make it a ‘pickup’ walking party. Set a timer for 10 minutes and walk briskly through your house just picking up and putting things away. That's it. It doesn't have to be complicated.

Don't forget the living room dance party idea. That could be a new tradition that you start to get your body moving every night when dinner cooks or every morning after your kids eat breakfast. Set up a trigger so that you can say, every time we do this, I do this. And it's an exercising rhythm that you don't even have to think about.

Also, the power of noise canceling headphones for a living room workout is strong. It's very powerful. I love yoga videos on YouTube as well as, like I mentioned, Robin Long’s Pilates membership.

If you are a person that gets frustrated by a lot of noise or sibling bickering in the background while you’re trying to get your workout done and your kids are old enough to be okay with you having headphones in, somebody could know to come and get you if something happens (don't put headphones in and block out your baby or little toddler that needs you to pay attention) but get some noise cancelling headphones. Get them, do your workout, put some music on and just zone out for a few minutes.

Ask yourself where in your day or week you can fit in a new rhythm. For example, I've got a great one for you. Every time you listen to The Purpose Show on Wednesdays, you take the kids for a long walk. Find something. The point is you've got to ditch excuses because you know what the truth is? People who meet goals, the doers out there, they don't have excuses.

The kids can come with you. You can do it while they nap. They can be watched by someone else. You can go to a gym. It can be as simple as a walk. For example, when I hurt my ankle, it was easy for me to just be like, “Oh, I can't exercise. I don't really like it that much anyway.” But you know what? I went to yoga classes and opted out of the positions that hurt my ankle.

There are no excuses for the ones who make stuff happen and are constantly moving forward in their lives. You can make it happen. That is so over said - make it happen - it's super over said, but it’s true. Make it happen. You're in charge. You are an action-taking problem-solving woman and that type of woman ditches excuses.


This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

Ep 092: Getting Your Unwilling Family On Board With Minimalism

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When I first started my journey to living minimal and simplified, Brian was not on board. It took him a few years to really get it and join me in it. But not everyone in life will understand or support the decision our family made to live minimalistically. When it comes to getting your unwilling family on board with minimalism, the bottom line is that you cannot control other people. This is your life, your kids, and your home. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty. Don’t hold onto things out of obligation. Just do what you feel like you need to do to live a purposeful, intentional life focused on what matters!

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • How you can still live a minimal life without the support of those around you.

  • The power of boundaries.

  • Ways to navigate your kids giving you pushback.

  • The best way to respond to those who don’t understand or support your decision.

Mentioned in this Episode:


The whole premise of Declutter Like a Mother  is to focus on decluttering 30 minutes a day, every day, for 30 days. But you aren’t doing it alone, you are doing it alongside a community of warriors! We rally. We focus. And it just creates this team atmosphere unlike anything else. That's why I get so amped up about it and I'm always urging everybody to join.

This is the time! If you like accountability, if you like that team feeling, if you like me and you want to hang out with me and hear me talk about this in a really focused, intentional way, Declutter Like a Mother is where you need to be! It's totally free to sign up! I hope to see YOU there!


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


Don't have time to listen_.jpg

Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.

_______________________________________________________________

From the dawn of time, mothers have warred through unmatched trials, the pain of child bearing, seemingly insurmountable piles of laundry, PMS.  The time has come. Mothers all over the world will gather, trash bags in hand, war paint on their faces, an unstoppable force against the clutter that fights to steal their time.

Warriors Gather! Declutter Like A Mother 2019 is upon us!

Visit alliecassa.com/warriors to enter this 30-day challenge. Don't worry, it's free!


Hello, beautiful friends! I'm so glad you're here! I really am!

I've been thinking about you guys a lot lately. I’m super grateful for you…all your listening, sharing with your friends and leaving reviews. The podcast is thriving and I'm so, so thankful. If you haven't left a review yet and you listen to the show and you enjoy it, would you please leave a review on itunes? It's super easy to do. Just look up The Purpose Show on itunes and you can click right there to leave a review. It really helps me out. It really grows the platform and enables me to get awesome guests for you guys. Reviews and downloads are everything. I really appreciate all of you guys who have helped with this so far and I'm really glad you're here.

I'm also really excited because we're talking about minimalism today and I love talking about that, of course.

We are doing Declutter Like A Mother right now, so I'm in the zone and I'm ready to dive in and talk about some of the problems that come with this lifestyle change and the behind-the-scenes relational stuff that comes with it.  Because you think, “I just want to get rid of my clutter and live a more intentional life,” but you don't really realize until you're in it that that comes with a lot of pushback sometimes and it can be really hard. So, we're going to talk about some of that today.

Getting your unwilling family onboard with minimalism. We're going to talk first about the husband. I don't mean this to be super specified – “men don't understand’ - I am just saying husbands, because usually that's what it is. I get messages every single day - emails, comments - every single day about my husband doesn't get it. He's not into this minimalism thing. He's not on board. I really want to start, but I just can't because he's not on board. That is probably the number one most common complaint or question that I get in what I do. So, we're gonna talk about that a little bit today.

I actually have several resources for this if you want to know more. There’s actually a video training that I put out a little while back, I think it was like a month or two ago, that is basically just a video of me addressing the four biggest excuses for minimalism not working for you or putting it off when you really want to do it, but you're putting it off because there's a problem. The ‘husband not onboard’ thing is top of the list. That's on there and I go really deep in depth to that, so if you want that I will link to that video in the shownotes. That goes into a lot of other things too, like ‘not having time’ and ‘it's too hard when you have little kids in the house’ and all that stuff.

If your husband doesn't get it, if he's not into the simplifying minimalist thing, here's the thing - you don't need him to be. I know that's shocking, but you don't. You do not need your husband to be onboard to simplify your home. You can become super minimal without him being onboard. I've said this a million times, so for a lot of you it'll probably be repetitive, but for those of you who haven't heard me say it, Brian, my husband was not on board with this, at all, for a couple of years. We've been living the minimalist lifestyle really hardcore for over six years now. We’re going on seven years. But for the first two or so, he just had a really hard time with it. He was super against it. I can't believe it took him so long to come around. He's just a little stubborn and I love him for it, but he had a really hard time because he comes from a background and a childhood that basically led him straight into being a legit hoarder and that was really hard for me.

He would keep little odds and ends in bits and pieces of things ‘just in case’ and he was just kind of a mess. He had a lot of stuff. We all had a lot of stuff. But when I changed and had that realization that started my story and gave me my motherhood back, it didn't automatically mean that he was onboard too. He was happy for me that I was finding a way to live a lighter lifestyle. But I honestly think he thought that it was in my head, a lot of it, and that, yeah, the house was getting simplified and things felt a little lighter, but it was stuff that I didn't need and that his stuff was different. That he didn't need to do that, because he didn't really want to admit that he did.

We went on like that and it started to put a wall between us for sure. I had to reach a point where I was like, “I don't want our marriage to suffer because you're not onboard with what I'm doing. I'm going all in here and I'm really figuring out that this is working for me. Creating a space of less and opening myself up to more white space in our physical home is changing my life and I'm cleaning so much less. I'm barely having to maintain our house anymore. I can get my stuff done and then just be with the kids and do what I need to do. I'm blogging and I'm happy. It feels like you don't care about me because you're pushing back and I don't understand why you're pushing back on my joy like that.”

We had to have that difficult conversation and we ended up compromising. I could see that he wasn't going to sway and he could see that this was changing my life and he didn't want me to be unhappy. So, we had to compromise. And what our compromise ended up being was he could do whatever he wanted with the master bedroom closet, which was very large at the time, and the garage. And I would never, ever get rid of something that was his when I was decluttering. If I found something that was his, I would put it in either the bedroom closet or the garage and leave it alone. I did that and we lived on that way for a couple of years and it worked for us.

I'm here to tell you that I could have gone on my whole life like that with those two areas of the house being kind of cluttered, but the rest of the house - the parts of the house that deeply affected my day, my life, and my time - I could have gone on like that forever and had joy, been happy and been feeling the same way that I feel now.

But that just wasn't our story. Eventually we had to move and we ended up having to pay a lot of money to rent a larger moving truck and stay in our house longer than we were supposed to because Brian couldn't get his areas packed up. I had gotten the entire house packed in one or two days, eight months pregnant. So that was his wake-up call. Like, “Okay, this is affecting our family. Now I see how much lighter your stuff is and how much mine is not. I'm on board. How can I do this?” And he's been onboard ever since.

I just want you to know that you do not need your husband onboard. I don't care if he's being super crazy about it and super controlling. You don't need him to be on board to simplify your own space. Okay?

Also, you cannot control him, so just don't try. Also, I think the biggest part of this is that you have to understand that it is really, really, highly unlikely that you're married to somebody who is super against ever simplifying and making your lives easier. It's probably not that. It's probably just the fact that he doesn't fully understand the heart behind your desire to let things go and he's having a hard time with it. So talk to him and give him more time. He might just need more time to process.

Don't expect your husband to jump onboard with everything that you feel gung ho about because that's just not realistic and you're going to cause a wall to go between you two and it's just not worth it.

So, go slow. Focus on a different area if you need to. Have an open conversation with him about it. Help him get educated about the ‘why’ behind all this and compromise. Don't get rid of everything just because you think it doesn't matter and he does. Maybe you're going to have a few more things than I do because your husband is not onboard with it right now or he's just not ready to let go of certain things. That's okay.

I just think we need to let go of this idea that everybody has got to be totally on board and helping and gung ho. Otherwise it's just not gonna work.

I think actually I can honestly say I see a lot of time women using that – the fact that their husbands aren't really into this whole minimalist thing. They think it's a fad and they're super annoyed about it - I see them using that as an excuse to procrastinate and not really dive in and do this for themselves. It's almost like they want their husbands to not be on board because it's a reason to wait and not do it. Because it is hard and you have to deal with your crap. You have to let things go. Do a hard thing.

It is hard. Get real with yourself. He doesn't need to be on board and you can't control him. Maybe he just needs more time. Maybe he just needs to understand the process more.


Hey Mama! Have you heard? Declutter Like A Mother has started! Declutter Like A Mother is my annual challenge. It's a huge deal. It is the one time of year that I clear my schedule and focus solely on just showing up, being live, sending emails encouraging and equipping you to get the excess out of your house, out of your way so you can have more time to focus on what matters.

It has started already! It started on January 1st, but I purposely designed this course to be something that you can jump in at anytime and still see massive results. So, if you're even listening to this and we're halfway done, it doesn't matter. Join now! Jump in right where we're at!

We have focus areas that we work on in decluttering our homes each week. I send you two emails a week. I go ‘live’ two days a week just talking to you. Showing up for you. Letting you see my face and hear me talk about the areas you're working on. Answering some questions.

It's a very, very high-touch, highly-engaged, really incredibly inspiring challenge. There's nothing else like this on the Internet, I promise you!

If you haven't joined already, jump in alliecasazza.com/warriors. That's where all my declutter warriors gather and sign up to get started. I want to see you in there. Go join right now! It’s totally free.


The next area under this topic is your kids. Maybe your kids are complaining about the process of simplifying or they're giving push back, according to their age depending on how old they are. The first thing to remember here is that you're the parent and it's your house. So be the parent. I think it's about finding a balance between, “Hey, I'm the parent. This is my house and we're not going to live in a mess. We're going to simplify and we're going to have more time for what matters,” and also realizing that your kids don't need to be forced to get rid of everything, but if they're old enough to give that much pushback, they are sure as heck way old enough to be in charge of keeping their space clean and organized themselves.

So if you're cleaning their room for them, they've got clutter and you’re mad about it and they're pushing back on that, stop cleaning their room. Who cares if they have clutter if they're in charge of maintaining it? Let them learn the hard way what clutter costs and then lead by example in the rest of the house. Why is it affecting you? That's the craziest thing to me that I see all the time is that these women who have older kids who are giving serious pushback about letting go of stuff, they're hoarding stuff and they're like, you know, 6, 7 & up. It's affecting the mom because she's picking up the stuff and maintaining it. Why are you maintaining it? Let them do it. They should be in charge of that. It should have zero effect on you.

Also, something to know about kids having a hard time with minimalism. Around the age of 4 or 5, it's a natural stage in child development for kids to get really clingy. Bella did this especially. All my kids did this around that age. Emmett’s doing it now because he's 4. But Bella especially, she got really clingy. She had a birthday and got some stuffed animals from some relatives. Instead of her usual “I don’t really play with this. Mom, I think we can just give it to another little girl who doesn't have any money,” (you know, the whole donation process) she got real clingy.

She named everything, and it was her baby. It was like a living being and she would sob any time we even talked about getting rid of something, and it just wasn't happening for a year or two. And that's okay. I researched it and found out this a normal stage in child development. So just be aware that that's there. If you have a kid that age and is really having a hard time, it's okay.

I know this isn't a super clear cut answer and that’s what everyone always wants, but I think it's just about balancing between the fact that you're the parent. It's your house. You’re parenting these kids. You're raising them. That's your responsibility how you do it and that this stuff matters. It's not about having a clean house. It's not about having a perfect existence.

It's about living your life and spending your time focused on what really matters. Teaching your kids what is good and that this lifestyle is good. It's about balancing that with, “you can do what you want with your space, but that's your space and you're responsible for cleaning it up, but here are my expectations for how clean your room should be and if you want to maintain all that stuff, have at it. I'm not going to do it.” I hope that makes sense. Kind of finding that balance based on your kids' ages and what your parenting style is.

So, let's talk about the next section of this: relatives and other people that are close to you in your life. What happens when other people just don't get it? They don't support it? They make ridiculous rude comments and they basically go against what you want?

Usually all I get is comments like, “Wow, your house is really clean every time I come over. You guys homeschool and you're here all the time. How is this even happening?” Or, “Wow, that's all your kids’ toys?” And, you know, that's fine. It's just because you're going against the grain with this lifestyle and people are just shocked by that. I don't really know why, but that's usually what we deal with.

But sometimes it goes beyond those comments. I don't know if I've experienced more of this because this is who I am and what I do for a job or what? But sometimes it gets flat out hateful and pretty crazy. So, I'm going to give an example and I'm going to keep it as veiled as possible because I never know who's listening, but it is what it is.

I have a friend who has a relative that I've met multiple times. We've hung out. I'm really good friends with this person and this other woman is in her family. And so, whenever there's a kid's birthday party or a family event or whatever, this other woman that is related to my friend is there and she has made it super clear that she hates what I do.

She thinks it's super pointless. She thinks it's a joke. She thinks I'm misleading everybody. And I mean this woman, she has said so many forceful, hateful things about me and to me about what I do. She just thinks it's the biggest joke. She can't believe that I have a following based on letting go of things in your home, clearing the clutter and having more time to spend with your family.

After getting to know her, hanging out with her and her family and being really good friends with the woman that's in her family that’s my friend (also I went to her house for a baby shower) what I have learned is that she’s older and she comes from a difficult background and she quite literally is a hoarder.

I'm not exaggerating that. It was really a lot. There's random knickknacks piled on shelves and then more piled on that, and dust and stuff everywhere. I've always made it a point to just be super kind to her and just be really patient when she's freaking out and telling me (or other people about me) that what I do doesn't matter and it's ridiculous. Understanding that she's feeling attacked and convicted by what I do, even though I've never said anything like that to her. This is, a lot of time, the heart behind somebody who's disagreeing with what you're doing.

So, if you're listening to this and you’re a minimalist and you're living this way in your life, you're trying to be intentional and you're raising your kids with less toys, really saying ‘no’ to a lot of excess, you’re going against the grain. You're going against the usual. And that convicts people who aren't.

It's not like we're sitting here with our arms crossed like, “What a bunch of idiots. You guys don't even live intentionally.” We're not. At least for me, that's not my heart at all. I'm not thinking about them at all. I'm just trying to do my best because I've got a lot going on and I need to be really intentional with that, so that I can do everything that God's called me to do with my life.

So, think about that example that I gave. She feels really convicted and attacked - even though I've never directly done that - because she's got a heart issue. If you really think about it, even from my own self, anytime that I've reacted to somebody in that way, it's because I have an issue.

So, understand that when somebody is really making ridiculous comments, being super rude, or saying negative things about how you're living in this way, it's because they have a heart issue and it's usually conviction.

Other times it might be because this person, especially if they are relative like one of your parents or your spouse's parents, they might feel like you're robbing them of loving on you and your kids through gifts.

Just remember not to expect other people to be on the same page as you all of the time. Stay Gracious. Stay kind. Compromise. Love them by letting them love on you.

You know, our kids get plenty of gifts. They get gifts at Christmas. They get gifts for their birthdays. We just do our thing and we keep it all balanced with regular seasonal toy purges, decluttering, and just living the way we live.

When somebody gives you or your child a gift, it doesn't come with a secret, unspoken contract that you have to keep it for any certain amount of time. So, when somebody gives a gift and it comes into your home, that's great. Be Gracious. Be kind. Be thankful. And mean it. Then when that toy or that item runs its course and it's time to send it on to the donation center, that's fine. You shouldn't feel guilty about that.

If somebody is trying to make you feel guilty about that – Boundaries. If you have not read the book Boundaries by Drs. Cloud and Townsend, get yourself over to Amazon and order it right now. I will link to it for you in shownotes. It's amazing and you need to read it.

This is kind of like a parting piece. There are some times where somebody is just so rude and forward like, “Well in my day, we had tons of toys and we turned out fine,” or you know, “Wow! I can't believe that you limit things like that,” or just something really rude and forward - my favorite type of response is just to be quiet, let them finish, just kind of smile and let them talk. And when they're done just say a simple fact like, “Wow, you feel really strongly about that.” They'll probably say something like, “Yeah, of course I do! This is ridiculous!” or whatever. Just let them do their thing.

I don't argue. I don't push back. I don't try to make my point unless somebody is really kind to me and saying honestly like, “Wow! How does that work? How do your kids handle that? What do you do when you go to Target and your kids want a toy? What do you do for birthdays?” If they're curious, I'll answer all day long.

But when somebody is attacking me and being really rude because they're coming from a place of conviction, there really is not a lot of wiggle room for convincing them otherwise. I just like to just let them finish, smile and stay really gracious about it as much as I can and just say something like, “Wow! You feel really strongly about that I can tell.” Not in a sarcastic, B-word way, but you're stating a fact that you acknowledge where they're coming from and just let them get it out, because it's really pointless to try to fight it.

The bottom line is this is your life. These are your kids. This is your home. Don't let anyone make you feel guilty. Don't hold onto things out of obligation. It's ridiculous. Do what you feel like you need to do to live a purposeful, intentional life focused on what matters. Don't let anyone get in the way of that.


This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

Ep 091: Delegation & Automation For Moms

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Delegation and automation are hot topics in the business world, but they can also be applied to our personal lives - especially as mama’s! You don’t have to do it all! You can delegate to people outside of your home or you can delegate to your kids. You can automate things you know have to get done (like laundry and dishes) in order for your home and family to run smoothly. Trust me, delegation and automation will bring you so much freedom! And I hope this episode causes you to reflect and take action in some way to bring those things into your life!

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • What delegation and automation look like in your home.

  • How pride, fear, and control hold mom’s back from delegating things in their homes.

  • Things you can delegate to your kids.

  • Ways you can automate everyday tasks and chores.

Mentioned in this Episode:


The whole premise of Declutter Like a Mother  is to focus on decluttering 30 minutes a day, every day, for 30 days. But you aren’t doing it alone, you are doing it alongside a community of warriors! We rally. We focus. And it just creates this team atmosphere unlike anything else. That's why I get so amped up about it and I'm always urging everybody to join.

This is the time! If you like accountability, if you like that team feeling, if you like me and you want to hang out with me and hear me talk about this in a really focused, intentional way, Declutter Like a Mother is where you need to be! It's totally free to sign up! I hope to see YOU there!


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


Don't have time to listen_.jpg

Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.

_______________________________________________________________

From the dawn of time, mothers have warred through unmatched trials, the pain of child bearing, seemingly insurmountable piles of laundry, PMS.  The time has come. Mothers all over the world will gather, trash bags in hand, war paint on their faces, an unstoppable force against the clutter that fights to steal their time.

Warriors Gather! Declutter Like A Mother 2019 is upon us!

Visit alliecassa.com/warriors to enter this 30-day challenge. Don't worry, it's free!


Hey, beautiful friend! Welcome to another episode of The Purpose Show and the first one of 2019!

Okay, so I moved this episode around, tweaked what the topic was going to be, and moved my editorial calendar around a whole bunch because I really wanted to start the year off well.

There's so many important topics that have been on my heart lately that it's really hard to narrow it down and choose what's going to make the cut. What's going to become an episode? What's going to become a blog post? What's going to be a livestream or an email? You know, what's the final cut gonna look like?

This episode has really been a personal life lesson for me and it's been something that's been constantly on my mind for weeks and weeks. I needed it to be an episode so I moved it up to the top for January and here we are.

I'm really pleased with this choice. I think it's going to be really great way to kick off the year.

We're going to talk about delegation and automation for moms. Delegation and automation are things that are really hot topics in the business world and that’s where I picked up on this idea of, “Oh my gosh! Everything doesn't have to be done by me - in my business.”

So really quick, just kind of a background…when I first started my business…if you guys have listened to Episode 06, you know our story. How we were super broke, poor and struggling and really under the thumb of oppression in our lives especially with the finances. And so when I started my business, I didn't have the option of delegation and automation because I didn't have the budget for it. I had to just pull myself up by my bootstraps and figure out the cheapest way to do everything and that involved it all being done by me.

But as I grew and my business became successful, I was able to branch out and took the huge, scary risk of hiring my first team member, my VA named Kena, who's still with me after all this time. She's awesome. If you've ever emailed me, that's who you're getting. So “Hi!” Kena, if you're listening!

Learning and growing as a businesswoman, I began to learn about productivity hacks, delegating to other people, and hiring team members. Paying for tools (some of them even actually being free). Getting my hands on tools that could automate things that I was doing over and over again that didn't necessarily need to be done “live or fresh” every single time, and things that didn't need to be done by me. And business has taught me that.

And it applies to everything. Business has taught me to do what only I can do and delegate or automate the rest. And that's a really huge life lesson.

So, whether you're in the business world or not, if you're a stay-at-home mom, homeschooling mom, work-at-home mom, work-outside-of-the-home mom, or you’re just a young woman who's listening to my show…It doesn't matter how much you have going on. If you're a woman in this modern world, especially if you are a mom, you need help.

So, here's the big question that I want to be a ‘light bulb’ moment for a lot of you. I want you to ask yourself this question…about everything in your life, everything on your calendar and on your task list: Does it really have to be done by me? Does this task really, truly have to be done by me?

A lot of the time it doesn't. I just want to be honest with you guys and share. I had so many pride issues come up inside myself over that question and over this issue in my personal life.

With the business, after I got over some money mindset issues and realized that I'm not going to go broke and lose everything if I hire somebody to help me with something. And actually, the more I hire, the more I delegate, the more I give tasks away, the more successful I am, and the business is, and the higher our revenue becomes because I'm focused on the things that I'm really good at. The things that make the business money. The things that bring more people into the business, bring more clients and customers.

I started to learn all of this stuff about delegating and automating things in my business, and started thinking I can apply this to my personal life and I think it could be really great.

But when I started to do that in my personal life, I just had a lot of issues come up in myself. And really the root of all those was pride, fear and needing to be in control.

I didn't really realize it at first, but what it came down to was that I felt like I had to do it all in order to be a good mom or a good wife. And I really struggled with that. And as I struggled through that over the last two or three years, probably mainly the last two years, I noticed how many moms share that struggle and even more so than I did.

I noticed so many moms won't even do things like hire a sitter so they can have dinner out with their husbands every once in a while. While we all have exemptions to this…maybe you have a child that has really high special needs and you really can't leave or you have a special circumstance…usually though, that's not the case and it comes down to a control issue.

It's this underlying fear of, “What will everyone think of me if I admit, through my actions, that I can't do it all? Or if I come clean and show I'm not actually doing it all?”

There's this thing happening online, specifically with social media, that's basically ‘curated imperfection.’ When social media first really took off and over the last few years, Instagram specifically, has become a place where there's this thing called ‘curated perfection’ and it's like the ‘perfect’ everything in every photo. And you know what? I get upset when people use that as an excuse for their own unhappiness when somebody loves photography and has beautiful photos and they're like, “Oh, you're fake.” It's not fake to take a beautiful photo. The fact is beautiful Instagram feeds capture attention, gain followers and it's good for your business. It's good for your brand and all of that.

But what I mean is ‘curated perfection’ where it's so fake and there's nothing real. Even your caption is so overly perfect. Really? Is this really how your life is? I just can't believe that. Like the type of people that you don't even know what a really hard day would look like for them because they never are very real and raw.

And that's not everyone's calling; I am not blaming them. But it kind of had caught fire and spread. All over social media there was this overly perfect curation of bliss and nothing real.

And then we swung the other way and now there's this thing called ‘curated imperfection’ where everyone's all about (I'm using quotation marks with my hand sarcastically right now) “being real.” But really, you still look great when you supposedly have no makeup on? It’s like you staged it. You faked it. It’s like that joke about Beyonce…I woke up like this…and it's like seriously? It’s practiced and curated imperfection and that's not really helping anyone. It's actually making everyone feel a whole lot worse.

So with that comes all of this guilt around what if I was really real and raw and I just came clean and was like, “I really can't do it all.” It's not about making a silly Instagram post bashing my own mom skills in a joking way. But really like I can't handle cleaning my house because I just started a company. Or I work outside of the home 60 hours a week and my son is going through a rebellious stage and I'm overwhelmed by that and I don't know what to do. My marriage is on the rocks and I'm trying so hard to just get through the days. My house…I can't keep up with it and I need help. I need to hire help for that. And then feeling guilty about that because everyone else seems to be doing it all or you’re feeling expected to do it all.

And I could go on a major tangent about this - it’s not right that this is how we've been made to feel by society - but I won't go on that tangent cause there's plenty of people doing that and you could look it up yourself.

But really that's the underlying issue. It's about control. And what is everyone going to think of me if I really admit that I can't do it all? If I delegated all these things that I “should be doing?” How will that look? Will my kids grow up and think, “Oh my mom didn't really do that much.”

These are all fears that I have had and that I've talked with other women, specifically working mothers, about and they have. And I see this all the time. My job is to be immersed in the world of moms and this is what I'm seeing.

And so I just want to speak to that really quick before we dive into how you can delegate and automate your life a little bit as a mother. I just want to say that I've been there and I want to be really raw with you guys. I have cried many tears, feeling frustrated, feeling ‘less than.’ Feeling like I'm in this battle, this tug of war between making my life easier and doing less things really well, rather than trying to do everything and not doing it very well at all, and holding onto the pride of ‘I can do it all.’

What frustrates me so much is that everybody knows that social media is a highlight reel even though I am pretty real with you guys. I share behind-the-scenes things, and I'm honest about struggles and mistakes. I mean that's what my blog and my podcast is about. Getting out of the muck and the mire and stepping into abundant life in the middle of the messiness of real life. Right?

But I'll still get messages like, “How are you doing all this work in your business and it's going so well? And you're in all these interviews, on all of these different podcasts and all of this media? And your kids are homeschooled and you and your husband go out every week? How are you doing all of that?” I’m not. It's the result of a lot of people being on my team. That includes my husband and my kids. My kids are on my team and I'm on theirs. I have an actual team on my business. I have a girl, not a girl, a woman, a mom of two who's awesome and who's listening to this right now because she does all my podcast stuff as well. Ashley.

Let's take Ashley for example. Ashley is on retainer for a set amount every month and she has two jobs. After I hit ‘stop’ on the recording button here on my podcast, I send her the raw file. She makes sure that it goes to the editor and that he edits the episode well. She listens through all the way to make sure there's no mistakes and then she uploads it into the platform that we use. She gets the episode out on time everywhere that it needs to go. She makes sure the show notes are written and they're written well and that they flow really well with the episode. She also does my press. So her sole job is to get episodes up. And she reaches out to people, podcasters and media executives, and she gets me everywhere. That's her job. There's one person whose sole job is to work full-time doing those things.

So, of course, it looks like I'm doing all these things, and I'm getting all these interviews. That I'm everywhere and I'm doing all this stuff. I'm not doing any of that. I just show up for the interviews. And even that, I have one day a week that I say “I can handle doing interviews on this day, but if it's not gonna work then, then let's just not do it.” It's not worth my time, even if it's a really big deal. Because I've got four kids and I'm adopting another one. I homeschool and I'm working. There's limits. It just looks like it's not. Does that make sense?

So you have to understand everybody that you feel inferior to…it's all in your head and you're letting that happen. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” So stop consenting. Let's stop this BS game that's pointless and pitting us up against each other instead of making us a community.

I want you guys to know how imperfect I am. How often I break down and yell and have to apologize to my family for my words and my actions. How many times I get overwhelmed and feel like I went in too deep in over my head. Like this mission that God has placed in my lap is too much for me and He picked the wrong girl and I can't handle it. Like I can't handle the mean comments that come my way all the time. Worse, like I can't handle the kind comments that come my way all the time. Like I don't deserve this and I can't live up to it. It's a mess, you guys. It's a total mess (I want to say another word than mess, but I'm sure your kids might be listening so I won't say that) but it's just a total mess. It's a total poop show. We’ll say that. And it's hard.

I just want you guys to know that that's where I'm at. That's my heart and it is hard to let go of control. It's really, really hard, especially when it comes to your kids. I can delegate in business all day long, but when it comes to my home, when it comes to our meals, my kids, it's hard. It's a pride issue. It's a fear issue for sure.

I'm just going to share some things that I have learned that have helped me. Maybe some of this will work for you and apply to you. Maybe it won't. Maybe some of it won't fit your budget. Maybe some of it won't fit you at all. Maybe you don't need as much help as I do. But I just wanted to share my heart and be raw with you guys for a few minutes and then just share some things that have worked for me and hope that it encourages some of you to maybe consider letting some things go. Getting some things off your plate so that you can focus on the things they do need to be done by you.


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One thing that I have seen some women doing…We haven't gone this route, but I've seen it work really well. I even read a blog post about it recently and I was like, “Oh, I need to add that to this episode’s notes because that's such a good idea.” One of the hardest things about being a mom…If you're a working mom, you go to work or you get your work done all day. For me, my work schedule is very light right now. It goes through ebbs and flows, where it will be a really full work season and then a really light work season. For the last six months or so it's been pretty light. Just working for a few hours, a couple days a week, which has been awesome. But even then - just the weight of my business - being the CEO of it and doing the tasks that I do need to do, doing live streams and energy-draining things, going to work and doing my thing. And then doing the school with the kids, even if it's just part of it because Brian does most of it…It's a lot.

And one of the hardest things is getting dinner on the table at the end of the day. I've really finally come into my zone with meal prepping once a week. There's a blog post about that. I will link to it in the show notes if you'd like to read it. I had a lot of trepidation around meal planning. I didn't like to decide what we're going to eat ahead of time. I was afraid of it and really avoided it. But I've kind of just opened my arms to it because of the place that I am at and the place that my family is at and the way our lives are so full right now. It just needed to be done. So, I tried it again. I figured it out and I love the way that I figured it out. So there's a blog post if you just go to alliecasazza.com/shownotes/091, you can read that blog post.

But one thing that I've seen other women do is really neat. And that is they set up a ‘meal swap’ with other moms in the area. They prepare their meals a few days ahead of time. They prepare extra and then they swap with other moms. Then the next person does it and they do it too. Everyone's taking turns making a bunch of food and it's way less often than it would need to be if you were only doing it for yourself. So that's really cool. And I really liked that.

Also, a meal service as an option. There's even more affordable options out there. It's not like you have to hire a private chef to come in and do your meals or anything. There's Hello Fresh and Blue Apron. Those are great if you don't have a super specific diet. We do have a really specific diet and I haven't really been able to find something that I felt was worth the cost, really well-sourced, and that fit our special diets in our house, so those haven't worked for me but they are a great option if that's what you want to do.

Also hiring a Mommy's Helper who's just looking for extra cash. Maybe somebody who's in college that has a flexible schedule and a go-getter attitude. Somebody who's trustworthy or recommended by someone that you trust, if you don't know the person.

Mommy's Helpers can also be great if they're in high school and you just want them to come watch your kids for a little bit even while you're still at home getting some other things done. Instead of hiring a nanny or somebody who this is their career and is really expensive, Mommy's Helpers are great. They just want a little extra cash and they just enjoy kids. They enjoy helping. They're great. So if you have like an ‘in’ with somebody that you trust or that's recommended and they're just looking for some extra cash, that can be a great option. I think the key when you're asking for some help from somebody like that is to delegate to them small at first. So, give them a little bit and then grow that into more until you've completely given them certain tasks.

I think the key is, in business and personal life, communicating what your desired outcome is super clearly. What result would make you think that they did this job fully and well? Tell them that. Nobody can read your mind. So when you're delegating, especially if you're new at it, you've got to get really clear and communicate what is it that you're looking to be done here? How can they do this job and have you say, “Oh my gosh! You're amazing!” What would that look like?

Instead of saying, “If you could just help me get the kids ready for bed and then just hang out here for an hour while I run to the coffee shop and get a little work done, that would be great,” tell them…is it going to make you super upset if you come home and there was toothpaste all over the kids' bathroom counter and they didn't wipe it down? And the clothes they wear for the day are just on the floor instead of in the laundry? Are you going to want them to run the dishwasher or clean up after dinner? Be specific and communicate what you want from them. That is such a key to good delegating.

Also, let's talk about delegating to your kids. Bella is my oldest and at the time that I'm recording this, she's 9. She'll be 10 in February. My kids are a little bit older. I definitely don't have super little kids anymore. I've got 9, 7, 6 & 4. I'm at a point where I've been delegating to my kids for a few years now. But I want you guys to understand, even if you have younger kids, start them somewhere right away, even if it's not super helpful to you.

Delegating to your kids is so huge in raising helpful, self-assured kids. Seriously. Do not let the frustrations that come with teaching your kids to do things instead of you doing them yourself keep you from raising them this way, because it is frustrating and it takes a lot of patience, but don't let them get away with that. They need to learn to do things, to contribute and to be helpful.

This is a strong statement, but I really stand by it. I think one of the saddest things that I see in the way that today's kids are being raised is that parents are not giving them enough. They don't have to help. They barely have to contribute. It's a huge praise-worthy thing when they just get decent grades and don't smoke cigarettes by the age of 11. It's super sad and I think that responsibility goes a long way.

We just got back from a family vacation and we stayed at an Airbnb and the kids did their chores, even there. Of course, it was lighter because it wasn't our house and it’s not the same setup, but they swept up after meals. They washed the dishes and they did what they needed to do. They picked up their clothes and put them in the laundry bag instead of just throwing them on the floor by their suitcases. I think it's really important to raise kids who contribute. It is such a huge blessing for you as the mom and then also for the people that they end up living with as adults, whether that's roommates or if they get married. It's really important to raise kids who contribute and that's a really big core value for me.

It's crazy because I'll go over exactly what I've delegated to my kids, but it's not insane. I'm just giving them basic things that they can absolutely handle for their ages. And when people come over, they'll see the kids doing their chores and they're like, “Oh my gosh! My 20-year-old doesn't even do that!” And I think it's messed up because they're living in the house. We're a team. We're a family. We're supposed to contribute.

When you're delegating to your kids, just like if you were delegating to somebody else, like a Mommy's Helper or something, be really clear and straightforward. Don't expect the kids to know how to do it. I used to struggle with this really bad. I've learned so much, but it's really hard for me to not just expect my kids to know how to do something basic.

You have to remember that these are children and they're new here. They're new to the world. They've never had to do this before. You've been washing dishes for years. They don't know how to wash dishes. It's not common sense to them that all the stuck-on food be off before they load it into the dishwasher. Actually, common sense…you would think the dishwasher would get it off, but we all know it doesn't. You have to rinse them off first.

Be really patient. Take a deep breath. Be clear and straightforward. Communicate. Show them and set your expectations, audibly, to them right out of the gate. Be super patient in the beginning. Delegating to your kids is probably not going to be time-saving at first, but in the long run it will be. So, just remember that.

One example of something that I delegated to my kids really early on - I used to make their beds in the morning. We would pick up together in their rooms and I would just make their beds for them. One day they got a little older and I was like, “Why am I still doing this? This isn't a great use of my time. I could be downstairs making breakfast while they make the beds and then come downstairs to me.” So, I showed them how they make their beds. Then the next day I watched them as I walked them through it, but they did it. I was reminding them like, “Hey, you know, make sure you tuck it in. Make sure that the bedspread is on straight. Make sure it looks great.”

Then the next day I let them do it themselves and went back upstairs and checked their work. For example, Hudson - I remember he always had a really hard time being patient, following through and doing something well. He still struggles with that. I could totally tell he threw the blanket on and didn't really give a crap and that's normal for kids. And so instead of being like, “This is a joke! Get in here!” I tried to stay positive and constructive and say, “Okay, bud. What could we do? See? Let’s straighten it. Here, make sure that tag goes in this bottom corner.”

It's not about being anal and being super controlling and expecting perfection (because we all grew up with a kid, a friend, that had a mom like that and we don't want to be that mom) but it's just about showing them like, “I expect you to give some effort. And I expect you to help. And this is how you do this thing correctly. I'm not going to be crazy about it and make sure that it's wrinkle-free and perfectionistic, but I expect you to put some effort in.” You can tell when your kids are really trying (they're kids so it's not perfect) and when they're just being lazy and are not giving any effort. So, staying positive and constructive and showing them how to do it correctly.

Then after it's good and you've showed them, communicate your expectations and communicate the house rules really clearly. Talk about, “We're a family. We're a team. I expect this of you.” And then live out that expectation.

For example, you know my kids are normal. They're human beings. If I am ever upstairs doing a load of laundry and I peek into the boys’ room and I see their beds were unmade and there's laundry on the floor, I'm going to go get them and bring them in there and talk to them and say, “This is not cool, man. This is not what we do. This is not helping. This is not contributing. This is a mess. This is not how we treat our space,” and I'm going to make sure that they make their beds, pick up the laundry and pick up their room. It's consistently doing that, even when I'm in a rush. I'd rather be late to something then let that mess sit there and let them get away with that. Because my job is to train them up and teach them to contribute and that's super important to me. Or at the very least go to the thing that we were late to and then when we get home, first thing, “Go in your room and do what you were supposed to do. This is not cool.”

Also, I've never really been a huge fan of Chore Charts and systems like that. I think that they're just hard for me to maintain. They’re hard for me to stay on top of. But a little while ago we got this really cheap whiteboard Chore Chart at Target. It's got little magnetic star stickers and just enough space to write each kid's name and their main chores and using a star system. Now, not all the kids care about it, but most of them really care and they want to get those stars. The reward system works really well, especially with Leland. He is super competitive. He loves to meet goals and he loves to have a system like that.

We put it in the kitchen where I can see it. I see it all the time and because I'm seeing it, it reminds me to use it. We have a system where if you do your chores every day for a week, you get 30 minutes of extra game time on the weekend (because the kids are allowed to play with their video games and technology on the weekends.) That's awesome. That works really well. If they were younger, we would probably do a piece of candy or something like that, but it works super, super well.

So, that's how I've delegated to my kids. I know some of you are probably thinking, “Well, how do I get them to stick with it and how do I stick with it?” And there really is no easy answer. The fact is it's really just about I decided what I wanted for our family. I know it's going to be hard and sure, I mess up. But I'm pretty dang consistent. I'm not mean about it. I don't freak out and yell every time. Sure, sometimes I do, but I'm not a psychopath about it. I just say, “Guys, this isn't cool. You're not going to get a star today. You didn't do your stuff. In the morning, you need to get up and do stuff right away or do it before you go to bed. You don't get that star because you didn't do it. I asked you to contribute and you didn't. That sucks. That's not how we do our family.” I don't lose it on them and yell and make it a huge deal, but it's just expected. It's just a calm, firm, steady expectation in our family that everybody helps.

So, let's go over some things that I've delegated to my kids to give you guys some ideas.

Things that I've delegated to my kids in the past and present. Taking care of pets. Making their beds. Doing the dishes. I never do the dishes anymore. Maybe if somebody is sick I will, but Bella and Leland do dishes the completely. And it's awesome because I hate doing the dishes. The kids' laundry - Bella's started to do her laundry and the boys’ laundry. Definitely have some exceptions, like their karate ghee (that's what the karate robes and outfits or are called.) They have to be washed in a really specific way, so things like that, no. But just getting her in that habit of helping and teaching her how to do the laundry.

All the sweeping and vacuuming is done by the kids. Just general picking up the house. We have a bin by the stairs that we put things in when they belong upstairs and we're not going upstairs. So that way stuff's not out or in a pile by the stairs of ‘this needs to go upstairs.’

I've talked about this before, but emptying out that ‘by the stairs’ bin and putting everything away upstairs where it goes, that's the kids' responsibility. If it's my and Brian’s stuff, they'll just put it on our bed.

Making sure that they get their daily reading time in. They're supposed to read 30 minutes a day. Pulling weeds and helping with the yard. Taking out the trash cans.

Basically, it just is what it is. This is the expectation. This is how it's been set. We definitely talk to them. Our form of discipline usually with the kids is just sitting them down and having a serious one-on-one talk about what's going on. If it's their attitude, what's going on with your attitude? If it's not meeting expectations with helping in the house, then we talk about that with them. Maybe there's a consequence like no video games that Saturday or whatever is feeling appropriate for the situation.

But laziness is just not acceptable. And that goes for all of us. They are being raised by a mom who started a seven-figure empire with $50 and no help. And a dad who slaved away at a job that he hated, that treated him like crap, fourteen hours a day, six, sometimes seven days a week, for nine years. Laziness is not in our blood and we don't do that. And that's how we're raising the kids. So we handle laziness, cutting corners, and basically letting us down by talking to them and saying, “You know, hey, what's going on? This isn't cool dude. This is not how we do things in our family. What's going to help you?”

For Bella, she needs to ‘wake up’ and have breakfast and get her day going and then she'll do her chores and do them really well. Leland likes to get them done at a certain time every day and he likes them to be done so we can enjoy breakfast, so he does his stuff right in the morning. Of course this isn't perfect. Nobody does the same thing at a certain time every day.

Trust me, if you guys are listening to this, I think just the fact that I'm talking about these things is going to put the idea in your head that everything's like super rhythmic and perfect, but if you were hanging out in our house for a week you would see it's totally normal and it's really chill. But there's just that expectation of ‘everybody helps’ and at some point in the day everybody helps.

Moving on from kid stuff, let's talk about other types of delegation. Little tips on delegating that may or may not fit your budget that have helped me and that I've seen other moms do that have helped them a ton. And not even moms, women. There's a one woman in particular that we're Instagram friends and she doesn't have any kids. She's married, doesn't have any kids. She has an online business as well and she has a personal assistant. This girl runs errands for her. Makes returns for her. Does grocery shopping for her. Things like that, so she can focus on her marriage and her business and that's great. Us moms…we need that too.

A personal assistant is something that you could get for $12 to $15 an hour, and really you're not going to spend too much because those things don't take up a ton of time, especially if that person is not carrying around a bunch of kids with them, like I would be if it was me. We have someone that does help, if we need it, with things like errands and making returns. I usually do my own grocery shopping because of the ingredients that we need. But you get my point. You can hire somebody to do those things. Those things don't need to be done by me. Running simple errands. Picking up cleaning spray. Making returns to the mall for shoes that didn't end up fitting my kid. That doesn't need to be done by me.

Obviously, a housekeeper. Their price range really varies with that, but you could find someone that fits your needs and fits your budget. Negotiate with them, like, “Hey, if you could come every week instead of every month, can we work something out where it's a better value?” A lot of them do that already. Even just somebody to come and do the deep cleaning for you once a month, that would be so great. Right?

Truth be told, I have housekeepers that come every Monday. They used to come once a month, then it was twice a month and then I was like, “Screw it. I need a lot of help here.” I don't do any of the deep cleaning anymore. It's really just the kids doing their chores and us just doing daily maintenance, like picking up and laundry. The housekeepers come every Monday and give us a fresh start for the week and it's awesome.

It's money well spent because I have sanity. My house is clean. I don't have to worry about if there's going to be something embarrassing streaked on my baseboards that's two years old because somebody is looking out for those things, and we have a routine where once a month they do really detailed things. They get the dust off our fans and they run a Swiffer across the baseboards for us. They do the detailed things every now and then. They do the weekly detailed maintenance for us and that's new for us and it's awesome. It's been just such a good investment for us. So, if that fits your budget, obviously that’s a great thing to delegate because cleaning your house does take time.

If you can't afford a housekeeper, I highly recommend Kendra. Kendra Hennessy is a dear, dear friend of mine. She runs motherlikeaboss.com and she basically does what I do, but for cleaning and running your housecleaning in general and she's awesome. She has amazing tips to simplify the process and make it easier. We've done some webinars together so you might already know who she is, but I will link to her website in shownotes because if you can't afford a housekeeper, go spend the fee for one week of housekeeping and go get her course because it's amazing. I will link to that in the shownotes for you guys.

I actually am an affiliate for her courses because they're so freaking amazing and we've done webinars together so I've seen inside of her courses. I've even taken some of them. Super, super helpful. So, there's that too.

Another delegation tip that we touched on in the beginning of this episode is meal services. If your budget can handle it, and this is where you're at, you can hire a full-on chef to come and prepare meals for you once a week…like that exists. And then of course, Hello Fresh and Blue Apron and things like that that deliver your food to you and it's all chopped and prepped and you just have to cook it and prepare the actual meal. There's a lot of different options for that. I think there's even a couple of Vegan and healthy ones that I've heard about, but at this point we're just not there anymore. I’m not using those right now.

There's a lot of things to just simplify your meals. You can get groceries delivered now. There's so much you could do.

Moving away from all of that, I want to talk about the fact that sometimes delegation means delegating to yourself ahead of time. It's not that you're delegating it to somebody else, it's that you're delegating it to yourself now so that you can have a more peaceful future. So, not waiting until the last minute to do something important and causing herself unnecessary extra stress.

Maybe one example is Christmas shopping online in November from your couch, with a glass of wine, for everyone on your list and then just calling it done. It just takes a little bit of preplanning and thinking. I have a lot of things like this and Christmas shopping is just one example.

I have gotten in the habit of having this one night in November where after the kids are in bed, Brian and I sit together and we turn the fire on, we watch a movie, we pour some wine and we online shop for everybody on our list. We've got the people on our list that we need to get presents for. We know what we want to get them or if we don't, we have some kind of idea. We have a budget for each person and we just go online. We order the grandparents, you know, canvas photo prints of the kids. We order candles. The kids’ presents from Amazon. We have the kids make their lists early. Each kid gets three presents. We know what they are, they're ordered, they're on their way and it's just done.

Maybe one day in December we'll have to go out and get a couple of small filler gifts.

For example, I usually go to this small shop in Oceanside where I live. I don't live in Oceanside - Oceanside's near where I live. That's what I meant. My friend owns this adorable little small shop called Roam in Oceanside, California. I'll go there and I'll get a couple of small-shop gifts for friends. They're just a little bit more special, a little bit more unique. They’re locally made and they have earrings and jewelry and stuff there. I'll get a couple of things for my mom, my sister, my best friend that lives in Florida.

So, there's a couple little things like that, but getting that Christmas shopping done online from my couch in November for basically everyone on my list is a huge stress reliever.

So, do you see what I mean? That's maybe more automation, but it is kind of like delegating to yourself for the future. It's delegating to your past self and just giving yourself the time and space to think about something.

All that means is just putting it on your calendar. Even right now as you're listening to this…stop, go open your Google calendar, go to November of this year even though it's super far away and just put that in your calendar. From now on, the third Saturday in November or the first Thursday in November is going to be the night that you do that with your husband. You just online shop for Christmas presents. Just make it a tradition.

Just think about that. That is something that will simplify your life immensely and all that is is just thinking ahead. So much of our stress comes from not thinking ahead.

I've got four kids. I'm homeschooling. I'm running the business. Of course, I can't think ahead. My brain can't even process what I'm doing tomorrow. But it's about giving yourself a little space to think, “Okay, what in my life is causing stress in this season?”

A couple of years ago I did that around the holidays and it was Christmas shopping. So, I figured out a rhythm that I could set for myself to make it not so stressful in coming years. Now I've got that November shopping routine and it's awesome!

So, see? Plan out some white space for you to take a drive, go for a walk, go to a coffee house and just sit and contemplate your life in this season you're in right now. What's not working? What's making your stomach turn with stress? How can you make that lighter for yourself in the future? Those are things you can put in your calendar as ‘blocks of time.’ Do it right now. The next time you have an afternoon that you can just have your husband hang with the kids or hire a sitter or something, go get yourself some lunch, bring a journal, bring your laptop, and just reflect and ask yourself, “What's going on right now? What can I do to lighten my load? How can I make this time next year much better?”

Another example of this kind of delegation to yourself is getting your kid's party supplies when you're at the store two weeks before rather than having to make another trip to go get party supplies. This is where my Sunday planning comes in super handy. I don't do this religiously every single week in full, but close to it. It's definitely a really steady weekly rhythm that I have.

I think there's an episode about this. If not, there's a blog post. Either way, there's a whole resource about this. I will link to it in the shownotes for this episode. Again, alliecasazza.com/shownotes/091. I’ll link to that so you can read it.

But Sunday planning is basically a time on Sunday nights where I just get ready for the week. I think everybody has at least something like this, but this works really well for me. Sunday nights I get my planner out and I make our grocery lists, make our meal planning. I do all that. I go to the grocery store, usually on Sunday night or Monday morning, but Sunday night I'm planning so I can look ahead and think, “Oh, okay, look, Bella's birthday party is coming up. I'm going to be at Target getting cleaning spray and whatever else I need on this day so I'm going to get her parties supplies while I’m there.

See, it's just giving yourself that white space to have a freaking second to be still and quiet and think ahead. It's something that us moms just do not get unless we force it and it's something that we should force. You should give yourself at least one hour of quiet reflection and looking ahead so that you can get a clear head and think.

When you do that for yourself, you're going to be like, “Oh my gosh! I'm an amazing mom. Look how on it I am!” Because you gave yourself a little bit of peace and quiet to look ahead and think, “What's going on this week? How can I make my life easier?” And you're going to notice, and you're not going to be, “Oh, I went to Target without a list and now I have to go back in because I forgot that I needed to get Bella sweater. Oh, I needed to get dog food (or whatever it is).”

The same goes for automation. You can save yourself so much stress by automating the things you know you have to get done without a doubt in order for your home and your family to run smoothly.

So, laundry. I've talked about my laundry routine a ton. There's a separate episode about that. If you need it, it will be in shownotes because I can't remember right now what episode number it is, but I have a laundry routine. Basically, I never have to think about laundry anymore. It just gets done and never really gets behind unless we're traveling.

Automating dishes for yourself, if your kids aren't old enough to do them for you. Automating your grocery shopping. Automating your calendar management. Automating your family schedule. Automating your homeschool curriculum planning.

Even automating date nights - no backburner marriages here, right? We are going to make date night happen and we're going to prioritize this relationship because it matters. It's the foundation of our happy family and it's important that we say this is the night we hang out alone. We treat ourselves to dinner out or coffee out or even just a walk at the park for free, away from the kids with a sitter or a family member to watch the kids and put them to bed for us.

That's the biggest thing. For me and Brian, date night is not date night if we come home and we do the whole bedtime routine. The whole point of date night is to be away and get a break – together. Focus on each other and get a break from the whole bedtime routine and it's awesome. If we ever finish dinner early and we're ready to go home, we will stay out until the kids are in bed and then just come up and kiss them goodnight real quick before we go to bed because you need that break.

It doesn't matter what your budget is. It can be done in one way or another. But just imagine if you had some set time once a week to be alone with your man and you went and you just did something together. If it's having dinner, seeing a movie, getting a cup of coffee or tea, taking a walk by a lake or something by your house - whatever it is. Just walk around your freaking block - it doesn't matter - but you had time to be out alone, talking, pouring into each other, spending time together and skipping the nighttime routine, what freedom that is? That is such a gift. It's so important.

These are things that we can automate and say, “These things need to happen in order for our relationship to stay good, for our home to run smoothly, for our family to feel in sync and like everyone has everything they need.” Those are the things that you need to automate because if they don't get done, things get crazy and there's no reason for that.

If we can just think ahead a little bit and give ourselves that space to do so, things will be so much smoother. That's a gift that you can give to yourself and to your family.

So, your action step for today, after this long episode is how can you automate the things that need to get done? How can you delegate things to other people? What's stressing you out? How can you make this season of your life less stressful next year or the next time it comes around? Get some time to reflect, even if it's just at home after the kids go to bed with some headphones in. Do something today. Take action in some way today.

Don't forget! Girl, you better tag me on Instagram. I want to see what you're doing. I want to see that you're listening to this episode. I want to see what you’re doing and how you’re taking action on this…by brain dumping into a journal, what are you stressed out about? What can you delegate? What can you hand off to somebody else? How can you get over your pride and your controlling like I did and I'm still doing and let go of some things so you can do less better? Share with me on Instagram. Allie_that's me. I want to see!


This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.