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:


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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 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


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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 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


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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! 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.


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.


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.

Ep 090: Day-After-Christmas Decluttering Pep Talk

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It is the day after Christmas … and I hope you had an incredible holiday! For my family, the day after Christmas is always the best day to declutter. Why? Because we are all much more willing  to get rid of the toys, clothes, and stuff we collected through the year since we just opened up new ones. This doesn’t have to bring down the holiday spirit by any means either. It can be a super fun and interactive way to celebrate the season and gear up to start a New Year!

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • Why the day after Christmas is the BEST day to declutter your home.

  • Tips for decluttering kids toys post-Christmas.

  • Ways you can quickly declutter the stuff in your home while still enjoying the holiday season.

  • How decluttering after Christmas prepares you for the New Year.

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 you! Merry Christmas! I hope you had a wonderful holiday!

I'm so excited to talk to you about this. This is probably going to be a super short, to the point episode as it should be because it's Christmas and you guys are chillin’ with your family probably, but I had to not skip an episode this week. I usually skip episodes when there's a holiday, but I'm not skipping this one because today (the day that this is launching) is the day after Christmas and it is the best day to declutter of the entire year, so how could I not do an episode, you guys? Of course I'm going to do an episode!

So if you're listening on launch day and you're hanging out and cleaning up wrapping paper and stuff, I'm super impressed with you for listening to a podcast today. And I'm really glad you did because it is the best day of the year. If you watch Parks & Rec you'll know what I'm saying –  {sings}“the best day of the year!” - that is the only time I'll ever sing on my show…ever!

Anyway, okay. Why is this the best decluttering day of the year? First of all, the kids are home from school and they're super wrapped up in their new toys and games, so basically…go, girl, go! Of course you should declutter. This is a great day. Kids are super busy with their new stuff. It’s awesome.

The next reason this is the best day of the year to declutter is because your kids just got a bunch of new stuff or even if they didn't get a bunch because your family was super onboard with simplifying (great!), but they got some new things so they're much less attached to their older things and they're much more willing to give things up, let things go, move on and say, “Mom, I'm ready to donate this. I don't really need this toy. I got this new one. I love it more. Let's do this.”

This is a great day to declutter, so I want you all to take action on this. Ugh…I wish it wasn't the day after the most major holiday, but it just works out that way and it just is. It's just the best day and I think everyone should take advantage of it.

If you're listening to this, on the day that this episode is launching, I am currently decluttering. I always declutter my kids’ stuff the day after Christmas. So, let's talk about that.

The kids' toys. How do you declutter your kids' toys the day after Christmas? First of all, make sure that you make it exciting. This is not a punishment. This is not a burden. This is not a chore. Your kids want to chill. They just had Christmas. They're super excited. Maybe you guys are even going to visit family and doing Christmas with them today after your original Christmas Day Christmas and you guys have stuff going on. Your kids are really excited. You don't want to make this crap for them. Make it exciting.

Just say like, “Guys, you got so much great stuff! You have so many good things. What are you ready to let go of so we can make room for this stuff? I want you guys to play with all this stuff. What is not cool anymore?” Don't word it like that, but make it good. Make it like, “Hey guys, just wondering, you got all this great new stuff and to make room for it, let’s each pick some things that we can get rid of because you guys got blessed with such awesome new stuff.” Come at it with that attitude.


Hey guys! Have you heard Declutter Like a Mother is coming back? I'm super excited! This is my annual challenge. I'm beyond ecstatic to even be saying this to you guys!

I look forward to this every year. It is the one time of year that I just clear my schedule. I show up. I'm live with you guys. We’re chatting. I'm answering questions. We are focused on decluttering.

The whole premise of Declutter Like a Mother  is 30 minutes a day, every day, for 30 days. That 30 minutes can be broken up throughout the day or done all at once, whatever you need to do, but the point is my whole community comes together. We rally. We become decluttering warriors. 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.

Last year we had over 40,000 women from all over the world joining together, showing up to the live streams, reading the emails, decluttering their houses, and getting insane results.

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. You can go to alliecassaza.com/warriors and you'll get the signup page. Totally free!

I want to see you there! Let's do this!


Don't come out at like, “All right! The fun is over! Everyone get up. Get your crap together. We're cleaning!” Don't make it like that.

Another great thing to purge the day after Christmas is your stuff. What's been bothering you? What's been feeling really cluttered that you can knock out while you're in the zone today? Remember to make piles. Keep/Trash/Donate. There is no ‘don't forget to give this to Aunt Mary pile.’ There is no ‘well maybe, I'm not sure pile.’ Keep/Trash/Donate. Make the decisions.

This is a great day to clear the holiday decor clutter too. I don't know if everyone feels like this, but we've talked about this on Instagram before and it seemed like everybody was pretty onboard. Most people feel ready to ditch the holiday decor and move on into the New Year. The holidays can be super fun but they can also be like, “I just want to get back to my usual.”

Clear the holiday decor clutter. Get that ‘spring cleaning’ feeling and just prepare to head into the New Year with a fresh start.

That's just what I wanted to say. Just a few-minute pep talk on why this is the best day to declutter of the entire year. How to go about it with the right attitude and the areas to really focus on. Mainly the kids' toys.

When I say this is the best day to declutter of the whole year, I'm really talking about your kids’ stuff because they are just way more on board, way more into it and you can get in the zone and get ready to head into the New Year fresh.

Speaking of the New Year, Declutter Like A Mother is coming back! If you guys have been around for a bit, you may have been here for one before. This is going to be our…I think it's our 5th time around, but our 3rd annual Declutter Like A Mother challenge. We used to do this more than once a year. Now it's an annual thing. January first we start.

So Declutter Like A Mother  is my challenge. It's 30 minutes a day, every day for 30 days. That's the main premise of the challenge. We just get our war paint on. We get our trash bags in hand. We go hard at decluttering for 30 days and we kick our New Year off right.

Because it isn't about clutter. It's not about having a clean house. It's not about perfectionism. It is about the fact that what takes up your space, takes up your time. And we want to say ‘no’ to that.

We want to take that back into our hands and want to get intentional with that and go into the New Year with a clearer motherhood. With more time to spend on our kids. Play with them. Pour into them. Help them with their homework, homeschool them if that's what you do. Cook meals for your family. Spend time with your hubby and have date night. Not be nagging and stressed out all the time about all there is to do because that's what clutter does for you.

Declutter Like A Mother is a really big deal and it's coming! Make sure you guys sign up! You can go to the shownotes to do that or just go to alliecasazza.com/warriors.

Okay? Go there! Get yourself signed up! We're starting in a few days. I don't want you to miss it! Happy best decluttering day of the entire year! Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! I adore you guys. Go have an awesome day!


_______________________________________________________________

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 089: Minimalism For Those Who Enjoy Shopping

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There is this awkward tension in our culture where we feel we have to choose between being minimalist and enjoying shopping. Why can’t we choose both? Just because we enjoy shopping doesn’t mean we buy everything we see on the shelves. I enjoy shopping! Strolling the aisles of a store is where I find inspiration and get refreshed. For me, it is about browsing and enjoying, without feeling the pressure to buy every single thing I find that I like. I'm not shopping to shop. I am shopping because I truly enjoy the process of being out and finding inspiration! And I know that like me, a lot of you would say the same. So I hope this episode encourages you to find freedom in being a minimalist who enjoys shopping.

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • The two core reasons people love to shop and their impact on minimalism.

  • How you can find freedom in enjoying shopping and being a minimalist (you don’t have to choose one or the other!)

  • Why her closet isn’t as minimal as the rest of her house.

  • Questions you can ask yourself as you shop to help you decide whether or not to buy things you find.

Mentioned in this Episode:


Anyone else love shopping? I do! When I go shopping and see something I love, I run through a list of questions before I buy it. This way I am checking my heart and intentions before making a purchase I really don’t need to make! Download this FREE PDF and image for your phone so that you can have these questions with you when you go shopping!

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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 lady! Thank you for listening today! I’m really glad you're here!

This episode…I've been feeling weird about this episode - and I'm just going to say it - because in what I do, there's another type of person. And that person is very extreme. Minimalism for the sake of minimalism. It's less for the sake of less. They know how many of everything they have and they're really set on “I can't have more than this amount of stuff because then I'm not a minimalist” and I just am not that way.

I hope that is what draws you listeners to me, because it is different. It's not that there's anything really wrong with the other way; I just don't vibe with that. It's not how I am. I don't like anything that feels really legalistic and limiting – ‘now I feel like I can't be who I am because I want to be a minimalist. I'm having to change who I am and say ‘no’ to things that totally bring me joy and add to my life in a really positive way with no negative side effects because it's not minimalist’ - I just don't like that.

A lot of times people will come to me and talk to me in that tone…like I'm like that. And I always have to redirect them and say, “Well, the way you're asking that question is very minimalism for the sake of just being a minimalist and that's just not how I think. So, let me redirect you, ‘rephrase’ this for you, and help you make this decision about this area of your home under this mindset instead.” And it's something that I have to say over and over again, almost daily, because it is such a common thing in minimalist teachers.

Whenever I talk about what I'm about to talk about, I get a lot of flack and that's okay because I think if you're not getting any negative feedback you’re probably not really doing anything that's worthwhile. But I also get a lot of positive feedback.

So I'm just going to lay it out on the line. This episode has been on my heart for a while because it's for me. I'm talking to me. Minimalism For People Who Enjoy Shopping. So we're gonna just dive in.

There are one of two hearts at the core of someone who says they love to shop. One, they're filling a void and they are addicted to the ‘high’ that comes with shopping, which is totally a thing. Look it up. Or two, they're like me, and they just like being out alone – browsing, walking, looking, getting inspired and finding the occasional perfect thing they have been looking for. They also might just like clothes and like putting outfits together and like fashion, which is also me.

So that's kind of what I've learned, that there's 1 of 2 hearts at the core of somebody who says they love to shop, and that's like a thing that kind of makes them panic a little about minimalism.

So they’re either coming from total panic and anxiety like, “Oh my gosh, you’re going to take away my ‘drug’ because shopping is filling a void. I shop and I buy things incessantly all the time because I'm filling this void and I’m trying to get away from this problem and just fill a void.” Or they just really enjoy the process. So, check yo’self before you wreck yo’self, right? Where is this coming from? What's the heart? Where are you at?

But if you're like me and you just like the process of shopping, don't you dare feel guilty about that. That's ridiculous. Especially because most of us listening are mothers. Of course you like to shop. You can get away from your kids and browse and take a deep breath. My favorite thing to do in the whole world, seriously, no joke, is to get my headphones, go to Target, order a coffee, put in a podcast or a song and just walk and breathe and I don't have anything that I need. I'm just there and I'm just looking and browsing.

I have self-discipline and I am a minimalist. I don't grab incessantly needless things. I don't feel the need to do that. But that's how I get inspired. That's how I refresh and recharge. I'm alone. I'm out. I love looking at things and like, “Oh look at that. It's so beautiful. That is something that I could do with that one corner of my house I've been wanting to get decorated. That's a great idea!” It's just refreshing to me. I don't know. It just is.

When moms tell me that they want to simplify their homes and go minimalist, but shopping is their joy, it's their escape, and they don't want to hate themselves, I totally get it. I love shopping.

So, here's what I hate – “Why don't you just walk around outside instead? Why do you have to walk around at Target?” Umm…because I don't want to walk around outside. I want to go to Target because it's hot or cold or wet, and there are bugs out there, and rapists, and other kids climbing trees and stuff, and because…Target. I want to go where I want to go. Leave me alone.

That's the kind of legalist BS that I really just don't like. And secrets-behind-the-scenes’ peek - it's made other minimalists not like me either. And that's okay.

But seriously, browsing is how I get inspired and refreshed. Who cares if I leave the store with something for my bookshelf. Leave me alone. I'm not about this like, “Oh, I’m a minimalist and I don't need to go to the store. I just sit on my rug and do yoga, breathe deeply, surrounded by all white walls with nothing fun in the house. I wear a black T-shirt every day because even though I love fashion and I love putting outfits together that's not minimalist and that is just what I am.” No, you're never going to find that from me.



Hey guys! Have you heard? Declutter Like A Mother is coming back! I'm super excited! This is my annual challenge. I'm beyond ecstatic to even be saying this to you guys!

I look forward to this every year. It is the one time of year that I just clear my schedule. I show up. I'm live with you guys. We’re chatting. I'm answering questions. We are focused on decluttering.

The whole premise of Declutter Like A Mother is 30 minutes a day, every day, for 30 days. That 30 minutes can be broken up throughout the day or done all at once, whatever you need to do, but the point is my whole community comes together. We rally. We become decluttering warriors. 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.

Last year we had over 40,000 women from all over the world joining together, showing up to the live streams, reading the emails, decluttering their houses, and getting insane results.

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. You can go to alliecassaza.com/warriors and you'll get the signup page. Totally free!

I want to see you there! Let's do this!


I also enjoy making trips to the store for necessities and I like to make that a nice experience. Here's what I mean by that. I am home a lot, you guys. My life might be a little different than yours. So just consider my life as you take this in. My life is home all the time. I homeschool my kids. I work at home. My office is literally a part of my home. I walk out the door and I'm in my office. I even do a lot of my working out at home because we have a gym in our garage. So I'm home for pretty much everything.

When that happens, you notice that you're out of paper towels and you kind of get this like, “Oh, I'm out of paper towels! I need to go to target.” And I love that. I totally make it a thing. I tell Brian like, “Hey, are you good? Are you good with the kids? I would love to just get out for a second.” Sometimes he'll do this too. Sometimes we all do it together and we'll let the kids get a little apple or a little snack bar or something and we'll all go to Target together. Just walk around, be together and talk. Brian and I will get coffees. The kids run alongside the cart because the store is empty because we homeschool and no one else was at the store in the middle of the week in the morning. And we just be.

I love making my trips to the store for necessities a nice experience. So, I will go to Target because I need paper towels, but I'll bring my headphones, get a coffee, take a deep breath and browse. I'll be there for an hour and leave with just paper towels.

It's about browsing and enjoying and not buying every single thing. Just because I find something that seems like, “Oh my gosh! This is perfect for me. I love it. It's so cute.” doesn't mean I buy it. I have another episode that I did on this that I'll link to where I talk a little bit about this, not having to buy every single thing even if it seems perfect and, of course, you have to buy it – no, you don't.

I will definitely be browsing and go for paper towels and see, “Oh look! This book came out. I didn't realize this book was out yet! I've been wanting to read this. I'm going to get this book.” Or “Oh my gosh, the perfect pencil holder for my desk because my other one fell off the desk and cracked and broke. I'm going to get this.”

Sure, that kind of stuff happens, but I'm not shopping to shop. I'm not a minimalist for the sake of being minimalist and I'm not shopping for the sake of shopping, you know? Just buying stuff because I'm out. I can enjoy and appreciate something and not get it. It's more about being out and about and enjoying that process.

I've talked about this so much. I don't want my podcast to be super repetitive, but when it comes to clothing, I love to shop. I don't get cheap crap at Target and stuff really anymore. It's pretty rare that I will leave with a piece of clothing from Target. But you know, like the other day, it was a holiday weekend and my family went down to Carlsbad because we live in California, and we were just walking around. Brian needed some new tennis shoes. His were worn out and had holes in them and he went to go to the Nike store and there was a Madewell there. I love Madewell. So, I went in and I was looking around and I found a beautiful sweater. I loved it and I bought it because I loved it. I've worn it three times already since then.

So yes, I love to shop, but it's not shopping for the sake of shopping, buying everything that you see that you like. Where is your heart? Where are you coming from? I really hope this is resonating. I really hope this is making sense to you guys. I never want to misconstrue my message.

Why are you doing something? Are you doing it because of being, oh, you're a minimalist so you can't buy jeans? Or you don't need that, so don't get it, otherwise you're the worst. Or are you doing something because it's an area of your life that you want to simplify? What's your purpose?

What takes up your space takes up your time, right? We talk about this all the time. Of course, it is important to be minimal and to be a ruthless editor of what comes into your home, but not in everything to where your joy is totally sucked out of you.

I'm going to link in the show notes to this episode to a video that I made about this, about my story with doing this to myself. Having a capsule wardrobe and being very extreme, limiting my capsule wardrobe, limiting my clothes and how I started to really almost get a little depressive because I wasn't able to be myself, and have clothes and outfits to put together and play with that area of my life.

I love that. It's a huge part of who I am. If I wasn't doing what I am doing now, I would probably either own a flower shop because I love putting flowers and bouquets together or I would do something with fashion, clothes, styling and dressing for your shape. I love that kind of stuff.

I'll link to that video in the show notes that you can get at alliecasazza.com/shownotes/089, if you want to watch that video because it's all about that. I won't bore you with it again here.

Be an editor of your home. Get intentional with what's taking up your space because it's taking up your time too, but don't do that just for the sake of being a minimalist to where your joy has totally left you and a big piece of who you are is just not getting satisfied because you're trying to be minimal. That’s no fun. That's not what this is about.

For a personal example, a lot of the areas of my home and my life are super minimal versus my closet and my wardrobe, which is not super minimal, because that brings me so much joy and it's such a huge part of who I am. So my kitchen - my kitchen is very minimal. We do not have extra dishes and stuff. I don't love being in there and love cooking all the time. I do what I have to do and then I'm done. So, I have the storageware that we need. I have the Tupperware that we need. I have the pots and pans that we need and the spatulas that we need. I don't have anything that I don't really need for how I cook for my family because it's not an area where I feel really inspired.

I have students in Your Uncluttered Home who have told me, “I feel like a chef. I love cooking. I love getting creative. I love being inspired in the kitchen. I want to have all these extra appliances and all these extra things to try even though they're not necessities and I don't use them all the time.” That's fine. That's their area where they want to get messy and they like to have joy and they like to have a little bit of excess. They'll deal with it taking up their time. They'll deal with that taking up more space and time because it's worth it to them. Because it's joyful for them.

I'm not that way. My kitchen is very minimal. My kids' toys are very minimal and all of the stuff that most people have in their drawers and their closets – mine is super, super minimalistic - but not my wardrobe. Make sense?

To help you guys out, I'm going to leave you with this. Here are some questions that I run through in my head to make sure that I'm not needlessly buying something when I'm out shopping and browsing and just walking around. You can write them down. You can keep them in your phone or you can go to the show notes for this episode and just download them. It's a pdf you could just save to your phone to have on hand.

Question #1: Is this something that I had been planning to buy for some time? Is this a planned purchase? Not just a random, you know, I'm going to get this.

Question #2: Is it necessary?

And keep in mind, please, that these questions or not, “If the answer is ‘no’, you can't get it, because that's minimalist for the sake of being minimalist. But this is just some things I just do to remember, check yourself before you wreck yourself.

So these are just kind of gut-checking questions that you can ask yourself to kind of feel out where you're at.

Question #3: Is it replacing something I no longer have or have now, but I'm planning to get rid of?

Question #4: How does this add to my life or improve the lives of my family?

Question #5: Do I own a version of this that works just fine already?

Question #6: Will I love this in a month, or a year, or 10 years (applicable to what the item is). For example, it's not super likely that you're going to love the same wall art 20 years from now. That's a given. But if you think you'll be sick of it by the end of this current year, maybe it's not right for you. Maybe that's not a smart way to spend your money.

Question #7: Also is it decorative or functional or needed? Why are you buying this?

These are just things that you use to check yourself.

If you want to get this list of questions - I have this in my phone, literally I have it in my notes - I put it on a pdf for you. Just go to alliecasazza.com/shownotes/089and you can download that and put it on your phone. Super helpful. If you do enjoy shopping, but you feel like you've overdone it in the past and you're worried that you're going to undo your minimalist work, just have this list of gut-check questions for yourself and that can be super helpful.


_______________________________________________________________

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 088: Getting Intentional with Holiday Traditions

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This time of year it sometimes feels like we've got things kind of backwards. We care so much about creating a special holiday and not missing out (you know, we all have FOMO) that we go way too far and end up trying to create such a special atmosphere, that it's very not special. We go out of our way with our traditions, we stretch our schedules and budgets thinner than we are comfortable with just to make Christmas super special. It ends up ruining the special occasion we tried tirelessly to create! It's like our traditions have become really overbearing. They start to feel really heavy and they're not fun anymore. We have stopped looking forward to them. Traditions should not detract from the season. They should elevate it. So, let’s put our traditions under the light of intentionality and get back to what serves us and our families best in this season.

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • The ways our society has bent traditions backwards.

  • How you can choose and carry out intentional traditions that are good for your family.

  • Why it is important to view traditions as things that should bring joy to the holidays, not subtract from it.

Mentioned in this Episode:


The holiday season is almost here! Oh my gosh, it can feel super overwhelming but it doesn't have to be that way this year. What if this year the holiday season was just as fun, just as magical and just as exciting for you as a parent, as you’re trying to make it for your kids? My course, Merry Little Christmas, will do that for you! It is just $15 and I know that it will help guide you through a simple, yet fun holiday season!

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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, lovely friend! So, this episode is Getting Intentional With Holiday Traditions. I title my own episodes and I really wrestled with the title of this episode just because the word ‘intentional’ is so overused. It's like describing things in seasons, like how people say and I always say, “Oh, it's just your season of life; Oh, if you're in that season…” It's kind of annoying and overly done, but there's really no other way to say it.

I sat here for a few minutes just thinking about this episode and the title and I was trying to find a way to say “doing something with your holiday traditions” or “changing your holiday traditions.” There's just no better way to say it than getting intentional with your holiday traditions. So sorry, saying the word intentional again and it's so annoying. There's really no other way to say it.

We are talking about that today. Taking our holiday traditions, putting them under the light of intentionality and asking ourselves, “What is this doing? Is this serving our family in the right way? Is this on purpose? Is this helpful? Is this pointless? Is this out of obligation? Is this running us weary? Is this intentional?” So, we’re going to talk about traditions today.

Alright, so this time of year it sometimes feels like we've got things kind of backwards. I know we talked about this last week a little bit in terms of simplifying Christmas, and presents, and with other people and all that stuff, so you haven't listened to episode 87, go back and listen for sure. But we tend to just kind of get it wrong and have things backwards.

We care so much about creating a special holiday and not missing out (you know, we have that FOMO) that we go way too far and end up trying to create such a special atmosphere, that it's very not special.

We go way out of our way with our traditions. We stretch our schedules and our budgets way thinner than is comfortable for us just to mark a special occasion, and then that ruins the special occasion, so it's pointless.

Joshua Becker wrote once that “traditions should not detract from the season; they should elevate it” and I really love that. Well said, Josh, if you're listening for some reason. Joshua Becker is amazing. I'll link to his blog. You know, we like each other. We're friends. We email a couple of times. I like him. He's awesome. And he said that once in a blog post and it just really struck me. I mean that's where it's at. Traditions should not detract from the season. They should elevate it.

It's like our traditions have become really overbearing. They start to feel really heavy and they're not fun anymore. We have stopped looking forward to them.

Raise your hand if you've ever had the holiday season come at you when it feels like it just happened and all of a sudden it's upon you. That one thing that you always do every year pops into your head and you feel that let down feeling of, “Oh, I'm going to have to go to that thing. I'm gonna have to do this thing. I'm gonna have to see this person.” This is what's leading to adults dreading the holiday season rather than looking forward to it.

It just kind of ruins it for all of us. If we're not looking forward to it, if we're not enjoying it, our kids aren't going to very much either, even if we give them an awesome Christmas. They can sense that. They can feel that. And it should be magical for all of us.

I did a little research and I found some pretty saddening stats. Apparently 69% of Americans said they would skip gift exchanges this holiday season if their family would agree to it. And then when they were asked what they like or don't like the most about the holiday season, Americans’ top three answers about what they liked the least involved buying things. They said things like commercialism, materialism, financial stress, shopping and being in crowds all the time.

Basically we're doing what we hate. And it's kind of not shocking at all that we don't look forward to it like we did when we were kids.

I feel like I'm mentioning Joshua Becker multiple times, but another quote of his just popped into my head that I share all the time and that is that “minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts from that.” You all know that I am all about applying minimalism and simplicity to our lives, not just our homes. It all starts at home, but then it spills over into everything.

Under that light, why are we doing this? It's not right. It's not creating joy. It's not creating abundant life for our family. So, let's apply minimalism to this, to our traditions. Let's ask what's intentional here? Let's stop being the 69% that say, “I just wish that we could skip exchanging gifts. I hate this. I'm unhappy. I don't enjoy the holidays because it’s filled with all the things that I hate.” Let's say ‘no’ to that and let's move forward in a more intentional way.


_______________________________________________________________

Hey guys! Have you heard Declutter Like A Mother is coming back? I'm super excited! This is my annual challenge. I'm beyond ecstatic to even be saying this to you guys!

I look forward to this every year. It is the one time of year that I just clear my schedule. I show up. I'm live with you guys. We’re chatting. I'm answering questions. We are focused on decluttering.

The whole premise of Declutter Like A Mother is 30 minutes a day, every day, for 30 days. That 30 minutes can be broken up throughout the day or done all at once, whatever you need to do, but the point is my whole community comes together. We rally. We become decluttering warriors. 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.

Last year we had over 40,000 women from all over the world joining together, showing up to the live streams, reading the emails, decluttering their houses, and getting insane results.

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. You can go to alliecassaza.com/warriors and you'll get the signup page. Totally free!

I want to see you there! Let's do this!

_______________________________________________________________

Let's talk about how you can choose and carry out intentional traditions that are good for your family. That you really look forward to doing every year because you're not doing them out of obligation anymore.

Firstly, I think you need to know that you have permission to be super basic. I am giving you full permission to be a basic girl and keep it simple. You don't need to over obligate yourself.

Here's an example from our life. Our biggest tradition, the only one that no matter what we do this, is just baking sugar cookies. It is so simple. It's so basic. But you know what? A handful of years ago when we weren't being simple and we were giving into the more and more and more holiday season BS, we missed baking sugar cookies one year and Bella said something about it and she was really sad. What happened is that it had gotten lost in the hullabaloo of all the holiday overstretching and over obligating and it didn't happen.

And we love it. My kids love it. They look forward to it. I look forward to it. It's a win/win. Why did that get skipped?

It's okay to just shove everything else completely to the side and say we're stripping this down to its bare basics (because that's what minimalism is about) and it's okay to stay super basic and simple. Don't look at Instagram and what all the other moms are doing and feel that FOMO, let that comparison win over. It's okay to be super simple and just say, “What do we love to do?”

Even if it's like, “Wow, you're only tradition is baking sugar cookies? That's ingenious. Way to go. You're really killing the holidays.” You are because that’s what you love to do. That’s what your kids love to do. It's okay if it's super simple.

I mean there were years when I was so burdened and, like I said, so over obligated that baking sugar cookies with my kids didn't happen, like that one year. Or it would happen, but it made me annoyed and stressed out and cranky with my kids. And it wasn't an enjoyable process because of that. I was trying to do so many other things that it ruined our main and favorite simple tradition.

There's an example to kind of inspire you. What do I mean? What am I talking about? How can you get kind of intentional in this way.

I think another thing you can ask yourself is what are the things that you and your family love and look forward to that might've gotten smudged out by stressful obligations. Ask them. Talk to your kids. Talk to your spouse.

What I hear a lot is that you, as the mom, want to simplify. And your kids have some pretty basic, simple holiday traditions that they want to do. But your spouse is really wanting to go all in, really wanting to go over the top and pushing back on you about wanting to simplify.

Talk to him. Pull him aside and ask him “Where is this coming from?” Don't be condescending. But just like, “Hey, what's the root problem here?” Usually when I help somebody dig into this, it's usually the husband, and he's feeling like the holidays are a time where he gets to spend more time with his family. He's feeling a little bit guilty that he misses things and he wants to go all in because if he doesn't, he feels like he's not a good dad. I see mothers do this, too, especially working mothers.

If one person in the family is really feeling a lot of pushback to just simplifying and streamlining the activities and the traditions. Ask yourself or ask them, if it's not you, “Where is this coming from? What's the root cause? Why do you feel like that?”

I think the main point is in choosing what traditions are going to stick, what's worth it to you, is just having that conversation with your spouse and with your kids. And if your kids are super little (good for you for starting early, by the way) but then just talk to your spouse. When your kids are old enough, you can ask them what's going on and kind of reevaluate.

It's okay to let a tradition die. It's not going to ruin your kids' lives if you used to have a tradition that was standing for years and years and years, and when you realize that it wasn't serving you anymore, you dropped it. If you keep going, that's going to ruin your holiday. That's not good. That's not what you want.

I think it's so funny (and I'm talking to myself here too) how people will cling to something that is just not working for them because it's something that they've always done and they have some kind of guilt or obligation around keeping that up.

The main thing to remember is just because your family has always celebrated the holidays in one way does not mean that that can never change. It doesn't mean that you can't shift expectations. You can be the first person to have a new idea and say, “Let's do this instead.” Even when it comes to relatives and people that are outside of your immediate family.

And since basically 70% of us would rather not exchange gifts, if everyone agreed, you know your family might thank you for bringing that idea to the table.

It's not about going way the opposite way and being against gifts and against tradition. I love both of those things and we have a lot of that in our holiday season in our house. But it's about gifts that add joy to the holidays, not subtract from it. It's about choosing traditions that add joy to the holidays, not subtract from it. Ask yourself, “What is the reason for this season for me and my family?” And then intentionally choose traditions that align with that.

So go! Get your butt out of here. Make a list. Figure out what that's going to be for you guys.


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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 087: A Simple Christmas

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Hello December. Hello Christmastime! Hello trying to be minimal and simple during Christmas. Anyone struggle with this? I think much of the problem is that our society puts an overwhelming amount of pressure on Christmas and focus on the wrong things. We reach for what we want rather than what we need (and what will bring us true joy). Not to mention the serious FOMO we face during the holiday season! We're afraid that if we don't buy lots of presents, overbook our calendars with holiday activities, and go all in that we're missing out, or our kids are missing out, and we're not doing a good job. Like we aren't giving them a proper Christmas. But everyone has has different family situations, budgets, and ideals that need to be considered. I hope you find this episode encouraging and helpful as you take action on simplifying your Christmas!

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • The reality of what Christmas means (and costs) in our society.

  • Quick, actionable tips on simplifying Christmas that you can apply this holiday season.

  • The value in finding your sweet spot and what matters most to you and the power of letting go of the rest.

  • How to deal with relatives and the parts of Christmas that aren't in your control.

Mentioned in this Episode:


The holiday season is almost here! Oh my gosh, it can feel super overwhelming but it doesn't have to be that way this year. What if this year the holiday season was just as fun, just as magical and just as exciting for you as a parent, as you’re trying to make it for your kids? My course, Merry Little Christmas, will do that for you! It is just $15 and I know that it will help guide you through a simple, yet fun holiday season!

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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 guys! Have you heard Declutter Like a Mother is coming back? I'm super excited! This is my annual challenge. I'm beyond ecstatic to even be saying this to you guys!

I look forward to this every year. It is the one time of year that I just clear my schedule. I show up. I'm live with you guys. We’re chatting. I'm answering questions. We are focused on decluttering.

The whole premise of Declutter Like a Mother  is 30 minutes a day, every day, for 30 days. That 30 minutes can be broken up throughout the day or done all at once, whatever you need to do, but the point is my whole community comes together. We rally. We become decluttering warriors. 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.

Last year we had over 40,000 women from all over the world joining together, showing up to the live streams, reading the emails, decluttering their houses, and getting insane results.

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. You can go to alliecassaza.com/warriors and you'll get the signup page. Totally free!

I want to see you there! Let's do this!

Hi, beautiful friend! I cannot even believe that I am recording this episode right now. Christmas. What's even happening right now? I don't want to be cliché and say what everyone else is saying and that I can't believe it’s this time of year again, but…I can't believe it's this time of year again.

Also, here in southern California it's not super Christmasy and it kinda never is. Brian and I were just talking this morning about how we were really over not living in a state where we get to have the seasons.

But anyway, it is Christmastime and I love Christmastime! Even if I don't live in a state that feels super Christmasy, we have a lot of traveling coming in this season and we will be going to places where it's Christmasy, so that'll be really fun.

But I wanted to just do an episode about this kind of beastly topic that I get asked about all the time and it's been really hard to know, “Hey, how do you have a minimalist Christmas? How do you simplify Christmas?”

That's a really loaded question. It's really hard to answer. There's a lot of things that go into that and even more things that go into it, the more specific I get with the person that I'm talking to. I know each of you have different family situations. Each of you have different budgets. Each of you have different ideals.

Sometimes these big questions are really hard for me to answer, but I didn't want to let this season go by without having an episode about it and at least addressing some core points because there are some things that you can just take and run with, apply to how your life is and what your circumstances are (you know how your family is) and play it by ear and live your life.

So, I'm not going to shy away from this, even though ‘a simple Christmas’ is a beastly topic to me and it can be a little intimidating to be like, “Yeah, here's my episode on a simple Christmas.”

Of course, I can't cover all the bases and dive really deep into all the things, but before I get into this, and I'll mention it a couple more times in this episode because it's that important, I do have something that I created last year and put together. I spent a lot of time on this. I surveyed hundreds of thousands of people and got down to the nitty gritty, a deeper dive into what does go into simplifying Christmas. And that is what A Merry Little Christmas is all about.

A Merry Little Christmas is a mini course that I have. It's only $15 and it's something that I put together that really just dives a little bit deeper. We can only get so deep in podcast episodes.

It's broken down into “here's the sections of your holiday season, and the things that can feel really stressful, really overwhelmed, really cluttered, really heavy and how we can just breathe simplicity over all of that and make it lighter.” I get really specific.

For example, one big question is what do you do when your relatives or even your husband just doesn't want to simplify Christmas? They want to go big or go home and all you want is less? How do you handle that? What do you do when your ‘live at home together’ family is just really all about simplicity this year and your relatives are feeling weird about it and they want to give your kids a ton of crap? How do you have that conversation? What do you do?

I really just dive deep and get specific about all of those things in that little course. And again, for $15, that's pretty great. It's a seasonal thing that I like to do to help you guys out and really get a little bit deeper. So that is there. And you can just go to alliecasazza.com/jolly to check that out. And again, $15, you can see a breakdown of what you'll be taught in there. We'll talk about that again in a little bit.

But for now, let's dive into this basic episode on the topic of simplifying Christmas.

I think the first thing to say is that we need to look at the problem with our society and Christmas. Again, this is a huge thing to talk about, but what it comes down to is that Christmas in our society, in our culture right now is a business. And it's a 400+ billion dollar one at that.

It's raking it in and it's fooling so many people into financial ruin with this idea of “You've got to give your kids a great Christmas. Oh! You've got to get Billy what he wants for Christmas. You’ve got to get your daughter that one thing she really wants for Christmas. Go into debt. You have to get them a present. You have to spend more than $25, obviously. You have to make it feel really special. You have to make sure that you spend the same amount on them is they spent on you last year.”

There's so many little lies. The Christmas industry is, like I said, raking it in and fooling so many people into financial ruin.

A couple of years ago, it was around January, when I had called our finance company for our car and I remember Brian and I just had them on speaker phone when we're calling with some kind of question. I don’t remember what it was. We were calling them and we were on hold for forever and when the woman finally came on the phone, we had been on hold for so long and she was like, “Hey, I'm so sorry about that wait. At this time of year, we have so many repos from people going into serious debt and not paying their bills around the holiday season that we just have a lot of people on hold trying to get their cars back because they were repossessed.” We were like, “That is so sad.”

But we also totally get it because it's a lie that so many of us buy into and it's easy to buy into it. Just the reality that people are getting their cars repossessed. They're not paying their bills. They're skipping on their mortgages. They're going into serious debt because of the Christmas culture.

I think that a lot of the time, maybe we're a little too prideful to simplify into what fits our means. I think we're focused on the wrong things, reaching for what we want rather than what we need. And what we need is what's going to bring us joy. Simplifying things down to those basics. And those basics look different for everybody.

Simplifying things down to, “What's going to make this Christmas joyful?” It's certainly not going to be a repossessed car and a crap load of debt, right? It's like we're buying into the business’ lies and really missing the point. I don't mean that to sound really overly cliché, like ‘let's just get back to the point of Christmas and Jesus is the reason for the season” and all those things which, you know, of course is truth. I'm not trying to say, “We're just missing the point. Let's just get back to the heart of it.”

It has to be deeper than that. It has to really mean something. We need to realize how much we're buying into the lies and really truly missing the point of this season.

I think the core of this problem that we have is fear. I think it's a lot of real serious FOMO, fear of missing out. We're just afraid that if we don't buy lots of presents, if we don't overbook our calendars with holiday activities, if we don't go all in and create this immense fun in this season that we're missing out or our kids are missing out and we're not doing a very good job and that reflects on us.

It's like we aren't giving them a proper Christmas if it's not insanity. What we're really doing when we live this way during this time of year is we're setting a really unhealthy precedent for our kids.

I share this in the Merry Little Christmas course in the beginning of the intro lesson because it's so important, but I'll share it here too because it just popped into my head.

I remember years ago having a conversation with my dad. My dad and I are really close. My parents are still married. I have awesome parents. They're super awesome. You guys, if you follow me on Instagram, you've seen them because every time I posted anything about them, I get a million messages about, “How are those are your parents? They look so young.” They're not; they just have great genes and I hope I got all the good genes from them.

But my parents are awesome and I was having a conversation with my dad. My Dad was an awesome dad. He did a great job. We were talking about parenting and regret. It wasn't near the holiday season or anything, we were just talking about parenthood.

I remember asking my dad, “Is there anything that you really wish you would've done differently?” Out of all the things he could have said, he said, “I wish that I would have not gone so over the top with Christmas for you kids because I felt like I set a precedent and it kind of took the focus off of what it needed to be on. And I never really felt like we were spending good time together. It felt like I trained you guys to look forward to a crap ton of gifts.” And I remember that. We had awesome Christmases. I encouraged my dad that I felt like, “Well, just so you know, I think you're thinking of it in a different way. I don't think of it that way.”

My parents were pretty well off and they didn't spoil us during the year at all. We had what we needed. That was it. We never got toys randomly, but my parents went real big on Christmas and birthdays and that was fine. I never really felt super spoiled. I know my siblings have said something different than me, so I don't know, maybe that was my personality responding to that parenting differently. But anyway, that's what he said. And he said that out of anything he could have ever said…he could have said, “I wish I hadn't spanked or I wish that…” I don't know, he could have said anything. And he said that. That really struck me, especially because it wasn't around the holidays; it's not like it was on his mind.

I'll always remember that. That really struck me huge. I think it's important to just like ask yourself, where do you want to go? Where do you want to go with this holiday season? How do you want this to be in your family?

I think it's important to note that it's not that it's bad to go big on Christmas. I'm not swinging way the other way with this. What I'm talking about is messed up priorities where people are spending beyond their budgets and killing themselves during the season, packing in way too many activities and making themselves way overly busy and way overly broke because it's too much.

So, if you want to go big and Christmas and that's your family’s thing, do it, whatever. But if you're stretching yourself too thin, you're feeling really busy, you're missing the point. Your family's not feeling closer during this time. If you're feeling financially burdened, then maybe it's time to reflect and go a different way.

If you want to get back on track, just kind of back to the heart of the holiday season, but you feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to start. We're just going to dive into some ideas that I have, some things that we do in our family, and some solutions that I think I have to this problem.

We're keeping it as helpful as we can, but it's just a beast of a topic and the Merry Little Christmas course is there for you, so just remember that, okay? Alliecasazza.com/jolly.  It’s a $15 course. It gets way deeper and specific into issues.



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Hey friend, can you even believe it? The holiday season is almost here. It's coming! It's crazy that it's already here!

Oh my gosh, this season can so easily feel super overwhelming, not very fun, really stressful, and it just doesn't have to be that way this year. What if, imagine with me for a second, this year the holiday season was just as fun, just as magical and just as exciting for you as a parent, as you’re trying to make it for your kids?

I've put together a little mini course called A Merry Little Christmas and it does just this for you. I created this last year and it's been enrolled in by thousands of moms all over the world and they are loving it. It's coming back this year and here's what it does for you.

It basically will simplify everything about Christmas and the holiday season for you as a mom. You get an aerial view over what you want your Christmas season to look like.

We talk about what your intent is, what's important to you, what your focus will be. We talk about decorating your house with a simplicity mindset and prepping your house for the holidays.

What if your husband wants to go super overboard and doesn't want to simplify the holidays? How do you handle that? How do you transition your kids to a simpler Christmas when they're used to you just going all out? How to make new traditions. How to handle buying your kids presents in the minimalist way? What about relatives and all of their gift giving? How do you handle after Christmas? And a bonus for me is all about decluttering the toys for purposeful play.

This is a really awesome little course. It really packs a punch and it's only $15. So, head to alliecasazza.com/jolly and you can enroll for just $15 and get your holidays started off on the right foot.

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All right, so first let's talk about a basic question. How do you even simplify Christmas because that can feel really overwhelming. Ask yourself what you want. What do you want? What does it look like? What does your ideal holiday season even look like? What really attracts you and your spouse to the holidays? Is it baking? Is it having a lot of fireside talks with your family? Is it a lot of activities? Is it a lot of getting out? Is it going somewhere where there's snow, if you don't live somewhere where there's snow? Is it totally doing it a different way and maybe you do live somewhere where there's snow and you don't like it and you want to plan a family trip to Florida every year and just ditch it and have a super, non-traditional Christmas? Whatever it is. Ask yourself what do you want?

Then I think out of that, have a conversation with your spouse and your kids about what they want. I think a lot of the time your family and especially your kids will really surprise you and be a lot simpler than you think. Maybe not your spouse. Maybe your spouse is giving some resistance to simplicity here. And they're going to be like, “Well, when I was a kid we went all out and it was so fun. I want to do that for the kids.” And that's okay. You can talk about that and find a compromise.

But usually with our kids it's a lot simpler than you think. The most random and smallest little traditions will really strike a chord with them. And that's their favorite thing. And it's so small and simple that maybe sometimes some years it gets pushed aside. It doesn't get the space that it needs because you were busy doing other things and you didn't realize. But you're missing out on your kids’ favorite tradition that was really simple.

You don't even have to do all the things that your family wants to do when you have this conversation, but just start that talk and just listen. Get to the heart of what's on their list. What can you do that meets their core desire? For example, maybe you ask your kids, “What do you guys want for our Christmas season? From the end of November through December, what do you want to do?”

Maybe you noticed that all the things on their list is being outdoors. Going to visit Santa’s Workshop in your town. Going out and playing in the snow. Going up to the mountains or going to visit Grandma and Grandpa. Maybe you notice a theme that all the things they want to do are out of the house. Maybe you notice that it's all inside the house. Maybe you didn't realize how much older your kids were getting and they just want to hang out with you at home, bake sugar cookies, sit by the fire and make cider.

Maybe you'll notice a running theme. You don't have to do everything on their list, but you notice a common theme and you can say like, “Okay, I can see that your core desire is to be at home, stay cozy and hang out. Let's plan some days where we just block it out to set aside time to do that.

Just have that talk and get real with yourself and your family. I think it's very, very easy to not realize how much we're going overboard because we feel pressured to show up and make something awesome for our kids and our families, and then it's too much. It’s not even what they wanted. We're missing the whole point and that really sucks. We don't want that to happen.

Another step in simplifying Christmas is talking about gifts. Set a limit for gifts in your home. What that is for you depends on you. It depends on your budget, but I don't think it should just depend on your budget. I've been on both sides of budgeting.  A few years ago, a limit to my gifts would have been because of a budget issue. I don't have that budget issue now, but I limit my gifts because I don't want to set a certain precedent for my kids. I want to keep it simple. It's very sweet and unstressful. I order a few awesome gifts for my kids off Amazon and I'm done. I'm not a part of the holiday psycho stressful shopping and I love that.

That is a big piece of the joy that I feel around the holiday season. I'm not a part of that rushed-out-of-the-house-shopping. Even if I'm going to get a really special in-person-present for somebody on my list and I have to go out, it's not crazy because I'm not doing that for everybody. I'm not overspending or really stressed out. It's simplified.

Think about the gifts in your home. What's the limit that you need to set? What is your budget? What’s too much? What do you feel like is a good amount for your kids?

Just to give you an example, we keep it pretty simplified. We typically do three gifts per kid. They don't have any theme. I know some people like to do something to read, something to wear, something to play with and all that. That over complicates it for me and it makes me feel even more stressed. If that simplifies it for you, go ahead. Look up that list online. It's awesome.

But for me, I don't like those limits. I just think three great gifts per kid, plus a stocking with some little fun goodies in there, usually candy, maybe some Hot Wheels for Emmett because he loves Hot Wheels and he always loses them when we're out. Little simple things and that's pretty much it. I'm not psycho about it. Like, “Oh my gosh, three gifts per kid and that’s it!”

I can't remember a time when we went over that. Usually three gifts per person. I'm able to make those gifts really good ones and that makes me feel good. They're good quality gifts that this kid is going to love and that's it. It doesn't matter if our budget is 10 times higher this year than last year. The gifts don't reflect that really. It's still the same amount of gifts.

I think the next step in simplifying Christmas would be to stop comparing our Christmases to others’. It's okay to keep it really simple and get your kids coloring supplies and blocks. You don’t have to do a big thing like a trampoline or a gaming system, or one big family gift.

It's okay to keep it small. It's also okay if it is your season to go big. Ask yourself, what's going to work for us? What's going to simplify this so that we as the parents can enjoy this time and have magic in it as much as the kids do.

Looking at the gifts that other moms get their kids and feeling like you're less than, looking at what the other moms are taking their kids to and feeling like you're not doing enough to celebrate, that's not helping you. It's not furthering your holiday season. It's not furthering your growth as a person. It's not helping your family in any way, shape or form.

We really need to be mindful of that and just learn to appreciate like, “Wow, that's so great that that family did that. What a great idea. You know, maybe someday when it's our season to do things like that, we'll do that too.” Find your sweet spot. Consider your season of life. Consider your schedule, your work. Consider what matters to you. Decide what's going to feel good for your family this Christmas, and then let the rest go. Just unabashedly let it go.

Moving away from how to simplify Christmas, a lot of the time people struggle with how to deal with relatives and the parts of Christmas that aren't in your control. You can have this mindset of, “Okay, I know what matters to me this Christmas. I know where my spouse is at. I know where my kids are at. I know what we want. We've got this simplified Christmas that feels really good to us in mind and that's what we're going to head for.”

But a lot of time the holidays involve other people who maybe have a different ideal than you, or maybe you've always had a certain tradition that you're ready to drop and the other people aren't ready to drop it. It can get tense. The holidays can already get tense because they involve family. If your family is imperfect and there's people involved, it can get a little tense.

I think that it's something to just navigate mindfully and have your boundaries. Don't be super self-centered and like, “Hey, we're not doing that tradition anymore. Sorry.” Communicate. Find some balance.

Maybe there is something that you go to that’s kind of an obligation, but you're loving on your family in this way when you go to that Christmas party and you show up for them. But you don't say ‘yes’ to all the things. You don’t show up to every single house because everyone's gotten divorced and the family’s split up a million different ways, and you feel really obligated.

Maybe you can find your sweet spot with where your boundaries are and where you show up, step outside of yourself and give to the people in your family and your extended family in the holiday season, but you're not giving so much that you're not able to pour into your family, which is really important.

I understand that that can get really complicated and I've totally been there. We have divorce on one of the sides in our family. It's very complicated and messy and people are not very nice and it gets really difficult. I feel for you and I understand that. All I can say is just pray about it. Think through what you want, what matters to you. In your gut, run it through like, “What would it feel like if we went to this party? What would it feel like if we didn't? What would it feel like if we hosted our own party and brought everyone to us? And if they don't want to come, they don't have to. What would it feel like if we just said ‘no’ this year? What if we just traveled and left this year?”

We've done all of those different things and now we kind of feel like we have our sweet spot. And even though other people are being kind of nasty and not cool, we know we're making the right decision and we don't feel like we're being selfish. We just feel like this is what's going to work for us. And then over here we've got something that we go to that we really don't want to go to, but we love our family and it's about family this time of year and we're going to go to that anyway. Finding that balance.

Also, when it comes to gifts, getting a little bit more practical, it can really, really help when you feel like you're working on simplifying your space, you're getting rid of stuff, you're going minimal, and then here comes Christmas and you're worried that it's totally going to undo all your hard work - it doesn't have to be that way.

One thing that's really helped me is creating a wishlist for my kids’ gifts. I have found that people want to be the ‘present hero.’ What I mean by that is every relative wants to be the one who gets your kid the thing they really, really want and swoop in and get them the awesome thing and have your kid love them. And that's the core of getting presents is that your relatives just want your kids to love them and they just want to love on your kids and it's a way that they can do that. Because kids love presents of course.

So tell them what your kids want. Talk with your kids. Create an Amazon wishlist. Create a Target wishlist. Just create a paper list and have your kids mail it to everybody and maybe put a little note in there for grandma, “Hey, just so you know, this one that I circled, she really wants that and if you got her that you'd make her whole holiday.” The relative is going to get that thing. They want to be told what to get. They don't want to just randomly waste their money and get random stuff that your kid might not even like.

Take advantage of that. Tell them what to get. And then you can kind of have a little bit of some control over the things that you know your kid is going to love and the things that you know they're going to use. It's going to be good for them. It's not going to be a waste of space because they're going to love it or they're gonna use it. It's going to grow their imaginations or whatever it is.

I'm not saying to be hyper-controlling and make a wishlist for your kid without talking to them and putting a bunch of educational stuff on there. It's your kid's holiday. Let them like toys. It's okay. But people just want to be told what to get. It's going to be so much easier for you to take on some more toys if you know that it's things that your kids really wanted, or that is helping them grow their imagination or whatever it is.

I also think that there's something huge to be said about just talking. Communicate kindly to your relatives, as much as you can and as it fits the relationship, where you're at. Talk to them about your simple lifestyle that you're pursuing, especially if it's new and it's different than what you guys have done in the past. People can't read your mind. They don't know where you're at. They don't understand what your aim is and they might think that you're just trying to be controlling and keep them from loving on your kids and you're not. But they don't know that, so just let them know.

Communicate kindly and sweetly. “This is just where we're at. I definitely want to have Christmas with you guys and we definitely want to do presents if you guys want to. Here's a list.” Maybe even through talking you'll find that your relatives are kind of on board and they don't want to do a gift exchange this year.

You guys know who I am and what I do. I've been doing this. I've been well known for doing this and talking about what I talk about for years. Just last year was the first year that our relatives were onboard with not doing a gift exchange and it was really freaking awesome. It was the best Christmas we ever had. Tensions were low. Typical relationships that kind of have a difficult time getting along - it was great. We had great conversation. We ordered pizza. We had an awesome holiday celebration. We watched Christmas movies and we exchanged no gifts. They brought coloring books and crayons for my kids and that's it. It was awesome. Everyone realized how awesome it was and now that's our new thing, and they're finally on board with just ditching the gift exchange thing.

My parents still get my kids gifts and that's great. That's fine, because we have a separate Christmas Day thing with them, but I mean extended relatives like my grandparents, aunts and uncles and all of that. They're on board and it's awesome.

It might take time to get there. Maybe you're lucky and they're onboard now, but if not, it's okay. Just find the common ground. Communicate kindly. Don't be over-controlling. Simplify what you can. Let go of the parts that you can't.

And remember in the A Merry Little Christmas course, the $15 one, all of this is really dived into deeply if you really need help with this. If you feel like you really want to make changes and you really want to enjoy the holidays this year, you're feeling a little panicked, go get that. It's going to be a great $15 that you'll spend and it's not going to be regretted and I can help you a little bit deeper in there.

Next week on the podcast we're going to talk about traditions, which I think is going to be really neat for you guys. Kind of on the topic of simplicity, but more so towards traditions and how to choose what's going to be worth it. What's going to be good. We're going to talk about that next week.

Go get yourself A Merry Little Christmas.

Go simplify your holiday. Love you guys. Let's talk about traditions next time.


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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!

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