EP 076: Reviving Creativity in Yourself + Your Kids with Jenny Randle

Facebook_EP_076_(2).png

A book can teach you something new. It can inspire you to make positive changes in your life and can take you to a different level in your life. Reading is so important to me which is why I am excited for Allie Reads October here on the podcast! All month I am interviewing some amazing authors. We will talk about their books, life, and living a life of purpose and intention.

Jenny Randle, author of Courageous Creative, is on the show to chat all things creative. From embracing your own creativity to cultivating and encouraging creativity in your kids. Because when we are walking in a healthy creative identity, we're able to influence others!

Use the hashtag #AllieReadsOctober to share with me this month. What are you reading? Did you get any of the books from the authors I’m talking to you about? Are you reading a different book? How are you taking this challenge to read more and putting it into action? I cannot wait to see what you share!

 
 

In This Episode Allie + Jenny Discuss:

  • What creative identity is and what it looks like to fully understand it, in yourself and your kids.  

  • Ways you can cultivate your kids creativity and help them find their own creative identity.

  • Things that will help you overcome the fear of walking in your creativity.

  • Why it is important that you speak life into your kids creativity, even if it seems crazy.

Mentioned in this Episode:


It’s giveaway time! Jenny’s book, Courageous Creative, is incredible and I am SO excited to gift it to one of you. Head over to The Purpose Show Facebook Community for your chance to win! I cannot want to connect with you this month on all things book related. #AllieReadsOctober

Allie_Reads_-_Book_3.png

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.

_______________________________________________________________

Hey, sweet friends! I'm so happy that October is finally here! For months I have been planning and dreaming this up for you and I'm so happy to finally unveil what it is I've been working on!

This month, October, is all about reading. We're calling it “Allie Reads October,” and the purpose behind this is for me to inspire and encourage you to read more often. Reading is such a gift. We take it for granted way too often, myself included, but reading is powerful. You literally have a whole new life in your hands when you read a book.

A book can teach you something new. It can inspire you to make positive changes in your life and can take you to a different level in your life. Reading is so important. I read all the time and I wish that I would have started sooner and so I'm taking that passion of mine and turning it into Allie Reads October. Every October here on The Purpose Show, we are turning it into author central.

I'm interviewing some amazing authors this month and we're talking about their books and I want to see you use this Hashtag. I'm going to be checking it every single day on Facebook and Instagram and I want you to use it. #alliereadsoctober.

Share with me. What are you reading? Did you get any of the books from the authors I’m talking to you about? Are you reading a different book? How are you taking this challenge to read more and putting it into action?

Let's celebrate this month October! Allie Reads October. We're going to talk about authors and books and encourage each other to read more books.

I encourage you to get other people involved in this. Get your kids involved. Encourage them, read with them, next to them or to them, or have them read in their own quiet time. Share this with your friends. Let's encourage each other to get better equipped to live an intentional life by reading more.

_______________________________________________________________

Hi, beautiful friends! I am so looking forward to bringing today's guest onto the show. Before she comes on, I just wanted to give an intro to her. Jenny Randle is one of my favorite people in my life. I just adore her. She's so hilarious. We laugh so much together, which you’ll be seeing that in the interview. She's just an amazing human being. She really inspires me. She's a mom and a wife. She's an author. She's an Emmy Award winning video editor. She works with me. She's on my team and she handles all the Facebook, Pinterest, Facebook Ads, analytics and all of this backend stuff that is so over my head and so overwhelming for me. She's one of the best workers I've ever come in contact with. I love her and she and her husband Matt both do work with me and for me and I just love them so much.

Jenny is an amazing author as well. She is the author of Courageous Creative and that's what I am having her on the show to talk about. She really teaches how to be creative, how to come into your own creativity in a beautiful way. I think a lot of the time in our lives we lose the creative spirit that we were born with and we are all designed to be creative in some way or another.

Jenny and I are going to talk about the stereotypical ways of being creative, like being an artist, being a singer or being a writer are only one small aspect of creativity. There are millions of other ways to be creative that you're just not seeing and how to cultivate your own creativity.

We're also going to be talking about how to cultivate creativity in your kids and how to make them different and not raise them to be like the average person who's creativity totally kind of fizzles out after age 10, which is so sad to me.

We're having lots of good discussions. I ask Jenny some pretty raw questions about my own kids and my own self. I'm sharing some things that were said to me, things that happened to me that kind of just stifled my own creativity and how I'm overcoming that. I've been really inspired to come back into that in different ways. It's just a really good inspiring conversation. So, I'm so excited to welcome Jenny to the show. Let's dive in.

ALLIE: Hey guys! Welcome! I'm here with Jenny Randall. Say Hi Jenny.

JENNY: Hey!

ALLIE: Jenny is many things. She is an Emmy winning video editor, which I feel like we should talk about that for a second and she's also... How do I describe you? You are my social media, Facebook Ads, Facebook everything extraordinary. You're amazing.

JENNY: I'll take that. That's a good description.

ALLIE: Yes. So how's it going?

JENNY: It's going good. I feel like we're just two gals chit-chatting away.

ALLIE: Yeah, totally. And it's weird to be not talking about Facebook ads with you.

JENNY: I know. I'm like, “There's so many things I need to discuss with you.” I'm kidding. Let's discuss creativity.

ALLIE: Let's do this. So yeah, that's what we're here to talk about today. I want to talk with you about being creative as a woman, being creative with your kids, encouraging your kids to be creative and I feel like a great place to start is this page that I dog-eared in your book which comes out today.

JENNY: Yeah. I'm so excited!

ALLIE: Comes out today, at the time people are listening. This is really awkward because it's May right now.

JENNY: Yeah. So yeah, I can't wait. It's weird to think about that this is going to be launching the same day the book launches.

ALLIE: So. Yeah. And the thing that you're working on so much is actually going to come out and be in people's hands. It's exciting.

So in your book, Courageous Creative, you basically talk about the premise being that when you're a child you're uninhibited, your creative naturally, we're all born really creative in one way or another, or lots of ways. Then as you grow up (I want to say the chart that you showed in your book said around age 10), it significantly drops, which makes me so sad. I mean really it breaks my heart because it's true. And then as an adult it goes down to 2%. The average adult is 2% creative or something like that. Most people are not working in something that aligns with how they're creative, so the bulk of their time is not being spent really doing something that they were made to do.

How did you come across being passionate about that and what made you want to write this book?

JENNY: When I saw that study it said 4 & 5-year-olds are 98 percentile, genius-level creatives. My kids were that age when I discovered the study and I could see that in them. Then to see that it went down to 2%. Like you're saying, it broke my heart. As I was studying creativity and praying through it and figuring out what is that gap, I figured out that it's things like sin, shame, guilt, pain, fear, comparison, people-pleasing, all these different things, rules and regulations in school. All these different things stifle that creative nature that we're supposed to be walking out. So, it's now my mission to help people get that back so they can let their light shine.

Because I think when we're walking in healthy creative identity, we're able to influence others in whatever sphere of influence we're in. I think that's one of the most important things we can really get a grasp on is understanding our creative identity. So that's why I'm here.

ALLIE: Yeah, for sure. And you do such a great job. The book is divided into all these different sections, breaking it down how God created us and He is creative. I like how you say God basically makes stuff. We're made in His image and He created us to be that way as well. Everybody's good at something. I like how you bring it all in. There's different sections for different types of creativity, but you're not segmenting it to, “Oh, if you're an artist, here's an assignment, work on your creativity. If you're a writer, here's your assignment.” You encourage the reader to do all of them.

And I even noticed that some of them are intertwined. I jumped to the writing section even though I think in the beginning you said not to – sorry! I jumped to the writing section and there was something about drawing. Just kind of express yourself. What are you feeling? What's going on and draw it out. Doodle. Go ahead and just start writing words, whatever it is. And that is what this book does. It opens up your mind to just the creative flow and stepping outside of yourself and what it normally looks like.

So can you give us a little bit of an idea of what that looks like for you? How do you express your creativity? How do you get outside of that box for yourself and do your thing?

JENNY: Yeah. Well this past weekend I spoke at a retreat called Camp Create. It was like you go and you make crafts and you do painting and you do things with your hands, which I am so not. I'm in the computer. Let me design something or let me write something. I left being so fueled and filled up by just being intentional to paint and do something that I'm horrible at. It sparked something inside of me that made me want to even do it more and cultivate that. I'm not saying I'm going to be the next expert painter, but when you work on the different areas, even the ones that you think you're horrible at, I think it spills over and it can inspire you to kind of take on something else.

ALLIE: When I was looking at your book and reading, especially certain parts…I always enjoyed expressing myself through writing the most out of everything. But I used to want to sketch and draw in my free time as a kid. And along the way I got the impression that I wasn't very good at it from other people and I stopped. It was just dumb little things. I would just sketch Ariel or something, whatever movie I was into. I was super little. I still have those sketchbooks and when I look back at them I get really sad. Kids pick up on stuff. No one was ever like, “You’re the worst!”

JENNY: This is the moment and we are going to go there. That makes me really sad for you because you had a passion, you had a gifting. You felt comfortable doing it and someone basically spoke death to your dream. That makes me so sad. I met this actor dude who wanted to be an actor and his dad's like, “Why would you act? Actors are a dime-a-dozen.” He said that to him. And a lot of times people are parents. We have to be so intentional not to speak death to our kids’ dreams or anybody. So how are we going to get through that Allie?

ALLIE: Well, that's why I wanted to bring up. This was such a God thing because, before I knew that you were coming out with this new book, this new version of it, I had purchased a painting from Lindsey Letters. I saw it online and I remember feeling something. Not to sound dramatic or super hipster, but I instantly connected with it and loved it. I purchased it. It sits on my mantle, and every day I see it in the main room of the house. Every day I think “I really want to do that. I wish I could do that.” But then I remember…

Side Note: The same thing happened to me with singing. I used to sing on the Worship Team and one time this co-singer said something to me that I wasn't as good. Because I'm competitive and have a need to be the best, it really affected me.

I felt the same way with the painting thing and just art in general. My daughter, Bella, is incredibly creative, artistic and very good at art. So I feel like this is for other people, not for me.

I was thinking about it the other day since I've been looking through your book again and just thinking like that is so dumb. I'm done. I don't want to do it anymore. And so, I put it on my to do list for the next time I'm by Hobby Lobby to get a canvas and some paints and just have at it.

JENNY: Yeah. That's so good. Yeah. I always like to teach people whatever makes your soul come alive. Like you're saying, you were connecting to those things. Whatever speaks to you, I think we have to pursue that. I always like to ask people, “What did you love doing as a child?” Because a lot of the times you'll still love doing it. You just have to be intentional to cultivate it, keep after it, and pray. Ask God, “Okay, is there anything that's holding me back in this area?”  

And Allie, you don't have to be the best at it. You can do it and bring God glory and just have fun and embrace that child-like wonder of just creating and going in that space. Which makes me want to ask you, do you want to sing us a song?

ALLIE: I don't. I had to go to the dentist really early this morning and there was a spider in my office - I don’t like spiders. Spider in my office and the dentist. I cannot. I was so anxious, so I put on that one song by Keane, Somewhere Only We Know. He really belts it out at the end. But I sang at the top of my lungs and totally soothed myself, because I am super creative. We all are, but I am aware of it and kind of tapped into it at least a little bit but I only stick to what I know or at least I feel confident that I'm really good at it or one of the best.

I feel confident with writing and expressing. Getting a point across really powerfully. That's what I do. That's it. But why can't I sing? Why can't I paint? Why can't I draw? Why can't I learn and express myself? It's silly.

I think even if you're not competitive and you're not coming from the same heart issues, for lack of a better term, that I am with competition, I think we all feel like we can't do something creative that we used to do in some ways.

JENNY: I think in that insecurity though, we're giving God space to show up and find our security in Him. I know it might be dumb, but being like, “Okay, God, help me paint and be able to fully express myself. The other day at church there was a girl that was twirling down the aisle during worship and just so free. When we have that moment of freely expressing ourselves and not feeling shame over who's watching me or who's judging me, when you can come to that moment of fully expressing yourself and feeling comfortable in it, I think that's huge.

ALLIE: Yeah. I love that. And I think what a form of worship, too, to be fully expressing and it doesn't matter. No one has to really see it if you don't want them to, but just expressing yourself to your creator I think is really powerful and that's the thing that I see in your book.

_______________________________________________________________

Most people know I'm a blogger and a podcaster, but that's really just where the inspiration happens. I can only scrape the surface of equipping you to bring positive change to your life here. That's why I create online courses on my Private Students-Only Platform.

I don't spend months creating courses for no reason. This is where the action is. My courses are for the serious doers out there. If you want to see focused, real change happen in your life - change that lasts - this is what my courses are for.

This is where I dive all the way into actually implementing minimalism in your home and simplification to the cluttered parts of your life as a mom. We get legit detailed in these courses. My students have incredible success rates that they share in our Private Students’ Community and you can see some of their testimonials on my website.

I work really hard to keep my courses priced as low as I can, but you guys know I totally get being on a crazy tight budget, which is why I also have payment plans available

My courses are different from each other. They each serve different purposes and will take you to different places in your life. Don't overthink which one to start with. Just go to the website and pick one that's resonating with you and enroll.

For Purpose Show listeners only, you can take 10% off any course you choose with the code PURPOSESHOW.  Visit alliecasazza.com/nextlevel for the breakdown of all the different courses I have to offer, how they're different from each other and which one might be best for you.

I cannot wait to cheer you on and take you onward and upward. Motherhood is much too sweet a time to be spent in survival mode.

_______________________________________________________________

ALLIE: So talk to me about with your kids, because one feeling that I felt when going through your book was this excited panic, I guess, of just they're so little and Bella's 9, so she's kind of close to that age. She's so creative. I think with homeschooling especially we have time to cultivate that a lot, but I don't know…what about the kids that don't really seem to stand out as super creative in one way or another? What would you say to that?

JENNY: Well I think it's how you view creativity. The most simple definition, we kind of touched on it earlier, is just the act of making stuff. So, if you view creativity like that, maybe your kids are really good at making decisions and you can cultivate that in them. Or they're more engineer, tech-minded, cultivating that. I think it's finding where they are thriving and being super intentional not to stifle it.

ALLIE: Yeah, I love that. And that's really straightforward and simple. It's not complicated to do that.

JENNY:  There was this one lady at preschool pickup who was like, “Oh, I hear you teach on creativity?” “Yeah,” I said.  And then she’s like, “I'm just not creative.” I just wanted to punch her in the face because it's like, “Okay, well…lesson one. Yes, you are.” And then we started talking. She has her own business. She coaches people on fitness. I'm just sitting here thinking, “You don't know what creativity is.” I think it's having that broader view of understanding how we can express ourselves.

ALLIE: Yeah, because when I think about what creativity looks like, I immediately think of Bella and her painting, writing, being super artsy, wearing slightly off-the-shoulder loose tunics with tattoos and being in your house with your succulents - just expressing yourself.

That was a really good description. That is detailed and I want to say that I'm really proud of how I described a creative person.

JENNY: That was amazing. That's awesome. And that's how it is.

ALLIE: But you think those types of expressive creativity only. But really, being business savvy is expressed as creative and is an expression. Marketing - that's something that I love and feel like I'm really good at and I love expressing my heart for my business through that. There's other things that are not stereotypically creative, I guess.

JENNY: Right. Creativity to me isn't just painting. It could be how are you parenting your kids in a creative way? When you need to discipline them, “Okay, this isn't working, what else can I do?” You know? I think it's viewing it like that and asking God for wisdom.

There's so many stories in the Bible when God would be like, “Do it this way!” Speaking wisdom and being open to that creative correction is huge.

ALLIE: Yeah, for sure. And also, that's another huge weight off of us as parents - to know that there's room to be creative. You don't have to read the parenting books and do it exactly that way. If it's not working for your kids and there's something wrong with them or with you that you can take a step back. Be creative and find a way that works just for you guys.

JENNY: Yeah. Yeah. I went through a season of finding myself because I was so exhausted saying “no” to a lot of the things my kids wanted to do. Then one day they were like, “Will you get the fan down. And I'm like, “No, I'm not going to get the fan down.” And then I walked into the playroom and they had created this massive zoo truck, a truck that was going to go to the zoo. They rearranged all the furniture and because I did not get the fan down, they did not have an engine. I saw it and I'm in the midst of writing my book on creativity. And I was like, “Oh my gosh, I am putting regulations on you like no one's business.” So, I said I was sorry. I got the fan down and they kept playing.

Seeing that process of me saying “no, no, no” just because I was tired, it was so dumb. I was so mad at myself. I think it's always being self-aware and asking God like, “Okay, what's holding me back from my creativity and how can I change that? And then obviously looking to Him for strength and doing that.

ALLIE: Yeah, for sure. I didn't want to have prepared questions for this because I just wanted the conversation to flow and be creative, so I am bouncing back and forth a bit.

What happened with me and the art thing and the singing thing, I am sure that story mirrors everybody listening in some way, big or small. So, coming out of that fear of “I'm just not good at this, so I don't want to do it,”what are maybe some inner scripts or something that you could give to overcome that and walk ourselves through getting started with what that thing is for us again?

JENNY: That's a good question. Do you know the story of Moses when he's called? There's a burning bush and God said, “Go free the people!” and then he makes five excuses. Basically he says, “I'm not good enough. I'm not talented enough. Who am I?” All these different things. And God says, “I am who I am.” And He's not being like, “Moses, you're so amazing!” He just turns it back on him. I think when we can flip those lies that we’re holding onto, turn it back to God and be like, “Okay, well God's put this desire on my heart. I might as well go after it and see what happens.” Because honestly it's not really about you pursuing that thing, it's more just finding freedom. If you look at the bigger picture, obviously there's wounds there if there's something holding you back from doing something you feel passionate about. It's really pressing in and seeking Christ in that and learning how to overcome it and then just doing it. Just take a risk and do it and if it's so uncomfortable then just do it a little less and work your way up, you know?

ALLIE: Yeah, for sure. I'm really going to take action on what was happening with the painting thing and really push myself to do that, but I think it wouldn't be super difficult or painful or anything. It would be freeing to put to rest that inner voice and just be like, “Who cares? I'm going to do this.”

JENNY: I bet you'll surprise yourself with how great you can do at it.

ALLIE: I'm going to be the best painter.

JENNY: You are going to be the best painter. Let's just sell your artwork. Make a new shop, new business. But I think too, there's a reason you're passionate about that and who knows what else that would unleash in you, you know? It's just being faithful to what God calls you to right now in this moment. And if you feel like, “Okay, I want to try painting” just do that and see what happens. It's going to be fun.

ALLIE: Yeah, for sure. And it's one of those things that has always come up. It will always come back to me my whole life and I just always thought like, “Sucks that I suck at that” and it's so dumb. It's just so dumb.

I think too as parents, it really shows what awaits those kinds of…like nobody “said” that to me. It was body language, a facial expression. I was seemingly annoying to want to be putting my time into that. It just seemed like okay, I'm getting a vibe here.

And it's so crazy how that is the power that we have, flipping it around to my kids now and I totally relate to your fan story. I did this on purpose. That's the whole thing behind having less toys, minimalism, an intentional space that cultivates their imaginations and constructive play. Bella is extremely imaginative, very creative and Leland is very strategic, has that engineering mind like you said earlier. And the other two are just there because they’re just really young. They make up these big things. And they ask me for something and I'm like, “I guess.” I cultivated this and then you just get so irritated and that is the kind of stuff that gives the message I think that creativity is immature and there's no place for it as you get older.

JENNY: I look back at growing up and my parents provided me with resources and tools and video cameras and I'm like “I'm moving to Hollywood!” I was in New York and they never were like, “No, I don't think you should do that.” As crazy as that dream sounded, they always spoke life into it. That's the type of parent I want to be. I'm getting emotional talking about it because their ability to empower me to do that changed my whole world, you know? Our job as parents is to disciple and foster our kids in the areas that they feel called to do and speak life over them.

ALLIE: Yeah, for sure. I love that. As parents, how can we seek out what our kids are good at, especially if it's not an obvious creative like art or building or whatever? And I don't mind saying this on the show, but specifically Hudson, he's 5 (6 at the time this comes out) and he is like Brian. He is very sweet and always putting everyone else ahead.

For example, for his birthday, his favorite cake is lemon and he said “I don't really want lemon though because not a lot of people like lemon, so I'm going to get chocolate because everybody seems to like chocolate.” He is very pleasing and he is a “prop” in his siblings’ play like all the time. It's hard for me to find what is your thing? What is going to be your thing so I can cultivate that? There really is no middle child right now, but he falls into that stereotypical role, being tossed back and forth, and he's happy to play with them.

But how can we, for anyone listening that kind of relates to that or has a kid like this that’s not so obvious like Bella’s painting things and all of this stuff, how do you exactly seek that out? How can you take a step back and watch for that and cultivate the little things if you do see something?

JENNY: Well I always say we can be self-aware through prayer. So I think it's asking God to reveal to you or to highlight things to you when you notice him playing in a certain way. You can already tell he's really compassionate so maybe it's even serving your community and taking him with you to a homeless shelter or doing something to cultivate that in him. My son's the same way and that is something that I really want to cultivate, especially in a male. I don't want that to go away. So being intentional in that and praying about it.

But also exposing him to a bunch of different things and then seeing what he connects to. I think it'll come when he finds it, right? Like my Zoe loves dancing, but we signed her up for dance at 2 and she had a breakdown every time. Now she's 4 and she's awesome.

It just takes time to feel comfortable in that space for them to express themselves. So he'll show it soon.

ALLIE: Yeah, yeah, for sure. And I think it is just kind of the way it goes a little bit for a middle child. They want to be with their siblings so they go and do what they're doing and they're not really thinking about, well what is my thing? He's 5.

JENNY: Yeah. Well my daughter will copy everything her older brother says to the point where she'll be like “Is Max eating his lollipop right now?” And I'm like, “I don't know, use your brain, you have freedom my child.”

ALLIE: I love that though. That was really practical. Yeah. Very actionable. Which is helpful when it feels like a big weight. I don't want to mess them up. I don't want to mess up their creativity. I don't want to stifle it. I want to encourage it. That’s a big thing to say and it's hard to do.

JENNY: Yeah. It’s just noticing it. Like the one character trait you mentioned, you can foster that. You’ve noticed that he's compassionate and kind. So figuring out ways to strengthen that in him and then maybe from that other things will come out. Maybe he'll like writing a story for a certain type of person or…

ALLIE: Yeah, totally. You give a lot of easy action steps and hope even just the way you talk about it and it's very relaxing, I guess.

JENNY: Welcome to The Spa! Spa Jenny!

I do want to say the goal of the book is to help people cultivate their creativity. Whenever I do speaking or talking, the whole goal is to have people take action, so that is what is in the book, so I'm really going to put you on the spot right now because this is fun, but will you cultivate your creativity live on your podcast? I feel it happening. Will you just freestyle rap for us please? I feel like this is your moment and you're going to be so good at it. I'm going to give you a topic…

ALLIE: Do not make me rap. I’m not going to rap. I do not feel creatively inspired to rap.

JENNY: What if I gave you a beat? That'll inspire you!

ALLIE:  I am going to freak out. {laughing}

JENNY: Listen, I did this at a church event and I accidentally called it a freestyle battle, which is totally different and people were like, “Am I supposed to do ‘your mama’ jokes and make fun of people?” And then I had to be like, “No, no. Keep it clean.” And then it was fine. Well, why don't you do that? That’ll really set people free.

ALLIE: I just feel really creatively inspired when I'm making people feel terrible about this. {laughing}

What I am going to do is I'm going to go today and get stuff to paint and I will send it to you.

JENNY: Okay, that's fine. That's fine. I mean, if any of the listeners want to do a freestyle rap, just send them to Allie. She's gonna love it.

ALLIE: Send them to me on my Instagram DM and I will open them all.

JENNY: Maybe that'll inspire you, their freedom of expression.

ALLIE: Oh my gosh. Okay. So Courageous Creative is out as of the date of this episode. And so where can people find you and connect with you more about that?

JENNY: I love going on Instagram. I'm on Facebook. My website, jennyrandle.com.

ALLIE: And you can get the book anywhere books are sold, right?

JENNY: Oh my gosh. I've been so excited to say that. Yeah. Anywhere books are sold!

ALLIE: I should've let you say it.

Okay. Well guys, if you want to be encouraged as a creative, even if you think you're not creative and also have a great handbook for (there's like so many highlighted things in my mind) raising creative kids, encouraging your kids to be creative, especially from a biblical perspective. It's really about how God created us to be this way. It's empowering, I think. It is biblical, but it's really empowering to see that that's biblical, if that makes sense, and this is how we're created. It makes you come alive and get excited about it.

It's a really good book. Definitely something that I want to have on hand to raise my kids to just be expressive, be creative and be who they were made to be. So, we'll link to Jenny's Instagram and all that good stuff in the show notes as well as the link to the book.

Thank you so much for chatting with us today. This is an important subject and I really liked talking with you.

JENNY: Thanks for having me on!


_______________________________________________________________

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 069: The Benefits of Early Mornings For Parents with Lindsay McCarthy

Facebook_EP_069.png

I wasn’t always a morning person. In fact, it wasn’t until I discovered The Miracle Morning that I decided to ditch my night owl tendencies and start to wake up earlier. Morning routines really just set the tone for the rest of the day. If you wake up and you're already feeling hurried, that energy takes you throughout the whole day and you never really feel like you catch up. But if you start the day intentionally and say, “these are the six things that I'm going to do to start my day” and get those done, you already feel so accomplished. You feel like you can take on anything for the whole rest of the day.

Lindsay McCarthy wrote her book, Miracle Morning For Parents and Families because once she really started implementing a morning routine, she saw how much it worked and all the benefits that came from it. And she has just really taken charge of her mornings for her family, not just for herself. After speaking with her, I think I'm going to start some “miracle morning” stuff with my kids as well and not keep it just for myself. I hope you take action to do the same for your family too!

 
 

In This Episode Allie and Lindsay Discuss:

  • The importance of morning routines and the benefits of taking advantage of your mornings.

  • How following the S.A.V.E.R.S routine will benefit your mornings.

  • Ways you can include your kids in your morning routine and ways they can stay occupied while you go through your routine.

  • The power in teaching your kids about morning routines and how to help them form their own.

Mentioned in this Episode:

Unburdened_Pinterest_2.png

 

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

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

 

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


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_.png

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, beautiful Mama's! I am really looking forward to sharing today's interview with you!

I sat down and spoke with Lindsey McCarthy. She is the author of The Miracle Morning for Parents and Families and this book is sort of a branch off of the original book that was written by Hal Elrod called The Miracle Morning. And that book is really special to me. It was the start of early mornings for me probably about three years ago when we had just moved to Arkansas. It was during a time in my life when I was such a night owl, had a lot of stress and anxiety and just changes coming. It was at a point where I could feel God just pulling me to start the business, get more serious about blogging and turning it into something bigger. I didn't know how I was going to get all that done with Brian working at his “then” job and with the kids, homeschooling, and being away from all of our friends and family. I was kind of lost and wondering why the Lord had brought us out there and what for and The Miracle Morning plopped right into my lap, as I was listening to a podcast where the author, Hal, was interviewed. And so, I ordered the book. My mom had said, “Yeah, I read that book. It's great; you should get it.” I ordered the book on Amazon and dove in and it just really changed everything. It really inspired me.

So, The Miracle Morning is kind of what started me on my passion for ditching my night owl tendencies and waking up earlier. And by “night owl,” I mean I was staying up till 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning, often. I was the legit night owl and it was really unhealthy. While I still have nighttime tendencies and I like to stay up, it's more like 10:30 and not like 1:30.

So anyway, I just want to encourage you guys. Lindsey is awesome. She wrote this book for parents and families because she was practicing The Miracle Morning and having her children practice it as well. She has just really taken charge of her mornings for her family, not just herself, which I find fascinating. So, I wanted to have her on and share her take on this with you guys in case you wanted to start doing that as well.

And after speaking with her, I think I'm going to start some “miracle morning” stuff with my kids as well and not keep it just for myself.

So, I just want to encourage you to listen, to take action, because waking up early is life changing. I always say, and I will always say if you want to change your entire life in one small change, wake up earlier.

And again, as always in my disclaimer when I'm talking about this, if you're in a season of pregnancy, newborns or breastfeeding sleepless nights, I want to encourage you and just have you know that this is not your time, girl. Your time will come. Those babies will grow up. The pregnancy will be over and things will shift. You will know when it is your time to start getting your ish together and kind of systemizing your day better. And if you're in a season like that, it is just not your time. And that's okay. Soak it up. I know it's cliche, but I remember being in that season and I wanted it to end so badly and I wish that I would have just soaked it up.

So, I want you guys to know that there's a thing called “S.A.V.E.R.S.” in The Miracle Morning book as well as The Miracle Morning For Parents And Families. It's basically an acronym for what makes up your morning routine. Each letter stands for something. Lindsey goes over it. She mentions it a couple of times in the beginning in passing, and then I have her go over it in detail for you all.

I just want to encourage you. My morning ritual has changed and progressed over the years as I needed it to. It started out with just straight up hustle. I woke up at 4:00 in the morning for almost a year and I worked for a few hours before Brian would go to his job so that I can be present with the kids during the day because I didn't have any babysitters or help. Now it's the opposite. It's very much about self-care and quieting my soul and focusing on where I want to go and what I want my life and my day to look like before the day even starts. I like it better now, but there definitely was a season where it needed to be work.

So, it's about making it work for you and where you're at right now in your life and who you are as a person, but I love the idea of S.A.V.E.R.S. and I love the idea of the specific things that it stands for.

So, listen with an open mind. I encourage you to do some journaling, maybe after you listen to this episode. Jot down what you liked about it, what you don't think would work for you, what you're thinking of doing, and take action on this. So, let's dive in.

ALLIE: Hi Lindsay! Thank you for being here with us!

LINDSAY: Thanks for having me on today, Allie!

ALLIE: Of course. Okay, so The Miracle Morning is a book that was originally written by Hal Elrod and you actually met Hal in person, right?

LINDSAY: Yeah. We first heard him speak in 2014 and then we actually met him in 2015.

ALLIE: Okay. And then so through that meeting you kind of build a connection and that's how you came to author the parents and families’ version of Miracle Morning, right?

LINDSAY: Yeah. So, when we met him in 2015, I kinda just went up to him and said, “Hey Hal, I want to thank you for writing The Miracle Morning. We've been doing it as a family for the past year and it's really made a big impact on our lives. And he was like, “Whoa, your kids do this? My kids don't do it. This is cool. Tell me more.”

And so, we got into a conversation about how we've been teaching our kids pieces of the S.A.V.E.R.S. and what they've done over the last year. And I was like, “Actually, my son is here if you want to meet him.” And he's like, “Yeah, bring him to breakfast.” So, we brought our son, Tyler, to breakfast and he's saying his affirmations to Hal Elrod. He has this little homemade book that we made. Hal is mind blown. He's like, “Can I take pictures of this? I want to feature you guys on something.” And I said, “Yeah. Totally. Whatever.”

ALLIE: Yeah. It’s impressive and sweet that you guys brought your kids into it. The Miracle Morning is the book that kind of started me. I read it when we had moved to the Midwest and I was starting my business. Before that I had just been a stay-at-home mom and I got up before my kids but it wasn't so intentional. I didn’t have a bunch of stuff to get done as much as I do now with the business. And so, it was the answer for me.

I'm like okay, this is how I can add length to my day. And I didn't think to bring my kids into it at all. Actually, I wouldn't have wanted to at that point because it's like you just do your thing and I'll do mine. But yeah, I think it's great.

Tell us a little bit, and this might be a little vague, but tell us in your words why mornings matter so much, why it's important to show up for them.

LINDSAY: I think it just sets the tone for the whole rest of the day. If you wake up and you're already feeling hurried, that energy takes you throughout the whole day and you never really feel like you catch up. But if you start the day intentionally and say, “these are the six things that I'm going to do to start my day” and get those done, you already feel so accomplished. You feel like you can take on anything for the whole rest of the day.

ALLIE: Yeah, for sure. In The Miracle Morning For Parents And Families book, you talk a lot, I think it might even be a full chapter, about the benefits of taking advantage of your mornings, what it does for your psych benefits, and health benefits. Can you talk to us about that?

LINDSAY: Some of the practices in The Miracle Morning include the acronym is S.A.V.E.R.S., so silence, affirmations, visualization, exercise, reading and scribing. So like I could go through all six of those and tell you all the benefits, but one other thing that Hal suggests is the very first thing you do when you wake up in the morning is drink a big glass of water. Just the benefits of that alone are staggering. It helps your skin. It hydrates your whole body. You have this energy boost from drinking that water. And then if you add exercise to that you get that serotonin going and you get your adrenaline pumping. If you add mindfulness or meditation that slows your heart rate down and the health benefits of that alone are incredible. Once you start adding all these little pieces together, it's this compound effect where you're just ready for the day.

ALLIE: Yeah, for sure. That was my next question about the S.A.V.E.R.S., the acronym of S.A.V.E.R.S. for what you're doing in your morning routine. One of the things that I'm sure you get asked a lot is “Well if I get up early, what do I do though? What should I do with that time?” And it is a problem because there's so much to do and you woke up early, like a lot of the times, especially because of how early I get up and my kids are still asleep, it's almost a timer of pressure, like this is precious time. What do I do with it?

And the S.A.V.E.R.S. really just gives us a little bit of each thing to where at the end of an hour you feel like a different person. You feel ready for your day.

So can you go with us one more time through what S.A.V.E.R.S. stands for, kind of like an explanation of each thing and what is the whole deal with S.A.V.E.R.S. for people who haven't read the book?

LINDSAY: Yeah. S.A.V.E.R.S. stands for silence, affirmations, visualization, exercise, reading and scribing. I always encourage people to play with those and find what order works for you. So, my personal morning, I wake up before my kids a little bit and I usually try to get my meditation in, so silence or reading. We encourage read something that's not like a romance novel, but maybe something more for personal development or something about history that you're really interested in. Make it a learning time, not just like, “Oh, I'm just going to read.”

ALLIE: Yeah. It's like bettering your mind or bettering your growth, not just for the sake of reading something.

LINDSAY: Right. After I read I like to journal or scribe. For our kids we've kind of adapted the scribing piece to just be anything creative, so they will draw, paint, play with play dough, make up a skit, or create an obstacle course. That one's really wide open for them. If you play music, if you do something creative, or you like to paint, have that be your journaling time. There's no rules.

ALLIE: Yeah, I like that. As a parent, you're encouraging them to be their own person. Not everybody likes to journal. Sometimes I find that it stresses people out a little bit to feel the need to journal. But yeah, it can be anything. Paint or draw something. Yeah, I love that. Especially for little kids. I think it's so expressive for them and what a great way for them to start their day.

LINDSAY: Affirmations. You know, a lot of people get hung up on affirmations, especially adults, because they feel like they're lying to themselves. So Hal has this formula of how to create an affirmation so you don't feel like you're lying to yourself. It's really important, the words that you use to put it in the “I am” form – “I am willing to” or “I'm capable of.” You can put these “starter” words in there so you don't feel like you're lying to yourself because if you're dirt poor right now and you're like, “I'm a money magnet…”

ALLIE: And I think it’s about changing it to be positive because so often our story, whether conscious or subconscious is negative and focusing on what's going wrong. I got over that for myself and I would just do typical affirmations that weren't really true right now, but I was visualizing that happening for me. And so, I was okay with it. But I know a lot of people are like, “I just feel so weird. It's not doing what it's supposed to do.” Changing it to be positive.

I don’t know where I read this, but somebody once said I am the type of person who (just changing mindset about yourself) who makes healthy food choices or whatever it is. I really liked that kind of stuff.

LINDSAY: Yeah. Actually, my coach just taught me another way to do it too. Instead of saying “I'm interested in being a great mom,” instead say, “I'm interested in being the type of mom that is always there for their kids to celebrate their wins and that they can come to me with any challenge that they have.”

ALLIE: Yeah. And that's more specific and helpful. I love that. So are there any S.A.V.E.R.S. left?

LINDSAY: Visualization. Personally, I love vision boards so I have a whole big section in the book about how to create your own vision board. For me there's not a lot of material things on my personal vision board. It's more about what you said, like the affirmations, who I want to be as a person, not the material things that I want.

ALLIE: Yeah, and correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the point of the visualization part is that our minds are so powerful and what we think about we tend to get, and so let's use that even just for five minutes a day. What kind of person do I want to become? What kind of kids do I want to raise? What kind of marriage do I want to have? What legacy do I want to leave behind? Just focusing on that.

When you start every day, really thinking about that every day doing that, that's going to have some kind of positive effect. That's really powerful.

LINDSAY: Totally. Because then you're not just on autopilot like, “Oh my gosh, here's my to do list. I have a million things to do.” It's like, “No, what am I really trying to create in this life?”

ALLIE: I think too, it can help those mundane day-to-day things fall underneath this umbrella of is this aligning with where I want to go? Does this really matter? It can help the little things like being late to baseball practice, or missing it altogether one practice a week or something like that. It's okay because in the end this is what I'm trying to go for and meeting all of these check marks on my list doesn't really matter in the long run. It's kind of a graceful relief from the stress of the day.

LINDSAY: The last one was just exercise. I save that one for last. Some people like to do that first thing in the morning to get their blood pumping. There's a million ways you could exercise. I like to try to include our kids in our exercise portion because by that time they're usually awake. We just do the 7 Minute App. That's another thing - it doesn't have to be this huge long workout, especially first thing in the morning. I look at it as the goal is just to get our heart rates up, to get our blood pumping to start releasing those endorphins.

ALLIE: Yeah. You're not doing like P90X or anything.

LINDSAY: Especially with the kids, no.

ALLIE: And again that's such a relief to think like that. Because when I first was reading The (original) Miracle Morning and going over the S.A.V.E.R.S. thing, I was thinking (because I hadn't read the rest of it) “What the heck? This is going to be five hours.” Because I'm so all or nothing, I think exercise is a two-mile run, weights, squats. But it can just be a five-minute yoga video or just taking a walk. So yeah, I love that. It's very freeing to let go of those expectations that we often have in ourselves and just say, “Well I could just do seven minutes of something to just get my heart rate up and just get my endorphins flowing and to start the day off positive in this physical way.” It's so much less than “I’ve got to meet my weight goals” and stressing yourself out.

_______________________________________________________________

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Check it out.  bit.ly/getunburdened

_______________________________________________________________

ALLIE: I disliked getting this question because the days are different in our house and even the mornings are different and the order is different, but typically what does it look like for you? What time are you waking up? What part of the S.A.V.E.R.S. do you do by yourself and what part of it are the kids doing? How do you get them to do it separately? What does it look like in your house?

LINDSAY: Right. My kids are 9 and 5, just so people are clear. Tyler, our 9-year-old is very independent. He has a little checklist of C.H.A.R.M.S. tracker that you can actually download online. It's a miraclemorning.com/parents and you can get a free tracker. We've laminated ours, so then he just uses a dry erase marker and he wipes it clean at the beginning of each week to start over. So, he's fully independent on his at 9. We have been doing this for three years now, so he understands these are the things we do in the morning.

Our 5-year-old, on the other hand, she still needs a little encouragement and help with hers. She's great on creativity. We have a little section in our kitchen that's their craft area. There's little drawers with all the stuff that they might need or want for that.

So typically, when she gets up in the morning, she'll come into my room. I'm usually still in bed actually. I wake up at 6:45, and I start my miracle morning in bed. I meditate in bed. I read in bed and I'll start to journal. Then when she comes in, that's when we go downstairs. I'll bring my journal with us and then we might start with story time. If she's super hungry, I'll make her breakfast or she might start with creativity while I finish up my journaling. Then we all eat breakfast together.  

So something I didn't say, too, is the kids actually have a different acronym, so theirs is slightly different. For adults it’s S.A.V.E.R.S. But for kids it's C.H.A.R.M.S., which stands for creativity, health, affirmations, reading, meditation and service.

She'll be doing creativity while I'm journaling and then we all exercise together after breakfast. It might be a dance party in the kitchen, it might be Simon says, it might be a 7-minute app, it might be cosmic kids yoga, it runs the gamut. If it's nice outside, I might just send them outside to exercise and I'll exercise later on my own. We have a big swing set in the backyard and they'll go play swings. So like I said, it isn't really a typical morning.

ALLIE: I totally understand. Yeah. But I mean it's kinda like one of those things where you have a guideline in your head of like, this would be great, but we're flexible. More often than not, for me at least, it doesn't go that way. My morning is pretty much the same every morning. But once the kids wake up, sometimes we'll have morning like that and other times we need to get homeschooling done because we got to go.

But yeah, I like that you're so flexible. It's inspiring and kind of discouraging at the same time when somebody comes here and they're like, oh, this is exactly what…

LINDSAY: Give me the formula.  

ALLIE: So yeah, it's encouraging.

LINDSAY: And were homeschoolers too. So, I kind of follow this thing of structure plus flexibility. And I think that’s why I attached so strongly to The Miracle Morning because the S.A.V.E.R.S. and the C.H.A.R.M.S., they're just these loose frameworks. But then you get to make it your own.

ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely. And I love in The Miracle Morning community how people will totally change it and they step outside of the S.A.V.E.R.S. exact thing. Hal Elrod even says it's not supposed to be this terrible rigid thing that makes your mornings awful. It's supposed to be helpful.

I remember seeing one woman that said, “I actually find that I do really well getting some work done in the morning so that I'm not worried about it.” I used to do that because I had to, but it makes me not want to wake up. And I love how you say that the way to get up in the morning is to want to do the thing that you're going to get up for and set yourself up for that success.

Go to bed thinking I'm going to get up at 6:00 and I'm going to do a meditation and it really works. And so, when I stopped getting stuff done, let that be on my task list for the day, focused on self-care in the morning and doing the S.A.V.E.R.S. stuff, it totally changed. I started to wake up at 5:00 and I was totally good and ready to jump out of bed ready to go. And that's very unlike me. So, I love that you can make it your own.

And speaking of that, that was another thing I wanted to cover because not everybody has read the book and I'll link to it so hopefully they will. But can you talk to us about people who maybe they work and they want to get this stuff done before they go to work and they have to get up really early and right now they are a night owl. What would you say about getting up early and how to make that happen for yourself?

LINDSAY: Yeah. I would say start small and just wake up 10 minutes earlier tomorrow and implement whichever of the S.A.V.E.R.S. you're most attracted to. Start with that one.

And then the next week wake up 20 minutes earlier and add two of them. I think once people get into the rhythm they start to see some changes in their life, like “Wow! Meditation is really powerful. I had no idea.” or “I actually loved journaling and I didn't know that.” When you start to see these little changes in your life, you'll want to do more and you'll want to wake up earlier. And so that's my advice is just start small and start with the one that you liked the most.

ALLIE: Yeah, that makes sense, especially with what we were just talking about to make you want to get up.

So my last question for you is do you notice anything different about your kids and your family dynamic from having this intentional time in the morning, most mornings?

LINDSAY: Yeah. I think the biggest change that I've seen in our household is the conversations that we have in the morning. It used to be “Where are your shoes? Why are we so late? Hurry up!” But now it's calm in the morning and the questions are different. It's, “Hey, what did you do for creativity today? Hey, is that a healthy choice? What can we affirm in your sister that you see or yourself? How can we encourage those behaviors?” My favorite question is “What did you do for service today?”

ALLIE: So what does that look like? What is the service?

LINDSAY: Basically, we wanted to instill in our kids that it's not all about you. We are here on this earth to help other people. So we have built that into their miracle morning.  A lot of times it looks like chores, but in our family we've reworded it to call them “family contributions,” which I think Amy McCready first coined that term.

So it's like, how can you contribute to the family today? Hey, let's look outside of our house. How can you contribute at your homeschool program today? How can you contribute to the community? Wherever you're going, how can you be of service there?

And it just kind of gets their wheels turning and you're like, “Oh right. It's not all about me.”

ALLIE: Yeah. I really liked that because it's so easy. It's just so easy for us as adults to divide and get caught up in our own calendar and to do list. You have your boundaries and you protect your time and your own stuff and it's easy to get sucked up in just that and forget we're here to serve. We're here to help and be a light and lend a hand when it's needed. I see it in my kids, because kids just naturally are self-centered, that's how we are. And so, you have to kind of like, “Okay, I see that you're very concerned about your horse lesson this week because you're planning your whole week around it, but we have other things going on. There’s other people in the house.” So it's funny to see to see that and not punish it, but just how can I redirect it? How can I show you that there's other things too? Let's be servants in this life. I love that.

I think for me the miracle morning stuff, and the C.H.A.R.M.S., I love that whole idea. I think it's about taking these big things that we want to end up being when all is said and done and breaking them down in a tiny bite size pieces that happen every single day, which is how you end up with this life aligned with your intent. Instead of saying, “Oh, when I'm 80, I want to have a close relationship with my kids. I still want to be married to my husband.” I want all these big goals, but we do nothing towards them. So yeah, I love that.

Thank you so much for spending time talking with us about this. I am sure that this episode is going to bring a lot of questions, more questions about morning stuff, so I will send everybody to your book. We'll link to it in the show notes and do you have anywhere that you want to send people to find more about you or social media or anything?

Yeah, well I have a Facebook group. It's the same name as the book, The Miracle Morning For Parents And Families. I'm literally in there every single day, so it's probably the best place. We have a website too called gratefulparent.com and there's a bunch of resources on there like books that we love, coaches we've worked with in the past, or friends.

ALLIE: Awesome. I love that. You were really inspiring and it was really helpful and tactical advice. People like that and they're gonna want to find more about you.

Thank you so much. This was great. We'll link to everything in show notes for you guys.

Thank you, Lindsey, so much for your time and we will talk to you maybe again someday.


_______________________________________________________________

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.

Bonus 004: How I Planned + Organized Our Homeschool This Year

Facebook_Bonus_EP_04.png

Our homeschool year has officially started! Since it is the beginning of the school year, I wanted to share this bonus episode to help any of your homeschoolers who are trying to figure it out. Maybe this is your first year; maybe it's not, and this will still help you. But I have been really wanting to share a couple of things about how I'm organizing our homeschool year this year because a couple of the things are new and they seem to be really helping me so far.

Over the last few months, I have been figuring out how to make my homeschool work better and more streamlined, more fun, and more enjoyable. I am excited to share all kinds of things with you in this episode! From the homeschool schedule we built to the curriculum we are using, and tips on how to make your homeschool schedule feel lighter so you and your kids can breathe a bit. I'm really excited about what our homeschool year looks like this year and really hope this helps you get excited about yours too!

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • Why she is trying year-round schooling and how she hopes it will help her overall family schedule.

  • The platforms and curriculum she uses to plan out and facilitate homeschool.

  • What a typical homeschool day looks like for her kids.

  • How rotating a few subjects each day creates breathing room in the school load and routine.

Mentioned in this Episode:

Allie_s_10_10_Challenge_Email_Header(1).png

If you feel like your house is just always out of control, it's totally crazy and you'd love to take some of the advice I give here on The Purpose Show, and my blog, but you just kind of feel like you're so frozen and overwhelmed, you can't even. I created a new challenge. It's called the 10:10 challenge. It's super, super simplified (and totally FREE by the way!). 

This is designed for the really overwhelmed mom who wants to kickstart her house and build some momentum, because as I always talk about - momentum is where it's at to making progress, actually taking action, and having that longevity of action that's going to change your life in the long run.

So the 10:10 challenge. This whole thing is 10 minutes a day every day for 10 days. It’s going to build a happier mom and a happier home for your family! 


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_.png

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 friend! Oh my gosh, I am so drained. It's 9:00 at night right now. I did a webinar today. We had a full day of homeschooling. I recorded three other podcast episodes today. I'm super tapped out. Brian is too. The kids are in bed but they're not all asleep yet and Brian's like, “I'm just going to put my headphones in and listen to a podcast because I'm so done.” He's inside folding a load of laundry for me and we're both just super tapped out.

But I'm out here in my office/studio recording this little bonus episode for you because I've just really wanted to share this with you since it’s the beginning of the school year and get this out to you to help any of you homeschoolers who are trying to figure it out

Maybe this is your first year; maybe it's not, and this will still help you. But I have been really wanting to share a couple of things about how I'm organizing our homeschool year this year because a couple of the things are new and they seem to be really helping me so far. I'm really excited about them

I think the podcast, in this way, is a lot like a blog and I like to share whatever I'm learning, whatever I'm doing right now. That will change and evolve as I do and as life goes on. Right now, I'm figuring out how to make my homeschool work better and be more streamlined, more fun and enjoyable, and I think I've made a couple of changes this year versus last year that are going to accomplish that. So, I'm going to share them with you

I'm going to go over all kinds of things. I'm going to go over the homeschool schedule we're on this year, which is different than usual. I'm going to share a couple of changes that I've made to the way we're formatting our year.

I'm going to show you a picture of the online program that I use to organize our homeschool, and kind of use it as our homeschool schedule. It's called Trello and it's a free platform. I've talked about it quite a bit. I also have a blog post and a video tutorial where I show you how to use it to organize your life and I can link to that in the show notes of this episode for you.

I'm gonna show you a picture of our homeschool board and kind of talk you through it. And then I'm going to talk about the curricula that we're using and share our schedule, kind of like a typical homeschool day for us this new year.

We have already started our year. We pulled out a couple of things a little bit early because it was like 120 degrees here in southern California in the summer and the kids were just getting super antsy. Too much technology. They weren't able to play outside. And so, we pulled out some things and created a little bit of routine and order early. So, our new school year has officially started for us.

We actually homeschool through a charter school and they don't start quite yet. They have another week, but we have started officially. We've been going strong and doing good so I'm ready to share what we're doing.

One new thing that we're trying this year is hopefully going to help us with our year- round scheduling. So far, we've really been fans of the year-round school schedule. Year-round schooling can look a lot of different ways. But basically, you don't start and end when everyone else does. This year we are starting when most schools do. But we're going to school through the summer and we'll be wrapping up our last semester when everyone else is on summer break just because we keep finding that we want to do school in the summer at least a little bit.

So, if we're wrapping up a couple of the core subjects and we could have a little bit of a lighter schedule in July, I think it will actually really help my kids because like I said, it's really hot. They can't really go outside. They can't swim all day, every day. When they play games and we let them have a video game summer, it’s all fine until it's been too much and they're freaking out and their moods are terrible.

So I think that having some time in the summer to do a little bit of school will be really helpful for everybody and keep us structured. I can honestly say that parts of the summer were pretty miserable because we lacked routine completely. So, I'm definitely wanting to really follow the year round schedule this year. We kind of did last year but it was just really lax and we didn't totally do school over the summer even though we probably should have. So this year I'm planning to really stick with it.

We're trying a schedule that I actually saw online on a different blog. I think it's pretty common. It's six weeks on with school and then one week off and you stay in that pattern. I actually found it last year before we started last year, but I just wasn't sure. I didn't commit and I didn't do it.

I'm going to do it this year because I noticed that we seem to desire a lot of breaks. As a family, we travel a lot. That's one of the biggest perks for us of homeschooling and owning our own business, that we can do things, have family trips, and take breaks whenever we want, not when we're told to. And I think that six weeks on/one week off will also help with the burnout that typically comes around the month of February. I think that would help to have a lot of breaks coming up, knowing we've always got a break around the corner, and we can plan little family vacations, trips, and things like that.

We've got friends and family sprinkled all over the country and we would love to go and visit them and six weeks on/one week off gives us plenty of opportunities to do that. So I'm really excited to try that schedule out this year.

I don't remember exactly how it breaks down, but basically instead of our school year ending in May or June, it would end in July. And then we'd be ready to start up again in September. You can do whatever you want. A lot of people their new school year starts in January and it goes until December and they have a lot of breaks within that. You can make it work however you want.

But for us, we’re starting our year at the same time as everyone else does and we're just not really taking the full summer off because it doesn't seem to serve our kids very well. I hope that makes sense. So, six weeks of school and then one week off.

And then we're also doing the same thing that we did last year, which is four school days per week instead of five. Monday through Thursday is our normal full school days and then Friday is a really light day for reviewing anything that was difficult for anyone that week. And also to give us a little wiggle room to catch up. So if we maybe didn't get to finish all of our history that week, we can finish it on Friday. It's just nice to have some cushion.

That's also what I like about the six weeks on/one week off schedule is that it ends up giving you a decent cushion. So if you guys get sick or you just need to have a big break that was unplanned, you have the wiggle room to do that. And I feel like the four school days per week schedule gives us that wiggle room as well.

Friday mornings are the mornings that I always have all my team meetings. So I'm usually in meetings from about 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 or 11:00 a.m. So Brian can go over and review anything that the kids need to be reviewed or catch up on anything that didn't get finished. I can come in if he needs me to and help after my meetings. But pretty much the rest of Friday after my meetings are done are open and we can do whatever we want to do and our weekend starts early, which is great.

_______________________________________________________________

If you feel like your house is just always out of control, it's totally crazy and you'd love to take some of the advice I give here on The Purpose Show, and my blog, but you just kind of feel like you're so frozen and overwhelmed, you can't even. I created a new challenge. It's called the 10:10 challenge. It's super, super simplified.

It's email based so you can open the emails and take it at your own pace. And even the emails are a few sentences. It's really, really simplified.

This is designed for the really overwhelmed mom who wants to kickstart her house and build some momentum, because as I always talk about - momentum is where it's at to making progress, actually taking action, and having that longevity of action that's going to change your life in the long run.

So the 10:10 challenge. This whole thing is 10 minutes a day every day for 10 days.

It’s going to build a happier mom and a happier home for your family.

To take this challenge, (it's totally free by the way) go to alliecasazza.com/1010.

_______________________________________________________________

Another thing that we're trying is we're rotating History and Science to create more breathing room in each school day. We find that it's really hard to get everything done each day without school taking forever. And Science and History are two things that are time consuming for the curricula that we use, which I'll share in a second.

History takes about 90 minutes most days, sometimes just an hour. And then Science is pretty much the same. There's a lot of hands-on stuff, a lot of experiments and really taking time to explain everything to the kids and answer their questions. And when we're doing that every day for both subjects, or even just a couple times a week for both subjects, it just becomes too much. And then the kids get antsy and the day is too long.  It's just not how we roll. So, we're rotating History and Science.

So, what that means is instead of doing History a couple times a week and Science a couple times a week and trying to squeeze those both in, or I think it ended up being a few times a week that it was needed. So, at some point they both landed on the same day and that day was always really stressful. So instead we're doing a few rounds of the six weeks on/one week off school schedule and we're just focusing on History and just busting out that curriculum. Getting through the whole year's worth curriculum because we're doing it all four school days.

And then when we're done and we go into the second round of six weeks on/one week off, we're gonna focus on Science and do Science four school days a week and then be totally done with Science. So, we're going to try that out. I'm not sure if we'll like it or not, but I'll keep you posted and we'll see how that goes. I know quite a few people who do that and they've said good things about it. So, we'll see.

So basically, we're working on every core subject, every full school day of the week. And the kids have signed up for a couple of elective classes through the homeschool campus that we have, so they actually go to a homeschool campus in our town. And actually, it's perfect. I didn't even do this on purpose. It just worked out that way. I wish I was this savvy. Hudson goes to piano, the same location, the same day and the same time as Bella and Leland go to Spanish. So, on Mondays at 1:00 we will just all go to the homeschool campus. Emmett can run around and play at the park. For an hour Hudson's in piano and the older two kids are taking Spanish. That's something that they're learning that we're not having to teach them. It kind of breaks up the week and it's electives that I feel are going to be really, really good for them.

I'll show you a picture of our homeschool board. I use a platform called Trello. Trello is free and it's an online platform. It's also an APP. We use it in my business, my team and I use it for communication to keep up on different projects. You can share Trello boards with different team members. So, the homeschool schedule board is shared between Brian and I.

TRELLO.png

I'll link to the video tutorial I've made for this and the blog posts that I wrote about how I use Trello for everything and all that good stuff. But basically, if you go to the show notes for this episode, which I will link to (alliecasazza.com/shownotes/bonus04) you'll be able to see a screenshot of my homeschool Trello board with our schedule on it.

Basically, what I've done is I've decided to ditch the paper homeschool planner. I just found it really irritating, and time consuming too, to have to fill out each student's name, the subject, what we're going to be doing that week over and over again every single week, for every kid. It was just really time consuming. It didn't seem worth it to me.

So with Trello and the way I've laid out our schedule to where we're doing all the core subjects every school day, it's pretty cut and dry. It really, really simplified me looking at like, “Okay, what are we supposed to do today?” Now we do all the core subjects every day and I just look at the Trello board and see like what are we supposed to do next?

Instead of spending time organizing on paper what everyone's doing every week, I spent time really, really thinking through what is going to be the best format for our day. Now we've been homeschooling for a while, and last year we did it. The kids are a little older so I was able to get familiar with what's working and what's not working and I noticed if we started with something that's really interactive and makes everybody feel positively or there's really no wrong answers and everyone can just kind of talk and be involved, then that would be really good.

So, we do our Bible lesson while we have breakfast. Then everybody cleans up and does their chores and gets ready for the day. So chores are out of the way. The house is clean. Everybody's ready, everyone's fed. We started with Bible which puts everybody in a good mood. Then school starts around 9:00 and then we go into History, which is similar to Bible in the way that it's really like a conversation. They call it a “couch subject.” So everybody does History together at the same time. There's no grade differences for History with our curriculum, and again, I'll share all that with you in a second. So we all sit on the couch and just go through our History lesson. Then the kids go to the table and they do any of the worksheets that go with the lesson for that day and it's just a really good start to our day.

And then we do a split-up time and that's with Math and Reading. So, what that means is Bella and Leland are actually doing the same math even though they are two years apart. Bellah is in fourth grade and she's actually doing third grade Math because that's just where she's at. And Leland is doing a year ahead. He's advanced in Math. So that worked out to where they're doing the same Math and it's much simpler.

So, Bella and Leland do Math together and Hudson sits and has this quiet reading time for 30 minutes. And then we switch. The older kids go and they have their reading time and I sit and do Math with Hudson. Then we do read aloud time. Then we have lunch, clean up, and then we do another split up session with Language Arts and Handwriting.

So same thing. I do Language Arts with Hudson; Bella and Leland work on their Handwriting books, and then we switch. Hudson does Handwriting and I do Language Arts with Bella and Leland. Bella and Leland are in different Language Arts, but they are more independent workers so I can help and oversee them both at the same time. Bella's doing her fourth grade one and Leland's doing his second grade one.

Next, we do Vocabulary. I just help Hudson. The older kids don't really need help with that. And then at the end of the day, if we have time and everything's going well, we'll do Music and Art practice.

The boys are musical and Bella's artistic, so Bella will do an Art lesson or just have free draw time, free painting, whatever, and the boys will practice piano and guitar. Sometimes we don't do that though, and that's okay. I don't require them to do it every single day, but usually they do it.

That's Monday through Thursday. Friday is a lighter day and we'll just have review in the morning or catch up on anything that we didn't get done in the morning. And then they're done and our weekend feels like three days, which is awesome.

And then I've also used the labels that come with Trello to mark, like what's a core subject, what's a group subject that we can all do together, what needs to be done individually, what are their electives to keep everything really organized. It's really, really helpful to have a clean, simplified area where I can see this all in one place. I love Trello for that. And because I do use it for my business, I'm really used to it.

And then what I do is I use Trello in place of a paper planner for what everyone is doing every day. I just put a post-it note on the lesson that we're on in their curriculum books. I open it up to that day and we do the next lesson. And when we're done I write in a normal, basic journal that I got from Target, and every day I would put the date at the top and then I put Bella, LA for Language Arts, Lesson 31, and just keep track of what we did get done.

That helps me with the school records and it just helps me know what are we behind on and what we need to do still. And also in the thick of it, in that day, sometimes I'll forget what we actually did and what we still have left to do, so I can look at that and know.

But it's better and less time consuming than me sitting down once a week and planning ahead and going over every day - “Okay, this Tuesday we're going to do Lesson 29…” Then what if something changes? What if we don't do it? Then I have to erase and the whole plan is shot, so I find that this just works better for me.

The curriculum that we're using is called The Good and the Beautiful. We used it last year. So far it is the only homeschool curriculum that we have reused. I've always wanted to try something else after I have purchased something but not with this. It's beautiful. Very, very image heavy, which my kids really love. I absolutely love it.

It's definitely a Christian curriculum so if that doesn't float your boat this won't be for you. But it’s not in an annoying way and I mean that in the best way possible. I just really, really like it.

And then for Math we're actually using Saxon this year and so far I like it.

So yeah, that's pretty much it. That's how I've organized our homeschool year this year. If you're not a homeschooler, I don't even know why you listened because it's a super snooze fest and it's kinda boring anyway, so thanks for listening if you got to this point.

Again, if you want the links to anything that I shared and all the Trello stuff, just go to alliecasazza.com/shownotes/bonus04 and you'll get it all there.


_______________________________________________________________

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 066: How To Raise Minimalist Kids

Facebook_EP_066.png

Minimalist kids are kids who are content. Kids who know how to play, kids who know how to talk and have relationships. They’re not glued to screens all day. They spend a lot of time playing outside using their  imaginations, conversing with their friends or siblings if they have them. And honestly, they enjoy more of a 1970’s sort of childhood than a 2018 one. If we are going to choose to live a minimalist lifestyle, then we are raising our kids to do the same. That means we are shaping the next generation and how amazing is it that we have a chance to break the over-consumeristic cycle? I love that I get to do that for my kids and hope that you find encouragement to do the same from this episode!

 
 

In This Episode, Allie Discusses:

  • Why your kids will naturally adapt to what becomes normal and how you can create a new normal of minimalism for them.

  • How to avoid becoming super legalistic about minimalism, especially when it comes to your kids.

  • The positive impact and benefits that boredom can have on your kids.

  • The value of investing in things that bring your kids together and how it benefits them and your family.

Mentioned in this Episode:

3_Weeks_to_Minimalism_For_Moms_Facebook_Ad.png

Hey friend! I'm so excited to tell you about my upcoming free online class: 3 Weeks To Minimalist Motherhood.

In this class, you are going to learn the secret to not living your life in a state of constant overwhelm. It's minimalism and it's going to have you cleaning, yelling, stressing, and nagging a whole lot less. I'm also going to show you how you can take a bite out of this secret process and start right away.

We're going to go over the three biggest time and energy sucking areas of your home and I'm going to show you how to get started in those areas – Now!

In 3 weeks, you will have a much more minimal motherhood and you'll be feeling a lot lighter.

I'm also going to give you an exclusive discount on my course, Your Uncluttered Home, and show you the next step after you get started so you can go all the way and change your home and your life for good.


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_.png

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, beautiful friends! Welcome to another episode of The Purpose Show! Whether you’re brand new here or you're an old buddy of mine who's been listening since day one, I want you to know that I don't think you're here on accident. I really do believe you're here for a reason and I'm so glad that you are! Welcome to my show!

Today's episode is all about how to raise minimalist kids. This topic, this piece of the topic of the minimalist lifestyle, I think is my favorite just because it's so important. It's a part of the future. It's such a big deal that we're raising kids, that we’re shaping the next generation. Man, how amazing is it that we have a chance to break the over-consumeristic cycle? (I don't even know if consumeristic as a word, but it is now because I said it was. This is my show. I say what I want!)

Anyway, how to raise minimalist kids. There's a lot that goes into this, so I'll probably end up doing like a Part 2 and maybe even 3 to this episode at some point just because it's a lot. I have a feeling that this topic is something that you're going to see on a somewhat regular basis on the show. Like I said, there's just a lot that goes into it. I'm kind of always learning and things change and shift and different topics and questions come up. So, let’s just start here.

I'm going to get into a few of the biggest things that go into raising minimalist kids. What I mean by minimalist kids is kids who are content. Kids who know how to play, kids who know how to talk and have relationships. They're not glued to screens all day. They spend a lot of time playing outside using their imaginations, conversing with their friends or siblings if they have them. They enjoy more of a 1970’s sort of childhood than a 2018 one.

So okay, let's get into raising minimalist kids. The first thing I want you to know about doing this is that your kids are going to adapt to what becomes your normal. So, I know when you have your normal, your family is the way they are, your home is the way it is, you guys kind of live the way that you're living and you're focused on the things are normally focused on, it can feel really daunting to change that and your kids can push back. It’s human nature to push against any change, even if it's positive change. Human beings just resist change in general by nature. It's so true.

But if you adapt your normal and you just kind of stay consistent, practice what you preach and you're making it your new normal, your kids are going to adapt eventually. That’s not to say that we want to force them into anything or make things miserable and just kinda say, “Suck it up. This is your life now.”

But if we're just patient and calm and consistent with these positive changes we're bringing into our family, they're are going to adapt and that's going to become normal one day. You got to your current normal, you know at some point. So, we're going to just switch up and people will adapt.

If you make changes and you stick with it and like I said, you're consistent, your kids are going to see that this is the way things are day in and day out, and over time it's going to become their normal too.

So, don't stress out if it feels like there isn't too much for kids to do or if during the initial lifestyle shift they're kind of whiny and they just kind of seem to not know what to do with themselves. That's totally normal and it will go away, I promise. But you've got to stay consistent and you've gotta make this a positive thing. Don't make it feel like a punishment.

You should just gradually shift into the minimalist lifestyle. Start to limit things. Things that you buy. Talk with your kids. Why aren't you buying that toy? Why aren't you going to go and get this expensive thing? Why aren't you spending money the same way you were before? Why are you purging your home of clutter? Let them be a part of the process.

This is why I always, always, always preach to you guys to make your kids a part of the process when you are decluttering their toys. If they're super small, it might not be doable and it probably wouldn't even do anything. But other than that, once they hit age 3, make them a part of it. Even if you don't think they understand, explain to them what you're doing and why. Let them see the good they're doing by donating things they're not using anymore to kids who are more in need than they are.

Make them a part of the process. Make them a part of your process. Tell them you want they’re help as mommy clears out her wardrobe. Make them a part of the process. Make this your new normal. Talk to them. Be normal about it, and it is going to be their normal too.

The next thing I want to say is stop making things the center of your kids' world. So, kids naturally gravitate to toys and new things just like any other human. Think about it. We do this too. It's not just with toys. They are kids; we are adults and it's the same thing. We do it all the time.

You might maybe be out and see a black blouse and you’re just so drawn to this blouse. It's beautiful. You have to have it. You buy it and you get it home and you realize I actually already have this blouse. It's just from a different store. But that one was amazing to you and you kind of forgot about the other one because it's new.

So as human beings we just naturally gravitate towards shiny new things and we're greedy. We want things. There's nothing wrong with that and you shouldn't make your kids feel like there's anything wrong with that, but it's just kind of raising them up in a way that just shows them there's a better way than this.

So just realize it's okay that your kids are naturally gravitating to toys and new things. That will change as they grow and mature and as you make this the normal like we talked about. And just so you guys know, my kids, they are drawn to things just like we are. I mean it's just not the norm to get them. It's not normal to, “Sure! You can buy that. Sure, we’ll order this on Amazon.” It's just not normal.

We question things. And my kids will say things like, “Man, I really love that black horse that I saw at Target but I just really don't need that toy because I already have a black horse and I already have a lot of other horses.” They're learning to appreciate that something is cool and not necessarily need to have it or make a goal to get it.

And speaking of Amazon, my kids, one of the things that they love to do more than anything is to go on my phone and look on the Amazon App for the next Minecraft toy or whatever they're into currently that they're gonna save their money for and buy with the money they earn. I don't discourage them from thinking about things.

To me, and this might be an offensive example, but I'm going to go here anyway. To me, that's kind of the equivalent of being legalistic about your faith and kind of forcing rules down your kids’ throat. What happens when parents do that. Remember when we did the interview with the author of Why I Didn’t Rebel? They go the other way. They rebel. They push against it eventually because it's legalistic and it's just a bunch of rules that they don't understand.

And so, if we do that with minimalism and kind of take on that legalistic approach of, “Oh, we're not going to look on Amazon for toys. No way! We're not even going to talk about toys. You don't need anything. You shouldn't be focused on things,” it just kind of pushes them away. It doesn't make any sense.

We’re human beings. Everybody likes new things. It's okay. It's just a matter of asking why. Why is this worth my space? Why am I going to pursue this thing? Showing your kids that and not expecting them to get it down perfectly when they're little kids. It's just that you're raising them in this lifestyle and teaching them like you do other things to question what takes up their space.

The point is that things are not the heart of our physical space. Your home is minimal. You're showing them that that's not what you use your space for, and you're showing them that experiences are better than things by setting that example. But also not discouraging them from being normal people and wanting to think about things.

_______________________________________________________________

Hey friend! I'm so excited to tell you about my upcoming free online class: 3 Weeks To Minimalist Motherhood.

In this class, you are going to learn the secret to not living your life in a state of constant overwhelm. It's minimalism and it's going to have you cleaning, yelling, stressing, and nagging a whole lot less. I'm also going to show you how you can take a bite out of this secret process and start right away.

We're going to go over the three biggest time and energy sucking areas of your home and I'm going to show you how to get started in those areas – Now!

In 3 weeks, you will have a much more minimal motherhood and you'll be feeling a lot lighter.

I'm also going to give you an exclusive discount on my course, Your Uncluttered Home, and show you the next step after you get started so you can go all the way and change your home and your life for good.

These online classes are always in serious demand and they don't come around too often, so I want you to snag a spot. Make sure you get one and sign up.

You can go to alliecasazza.com/freeclass. It's totally free!

_______________________________________________________________

The next thing I want to say about raising minimalist kids is that you don't have to go way against the grain with this if you don't want to. To the point where you're weird and you never allow things to take up space at all and your kids are getting the vibe that “toys are forbidden.” You'll just get the opposite of what you're going for, like we just talked about.

In my opinion, just relax. Live a minimal life yourself. Listen to your kids when they talk about toys they saw or want. You're there for them. Encourage them to earn and save their own money and understand the value of a dollar. You get them toys they truly want for birthdays and holidays and you just live your life. You don't obsess over forcing them to become minimalist adults who don't ever think about toys or things. You know, they’re kids. You're still the parent. You're still setting that tone and putting boundaries in your home, just not in a pushy way.

Also invest in things that bring them outside and together. This is kind of like the rule of thumb for us. We do spend money on our kids and for our kids to have things to play with, but it's things that bring them, like I said, outside or together.

This includes technology and toys. The Nintendo Switch is something that brings them all together. Brian and I went back and forth for a year about whether or not to get the kids the Nintendo Switch system. We had the old school Super Nintendo, and we really liked that, but it was starting to break and just get kind of glitchy and weird. We found that you could get all the old games on The Switch, and the new games, and my kids just really liked playing video games together. They rarely argue and bicker when they're playing video games. It's just something that brings them together. And Brian and I actually liked to play with them too on game night. So that was a positive thing.

We were just worried that it would be a burden to limit the time they spend on there, but we decided, you know what? No, we're the parents. We can enforce these time boundaries as it kind of feels good to us. The Switch is something that brings them all together, so we're going to get it for them.

My kids' birthdays are all pretty close together and so we got it as a family gift for one of the birthdays and it's been great. Totally brings them together. They play with it together. They love playing together. Actually, I don't think they ever play like one person at a time. They only play games you can play together or they take turns really well. It's just the way that they are. If they ever do bicker, we turn it off and it's put away for a day or two, maybe even longer. They know that and I think that helps.

And of course, this includes some toys. Toys that bring your kids outside – great! That's a good investment. Get them outside more.

Toys that your kids can play with together, that’s great too. Board games, laser tag, Lego's, “team toys.” These are the things that are a good investment. If you're going to get gifts, if you're going to spend money on your kids, these are the types of things that Brian and I have chosen to say like, “Yes, we're going to get these types of things.”

And I also think that realizing that boredom is actually really good for your kids is huge.

A lot of moms message me things like “I'm trying to just limit toys and we've gotten rid of so much and my kids are getting on board. This whole week is our first week and they've just been like, I'm bored. I'm bored.” That's good. I would encourage you, I will link to a few articles in the show notes for this episode, but I would encourage you to do your own research as well on the effects of boredom on kids and how good boredom is for kids. Science shows us that this is where kids develop imaginations and grow their imaginations and creativity. Let their minds wander and they realize things about themselves. They find themselves. They develop who they are.

So just realize that boredom is not a bad thing. It's actually really good for your kids. They’re going to learn more about themselves. They're going to develop more. They're going to know how to play. They're going to learn to entertain themselves, make up games and make up things to play. It'll force them outside to make new friends. It's really, really good.

So, I would say these are the top few main key points about raising minimalist kids. I really hope that this encourages you to make some positive changes in your family and answers a few of the questions. I know there's so much more we could get into and we'll have to do in later episodes, but these are sort of the keys that Brian and I have implemented in our home.

Realizing that what's normal to us will become our kids’ normal too. We don't make things the center of their world. Realizing that we don't have to go way against the grain and be super weird and legalistic about it. We can invest in toys, technology and things that get our kids playing outside more, get them playing together more. But also not too much because it's good for kids to have very little and to create their own entertainment. And boredom is good for your kids.

So, I hope that is a great starting point for those of you who are interested in creating a life of less for your family.


_______________________________________________________________

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 064: Teaching Kids Kindness with The Ruth Experience

Facebook_EP_064.png

We all desire for our kids to be kind. We want them to know what respect is and understand how to genuinely treat others with that respect. And that can be a tough thing to teach our kids, especially when we look at society today and see all the bullying and disrespect in the world. Fostering kindness starts in the home, between parents and among siblings. Once that kindness is established, kids will step outside of their little bubbles and respect others with a greater understanding of what it means. They can grow in kindness towards their friends, as well as those they have differences with. And it is such a beautiful thing to watch them grow in! It's like planting a seed and then it grows.

Kristin, Kendra, and Julie are the founders of The Ruth Experience,  which is all about living out authentic faith, fostering positive community, intentional living, and also living really generously. They teach women how to be kind to others and how they can teach their kids to be kind. It's not really about the acts of kindness or even what it's doing for the other person that you're affecting. It's that it's changing your mindset to get into the habit of just always having that “giving” state of mind that will become apart of your kids lives too!

 
 

In This Episode, Allie, Kristin, Kendra, and Julie Discuss:

  • The importance of teaching your kids the heart behind kindness, especially as they face others who may not be as kind.

  • How to teach your kids respectful boundaries between being kind and being a “doormat.”

  • Their approach to helping kids learn how to approach bullying with kindness.

  • Ways you can help foster kindness between all of your kids, as siblings.  

Mentioned in this Episode:

3_Weeks_to_Minimalism_For_Moms_Facebook_Ad.png

Hey friend! I'm so excited to tell you about my upcoming free online class: 3 Weeks To Minimalist Motherhood.

In this class, you are going to learn the secret to not living your life in a state of constant overwhelm. It's minimalism and it's going to have you cleaning, yelling, stressing, and nagging a whole lot less. I'm also going to show you how you can take a bite out of this secret process and start right away.

We're going to go over the three biggest time and energy sucking areas of your home and I'm going to show you how to get started in those areas – Now!

In 3 weeks, you will have a much more minimal motherhood and you'll be feeling a lot lighter.

I'm also going to give you an exclusive discount on my course, Your Uncluttered Home, and show you the next step after you get started so you can go all the way and change your home and your life for good.


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_.png

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.

 _______________________________________________________________

Welcome friends to another episode of The Purpose Show!

Today I am sitting down with Kristin, Kendra, and Julie of The Ruth Experience, and my conversation with them was really special. These women are just gems. We do video when I record guest episodes just because I think it builds a stronger connection between myself and my guests and their faces are just glowing. They're such sweet women.

They're so happy. Their joy and their generosity really just beams on their faces from within. Truly, they are just a few of the best women I've come to meet.

The Ruth Experience is about living out authentic faith, fostering positive community, intentional living, and also living really generously. They teach women how to be kind to others and how to help us teach our kids to be kind.

If you follow me on Instagram, and you've been there for a little while, you might remember a few months ago before I recorded this episode that I asked you guys what you wanted to know about teaching your kids kindness. You guys responded with a flood of helpful questions about fostering kindness between siblings, what to do about bullies at school, how to teach your kids to be kind to their friends despite differences. All kinds of great stuff. And I loved the questions so much, I was excited to hear the answers to them. So, this is my episode with The Ruth Experience. Sit down with a cup of coffee. This is going to be really good. You're really going to enjoy this.

ALLIE: Hey, beautiful mamas! Welcome to another episode of The Purpose Show!

I am sitting here with the women from The Ruth Experience. We have Kristin, Kendra and Julie. Hi ladies! Thank you, guys, for being here. I'm hoping we can make this work really well even though there's four of us. I know when I had the podcast with Kelsey and we would do like an interview with another twosome, it was always just a lot of people talking, but I think it's great because there's so many different minds here and so many experiences here. So, these interviews are always just so great and I am really thankful for you guys being here. I think it's going to be so good.

So why don't you guys tell the audience a little bit about who you are and what you're passionate about. You guys have a really specific mission, so let's hear a little bit about that.

GUESTS: This is Julie. The three of us have been doing life together for over a decade and so when you do that, you really grow together as a family. It was probably about five years ago that we were sitting around (it was November) and we were having coffee in a coffee shop, talking about the upcoming Christmas season and just sort of lamenting how commercial our Christmas seasons have become.

And that's when we really first started talking about kindness with our families, our children, and wanting to do the Christmas season differently than what we had done in the past. And so that's really what this came out of.

It began over Christmas and then we did that for a couple of years and then we just rolled it out into other areas of our lives. As we were intentional about it, it became part of our lives and part of our everyday day-to-day thinking. And then sort of poured over into our kids. And so that's how we just really, in a superficial nutshell, sit here today. It started because we just wanted something different for our kids when we were looking around at the Christmas season.

ALLIE: Yeah, I love that. And I also love that this really came from your desire for something better for your kids. And so that's our topic today. Just talking about how you can teach kids to be kind, what kindness looks like. I think also just teaching them to kind of step outside of themselves.

Like I was saying before we recorded, I polled my audience for what they would want to know about this topic from you guys and I think it's gonna be so good. It's all great.

But also aside from just how to deal with boundaries, and when someone else is not kind to you or being kind to somebody else. Also, just giving them a taste of something outside of their little bubble and being kind to others.

I love that about the holiday season. How can we focus on what it really is supposed to be about, giving to our community and being kind people. I just think there's so many different avenues of what you guys are doing.

But for today we're going to dive into teaching kids kindness, talking about sibling stuff. And I have lots of questions for you guys. So, let's dive in.

One thing I wanted to ask you guys about is, you know, I think bullying is sadly such a giant problem right now. You know, my kids are home now but we did a little stint of public school last year and I saw a little taste of just kids are so mean. The girl stuff is so young now. My daughter is in third grade and it was like fifth grade, sixth grade stuff when I was little. It's just sad.

I've got a really good friend of mine who's currently dealing with her son is being actively bullied at school, and it's just like these little “kindness pep rally” things at school and that's really it. There's nothing really being done about it. It's just sad.

Why do you think this is happening? Why do you think that kids are so mean today? Where is this coming from?

GUESTS: I'll speak to a little bit of it. So I have a fourth grader, a daughter, and it's been interesting raising a daughter in this day and age and helping her navigate some difficult social situations. I feel like some of it is coming from us as adults to be quite honest.

If you look at our TV shows, the reality TV shows that are on the TV, the sharp verbal retorts are what are celebrated. Being mean to one another is what is celebrated. And if that's what we're seeing - if we're not really, really careful, that just seeps into us. And then as women, and we don't even completely think about it, but we then start with a sharp verbal retort or snarkiness. You know, everybody talks about how wonderful it is to be snarky and they laugh about it. Even on social media, a lot of times the memes are very, very cutting. Our humor has become very cutting. The late night tv shows - that humor a lot of times is very cutting.

I’ve been convicted honestly about some of those late night TV comedy shows because it was such cutting humor and I realized that that was seeping into me in a way that I didn't like about myself. And I wonder if some of that isn't seeping into our kids too, because our society is celebrating that sharpness instead of humor that isn't funny at somebody else's expense.

ALLIE: Yeah, that makes sense. I just think no matter where it's coming from, if we're right or wrong about that, it is such an important time to teach our kids about kindness. There's so many things going on in schools, issues that kids are going through so much earlier than they ever have. Some things are just openly being talked about at school and even outside of school. I'm definitely not a mom who homeschools my kids out of sheltering or anything, it's just what works for our family, but you see it everywhere.

Neighbor friends will talk about things. If they're not going to go to school, they're going to hear about things from someone else.

Things are being talked about openly that have never been talked about openly before. I think it's all kind of masked in this like, “Well, we're all inclusive and everyone's free to be who they are.” Whether you see that as good or negative, it's really opening the door to these kids just being picked on for very personal things. It's a war out there and it's frightening.

So, I would love to know what are some of the best practices, in your opinions, for helping kids kind of understand the heart behind how they're treating other people? Maybe they're being kind, they are a kind kid, they're not really your problem, but other kids are not. Maybe a little one is happy to share, but their friend never shares and that's super cutting to them, really hurts them. How can you kind of express the heart behind kind of, “This is how the world works. Sometimes you're super nice and everyone else isn't.” I don't know if that even makes sense, but how do you communicate this to them, how things work, and communicate the importance of kindness?

GUESTS: That's a really good question. I think there are several things. We have kids of all different ages within our families and so a lot of times with younger children, you know, one of the things you had mentioned was even having appropriate boundaries. And so, we start talking with our kids really early on about having appropriate boundaries and also talking with them about how our response is not necessarily dependent on what somebody else says to us. That our heart doesn't change no matter how people react or what they say to us.

And so we talk a lot about having appropriate boundaries and what's healthy and what's not. That we don't have to allow in, you know, if someone's bullying you or being unkind or saying unkind things, we don't have to sit there and take that. But at the same time, we're not going to respond in the same manner and we can guard our heart a little bit where it doesn't change who we are just based on how somebody is responding or reacting to us. Our kids are starting to understand that.

And in fact, I was, telling these guys that my 16-year-old son just started a job at a local sandwich shop. He really has enjoyed it, but working in the service profession, he has gotten quite a taste of how people treat service workers, and he comes home sometimes really upset because people are not kind in the way that they talked to him. And we've had a lot of conversations about how to respond, even when people are, you know, sometimes downright nasty. I mean they're just, they're just not kind at all.

And so again, coming back to that idea that it doesn't have to change who we are, it doesn't change our heart regardless of how people react to us.

GUESTS: One thing I also talked my kiddos about is hurt people have a tendency to hurt people. And so, if they're struggling with somebody who's being unkind to them, we try to have a conversation about what might be happening in that other child's life, what circumstances they might be going through that either they know or don't know about. And then as Kendra said, you know, still having appropriate boundaries, but also understanding that sometimes it's a reaction to being hurt versus a personal attack.

I think if you keep it in that perspective, sometimes it takes a little bit of the personal attack out of it. It still allows you to handle it, but understanding it might not be quite so personally directed at you, intentionally or not.

Let's be honest, sometimes there are situations you have to get adults involved and you have to get teachers involved because it isn't okay. And it is very personal and it's very direct and we have to step in as parents at those points and do something more about it. But I'm just talking about kids being kids and being mean.

ALLIE: So on that note of boundaries, what does that maybe more practically look like? I feel like, (and I was kind of having this back and forth conversation with somebody on Instagram yesterday about her question), the fact that kids don't really have the same options, I guess for lack of a better word, as adults with setting boundaries. I mean as an adult you can kind of choose where you are and who you are around. I mean I guess if it's in the workplace or something it's kind of different. But kids go where the adults tell them they're going to go, at school they sit next to who they're going to sit next to - it is what it is. And they're kids so it's just different.

So, if somebody is repeatedly unkind to them and there is maybe a boundary that needs to be put in place for them, what are some of the things that you say? How do you tell your kids to actually physically handle the situation of putting down boundaries? What might that look like?

GUESTS: I mean, I think one of the things that we do on a really practical level is to sort of “role play” almost, and kind of problem solve with them and think about, “Okay, so if somebody says X, Y, Z to you, what could you say back? How could you respond back?” I think kids, like you said, they don't have a lot of options, they’re used to being told what to do. They're not always used to fixing their own problems, right?

And so, we want them to know that they do have a sense of agency in responding to people who are unkind or who are bullying. Like Julie said, if it rises to the level where adults need to get involved, that's fine. But otherwise we really try to have them figure out, or even like I said, role play and give them some specific words or phrases to use so that if the situation happens again, they know what they could possibly say, how they could deflect it, or a way to move beyond it.

_______________________________________________________________

Hey friend! I'm so excited to tell you about my upcoming free online class: 3 Weeks To Minimalist Motherhood.

In this class, you are going to learn the secret to not living your life in a state of constant overwhelm. It's minimalism and it's going to have you cleaning, yelling, stressing, and nagging a whole lot less. I'm also going to show you how you can take a bite out of this secret process and start right away.

We're going to go over the three biggest time and energy sucking areas of your home and I'm going to show you how to get started in those areas – Now!

In 3 weeks, you will have a much more minimal motherhood and you'll be feeling a lot lighter.

I'm also going to give you an exclusive discount on my course, Your Uncluttered Home, and show you the next step after you get started so you can go all the way and change your home and your life for good.

These online classes are always in serious demand and they don't come around too often, so I want you to snag a spot. Make sure you get one and sign up.

You can go to alliecasazza.com/freeclass. It's totally free!

_______________________________________________________________

ALLIE: Let's talk for a second about siblings. I got this message more than any other message yesterday. I'm so proud of them (my kids). They're super kind people. They're always noticing that, “Wow! That was really…I would never do that.” But then to each other is a totally different story. You know, sibling rivalry.

I could tell in some of the messages I was getting that these moms were really worried like, “Am I the only one?” No, that’s just how it goes sometimes. Maybe we could have an open conversation about fostering kindness between siblings because it is a totally different ballgame. And so often against the personalities and the behavior that you see in your kids outside of the home. I think we just get super comfortable and it's like a little war out there in our own homes between siblings.

So, what is your guys' take on that? How do you foster kindness between siblings? I want to leave the door open for you guys to talk about that topic.

GUESTS: One thing I was thinking about when it comes to siblings is again, like with people in general, having compassion and this idea of being able to put yourself in someone else's shoes. I talk about this a lot with my kids even in regards to their siblings is when they come to us and one of them has been unkind or they're yelling at each other is to have them stop and like, “Look at your sister's face right now. Look at what you said, what kind of emotion do you see there?”

And having them tell me what it is that they're seeing. You know, she's upset, she's hurt, she's crying. For them to pause for a moment and see the humanity, the humanness, because I think sometimes within a family, that's where we lose it a lot because we’re so close that we just forget that this is actually a person and that their feelings are hurt.

And then we talk a lot about how does it feel if you were in their shoes right now. We do this outside the home, but even within our homes, having our kids recognize what does it feel like to put yourself in their shoes. And again, noticing the emotion that's behind the person's hurt feelings because a lot of times when they come at each other with anger, anger is usually an emotion that's covering or hiding something else.

I'm a mom. I'm busy. It doesn't always happen perfectly, but if I can say, “Okay, let's pull the anger out of it. Anger is what we express, but what is the emotion that you see behind it?” And having our kids kind of have compassion for one another is really, really important.

GUESTS: I agree with what Kendra is saying. I would also say, and we've talked about this a lot, the three of us, it is sometimes far easier to be kind to a complete stranger than it is to be kind to your loved ones because we feel that that's our safe zone. And so, they get to see our ugly that we would hide from anybody else. That goes as much for our children as it does for spouses and for people that are living under the same roof.

And so just acknowledging, I think that first, that we're feeling like we're in our safe spot and that's where we're going to let all of our ugly hang out, especially as kids, because they maybe don't know how else to express emotions or express big feelings and it tends to come out in ugly ways.

One of the things that my husband and I do is once the anger is dissipated - we have to first deal with that - but then we bring people back around for a conversation. We try to model what a healthy relationship looks like for our kids.

So that means we say things like, “Do you see your dad and I screaming ugly names at one another when we're having a disagreement? Do you see your dad and I shoving one another when we're having a disagreement?” And so, we have these very intentional conversations about healthy conflict with our kids. Now, again, once the dust has settled, right, and all of the emotion’s out of it.

We then pull back around and we do have very intentional conversations about what it means to be in healthy conflict with one another. This is not perfect. This is not like a “one and done.” We have these conversations over and over again. But we want our kids to know how to engage with one another and with other loved ones in their future lives in ways that doesn't tear people apart.

And so, we're not there yet, but that's our hope at least is that we're teaching them some healthy conflict habits. Your sibling is going to be like the person you practice on, but some day you're going to be maybe married and have kids of your own.

GUESTS: This is really minor, but one of the practical things that we do in our house is we have this thing called a “bicker bucket.” So, if my kids are bickering, I'll pull out the bucket, right? And they pull out the slips of paper. Sometimes it's chores, but it's usually things like write a poem about your sister and how much you love her or write your 10 favorite things about your sister.

ALLIE: That is such an amazing idea. I'm writing it down.

GUESTS: You know what is funny though? My 8-year-old tolerates it. My 6-year-old loves it and she will actually ask for more slips of paper. So you know it doesn't always work, but sometimes it’s enough to just pull them out of the moment, out of whatever they're bickering about and refocus them on, “Okay, I do love my sister and these are the 10 things that I love about her.”

ALLIE: Yeah. That's sweet. And I think too what you said, Julie, about that they are like that because this is their safe zone and we're like that too. And like I was saying, I noticed in a lot of the messages that I got about this episode that these women were kind of stressed that this was happening in their home and I was thinking “well that happens here, I just don’t really think about it,” but I also grew up in a big family so I understand that it just gets crazy.

But I think it's comforting to us as moms that, well look at yourself. We all do that. You can be nagging at your husband and bickering really bad and then the pizza guy knocks on the door and you're like, “Hi!” and way nicer to a stranger than your own husband. It's just human nature.

So, I think it kind of alleviates a little bit and helps me feel like, “Well this is totally normal and it's okay,” but that doesn't mean that we're just like, “Oh, whatever.” You can be intentional to foster some changes and act that out yourself. I love that.

Okay. So, what are your feelings about forcing apologies between, I think this could be siblings or friend to friend with your kids? I have thought about this for so many years and never really known what to do. It feels almost like an adult's obligation to be like, “You need to say sorry for, you know, accidentally bumping your friend’s head with this toy guitar,” or whatever's happening because it's a little awkward. What else do I say here? “Say you’re sorry.”

And then between siblings, I find myself doing that too. And I got a lot of messages about this too. So, what is your take on that disingenuous/forced apologies situation between young kids?

GUESTS: You know, I do make my kids do that, but I make them do it in a specific way. They have to not just say “I'm sorry,” because my kids will try to mumble and get through it as quick as they can. And it's not really a true apology.

I make them say the person's name and I make them say what they're apologizing for. I think maybe they're still not truly apologetic, but at least there's a part of them that's recognizing that something occurred here that requires an apology. But my kids are pretty little still, so I don't know if you would require the same or not.

GUESTS: You know, I do. I've got a 10-year-old and an 8-year-old and especially when they were younger, I required apologies. Part of it is it's a habit. You form a habit of apologizing when you have done something that requires an apology. So, it's even just like learning that this is the kind of behavior that we exhibit. These are good manners.

One thing I have started doing, in our house our bedrooms are off of a circular landing and so my children’s doors are next to each other but also slightly tilted towards each other. And so, this last summer when we were home and they would just have too much of each other. I sent them each to their room and told them that they could not come out until they had worked it out themselves and apologized.

And so, they sat in their doorways and surprised and shocked me as a mom because I eavesdropped a little bit and they sincerely apologized and then actually talked out their differences. So, “Well John, when you did this, it made me feel” and I was like, “Oh, be still my heart!”

So, I think there is something to be said for forcing apology at least at some point so that they learn what that looks like and then continue to model it. But I don't know about older kids. I think that’s hard.

GUESTS: I think the modeling is probably one of the most important parts. I think one of the things that we're all quick to do is I'll apologize to my kids if I've messed up. And I think as adults we really have to take the lead on that. If we expect our kids to have honest and sincere apologies, then they better hear us apologize when we mess up.

And as Julie said, they better here it, you know, if you're married between you and your spouse, or genuinely apologizing to our kids because I mess up too. And so a lot of times, especially with my teenagers, I feel like that's really, really valid. That when they see that I am reciprocating, that mom doesn't expect me to be perfect or to do these things, that she's willing to meet me as well, it makes our relationship much more level and much more honest.

ALLIE: Yeah, I love that. Okay, so you have authored together several books, right? The most recent one, you so kindly, kindly sent to all the ladies on my team and I have mine. It's the One Year Daily Acts of Kindness Devotional. So, tell us about that. Why did you guys write that? What was the inspiration there and what is your hope for all the women who get their hands on that?

GUESTS: So that book really came out of that coffee conversation I briefly mentioned. It really was birthed out of that conversation over a number of years. We did Advent Acts of Kindness for a couple of years and then Kristin came to us and said, “Hey, what if we did this all year long?” And we were like, “ Uh…sure!”

And so, we set out to do kindness for a year and kind of rotated between families and tried lots of different things. We failed and we were successful, but found that it really changed our hearts as adults, as women. And then also started to change our family's perspective in some significant ways. And so that book was birthed out of that. We never set out to write a 365-day devotional on kindness.

So that's where we came with it, but quite honestly the hope we get out of it, or we hope that others get out of it, is that your lives are changed. We find kindness to be, when we're intentional about it, empowering. So often in our culture and our society, we see things happening and our kids come home and they see things happening and feeling scared and hopeless about it. Like the hurricanes that hit Texas and Florida last year, one of the things that we did as a family is we came together with our kids and said, “Okay, what would you like to do to respond to this? How could we help out?”

Kendra was put in touch with a teacher down in Texas. Her classroom had been destroyed and she needed pencils and paper and just some basic resources. And so, we sent her gift cards. I'm going to cry, but our kids were a vital part of that. So, empowering our children so that when something bad is happening in the world, they are doers of good and they can do something affirmative instead of just sitting and feeling like things happen to them. I think that's been one of the biggest takeaways for us.

ALLIE: Yeah, I love that. It's super powerful and you know, I think that this whole topic is an area of life, but especially of raising kids that is so key and it's one of those things that just kind of slips under the radar. You don't think about it very often in and how sad is that when it's so important and so formative for the people that they ended up being. It's just so hard. Motherhood is hard and it's a lot of different pieces and things. It feels like so much to remember.

So what I love about the 365-day devotional, even just from flipping through it a little bit – Amazing! Totally applicable for our families, for your own self as an adult woman or for kids or for your entire family, and just full of these little things. You don't realize how simplistic being kind can be and just doing these tiny little acts.

It's not really about the acts or even what it's doing for the other person that you're affecting. It's that it's changing your mindset to kind of get into the habit of just always having that giving state of mind on the back burner. Then it becomes more at the front of your mind and you find yourself doing things more and more, and using things as teaching opportunities for your kids because you've been acting kind and putting that in your brain a little. It's like planting a seed and then it grows.

I love what you guys are doing. I think you're just amazing.

Where can our audience connect with you further and find more of what you're doing and the three of you together too, if they want to, after this episode?

GUESTS: They can find us directly at theruthexperience.com and we've got tabs for books. These two ladies are speakers and all kinds of different things. We blog on there regularly.

You can also find us on Facebook as The Ruth Experience, as well as Instagram.

We're always posting different resources for different times of year. So, it's not just that we focus on one specific time of year, but right now if you go to our website, on the sidebar, you can sign up to get some of our resources. And right now we've got resources for Free Acts of Kindness that you can do, How To Be Kind When You’re Tired, which I think is for moms especially. We have a lot of great resources like that.

So, find us on social media and we update there a lot.

ALLIE: Yeah. And I'll link to all that for you guys in the show notes so they can easily find you.

Well, thank you so much ladies. This was so, so wonderful. I'm really glad we had you on and thank you for all your wisdom and your encouragement. Everything that you said was great. Easily applicable and very grace-laced. That's helpful when you're a busy mom. Thank you, guys, so much for being here!


_______________________________________________________________

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 063: Life Hacks for Moms of Littles

Facebook_EP_063.png

Motherhood is chaotic, no matter which way you slice it. We could all use a helping hand from someone a few steps ahead of us. I’ve been a mom for nine years now. I had all four of my kids within five years and I rocked the stay-at-home mom thing for about seven years before I started my business from home and added that to the mix. If you are a mama who is “in the thick of it,” I have come up with these little tips and tricks that might make day-to-day life easier for you.

Wherever you are, whatever you're doing, whatever your circumstances are, just know that I'm here to lighten your load, give you a breath of fresh air and without actually being there, give you a hug, a little squeeze and say that we're all in this together. I hope that this episode does just that - lightens your load and makes you feel a little more hopeful and inspires you.

 
 

In This Episode, Allie Discusses:

  • How keeping the big picture as the focus will relieve you from sweating the small stuff.

  • Tips for running errands with little ones.

  • Ways to include your kids in housework and habits you can form to lighten your load when it comes to chores around your house.

  • The value of finding value in the things you accomplish everyday so you don’t feel defeated by not accomplishing it all.

  • Practical ways to prepare the night before so you can make the next day easier on you and your kids.

Mentioned in this Episode:

Unburdened_FB_3.png

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

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


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_.png

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, beautiful friends! Thank you so much for listening to my show today!

Wherever you are, whatever you're doing, whatever your circumstances are today, just know that before I hit record, I said a little prayer for you specifically. I'm here to lighten your load, give you a breath of fresh air and without actually being there, give you a hug, a little squeeze and say that we're all in this together. I hope that this episode does just that - lightens your load and makes you feel a little more hopeful and inspires you.

So, I'm really excited! I know I say that every time but I am really excited to do this episode. I actually took this content from something that I wrote years ago and I sent it out in an email, actually in a two-part email series to my email list, which if you're not on my email list, go to show notes and sign up for it.

I really treat my list well. There's extra special content that I send to those who are on my email list that is not sent to anyone else a lot of the time. It's really a great place to be if you want more encouragement, tips and tricks from me and stuff like that, to be the first to know whenever something new is going on.

So anyway, this is life hacks for moms of littles. I'm talking about if you have kids under 5, especially if you have multiple kids. Maybe you had your kids close together like I did and you're in the thick of that, little baby/toddler/pregnancy season.

I've been a mom (at the time of this recording) for nine years now. I had all four of my kids within five years and I rocked the stay-at-home mom thing for about seven years before I started my business from home and added that to the mix.

It's weird to give advice like I know what I'm doing. But recently I was talking with a mom friend who had just had her second baby earlier this year and she was describing the chaos, figuring things out that I had learned a long time ago. And as she was talking, it got me thinking that, like in Titus  in the Bible, that we moms that are a few steps ahead of other moms, we should lend a hand and help, especially in the season that you're in if you're in that little kid season.

Granted my kids are still really young. Bella's nine, but Emmett’s only three and as you guys probably know we are adopting, so I'll be out and in that season for a while in my life still. But as soon as your kids get a little older, things get busier in a different way and more difficult in a different way, but they're not chaotic in that same way as when you're in the thick of having little ones.

So, we moms who are a few steps ahead, we need to help out and lend a hand. And it doesn't make me a know it all or conceited or “holier than thou” that I'm offering this advice. I just want to lend a hand, lift you up and let you know I've been there. I've picked up a few tips and tricks that helped me in my journey and maybe they can help you too.

A lot of these things are super basic and obvious. If you're not in that season, if you maybe have one little one and you haven't had a second yet, maybe your season is just a little bit lighter or different than mine was, or maybe you just have it more together than I do and this is all really idiotic and of course you would do this and who would not do it that way - that's fine.

But I know that motherhood is chaotic, no matter which way you slice it. We could all use a helping hand from someone a few steps ahead of us. I know that there's somebody out there who is “in the thick of it” and so in the thick of it that she can't even hear her own self think and isn't thinking clearly. So, you come up with these little tips and tricks that might make the day-to-day life for her easier.

So, if you're a mom with little ones, here are a few things I figured out in the throes of tiny human-hood.

Let's first talk about running errands. I'd say that this is probably one of the biggest frustrations, it was one of the biggest frustrations for me and daily mom life. It still is pretty chaotic, but when the kids were super small, or I also had really small toddlers and a baby, just timing things with nap times, snack times, mealtimes, having to wear the baby while I had one toddler in the cart and the others next to me trying to run around, it was crazy. One kid is whining while another one has to go poop, the other is pooping in his diaper, there's another one crying for a snack and yet another is lost somewhere in the store because they think it's hilarious to hide in the clothes. And it's like Seinfeld status, “Serenity Now!” It's a lot.

So, here are some of my tips for running errands with lots of little kids. Bring lollipops or something long-lasting that you're okay with your kids having. For me it was lollipops. I didn't care how health conscious I was. It all went out the window during errands. When you have to get everything on your Target or Costco list and you've got a herd of tiny cave people to bring along with you, lollipops are Godsends. They last a long time. We always had a rule - don't bite them. My kids were not allowed to bite them. First of all, that's terrible for their teeth. Even more terrible than sucking on sugar. And second of all, I want them to last. So, I was like, “Okay guys, I'll give you a lollipop while we go in here and everyone has to stay where they're supposed to stay and you just can't bite it.”

And it just kept them busy. Afterwards maybe they had a little bit of a sugar rush, but I was done with my errands. So, who cares?

My next tip is be a crazy person about who stands where when you're running errands. I'm talking about when you're running errands with a cart. So, for me, Bella always walked right by my side and held onto the side of the cart. Leland walked on the left side and also held onto the cart and that was a rule. You have to hold onto the cart, one hand on the cart at all times and if my kids ever let go, I would be like, “Oh! Hold onto the cart!” Hudson would sit in the seat part of the cart and Emmett would be in the Ergo on me. I'd be wearing him.

And the rule was nobody moves from their assigned locations. You've got your lollipop. That's your treat. That's your reward for following the rules. Let's follow the rules then. And it just had to be that way or I wouldn't have gotten a thing done.

And the kids knew if they moved from where they're supposed to be, they would lose their sucker. Don't mess with the shopping cart locations, people. Right? That was my mantra.

Next tip is go fast, girl. I organized my shopping list before I left and that way I got my list in order of the store's layout. Once you get familiar with the stores where you live, you kind of know, “Okay, I know at my Target when I walk in the clothing and all of the non-essential stuff, like non-food stuff is to the left. If I need Q-tips and all that, that's straight ahead.” I would organize the list in order so that I wasn't grabbing bananas, then grabbing Q-tips, going all the way over to the clothing section getting some socks for the kids and then realizing that I still needed to go back and get cotton balls, which was right by the Q-tips where I already was. You just don't have space for that. When you got a bunch of littles you've got to get going. So, organize the list by my store's layout, at least close to it, by sections.

Even if you don't know the store’s layout, you could make your list like, okay, all toiletry items here, all personal clothing items, if you need socks or panties or whatever. If your kid needs to potty train, you need to get him underwear. All that kind of stuff goes in one section. Any food type items go in the other section. Organize it by layout and it makes it a breeze to just move down the aisle, grabbing what you need in each section and then reaching checkout before for the lollipops are gone. That's the goal.

It didn't always work out that way, but when I planned ahead and I was organized, it usually did.

Next tip for running errands is to go first thing in the morning. This is the time of day that you are not at your best self typically, but your kids are, and that's what really matters. For me it was 4:1 and it mattered more where they were at than where I was at.

So, I would grab an extra large cup of coffee and a water bottle and we would head out as early as I could get everyone dressed, fed and out of the house. I would end up running my errands when the stores opened, like in between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m. The stores were quieter, less people and the kids were in great moods. They were excited to get out of the house.

This also kind of forced me (this is like a bonus perk) into getting myself dressed, and getting everyone dressed early and starting my day instead of lingering. Not really putting a bra on, having a third cup of coffee, just kind of lying low, maybe folding some laundry. It got me to go, go, go. It's time to run errands. And that was always a perk for me. Then I had energy and momentum and I'd have a really productive day.

My next tip for running errands with little ones is to save technology for the checkout line. My kids always would start to get antsy at the end of a shopping trip and I found that when I hold off on letting them watch videos on my phone until we're actually in the checkout line, it's a lot easier because unloading your cart full of stuff while you're wearing a baby is already hard enough. But knowing that the other three kids are happily crowded together at the front of the cart watching funny cat videos would allow me to quickly unload, check out and do what I needed to do quickly without much interruption.

Maybe I'd have to play referee a little bit and they'd start to bicker over “I can’t see the screen,” and I'd have to be like, “Hey guys, tilt the screen.” But that's a lot easier than like, “Oh my gosh, get over here!” Especially if this shopping trip was a little bit longer than normal, and the sugar had set in earlier that I wanted from their little lollipop treat. This helped a lot.

My last tip for running errands with little ones is park near the cart corral. I still do this, but when my kids were really little, it was super important. Leland would like hyper-focus and just walk right into an oncoming van. No problem. Hudson wanders. I need to be able to get everyone straight out of their car seats and into the cart and that really helped me. That's a really basic one. That was like a game changer.

Okay. Next series of tips for moms of littles: housework. First of all, clear the dishes, wipe the table and sweep underneath it after every single meal, no exceptions, just do it.

If the baby's fussing, just let him sit for a second and quickly get these things done. Make happy noises, pick him up, put him in a sling and just get it done. No matter what. If you just have a few anchor things like this where no matter what's going on, you clear the dishes (that means get them off the table or counter, rinse them, put them in the dishwasher) wipe the table down and sweep underneath it after every single meal and snack without exception, that's amazing.

Your baby might have to fuss for just a second, you might have to do it with one hand, or maybe you have a slightly older kid (4 or 5-year-old) that can make happy faces at the baby while you get it done. But if you have a couple of things that are non-negotiables, clear the dishes, wipe the table, sweep underneath it after every single meal and snack, no exceptions, this is going to keep the basic area of your house clean.

It's an area we use a lot where you're constantly making meals and constantly sitting down for a snack. You need that area to be clean and it's going to “domino effect” the way you handle the rest of your house. So that was something that I learned and it really helped me.

Next tip under housework is teach your kids to pick up after everything that they do. After a little while you might want to throw yourself in front of a bus because you've been repeating yourself so many times a day, but it'll be a habit for them and a lot less work for you. And unless you do throw yourself in front of a bus, it's a win, win. So, every single thing.

I still have to remind my kids sometimes but typically that's why the house is pretty much picked up all the time. It's pretty rare (I don’t know if you’ve ever had this happen), but I'll occasionally see my kids playing with something and then literally just set it down on the ground and walk away. And it's like, are you kidding me right now? But usually that's not what happens. 85% of the time my kids pick up after they do something because it’s just a habit. I instilled it in them at a young age so much that it's just how we live.

Kids are going to be kids and it's not going to be perfect. But teach your kids to pick up after everything they do. Be incredibly consistent about it. You don't have to yell. You don’t have to get upset, but it's hard not to when you're repeating yourself so much. But if you just say like, “Hey, what do we do after we play with Legos? What do we do after we make a puzzle?” Just encourage them to pick up. You might have to help them if your kids are really little, but however little they are, if they're little enough to play with something, they're little enough to pick it up and put it where it goes. So, teach your kids to pick up after everything they do. It's going to become a habit and that's going to help you so much as time goes on.

_______________________________________________________________

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Check it out.  bit.ly/getunburdened

_______________________________________________________________

Next tip under housework. Start the day on a productive note, and it'll keep you going that way. So, like what I was saying about the days where I would get up and just get everyone dressed and go right out and run errands. Even if it wasn't an errands day, I would try to find a way to mimic that effect when I was at home.

Maybe right when you wake up, make your bed, start a load of laundry, feed the baby and have your coffee. I promise that you'll feel like you've got it all together. It really does only take a few extra minutes and it's not a big deal. Even if you're breastfeeding and you wake up and you pull your baby into bed with you and nurse and doze a little bit, and that's really the start of your day. That's okay. I just mean when you're getting up, start on a productive note. Go put the dryer on fluff mode and make your bed.

If you just make your bed, there's so many benefits to starting the day making your bed. Even if you have a kid who naps in your bed in the middle of the day and you're like this is going to get messed up in a few hours. It's not about having things be clean, it's about you gaining some productive momentum for your day.

So, when I learned that running errands first thing in the morning was giving me this energetic momentum and I was really productive on those days instead of lingering and hanging out at home, I wanted to find a way to mimic that when I didn't have errands to run and this is what made that happen. Getting up, making my bed or doing something like that. It just gives you that positive, productive momentum that you need for the rest of your day. Start your day by accomplishing something, even if it's small. It makes all the difference.

Okay, next tip. It takes 27 days to form a habit. So be intentional and form a good one. Choose one thing that you wish you had a habit of doing every day. You might have to spend a little time thinking about this. Maybe it's like we said, making your bed in the morning or running the dishwasher every night. Whatever you choose, make it something that's going to make your life a little bit easier. Write yourself a reminder or set an alarm on your phone. Make sure that your attention at one point every single day is on this task. Do it for 27 days and it will become a habit. A habit is something that you do by nature that you don't really have to think about.

So, let's have some examples. Let's say you decide that every single night you're going to run your dishwasher because it will make you load all the dishes and go to bed with a clean kitchen and in the morning that could be your productive task. So, let's say you decide every single night I'm going to clean the kitchen and run the dishwasher. Every single morning I'm going to make my bed, and then unload the dishwasher while I feed the kids breakfast. That's a great habit. That's actually like a series of habits. Awesome.

So, what you're going to do is find a way that you're going to see a reminder. Is it going to be an alarm that goes off on your phone? Is it going to be a note on your bathroom mirror? Is it going to be all the above? What is it going to be that’s going to remind yourself? Set that intention and make it happen every day for about a month and it will become a habit.

What a gift to yourself to pick somebody that's going to lighten your load and help your life be a little bit easier and you're intentionally making it a habit. This is kind of a life hack, but not really. It’s just simple to make new habits and change your life. It really doesn't have to be more complicated than that.

Okay, so the next tip is keep the kitchen sink clean and the house will feel clean. I got this idea from The Fly Lady back in the day when I was in the thick of having babies. When I keep the sink free of dishes and food, I normally end up treating the rest of the house the same way at least as much as I can with kids. You know with kids, it's naturally going to be a little messy, but clean as you go.

Keep your sink clear. Don't let the dishes pile up there and you will feel great about your house and be ready for company to come over. And that's a really good feeling too, especially when things are so busy with little kids.

Okay. So, let's go into the next part of this, which is tips on feeling good about what it is you're doing.

This is mainly directed at stay-at-home moms, but really any moms. I found there was a season of my life when my kids were really young where I felt unproductive and like I didn't matter. And I think that's common with moms, which is crazy because it matters so much. If you feel defeated all the time you're going to lose your drive to do what you need to do. And if you're like me, you might even start to struggle with depression a little bit.

So, I found that when I feel good about what I do every day, when I'm reminded of my purpose and I feel accomplished more days than not, then I do motherhood really well. How I feel affects everything. So, here's some tips on feeling good about what you do when you're in the thick of having little kids, as a mom.

Number one, make a list of only five things that need to get done each day. What this does is it keeps you from setting unrealistic expectations for your day and for yourself, and it keeps you focused on what really needs to get done rather than what would be nice to have done. So, your goal should be to tackle important tasks and feel accomplished at the end of the day, not make a giant to do list and feel defeated when bedtime rolls around, you've only crossed off one thing.

Having a longer list doesn't mean you'll get more done. It just means that's how much you'll feel that you failed, even if you actually did get stuff done that day.

My next tip is hit restart anytime of the day that you need to. Sometimes you just have a totally crap day and no matter what you do or how prepared you were the night before, things just don't go as planned. Your house is a mess and you feel like you haven't sat down all day. It just happens sometimes. You feel like you got dragged nine blocks by a semi and it's only 9:00 AM. We've all been there.

And so, when this happens to me, it's so helpful to pause, to mentally hit the reset button and give myself a fresh start to the day. It's kind of like that fresh day syndrome, like when you go to sleep and then we wake up, it's like fresh day syndrome. It's a fresh day so this day can be different than yesterday. We don't have to wait for the sun to set and rise again to get that.

Maybe it's your big cleaning day and you needed to tackle your chore list, but your baby woke up with a fever. Maybe you were going to work on a project after the kids went to bed, but your husband came home after a horrible day and really needs to sit and connect with you. Reevaluate. Move your priorities around. Hit a mental restart button. I've done this in the morning, in the afternoon, even at night. Sometimes you just need the day to start over right now. So, go ahead. You decide that. It's a mentality issue. Not a sunrise/sunset issue.

My next tip is get the kids dressed from head to toe. So, most days I get myself at least somewhat put together, but more so now than when my kids were little. Back then, my idea of being put together was a little bit of makeup, maybe some concealer and mascara just to make myself feel a little brightened up, a sports bra and workout clothes. And that was me getting put together. I feel good when I'm dressed. You feel icky when you're sweaty and braless all day.

But when I get my kids totally dressed it helps me feel really, really on it. So, after breakfast, which is usually around like 7:30 or 8:00 in our house, I'll have the older kids dress themselves and I'll get the younger two changed out of their pajamas. Then I have everyone brush their teeth and I do everyone's hair. When they're put together, I feel put together. It might just be me. But see if this helps you.

But it was a really simple thing that helped me out a ton. Even now, if we have a Pajama Day or something, it's fine. We're living life here. It's not supposed to be perfect all the time. But I do just feel like, I don't know, it just affects the rest of the day. It carries over into everything else and it almost makes me feel a little disoriented and lazy.

But if the kids are dressed from head to toe right after breakfast, it feels like I accomplished something. Again, seeing a pattern here? I feel put together. It's just a really simple thing that helped me a lot.

Okay. Another thing I want to tell you is smile at the stares. I used to think that I was a little paranoid, but now I know that people are actually very rude sometimes. They would stare, mouths gaping, at how many kids I have and how close they were in age. They would ask my age. What? Ask if I was their babysitter. Ask if they were all mine. They make rude comments on my lifestyle choices. I've had people make comments about “Well I guess it's fine to have a lot of kids if the government's paying for your food.” And I have never been on food stamps. I wasn't doing that. I was just trying to pick out some lemons.

People assume things, they're very rude. They're obsessed with what's going on with me while I walked through Target. And I really don't get it. But it's rude regardless, people say the rudest things. I've learned that just smiling back at the stares and having a kind response just puts an end to it. It usually lets them know that I really don't care, I'm good, I've got this and it's kind of like killing them with kindness.

Just smile if you've got a lot of kids in a row. I totally get it. There's so many fun benefits to having your family planned that way. People just think it's weird. They don't get it. And so just smile. Just smile. It's okay.

My next tip is let the little things go. This is a weakness of mine that I try to keep the big picture at the front of my mind. In the end, will it really matter that Hudson brought his juice in the living room and spilled it on the rug even though he knows the rule is keep it in the kitchen? I don't have to yell and freak out. I can administer consequences and be a parent, but I don't have to lose it. I can let the little things go. When all is said and done will it really matter that someone had a stomach flu explosion all over the new couch? Everything is fixable and none of that stuff really matters in the end. So, I try to take a deep breath and let it go and keep my perspective.

My last tip under this category of feeling good about what you do is schedule yourself some breathers. If I know that I'm going to get the little ones down for naps at the same time and I have Netflix ready at the same time for the older kids, then I can get lost in a novel for an hour in the middle of the day. That's pretty amazing. I'm going to feel so much better than if I caught up on chores, did cleaning and stuff during that time.

If I know that at the end of the week I've got date night or some me time scheduled out, then I really am more on top of things that week. I'm excited. I have something to look forward to. A light at the end of the tunnel.

Taking care of yourself is so important and it's got to be a non-negotiable for you. I always say that you can't give to your family if your well is empty and this is so true. 

Okay. Last section that we're going to talk about in this episode for Life Hacks for Moms of Littles is what about if you have somewhere to be in the morning, in the sense of having a lot of people to get ready? I don't know why, but most events for moms are so early in the morning.

Most moms’ groups start at 9:00 a.m. Are you serious? Like, why? It's so hard and it was so hard. Not really now because the kids can do a lot themselves, but it was so hard to get myself fully ready and four tiny children fed, dressed and presentable, and out of the door by 8:40, especially when they were small, but sometimes that's what I would have to do when I had somewhere that I needed to be.

There were a few things that helped me get out of the house without screaming at them or canceling the event altogether. That's a win in my book and I'm going to go over them with you. So, tips for when you have somewhere to be in the morning and you've got little kids.

First of all, pack everything the night before. It's annoying. It's going to require some planning and effort at the end of a long day. But just do it. It's so worth it. When I would pack for the next morning, the night before, I never regretted it. I would get diapers and pull-ups (or spare undies depending on what was going on with my kids' ages), baby wipes, peanut butter & jellies made (if I know we're going to be out during lunchtime), snacks, sippy cups filled, apples sliced, shoes by the door, and supplies like the park blanket, lawn chairs, whatever, in the car. This would shave like 45 minutes off of a chaotic morning because everything, for some reason, takes longer in the morning. I think it's because you've got so much else to do.

So, if you just take all the stuff. I would ask myself, “What can I do tonight that doesn't have to wait till tomorrow morning? Laying out everybody's outfits. Laying out my own outfit. Showering so I'm not doing that in the morning. Everything I could get done the night before, I would just summon the extra energy as hard as it was and get it done the night before so that in the morning it was less chaotic.

That leads me to my next point, which is I lay out everyone's outfits, including mine the night before. It’s another morning saver. There've been so many mornings when I'm rushing around looking for something to wear that ends up being dirty, or I wasn't able to find someone's other shoe. I save my time and my sanity and yelling. I spare my kids from mean mommy coming out when I have everything prepared the night before.

Next tip for this is pack some snacks for you. I used to always forget about myself. I’d have plenty of snacks for the kids and then 11:00 AM would roll around and I'd be leading Bible study or mom's group and need to stop to run an errand before we headed home, and I would be famished and not feeling well because I didn't frigging eat. So that's a huge one. Pack some snacks for yourself.

Don't forget to bring a giant bottle of water. Take care of yourself. It's so funny how we have to be reminded that, but I know someone listening to this is like, “Oh my gosh, me too!”

So, I know this stuff might be super obvious to some of you, but I also know that when I was overwhelmed with three kids under 3 and then I threw in another one and four kids under 5, I wasn't thinking too clearly. I wish I would've come across an episode like this. So, I hope this helps someone out.


_______________________________________________________________

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 058: You Can Stay Home With Your Kids with Erin Odom

Facebook_EP_058.png

Do you desire to stay at home with your kids? I think we all do, at some point. But often, we are held back by this fear of finances. I want to encourage you that just because you stay home with your kids doesn’t mean you have to lack financially. There are plenty of ways you can stay at home with your kids while making an income. You can do it! Ask yourself, what am I good at? You are good at something. It may not be writing or podcasting, but it may be art or sewing or taking care of animals. Whatever you are good at, you can learn how to create more income with that!

Erin Odom is a stay at home, working mom to 4 who is passionate about helping other moms stay home with their kids and there is a lot that goes into that. From budgeting tips, bringing in some extra side income, turning a blog into a money maker, and more. She has so much to share with us in this episode!

 
 

In This Episode, Allie + Erin Discuss:

  • The importance of focusing on happiness, not finances when transitioning to working from home with your kids.

  • The top 3 things that you can do to take control of you life and finances so you can stay home with your kids.

  • What getting intentional with your finances looks like and how you can be purposeful in this area of your life.

  • Practical ways that you can start making money from home and some tips to help you get started.

Mentioned in this Episode:

Starter_Kit_Mock.png

Have you been feeling really overwhelmed, not knowing where to start? Maybe you've been listening to the show for a while and you always hear me talk about simplifying your home. Letting things go that you don't really need. Simplifying your lifestyle. And you haven't really done much or you tried to start, but life got in the way and it just didn't go well. Whatever the reason may be that you're feeling a little cluttered, a little overwhelmed, that there's just always too much. 

I have put together a FREE guide to build some serious momentum for you to help launch you forward into success in your minimalist journey. And remember, minimalism does not have to be this stereotype thing where you basically own nothing. You count how many jeans you have. You don't get to shop. It's not this joy-sucking horror show. It's life giving. It's joyful. It's about having what you love and what you really need. Creating space for you to live a full, abundant, intentional life focused on your family. That's what really matters, right?


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_.png

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.

_______________________________________________________________

ALLIE: Hi, sweet friends! Welcome to this episode!

I am really looking forward to introducing you to Erin Odom. You might already know her as The Humbled Homemaker, and if you don't then I feel really honored to be the one who introduced you to her. Erin is really special. She's actually one of the only bloggers that I've followed for a really long time, maybe even before I started my blog (or at least around the same time.)

I've always admired her and followed her stuff. She has a lot to say about lots of different things that have to do with being a homemaker and raising kids. Similar to how I used to blog about a lot of things and I still kind of do, but I really have honed in on minimalism and simplifying your space so that you can have more time and all that. Erin has really zeroed in on helping other moms stay home with their kids and there is a lot that goes into that. Budgeting tips. Bringing in some extra side income. Turning a blog into a money maker. Different things like that. That's really where her passion lies and that's what we're talking about today. So, without further ado, let's welcome Erin.

ALLIE: Hey ladies! Welcome back to another episode of The Purpose Show! I am very, very honored and excited to introduce today's guest to you. I have Erin Odom here with me. She is The Humbled Homemaker online. Thank you so much for taking time out of your schedule to be with us, Erin.

ERIN: Thank you so much for having me, Allie. I'm happy to be here.

ALLIE: I'm so excited to have you. I was just saying to Erin guys before we hit record, that she is one of the earlier bloggers that I followed. I looked up to you and always followed along on your journey and what you were sharing in your blog for years now. So, I'm really excited to have you here. This is great.

Okay, so Erin is the author of three books?

ERIN: I have two books with a publisher and then I have several ebooks too.

ALLIE: Okay.

ERIN:  My two that came out this year with a publisher are with Zondervan: More Than Just Making It and then the one I think you're going to talk about a little bit today, You Can Stay Home With Your Kids.

ALLIE: Yes. Okay, so I have the book here and it is just the cutest little square book. It has the cutest cover. It is called You Can Stay Home With Your Kids and it is 100 tips, tricks and ways to make it work on a budget.

And like I was saying to you, Erin, before we recorded, in episode six of this show (those of you who have listened) I shared me and Brian’s story of just barely making it. Really struggling. Food bank. Really just America's version of poverty I guess. Evictions. Repossessions. I mean really bad. And the overwhelming response was, “How can I get to the other side like you guys did? I would love to know more about what I can do.”

And it goes beyond just having a blog going viral. It's not luck. It was a lot about cutting back first and getting down to the nitty gritty of how are we overspending. Even though it feels like we're barely getting by, there's always more wiggle room you can create. There's always hope and there's always action you can take to improve this area of your life.

I feel like that's the tone of your book. It's very happy and hopeful and it's not “well just do more. Just cut back. Sorry, you don't get to have a phone.” It's very hope-filled, but also practical and I really like that.

ERIN: Thanks so much. I really want to give people hope. We were exactly where you were Allie, and I love when I meet other people that have that story because, one, I felt alone. I don't know about you, but I felt alone because people don't normally talk about it when they're struggling, and so I didn't tell that many people. That means that I struggled in kind of in isolation. So, our family stories are very similar. God really used my blog is the catalyst to bring us out of a low income, but He also used many other things and I share those in my new book, You Can Stay Home With Your Kids.

My first book, I shared it with more of a memoir, but I truly believe whether you think that you can blog or something else, that we all have that hope of getting to the place where we can stay at home with our kids and not feel so much of a financial frustration in the process.

ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely. And I wanted you to tell about yourself, but I'm getting sidetracked. But first I wanted to say recently I was scrolling through something, I don't know where I saw it, but I saw something that had this tone that I see out there all the time. It was something about “let's not focus on money; let's focus on being happy” or something like that. Maybe you would agree, but coming through what I've been through, stuff like that kind of bothers me a little bit. You can say that, but I feel if you would say that, you haven't been without money, without anything.

You haven't been struggling to where you wake up and the first thought is, “what am I going to say to the landlord today? How am I going to make this bowl of cereal stretch to three? How am I going to make this work?” The lack of financial freedom in my family was such a heavy weight. It was just breathtaking and incredibly oppressive.

And I believe that is not abundant life. That is not what we're called to. And yes, money should not be our obsessive focus, and “let’s all gain, gain, and greed.” However, money makes the world go round and without money you can't give freely. You can't take a deep breath and enjoy going out to dinner with your family without freaking out about how are you going to pay the bills now.

And so, I feel like I get that tone from your book, that this isn't really about getting more money or about being so scrappy that that's your main focus. It's just about creating more space and I guess, breathability, in your life and your family so you can focus on what matters really.

ERIN: Absolutely. And I will tell you Allie, it's a really fine balance. When we were going through that low-income period…well first of all for years, I thought this is going to be life forever. There is no light at the end of the tunnel. And there are times even today where I'm given opportunities and I say “no” a lot, because I have four kids. You know, I run my blog as our business, and I write, but then there'll be something that comes on my path and it's a lot of money and I say “no” to it.

It's like I have this little pause of “what if I say no, and one day we run out of money” because of what I was going through, you know we didn't have many. We got to the end of the month and we didn't have anything in our refrigerator or cabinet. And I was like thank the Lord for these WIC checks because that was all that we had to eat, you know?

But I do think it's a fine line because I got to a point where we were starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and we were starting to have more income and I prayed, “God, help me not to forget this feeling. Help me not to forget what it was like not to have a whole lot so I can continue to cultivate gratitude” and it has made a huge difference. I will say that God has really honored that prayer in my life.

You and I both know the sky's kind of the limit in blogging and online entrepreneurship and I'm sometimes bothered by the focus on “let's just get more and more and more and more.” I don't know if this will be a book one day or not, but my focus now is, okay, what is enough?” Because we have enough. And how could we cultivate gratitude?

And today I look at money as” money is not evil.” The love of money is the root of evil. And so yes, like what you said, we have to have money to live. I remember feeling a little self-conscious. It was me; people probably weren't judging me, but I didn't tell a lot of people why I was trying to really grow the blog.

And I was hustling, hustling, hustling in the beginning. I really burnt myself out. I would stay up till 3 o’clock in the morning, all night long. I was working during the days, a lot. I felt sometimes like my friends in real life we're judging me, but they didn't know that we didn't have enough money to live. And even some of my blogging friends in the beginning, we're just, “Erin, you know, you're growing but you're burning yourself out.” And I was like, “Guys, we've got to have money to live.”

And so, there is that difference and it's just that balance of discovering “What is enough?” Because I think we can get to a point where we love money so much that we do end up neglecting what is the most important. We ask whenever we want to create more income to give our families some wiggle room, what is the goal? And for me it was to be able to stay home with my kids. So, I have that “check” in my spirit whenever I realize I'm getting burned out and I'm neglecting my kids because of my work.

ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely. I totally know what you mean. it's like a constant “check,” a constant balance. Also, I think we love what we do. It's fun. I feel like sometimes I don't realize I'm getting burned out until it's almost not too late, but I'm deep in it, deep in the burnout phase. And so, to take some time off or whatever. But yeah, I understand everything, every bit of what you're saying.

So, you said you have four kids, so what ages do you have?

ERIN: My oldest will be 10 this summer, so I started this mom journey almost 10 years ago. My second is 7 ½. My third is 5 and they're all little girls. And then I have a 13-month-old little boy.

ALLIE: Oh my gosh. Yeah. My oldest is 9 and it feels weird. There's something that feels a little more legit or something about having a kid that’s a little bit older and having more “kid” issues than toddler. It's weird. That's exciting.

When you started your blog, did you immediately start sharing tips and tricks for budgeting and staying home or did you transition into that as a blogger?

ERIN: I transitioned into that as a blogger. At first, I was just kind of blogging about anything, a lot about motherhood, a lot about encouraging moms, a lot about what I was doing in my own life. In the early years it was breastfeeding and toddlerhood and all that. And then in the fall of 2012, I had been blogging for a year and a half at that point.

I did a joint series with some other bloggers on motherhood and we said, “Okay, let's assign each of us a different facet of motherhood that we can talk about.” And they knew that I was struggling financially, but my readers didn't know and they said, “Okay, Erin, we think you should be the person to write a post called “staying at home with your kids when you can barely afford it.” And that was the first post I really wrote about anything financial. It was really the most vulnerable post, the first time I've been very vulnerable in the blog.

I had been real. I had been authentic, but I hadn't been that vulnerable. I was really scared. I basically said “we're living on a rice and beans budget.” I clicked “publish” and I was like, “okay, maybe nobody will read this and I won't have to be embarrassed.” And I woke up to tens of thousands of page views and hundreds of comments.

It's been over five years and I still get page views to that blog post every day. I still get emails like “I read this post…” And I realized then I'm not alone in this. There are other moms just like me who are barely making ends meet. They're afraid to tell anyone. And they don't know how to do it. They don't know how to stay at home with their kids and also have that breathing room. They're constantly burdened with the weight of not having enough money.

ALLIE: Yeah. It weighs so heavy that it starts to affect everything. That's the thing I was saying earlier that bothers me about quotes like that, like “let's just be happy and not focus on money.” It bothers me because I feel like it was so heavy that it made me a bad mom. I was snappy and stressed. I always use the example that I felt like I was like Saran wrap stretched over a casserole, one little poke and it just comes apart. Like one thing goes wrong, $1 less and it matters.

And that affected my marriage and my motherhood. It affected my health a lot. My stress levels were through the roof. I didn't feel like getting up and going and doing anything with friends when I was invited. I couldn't, but I didn't feel like it anyway. I was depressive. It matters.

And so, I love the freedom of that you say, and that I will always say is, it's okay to want more and to do something out of the ordinary to get there, to give yourself that wiggle room that you need.

Having said all of that, what would you say? What are your top tips or top three things that people can do if they're listening to this? Maybe there's somebody who's working outside of the home, hates it and just desperately wants to be home, but she knows they need that income. What would you say to her to maybe start taking some action steps to changing her situation?

ERIN: I would say you have to figure out what is the root reason why you can't be a stay-at-home mom, if you want to be a stay-at-home mom. Some people are called to whatever career and I want to make it very clear that there should be no shaming of any mom, whether she's a working mom or a work-at-home mom, (which I think the two of us really are work-at-home moms - we stay home with our kids, but we work at home) or a full-time stay-at-home mom. There's no shame.

But if you do desire to be at home with your kids, what is keeping you back? What's the root cause? Is it because you have an income problem? You don't have enough money to live just on your husband's salary? That was our family's issue. My husband is very fine with me saying that. I talk about it in both of my books a lot. Honestly, we look back and we feel like we were so naive. We didn't know that we didn't have enough money to live.

We were spinning our wheels thinking we are doing something wrong. What we were doing wrong was that we didn't know we didn't have enough, and we had a financial advisor from our church who helped us discover that. So, do you have an income problem, mom? Do you simply not have enough money to live with just one parent working outside of the home? Or is there a spending problem?

I call these problems, but there’s grace, whichever one you have. I'm not trying to come down on you. I'm saying are there areas of spending that you could cut back in order to have the margin you need to be able to give up your salary as a full-time, outside-of-the-home, working mom?

Or are there gifts, and I believe all of us have gifts, that you have that you can use to create income from home and that can be your income problem solution. Creating an income from home.

So, I would say figure out the root cause. What is the root reason why you can't stay at home? Do you have an income problem? Do you have a spending problem? And from there seek ways to curb spending or create more income.

If the spending is your problem, I encourage you to take this next month and record every single penny you've spent - every penny - and at the end of the month, take that list and divide it into two. What are these things that are absolute necessities for us to live? Utilities, rent or your mortgage, food. I would argue that there's ways to trim your food budget too.

What are things that are wants? What are areas we spend on? Our wants are not bad in and of themselves, especially if you have the money to do them, but those are going to be things like going to the movies, going out to eat, cable, the gym membership.

Again, I am all for adding those things back into your budget whenever you learn to create more income, but those are things that you can take away in the temporary so you could come home with your kids.

So, if you have the income problem, I encourage you (I love talking about this) to list some different gifts and talents you have. Are you good at art?

There was one lady I include in my book who loved painting her kids' faces. She created a business called “The Joy of Face Painting (her name is Joy) where she goes to children's birthday parties and she's paid to paint faces. I think that's so creative.

Allie and I, we blog. She podcasts and does YouTube. I'm hoping to do some more of that stuff in the future, but that's how we were created and there may be some of your listeners who are the same way. They're talented in the media arts.

But just because you're not doesn't mean that you can't create more income from home in the way that you are talented. Do you love animals? Maybe you could be a dog groomer in your own house. I love to tell people, “think back to when you were a child, what made you come alive? You know, I was always writing stories, but what about you? What is it for you? I think you can use that and you can create income from home with wherever that is.

ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely. You can do “that thing” for pay or you could create a business teaching other people how to be good at that thing too. There's so much. I love that you said earlier too that there are no limits. There really are no limits. It's such a good time.

I was overwhelmed by the messages after that one episode I told you about and I kept responding to everybody. They were spiraling and kind of stressing out like, “I want to do this to you, but I don't know how.” It's such a hopeful time. There are no limits. You can literally make a business online out of almost anything. It's amazing. For such a little cost too. I mean I did everything. We found a work around to do everything before I could afford anything. It was just an amazing time to be a creative woman who wants to be home with their kids and wants to do something.

I think too, the other benefit is you get to have a little side thing too that’s your passion Not just about the money, you get to have a little side hustle and something that you're passionate about outside of raising your kids, which is great.

_______________________________________________________________

Hey girl! Real quick, let me tell you about something that I've created that is totally free and amazing that I'm so excited to have you get your hands on. It is called my Minimalism Starter Kit.

Have you been feeling really overwhelmed, not knowing where to start? Maybe you've been listening to the show for a while and you always hear me talk about simplifying your home. Letting things go that you don't really need. Simplifying your lifestyle. And you haven't really done much or you tried to start, but life got in the way and it just didn't go well.

Whatever the reason may be that you're feeling a little cluttered, a little overwhelmed, that there's just always too much. Maybe you're constantly cleaning and you feel like the house is actually never clean. I can totally help you and it can be simple to get started.

I have put together The Starter Kit to basically build some serious momentum for you to help launch you forward into success in your minimalist journey. And remember, minimalism does not have to be this stereotype thing where you basically own nothing. You count how many jeans you have. You don't get to shop. It's not this joy-sucking horror show.

It's life giving. It's joyful. It's about having what you love and what you really need. Creating space for you to live a full, abundant, intentional life focused on your family. That's what really matters, right?

The Minimalism Starter Kit will basically walk you through what minimalism actually is. A healthy, happy, realistic version of it. For moms, written by me, for you. It goes through why would you want to do this? What's it going to do for you? Where's it going to take you?

It helps you find your why and has you answer some questions for yourself. It's fillable on the computer or you could print it out and fill it in like a journal with a pen old school style.

It will walk you through decluttering your laundry and dishes - the two biggest time suckers for Moms, right?

It will also give you a list of 15-minute, quick and easy decluttering projects for the busy mom who doesn't know where to start.

It also includes a list of 20 things that you can get rid of right now.

This is a serious momentum builder. It's about getting started in making decisions and letting go of stuff right now. It empowers you and it will help you keep going. It also includes a 10-minute declutter challenge.

It'll help you keep going after you're done with The Minimalism Starter Kit.

It has resources and some really punchy words in there from me to you that will help you keep going. It's got resources like my top blog posts and top other things I have put together that are totally free for you to keep going.

Go check it out. alliecasazza.com/starterkit.

_______________________________________________________________

ALLIE: Okay. So, in a summary or one sentence, what does getting intentional with our finances look like in your opinion? And how can we get purposeful in this area of our lives? I feel like you’ve somewhat answered this, but maybe just for somebody who might be afraid to look.

I feel like a lot of people avoid money altogether. That's how I was. That's how I responded to really “the trauma” of what had happened with us. Just avoid it. I don't even want to see it. I didn't want to say the word “budget.” It was hard for me for a long time.

If somebody is really struggling and doesn't even know what to do, how does it look to really be a good steward, I guess? And get intentional with this area of our lives? This show is all about getting purposeful with each topic that we talk about.

ERIN: I can be like you, Allie, and I can just say, “Okay, I just don't even want to know” because my husband does manage our finances. It's scary when you have lived in that season (for us it was years, and it sounds like for you too) where you don't have a whole lot. You don’t want to look at what you have.

I have learned when you discover your root issue of your financial frustration and then you seek to better that, if you live by a budget, it'll give you more security. If you begin to budget and you begin to take out things that are wants in order to curb spending and create more income, when you have a budget, you're going to be able to look and say, “Okay, I do have some money that I can spend.”

So, I would encourage you to go back to that list of wants and needs. Record everything for a month. Divide them up – wants and needs. Look at what you can take away and then from there create a budget.

So, anyone who gets my book I have in the book itself (these are not even included in the preorder bonuses which people can get right now) a link to extra resources and one of them is a printable budgeting sheet. There's lots of printable budgets sheets. If you google “free printable budget sheet” you'll find one I'm sure. But with that, what our family does is we categorize everything. For example, we have a clothing budget.

Before when we didn't have a budget and we barely had any money, if I needed a new pair of jeans, I was just struck and overcome with overwhelm, fear, and had this huge burden of “I need a new pair of jeans and I don't know that we have the money for me to buy them.”

But now how we have our budget, we have a clothing fund and so now I am sure if we have the money in there to buy a pair of jeans.

Does that make sense?

ALLIE: Yeah, instead of just avoiding it - whether you have a lot or a little - instead of avoiding it, it's taking control and realizing “whatever money is there, it doesn't really help me if I don't know about it.” So, taking ownership of what you have and coming to terms with your role with it.

ERIN: Absolutely. And that was the thing sometimes, especially after the blog started making money, there would be money there and I still didn't want to spend anything because I was scared.

ALLIE: Yeah. In the beginning, for me, it felt very much like this is a limited-time thing so we should just hold onto this like crazy. My story is different. I didn't leak in; we had a big wave from virality. That was even worse because it was like, “okay, well this is going to die down and then that's it.” And it was very much not an abundance mentality of, “you know, there's always more where that came from. There's always more than I do.”

So, I was terrified. Then Good Morning America wanted to come over to our house to interview us and it was empty. I was so embarrassed. I was panicking and torn between do I get some furniture or not? If I do, then I'm going to spend the money. I was panicking.

The Lord really washed over me with “this isn't all I'm going to do. There is more where that came from.” And then that also is in forgiving. Giving and being a good steward. Saving and setting aside. Money is meant to be used. But when you have that control over it and you feel wise about it and you have a clue what's going on, it's so much more empowering than avoidance. Avoidance just feels like stabbing in the dark, not really being sure what you're spending

ERIN: From a spiritual standpoint, I talk about a lot in my book, More Than Just Making It, God really taught me He's the provider of all of our needs. It's really interesting because I talked about that a lot in my first book and then this past year we had a tough year. Now, was it tough compared to a few years ago? No, not at all.

I had a baby. That was a wonderful surprise but in the middle of writing and launching two books all within the past 13 months. So, God has been showing me again, “Just how I took care of you in the past. I'm going to continue to take care of you. I'm going to continue to provide for your needs.” That doesn't mean that we just sit on our butts and don't do anything. But that mentality of “I’ve got to hoard this or it's going to go away,” I understand. I totally relate to you because I think it was trauma we went through too. We lost a house in the recession and I declared bankruptcy at eight months pregnant with my third child.

ALLIE: Yeah, it definitely doesn't “do nothing” to you. It will definitely kind of mess you up a little bit to go through things like that. You think, “I've seen money come and go and I don't want it to go again.” But you know it's a fear-based decision and I don't want to live my life out of that.

If anyone is listening and feeling the same, I would just encourage you to deal with that and learn to let it go because any lifestyle lived out of fear is just not God's will for you at all. It’s not abundant life and that's what we're here for. That's what He came to give us.

Okay. So, my last question for you is what is one really commonly asked question that you get all the time? I'm sure people listening are thinking the same thing and you know better than I do what that might be. And then maybe share your response to that.

ERIN: Yeah. Well we've really talked about it a lot, but it is, “How could I do what you've done? How can I make money from home?” I know you said that you covered that in Episode 6 about your story. If you're listening and you're saying, “Oh my goodness, Erin and Allie, I'm living that life that you were living, but I'm living it now and the tunnel is so dark. Sure, you ladies have done that, but how could I do it? I'm barely making it and I want to stay home with my kids.”

I would say, “You can do it. There is hope.” Sit down today. Take a few minutes and I want you to write down what are you good at. You are good at something. It may not be writing, it may not be podcasting, but it may be art. It may be sewing. It may be taking care of animals. Something. I challenge you to sit down today and I want you to just do a bubble map and brainstorm what are some of those talents I have. Then from there you can learn how to create more income with that.

ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely. Keep it simple. Not using what we're doing or somebody else's example as your guiding point, but just what are you good at? Then working around that.

What's really important for me, too, is I'm used to being a stay-at-home mom. I was happy doing that. I didn't think, “Oh, I wish I could do something else.” I wanted to contribute, especially when we were struggling, but Brian & I both agreed that was where I was supposed to be and it was good. But now that I am working, the only thing that makes me so happy and excited to even be doing this is because I love it.

I think it's so important that you base it on something that you do enjoy doing. Not just like, “Oh, I'm good at this, so I guess I'll try to make an extra 10 bucks.”

It is time away from your kids. It just is. I mean it can help make your family's quality of life so much better. But it still should be something that you enjoy, that you feel called to. When you're walking in that purpose, nothing really matters compared to that. It doesn't matter how much money you're making. It's good, it's fun and enjoyable and it can add to your family's finances too.

ERIN: Just for effort, three practical resources, because that is the question I get all the time, “How could I do what you have done?” There are three different business resources for women in business that I have used and loved.

One of those is Christy Wright’s Business Boutique. They have a conference every year in Nashville, but she also has a free podcast, a book and a lot of different resources. It’s through the Dave Ramsey Association.

Another one is Brilliant Business Moms and they have a podcast. I think they're taking a hiatus right now with the podcast, but they have a great support group on Facebook and a ton of resources online.

The other one is iBloom In Business.

Maybe you can link to them in the show notes. But those are three that if you're listening and you desperately want to be able to do what we've done, those are helpful and they're not just blogging specific. They are for how are you created and gifted or what are you passionate about? And let's take it from there and create a business around it.

ALLIE: Love that. Okay. We'll definitely link to all those things. And to your book, when does this come out? It's not out yet, right?

No, it's out April 10th. So, You Can Stay Home With Your Kids is out April 10th and anyone who preorders between now and April 10th, they will get some preorder bonuses. One of my favorite businesses, Free Reign Farms is giving a coupon gift certificate for free chocolate fudge. They came out with that and I was like, “What mom doesn’t need more chocolate? Hello? And also some bath bombs. They’re also going to get a 2-week Aldi meal plan and a nice art print that my publisher will mail to them with an inspirational quote from the book.

Also my other book is already out, it's called More Than Just Making It: Hope For The Heart Of The Financially Frustrated. It's my memoir. There's practical meat in it as well. It's really raw. I mean it starts out with me going into the food stamps office.

ALLIE: I might have an emotional breakdown if I read that one.  

ERIN: I want you to read it because then you're going to say “I could totally have written this book” because I think our stories are so similar and it's so good to not feel alone.  

And ladies, if your listening, you are not alone. Seriously. You’ve got two people here.

ALLIE: Yeah. And that went to the other side. So, there is so much help for you guys and that's really why I wanted to have Erin on for you guys.

So, thank you Erin so much. Again. I'm so excited to have you here. This was so great. Thank you so much.

ERIN: Thank you so much for having me, Allie!

ALLIE: And guys, we'll link to everything in the show notes. So just head over there. Alliecasazza.com/shownotes/58. We'll link to the books and all of those resources to Erin listed. So go check it out.


_______________________________________________________________

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 056: Slowing Down with Nichole Nordeman

Facebook_EP_056.png

Chaos is a normal part of life, especially as moms. And it is important that we remember to slow down in the chaos and not wish it all away. You know, those moments spent begging for your little one to walk or talk, to sleep through the night, to hurry up and do the next thing. Because there will come a day when your kids are grown up and you will wish for those moments again. The moments you won’t ever get back; the moments you tried so hard to rush through.

Nichole Nordeman is known for her music as a Christian artist but she is also a mother of 2 and author. Her book, Slow Down: Embracing the Everyday Moments of Motherhood, is such a calm and easy read. It's one of those books you’d want to have on your bookshelf to reference here and there when you need a reminder to really be present and just be with your kids. Her mantra is to lower the bar of expectations we place on our lives and to slow down, embracing the everyday moments of life.

*Note, if you aren’t a mom, this episode is still for you! There is SO much wisdom in this episode that we can all use when it comes to learning to slow down and enjoying the everyday moments of life.

 
 

In This Episode, Allie + Nichole Discuss:

  • Ways you can slow down and be present with your family in the midst of chaos.

  • The value of saying “I don't know” to life’s big questions, because there are a lot of question marks and we don’t have to know all the answers.

  • Practical things you can do to slow down and take time for yourself.

  • How lowering your expectations will free you to pause and slow down easier.

Mentioned in this Episode:

Supermom Vault.png

The Supermom Vault is a library of inspiration that holds replays of my very best online workshops that aren’t available anywhere else, tons of really actionable pdf’s that are downloadable with just one click, more than 20 audio and video trainings from me, and professionally designed printables for your home to keep you focused and inspired. If you are looking for more than just podcast episodes, this is definitely the place to go! 


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_.png

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.

_______________________________________________________________

ALLIE: Hey, beautiful friends! Okay. I'm stoked for this interview. Nichole Nordeman is joining me today.

She has been such a role model for me in my life. When I was growing up, I had such an interest in music. I love music. I still do. It's a huge part of my life. When my parents saw that, they really encouraged me to listen to positive music, lots of Christian music. I was one of those kids who just dove all the way into the Christian rock scene and lots of Jars Of Clay, DC Talk, Amy Grant, and Nichole Nordeman, of course. She was an integral part of my faith as I was growing up.

I forgot to mention this when we actually did our interview, but one of her songs, a single called “Holy,” a beautiful worship song, we actually played at mine and Brian's wedding. It's just been a really big part of my life.

My best friend in the whole wide world growing up. We loved her and all those female Christian artists. We just looked up to them so much. We listened to her nonstop. We just love her. I told my friend, Juliette, that I was having her on. She was freaking out and was so excited. It's just a big deal, so I'm kind of nerding out today. I feel like Nichole is just such a specific part of my life. It's just funny and it's weird to be talking with her. I'm so excited!

Nichole is a Christian music artist. She has been for so long. She's just an amazing singer. She's also an incredible person. She handles being in the spotlight with such grace and I really admire her for that. She's a mother of two and now she's an author.

I have read over the last few weeks her book, Slow Down: Embracing the Everyday Moments of Motherhood. It is such a sweet read. If you're wanting to get back into reading after a break, if you've never really been a reader or you want a break from hitting the ground hard with self-help books and bettering yourself and all of those types of things, this is just a really great calm read.

It's one of those books you'd want to have on your bookshelf for all time to reference here and there when you need a reminder to really be present and just be with your kids. Nichole speaks so much grace in this episode. I love how she answers each question. It is so laced with grace and wisdom and this very calming vibe, for lack of a better word. This interview was great.

Let's welcome Nicole.

ALLIE: How are you today?

NICHOLE: Great. How are you today?

ALLIE: I'm so good. I'm on my fourth cup of coffee.

NICHOLE: Wow, that's impressive. I'm impressed.

ALLIE: It is my last day of work until a four-week break.

NICHOLE: That's so nice.

ALLIE: Yeah. I'm just in that place where I'm just tense and it's just been long, like constantly producing content. I just need a break.

NICHOLE: You’re crawling across the finish line right now with your coffee.

ALLIE: I'm so excited to have you here. You don't even know. You have been such a huge part of my life. Okay. The album, I think it was your second one where it's like your face and the wind is blowing your hair back.

NICHOLE: Um, yes there were a couple of fan-blowing covers as I recall.

ALLIE: If someone were to make a collage of “Allie’s growing up process” that photo of that album would have been on there because it was such a big part of my faith as I was getting older and right next to The Newsboys, DC talk.

NICHOLE: That's right. That's good company to keep.

ALLIE: Yeah. Oh my gosh. I just have to tell you this random story. (Daniel, if you want to edit this out, I won’t blame you.) Okay. So, when I was growing up, I really loved music and my parents really encouraged me to hear Christian music positives. And you were a huge part of that and, like I said, DC Talk. I started to want to go to concerts and my mom was like, “I'll take you,” but it was all like Jars Of Clay, and all of that.

And so, we went to this DC Talk concert and my mom is very extroverted, just the life of the party. She's a social butterfly. I’m like, “If I could just disappear...” That's why I like podcasting.

NICHOLE:  There's a nice little, safe, introvert buffer.

ALLIE:  Yes, exactly. And so, I'm there. I don't know how old I was, but I was young. Then all of a sudden three of the guys started to stage dive and go into the audience and I see Toby Mac coming up my aisle. I'm like, “No, I know what’s going to happen, no, no.” And my mom goes, “Oh my gosh, he’s coming. Touch him! Touch him!” We’re at a Christian concert. And she's like, “Touch him!” He comes up to the seat next to me and I'm just standing there and my mom shoves me over. I fall on the floor. And I remember looking up and Toby Mac just looking down at me and like “mouthing” because he didn't want his mic to pick up. {laughing} I just wanted to die! And that is the reason that I never saw you in concert because I did not want to go with my mom.

NICHOLE: Well and I don't do a lot of stage diving so that would not have been a problem for us. But that is such a great story and I hope you have the chance to tell him that story someday. That is amazing.

ALLIE: I hope so too. It was so embarrassing. So, I didn’t go to a lot of concerts after that with my mom.

NICHOLE: You’ll be talking about that in therapy for a while.

ALLIE: For sure! Oh my gosh. So, okay. So, you are a mom of two and you live in Tulsa, right?

NICHOLE: Yeah. I’m in Tulsa, Oklahoma as we speak.

ALLIE: We did a year of RV traveling with the kids and we got caught in the scariest storm.

NICHOLE: Storms do not play around in Oklahoma. It took me a little while to figure that out because I grew up in Colorado and I lived in Texas for a while and Nashville for a while, but nothing like… I've just never experienced insane weather like Oklahoma. It is not playing.

ALLIE: Yeah, it was scary. And being on the road and in the camper… But after the weather cleared, we liked it.

NICHOLE: Once things stop flying through the air, it's a nice place to live.

ALLIE: Totally. Okay. So, your book, which I have in front of me and have had in front of me recently because I read it… Slow Down. It's based on a song that you wrote while you were at your son’s elementary school?

NICHOLE: It was his 5th grade graduation. I offered to sing at this little graduation thing for his 5th grade class and then I sort of forgot about it - forgot that I'd offered. And so, the night before I was like, “Oh crap! I have to sing something in front of middle schoolers,” which is a fate worse than death already because that's terrifying.

I was just trying to figure out what to sing. And I ended up making the mistake of pulling out albums of when he was a baby and reminiscing, just a major meltdown, walk-through memory lane, and I just wrote this song. It literally just poured out of me the night before his little graduation. I thought that was going to be the whole life of the song right there, just for Charlie and his class and that would be the end of it. But it grew into something a little bit more.

ALLIE: Yeah, and so it went viral, which I feel like even viral is kind of an understatement. What, it had like 30 million views or just under that or something like that?

NICHOLE:  On Facebook it had 70 million views I think. It was crazy. You don't ever aim for something like that because you'll never hit it. It was just a freak thing. It was so fun because it made me feel like, “Yeah, this is such a universal thing that parents feel. This is all going too fast and I can't slow it down. How do I make the most of every tiny, tiny moment?”

ALLIE: Yeah, for sure. I'll put the link, for everyone listening, to the song, but it's rough.

It’s a tear jerker.

But your book is. I mean, I like it. It definitely is based on that but I love the action steps. We talked about that before we recorded. I’ll all about what are you going to do about this? How are you going to slow down and writing prompts, I guess, if you would describe it that way. So, I love it. It's so good.

But I wanted to ask you, how have you found ways to be “all there” and be present in the midst of the chaos?

NICHOLE: Yeah. And it doesn't stop being chaos. I remember a friend saying to me when I had little, little kids and they had older kids, I remember her saying, “You know, you end up trading physical exhaustion for emotional exhaustion.”

So, you're in that stage where it's, I haven't showered and it's diapers or it's toddlers or whatever, and you just think, “There's no end to this. I can't wait until they're more independent and grown up.” Then they are grown up and more independent and it takes on a whole other kind of chaos - a little bit of emotional chaos. Are we talking about important issues? Am I doing the right amount of balance between exposing them to “real world” and also sheltering them from stuff they don't need to be exposed to?

It's ongoing. I mean, I just think the chaos of motherhood is at every stage and age. I think sometimes for me self-compassion is a huge part of slowing down because I am a “type A” person. I like things a certain way. I have an idea in my head about how a moment should appear, whether it's a big moment like Christmas or a little moment like dinner around the picnic table outside, and I think just letting go of the standard is really important for me. Like this moment might not be exactly or at all like you thought it was going to be, and don't miss the beauty of that unraveling. Don't miss the goal that's in there just because it's not unfolding the way that you wanted it to, or the way your mom would have, or any of that stuff. Just have some self-compassion. You know what? It's okay. It's okay. It does not have to be perfect.

ALLIE: Yeah. It seems simple but it's really powerful. My daughter is getting a little older. She's nine. She's my oldest and my only girl, and I struggle with feeling like this has to be good cause she's my only girl…

And so, she wanted to go to Olive Garden, which I can eat basically nothing there. But we went there and I was thinking in my head on the drive, “This is going to be so great. We're going to talk about things that I want to talk about.” I was building up this expectation. We get there and I'm thinking she's been inching towards just getting ready for “the talk” and just how it all works. And so, I'm just wanting to pour into her.

All she wanted to talk about was horses and ponies, and the birthing process of horses, and how do you clean a hoof? I don't know if she thinks I'm a rancher but I was so irritated. It was ruining it.

She had to go the bathroom, and I'm standing in there and the Lord totally came over me and was like, “This is good. You don't want to hurry these big conversations. She's still interested in horses and ponies. Just be here for this because it's never going to come back.”

NICHOLE: That's so wise to recognize that and just shift your expectations, shift your focus instead of forcing a thing that was your anticipated moment and it didn't go as planned. I love that you just stayed open enough to let it become something else.

ALLIE: Yeah, and I love that you talk about that in the book too, that you're always waiting for the next thing. When are you going to be out of diapers? When are you going to eat solid food? Oh my gosh. Like my nipples. Please just stop.

NICHOLE: And when are you going to talk? When are you going to walk?

ALLIE: Yeah. I want to have girl talk. But you miss “right now” and it's so easy to get into that place. And then you said, ‘You've got these moments of pain, sadness and even guilt looking at photos and stuff. It's all going so fast. Wait a second, but you are the one who wanted to go to the next level.

NICHOLE: That's right. Yeah. When I first started having babies, I think there was Facebook, probably Twitter was just happening, but there wasn't this constant voyeurism of our lives. There wasn't Instagram. There wasn't Pinterest. There wasn't any of that. And I am thankful for that because I would have easily fallen into… it's soul death, I think, when we spend our lives lining ourselves up, our parenting up, and our children up with other people around us.

Even if it's in a celebratory way. Sometimes I can just scroll through Instagram and feel so bad about myself without even realizing it. About my appearance, about my kids, about my house, about my bank account, whatever it is. I think that's been a huge part of slowing down for me too, is just shutting that stuff down.

There's so much talk about making sure our kids are handling social media responsibly and that we're policing that and no one's policing us. What about us? Someone needs to be shutting my phone off and my computer off because it is so damaging, I think, to how we're living our lives.

ALLIE: Yeah, for sure. And social media has been around for a while, but recently it's really become this outlet for advertisements and promotions. First of all, peeps be creeping on me because they know what I looked at my Amazon recently. But I've noticed that it's so fear based. What will happen when you retire? It's easy on my tv to just turn it off or whatever. But now, on social media, it's everything you scroll through. Are you being present with your kids? Get this APP. It’s a lot of negative. I mean, it's there so it works, but…

NICHOLE: Obviously it works. You're right because the advertisers have had to try to find different avenues to sell their stuff because people aren't watching tv live much anymore. So, yeah, they're just sneaking it in anywhere they can. They're incredibly creative and subtle.

_______________________________________________________________

Hey friend! It’s Allie! Have you heard of the Supermom Vault yet?

The Supermom Vault is a library of inspiration I created for you. It holds replays of my very best online workshops that aren’t available anywhere else, tons of really actionable pdf’s that are downloadable with just one click, more than 20 audio and video trainings from me, and professionally designed printables for your home to keep you focused and inspired.

The Supermom Vault is only $39.00 and is available at alliecasazza.com/allcourses.

Check it out! It’s a really good simple start.

Want more inspiration than just the podcast? Do you wish there were more episodes?  Want more details? Do you want videos? Do you want pdf’s? Do you want to download things and get your hands on something to really get you started when it comes to minimalism and simplifying your motherhood?

This is definitely the place to go!

Check it out!  Alliecasazza.com/allcourses.

_______________________________________________________________

ALLIE: Okay. So, I wanted to ask you about one of my favorite things that you say in the book. I highlighted the crap out of it because it was amazing how you say it. Talk about saying “I don't know” in response to your kids. Can you talk about that?

NICHOLE: Yeah. You know, I think that because I grew up in the church and I grew up in a Christian home and I was always really involved in church life, Christian culture, (I went to a Christian school for all of my education) I didn't hear a lot of uncertainty from my parents, from my pastors or teachers. There was always this approach to teaching me, whether it was in my home, in school, or church, that was like, “This is how it is. This is what the Bible says.” If this is the question, this is the answer. It was just so linear and I really was drawn to that because I'm sort of a linear person. And then, like so many of us, I get launched out into the real world. For me that was college.

I was completely unprepared to have a real conversation with real people about faith or about anything really because I had a script and if you didn't follow my script then I didn't know how to engage you. So, I learned the hard way the value of saying “I don't know,” because there are a lot of question marks. There's a lot of “gray” and I know this is an uncomfortable place for people who are Christians.

But I have found that in having real conversations with my kids when they want to ask me something that I don't understand, instead of just knee-jerking and pointing to a scripture or distracting with an anecdote or whatever, the coping skills that we do, I have just found there's tremendous strength and just saying “I don't really know.”

You know, there's big questions about creation, heaven, death and sorrow. I've got a 14-year-old and we're having conversations about sexuality, and there's a lot there that sometimes I lead when I can and I'm concrete when I can be. And a lot of times I just say, “I'm not really sure. I'm still learning about that too. Let's find out together. Let's keep asking questions.” I think that creates a much safer space than “It is what it is” you know?

ALLIE: Yeah. And it's a good diffuser too, as an adult talking to other adults, especially with Christianity and all that's going on. Everyone freaking out about so many things. You know, we don't all have to claim that we know and point beautiful scripture at each other, like daggers.

It's so powerful to get into that practice. I really liked how you said that. I think I was thinking about it. Bella's nine, but my boys are still little, my youngest is three, and I think I was noticing that the lack of “I don't know” comes from the questions that the little ones are asking. How do these Lego’s connect together? How do they make Legos? Well, they have a mold and they make it out of plastic, and so you do kind of know everything. And so, it kind of feels weird. It really is kind of all of a sudden. I don't know. It feels really humbling to say that to them.

NICHOLE: Yes. But think about how much more your kids will feel such an open door with you as they grow older and they are coming home from school or having conversations with their peers or whatever. They are really looking for transparency and honesty from you instead of just a regurgitated thing that they probably have heard a million times. I think that creates a lot of room for growth and it says “you're safe here not knowing. We can not know together.”

ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely. It just cultivates so much honesty and realness. I love that.

Can I ask you, aside from motherhood, how do you slow down for your own self? Self-care is kind of overused, but have you found that you translated this over to your own self at all?

NICHOLE: I try. I'm a mom. I'm an artist. I run a business. I run a home. There are days when it's just a complete disaster. It's just all garbage. And I would say I have no balance whatsoever. There are those days for sure.

But I think for me it's tiny moments. It's not like, “You know what? I need to book a spa day.” Okay. That's just not happening. It's just not happening in my life. I'm not booking a spa day. That's not time for myself. It's more like “I need 10 minutes - 10 minutes to walk around the block and just find center again.” Find myself again, take a deep breath.

For me, reading is huge and has been replaced so often by Netflix and TV shows. I always default to that now, and I used to default to books all the time. I'm trying to gravitate more towards reading. I feel like that's really good for my psyche and my spirit. It's calming, quiet, and it's not information in my face.

ALLIE: Well, it’s productive too, relaxing. You just feel better.

NICHOLE: Yeah, it's just little things. I love cooking. I love trying new recipes. Being in my kitchen with a glass of wine and making something new out of a cookbook is probably my favorite place to be ever. So, it's little stuff. Sometimes I'm great at it and other times I'm terrible at it.

ALLIE: Yeah. That's the best answer. It's hard when I asked that question and somebody has this elaborate, amazing answer. It sounds amazing but…

It’s just something little like taking the kids for a drive and putting the music up so they can't talk. Having a second. Something like that. We can all fit that in.

So, back to your book as we just kind of wrap up. I didn't know that it had other people in it too. It was really cool to read. It was like getting mommy advice from Shauna Niequist, Jen Hatmaker, Patsy Clairmont, Amy Grant. It was so great to read. Then you've got from you, your different “Hey, remember to slow down moments” from your own motherhood.

So, who was your favorite to have in there?

NICHOLE: Those are all friends of mine who were in the book and they are all also moms that I really admire. All those ladies have kids, you know? Amy Grant’s got a 30-year-old, and Natalie Grant has a 5-year-old. Those are all mothers that I really admire and I've been on tour with most of them.

Sitting in a tour bus or backstage, that's always what we ended up talking about is our kids. I just feel like over the years I've gleaned so much wisdom from those gals. I think it was just really powerful for me to get to kind of pick the best little nuggets that I could find from all those conversations and share them in this book. And I was so incredibly grateful and humbled that they would take the time to share as well.  

ALLIE: Yeah. And they're short and pointed, but like, “wow, that was a little truth bomb” in each one.

NICHOLE: Yes. Great little truth bombs all over for sure.

ALLIE: Okay. So, for someone listening who has maybe not had this realization of slowing down or has had it but didn't know what to do with it, how can we start to press pause and slow down?

NICHOLE: My mantra has really been “lower the bar.” I'm so tired of self-improvement things, books, podcasts, blogs. I feel like everybody is out to make more organized, thinner, happier, and whatever the thing is. And there's a space for all of that and I think it's great. But for me, lowering the bar in all areas of my life has just been so liberating.

I'm just not going to stress if it's not homemade. I am all about store bought. I'm all about being in the moment and not presenting a moment for everyone else. I did that for so many years where I would get to the end of a birthday party or Christmas and be like, “Well, I think that was awesome for everyone except me,” because you're just so busy creating a moment for other people.

So, I think maybe something concrete would be to make a list of all the areas in which you feel like you are barely keeping your head above water and then lower it by about 10 percent. Just lower the standard. Lower the expectations. Nobody dies. Everybody's just fine.

ALLIE: Yeah. It's okay to say “no.” It's okay to change your mind.

NICHOLE: It's more than okay. It's so important. It's such good modeling for our kids, for our children to hear us say, “I'm so sorry. I don't have room on my plate for that. I wish I did, but “no” has to be my firm answer.” That is huge modeling for them to learn how not to model the frayed, frantic mom who's spread so thin, serving and giving and just does everything for everyone else.

I don't want to model that for my kids. I want them to be servants and have giving hearts without giving up boundaries. I never had that growing up. So, I say just lower the standards and enjoy your life a lot more.

NICHOLE: Yeah, absolutely. Oh, I love that. Okay, so we're going to leave you guys there with those action steps.

We will link to the video for Slow Down (and the link also to some Kleenex on Amazon) and Nicole's amazing book. Guys, it's so good. It was such a sweet, easy read and just, oh my gosh, every page I read I just wanted to put it down and go sit on the floor with my kids. It was so good. Mission accomplished with what you were trying to do here. It is so good.

NICHOLE: I appreciate that. That means a lot to me. Thank you.

ALLIE: Thank you so much for your time and this awesome interview. I hope I will talk to you again.

NICHOLE: I do too and enjoy your break. Oh my gosh. You are actually going to slow down. You're really doing it.

ALLIE: I read this book over the last three weeks in bits and pieces and it was just like, “oh my gosh.” But I knew it was coming already and I just had to plug through, you know? You know how that is. You can’t just say “I need a break” and walk away. You have to plan it.

So, I knew it was coming and I'm just like, “Oh my gosh, I am so excited to breathe and not do all the things.”

NICHOLE: Good for you, girl. I'm happy for you.

ALLIE: Yeah. All right. Thank you.


_______________________________________________________________

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.