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Ep 112: Live Chat with Allie

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I think social media can be such a waste of time and on those same platforms where so much time is wasted, I love creating spaces that are intentional and inspire you to be better. I have a free Facebook group that’s really big, really fun, really engaged. It's an attachment of this podcast, a place where we discuss episodes. Discuss abundant life, simplicity, and intentional living for mothers and women of all types. It's such a cool place.

Once a month in that group, I do what is called an Allie Chat where I pull somebody out from the community there and we go live together. There was an Allie Chat recently with a woman named Christina who is just a gem. She asked such amazing questions about her motherhood. I loved the conversation we had and the audience loved the answers that I gave. It was such a powerful Allie Chat and I knew that I had to use it as an episode for The Purpose Show.

 
 

In This Episode Allie + Christina Discuss:

  • encouraging creative play in toddlers without living in constant mess

  • transitioning between seasons and when you need to change up your routines

  • self-care practices with and without your kids around

  • how the Enneagram empowered Allie’s marriage and relationships

Mentioned in this Episode:


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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.

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


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


Hello, my beautiful, beautiful friend! I've got the coolest, most unique episode ever for you today.

I have this free Facebook group. If you're already a part of it, you know, but if you're not, you've got to get over there. I will link to it in the show notes for sure, or you could just search for it.

It's a free Facebook group that's really big, really fun, really engaged. The women there are just incredible. There's this energetic current that flows through that group, and that flows through me every time I spend time in there. It's really an amazing place to be on the internet, which is awesome because that's one of my biggest goals in my business. You know, I think social media can be such a waste of time and on those same platforms where so much time is wasted, I love creating spaces that are the opposite of wasted time.

I love creating spaces that are intentional and inspire you to be better. When you're on social media with me, you are bettering yourself, not wasting yourself. I love doing that. And this Facebook group is such a picture of that. It is The Purpose Show Community with Allie Casazza on Facebook. It's an attachment of this podcast—a place where we discuss episodes, discuss abundant life, simplicity, and intentional living for mothers and women of all types. It's such a cool place.

Once a month in that group, I do what is called an Allie Chat where I pull somebody out from the community there and we go live together. She gets to ask me basically anything she wants. It's really, really cool.

There was an Allie Chat recently with a woman named Christina who is just a gem. She's so cute, so sweet, so beautiful and amazing. She asked such amazing questions about her motherhood. I loved what she chose to ask me. I loved the conversation we had and the audience loved the answers that I gave. It was such a powerful Allie Chat and I knew that I had to use it as an episode for The Purpose Show.

We discussed a lot of things, but here’s a quick surface recap. We discussed encouraging creative play in toddlers without living in constant mess. We discussed transitioning between seasons and when you need to change up your routines—which is a really frequently asked question in my community so, I'm happy that I had a chance to answer it live with Christina. We discussed self-care practices with and without your kids around. We also discussed how the Enneagram empowered my marriage and relationships.

This is not doing it justice. This is a really powerful episode, so keep playing this. Put it on while you drive, while you go do whatever it is you're doing today. I encourage you to listen.

Thank you, Christina, for being a part of my community. Thank you for asking these important questions. Guys, enjoy this conversation. It’s so, so good.

ALLIE: Hi, can you hear me? How are you today? You look beautiful.

CHRISTINA: Thank you. I'm so excited to be here! I'm such a fan of yours. I'm so emotional already. I love you so much. You changed my life in so many ways. I'm just so excited. You're like my hero, so I'm just happy to chat. I got some coffee.

ALLIE: Oh my gosh. Okay. I left my coffee upstairs and right when I got on, I was like, “How awkward, on a scale of 1 to 10, would it be if I just hung up and ran to go grab it? No, it's fine. I’ve got water, and I should drink it.”

Okay. So, I have your questions here, but I would rather you ask them since you're here. I have them just in case we have tech issues or in case you couldn't come. I love what you asked though. And I saw that you have a Bella too!

CHRISTINA: I do! I actually named her after you. Not in a stalker-kind-of-way. But I love that name. I actually named her Isabella, but we call her Bella and she's just a little light in our lives though. I just saw that name and I think I first heard it from you.

ALLIE: Yeah, I love it. Well, when we named Bella we couldn't name her—well, we could have, but we didn't want to name her—Isabella because our last name is such a mouthful. I feel like it's a lot for a 2-year-old to be Isabella Casazza. It’s just a lot. And so, we just did Bella and I was feeling super unique. It was an old Italian name and every time we said it people were like, “Wow! That's really unique.” And then Twilight came out and ruined my life and made me super mad. Everyone was like, “Oh, I like Twilight, too. Are you going to have an Edward next?” Yeah, I hated everything for three years because it wouldn't stop.

So, talk to me about what you want to talk about today.

CHRISTINA: So, I've actually been through the decluttering process. I actually did it before I found you. So, I’m really on the other side of it. I post a lot in the group—testimony to how this minimalism thing can change your life and add time with your kids. But my kids are so little still, they are 4, 3, & 1.

So my first question is: After you have completed the decluttering process, how do you keep your toddler messes to a minimum without discouraging creative play?

My 4, 3, & 1-year-olds love exploring. We've gotten rid of so many toys. We have a box of Legos and some dolls. But they are so creative, they just get into all this stuff, you know? Like my 1-year-old is taking stuff out of the dressers. The 4 & 3-year-olds are pulling out the pots and pans. They want to dress up in mommy's clothes.

And for a while I was like, “Okay, I'm putting all the clothes up. I'm not letting you guys change six times a day.” And it worked for a little while, but I want my 4 & 3-year-olds to help, and I want them to learn. I don't want to do everything for them. So, I guess what is the balance between that? I don't want to put everything up so that they can't access it. I don't want to be doing everything for them, but I don't want to be walking around all day cleaning up all these random messes.

ALLIE: Yeah, totally. For me, in my experience, you're right at the point in motherhood where you go through these tiers. You go through these stages. I remember times when I thought, “Oh, are timeouts irrelevant now? Do I need to do something different because they're so old?” It's weird. You realize like, “Oh, I think it's time for this now.” And you're right at that point where it's time for them to help.

CHRISTINA: Even though it takes twice as long.

ALLIE: Yeah, oh my gosh, but that gets way better. And some moms don't have the vision that you have for your kids. They don't mind doing everything and that's not what they want for their kids. So, if you're watching and that’s you, disregard.

But for me, I really wanted my kids to help. I believe in chores. I want them to be helpful and not entitled. And that's just important to me. It gets so much easier when they're older. Now Bella and Leland are 10 and 8 and they do the dishes after dinner. Every once in a while if they have extra schoolwork or they've just had baseball and they're just really tired, I'll do it for them. But typically, they do that. And it's because, around the ages that your older two kids are, we implemented, “You get something out, you need to pick it up.” I'll help them if they need my help.

It's basically disregarding the idea in toddlers’ heads. There's this book called Happiest Toddler On The Block and it talks about how they're like cavemen and they don't know anything. When you have toddlers you have to say sentences like, “Please get your finger out of your nose while we're at this restaurant.” You have to explain the basics. So, thinking of it like that…they just don't know.

You're basically having to untrain them to just make a mess and not care. You have to teach them like: “Okay, new thing is being introduced: When you make a mess, you need to be polite and help clean it up.”

It's just a thing you have to spend your time on for a little bit.

But I'd like to encourage you, because you're in such a cool time, but also such a hard time. This is not something that I made sure they followed through on every single time. I wasn't a psycho about it. When you want something for your kids, it comes out of you for them. So, if you want your kids to be helpful when they make a mess, you're going to be able to fight that urge to clean it up. Call them back and say, “Hey guys, this looks awesome. What did you guys do with this? Tell me what you were playing. That's so fun. That's so great! Okay, let's clean it up though. We don't want to just leave it out.”

Make it fun. I was never like, “Get over here!” You don't have to be crazy about it. But when you make it fun, you just infuse that in your day. Of course, there were times when I was like, “Screw it. I'm just gonna clean it up. It's fine.” But typically it was me saying: “Hey guys, come back. Remember? What do we do after you play with something?”

Make them learn that it's just a part of their lifestyle. You've already done that with minimalism and toys and look at how your kids are.

CHRISTINA: Yeah, they’re so creative.

ALLIE: They don’t come to you saying, “I'm bored.” They know how to create, play, be innovative, and messy because that's all they know. Eventually cleaning up after themselves will be all they know and it will just happen. It's awesome and it's so worth it. I think that you can start to do that.

Also, I don't like this idea that people have: “Oh, having toddlers, is just messy. It just is what it is.”

When you're living life and having fun, you let things go. But it doesn't have to be like, “Oh I have toddlers so this is just a total crap show. It's always messy. It's always hard and I can't wait for them to get older so I can have a clean house.”  That's not a good mindset to carry.

But to some effect, when you have creative kids, they do get things out. They think the broom is a horse and they get it out and they play with it. It is to some extent part of it, but there's no reason they can't put the broom back when they're done. There's no reason that you should be running around putting things back by yourself anymore. You have the badge of honor that you have a 4-year-old and she can help put things away. That's just what I did.

What might help you is implementing what I called: “the dinnertime pick-up alarm.” When I made dinner, I would set an alarm for 10 minutes or 5 minutes. You can gauge the amount of time your kids can handle at their ages. Again, super fun. No one's in trouble here. We're just doing our family thing and you say, “Guys, it's time for our dinnertime pick-up dance party.” We would blast Taylor Swift and dance around.

Do you know about the laundry hamper trick? Have them pick up everything in the room and dump it in. It makes it easy because the laundry hamper can be pushed around on the floor by toddlers and they're not having to go and put everything away. They’re just putting it in the hamper.

Then you can make the call. Sometimes I would just go through the house after bedtime and put everything in the laundry hamper where it goes. Sometimes I would have them help me. Definitely as they got older, like once Bella turned 6, it was her job. Go put this in whoever’s room it belongs in. If it was my flip flops she would put them on the floor in my room, which was at least more helpful than them being downstairs on the floor, under the table, or wherever. But yeah, make it fun.

I think that moms struggle because they're exhausted and they don't feel fun, so they don't make things fun and normal life things feel like a punishment. And that's when kids freak out. My son, Leland, has always been my harder one. He'd be grunting, stubborn, and saying, “I'm not going to do it.” All because I sounded like, “Guys what the heck? What is wrong with everybody? Why is it so messy? Pick up right now.”

But if you set a timer and play music, and you're helping and just dancing around, and you say, “Look, let's see who can put the stuff in the hamper the fastest.” How could they not want to? Toddlers love that.

Even if it was super fake and I was really annoyed and didn't feel it, I still made it fun. It’s like a fake-it-till-you-make-it thing, because then you do eventually feel like that and the kids catch that and they like it.

Then that solves the problem that your house feels really messy and it's all on you. If you implement that just every once in a while—having them clean up after themselves, reminding them, calling them back, and then you implement a nighttime pick-up party—then you've solved your problem.

And you can do that. It could be after every meal, you just say, “We just finished a meal. What do we do?”

CHRISTINA: That way it’s more often because I definitely need it at least three or four times a day.

ALLIE:  Yeah, you can do that whenever you want, five times a day, once a day, whatever. I think the key is to just make it fun. Infuse that into them and make them feel like, “Wow! You're such a help to me.” You know when people feel valued—it doesn’t matter if they’re 3 or if they're 90—if they feel valued, they want to show up for that.

There’s this marriage book that I read a long time ago. I think it was called For Women Only, and basically there was this section in there that changed my life and I've applied it to my marriage and everywhere else. It talked about when you want somebody to do something, telling them that they suck and they need to do better doesn't do anything.

If you told your husband, “I just want you to know I think that you're so romantic and you did this (insert small thing that wasn't really romantic, but you're just trying to praise him) and it just really made me feel loved and I felt really close to and I love you.” He's going to notice that and respond by doing another romantic thing instead of you saying, “Why can't you be romantic?” Do you see what I'm saying? Apply that to your kids. If you make them feel valued, make them feel like they’re so good at cleaning up, that’s going to make them want to be better at cleaning up instead of you nagging them.

CHRISTINA: That's awesome. I love that. I use a lot of Wendy Snyder's praises. I love her. And this morning I was asking my toddler—the second one, she's 3-years-old—“Could you please put that up? And she was like, “Nope, I'm not doing it.”

So I said, “Oh my gosh, could you do it as fast as you can? I'm going to set the timer.” Then my 4-year-old came running in and she's like, “Can I do it too, please?”

So, yeah, I need to remember to keep it fun because sometimes I'll definitely be like, “Oh my gosh, why is this room such a mess?” You know?

ALLIE: Yeah, yeah. I just did that yesterday. I freaked out and I was like, “Wait, okay guys, sorry. It doesn't matter how you've messed up today. It doesn't make it okay for me to mess up and I just messed up and I yelled, and I'm sorry. Let's just hit the reset button. Let’s clean up and then let's go downstairs.”

We have this little jar of Hershey Kisses that are for Emmett when he goes potty in the toilet. And I was like, “Let's clean up and let's go downstairs and everyone can have a Hershey Kiss because I think we all need chocolate right now.” And they just laughed. It fixed the day.

I think shifting that perspective in yourself is so powerful. And you can also solve your problem. You don't have to have “good moms don't have sticky floors and messy whatever and it’s a crap show, but at least I'm having fun with my kids” mentality. You can have both.

CHRISTINA: It's good to hear that you're on the other side of that too. That's awesome. I think one thing that they do really well now is they lay out their clothes and they get dressed in the morning. That took forever, but now they're doing it on some level.

ALLIE: Amazing. Yeah, that's amazing. It’s a little thing that trims our morning down a little bit. For me, my son Leland, has definitely been my tougher one. He’s weird about his socks and shoes. There couldn’t be any bumps. He would just take forever. So, I was thinking, ‘How can we fix this when we have to go in the morning?’ Having him try his socks on at night before bed. While I got Emmett’s teeth brushed and got Hudson in his pajamas, Leland's working out his sock issues and then he lays them out and they're ready for the next morning. He already knows that they are going to work and he's happy with them. Those are mom hacks that you don't think about because you're drowning.

So, I know that you had a question about life transitions and routines and stuff.

CHRISTINA: I can read that one. How can you tell when it is time to transition to a new season of life and change up certain routines? I don't want to stay stuck in my routines if they are not serving me.

I’m the kind of person who gets into a routine and can get a little lazy in that. For example, my baby, I'm nursing her at night and a lot of times I'll bring her in the bed and snuggle her. She’s probably at that point where I can start getting up early again. She's sleeping a little bit better, but I'm still stuck in that routine. She's in the bed in the morning, so I'll just sleep in. I'm enjoying that time with her. But I feel like a lot of times we start doing something that's working for us and boom, it changes, you know? Like for you, putting your kids in school and then taking them out. I had such respect for that when I listened to that episode where it's okay to change your mind. You know? If it's not working for your family, you don't have to follow through with it.

So just do you have any examples or tips there?

ALLIE: You like that time. You don't seem ready. I don't know if everyone has this. I talked to a few friends about it and they all agreed so, I don’t know if it’s a mom-thing for everybody, but when I was nursing, I really enjoyed it. My other two babies had issues and they wouldn't nurse. So, when Hudson and Emmett nursed, I just held onto that and it was so sweet for me. Emmett nursed for a really long time. He nursed for almost two years and Hudson nursed for nine months. And at the end of both of those journeys I started to feel different about it. My skin would kind of crawl and I would just kind of be like, “Oh. Ugh, we have to sit down and nurse.”

I feel like it's God's way of getting our bodies ready. It’s like at the end of the pregnancy you're like, look, I don't care how much it hurts, get out of me. It's like your mother's natural way of closing a season off. I think it's beautiful, and I think it's really, really beneficial when your life allows you to make decisions based on that. And you don't have to go and do something else and stop when you're not ready. So, you don't seem ready. Enjoy that. Snuggle her. Sleep in a little bit. Enjoy that sweet time and look for other ways in your life that you could fit things in. Unless you're Type A and you just love routine. I’m not, and being really rigid makes me feel super trapped.

But the fact is, spontaneous or not, the laundry has to get washed, the dishes have to get run, meals have to be cooked, things have to move forward for our houses to run smoothly and for our families to be taken care of.

So, in our family that role is split now between Brian and I. But before it wasn't. It was on me. And so, those are what should be routine. What are the things that absolutely must happen for you guys to function well? Don't put things that are an ideal in your routine right now. Just enjoy sleeping in with your baby girl. Soak up that time and then just know, okay after that I get the girls breakfast, then I put a load of laundry in,  and that's my morning routine. Whatever it is.

The way you know that it's time to switch transitions and bring in a new routine or let go of an old one is when you're like that nursing-skin-crawling-feeling, so to speak, in your life. It should serve you and you can tell when something is serving you versus when it's really inconvenient. You know that feeling when you just feel like everything is just a mess and you feel like, man I need to get my ish together... Like now...This is just not working?

But it depends on your life season where that routine goes. If you feel like that, but you love that snuggle time in the morning and you don't have to be at work at 9:00 AM or you don't have anything, you can fit in your morning routine somewhere else. Make it work for your life. It should feel good. Maybe you snuggle with your baby girl in the morning but at nap time instead of watching Netflix, you first switch the laundry and run the dishwasher, then you veg out and watch Netflix. You can fit it in wherever it works for you right now. It should make you feel like, “Oh that's good, that's really good.” It shouldn't make you feel like, “Oh man, I have to get up. I have to.” Unless you're a working mom and you've got to get up and go. That's a different story.

CHRISTINA: Yeah. Okay. That makes sense. And I think you're right. I feel to be productive, I need to get up at 5:00 AM, get all my meditation and blah, blah, blah. But I do get that stuff in. I just don't do it super early. I think you're right. It feels good right now, and I’m enjoying her.

ALLIE: I didn't even start doing a super early morning routine until I started getting up early and working on my business when Emmett was one—because that was our story. That's when the idea hit me. That's when it needed to happen. But with all my other kids, I didn't do early morning things until they were two. I think people look now and my youngest is 4 ½; That's why I get up at 5:00 and go exercise, then come home and meditate, and have a good time with my family. It seems so easy and smooth now because I have no babies. Just know your season.




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?

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CHRISTINA: Okay, now my next question is: What is your go to self-care when you're just feeling done? What's something you do that helps?

ALLIE: Do you want something that you can bring your kids to? Or something where you’re leaving and getting away?

CHRISTINA: How about one of each?

ALLIE: Okay. So, for myself, I could have no makeup on, have my hair in a topknot because it hasn’t been washed in six days, but if I have a manicure, I feel on top of the world. So, I always have my nails painted and pretty fresh because it makes me feel so good. Maybe think of something like that.

I feel like as women, if we feel good physically then it transfers. If you feel like crap (just getting real here: you've got no bra, sweaty under boob and you're feeling like you're gross), then you feel gross.

What’s the one thing that just makes you feel really, really good? I have a friend who's a little more high maintenance than me and she really loves facials. And so, she found a place to get a cheap organic facial and she goes every week on Wednesday morning. And that's her thing.

It could be like that or it could be less extreme. Going for a drive, getting yourself a chai tea latte—or whatever vice it is—and just going for a drive by yourself.

Then with the kids, I've switched back and forth between two things. We live in California, so the weather isn't really something I have to worry about. So, when we're having a day where homeschooling isn't clicking, everyone's just pissy and bickering, I'm done, I'm yelling, I'm not who I want to be, then it's time to get out of there. You need a change of scenery.

If it was raining or cold, we would take a drive. I would buckle the kids up. There's something magical about your kids being stuck in their car seats when they're driving you crazy. We would just listen to the music and just relax.

Then the other thing we would do, which was my favorite thing, which you might've heard me say before, is, I would get my headphones, get my phone, pack the kids up, get them all ready to go and take them to the park. There was this one park where there was a playground and a little sidewalk to walk around. It wasn’t really wide, but it went right around the playground so I could see them wherever I was. I would just put my headphones in and watch my kids play and listen to a podcast, something that encouraged me.

CHRISTINA: Yeah, like The Purpose Show?

ALLIE: What is the issue? Did you have a fight with your husband and you feel like you're having a crappy day? Listen to a marriage podcast. Are you struggling with one of your strong-willed kids? Listen to a parenting podcast.

Or maybe you need to exit the arena of whatever is causing stress that day, then don't listen to that. Listen to something for yourself. Get something in your head because words are powerful and when you're having a bad day and you put positive words literally in your head, you're going to leave that park different and your kids got their energy out. We would blow off nap time and just go whenever we needed to. And even if it was like 20 minutes, it changed the feel of the day.

CHRISTINA: Yeah, I love that. I do that. We have bad weather right now, but I'll just go to like Chick-fil-a if I can or an indoor playground. But yeah. I definitely use the podcast thing, but it's always you. Why are you doing one podcast a week? Please up it.

ALLIE: Good, that’s what it’s there for.

CHRISTINA: Okay. That was very helpful. Thank you.

Okay, so my last question is: What would you say has been the biggest impact of studying the Enneagram on yourself, your husband, and your kids? I am fascinated by the Enneagram. Yeah, I think I'm a 9.

ALLIE: Are you? They’re all great, but there are certain ones that I think I just kind of vibe with more because of my personality. It was funny because I'm such a dork. We were having a get-together at our house and I basically made everyone pick what they were on the Enneagram. I just wanted to know. All of my friends are like 2’s or 9’s. I think the biggest impact was marital for me.

I know I've shared about this on the podcast and it's repetitive, but I always could cry when I talk about it because I just felt so excluded all the time. I felt like I didn't belong anywhere. I didn't always fit in the mom circles. Like can we talk about something other than what Sippy Cup doesn't leak? I didn't get along with a lot of moms. I wanted to talk about marketing and blogging.

CHRISTINA: You’re passionate. You’re fiery.

ALLIE: Yeah. I'm super blunt and my sarcastic sense of humor would sometimes not go over well. I didn't fit in the business industry because they're all like, “Oh, where do you summer?” And I’m like, “I don't. I have a million kids.” I always felt my whole life, even as a kid, like I didn't belong anywhere and like I always needed to tone it down. “Relax” was basically the message that I got all the time from everyone.

And the Enneagram showed me, when I figured out that I was an 8 and I looked at what that meant, it was like my identity and who God made me to be. It was like a light was shone on it. I just cried. I felt so at peace and like, “Oh my gosh! It makes sense why I would take something basic and have to run with it and do way more than anyone else thought I would do with it because I'm passionate about it.

Especially being a woman and being an 8, when Brian and I would have friends, couple friends and stuff, the husband never liked me. They always seemed irritated or intimidated by me. I noticed that even being a teenager, and then especially after I started my business and our friends would see things online about the success of the business. Relationships changed. I never got along with my friends’ husbands; they just wouldn't like me.

And so, the Enneagram helped me see that I'm just super driven. I'm made to be an entrepreneur. I'm just powerful, confident, fiery, and blunt. That doesn't mean that it's an excuse to be rude or anything, but it's helpful to know yourself. Then knowing that and then seeing that Brian is a 2, we have always felt like we were the opposite of what we needed to be. I learned that it's not that. It's actually that we're just the opposite of tradition, and the traditional roles we were in almost split us up and they caused so much unfulfillment, drama, and just fighting.

And so, when I took the Enneagram, it really helped me step into my role and who I am. No matter who that threatens and no matter what other moms think about that. For Brian, he was like, “This is crazy. I’m literally designed to be a support. And I love supporting you, but I always felt weird about it. Like, am I nuts? Am I doing something wrong? Am I supposed to be the provider? What's going on?” So that was really liberating for us.

With my kids, I feel like I'm still figuring them out. I couldn't say that I know what all their numbers are right now. But I'm aware of the different attributes of the Enneagram and the different personality types and it's helped me see those in them and in my parents and siblings.

I have three siblings, so you know, those relationships are sometimes weird. I'm really close with one of my brothers, but my other two I'm like, “I need to figure you out. Are you being really rude or what's your problem?” The communication there, you know? And so, it's helped me see there's not somebody that's wrong and somebody that's right. There's not somebody that's annoying and somebody that's funny. It's just a personality thing. It's been really liberating in that way.

CHRISTINA: That's awesome. I think for me, my husband and I are kind of like the more traditional roles. He is a 3. Which one is the achiever? 3 or 6? I don't remember. He really works on his image and has to be very successful. It really means a lot to him. And I'm more or less like, “Just let's not fight. Everybody get along.” You know, the peacemaker. So yeah, for us it is a little bit more traditional, but I love how you embrace what you are.

It’s sad that the world hasn't come to that yet. I feel like in this age we should be at a point where we're accepting each other. I think that your accepting that about yourself is just awesome. Especially Brian, who is just so sweet. I just love him. He's so cute. I love you guys.

ALLIE: He's so funny when he does the podcast. I always say, “You don't have to be on anything. I never want you to feel like you have to.” And he's always like, “Oh no, I really want to.” He'll come to me with ideas and then we sit down to do it. I always have my hand on his knee and I can feel him tensing up, and we have to do seven takes in the beginning of the episode. He's like, “Okay, I got it now.” And then we'll just go with it and totally flow and the episode is great. But it's so funny to me because he seems so nervous and tense and I'm like, “You don't have to be on here.” He's always like, “I'm just thinking about all those people listening.” And I'm like, “Why would you think about that? I never think about that. I just do my thing.”

It's just funny that you can be so different, but you can still show up in the same way. He can still show up and serve people, it’s just different. It doesn't take him one take with no mess ups, like it does me. It's cool to learn how to be patient with each other's quirks and stuff.

CHRISTINA: Yeah. That's awesome. That's the last question I have.

ALLIE: That’s the last one on the list. I try not to look at every single thing that's typed up because I don't want to come in pre-prepped, but it's helpful in case people don't show up or whatever. But I saw the topics that you picked and I was like, “Oh! This is going to be so good!” And I was really excited.

Thank you for caring, listening to the show, and showing up with amazing questions. You are just such a light. You are. You’re just doing a great job. You're beautiful, shiny, bright, and amazing. You're inspiring to me. So just know that.

CHRISTINA: Thank you. I wish you could see how many women that your life has touched.

I mean I'm sure you see it in some aspects, but there's a lot of women where I share your message and they're constantly messaging me like, “Oh my gosh! This is changing my life. I'm actually scheduling time to get down on the floor and play with my kids.”

I'm your biggest fan. I share you all the time. Your messages are just so good. It's so good. It’s so important that this message gets out there because there are just so many moms that look at each other and they go, “Oh, that's just how life is. It just sucks. It's always a mess. Your kids are always going to be either in a pile of crap or you're going to suffer cleaning all day long.”

ALLIE: There's a lot of shame in being a total mess mom, and there's also another level of shame in not being that. Not that I have it all together. There's always something that's kind of dropped off. If I'm killing it at the business one day, then my house is a little messy. If I'm killing it at motherhood then, in the business some things didn't get done. There's always a balance, but I think there's a different level of shame that comes in when you are doing well and loving it. There's shame in that and it's awful.

CHRISTINA: It is awful. How do you respond to them? I mean I know that's your business, that's your heart. But for people who follow you, and we want to share this and want to share you. Usually I'm just like, “Okay, there's this girl named Allie…”

I'm the peacemaker and I don't want to rile people up. But when I see these people posting, a lot of times on social media, things like: “My house is a crap mess.” I hesitate to comment because I don't want to shame them. I want them to see that there's a light, but I also don't want to make myself look like I'm better than them or anything. What would you suggest if you see people posting things like that? Even if they are asking for help, what's a good way to say that this message is out there, without being rude and without shaming them?

ALLIE: Yeah, I understand that because that's my job. I love marketing so much, but it is so hard to figure out the marketing message behind what I do without coming across as preachy. I can't even tell you how many hours and hours and hours Brian and I have poured into it. Especially him being a guy, he'll say, “Why don't you just say this?” And I'm like, “Okay, if I said that—that was a guy thing to say because I would never get a follower again.”

It's very hard to say, “I can help you,” without it sounding like, “because I'm better than you.” And that is not my heart at all. What I would say and what I've been doing is thinking about it like it's a story that you're telling and you've been there. You've stood where they're standing and you came out of it. Come at it with that heart, like you're doing them a service by telling them, “Oh my gosh, yes! I could have posted a picture just like this times 10 last year. Have you ever heard of (whatever)? It's been such a lifesaver for me.”

I always try to say, “I'm not going to preach at you. I'm not gonna tell you exactly what to do, but rather just help you shift your perspective so you can figure it out yourself.” That's just how I've done it. Tell a story that started exactly in that photo: “That was my photo and now it's not, and it doesn't have to stay that way.” Rather than, “You should…” Never say “should.”

You know what really breaks my heart too, is when I get tagged in something and it's something like that. I wish there was a way to remove that tag. I do not want to be associated with: “You should look at Allie. You can be way better than this. She'll just help you.” No. That is not what I do. I hate it.

It's a problem and, especially, I think, mothers are very protective over their role and what they're doing, and it can feel convicting because of what’s within their own selves. So you can't control that. But I think if you can look at the comment and you're like, “This isn't preachy. This is funny and relatable and I’ve stood where you stood,” and it’s helpful, then it's a green light, you know?

CHRISTINA: Yeah. Awesome.

ALLIE: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me. I'm so happy that you're here. Really. This was so good and you're just amazing. I'm really thankful for you taking the time away from your kids to talk to me and help the ladies that are going to watch this later and that are watching right now. Thank you so much.

CHRISTINA: Thank you so much for having me. I just want to say to anybody listening that hasn't been down the journey before, it's so, so, so worth the work. Get one of Allie’s courses. Anything she has is amazing and it changes your life. So yeah. Team Allie!

ALLIE: Thank you Christina. I just adore you. I will talk to you later.



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 111: A Simple Practice for Daily Happiness, Mindfulness & Making Decisions with Emily P. Freeman

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Did you know that, on average, you make 35,000 decisions every single day? That is a lot and feels overwhelming! But decision making doesn’t have to be that way. If we shift our focus from putting off decisions, putting pressure on them, or ignoring them and we turn our focus to the next right thing, the whole decision making process will be more fun and less intimidating!

Emily Freeman is the founder of an incredible movement called The Next Right Thing. She has a book and a podcast around this theory of focusing on the next right thing in front of us and the power that has in our decision making. Give yourself permission to stay in the moment and take action on the next right thing! (Like listening to this episode, because it is a GOOD one!)

 
 

In This Episode Allie + Emily Discuss:

  • Advice for mama’s of teenage girls (because we all need it, right?)

  • What The Next Right Thing movement is, where it all began, and how that phrase will help you in your decision making.

  • Practical steps you can take when making decisions, even in those mundane, day to day decisions.

  • What unmade decisions do to us and the power they hold over our lives.

Mentioned in this Episode:


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This conversation is all about decision making and staying present as you focus on the next right thing and I have the perfect freebie that will support you as you shift your perspective in this direction!

Phone Settings For Our Present Life walks you through what phone settings I have set up on my phone and a less extreme alternative for those of you who might not want everything turned off. It tells you exactly what to do in your phone, and also a lot of the heart behind why you might want it like that. Why I think it's important and where technology maybe should be in our priority list.

The less distraction you have from your phone, the more present you can be to make those every day decisions. Because 35,000 decisions every day is a lot! So don’t miss out on this free PDF. I know it will help you take action, feel more present, and do the next right thing.


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

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

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


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


Hi, beautiful friend! Oh my gosh. This conversation that you are about to listen in on is life-changing. If you will really just quiet your mind and give this interview, which I can't even call that, it was a conversation, an amazing conversation. If you will give this your focus, oh my goodness, it will shift your perspective, change your life, and give you some really simple keys to simplifying your decision-making process, finding quiet in the midst of your very full life.

If you’re listening to this, you are likely a mom or a very busy woman and you need this. I needed this. It was so good. This was one of those rare podcast conversations where I was shifting around in my seat because it was so good. It was moving me and had me thinking, really thinking, and it was just so good.

Emily Freeman is my guest today. She is a beautiful soul. I was so happy to sit and talk with her. She is the author of The Next Right Thing, which is a book that's actually based on a podcast she started, which the podcast is also called The Next Right Thing. I love listening to her podcast. It's one of my favorites. It's one of the only ones I actually do listen to. Emily really has a good personality. She's very pointed when she speaks and she gets to the point, which I like. I just really liked her.

Her book, The Next Right Thing is simple, soulful practices for making life decisions. Emily talked a lot about decluttering your soul and your brain, and uncomplicating the art of making decisions day-to-day. Not big life decisions but day-to-day, because the average person makes 35,000 decisions per day. Obviously this is something we need to be talking about and looking at.

Emily is a Wall Street Journal bestselling author. She's an incredible soul and this conversation is worth giving your time to. So let's welcome her and enjoy this conversation, ladies. I know I did.

ALLIE: Hi Emily! Welcome!

EMILY:  Hi Allie! Thanks for having me here!

ALLIE: Yeah, I'm so excited to talk with you. I'm super excited to get to know more about you and introduce you to our listeners. I think that we have a lot of overlap in the things we talk about and that's always super exciting because I feel like you get me and I get you.

EMILY:  I feel that way too.

ALLIE: Yeah, I'm excited. Okay. Before we get into all the other things about the amazing book that you've written, which I read in one sitting yesterday.

EMILY: So impressed.

ALLIE: It was so good. I made space for it because it was so good. I just want to learn a little bit about you and have our listeners connect with who you are.

So tell us about, tell us about you. What's your personality type? Do you know what you are on the Enneagram and all that good stuff?

EMILY: I do. On the Enneagram, I identify with Type 4. I probably lean more towards the 3 wing, but as I get older a little bit, I'm finding more 5 tendencies in me a little bit. My sister's a 5 on the Enneagram, so I kind of get that space too.

I don't even think I identified really as maybe a creative person until maybe college or after college. I didn't see myself that way. But as I've gotten older, that part of me has come more fully alive and I think has always been there, but I never really gave it a name or gave myself credit for being creative, which I actually believe everybody's creative. Creativity expresses itself differently in different ways in each of us.

I think when people listen to my podcast and then they meet me in real life, I think they're surprised that I laugh really loud and talk pretty fast and I'm a little kind of sillier maybe than they expect. Because the podcast is a little more contemplative and slower paced because that's the purpose of that show. While that is me and that's my personality, you know there are different aspects and facets of personality that come out in different places.  

ALLIE: Different settings. If you're in a person-to-person social setting, you get an energy that's different than when you're sitting at your desk talking about your work.

EMILY: Right. Exactly. And that's kind of what it is. And I think in general, I feel most like myself when I'm writing and when I express myself through writing, but I feel most alive when I'm communicating with people or speaking or using my voice to say words, even if it's just with other people in a small group setting or even on a stage speaking at an event or something. That wouldn't be my preference to do that a whole lot. But when I do it, there is a certain sense of fulfillment I think that comes in those moments.

ALLIE: I love that. I'm the same way. I really don't like speaking when I'm planning to go speak somewhere, but once I'm on that stage, something happens where I come alive and I'm like, “I need to do this more.” And then I'm like, “Well, maybe not.”

EMILY: I've never heard anyone say it that very way. I feel the same way. The hardest part of my job is prepping to speak somewhere. But then once I get up there, it doesn't feel hard at all compared to the prep. Sometimes I’m like, “Am I doing this wrong? There's gotta be a magic way that I haven't figured out.” But I don't know if there is. I think that's just part of the job,

ALLIE: I think so. I've never heard anyone else really say that they didn't love speaking either. I think people do it because they love it and they're good at it, but not a lot of people are really willing to push themselves past their comfort zones, I think. And I am. So that is that for me. I will only take the ones that are super worth it because I don't like it very much.

EMILY: I love it. I totally resonate with that.

ALLIE: Tell us what is your absolute favorite thing to do when you are by yourself?

EMILY: Well, I love being by myself, so that's a favorite thing all alone. I can spend a lot of time just looking out the window, which sounds so boring, but I live a lot of life in my head, so having the space to actually stare out the window. A lot of times I will go back through journals that I've written in, old journals from years ago, and reflect on things I've learned or ways I've changed or the way our life has changed. That can be really life giving for me to sort of see patterns and to spend some time in reflection. Also reading when I'm alone. I'll either watch a show I love or spend some time with a book that I love. Lately I have been craving reading more fiction because I haven't been reading a lot of fiction and so I sense that itch to read a really good story.

ALLIE: I go through really long seasons of not reading it at all. fiction, when it does come into my life, it's a happy escape from the norm. Regular books, nonfiction books, they don't do that. You’re thinking about your life as you're learning this new thing. It's just when the fiction has a special place.

So, tell us about your family.

EMILY: My husband John and I have been married for almost 18 years now and it's gone by really fast. That's weird because I remember when my parents were married for 18 years, you know? That’s so weird. We have three kids. We have twin girls who are 15, they're in 9th grade. And then we have a son who is almost 13. He's in 6th grade. This was a big year for us, first time middle school for our son and then first time high school for the twins. Lots of transition, but they've made them fairly smoothly. And so, we're navigating interesting teenage waters these days with our family, which has been really a gift, but also it makes you realize, “Wow, we've been parents for 15 years. We still don't really know what we're doing a lot of the time,” because we've never been parents of these kids at this age. It's always learning and staying on your toes.

ALLIE:  Do you have any advice for those of us with girls that are…my daughter's 10, so setting the stage for those teenage years? What would you say has been helpful and that you think you did well?

EMILY: That's a great question. A lot of times it's the things that you don't realize and you might just do naturally and they don't feel like a big deal. But I had a mom tell me once that people always commented on how close she was with her teenage girls. And this mom said, “It started with the Barbies. I would play Barbies with them or play the games that they wanted to play when they were young.” So then as they grew, it was really normal for them to just let her into their world.

Though I'm not the best Barbie player…I was when I was younger and was actually playing with them, but as the girls have gotten older, one thing is they have each other. They're twins, so they do a lot of that themselves. But being around and letting them know that I was present. I think I discount the value that that has.

When I look back and I think, “Oh, I should have had more serious and intentional conversations with them about A, B, C, you know, about all these really big important issues.” And maybe that would've helped, but I don't know if they would remember, but I guarantee you what they remember is time spent and just me being around.

And I think that's sometimes a filter through which I make decisions about work or travel or whatever…there are seasons when I'm not able to be fully present because I am traveling or working. But then when I'm home, I'm trying to be all there. I think that really goes a lot further than we realize.

Maybe 10 years from now I'll look back and remember, “Oh yeah, that was important,” because when I think about my own relationship with my mom, I don't really remember specific conversations or “lessons” that she taught me. But I do remember her presence and I remember her just being there. And I think that's really important, and I think a lot of times overlooked.

ALLIE: Yeah, I love that. Your kids have always gone to school?

EMILY: Yeah, they're all three in public school. Charter School for a couple of years, but mostly they're in the public school.

ALLIE: I love that, cause we homeschool our kids and it's not out of a love for homeschooling. That is for sure. It's just the flexibility of schedule because we like to bring the kids with us when we travel for work. But a lot of the time when I talk about being intentional and making time and being present, people – mothers - will blame it, “Well you homeschool, so you're always together.” And I am always trying to get a conversation with somebody who does not homeschool and has that because I don’t think that's it.

I actually think it can make it harder because you think, “Oh we have all day. We're always together. There's lots of opportunities for that.” And it actually slips by even more. I love that you said that and that your kids go to school. It’s not a lack of the availability of time. I think it's what you do with the time you do have together.

EMILY: Right. Yeah, that's a great point.

ALLIE: Okay. So, you are the host of The Next Right Thing podcast, which I love because it's short, pointed. It's one of those shows that if I'm listening…sometimes I just want silence because my life is loud and my kids are still really little and my oldest is 10 so I've got a 4-year-old, and lots of boys, so it's very loud…but sometimes I want to listen to something while I get ready and it's perfect because the episode is done by the time I finish doing my makeup or putting my hair up or whatever. It's easy and pointed. Maybe I'm wrong, but I feel like the podcast is really short and pointed and bite-size perspective shifts and the book is still not super long or anything, but just really beautiful and a little deeper.

I really love the way you wrote this book. It's amazing. And it's also called The Next Right Thing.

When I immerse myself in an author, I've been looking at your website and I followed you on Instagram and read your book in one sitting yesterday, so I have to remove myself and, “Wait, for somebody who does not know any of this, let's start from the beginning.” What is the next right thing, this movement you started? Tell us what it is about or if you want to share where it started for you. Anything that you want to give us the 101 of The Next Right Thing.

EMILY: Well, that phrase, “the next right thing,” it's certainly not one that I came up with. It's been around a long time and has been said by a lot of really smart people over the years.

The first time I remember hearing it was when I was in college. I was a transfer commuter student at a school locally here. Because I was a commuter student, we had to fight for parking. I had to get to the school an hour before my first class started just to find street parking. I also learned to be a really great parallel parker by the way, so I can whizz into a parallel parking space, no problem.

But I would get to school early and then there was nothing to do because there wasn't a smart phone back then and no podcast to listen to. So I would listen to a little radio show that was about 15 minutes. It was like one of my podcast episodes. It was called Gateway To Joy and it was hosted by author Elizabeth Elliot and she would often quote a little poem that was called, “Do The Next Thing.” It was kind of sing-songy. It stuck with me because as a 18, 19, maybe I was 20 by that time -year-old, that was really powerful for me because it's the time in your life when you're looking at the future and you're looking at all of it at once and it can be overwhelming to say the least. And so that little small encouragement to just do the next thing, do it with prayer, do it consistently, was really helpful for me. It kind of just lodged in the back of my mind all those many years ago.

But then as I've grown and started writing, I find when I look back over books I've written and blog posts I've written over the last decade, I find that phrase here and there, “just do the next thing” or “do the next right thing” in my own writing, just kind of tucked away.

It was only about two or three years ago when I had a big decision to make that I started recognizing how this unmade decision that I had to make had a lot of power. And I think that's true across the board for a lot of us that unmade decisions hold power. They hold our attention. They keep us on our toes. They can have the power to wake us up to God, to friendships, to communication or whatever. Or they can also have the power to shut us down. To procrastinate. To put the decision off. To delegate it to somebody else. That's a lot of power that unmade decisions have.

A lot of us want to go ahead and make the decision and we want to be done with it. Others of us, we'll drag our feet.

It was sort of two things happening. I had this decision to make, but then on the inside level, my inner life, I was looking at how that decision was informing my relationships and the way I related to God and to people. That’s when I started to think, “Oh, this decision-making thing. There's something to this. I want to explore this.” And I thought it would be my next book because I'm a writer and that's what I do.

So, I started taking notes on the decision-making process and how this unmade decision was causing me to question some things and solidify other things and how my own spiritual formation was becoming a real big part of this decision-making process. But as I tried to write it as a book even after I made that decision, it was so stubborn and did not want to be a book. It was the worst. I tried to force it into an outline; it would not do it. Finally, long story short, I decided maybe the medium that this idea wants to come to life in is not in written form, but in spoken form. That's when I had the idea to explore this idea of decision-making and doing the next right thing in a podcast.

What should I call it? Decision again…how about I just call it “The Next Right Thing,” because that's the phrase that has always helped me approach decisions a little bit in a more friendly way and not such an intimidating way.

If it was “just do the right thing,” I think it's like, “Well yeah.” But that's kind of intimidating and we don't always know what's right, but when we put that word “next” in it, I think that makes it a little more approachable. We can usually access the next thing that's right in front of us, even if we're not quite sure what the exact right thing is to do.

So, that's kind of some background. That phrase has stayed with me and I'm sure will continue to stay with me for the rest of my life because this “next right thing posture” has really changed not only how I make decisions, but also how I move through my day in everyday life.

ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely. So, what does that look like? Maybe give me some examples because I'm curious about the mundane stuff. You say we make 35,000 decisions a day. Is that right?

EMILY: That's what I hear. I've looked it up in many different places and that's the number that keeps coming in. Isn’t that crazy?

ALLIE: And you know, in my personal day-to-day life, I've been working through when to apply grace to myself and went to keep pushing because I've been finding myself feeling really exhausted and done for the day very early in the day. And I'm like, “Okay, I've been trying…do I need to move my exercise so it's not in the morning? What is it that I need to do?” And reading this book…I intentionally left it for right before I interviewed you so that it would be fresh…in reading this book, I'm like, “Hold on 35,000?” I know my life, I know my job, I know how many people are on my team and I know my kids are always with me, so I'm just gonna assume that I probably have more than the average person.

EMILY: I think you probably do.

ALLIE: I was thinking, “You know, I think it's that.” I think it's just the constant like that. What is the New York Times article about decision fatigue?

EMILY: Yes, it's a real thing.

ALLIE: I don't really know what to do with that information, but it helped me feel like it's okay. It makes total sense. I'm constantly being talked to and some of that quiet I have control over (like with my phone) but a lot of it I don't. Like with my kids, they're here and I don't want them to feel, “Don't talk to mom. She's going to be pissed or whatever.” I want to be there, but it's just exhausting. And little things like, “Yes you can have applesauce or are you going to have slides at your presentation at this conference?” I don't know…things like that. It's just constant. So, I guess my question, messily, is what do you do with that in day-to-day? What do we do with that information? What does this next right thing look like lived out in those mundane things every day. And is there a way to avoid that exhaustion that I've been going through?

EMILY: Well first I would say to answer your question, I think that you showing grace to yourself is always the next right thing. Because it sounds to me like your personality, I can totally relate with it, probably you might never be a person who needs to totally push herself because it sounds like you naturally push yourself. You probably need to intentionally not push yourself sometimes, especially in your life stage. Man, that's so tough.

But as far as the mundane things, it's such a great question and I gotta tell you, it's in the mundane things where The Next Right Thing concept is the most helpful for me because I will literally wake up in the morning and maybe I'll have a little morning routine that I can rely on, which is really helpful, actually small, short morning routine.

But after that, sometimes I'm like, “Uhh,” and I'm literally spinning in my living room. Where should I start? What do I do first? Because everything feels like it has equal importance. When someone says, “Well, do the most important thing first,” it's like, “Well guess what? It feels like there's 20 of those.” Everybody else has their own idea of what's “important.” So, choosing one I think is helpful.

That whole idea of “the next right thing” sometimes is, “Okay, go take a shower.” And then I get out of the shower and it's like, “Okay, now what's the next right thing?” I’m going to listen to this podcast while I do my hair, okay. Giving myself permission to stay in that next right thing while I'm in it, knowing that I'm going to have the opportunity to ask the question again in 15 minutes. And that helps.

It’s like a weird mindset-magic that happens for me personally when taking a shower is my next right thing and I let that be my next right thing for 15 minutes. Then I can be in the shower and it almost feels like time expands because I'm not spinning in my mind about, “Well I'm taking a shower now, but really I should have been making the grocery list and running out to the mailbox,” rather than forcing myself into spaces where I can't be all at once because we can really only do one thing at a time, even the best multitasker among us. We might be doing many things in succession really quickly, but you can't chop an onion and peel the oranges at the same time. You can do them really quickly, but it's one at a time.

But giving those activities a little bit of bumper room in between each other by asking the question, “Okay, now what's the next right thing?” And trusting yourself to choose. If there's 10 things and you can't figure out which one's most important, then there isn't an answer there. There isn't a wrong answer. Just pick one.

I can't tell you how many times I have not done that and I've looked back on my day and been like, “Wow! I got nothing done, but I was working all day long.” Because I was frenetically switching, task switching, from half an activity to half an activity and it wore on my energy. It made me grumpy because I didn't finish anything. And I felt like a failure even though I was just as tired or maybe more tired than I would have been had I just chosen three things and finished them to completion, and then gave myself permission to say, “What is your next right thing.”

And the final thing there is let the next right thing sometimes be it's time to close the day. It's time to be done with work today or whatever the thing you're working on. That is a valid next right thing.

ALLIE: I love that so much. Yesterday, I was frustrated because I was faced again with that feeling of, “I’m feel tapped out. I feel like I will not be able to even cook dinner and deal with my…and that's when it's a trigger…when I'm thinking, “deal with my family.” That's not how I want to come to the table at the end of the day, you know? I was feeling like, “There's no way.” But there's all of my task list (Emily was like “20 things left”) and they were big things. I just reached out to Hayley. She's my right-hand man. She helps run the company and I said, “I just don't know what to do.” And she was like, “Well, none of these things are pressing right now. Why don't you just be done for the day?”

Why do we give ourselves this fake urgency? Because I assigned it to today, a long time ago when I was just putting my tasks in Asana, I was like, “Well, this task needs to be done today.” I think it was funny cause I laid on the couch, I just laid there like a Zombie vegging out for a second. And it was like how often do we do that to ourselves where it is so unnecessary and it's so urgent, but we’re are the ones that have the power to say this is not urgent anymore? It's just one of those novel concepts. It's so obvious, I think to certain personality types.

EMILY: It is and I love that you pointed out that you reached out to Hayley because number one, I think we all need a Hayley in our lives, whether we're writing or whether we are just running a household or whatever the thing is. And too, looking back, that was your next right thing, was to reach out to her and to let her be a co-listener with you to your own energy and your own life. And for her to say, “I'm going to be a “no” mentor to you right now. It’s time for you to say “no” and close the day.” What a beautiful next right thing that you did without even realizing it. I think that's so great that you have her and that you know, “Okay, when I'm at my wits end, I’m going to reach out to Hayley.”

ALLIE: I think sometimes we just get stuck in our own heads and we can't have that aerial perspective over our own life because we're just muddled. It just gets messy.


Hey sweet friend! I'm interrupting this incredible conversation that I'm having with Emily because I wanted to let you know that I know when I'm having conversations like this on the podcast, it really gets me thinking. It really gets me inspired.

This was one of those conversations that when we were recording, I just really felt alive. I felt really excited. I felt super inspired. I was thinking to myself, “I need to make sure that I come back and listen to this episode myself later on.”

Those recordings are rare, but when they happen, I feel like I'm on fire inside. I get so amped up about what we're talking about. I think that happened here with Emily because well, first of all, she's amazing and this conversation is so good, deep, and just extraordinary. And I think also because there's crossover with what I talk about, and I'm passionate about this, so it really gets me excited for you guys.

What I wanted to do is just draw attention to a freebie that I've created in the past for you guys that has become a fan favorite. People love it. It really deals with something that you wouldn't think is really deeply impacting your day, but it is. It deals with your phone settings.

I talk often about how I have my notifications basically turned off in a lot of ways. They're really turned off. I don't get my phone vibrating, making a noise, or lighting up when I get a text message. I don't have social media interrupting my day. My phone is a side note. It's extra so I'm living my days focused on what's in front of me, on my family, on my work, on whatever it is that I'm doing in real life that day. I don't think that technology should be able to tap us on the shoulder and interrupt our actual, real life whenever it wants to.

I talk a lot about that and I have this free download called Phone Settings For Our Present Life and it literally walks you through exactly what phone settings I have set up on my phone and a less extreme alternative for those of you who might not want everything turned off. It tells you exactly what to do in your phone, and also a lot of the heart behind why you might want it like that. Why I think it's important and where technology maybe should be in our priority list.

If you're interested in getting that, it's totally free. It's just something that I have on my website that I thought would be important and helpful to draw attention to while you're listening to this episode.

To get that for free, go to alliecasazza.com/shownotes/111.


ALLIE: I love something that you talk about in your book, how unmade decisions will smoke out things that we’re addicted to, like these hidden addictions. Not like addiction to alcohol and addiction to other things, but addiction to needing clarity or needing the approval of other people before you make a decision. Can you kind of unpack that for us? I just thought that was so astute and wise. I’ve noticed it in my own life when I've had to talk through things. Can you talk about that?

EMILY: It’s such an interesting thing to think about because it's very meta to think about how we make decisions, because usually we don't think about the process. We just either do it or we don't do it. When I think about decisions that that give me the hardest time or the ones that I'm procrastinating on, that's what I think our decision making and the process can begin to smoke out those addictions that we don't even realize are there.

For example, sometimes when I'm putting a decision off, the reason is because I'm afraid of the people I'll disappoint one way or the other. If I make this decision, these people are going to be disappointed. I make that one, I'm going to let these people down. Sometimes it's just perceived. I'm just afraid I'll let those people down. It might not even be real, but it's a fear of that.

And that can be an addiction to really deeply caring what people think to an unhealthy degree. Or it could be, I put something off because I am addicted to my own comfort. Even just buying a plane ticket. It's like, “Uh, I don't like the feeling I get when I'm having to make a decision that's definitive. I leave at this time and I get back at this time.” There's something in there that, though it might just be a quirky thing that we do, there could be something in there if we listened to our life that we realize could unlock a deeper issue. So, it's like these surface unmade decisions can actually inform something that might be happening beneath the surface.

And another thing, I think when we put decisions off, a lot of times and you mentioned it, it's because we are addicted to a sense of clarity. We think that until I know everything there is to know, and until I feel a perfect peace, I will not move. But in reality, a lot of times the peace and clarity come on the other side and it's once you finally make the decision and walk into the foggy future, that clarity begins to reveal itself to us over time.

Sometimes we're never sure if it was “right” or not. We just did the next thing we need to do at the time. That addiction to clarity, if we're waiting to feel clear, perfect peace, man, we might be waiting for a really long time.

Marie Forleo talks about clarity comes from engagement not from thought. Sometimes we think, “Well, if I think this through every single possible outcome that could come from this decision, then I'll have clarity.” But her point is a good one in that a lot of times it's engaging with the decision, engaging with our life, that actually brings the clarity to us as we move forward, even as we're carrying some question marks.

ALLIE: As you're talking about this, I'm just thinking about people who struggle with anxiety and I'm wondering do you have any experience with this helping ease just regular anxiety? Does that even make sense? This is not in my notes, this is an unformed question, but how does this affect people that struggle with being anxious in those little moments, unexplained anxiety?

EMILY: Well I think that's a great question and first of all I think sometimes we feel shame when we have feelings that we can't explain. Anxious feelings or fearful feelings.

And I just want to point out that feelings are always valid. They might not always tell us the truth, but they always give us information. So if we're feeling anxious, pay attention, you might not be able to explain it, but it can be a red flag of something that could be really helpful to know. But it's okay if you can't explain it. I think paying attention to those triggers when we do feel anxiety and maybe getting beneath that and asking yourself why.

Another thing in an anxious place, especially when it comes to decision making or something I'm being asked to do, try to put into English words what you are afraid of. Sometimes fear is a smoky enemy, but when you get down to it and you put it in English, it loses a lot of its power because you realize, oh, I was afraid…just general fear, but when I put it in English it’s like, “Oh no, actually, I'm afraid that I will miss my daughter's performance.” There can be really specific things. Once you have that fact or that information, you might be better equipped to deal with the thing you're actually afraid of and saying it out loud can help loosen some of the power.

One question I like to ask myself when I'm feeling stuck in a decision is am I being pushed by fear or am I being led by love in this decision? And looking for the fear and the love in decision making can be really informative. It might not always help us make the next decision, but I think it can give us a lot of information about, “Okay, oh I am afraid. Well why is that?” Asking the question beneath the question when it comes to fear.

I know sometimes even just asking that question, “Oh, am I making a decision out of fear or am I making a decision out of love,” sometimes that alone is enough to help us know maybe not the whole decision, but at least our next right thing.

ALLIE: That makes so much sense. I love that.

You talk about naming in your book and I also really loved this section. You have those two core principles about choosing the next right thing and having sole minimalism, which we will totally dive into. I might be wrong; I think this was the next section. I actually marked this section that I wanted to read so that you could expand on it. It's so good and you lead into it with saying “put into English words.”

You say in the book, “sometimes indecision is the result of a busy schedule or a hesitant personality. Other times it's because something within us remains unnamed and we simply don't have enough information or self-knowledge to move forward. Without a name we can't be specific and there's nothing fear likes more than nonspecificity.”

I just love that because it's true on so many levels. And I think you just touched on it with the anxiety question a little bit about like, well, what is it? Because it's either going to be a little ridiculous and you'll realize that, “Oh well, this thing isn't going to happen,” or it could totally happen, but you now can take steps to protect it or help it not happen.

Can you talk a little bit more about that naming? Examples that you have done or anything that you could help us see more clearly that in our day-to-day life?

EMILY: I think it's a great question and I think it is an important part of the decision-making process that's often not talked about and overlooked. We go straight from, “I have to make a decision,” and then we jump straight into whatever the decision is without taking a little time to listen to our own life. Part of that listening process is putting a name to some things.

I'm trying to think of a good example. I share the story of the Writebols in the book where Nancy Writebol, who was diagnosed with Ebola virus when she was a medical missionary. During that time, I saw a news brief where she and her husband, after she was better, were giving a news conference about her experience.

She and her husband shared a lot of the difficulties, a lot of the fear. They thought she wasn't going to make it at one point, but she pulled through and they talked about their faith. They talked about the hope that they had in God. But that there were also some hard times.

I was on the elliptical at the gym when I was watching this news conference and I was listening. At the end of it, it was so interesting because the news commentator summed up the news conference with the Writebols and she said how beautiful their story was. She said their's was “a narrative of joy.” I had to take my earbuds out and stop the elliptical because first of all, I thought that was such a beautiful way to say that, “a narrative of joy.” But it was also really counterintuitive to call that a narrative of joy because they were talking about her recovering from Ebola, this terribly life-threatening sickness.

And I thought, you know what? The “narrative” is the keyword there because each plot point in their life when she was on that bed and very sick and her husband couldn't even go in the room because it was too dangerous, that was not joyful. That was dark, filled with grief and probably a lot of fear and anxiety. But when they look at the whole narrative of her life and even of the experience, the whole thing, they could name that narrative as one of joy, even though each plot point was not joyful.

When it comes to my life, oftentimes I am tempted to look at the plot points and call that the story. And I can get stuck in a difficult day or difficult moment, an argument or relational disagreement, a work setback. And I can say. “This is hard.” And I named the narrative hard, difficult, fearful, anxious, wrong, discouraged. Rather than letting that day or that moment be a plot point in a larger story, a larger narrative. It’s an example of taking a step back at your life and seeing it for what it is on the whole. It doesn't mean that those plot points aren't to be named. They are.

Sometimes I think we rush too fast. I think we can do both. We will either wallow in the difficulty and refuse to see the narrative that's bigger, or we feel shame for feeling the difficulty. So, we will rush too quickly to the joy or to the hope. Or when we see someone around us struggling, we will be uncomfortable in their struggle, so we'll rush them to a narrative of joy, but they need to be in that plot point and name it because we cannot heal from what we do not name. And don't confront.

I think a lot of times we're walking around with a lot of woundedness and a lot of things from our past, decisions that we've made, that maybe we regret but we haven't named it regret. Instead maybe we are living under a banner of disappointment or whatever the thing is, but we didn't trace it back to a certain decision at a certain time in a certain place. Call it a plot point but don't make it the whole narrative.

Making that differentiation between a plot point and the narrative has been really life giving for me and has freed me up to let the hard things be hard, but not to let them define the whole story.

ALLIE: I love that. I love it so much. It's such a perspective shift. If you can do it now before a really hard thing happens, then you're going to be equipped with that when it does hit. I have a really dear friend that I grew up with that she was fostering a little boy and he actually ended up getting murdered by his birth mom. It's this awful thing. I'm watching everybody around in our lives try to get them where they wanted them to be faster. We're seeing these people that we all love in pain, in incredible pain, that really none of us understood because that's a very unique trauma. No one had gone through it. And naturally, you don't really know what to do. But as I went, I flew out there, and I sat with them, I noticed people were uncomfortable with their discomfort and wanted them to just feel better.

It was exactly what you're saying, rushing them to get into that narrative that makes us feel better. Like, “Oh, you're not in pain anymore. I'm so glad you got through that. God is greater.” And it's like, they're not there yet. They're really upset. I learned so much about that.

But I love that you talk about that for ourselves too. Not forcing and not rushing that clarity, and that knowing of this is what’s in my story. You don't need to know sometimes. And that's so hard for my personality, but so true.

EMILY: I so get that. I shared this story, you might have read, but I had some back pain and I went to get a massage. My mother-in-law was like, “You need a massage. I'm going to pay for that.” I'm like, “Eh, okay.” But when I went the massage therapist, she told me, she said, “Actually, which side of your back hurts?” And I was like, “It was the left side.” She said, “Well, I actually noticed more trouble in your right side.” So immediately I'm like, “What does it mean?” You know?

I was like, “Well, tell me, what does that mean that it’s the opposite side? And I kind of freaked out like, “Oh great, I have a whole back that's troubled.” She very calmly answered and she said, “Um, it doesn't mean anything. It's just information.” And I thought, oh I was trying to rush to an explanation, but she was making, forcing me to be satisfied with information.

And sometimes that's all we get. We don't have an explanation or a diagnosis. But sometimes naming it and seeing it for what it is and letting let that be enough. That might be all we ever get. And like you said, it can be super hard and frustrating, but it still can be helpful.

As we move forward, especially with people who are in trauma situations, like you mentioned, the more comfortable we get with carrying our own question marks, I think the better friends we are to those who are living in a giant question mark that none of us understand. We can more quickly and empathetically identify with where they are and let them be in that space. Which I think is where a lot of people need to be sometimes for an amount of time that we might not be comfortable with.

ALLIE: Yeah. The whole idea and the philosophy behind doing the next right thing is really a beautiful way to live in a really beautiful way to show up for others too. It’s not just about us.

I do want to talk a little bit about the soul minimalist idea that you present. I think it's in the second chapter or something. It's kind of like a crux of the whole point of what you're saying. I love that you call it soul minimalist because that's what we talk about here on The Purpose Show is minimalism in all different forms.

I saw that it was in the Table Of Contents and I was tempted to jump to it, because as a minimalist and one of the teachers of this, I'm like, “I don't know what that even means.” I feel like I'm out on some secret and I want to know.

It was so beautiful the way you talk about it, so I want you to explain what that is, what you mean by that and how you practice it.

EMILY: Well, Joshua Becker, who writes about actual minimalism in his books and on his blog, Becoming Minimalist, I heard him say once that minimalism is not that you should own nothing but that nothing should own you. I think people who practice minimalism in their homes and in their lifestyle, you want freedom. You want to not have things so much that it's overcoming you. That it becomes the boss of you rather than the other way around. And so, he talked about how we often have regular input of things into our homes, but we don't always have regular output.

And when I heard him say that, I thought, “Oh wow!” Because I'm always thinking of the inner life, I thought how that is also true on the level of my soul. When it comes to the interactions that we have everyday, deadlines that are put on us or that we put on ourselves, emails that we get, conversations with people, family members and friends, and strangers, that is constant input to our psyche, to our soul, our mind, our will and emotions. And we carry that stuff around. Especially when it's difficult. We carry that stuff around. Our souls are very sticky and all that stuff sticks to us. It’s constant input, but we don't have a regular practice, many of us, of output.

In fact, many of us don't even realize we're carrying stuff around all day, every day. And we also wouldn't even know how to get rid of it if we tried. And so, this idea of not owning nothing, not emptying your insides, but having none of that own you, can apply in the inner life as well as the outer life.

For me the way that practice can be brought into my everyday life in reality…What does it look like to become a minimalist on the soul level? The same way decluttering is to our home. For me, silence and stillness is to my soul. That really literally looks like some intentional time when I can get it, or during my morning routine, I'll sometimes set my phone for just a couple minutes, sometimes 10, usually 4 or 5 minutes, set it, hit start. And that time is just a time for me to sit in stillness and silence.

Sometimes I will name, silently, some of the things that I'm carrying. Usually for me, it's an interaction with someone that rubbed me the wrong way, or a way I felt dismissed in a conversation, an argument that maybe I had with my husband that morning, a way that I was short with my people. I will name that and then imagine releasing it into the presence of God, but doing it without an agenda.

What I’ve said so far is a lot more than I usually do during that time of silence. That's one way of releasing, but sometimes it's just silence for the sake of silence and letting that 5 minutes of silence be my next right thing. Knowing that when the timer goes off, it will go off. Sometimes it feels like it's been 20 minutes; sometimes it feels like it's been 5 seconds, but it will go off in five minutes. Problems aren't necessarily solved and the world isn't necessarily changed. But I am a little better prepared to face my problems and to enter the world because I have cleared a little bit of space on the inside.

I don't understand it fully. I don't know fully the science behind it, but I do know that when I'm able to do that I feel a little bit more like myself and a little bit more able to confront the day with some space so that those things are not owning me because I've recognized them and I've spent some time in silence to let them go.

ALLIE: I love that so much. It's so true and it's funny to me that mindfulness and meditation is this hot topic right now and it's like this is biblical. This is this idea of being quiet and not always filling your every second with noise and grabbing your phone, or whatever it is, is not new. It's just affecting us at a much deeper level because we need it so much more, I think. People are really grabbing onto it. Just being still and being quiet.

I think that for Moms, what I always hear when I talk about this is, “Well, how do you find the time when there's always somebody there?” I think that, and I want to know what you think too, but I think that sometimes silence, it doesn't have to be perfect silent, perfect stillness where you're on the floor and there's no one. Sometimes it's just a quiet moment.

I know you mentioned, I don't know if it was in the book or podcast that you mentioned but, the walk to the mailbox or you wait one extra second before you get out of the car and wake your baby up from their nap in their car seat. Little things. I mean is there anything I'm missing in terms of busy mothers trying to find that stillness?

EMILY: I think you said it so well Allie. I think that can be a great first step practice is if you can't even find 5 minutes, and sometimes we can't. I mean, I had twins, two babies at once. I remember the relentless, it was almost like there was no one big decision. It was just 10 million tiny decisions. And I didn't know if I was making any of them right. It was just so hard. And those five seconds you get alone are so sacred and sometimes you feel like, “I need to take a shower.” When you finally get that time, you want to spend it doing something that feels really life giving.

Quite honestly, silence doesn't feel life giving to all of us all the time. We don't see an immediate benefit. It's a slow work. If we don't know exactly what's going to come of it, sometimes it can feel a waste of time. So instead of maybe doing it that way, doing exactly what you said, have it be an unconventional spiritual practice of almost playing a game of finding the silence, the natural silent moments in your day that already exist in your day. You're not recreating the wheel.

It could be walking to the mailbox. It could be, like you said, sitting in the car for five more seconds. And letting it be five full seconds. That can actually go a really long way.

If someone is there and helping you with the kids, let them be there. Don’t stay in that room. Leave the room. Leave the house if you can. If you work outside the home, maybe you're able to get to work a few minutes earlier than everybody else and just take that time to be silent time.

I think that we all have silent moments in the day, but we tend to fill them with something else just because the truth is, it is a lot easier to stay moving and to stay distracted than it is to be still and to be silent. It just takes a lot of intention.

I never want to make it sound like this is easy, but I think it is worth it. It's a slow work and it is a reteaching of ourselves, of the values that silence can have in our lives. It can really begin to nurture us in ways that the distractions and the noise just aren't able to do.

ALLIE: Yeah. So, so good. I mean, gosh, so good. So, The Next Right Thing, the book is out?

EMILY: It's out. It came out April 2nd.

ALLIE: Good. Awesome. It's so good you guys! And I love the minimalistic look of it. It looks really cute on my coffee table.

EMILY: Good. That's the goal.

ALLIE: I mean if it can't be in an Instagram photo, why do you even write it?

EMILY: Why would you even write it? I completely agree.

ALLIE: Okay, so guys, I'm going to link in the show notes to this book, and to the Emily’s podcast. It's so good. And so short. I think the average is like 10 minutes, 12 minutes per episode. So short. And just pointed and good.

Other than that, where do you show up online? Where do you want people to go and find you?

EMILY: Yeah, I love Instagram. You mentioned Instagram. I'm at Emily P. Freeman there. That's probably where I spend most of my time online.

Also at emilypfreemen.com is my website where you can find the podcast and the books there too. And then, of course, The Next Right Thing Podcast.

ALLIE: Okay. Thank you, Emily! This was so good. I really appreciate your time.

EMILY: I loved it. Thanks for having me!


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 110: Secrets For Navigating Busy Seasons Well

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Annie Dillard always says, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” That is an easy statement to hear when we are in restful seasons driven by balance and simplicity. But what about those seasons that are full, busy, and can lead to feeling overwhelmed, mentally cluttered, and a cranky attitude?

It is important that we listen to our bodies and minds, and that we take it one day, even one step at a time. And it is freeing when we allow ourselves to become intuitive and make necessary changes and shift in busier seasons. Just know that everything is figureoutable and everything can be simplified. It is ok if you have to cut out or cut back on things. Life won’t end!

So let’s dive in and talk about how you can navigate the really busy, full seasons of your life well, and really show up well in those times of life!

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • Why it is important for you to intentionally shift your perspective from negative to excited when seasons get busy.

  • How brain dumping on paper will help you problem solve and delegate.

  • Knowing when to cut back and simplify or push through and keep going.

  • Things you can do to create space to recharge and mindlessly find rest.

  • Ways you can add self care into your everyday rhythm.

Mentioned in this Episode:


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Are you in a busy season? Are you about to be in one? Maybe you want to prepare for the next one, whenever that is. I got you, friend!

I created a free downloadable pdf that's going to help you feel empowered and equipped to implement the action steps from this episode in your next busy season.

Your Busy Season Prep Guide not only is full of reminders for you to have with you every day, but it's also a workbook-style pdf where it has space for you to work through each of the steps I'm giving you in this episode.

You can braindump out what's troubling you, what your stress points are. It has suggestions and prompts for you to take action on everything we're talking about here and everything we're going to talk about in the remainder of this episode. Space for you to come up with a plan for the busy seasons of your life. It's really handy. Don’t miss out on this! I know it will serve you well!


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

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

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


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


Hey, beautiful friend! Thank you for listening to The Purpose Show today! It means the world to me that I get to be a part of your day, your life, and your motherhood, if you're one of my momma listeners, which most of you are.

Today we are going to quickly dive right in and talk about some secrets for how you can navigate the really busy, full seasons of your life well, and really show up well in those times of life.

While I am all for simplicity, rest, and balance, sometimes you just have a really busy week, a really full month, or a really busy season that you're walking into and you know that it just has to be that way for whatever reason. I think it's really easy to become overwhelmed, mentally cluttered, and get negative about the business you're facing. And then you walk into it cranky and in this victim mode and it's just not good.

That's not what we want to do. That’s not how we want to end up living our lives. And we know…what do we know…what Annie Dillard always says, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” And so, if you're spending all these seasons of fullness cranky and in victim mode, you know not only is that not good for you, you're training your kids that that's how you handle life when it doesn't go the way that you want, when it's busy. It's just not good and this is not how we want to live our lives.

Sometimes life gets really full, thick, and busy and we don't want to handle it in victim mode, right? That’s not what we really want. It's just kind of what we naturally tend to choose to do and we want to not do that.

And being transparent with you guys, as always, I sometimes naturally fall into kind of a depression when I'm super overwhelmed. It's my mind's way of letting me know that it's a lot, and I need to either clear some of it out of my way or have a perspective shift and shift my mindset.

I think it's really beneficial to listen to your body, listen to your mind, take it one day at a time, one step at a time, learn to become intuitive, and make changes as needed, go with the flow in that way. As Marie Forleo, my favorite business teacher, always says, “Everything is figureoutable.” I also want to add, “Everything can be simplified.” Something can be cut, it will all be okay. It's not the end of the world if you back out of something or make a change last minute.

So having said that, I want to quickly dive into this sort of pep talk about some really simple, pointed ways you can take ownership of your life and handle the busy times of life like the action-taking, problem-solving woman that you are.

# 1: Shift your perspective. This is an intent that you can set, okay? You can set your intent to go from negative, overwhelmed, “oh my gosh, poor me, this is so hard, this is so much. How am I ever going to do this?” You can shift it from that to excited, positive, and ready to show up well. It is all in your mind.

If you are not familiar with the power of the mind and the electric current that runs through your body, whether it's a negative one or a positive one when you have a thought - research, get familiar, educate yourself on this. It is everything! For real! Shift your perspective about the busy season you're walking into.

# 2: Act like a woman who owns her life and is a go-getter. Sometimes - I don't care what anybody says - sometimes you just have to “fake it till you make it” and it just is what it is. Sometimes you have to just put a smile on your face. “No, I have to do these things. This is just a part of my life and there's not much I can do about it. I am going to choose to change my perspective about this. I'm going to be a woman who owns her life and is a go-getter. I'm going to take this on the best way that I can.”

# 3: Brain dump out onto paper, in a journal, or whatever it is, what is bothering you. What's troubling you about this upcoming season? Brainstorm possible solutions. Brainstorm some things you might delegate to someone else. Is there something you could do in this season? Maybe there's certain things that you have to handle yourself that have to be done by you, but you could bring on a housekeeper for a month to help you with the stuff that you normally do yourself. Just in this season. Maybe there's someone you could ask for help. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Don't be afraid to hand things off. You're not superwoman. You don't have to do that. You can delegate. You can ask for help. You can get rid of some things that are normally on your plate that just don't need to be on your plate right now in this crazy season.

Next, know when you need to cut back and simplify, and when you need to push through, regroup, come up with a better game plan and keep going. There is a difference. And you're going to have to know. No one can tell you that. I can't come on here and tell you which one you need to do because I don't know you. I don't know your life season. I don't know your situation.

You’ve got to ask yourself, “Is this something that I can cut back on? Is this something that I need to back out of or do I just need to simplify my to-do list? Give myself grace, let go of perfectionism. Realize it's not all going to get done perfectly right now and push through, regroup, come up with a better game plan and keep going.”


Hey sweet friend! I know we're only part-way through this episode, but I have to tell you because this is going to make it more actionable and doable for you. My team and I have created a free downloadable pdf that's going to be super helpful in taking action on this episode. That's what I want for you. I don't want you to just listen and leave. I want you to listen and feel empowered and equipped to implement.

I created something that's called Your Busy Season Prep Guide. It's a free downloadable pdf and it's really awesome because not only does it contain just reminders of the tips I'm giving you in this episode so that you don't have to go back and listen to this episode again, you can have it printed out somewhere, but it's also a workbook-style pdf where it has space for you to work through each of the steps I'm giving you in this episode.

You can braindump out what's troubling you, what your stress points are. It has suggestions and prompts for you to take action on everything we're talking about here and everything we're going to talk about in the remainder of this episode. Space for you to come up with a plan for the busy seasons of your life. It's really handy.

I think that I would charge maybe like 20-40 bucks for this and it's just totally free.

To snag that, go to alliecasazza.com/shownotes/110.


Next, have something to help you veg out during this busy, really full season. For me, it's a funny show that I've watched a thousand times before, like The Office, Seinfeld, Parks & Recreation. It's mindless. It's a temporary escape. It helps me calm down and unwind, either in the middle of the day or at the end of the day. It helps my brain recharge. Just veg out on a funny show that I have seen a billion times. Find something like that. What helps you veg out? What gives your brain a regroup?

Next, fit in rest in between the busyness, in the midst of all the busyness.

Here's an example. I am currently, at the time I'm recording this, I am in the middle of a launch season. When you launch or relaunch something in a business, it is go-time. It is all-hands-on-deck. I delegate a lot of it to my team, but there's large chunks of it that have to be done by me because I am The Creative in my business, and I am the face of my business. So I have to show up. I have to go ‘live’ almost every day. I'm writing emails. I'm tweaking things. Fine-tuning things. Making things better. I'm looking ahead. I'm showing up for you guys. I'm hanging out with my audience, which is both a joy and an exhausting thing for me.

In launch season there's multiple launches back-to-back. We had two launches and a webinar back-to-back-to-back in a row. And so, I knew that I was heading into a really, really full season, so I planned periods of rest and recharging and I sprinkled them everywhere.

Here's an example. I had two straight weeks of very long days prepping for the first of these launches in this launch season. Two straight weeks of constantly looking at my computer. Really long days. I normally only work a couple hours a day. Sometimes I have little spurts of four-hour days, but I normally don't work really long days. And so, it was two weeks of just straight up, super long days. Very draining, draining work. Pouring my heart into the computer.

After that I took three days. I had a three-day weekend that I intentionally planned no phone, just taking a break. Then the next Monday started the ‘live’ launch. This is when now I'm done planning the live streams. This is where I show up. I'm actually live. I'm talking with you guys, hanging out with you guys, telling you guys, “I want you in this program” and all that good stuff.

Then I had four days off for my birthday getaway and when I came back from that, I geared up for the next launch. We finished that launch and I'm going to be going on a week-long vacation with my family. Then I come back and I have a Webinar. So, you see I'm inner-spurting (not a word) rest within the busyness.

When you know that you're going into a really busy season, like if your kid is starting a sport or your work is going to be really crazy or something like that, you know ahead of time, look ahead, fit in rest in between. When are you going to have a no-phone day? When are you going to give your eyes and your head a break? Where can you head to the beach with your family and just veg out? When can you have a ‘nothing day’ where you literally just sit at home and sit on the couch in your pajamas and just relax? How can you fit in rest? Self-care and rest needs to be a part of your every day during the really, really busy seasons too.

That every day looks like getting good sleep at night. Sneaking in a nap if and when you can. Going for a drive by yourself. Getting away for a second.

It also has to be a part of your busy season. So every day rest would look like those examples. Getting good sleep, sneaking in a nap, going for a drive, sneaking in a half-hour coffee date with a friend in the middle of a really busy day.

Fitting in rest and self-care in your busy season would be more of an example that I gave like the four days away for my birthday in the middle of a crazy launch season.

So, balancing that daily and weekly rest. Does that make sense? Look ahead and ask yourself, “How can I fit in rest?” Because if you don't rest, you're not going to have the energy and focus that you need to take on all that this busy season is requiring of you.

You are not required to be superwoman. We often do this to ourselves and make our lives harder. We exhaust ourselves. We make ourselves miserable. And we are showing our family, this is what you're worth to me - me running myself ragged and then freaking out on you because I'm desperate and exhausted. What would happen if you just said, “Okay, this is a busy season we're walking into. I'm going to look ahead. I'm going to be an action-taking, problem-solving woman and I'm going to sprinkle in rest and self-care. Just little things like a drive by myself, taking a quick nap, making myself a yummy latte at home before I go sit down and do all this work.” Little things and big things whenever the season that's busy is really, really long. Ask yourself, “Where can I fit in the rest that’s going to equip me to do what I need to do?”

And you guys, self-care cannot be understated ever, but especially in these really full, busy seasons. This is when you need to get your morning ritual under control. I will link to that episode on my morning ritual and the show notes for this episode. It is a life-changing episode. It's one of the top 10 episodes ever. You've got to listen to it. This is no time to try to overwork yourself and use every minute to be productive. This is the time to mix productivity with intense self-care and inner quiet and calm so that you can handle the extra busyness.


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 107: Tips for Traveling with Kids

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Traveling with kids often means traveling with A LOT of stuff and A LOT of stress. But it doesn’t have to be that way and it certainly doesn’t have to be overwhelming! We travel as a family often which means we’ve “trial-ed and error-ed” many different things. From having a small suitcase for each kid to ways we keep our kids entertained on long flights or drives (and everything in between) I hope these tips help you find simplicity in traveling with your kids!

At the end of the day, family trips are FUN and are meant to bring your family closer together. You can easily make this a terrible trip or you can make it the best experience! It is up to you - you are the parent. Your kids need grace. You need grace. Relax. Breathe. And try to have fun!

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • Her pro-packing tips and how to simplify the amount of clothes you pack.

  • Ways to keep your family entertained on road trips or long flights (her family plays this fun game called, The Post It Note Goal Game!)

  • Advice for traveling with babies and toddlers - this is no easy task! But you can do it.

  • Why you should keep family trips FUN! How you roll with the punches will teach your kids how to roll with the punches.

Mentioned in this Episode:


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Want an easy step by step guide to have with you as you pack for your next family trip? I got you! I created a pdf that's free and easy to download!

This guide has all the tips on it and breaks them down so you pull it out when you're packing, you're getting ready to go on a road trip, or take a flight with your family. Whatever your travel looks like this summer, I hope this guide makes it easier for you!


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

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

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


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


Hey, beautiful friends! Before we dive into this episode, I want to let you know it is loaded with Brian and mine's top tips for traveling, especially with your kids.

We have done all different types of travel. We're going to get all into that. Because it's so loaded with tips, I figured you might want the ability to print this out and put it somewhere. We created a pdf that's free that goes along with this episode that you can download. Basically, if you print it out it's got all the tips on it so that you can print it out, put it aside, and pull it out when you're packing for your trip, you're getting ready to go on a road trip, or take a flight with your family, whatever your travel looks like this summer.

I wanted to make this as helpful as possible and I knew that having a printout is going to be a lot easier than relistening to an episode that you knew was helpful, but you can't really remember everything that I said. This way you can listen and enjoy the episode and you don't have to feel the need to take notes. But you will want to listen to the episode still because I elaborate on these tips and give you a lot of audible help with this.

The pdf is broken down and don't forget, these are the tips that make you're traveling a lot easier. To get that free pdf, go to alliecasazza.com/shownotes/107.



Hey, beautiful friends! Okay, so we are diving in today to a super, super practical episode. This isn't really the type of thing I normally discuss here on The Purpose Show, but this question has been asked over and over and over again.

I am someone who travels often for work and for fun, and most of the time I have my family with me. The six of us have taken quite a few trips, both flights and road trips, short and long, near and far, over the years. Brian and I have learned a lot about traveling with our kids at different various ages and stages of life. I'm sharing my top tips for traveling with kids from how to pack, to road-tripping, flying, how we approach traveling with our kids, where our expectations are at and all of that good stuff. So, let's dive in!

One of the questions that I get asked more than anything is how to pack when you're traveling with your kids.

For us, one super simple, straightforward answer, something that we have learned is the best way to go, is we give each of our kids their own suitcase. Our oldest is 10, so at this phase of our kids' lives, they have one of those ‘kid’ suitcases. You can get them at Target or wherever. None of them have a full-sized suitcase, just one of the little kids’ suitcases. Bella has got this one that has little owls on it from Target. The boys picked Minecraft, Mario, and Legos. They have their own themed suitcase that they've chosen. So each kid gets their own suitcase.

The reason that I like doing this versus packing one big suitcase for all the kids’ stuff is that it keeps things organized. It's cleaner, it's more organized. It's easier for each kid to know where their stuff is and not go sifting through an entire suitcase full of all their sibling’s stuff and making it super disheveled, messy and impossible to find anything. It's much easier to have them each have their own suitcase that they carry. They drag it on the wheels through the airport by themselves. They're responsible for their suitcase. Obviously, we don't want them to lose it, so we're looking backwards and watching them, but they drag their own suitcase. They've got their own stuff in their own suitcase.

If you've got super, super littles that cannot carry their own suitcase, maybe that is a better season for having one suitcase for your really, really small kids, like if they're babies or really young toddlers. Otherwise, I think it's best to have each kid get their own suitcase.

I have tried it all different ways and I think that this is the best way. It's much simpler and all the space is assigned to each kid so it's way less messy. It might seem like it's overwhelming and it's like a lot of suitcases, but that it is so much better than having one totally ripped apart, messy suitcase with everybody's stuff thrown in. As organized as it looks when you first began to pack it is not going to stay that way. It's just a fact of life. I have found that my preference is by far to have a suitcase for each kid.

In terms of packing and keeping it minimal for each kid, I think that packing is kind of overwhelming sometimes. It is just different than the way that you live at home where kids have drawers. It's just different when you're packing.

You have to prepare for certain circumstances that you wouldn't normally have to think about day-to-day because you're at your home with all of your stuff. But when you're leaving you only have what you packed. I think that's where the urge to overpack comes in. I definitely understand that, feel that and have to fight that every single time I pack.

The way that I choose to pack for my kids is I go by their age and where they're at at the time of our trips. When I was traveling with a baby or really young toddler, 2 and under, I obviously needed to pack more changes of clothes because at that age, kids have diapers that leak, they have accidents on themselves, they spill way more often, they trip and fall and get really messy and muddy way more often. It's just a different season of life.

So absolutely bring a few changes of clothes. Maybe that'll be one extra clothes outfit per day. Maybe it'll be three extra outfits for a week trip and you're guessing that some days you'll need the extra outfit and some days you won't. You can gauge that by how your kid usually is at home and how long your trip is. If are you going somewhere that you can do the laundry, use that to your packing advantage. It is always better to pack less. If there's any circumstance in your trip that will allow you to pack less stuff, take advantage of that. It is better to do a load of laundry on your vacation than to pack extra stuff and not have to do any laundry. Believe me, it is always better to pack lighter. In any way you can - pack lighter.

Now that my kids are a little bit older, I just pack according to their age. I don't really need to bring everybody an extra pair of clothes for each day because my kids don't need that. They stay in their outfit for the whole day pretty much. On the rare occasion when something happens, we'll deal with that as needed. But pretty much I just bring one outfit per day. Maybe I'll bring a spare or two if the trip is really long, or I'm unsure about the weather, or unsure about the dress code for a certain event we’re going to, but pretty much it's one outfit per day. I don't even bring multiple pairs of pants. It’s one per day.

For a week trip it's two pairs of jeans and you can rewear them and deal with that because again, my goal is always to pack the least amount possible, especially for my kids. They are simple, they just need less. Let them be your reason to have less stuff to carry, pack as little as possible. Use any single thing you can about your trip or where you're going to your advantage in terms of packing less stuff and bringing less with you in the car or on the plane.

Typically, if we are going somewhere for a week, which is usually the average length of our trip, I will pack two pairs of jeans for my kids. I will pack maybe a shirt per day if I'm not going to do laundry. If I am going to do laundry then I'll bring three or four shirts and then two pairs of shoes and socks for each day. Of course, underwear for each day. That's about what I would bring.

It totally depends on the trip. It depends on when we're going. It depends on what type of stay we're having. It depends on what I am and not be able to do while on that trip in terms of laundry. What are we doing? Is this a super active trip? What's going on? It all depends.

I hope that helps. It’s hard not to be super specific, but I don't know what size your family is and I don't know how your kids are. I don't know how you are. I don't know where you're going. I don't know for how long and all of that stuff. Make it relative to all of those things. That is what I do. I hope that having one suitcase per kid and all those specifications has helped answer some of the things you've been wondering.

Let's talk about how to keep your kids entertained on road trips. I'm a pro at this. This is where it serves you really well to limit toys, constant entertainment, your kids being entitled to being entertained all the time, and technology in your normal day-to-day at home life. Your kids will be cool to just sit and chill on drives if they're not entitled to constantly being entertained and having constant fun.

When, and if, you do bring out the technology on a road trip, it'll be such a treat that it'll actually serve its purpose and help you have a more peaceful road trip rather than that technology coming out being the norm and your kids are totally used to it when you really need it to help, but it's not going to cause your kids are going to be used to it. They're still going to complain, whine, bicker, and be less ‘all in’ in on the technology that’s in front of them.

Having said that…when we take road trips…I'm talking about really long road trips, we have road-tripped across country multiple times. We have road-tripped from the middle of the country to southern California and back multiple, multiple times. What we did was every kid got their own little bag of stuff for the trip. It's also stuff that can be used and played with while we are where we're going, where we're road-tripping to. It's not just for the drive.

Examples of some things are small little toys and activities like hot wheels, coloring books and all-in-one art activities. The kinds of things like a pad with a special pen. It’s a magnetic pen and the pen is attached to the pad and the kid can erase and draw on the same pad the entire time. It's not like consumable papers and colored pencils everywhere. Those sort of all-in-one activities are really road trip friendly and they're really great for kids who don't get carsick. Also there are car games that you can get at Target or Walmart or wherever and they are literally for road trips. But just make sure that you know that your kids don't get carsick. We have one kid who gets carsick very easily so he doesn't get those kinds of things. He just has to figure it out and look straight ahead out the window, not get dizzy or woozy, and not look down at a coloring book. But our other kids can totally handle it and it's awesome.

Obviously, music and audio books or audio stories.

If you want to take it a step further, you could get your kids each a set of headphones and an iPad or a tablet or something to use to help break up sibling rivalry. It is only natural that they get sick of each other and bicker while you drive. It's just going to happen a little bit. It's okay. But there are things that you could do if you have the means or if you have two sets of headphones and only two kids and not four kids like I do, it's much easier to do that.

Brian and I sat down and we were talking about this before when I was outlining my main points I wanted to share with you for this episode and we both agreed that one of our biggest tips is saving the good stuff until as late in the road trip as possible. The very end if at all possible.

If you have something like the Nintendo switch or a game system or you have a TV in your car, don't pull those things out, don't turn them on until as late in the game as humanly possible. If you bring it out too early, it just doesn't serve you. It's not worth it. Save the good stuff for as late as possible in the road trip.

The other tip that…we were both like, “Oh my gosh, remember that? That worked so well,” is this thing that we found out worked really well. We called it the Post-it Note Goal Game. Super lame name. I don't even know what the name is, but basically Brian and I had a small little bag of goodies. We try to stay away from candy cause we didn't want the kids to have a sugar rush. I try not to give my kids candy anyway, but just little things like an organic cracker/cookie snack, something that wasn't getting them all hopped up, but that was exciting to them. Or a little tiny, really cheap disposable toy that would keep them entertained for a few minutes. Whatever, something like that. You know those little sticky hands you can stick to the ceiling? Things like that. They're silly, cheap and easy, and just for the road trip as prizes.

We would write a time on a post-it note and would make it an hour or two ahead of time depending on our kids' ages. We would put the post-it note on the front of the radio or the rear view mirror, somewhere up front of the car where everybody could see it. And we would say, “Okay, if you guys can be super good, whoever is super, super good until the clock says this time will get a prize. If the post-it note said 11:30 then when the clock on the car matched the time on that post-it note whoever was super good would get a little prize out of the prize bag. A hot wheel or a sticky hand or a little organic treat, something like that and it worked so well. The kids did really, really well with a goal in mind.

Don't make it too far ahead. We found that 2 hours was the max for our kids. I would do one hour or so and see how that goes. You can do more or less as your kids’ age needs it. Those are just little things that really helped us.

Have a trash bag, a dedicated trash bag in the car and try to clean as you go. It's kind of like cooking. Clean as you go. Dispose of wrappers, water bottles and things like that that come up while you're driving as often as you can as you go.

Every time we stopped for gas, we would do a quick cleanup haul. We would make everybody get out and go to the bathroom. It was a must-do, so we didn't really ever have to like, “Oh my gosh, somebody has to go the bathroom, stop, pull over.” Because every time that we got gas we made everybody get out and go to the bathroom. It took an extra five minutes but it was helpful in the end. It saved us time and frustration and it kept our car cleaned out because we were in there for so long, you know, we wanted to enjoy being in there as much as possible.


Okay friends. So, I know this episode is all about traveling with your kids, but I wanted to share something with you. I just came back from a trip to the Scott Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. This resort has been on my vision board for about six months, so it was a meaningful trip to me. It's a beautiful place. It was one of those places that exudes luxury and basically no matter what you're doing there, you feel like a queen. I went there for three days just to get a break from the norm. You guys know I'm all about self-care that's realistic and works for you and your regular typical life.

You guys know that I have all those tips about self-care that when your kids are still with you when you're at your house and you're taking care of yourself in small, little, bite-size ways, but I do think that there's something to be said for the occasional trip away, whether it's a day trip or an actual trip that's more than one day or even just a trip to the coffee shop for an afternoon or something.

I realized that I needed some space away from the noise and the normalcies of life at my house. I homeschool my kids at my house. I run my business from my house. Sometimes it just gets a little convoluted there and it helps me so much to once a year, get away alone, bring my laptop with me, go somewhere refreshing and just reflect about my business and where I'm at in my business. Where I'm at in my personal life. And just get a little distance and quiet.

And that is what I did at the Scott Resort. I chose to go there for this particular yearly getaway and it was so restorative. I loved it so much. I reached out to them and decided to do a partnership. I want to tell you if you're looking for a solo trip or a couple's trip with your spouse, or a girls’ getaway, this is the place to go. And they are so amazing. They've offered to give 10% off your stay if you use the code PURPOSESHOW at checkout.

So, go to the link in my show notes, alliecasazza.com/shownotes/107 and check it out. There's photos on there of the trip and the resort.

Their food, their restaurants are amazing. Some of you guys know I'm going through some major health stuff and their chefs were super accommodating. They were really sensitive to me and what I needed them to cook with. I was able to just relax and breathe, take a break from all the food prep, parenting, homeschooling, and working in my little office. It was a really, really great time.

I want to encourage you moms if you've been thinking that you really just need to get away for a second, that you just need a little bit of space and it's in your budget, I would encourage you to check out this resort. And Arizona is so beautiful. It’s such a quiet, inspirational place to go. I highly, highly encourage it.

Go to the show notes. Use the code the PURPOSESHOW at checkout for 10% off your stay at The Scott. They are so amazing! So accommodating. Such a refreshing space.

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Let's talk about flying with babies and toddlers because it’s super hard. Flying with kids, as they get older, it gets easier. They're just more chill, they're easier to get entertained, they just kind of talk to each other. It's much easier. But flying with babies and toddlers is much more difficult.

I found that flying during bedtime, when I had babies and really young toddlers, is helpful because they will usually sleep but obviously that's not guaranteed. I know because of doing Q & A's that that is something I get asked all the time, like, “Is that a thing? I'm thinking that might work but should I risk it and buy the flight that's a red eye flight that is during my kids' bedtime and overnight or will it just be a nightmare?” And you know, there really is no way to know. You have to just try it.

But we found that the best flights we had were overnight flights. When we did red eye, we saved money and the kids were tired. We would give them natural calming aids. When they got a little older we could give them a little bit of Melatonin. But when they were babies…calming aides that are natural, like lavender oil or if you have toddlers, you could do Calmify which you can get on Amazon, which is a natural calming, anti-anxiety aid for little kids. They would just usually go to sleep.

We had one pretty rough flight where the baby's ears were popping and he was just freaking out. Sometimes it just is what it is. I don't think that your goal should be perfection. We'll talk about that more in a minute. I don't think your goal here is to have a perfect flight. I think it is just to learn, try things and see what works for you, and to be prepared for the worst. If you're prepared for the worst, there really is no anxiety there.

With flights, the same tips as road tripping in terms of entertainment for toddlers and kids who are a little older - try to limit it so that when you actually pull it out and you give your toddler an ipad to watch Peppa Pig or whatever it is, it's exciting and it's new and it's not the norm.

If you don't live a life with less entertainment and tech normally at home and you do overdo it all the time, I would at least consider taking a break for 30 days or so before your trip because most of the time, these trips, we know we're going to be doing them. Especially with toddlers, it'll help your kids be content and busy while you travel, especially if your trip is cross country or super long. Then when you do finally bring out that technology help, it's exciting and they're more engaged with it and it's actually serving its purpose and helping you a little bit.

I would do that. We'd do a 30-day break for Bella and then we would get on the plane and I'd be giving Leland a bottle and letting Bella watch the tablet for a minute. And she was super engaged because she hadn't had any technology in so long and she was really excited. It actually served its purpose and helped me because it wasn't the norm. It wasn't boring and pointless, if that makes sense.

This is pretty common knowledge, but I do want to mention breastfeeding or bottle feeding your baby at the time of takeoff and landing to help with their ears popping and that ear pain, giving your toddlers and kids gum. Emmett freaks out when his ears pop on a plane. And it's been really embarrassing. We've had so many flights where he's just screaming. Sometimes they're just freaked out. It is what it is and you’ve just got to comfort them and be there for them.

But one time he freaked out so bad that his ears were popping. He was crying so hard, he made himself throw up. It was so embarrassing. It was so loud. I felt so bad for Emmett. It was just really hard. And so, from that trip we learned to give him a big piece or even two big pieces of Bubble Yum gum, which is terrible and loaded with sugar, but so be it when your kid has cried so hard from his ears popping that he's vomited. It’s a huge piece of gum and it makes them open up their mouths really big and wide with each chew and it really helped with his ears. We do that every time we're taking off or landing now for Emmett, specifically. Until he gets older, that's what we'll do.

And then one tip for traveling in general and making sure you've got everybody, making sure everyone has their suitcase, making sure everyone's taken care of, is divide and conquer your kids. Brian takes two. I take two. We split them up. We assign them ahead of time and then we switch groups of kids on the flight home, so it's not like one person is stuck with the youngest and most difficult flyers on the way there and the way home. We split it up. We take turns. We talk about it.

Maybe I'll take Bella and Emmett and he’ll take Hudson and Leland or maybe he'll take Leland and Bella and I'll take Hudson and Emmett. We split up the most difficult ones so that each person has a youngest or most difficult kid. We take turns and we swap. So, he's responsible for those two. He's watching them. He's keeping them happy. He's making sure they're okay. They're safe. They've got their stuff. They're buckled in. He's taking them to the bathroom if they have to go. And then I've got the other two doing all of the same things.

It helps rather than bickering, getting frustrated in your communication on a plane or a road trip. We divide and conquer. It helps so much.

I wanted to give a few quick tips for the kids' behavior when you are at the location that you've been traveling to.

So it's one of those things where…imagine you're traveling somewhere and you're going to a family reunion or you're going to a wedding or an event where these people haven't seen your family in a long time and you know that stress you feel of your kids are going to have a really bad day, their behavior is going to be terrible and they're going to choose today to have a massive meltdown or something. It causes a lot of stress and tension in you as the parent.

I'm not above bribing. I'll do it. But I have found that affirming behavior that was already good goes way further than bribing for future good behavior.

What I mean by that is…example, “Hudson, you were so polite and sweet when Grandpa was talking to you about football. I am so proud of you. Great job buddy.” It makes them want to do more of the thing you're praising them for. Notice your kids’ good behavior as you get to your location. Once you're there, affirm that and they'll want to continue that.

Little toddlers, not so much. This is a really hard phase, and I think that kids need a lot of grace. They've been traveling. They're out of their normal environment. Abnormal kids thrive on routine. And they usually don't have any when you're traveling. It’s really hard. So just be gracious and expect people to give you grace too. Don't let anyone make you feel bad or guilty that your toddler's having a meltdown when you're across the country, when you just finished traveling and they're around a bunch of people they don't know. We can't expect our kids to be amazing and perfect. We need to give them grace.

I have found that little things like that, like encouraging good behavior and being nearer to my kids, letting them know they're safe and loved even though we're somewhere new and they're seeing people that seem to really, really know them that they don't know…that would freak anybody out. So, I give them grace and I stay close to them. I'm there with them and I can listen to them. I'm focusing on what they need, but I also do expect them to cooperate, especially as they get older, and be good. “You guys need to follow the rules. The rules still apply here.” I just have a little extra grace when I know they're tired of traveling, there are strange people around, and we're doing new things and we've got to give them grace for that.

I think one huge thing…remember that you're trying to have fun, assuming that you're traveling for vacation or a family visit somewhere. This is supposed to be fun. So relax. Breathe. You can easily make this a terrible trip. You can easily make this the worst idea you've ever had and it is up to you. Just remember that. You're the parent. Take a deep breath. Our kids need grace. You need grace. Relax. Breathe. Try to have fun.

Try to remember why you're doing this and just roll with it. If you end up inside most of the family party with your toddler who's really temperamental and really struggling to not be at home in her routine, that's okay. You're a mom and you're a great one. You're doing a good job. It's okay. You have to lower your expectations a lot and then lower them even more.

Things are probably not going to go as planned. You probably won't get to do all the things you wanted to do on your trip. You probably won't get to see all the things you wanted to see and talk to all the people you wanted to talk to. It probably won't look much like the idea in your head when you were planning this trip.

Someone might get sick or throw a fit or lose their suitcase. It's okay. It's life and life is what you make it. So remember that.

And also remember that you're an example to your kids of how to handle life's curve balls and things not going your way. Remember that because it's so huge and I know that we're all on the same page that we want to raise good humans. We want to raise kids who handle things well, can roll with the punches, are good examples and they won't be that if we're not that.

I think when all is said and done, remember this is just a trip. Don't think about how much money you spent on the trip and how the kids are ruining in, their attitudes suck and you're super frustrated. Remember that it's just a trip. Remember to be a firm parent and expect a lot of your kids if they're older, but also to give them a lot of grace because kids thrive on routine. You're out of your routine.

Sometimes they just need a little bit of wiggle room and when all is said and done, you're their parent and that's your top priority and that's your job even when you're traveling.

Just remember, lower your expectations. It's not going to be perfect. The best trips that we've had are the ones where our expectations were pretty low and we were just showing up the best way we could, trying to have fun and taking advantage of every spare second, but also letting our kids take naps. If it was nap time and they were tired and we just couldn't go try that cool new restaurant we read about on Yelp, you know, sometimes it just doesn't happen that way. Especially if you do have really little kids.

So as summer comes and you guys have all these trips planned, I hope these trip tips help you take a deep breath, have a sigh of relief, change your perspective a little bit, get a little bit more realistic and a little bit more prepared all at once, and give you happy family travels.


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

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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:

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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


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

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Hey, beautiful 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.

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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

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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.


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

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

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

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