toddlers

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 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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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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