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Ep 083: Let's Talk About Working Mom Guilt

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Working motherhood has so many different angles. And whether you work full time or part time, work outside of your home or from your home, working mom guilt is a real thing. We all struggle with it at one point or another. We don’t want to miss the first moments of our kids lives or the activities they are involved in, we don’t want them to think that all we do is sit on our computers or phones all day working, and we definitely don’t want them to resent us for working. So how do we deal with our guilt? How do we balance work and life? How do we teach our kids to value good work ethic? (Because they will grow up and enter the workforce one day!)

If there is one thing I know, it is that being a working mom doesn't mean show up, be perfect at everything, have a super clean house, be an awesome cookie baker, come to every game, be super rich, run an amazing business or do amazing at your job. It means prioritize what matters, show up where you can, and find the balance in seasons. Show your kids what a healthy work life relationship really looks like, how grateful you are, how awesome you are, and what it looks like to thrive in these two roles of worker and mother. You’re doing a great job, mama! Keep going for it!

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • The key to working mom guilt is recognizing what causes it for your specific situation.

  • The connection between how you talk about your work and how your kids will view your work. It is important that they see it as valuable and not something that takes mommy away.

  • How you can navigate technology with your kids, especially if your job requires you to be on your computer or phone most of the day.

  • Why it is ok to be tired, bring in help, and release yourself from the heavy expectations of being a working mom.  

Mentioned in this Episode:


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

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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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Hi, beautiful friend! I hope you are ready to be set free today! I have been sitting on this episode for a while. I have been seeing this topic come up a lot and just wondering how to communicate what I wanted to say.

I feel like working motherhood has so many different angles. There are different types of working moms. There are different lifestyles and schedules of working moms. Everybody has their own version of guilt surrounding motherhood and so I didn't want to just come on here and blab about my experience. I really wanted to make this useful for everyone or at least as many people as possible. I don't think anything is ever useful for everyone and someone will always hate anything and everything, but I really wanted to do well with this episode.

I had a meeting with my business manager, Hayley, and we were talking about something totally different and she just randomly said, “You know, I was thinking recently that you should do an episode about working mom guilt because I keep seeing it come up everywhere and there really isn't anything that's super helpful and I just think it could be really good.”

And I do think there's plenty of things out there that are helpful. But you know, we haven't talked about that here. And I haven't talked about it on my blog. I've really never talked about it, and it's something that's been a big part of my life and my personal journey. So, as I prepared this episode, I jotted down a couple of highlights that I didn't want to forget to say that have to do with my struggle and my journey to working motherhood because it wasn't always this way for me.

And then I talked to another amazing mom on my team, Ashley. She's the one who does the show notes for episodes and she's amazing. She does my press. She's awesome. And she's an amazing working mom, and she kind of shared with me. I just kind of asked her like, “What's your experience with working mom guilt and can you talk to me about maybe a couple things that are hard for you?” She shared a few things with me and kind of helped form this episode. So, I feel good that this isn't just coming from me.

My hope is that this episode is helpful for all types of working moms, whether you work outside of the home, you work at home, you work full time or part time, or you switch between out of the home office and your home office, or you hate your job or you love your job. I hope you love your job. I just want this to be helpful in some way, even if it's small for all types of working moms. So that's my hope.

So having said that, I just want to share a little bit about my struggle as I went from a stay-at-home mom to work-at-home mom, and not even really just to work at home mom, but an entrepreneur, a business owner, and then that kind of just evolved into being a full-on CEO with a big team to run and this big company that, you know, it's just turning into this big thing that I never dreamed it would. It's really neat, but it's like every level comes with a different type of struggle, a different type of guilt. So, I just want to share a little bit about that.

When I became a mom, I was very surprised to find myself pregnant, not in the way of like, oh I'm shocked that I got pregnant, we weren't married or anything like that. We’d been married for about eight months. I was surprised because I was told that I would probably have a really difficult time having kids, if I could have them at all.

Brian and I met in junior high school and we got married a couple years after high school. We were really young and we weren't really jumping to start our family or anything. Birth control made me incredibly sick, like violently ill. I'm allergic to latex so you can figure that one out. So it kinda just felt like this struggle to prevent pregnancy. Young and dumb, and in love, and just kind of over it, I just kind of figured, you know, if birth control makes me violently puke, get hives and get nausea, and pretty much all methods of birth control make me so sick, and if I can't even really probably have kids, I'm just going to stop.

And then there was Bella, so I became a mom and I got my real estate license actually, shortly after Bella was born. You guys might know already; I've talked about this a little bit before but I had postpartum depression and I was just like a mess when Bella was a baby.

But towards her first birthday I got my real estate license and I started to work and I hated it. It was super boring for me. I just really didn't like it. I was driving to my first job. I was going to go and put a lockbox on this house. I was driving and I heard God say (one of two times that He has talked to me like almost audibly) and He just said, “This is not what I have for you. I want you to turn around and go back and be with your daughter.” And so, I did. Super dramatic story, I know.

And then I was a stay-at-home mom from then on. I stayed at home with Bella. I stayed at home with Leland. I stayed at home with Hudson. Brian got a job at a big company and he was working. He was working his butt off. We were able to make ends meet barely, but we did.

There was a lot of good seasons in that job, like where he was able to work a lot of overtime and we had the money that we needed. We were able to pay our bills. I was a stay-at-home mom and that's where we felt good for years.

Then I had Emmett and we moved to the Midwest for his job and everything just kinda started to change. And if you've listened to episode six, you already know our money story, our business-starting story, and all that. I won't get into that. But basically, God just showed up and changed our life and lead us into this place where we didn't have any family. We had very little friends and we didn't really know anyone. We were kind of just brought out away from everyone so that He could change our lives and give us this message of, “Okay, it's time for you to do this now.”

It was basically turning my little hobby blog into a business. I had had a lot of ideas for that, but really didn't feel like it was something that I needed to do, was supposed to do or really knew how to do. We just kinda got thrown into making this a big focus.

I worked my butt off and I learned. I had already kind of taught myself how to do some coding and I knew how to make websites. I knew how to blog. I'm a writer at heart, so I loved to write, and I was good at that part of it. I had a message that I was really passionate about with helping moms simplify. I just wasn't doing it as a business. My audience was asking me for that and asking me to create a course.

And so, I did. You guys know the story probably, and it all just kind of exploded. I mean I say that like it happened overnight and it didn't. I worked my butt off and it took a long time. But long story short, there I was a previously stay-at-home mom running a full-on business. Then I hired somebody to help me with email. I hired somebody to help me with images and graphics and design. Then I hired someone to take photos for me because I found that it is illegal to use other people's photos and I didn't know that before.

Then I hired a business manager and a project supervisor and CFOs because I'm not great with money, and all of these things started adding up. Now here I am, CEO of The Purpose Group, Incorporated, and it houses The Purpose Show podcast, the blog, the website, the courses and The Abundance Academy, which is the school where all my courses live. It's this big thing and it's crazy.

Through that process from going from stay-at-home mom to mom, business owner, work-at-home mom, (my office is at home and I typically work at home. I don't have an outside office) I have dealt with a lot of different types of mom guilt. And it was really unique for me, I feel like, because the process from actually exiting stay-at-home motherhood and getting into work-at-home motherhood was very abrupt for me.

It wasn't like, “Hey, I think we're going to talk about this. I think I am going to go to work. I think I'm going to get a job.” It was just like, okay, everything is going terribly and something needs to change and we both really feel like God's pulling us over here, so let's go.

Then one thing led to another, led to another, led to another where it was like, not only am I now work-at-home mom, but I've got this big role and a lot of hours and a lot of time going into my business, all these things happening and all these people to manage. And now I'm the breadwinner, because Brian left his job and we did this full time, and oh my gosh, it's just a lot.

And what I want you to know, first of all, is that we all deal with mom guilt and I think that's okay. It's okay that it's there. But the key might be to recognize what's causing it for you. What is the guilt circling around? I don't want this episode to become Allie’s story from stay-at-home mom to work-at-home mom, and my mom guilt, so I want to kind of exit that part. I'm just letting you know that I relate and kind of how my story went very briefly.

But I really want to get into this now and get into the mom guilt stuff. So, like I said, let's first start by, because you know me, I'm always trying to help you take action, what is the mom guilt circling around? Is there a key that you can recognize of something that's causing it?

For example, do you always have mom guilt around the fact that you sometimes miss your kid's baseball games for example? If so, how can you find a way to make it to the game? Is that even possible? Could you work out with your boss to get those nights off? Could you structure your schedule if you work at home to be done working by then?

If not, if it's not a possibility for you to make it, then can you have a conversation with your kid and just kind of talk it out with them? Be candid with them about it and explain it to them like, “This is what I'm doing, this is what's going on for me. I just wanted you to know that I love you. I care and I'm supportive. I'll always make it to your Monday night practice, I just can't make it to your Wednesday night games,” or whatever it is. Talk to them about it. I think a lot of the time our kids care much less than we assume they do.

So often we can find or create solutions about our problems, the problem here being guilt, but we just don't. We let it feel hopeless and we do nothing so it becomes this lifelong struggle. We linger and sit in this mom guilt that could have been solved.

Don't think that mom guilt is just something that you can't do anything. I think it's normal. I think it's going to be there in some amount, and it's okay. It's just being a mom. But if you chronically have guilt around something kind of stop, step back and think about it, look into it a little deeper and ask yourself, what is this guilt circling around? What's it stemming from? And get specific and like, okay, it's because I always miss my daughter's swim meets. See if you can find or create a solution to that problem and then it will cure that guilt. Okay?

I also think, I mean I know this has been said before, but I want to say it to you again. You're providing for your family. You should be so proud of that. Step into that awesome role and feel good about what you're doing. You’re doing something awesome. That is not a small deal. Try to come back to that pride place where it's like, look at what you're doing. That's so great.

I also think it's really important to note how you feel about your work, how you react to it, how you talk about it in front of your kids, how you treat it. That's how your kids are going to see it.

So, if you're coming at your work from a place of, you know, “Gosh, I'm just so sorry that I always have to do this, and oh my gosh, I just can't do it all,” and you're yelling all the time, you’re stressed, your burdened and you're treating it like that or talking about it like that, that's how your kids are going to see it and that's how they're going to see work in general especially if you have girls and they become mothers and they're working, so be grateful for it.

We'll talk about that more in a few minutes, but be grateful for your job. Be positive about it. Let your kids see how strong and amazing you are, that you have something else going on too. Not just being their mom. Not that there's anything wrong with that, like please don't message me, “I can't believe you said that.” That's not what I mean; this is a working mom episode.

You have something else that you're doing. It's a big deal. It's good. You're amazing. So be grateful. Be Positive. Use positive words. Have a positive vibe and energy around your job because how you feel about your work, how you react to it, how you talk about it, how you treat it, is how your kids are going to see it. So, they won't know that it's negative, stressful, or there should be guilt around it unless you make them feel that way.

Also, next, let's talk about taking breaks. It's okay to take a break from work and prioritize your kids for five minutes. I think a lot of us tend to get into this “all or nothing mode” where we feel like, okay, right now I'm working so I'm going to have to finish this task completely. Then I can be with you guys, be with the kids. Nothing has to be “all or nothing” unless you make that choice to have it be that way.

I think one of the definitions of, especially if you work at home, one of the definitions of work at home motherhood is that you're going to be interrupted, and you have to get really flexible and really good at coming back to things, getting interrupted and doing one thing, then doing another and then coming back to the other thing. And women are great at that, so you can do this.

Break it up. Do some work, and if your kids are coming up to you and tapping on your leg, or asking for your time…Ashley, the girl that I told you about that’s on my team, she was telling me that her son will come up and just close her laptop and it's kind of her sign of like, okay, you need me. Take five minutes and go on a walk with them, Build a castle out of blocks with your toddler. Have a dance party in the living room real quick. Get them a snack. Give them a kiss. And then get back to work. It's okay to break things up. Allow yourself to be flexible and do what you need in the moment.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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There was one issue that Ashley brought up that I thought was great and it was really specific. I want to address it. She was talking about that torn, weird feeling that you can get because a lot of us who work are on our phones, tablets or computers pretty often. I have dealt with this for sure. I think that's why Ashley brought it up. I was like, “Yes! I need to talk about that.”

My job is on my phone. In my business I have a lot of things delegated that I used to do that I don't do anymore, but my job description now is basically being a public figure. I write my emails because I love connecting with you guys and talking to you guys. I do Instagram stories and I record the podcast once a month, but day to day I'm responding to you guys on Instagram. I’m responding to your comments. I'm posting things. I'm checking in. Like it's my job to show up, and talk to you, be there and encourage you. Like that's my job, so I'm on my phone a lot.

It can kind of feel weird when you're doing that, because it's your work, and so your kids see devices and technology as normal, as almost like expected entertainment. They can throw a fit if you're on your stuff and you're trying to limit their technology, not wanting to hire Netflix to babysit them every day when you're working. They don't understand and you feel hypocritical. Like they're going to think, “Well, mommy's on her phone, why can't you be on your tablet though.” And I just want to speak truth to that. If anyone is struggling with that, especially if you have toddlers, it can be really hard to communicate to them that that's different.

I just want to let you know…let that go. That's not a thing. It doesn't have to be a thing. It doesn't have to be something that you feel weird about. It's such a blessing to be able to do your work from your phone. I'm so thankful that I can take my kids to the park, let them run crazy, have fun and play while I sit on the bench and catch up on Instagram comments. Don't feel guilty about that. Don't feel weird about that.

We live in an awesome time where work can be done from anywhere. So if you see another mom judging you for being on your phone at the park, she doesn't even know. That's happened to me before, and I'm like, “Girl, you don't even know. I'm sitting here encouraging, inspiring and equipping other moms because it's my job. Because I worked my butt off to be able to work from this park bench. Don't you raise that eyebrow at me or I will rip it off.”

But don't let that be a thing. Let that go. Of course, set boundaries and be intentional, but if you have to do your work and it's on your phone, let that be that way. Be grateful that you can do something like that on your phone so easily and it's just right there. It’s something that you can do anywhere.

Also if you do have toddlers and they just don't understand…I was telling Ashley this…I did this with Emmett because he was the only one that was really, really little when I was growing the business and stuff. So, when he would come up to me and basically be asking to play a game on the tablet or borrow my phone because I was on my computer or whatever, say things like, “Mom’s working. Emmett doesn’t work. You silly boy. No, mom’s working. You don't work. You do this.” Show them a toy and just kind of explain, “I'm working. This isn't a free-for-all tech time. I'm working.” I know that's really specific, but I know that I struggled with that and I always felt kind of weird.  

Also in my job, I talk about being intentional with your phone time. I have to text my team and make sure things are going well and answer any questions. My text time is a lot more than other people. But my text time for pointless reasons, like just texting people because they have my number and they think they can ask me something, is almost nothing.

My Instagram time is my job. My texting time with my team is my job. So it's okay. Let that go. Don't let yourself feel weird about that. If it's actually your job, don't let it be an excuse, but you guys see what I'm saying.

Another thing is to realize that it's okay to bring in some help. You absolutely cannot do it all. And if you are doing it all, you won't be doing any of it very well. So what does this look like for you? Child care, having some help with your kids? Housekeeping help? Hiring a housekeeper? A meal delivery service so you're not having to prepare so many meals? Get creative and think through that.

And if finances are a problem, I mean do what you can. I know that every single time I've been kinda like, “Man, can we afford this? I'm just going to do it and just see how it works out because I just can't do it all. I need help.” Every time I've delegated something, I have more energy and more time and I end up making more money because I feel better. I'm less stressed and I'm able to focus more on what I am doing.

So, every time I've hired a team member or every time I've delegated something like hiring my housekeeper or a personal assistant to help run errands and do returns and stuff like that for me, it's come back to me and then some because I'm less stressed, I'm more present. I spend more intentional time with my kids and my time with my kids isn't spent running around and cleaning and doing all that.

I'm delegating and exchanging for more time and energy and that always ends up being more revenue because I'm doing more of what I'm good at. I'm good at owning my business. Showing up for you guys. Inspiring you. Telling you about the courses and equipping you there. Showing up in the groups, being live and doing all those things. It always ends up being more worthwhile because I delegated the things and I was able to show up better at what I am doing.

Okay. When you're feeling mom guilt, if you feel like you just have guilty in general about working, one thing that really helped me is… and you guys. I'm sorry, this episode is kind of random. I literally just brain dumped what helped me and I'm just reading it to guys. I have bullet points, like here mention this, this, this and this, because it's just a mess. Working motherhood is messy, so I think it's kind of funny and ironic that this episode is random points too.

Anyway, when you have mom guilt about working, decide what's important to you and prioritize it. To you. Not to anyone else or everyone else, but to you. So, what breaks your heart to miss? Find a way not to miss it.

There's an example that Jessica Turner shares, which I love. She's an author. She wrote the book Stretched Too Thin. It's awesome and it's for working moms. I'll link to that for you guys. But Jessica Turner loves Halloween and every year she does themed family costumes and she puts a lot of effort, planning and time into that and that's really special to her. Like it would break her heart to miss that. So, she prioritizes it and makes it happen.

So, what's important to you? Is it important to you to throw an awesome super themed over the top Pinterest-y party for your daughter every year? Then do that. If it breaks your heart to miss that, then don't miss it. Prioritize it, but let other things go. Don't do anything out of obligation or “I just want to perform, I just want to be the best mom.” No. What really breaks your heart to miss? Don’t miss those things.

For me, around the holidays, it can be tempting for my business to get ultra busy because my business is for moms and during the holidays us moms have a lot of things going on, a lot of fun things that we're doing, and it can be really easy for me to come up with a lot of content and form my business around being really busy around the holidays.

But for me the holidays are really no fun if I am too busy. I already feel stretched way too thin. On my husband's side of the family there's some divorce and so the family is split and we're kind of like double doing family plans. It's just kind of a mess and I tend to kind of not enjoy the holidays. I've learned to really prioritize that time of year and make it enjoyable for me and my family.

So, if I were to miss going to the pumpkin patch multiple times during October, if I were to miss enjoying my family during Thanksgiving, if I were to miss baking cookies and going to see the dancing lights in our city that are famous around here, if I were to miss going to Legoland for the Christmas decorations, I would feel so sad.

Those are the things that would make me feel like, “Oh no!” But if I have to miss one of the kids' games…I'm bummed, and I feel like a crappy mom for a second. But then I think, “Wait, I'm running an awesome company. I have a purpose here. It's okay. They don't mind, I just talked to them.” Work it out and move on. Find what breaks your heart and find a way not to miss those things and prioritize them. You can't not miss everything.

And that leads me to my next point which is that you have to understand that there will be seasons. Sometimes work will be busier and you are less present with your family and you are missing a little bit more than you normally do. Sometimes your home and your personal life will be busier and you need to dial down your efforts and your hours at work. This is the only work/life balance you're going to get because perfection doesn't exist. Work/life balance is a total lie. It's such BS and I'm so glad that multiple people have been speaking out about that lately because it is just fueling the working-mom guilt fire.

And this is such, such truth. And I really only tuned into this truth this year, in 2018. As a working mom, I have decided like, “Okay, we're going to go into a busier season as a family, and we're going to go ahead and sign up for these extracurricular homeschool activities. We're going to go ahead and say “yes” to these sports for these kids. ‘No’ to this one, and ‘yes’ to this one. But we are heading into a busier family season, so work needs to take a back burner.”  

I have been working a lot less hours in the last couple months because of my personal life. If you guys follow me on Instagram stories, you've seen that we have constant sports practices and games. The kids are in Spanish, piano, theater, guitar, baseball and softball. And we love doing that in seasons because our kids are homeschooled and I feel like it really helps us find the balance between them making friends, being out and about and busy interacting with other people, but we don't do that at the same time as, you know, a giant launch in the business that can take a lot of time and energy.

I will plan a really busy season of the business at the same time as we're dialing down at home. So, there's less extracurriculars or our schedules are a little less full. Or I'll work a deal out with Brian where it's like, “Okay, I need this busier season in the business, but there's also a busyness in our family. Do you want me to wait on this busy season in the business or do you want to take 75% of the busyness with our family so I can focus on the busy season in the business?” And we've done that before too.

We have a unique situation to where we're both home and we kind of share the load of everything, but we'll kind of work it out to where he'll take over most of the homeschooling and I kind of let go and I'll just do some things with Hudson who's in first grade and needs a little bit more care and attention but requires less time each day in school. I'll kind of just take over his stuff and Brian will take over the older kids and the bulk of the homeschooling. He'll take them to practices and stuff and I'll just show up at games. I'll spend the bulk of the day working on projects.

You have to just understand that there will be seasons and it’s all give and take. If work is busier, that's okay. It's okay that you're missing more than usual. Just let it be a season. Sometimes home will be busier and you won't be killing it so much at work. And that's okay too.

I think it's also really important to focus on feeling satisfaction and joy in your work. Do you love what you do? I think this is so important for ditching mom guilt. So if you're listening to this right now and you're thinking, “No, I don't love what I do,” then bring it to the Lord. Pray about it. Figure out a way to maybe go a different route. Maybe you should look for a different job. Maybe you should start being open to that opportunity.

But if you do love what you do, don't feel bad about that. That's so amazing. Step into that and let yourself feel it completely. What a gift that is, that you get to provide for your family and go to work and have a purpose and you love it. That's awesome. I think we let so many things steal our joy and we don't let ourselves really just get still and feel the joy in what we're doing. Even if you're not like super passionate about your job, but you like the environment at work and you're making good money, let yourself feel that joy.

One other thing that steals our joy is comparison. Comparing yourself to other people.

It's so hard not to do that, especially with social media, but remember that this is your life. Your story. And you’re making yourself emotionally unhealthy if you compare yourself to other people. You are not them and you are not supposed to be them. You are you. You're living your story right now, so focus on that and understand that work is a part of that. At least for now.

I think just accepting that even can be so huge. And letting go…if you see an Instagram picture of a mom baking cookies with her toddler and you're at work sitting at your desk like, “Oh my gosh, I feel like the worst right now,” that is so emotionally unhealthy for you and mentally unhealthy. Don't let that lie sink in there. That mom is doing something awesome and so are you. You're making money. You're providing. You're showing up in that way. And that is so awesome

Another thing that I notice is that a lot of women seem to think that it's not okay to be exhausted, like they need to be full of energy. This was one thing that was big for me. Ashley and I talked about it too when we were kind of talking out the points of this episode.

This was one thing that was particularly really hard for me to get over. I actually don't work that many hours. I used to, when I was starting the business. I used to work all the time, but now I really don't work that many hours. However, I'm an introvert and the hours that I do work are spent doing things like live streams, pouring my heart into an email. Talking into my microphone (like I am right now) sharing my heart with you, encouraging you in a podcast episode. Answering questions live on Instagram, writing content for Instagram or whatever it is. It's all extroverting, so the few hours that I do work, I'm exhausted when I'm done.

It took me forever to learn that it is okay to be tired. You’re amazing. You’re working and you're being a mom. The two hardest things in the world. I mean I'm going to drop a word here, so if you have kids around watch out, but honestly, how much more badass could you even be? Don't ever let anyone make you feel “less than” for working. And work-at-home moms, don't ever let anyone make you feel “less” for working from home. Like it's less legit than working outside of the house. That's total BS. Don't you take that! Don't you take that! You're amazing and you're doing a lot. It is okay to be tired. It is okay to rinse and stack the dishes and leave them for tomorrow because you worked all day and you are just freaking exhausted. It is okay.

I think another thing that I learned is that a lot of the judgment I was worried about…becoming a working mom, I realized that I am very concerned (or at least I used to be) about judgment from other people. It's what caused me to shrink back in doing what I do in my business and being a public figure. When I see people judging me, which people always do anyway, I used to shrink back and share less or be less vulnerable. And honestly, being a working mom has taught me to overcome this so much and I hope it does the same for you.

People will say things and people will be rude and that's fine, but usually when it comes to working mom guilt, most of our judgment actually comes from ourselves. It only freaks us out when we maybe see a glimpse of it from other people because it's just solidifying what we feel about ourselves and we need to deal with that.

Have you ever really heard another mom say, “Oh my gosh, she's such a terrible mom for working outside the home?” I haven't. I think if you will realize that you have expectations of yourself and you’re the one making yourself feel judged. Deal with what you expect of yourself. Think about where it comes from, usually our childhood, and let go of it. It doesn't have to have power over you for one more day, so really think about it.

Is anyone really judging you? Maybe you're like, “Yeah, my mother-in-law or my dad is” or whatever, deal with that too. But a lot of the time, I think most of the judgment that we're feeling is actually coming from inside of ourselves.

And one last thing that I want to leave you with is this: the fact is when our kids grow up, it's very, very likely that they're going to work. Our daughters, our sons, it's really likely they're probably gonna work. So, it's so important that we model a healthy work life relationship for them and not act super guilty, stressed, burdened and victimized by our role of worker.

Remember that you're setting an example for them, that you're showing them what this life looks like. If you're a mom and you work, if you own a business or you have a job, you are their main example of that lifestyle. Whether you chose it or financially, you have to have that lifestyle, you’re that example.

So, let's change the way we're treating our work. Let's change the way we're talking about our lifestyle. Let’s change the way that we are treating our jobs and our roles. It doesn't mean show up, be perfect at everything, have a super clean house, be an awesome cookie baker, come to every game, be super rich, run an amazing business or do amazing at your job.

It means prioritize what matters. Show up well where you can show up. Find work/life balance in seasons, like taking turns with what's prioritized and what's not instead of trying to have everything prioritized perfectly balanced all the time, because that's never gonna happen.

Show them what a healthy work life relationship really looks like, how grateful you are, how awesome you are, and what it looks like to thrive in these two roles of worker and mother.


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

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

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

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

Ep 074: For the Wife Whose Husband Works Long Hours

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Today I feel like I'm going through a blast to the past because I'm talking about a season of our lives that has been over for a while. One that was super hard and that I don't love talking about. I am talking about when Brian worked crazy long hours and I was barely surviving as a wife and mom through it. It was one of those really big chunks of my life that I look back on and just feel super grateful that I'm not there anymore. And for those of you who are there right now, I don't mean that to sound annoying. I hope this episode gives you a lot of hope that things can change for you!

I just want to say that if you're the wife of a long-hour husband, I totally understand. I know some of you have husbands who work even longer hours than mine did and they go to school or you're a military family and they're gone for long periods of time. I've heard from you guys before and I'm just so floored by your dedication to your families and I just want to encourage you that things can get better. Things can change if you want them to and if you're open to it. And if you're not and you know that you're right where you need to be and you're probably going to stay there, there's a lot of ways to create joy and abundance right where you are. I just want you to be encouraged by that.

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • Why it is important to rise above your circumstances, say no to complaining, and work towards joy in anyway that you can.

  • Practical ways you can make your husbands time off well worth it for your family.

  • How to use your routine as a guideline that keeps your family functioning smoothly.

  • What you can do to protect time with your spouse and ways you can encourage him throughout the day while he is working those long hours.

Mentioned in this Episode:


If you are looking for a simple way to connect with your hubby while you guys are apart during those long work days, let me help you out! I put together a list of 20 Text Messages that you can send to your husband to get a connective conversation started. It is a FREE download that you can save to your phone for whenever you kind of feel like you need to connect a little bit through the day!

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who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

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

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


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

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Hi, beautiful friend! Welcome to another episode of The Purpose Show! Today I feel like I'm going through a blast to the past because I'm talking about a season of our lives that has been over for a while. One that was super hard and that I don't love talking about.

However, I have a blog post that I wrote years ago that has just kind of always gained traction, and it's on this topic of what you can do as a wife and mom when your husband works crazy long hours, because that is a difficult role to be in. It takes a lot.

This is mainly for women who are stay at home moms and their husbands work really long hours. That's the role that I was in for years. That's where I was at when I started my blog about seven years ago (at the time that I'm recording this episode) and it's how I came to find minimalism and simplify my life out of necessity.

Brian had a job at a big global company where he did tech work and he installed cable in different corporate offices and things like that. It was a physical labor job too. He would have to climb up into attics in 100-degree weather and install and run cables and all sorts of things. So, he was gone and he was gone a lot. And he was exhausted when he would come home. He usually left before the kids and I would wake up in the morning and came home after they were in bed, and sometimes even after I was in bed because it was so late. So, this isn't really a fond time in my life for me; parts of it were, but it was really, really difficult.

It was one of those really big chunks of my life that I look back on and just feel super grateful that I'm not there anymore. And for those of you who are there right now, I don't mean that to sound annoying. Actually, I hope that part of this episode gives you a lot of hope that things can change.

If anyone was stuck in that lifestyle, it was us. We were living paycheck to paycheck. We were super, super broke. There was no cushion for us to leave or find something else. We lived in southern California, which is where we live now. And Southern California is expensive. At that time, and even now, there really weren't a lot of jobs, but especially at that time. It was after the recession hit and there just really wasn't a lot of work. People were really struggling.

So, we felt really grateful to have that job and to have the opportunity for overtime, even when the overtime was forced. We were able to barely make ends meet, but they were met and we were okay. We just really missed each other and Brian missed out on a lot of really key things as a dad. And speaking of that, two things, if you have not listened to our story of how we got out of this time, listen to episode six, how my blog saved my husband from his 9-5 or got my husband out of his 9-5 I think is the less dramatic, actual title. It's very emotional. I cry the whole second half of the episode. It's our story, our money and business story, and it's really powerful. And there's also like a free download that comes with it, if any of you are interested in starting your own blog business

Basically, we went from super, super broke as a joke and then all the way out to the other end of the spectrum of a seven-figure income from my blog and me pursuing my purpose. And now Brian and I run our company, The Purpose Group, Inc., together from home, we homeschool the kids and we kind of take turns and swap out all the different roles. And it's awesome. This was our dream and we never, ever thought it would happen.

So, having said that, the second thing I want to tell you is if you’re resonating with this episode once I get into it, and you're just like, “Oh my gosh, I need to simplify. I need to be able to think about these things. I need to be able to breathe and enjoy my kids. I don't want every day to feel like I'm just waiting for the end of the day to come so I can be done,” go right now and download The Minimalism Starter Kit. You can go to alliecasazza.com/starterkit and get it for free or you can just go to the show notes for this episode and get it there, but The Starter Kit is exactly what it sounds like.

It is a beginning kit for moms who want to simplify their physical space so it's all about the home and how you can cut down on the clutter which is taking up your energy, your time and your focus. And you need to have as much of those three things as possible to pour into your kids and your family, especially if you are a wife of a long-hour husband.

So, go get that free download right away. And having said those things, let's dive into this episode.

So, when Brian got the job that he had for about eight years, before he left and even before that, the jobs he had before that were in the same industry and they were all really similar, but that job he had the longest so it stands out to me in my mind as that season.

Before he left so I could go all in with my business, he worked there for about seven or eight years. When he got that job, we were told that the hours were 8-4:30 and it was about an hour away from our house. So, with the commute and traffic, we were already kind of like, “Okay, well you're not really gonna make it home for dinner unless you get off early. But that's okay. We'll rearrange our schedule. We'll eat dinner late or you can eat dinner when you get home. We'll figure it out. But this job is awesome and we're super grateful.”

So, once he started working, we really quickly realized, through a lot of arguments and canceled plans, that overtime was just a part of his job. Brian never really knew when he would be off work. It changed day to day and depended on the heaviness of the workload and the type of work required at his final job of each day. And also, we started that job like when we had just had Bella, (or before we even had Bella, I think, I don't remember) but as our family grew in that job and once we had 3,4 kids to support overtime was no longer the company's decision. It became a mandatory part of his job in order to make ends meet.

So, at that point in our lives, we'd come to a decision that as long as his job could support our family, it was better for him to be at work for long periods of time so that I could stay home with our babies. And that was both of ours decision. Neither of us ever went back on it. Every once in a while things would get really financially strained and we'd think like, “Hey, is this right? Should I do something? Should I go get something to contribute? What can we do?” We just never, ever, ever felt peace about changing that. We always both felt really great about me being home and Brian working. It just never really made sense for us to both be gone at a 9-5 or whatever and pay for childcare and all that. It just wasn't going to be worth it.

We were always thankful for his job and the opportunity to have the overtime, but it goes without saying that it was really, really hard because basically what was happening was he was consistently working six days a week. Every once in a while he would even work seven days a week and he was working 12 to 14 hour days each of those days.

That's a really big thing and it requires a lot more than people realize. At that time most of my friend's husbands would come home before dinner was served and I just didn't even know what that was like. I used to think a lot about all the family studies that have been done showing that families who eat dinner together every night are stronger. They stay together. They sent happier, smarter kids out into the world.

And of course, as a believer, you know, it would be ridiculous of me to believe that God can't rise above that statistic and our situation and you know, make all things work together for good, but it still hurt me so deeply to know that we did not have a lifestyle that allowed for that type of daily family time. That was really hard. But I learned over the course of some time that the hard truth was that moping and complaining about it or trying to change things out of my control or out of anger is never going to do any good.

So, I continuously prayed that my husband would be where God wanted him and that He would just keep blessing us and guiding our work decisions and keep giving us peace about one decision or another, whether I would go to work or Brian would get a different job or we would stay where we were with Brian at that job and me at home. That He would just continue to guide us and keep giving us peace. That we would know that we were following Him no matter what changed or what happened

And that was really the best thing that I could do. It was the most powerful thing too. I know that that was where Brian was supposed to be at that time. And because of my prayers, God nudged me when it was finally time to make a change years and years later.

I want to say, I don't know if that sort of a schedule, if that's where you're at, if that's your lifestyle right now. I really don't know if that sort of schedule is sustainable for a couple who wants to have a happy, close marriage since you're really not able to share and talk much. But we did do that for a long time and we made it work. And even though we had a lot of struggles that wouldn't have happened if our schedule was lighter, it did work.

Yeah, it was some of the darkest times for us. Our marriage went through a really dark time several times in there. And I was really lonely. I struggled with depression. I had a lot of negative things happen, but it doesn't have to be everybody's story. I'm just sharing what happened to us.

So, if you're in that situation and it feels really tough, I want to encourage you. Pray. Be open to some other way, somehow. Wait. And in that waiting be all there where you are. Show up to make things as good as they can be in that season.

Like I said before, if there was ever going to be a family who was stuck in that lifestyle, it was us. We had no way out. We had no college or experience or anything that could get us an amazing job. Brian was constantly trying to do inner-company education, to get a better job and the company kind of dangled by like a carrot in front of him for years and years and promised a raise, six figures a year and all this stuff. And that's actually why we moved to Arkansas because of a promised position that would be much better for our family. And we got there and it was a total lie. It was actually worse and that's when we started the business.

I just want you to know that even when things are difficult, like look at what I just said, we moved away from everyone we know and love and things got even worse and that was God getting us into the position to make a change. He had a plan all along, so just pray, be open to anything, be open to some other way and show up and make things as good as they can be while you wait in the current situation.

So, in that season of our life, my job was to rise up in that circumstance, say “no” to complaining. I would always think about how does it make my husband feel when he's working as hard as he is and then he comes home to a complaining wife. I just didn't want that for our marriage and you know, feeling sorry for myself and all that. And I just decided to not do that, to come into this role and work towards joy in any way that I could. I'm sure you can see how this kind of led to minimalism and simplified living and all the things that I talk about now.

But here's really at the heart what I was focusing on during that time. It pleases God when I choose to praise when circumstances do not make it easy. It makes my husband so happy when I choose joy and I'm happy with him and grateful for his hard work ethic and his job. It pleases God when I make my husband happy. So clearly it does a lot of good when I choose joy and no good at all when I give into my flesh by griping, giving into depression and letting this “own” me and take over.

Plus, I would always think about who was watching me: four little people with souls and hearts open to receive what they see in me. As the mom, I'm the heart of the family. So what I say and do and the attitude I exude is everything in my house. And that's really powerful.

So having said all that, how do you handle life with small kids and being a stay at home mom with a husband who is mostly gone?

There are a few key choices that I made and I'm calling them “choices” on purpose that made a big difference and I want you to keep in mind that I was never perfect. All of these things were struggles for me. I failed all the time, but these are the things that I kind of figured out helped make it a little bit better.

So first of all, Brian's days off called for some serious family time. So, when Brian would have a day off, I pretty much ignored my cell phone and so did he. We would just turn the world off and tune into our family. Depending on what we were feeling was best for our family that day, we would either hang out at home or spend the entire day out, totally bypassing nap times and just paying the price of cranky babies and soaking up every hour together.

If we did stay home, we would really be engaged. We'd read books to the kids. We'd have a fun family movie night. We'd go for a hike near the house. Maybe even get caught up on things, whatever. Whether it was super fun or really mundane as long as it was done as a family, that was the goal. We involved the kids in everything, even when they were super little in any way that we could, because we just wanted to be together.


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Hey girl, real quick! Let me tell you about something that I've created that is totally

free and amazing and that I am so excited to have you get your hands on! It is called my Minimalism Starter Kit.

Maybe you've been just feeling really overwhelmed, not knowing where to start. Maybe you've been listening to the show for a while and you always hear me talk about simplifying your home and letting things go that you don't really need.

Maybe you’re simplifying your lifestyle, but you haven't really done much. Or you've tried to start, but life got in the way and it just didn't go well. Whatever the reason may be that you're feeling a little cluttered, a little overwhelmed, that there's just always too much. Maybe you're constantly cleaning and you just feel like the house is actually never clean.

I can totally help you! And it can be simple to get started! I have put together the Minimalism Starter Kit to basically build some serious momentum for you. To help just launch you forward into momentum and success in your minimalist journey.

And remember, minimalism does not have to be this stereotype thing where you basically own nothing. You count how many jeans you have. You don't get to shop. It's not this joy-sucking horror show.

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

The Minimalism Starter Kit will basically walk you through what minimalism actually is. A healthy, happy, realistic version of it for moms, written by me, for you.

It goes through why would you want to do this? What's it gonna do for you? Where's it going to take you?

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

It will walk you through decluttering your laundry and dishes. The two biggest time suckers for moms, right? It will also give you a list of 15-minute, quick and easy decluttering projects for the busy mom who doesn't know where to start. It also includes a list of 20 things that you can get rid of right now.

This is a serious momentum builder. It's about getting started in just making decisions and just letting go of stuff right now. It empowers you and will help you keep going.

It also includes a 10-minute declutter challenge. And it will help you keep going after you're done with the Minimalism Starter Kit. It has resources and some just really punchy words in there, from me to you, that will help you keep going.

It's got resources like my top blog posts and other things that I have put together that are totally free for you to keep going, so go check it out. alliecasazza.com/starterkit.
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Next thing was we took advantage of technology while Brian was working. Brian would leave for work before the kids were waking up and he would get home after they were in bed. We really tried hard to come up with a very unique schedule like I tried to have the kids be awake when he would come home from work and then just hope they would sleep in the morning and that didn't work because they were really little at the time.

We tried a workaround where we could be together when Brian got home or before he went to work, and nothing worked. So, I learned, okay, they need to just have normal wake up and bedtimes and we're going to have to figure something else out. So, when he was working and he wasn't seeing them, we ended up switching to iphones so that we could take advantage of Facetime.

The kids just freaked out and they would love talking to their dad on Facetime. We would do Facetime during Brian's lunch break a couple of work days a week. But I was careful not to tell the kids that it was going to happen until it was actually happening just in case something came up and it didn't work out because that caused a lot of arguments and frustration on my end when one of his jobs would go longer than normal. We'd be waiting to talk to him and the kids would not understand and they'd be crying. I definitely didn't want to foster any abandonment issues or anything, as slight as that might be. I just didn't want to cause any more heartache. It was really, really hard on us that he was gone so much.

I would also send him tons of pictures and videos of whatever we were doing that day. Even if he didn't respond or he couldn't see them until the end of his day, he always told me that that really helped him feel like he missed less and brought him a lot of joy.

The next thing was I would have it in my mind that I am a single parent on the days he's working. What that did was it removed all of my expectations for Brian for when he would be home. So, if he could get home early one night and help me with the bedtime routine, that would be great. If we could maybe make it to a social event that we were invited to together for once, that would be great. But I didn't hold onto those things as expectations.

I didn't want to be let down because when I would hold onto those things, like, “okay, this is gonna happen. Brian said he would for sure be off by 3:00. We're going to go to this dinner party. Great.” I would never let myself get there, after a couple of years of arguing and total chaos. I let go of those expectations because when I didn't, when I held onto them, I was completely let down if it didn't end up happening how we had planned. And then I'm in a terrible mood and I wouldn't be able to love on my husband when he got home and be in a good mood because I was just stressed and honestly a little resentful because the whole lifestyle was so stressful.

I always compare it to like a casserole that you're putting in the fridge for leftovers. You put Saran Wrap over it and that Saran Wrap is put super taut over that casserole. If you poke it with anything sharp, it's going to not only poke a hole but the hole stretches and expands into a bigger hole. And I kind of felt like that at this phase of our life. Like I'm just stretched so thin, if one little thing pokes a hole, the whole thing's gonna collapse and I'm done.

So, I acted like on the days when Brian was scheduled to work, I am a single parent. I have no expectations for a husband today. I would go out for coffee with a friend once a week and my mom would come over and stay with the kids when they were in bed so I could go. I would go every week to that no matter what. I kind of just did my own thing and had my own life. I went to barbecues without Brian. I attended things that we were both invited to by myself. Sometimes I'd go with the kids; other times I'd have a grandparent watch the kids and I would go by myself. But I didn't have any expectations of him and that way if he did end up coming, it was great.

And I know I just mentioned that I went out for coffee with a friend and kind of live my own life, but that's actually another point of something that I did to help myself during this season. Going out for coffee with my friend. It used to be on Monday nights and I'll never forget it. We did it for years. It was so great. She's still one of my closest friends and we live near each other again after the move to Arkansas. We live together again in Southern California. We used to go out for coffee on Monday nights every week no matter what.

I had to take care of myself and I had to make sure that my well was full so that I could continuously and constantly be pouring out to my family and coffee with my dearest friend was such therapy for me. It got me out of the house. I'm sipping a delicious cup of coffee that I didn't have to make myself. It's still hot. I'm talking to another adult. Total perfection. We never, ever missed a coffee night. Maybe it had to be rescheduled for a different night that week, but it was always once a week.

I remember one time we had the flu hit our house and somehow with quick healing and essential oils and a lot of juice, we still made it happen that week. We didn't care if the other got sick. We just stuck to it religiously. We both needed it in that season of our lives. And we had a great time and we always started our week out refreshed because of that coffee date.

Another thing that I did was I planned for an occasional nap during the week and I mean I really planned for it. Since my mom hours were almost double most peoples’ I was really tired a lot. I tried to let go some of the chores and just lay down on my couch a couple of times a week during the kids' nap times. Then when Bella got a little older and stopped napping, she and I would just cuddle up on the couch and we'd turn on Dora the Explorer or something and I'd just rest my eyes for 20 minutes or so while she watched her show and had a snack.

I just incorporated a lot of rest because I realized because my days are so long and I'm doing everything in the house - all the cooking, all the errands, all the parenting, every single thing – totally and completely from dawn to dusk by myself, I wore out quicker than most moms and I just need rest and I allowed myself that as much as I could.

Another thing that I did was I had a routine that I used as a guideline and it really helped me. This is when I started getting really into routines and I realized that even though I'm a super spontaneous person and I tend to want to reject all routine in order in my schedule, it makes me feel kind of trapped, this is when I learned that that is actually not what routines do at all. They actually enable you to have things taken care of so that you can afford to be more spontaneous and have fun because things aren't behind, like ever. And it really brought me a lot of freedom.

So, I would have a list of daily and weekly “must dos” kind of like the things that kept our family functioning smoothly. I would never fulfill it perfectly (it's not really my personality anyway) but that really helped me keep the cupboards full of snacks, the house picked up, the laundry caught up, all those things. And when you don't have your husband home to wrestle with the kids in the evening while you catch up, a routine is a huge lifesaver.

By the way, if you want to get some help in establishing some rhythms and routines in your day, I also have a freebie for that and I'll put that in show notes as well. I know I mentioned the Minimalism Starter Kit but I'll put that Developing Rhythms and Routines Workbook in there for you guys too. It's totally free. So you can go to show notes for that and I'll give you the link to that at the end.

Another thing that I did was I didn't let the work schedule, Brian's work schedule, become a “pause button” for our family.

What I mean by that is Brian's work schedule used to really bring us down. I would wait to do anything of memory making substance until he had a day off. And a lot of the time he would be so exhausted that he wouldn't want to do anything. He would want to stay home on his day off. And so, I was kind of constantly let down and frustrated and we felt like we were battling each other for serving my needs and getting out of the house and having a fun family day and serving his needs of lying low and letting him rest.

Especially the weeks where we only had one day off. That was really hard because normally when we had a schedule for a little while where we had two days off, we would just compromise. One day we do what you want to do; the other day we do what I want to do. When we had one day it was really high pressure to have a lot of things packed into that day. A lot of rest, a lot of play, a lot of family time and that just doesn't really work in one day with kids who are on a nap schedule.

So, I started just taking the kids to do fun things by myself. I didn't wait for Brian to be off anymore. While he was at work, we did fun things. Things that you would normally think, oh, we'll wait for daddy to have a day off, I just did them myself. I would invite a friend or a grandparent to come along with me if I needed to, because I knew my limits and when I could and couldn't handle the kids on my own, but I lived my life as their mom.

I took them on fun adventures all the time. We had Disneyland passes for a while, especially when Brian was working a ton of overtime and we had a little extra cash. I took the kids, eight months pregnant with my 11-pound baby (oh my gosh, that's a story for another day) to Disneyland by myself with a stroller and everything all the time in the heat of the summer. It was great. We had a great time.

So, I grew a pair, for lack of a better term, and just decided, “I can do this myself. Single moms do this. I can be super strong and handle this.” And I just did a ton of fun stuff without Brian and we had some awesome memories. It really cemented the closeness between me and my kids.

Another thing that I did was I planned a monthly night out, and some nights in on the weeks in between, with Brian and myself.

So, we are really, really, really, really, really, really, really big on having time together as a couple. In this season of our lives (if you follow me on Instagram, you probably know this) but we go out on a date night every single week. Sometimes I share that we're going; sometimes I don't. Sometimes I just need a break from my phone and don't care if you guys know that we're on date night. Before it just had to look different because of his crazy schedule.

The bottom line was that we had to have alone time together. Every married couple does and we were really big on that. We felt like it was extra important for us because our schedule was so crazy. When we would go out, we would choose a restaurant that we could afford, that we liked, and enjoyed the benefits of his working so much with a nice meal that we paid for, that we didn't have to cook. We would really make the most out of it.

I remember date night being once a month for a while during that season. We would sit close to each other, hold hands, kiss and act like a dating couple. Then on the weeks in between our outside of the house date night, we would stay in, cozy up on the couch and we'd act the same way together on our couch. As long as we were without the kids and enjoying each other's company, the goal was met, the marriage was strengthened and that's all that mattered to us.

We've said it before. We've done quite a few episodes of the podcast on our relationship and on date night (and I can link to those in the show notes for you guys as well) but date night has always mattered to us a lot. And even when it wasn't called date night and it wasn't every week and it wasn't fancy and fun like it is now, our time together has always been the most important thing outside of our relationships with God.

The next thing and last thing that I did to make that lifestyle easier for myself was I had a goal to leave the house once every day. So if I knew that at some point every single day I was going to leave the house with the kids, it helped motivate me to get dressed and put myself together in the morning, which always helps me feel energized. It lifted my mood. It helped me be more productive. Usually my outing would be the gym. For a while we had a really awesome affordable gym pass with Kids Club at this awesome gym. It ended up closing down. It was by my house. They probably closed down because they were so cheap.

But they had this great Kids Club with face painting, activities and a jungle gym. My kids loved it and they would beg to go every day. So, I used the opportunity to up my fitness game and get a break and it was just the perfect place to go. I had motivation and exercise boosted my moods and helped with fatigue. It was fun for my kids. I lost weight and got healthier.

On the days that we would skip the gym, we would do the park or the local lake or something, but pretty much every single day we left the house at least once. That was kind of my rule. It was pretty rare that something would come up that we didn't leave, like sickness or, I was fine, I had a lot of energy and was getting a lot done in the house and didn't end up leaving and that was okay. But the point was to help the day go by and be finished well. To have a good time together and just break up the day. Break up being home.

That's all I have. I know it's nothing hugely groundbreaking or anything. If you want more tips like this, you can listen to the episode about Life Hacks for Moms of Little Ones, which I'll link to that episode as well.

I just want to say that if you're the wife of a long-hour husband, I totally understand and I know some of you have husbands who work even longer hours than mine did and they go to school or you're a military family and they're gone like overnight too. I've heard from you guys before and I'm just so floored by your dedication to your families and I just want to encourage you that things can get better.

Things can change if you want them to if you're open to that. And if you're not and you know that you're right where you need to be and you're probably going to stay there, there's a lot of ways to create joy and abundance right where you are. I just want you to be encouraged by that.

Also, if you are looking for a simple way to connect with your hubby while you guys are apart, a while ago (I think like years ago when I first wrote that blog post that was based on this topic) I put together a list of 20 Text Messages that I would send to Brian that you could send to your husband to just kind of get a connective conversation started. I had it rebranded so it matches my business right now and it's a pdf that you can just download and save to your phone for whenever you kind of feel like you need to connect a little bit and he's away from you. It’s 20 Text Messages To Send To Your Husband. You can get that at the show notes for this episode. Again, it's totally free. You can go snag that and the Rhythms and Routines Workbook and the Minimalism Starter Kit Workbook and see all of those other episodes that I mentioned.

You can find everything that you want for this episode is at alliecasazza/shownotes/074. I love you guys and I hope you were super encouraged by this episode.


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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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