This episode is the start of a new segment called “Kinda Super Helpful” with my very good friend, Kendra Hennessy of Mother Like a Boss. We’re having a conversation, and it’s really laid back and fun, but we also talk about some serious stuff. There is so much gold in this episode. We’re chatting about judging others, being empowered to make choices that are right for you, traditional gender roles, preparing your home for company, routines, and so much more. I hope you enjoy it!
In This Episode Allie and Kendra Discuss:
How to separate the condition of your home from your identity and worth
Being empowered to make choices without judging others for theirs
The importance of digging into our feelings to find the root cause
What to do if you find yourself stressed and cleaning to prep for company
How routines help you be proactive instead of reactive
Why charts, checklists, and instructions are useless if you don’t do the work
Mentioned in this Episode:
Allie’s Facebook group
Allie’s Courses (Use the code PURPOSESHOW for 10% off!)
Are you sick of being stressed every year when the holidays roll around?
I created a short video course that will help you get intentional, simplify, and pursue LESS this Christmas!
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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.
Hi friends! Welcome to The Purpose Show! Today’s episode is the start of something new. I am sitting down with my very good friend, Kendra Hennessy, of Mother Like a Boss and we’re just having a really incredible conversation.
I’m really excited for you to hear this, but if this is your first time listening to The Purpose Show, it honestly might not be the best episode to start with. If you want to maybe turn this off and come back to it another time and listen to a different episode or something. There’s nothing wrong with this episode; it’s just a very different format and it’s really unlike all the other episodes that I produce.
This is a new segment that we’re calling “Kinda Super Helpful” because it’s a conversation. It’s really fun. We laugh a lot. We connect. We also talk about some real stuff, serious stuff, big things. So, you’ll either find it super helpful (or kinda helpful) or you might kind of hate it and that’s okay too, but it’s just something that we wanted to do together. It’s a random segment that we’re bringing into The Purpose Show.
I love Kendra. She’s a really good friend of mine. She does incredible work in her business and when we get together, really amazing things happen, so I’m bringing her on and we’re going to occasionally sit down and have conversations like this that are very Q&A style.
We’re bringing topics from you guys, questions from the audience, and talking about hard things. I think our perspective is different than a lot of other leaders and that’s why I think it’s important that we have these conversations, that we shine a light on issues that women and mothers are facing.
That’s what “Kinda Super Helpful” is going to be about. It’s much looser, way less structured, really conversational. There’s so much gold in this episode – so, so much because Kendra’s here with me, so please enjoy this.
We’re going to sit down and do this occasionally. It’s going to be really fun and really laid back and I’m excited. I’m excited to bring this new thing into my show, break things up, and shake things up a little bit. I hope you guys enjoy it.
ALLIE: Okay guys, Kendra and I are sitting here. We’ve been talking for 20 minutes, being together, laughing, joking around like we do. We were talking about how we don’t want this little segment on the show to feel podcast-guesty. I know you know what I’m saying. You have a guest on your podcast and you think, “I just want this to be a conversation,” you know? We all say the same thing and then you hit record and you have to do the fake, “Hello.” I hate the fake hello, “Hi Lindsey. Welcome.” I would never say that in real life. Why all of a sudden is that, why is this happening?
KENDRA: Also, it’s as if you weren’t just talking for five minutes before you hit record too. That’s why it’s so funny. It’s like I know we’ve already been talking, and then I said, “Okay, I’m going to hit record.” This is a behind-the-scenes for anyone that doesn’t know. No, we don’t just get on the call and then hit record the second somebody gets on. And that’s what makes it seem so fake.
ALLIE: Yeah. It feels so fake. And the other person’s used to it, so they are like, “Hey Allie. Yeah, thanks for having me.” I don’t know what else to do though. I don’t. I’ve really thought about this a lot.
For those of you who don’t know…we’ll talk about who you are in a second. Let me have a moment.
KENDRA: You talk about you now. It’s your podcast. It’s okay.
ALLIE: But Kendra and I are friends in real life. I don’t feel awkward saying that we’re best friends in a way, even though we live across the country from each other and never see each other in real life.
KENDRA: Not really. Yeah. We don’t really see each other that much, but I’d call you more than a casual acquaintance. I think. You’re alright.
ALLIE: I’m okay spending a little bit of time on you.
KENDRA: Yeah, for sure. I don’t trust you completely, but I trust you enough.
ALLIE: It’s enough. It’s all right. We make time to fly across the country to each other, usually her to me because I live in San Diego and I have a billion kids.
KENDRA: And no one wants to fly to upstate New York. Sorry. Sorry, upstate New York.
ALLIE: Also, usually we do a February-ish thing or December and I feel that you want to come here during those months.
KENDRA: Oh, 100%. We’re coming there in December, after Christmas. I’m taking my family out to California two days after Christmas, which is going to be awesome. My kids can’t wait. They will not shut up about it. And that’s because, you know, upstate New York is chilly that time of year, although I don’t mind when it’s that way around Christmas because it’s got that Christmas-y feel. But then once January 1st hits, I’m like, “Okay, I’m done with this. No more.”
ALLIE: I can’t imagine. I don’t do well. It’s nice to see and like, “Oh, the kids built a snowman!” Then the snowman gets buried and frigid blizzardom and I can’t take it. It’s nice to visit, but then I’m back home.
KENDRA: Then you’re done.
ALLIE: I’m good. Okay.
Well anyway, we have been friends for a couple of years and we’ve done a lot of things together. We have a course together, Made For This Mom (that’s a plug). We have done bundles together, put our courses together, because what we do goes super well together.
Just because this is the first time…I know a ton of people listening already know everything about you…but just do the obligatory. Tell us about yourself and have you ever…quick side note…have you ever been in an interview? Like you’re the one being interviewed and they say, “tell us about yourself,” and you get the sense that you’re talking way too long, they’re extremely annoyed and want you to hurry up?”
KENDRA: Yeah. One of the most awkward things is knowing do you want my full bio or do you want just the CliffsNotes version? Do you want to just the one sentence – what I do and who I serve – or do you want me to be like, “So back in 2006…” Which do you want? Because sometimes I do it too fast and then they’re like…
ALLIE: “Okay, well yeah, let’s unpack this.” Whenever someone says that I’m like, “Oh boy!” I just never know what to do. But anyway, as it suits me and my expectations, tell us a little bit about yourself.
KENDRA: So in 1983 I was born…
ALLIE: “It all started on a brisk December morning…”
KENDRA: “…a very brisk December day…”
So, I’m Kendra Hennessy. I’m the CEO and founder of Mother Like A Boss. I have a podcast of the same name, the Mother Like A Boss Podcast, and what I like to tell people, the quick version, is that I’m a home management coach for modern moms. What I try to do is put a fresh and modern twist on homemaking for moms, so that they feel more comfortable and empowered in their homes.
The way that Allie talks about minimalism and purposeful living is sort of the same way that I talk about home management, routines, cleaning, things like that, which is why we go so well together because we have this same overall purpose in life and mission to really bring more intention to moms’ lives.
I feel like we have gotten so far away from intention, we just do things because we’re supposed to. We feel obligated to do things, but there’s no purpose and intention. So, I really try to bring a lot more mindfulness to the way that I teach women to run their homes, especially around cleaning, having routines, and managing how they run their homes so that they feel better in the dwelling that they have.
I really feel like homemaking is more than just the sum of its parts. It’s not just cleaning, routines, organizing and decluttering, and meal planning. It’s so much more than that because we really do carry our homes with us everywhere we go.
ALLIE: Yeah, totally. That’s perfect because what Kendra and I intended for this little segment that we’re going to do on the show is to have it be Q&A style and let you guys guide what we talk about.
I really value what you bring to the table. I value your perspective and I love how even though we’re very, very similar, we’re also very different. We come from different backgrounds. We have different thoughts and opinions. Just the way that you would say something is very different than the way that I would say it, even if the underlying message is the same and sometimes it’s not. I think I wanted to bring that here. I think that letting the audience decide what we talk about is really cool and really helpful for them.
What we did for this first one is…we both keep handy a lot of the regular Q’s that come in that we can give A’s to. (That was really annoying, the way I said that.)
KENDRA: I say it all the time. I type it. I’ll be like, “Here’s the A’s to your Q’s.” And I’m like what am I doing with my life?
ALLIE: Yeah. We keep tabs on that and we listen to you guys. We both are really audience heavy. We really listen to you guys and that’s not really that common, so I appreciate that you’re like that too.
When we were preparing for this one, we kind of knew where we wanted to go and we were just looking at the questions that had been asked. Basically, there is no one question that somebody asked that made us say, “Yup, that’s the exact phrasing that we want,” but we saw a lot of the same theme and that theme is women and mothers struggling with something that we both talk about all the time.
That’s the thing that came up all the time is. “You talk about this all the time. I hear you talk about this all the time.” Some people even said, “I heard you talk about this with Kendra and it really sparked in me but I don’t know what to do with it.”
We talk all the time about you not being attached to the ‘performance side’ of you running your home. Your home, how clean it is, how it looks is not attached to your identity and who you are as a woman, and that there needs to be a serious and abrupt detachment of those things.
But also, we teach that you need to feel good in your home and your home doesn’t have to be a total crap show. It doesn’t have to be chaos, stressful, overwhelming and all of these stereotypical mom things.
I guess the questions that we’ve been seeing a lot are: How do you bridge that gap? What does it mean to be detached from how your house is and not taking it on as your identity? But then also having it feel a certain way and obliterating stress, chaos, and overwhelm from it.
We’re going to have a conversation about that and I’d love for you to start with that.
KENDRA: I think one of the greatest realizations that I came to, and it was probably within the last few years, was that my worth was not attached to my productivity because as someone who grew up as a very headstrong, straight-A, want to do well in school, want to please people, want to be the smart kid, I attached my worth to that. My worth was attached to how well I did in someone else’s eyes. Because that’s really what a grade is. To someone else you are worthy of an A; to someone else you’re worthy of a B, and I always attached myself to that.
Then when I became a mom and a business owner, which kind of happened at the same time, I feel like I was always attaching my worth to how much I got done. If it was a day when I felt lazy then I was like, “I’m not really being a good mom today. I’m not being a good wife. I’m not being a good business owner because I didn’t get much done.” I really do think that at the root of all of this is that moms attach their worth to their productivity and how much they get done.
Then that trickles into running their home and feeling like the way their home is being run is a reflection of them as a person when really it’s just a reflection of what you’ve shown up to do that day.
Sometimes you show up with more purpose than others and sometimes there are absolutely things that you can be doing to improve that. That’s why Allie and I have businesses to help with that, the practical side of it. I would love to hear your thoughts on this, Allie.
What happens when a mom has decluttered her home, she’s gotten rid of the stuff and it’s still not good enough? I am sure you hear that all the time. I’ve done all this. I’ve gotten rid of 90% of the stuff. I don’t feel cluttered. I don’t feel overwhelmed. And yet I still feel unfulfilled in my home. I still feel not good enough.
That’s what we really want to talk about is your worth is not attached to that productivity. It’s not attached to how much you got done. I really think that it all comes back to that.
ALLIE: Yes. And I think it’s so hard to maintain that. We’ve shared before that we struggle with the feelings that we’re helping other women come up against because it’s the norm. It’s a societal norm. It’s a generational thing too. I know older women who are incredible and just trailblazers and pioneers of a new, and I think a lot of us would agree, better way of thinking about things. And I also know younger women who are stuck in old traditions that are not serving anybody anymore and they’re so judgmental and ripping other people, in particular, their fellow women, apart so it’s not old versus new or old versus young people. It’s just the way that we think.
I think that there’s a lot of societal norms, and I’ve experienced this a ton in the Christian circle being in that myself, that are attached to woman = house. It’s destructive. That’s not God’s intention. That’s not what He designed for us. It stems from old tradition and the way the world used to work. As humans change, the world evolves, people change and evolve, they’re realizing that there’s this huge gap left and it’s unfulfillment. How lame would it be that you were created to keep your house clean? It’s ludicrous. But this is really at the crux of a lot of things. I know I’m going to get comments about what I’m saying right now and that’s okay.
KENDRA: Of course. Because it never ends.
ALLIE: Yeah. It never ends. I’m learning too, we should talk about this another time too, there is literally nothing that you can say that will make everybody happy. It’s so overstated, but when you really accept that, Oh my gosh, I just have like stopped caring.
But what I have found to be true, and I think listeners also need to realize that you and I spend the bulk of our days in the midst of thousands and thousands of women, so it’s not like what we’re saying is just coming from our opinion. Of course, everyone has an opinion. Kendra has an opinion, but it’s not just that. It’s literally seeing the damage done from certain traditions, opinions, the way that people feel about their home, the way they feel about who they are and what they’re here for. We have seen so much damage. That has really done a work in me as a person, as a Christian, as the way that I went to school and how I was raised to believe what women are here for. It’s so much damage.
KENDRA: Yeah. And then there’s also the opposite. I never wanted to associate with the word ‘homemaker’ for the longest time because I was like, “Well, I’m not a homemaker. I’m better than that. I’m better than that word. I’m a working woman. I’m going to own my own business and I’m going to do this.” And it’s again, because we took that word and we made it mean something that it didn’t.
We made it antiquated. We made it outdated. We made a ‘homemaker’ this word that was associated with a 1950’s housewife in heels and an apron that had this perfect home and a hot meal when her husband got home. That’s what we associated it with instead of what it is, which is a maker of a home.
You can be a homemaker and not a woman. You can be a homemaker and a single dude living by yourself. You can be a homemaker and not be married or not have children. All it means is someone who’s making a home.
I’ve even stepped out and said this: I consider my children to be homemakers in their own way because every time that they’re helping with something in the house, every time that they pick up their toys, every time that they do the dishes or learn something new in the house, they are helping to contribute to the way that our home is run. Every time that we sit down and have a family meeting, they’re contributing to that. We’re all contributors. The pendulum just keeps swinging from one extreme to the other.
Allie and I talk about this all the time – we do not want to be on one side of the pendulum or the other. We want to be swinging right in the middle where it’s okay to be a little bit of both. It’s okay to take pride in your home without that being the only thing that you take pride in.
ALLIE: Yes, it is absolutely empowering still for your choice to be that you are at home, that you don’t work anywhere else, that you take care of your home, you take pride in that and you have a hot meal for your husband when he gets home at the end of the day. And I think the flaw is in calling that the only version of homemaking and calling that a bad use of your womanhood. It’s not a bad use if that’s your choice, if that’s what works for you and that’s what you want to do.
But I think labeling women as a whole, “this is what you’re made for and this is what women should do” was so damaging to me, like there was ‘little Allie’ sitting in Bible class.
Which by the way, I was raised by two parents who co-owned multiple businesses. My mom worked. That’s why we were even at school. She was like, “Yeah, go, get out. I gotta to run the business.” This is before the digital age. They have a service-based business, so exchanging time for money and they would delegate by having subs that would go out and do the work for them and stuff. They built from the ground up, my dad’s a Cuban immigrant, this amazing business that’s still successful to this day. So that’s who I was raised by.
But I went to school at a private Christian school where I was sitting in Bible class and the boys were being taught how to balance checkbooks and the girls were being taught how to get up in the middle of the night and take care of a screaming baby. And there was no, “and now we’ll switch.” There was just that.
I actually didn’t know that about the boys’ class until I married somebody from the boys’ class and we talked about it and I was pissed. There was ‘little Allie’ sitting in that class learning. “This is tradition, this is what you’re made to do,” and feeling this disappointment that I wouldn’t get to do the things I felt like I had in me. It was very strange.
Also, they would place a huge checkmark like, “Yes! Good job!” of getting a college scholarship and going and furthering your education. And I was sitting there the whole time like, “Why? Why would I do that if I was just told that as soon as I have kids it’s all over?”
KENDRA: Yeah because then that’s your job. Your job is now to take care of children and that’s all you’re going to do.
And again, I love that you said if that’s your choice, that’s fine. There is nothing wrong with that. But we have this weird society that won’t just allow people to live in their own choices. We have to then dictate to them what their choices should be. We’re like, “Well, I’m a working mom because I’ve chosen to do this and I like this, and you like your choice and you love that you’re allowed to make your choice.” But then when you hear that someone is staying at home, your defense mechanism is to judge her. “Must be nice. Must be nice for her to be able to do that.” Like you’ve talked about ‘the grass is greener.’ It’s like, “No, she has made her choice.”
Also, you don’t know why people have made their choices. Maybe that choice was made for them. The working mom may be working because she doesn’t have a choice. Maybe she’s a single woman, or her husband or partner can’t work, or they need two incomes. Maybe that woman is staying home because she has a special needs child and she would like to go back to work, but that’s not what works for her.
I know that we’re getting off on a different path, but I really do think that it all comes back to judgement, like we were talking about before we hit record. It all comes back to judgment because really what you’re saying is if my worth is attached to how clean my home is, how kept my home is, how managed my home is, what you’re really saying is I judge myself if I’m not doing X,Y,Z and I’m waiting for other people to judge me as well.
ALLIE: Yes. Going back to what you were saying about a choice, choice is empowerment. You can choose whatever you want. And I think sometimes people talk about the choice to stay home is like, “Yeah, that’s fine. Good for you. That’s your choice.” But really that is an incredible empowered choice.
But I think we also need to remember – let’s just call a spade a spade, we’re two white girls sitting here – having a choice is a privilege. And not everybody even has that choice.
It makes no sense to say that the rule is ‘women do this; men do that’. One of my least favorite things about the Christian circle, the Christian community, and the traditional conservative Christian people that are leaders that talk about this stuff, is when they are faced with the question… I heard recently an interview where a well-known conservative Christian leader was asked, “What about the black woman who has to do this and she doesn’t have privilege, she doesn’t have a freaking choice?” And he’s like, “Oh well that’s different. Good for her. Good. That’s just different. She doesn’t have a choice and there’s mercy and grace for that.” Mercy and grace for that? I just can’t. I won’t even go off, I just can’t.
There’s so much to be said for that, and you need to remember that your bubble is not the only thing that there is, and to say across the board like, “Oh there’s exceptions. That’s so sad over there. You’re in poverty and you have to work two jobs to provide for your kids, but everyone else that has the choice you need to make this one.” It’s just ridiculous. I can’t.
KENDRA: I feel like my eyes are going to roll out of my head from rolling so hard. That is such a ridiculous concept. And it really is because we, for lack of a better term, we sort of whitewash everything. We paint everything with really broad strokes and we’re like, “Well, if you’re a mom in America, here are your choices: choice A or choice B. You either work and neglect your children or you stay home and you don’t provide for your children.” That’s what we say. That’s really what we’re saying. It’s like you can lose or you can lose. Sorry, moms. I hear that all the time.
I even heard someone saying in a Facebook post from a friend of mine who is a hairdresser and she just had her second kid. She’s actually my hairdresser. Someone came in and was like, “I would never have sent my babies to daycare. I didn’t want anyone else raising them. I want to be raising them,” and went on this whole thing. And Danielle was like, “Well I love what I do so I’m going to do that, and we’ve chosen a daycare provider that’s really great.” And I thought, “Danielle, don’t justify this to this woman. You don’t need to justify yourself to her.”
But that’s what we do. We say, “Oh you’re a working mom. It must be really hard that you’re neglectful of your children all the time. That’s hard.” And then I know working moms that will say that about stay-at-home moms, they will be like, “Well that’s really great for you. I mean I just think it’s horrible that you don’t have any contribution to your family’s finances whatsoever.”
ALLIE: Or one of my least favorite things that I heard all the time because I was a stay-at-home mom, the bulk of my time as a mother still has been being stay-at-home because the years haven’t outlived the past years yet. But what I would hear all the time is either, “Good job! They are so blessed!” Or, “Oh good for you!” Or, “You don’t want to do anything? You don’t have anything that you want to do?” Weird.
I love that you brought it up because I was about to bring up the whole, ‘I don’t want other people raising my kids’ thing. Again, this is an opinion. It’s ridiculous, but I think that there could be circumstances that I’ve heard from other women where it’s like, “I literally never saw my parents. They worked all the time. They were gone. They traveled. The live-in nanny was like my mom because I saw them.” But when somebody is sending their kids somewhere for a set of hours during the day and then they pick them up and they take them home or they travel occasionally, that’s not what’s happening. Parents raise kids. Schools don’t raise kids. Daycares don’t raise kids. Parents raise kids and you can exit yourself out of that and go extreme. And yeah, there’s a line. I think you need to gut check yourself if that’s what you’re doing. Are you even there? Do you know what’s going on with them at school? Do you know them? But it is so awful and degrading to tell a woman that you would never let someone else raise your babies like she is when she’s cutting hair, making a living, doing what she loves and her kid’s down the road at a daycare for five hours.
KENDRA: Exactly. Yeah. And that just goes back to the judgment. There’s so much about judgment that I’ve learned over the last few years. I’m so thankful that we live in this digital age where I’m able to learn from other people and really take a hard look at myself because we can all sit here and say, “We need to just stop the mommy judgment.” but the truth is we all do it. We all do it. And Allie, I’m glad you’ve called that out before. You’re like, “I’ve been judgmental. I have been a judgmental person.”
ALLIE: It’s the first reflex and we have to realize it is, but then what do you do with that reflex?
KENDRA: Exactly. And I catch myself now. That’s the difference. It’s like the idea of toxic positivity. You don’t need to just stop judging, “I’m just going to stop,” because that’s never going to happen. We’re never going to stop judging because that is how we discern a lot of times, good from bad, in our brains. It comes from that. You need to be judgmental. If there’s something lurking behind a bush, should I flee or should I fight it? Is it a squirrel or is it a tiger that’s going to eat me? That’s where it’s all coming from. We just have it now and we just judge other people.
And really what it comes down to is: what are they making me feel about myself? Every time I feel myself judging someone else, I catch myself now, much sooner than I ever have, and I go, “What are they triggering in me? What about what they said, did, or how they’re living is bringing something up in me?” Maybe it’s guilt. Maybe it’s resentment. Maybe it’s fear. Maybe it’s ignorance. Who knows? But it’s bringing something up.
And so, we have to know that about when we’re being judged. So, if it’s your mother-in-law that’s walking in your house and making a bunch of comments about the way that you’re housekeeping, that has nothing to do with you. Nothing. Really nothing. You may be able to sit here and say, “No, but it is because my counters were cluttered.” So what? Someone else could walk in your house and that’s not going to bother them at all. It has to do with her and what your home is triggering in her. And that’s what judgement is.
ALLIE: Yeah. And I think too that if something your mother-in-law says really bothers you, it comes down to needing acceptance, or abandonment issues people struggle with. “This is my family now cause my family kind of sucks and now she doesn’t think that I’m right.” I mean I have so many friends who have had such crappy backgrounds and then they put all the weight on this new family. And the new family, either it knows that and loves her, accepts her, and just showers her with love, or knows that and manipulates it and uses it to get the daughter-in-law to do what she wants with her grandkids or whatever.
And so, I just think everything that we feel – dive into that. Why did that make me feel this way? I’ve been doing this recently because as my platform grows, I get more and more negative feedback on everything that I say, which just means that I’m doing something right, usually. Sometimes it means I’m doing something wrong and I need to look at it.
But why did that bother me? Why am I afraid to open up Instagram because there might be a negative comment there? What am I afraid of? Do I just need a break? Or am I avoiding conflict that needs to happen because somebody has got to shapeshift the world? What is it?
That was so good. We needed to have that discussion. I think we needed to have that discussion before we even answered the original question.
Hey friend! I just want to talk to you real quick about the holidays because they’re coming up on us! If you are sick of being super stressed out and dreading seeing certain people, going through certain traditions or dealing with the budget crisis of the holidays, I want you to know that there is a no-stress way to handle more stuff coming into your home, dealing with boundaries and relatives, dealing with traditions.
I want to help you craft this Christmas mission statement and not just for Christmas but for Thanksgiving and the holiday season in general. I want to help you decorate your home without making it feel super cluttered and too much, with things that are special and matter.
I want to help you transition your kids into a simpler Christmas and stop expecting so much stuff. I want to help you make new traditions and let go of the ones that are stressful and a burden that you’re holding onto out of obligation that aren’t serving your family anymore. I want to help you buy and receive Christmas presents with a simpler mindset. Plus, I want to help you know what to do when the holidays are over and starting out the New Year right.
We’re going to talk about buying your kids’ presents, dealing with relatives and their gift giving, preparing your house. What if your husband doesn’t want a simple Christmas, but you do? Anything and everything you can think of!
It’s all in my super short but powerful, powerful punch-packer, A Merry Little Christmas. It’s a mini course. It’s only $39. It’s available now. It’s DIY. You just get in there, login, take in the teaching and simplify your Christmas.
To snag this, go to alliecasazza.com/amerrylittlechristmas. $39 bucks for a simplified Christmas. Come on. Let’s get in there. Let’s do this. Let’s stop spending this precious time of the year feeling super, super stressed out.
Having said all of that, how can we as women, and these listeners as women, detach themselves from their identity in their home when, “This is all good and well Allie and Kendra, but then my house is a mess and I’m about to have company over.” I have so much to say, but I want you to start. “I have company coming over and it’s just a total crap show. I’m anxious. I’m cleaning up and I’m freaking out. How do I detach myself from how my house is?” Because you obviously can’t – you could – but you don’t want to just be like, “Come in. My house is awful. Welcome! I don’t care because I’m detached from how my house looks because I have another fulfillment elsewhere,” or whatever it is, you know?
KENDRA: Right. Well, I think you and I have very similar answers to this. I think I know what your answer is going to be, so I’m going to say something else and say the first thing that I tell people all the time when they have a feeling of how do I let this go, how do I let go of this feeling, is what are you getting from the feeling in the first place? Because you and I talked about it beforehand and we don’t do anything unless we’re getting something for it. Even the negative habits that we have, we’re getting something for it in the moment. No matter what habit you have, no matter how much you want to change it, there is a positive hit that you’re getting in the moment.
It’s the reason people still smoke. I used this example with Allie, like if I’m feeling really emotional and I eat my weight in chocolate, I don’t feel good physically. I feel like crap. I feel horrible, but for the moment when I’m eating it, I feel good. And that’s why I still do it because I’m getting something for it.
So, this is a deeper question of what am I getting by staying in this cycle? Am I getting to stay the victim? I wish I had brought these beforehand, but my coach has three questions that it always comes back to, or three reasons, which is: You want to stay right. You don’t want to be wrong. You want to be seen as smart or an expert in something. And there was something else. I’ll have to think of it. Maybe I’ll look it up while you’re talking. But basically, a lot of times we don’t want to give up the negative feeling that we have because we don’t want to be wrong.
We want to stay right. We want to stay a victim, because being a victim feels good. In the moment, it feels good. It feels good to not have responsibility.
ALLIE: It’s like a security blanket, a big excuse, “This is why.” But yeah, I think that’s brilliant. And I don’t really hear people talking about things like that. The society thing and the putting this on women is one part of it, but when you really look at it and you say, “Okay, I know all of that. I don’t feel that way, but why am I still attaching myself to the outcome of how my house looks?” That is what Kendra is saying is that it’s like there’s something that you’re getting from that negative feeling. It’s serving you in some way that you think it’s serving you, but it’s actually really not serving you in terms of where you want to go, how you want to feel and how you want to move forward.
And then the other side of it, which I am itching to talk about is if you are feeling that… when we looked over the questions, that was the underlying theme in so many of them. “I hear you guys talking about this. Allie, I hear Kendra talking about this. That’s fine. I can detach myself from how my house looks, but then something is happening. Company’s coming over and I’m running around cleaning up because I care about what they think and I care about how the house feels.”
Kendra just addressed the feeling, but I want to address the logic in it. Why do you have your house running in a way where you are stressed out and scrambling to clean it up before company comes over? I want you to value yourself enough to where your home feels good for you, for your sake.
And that doesn’t mean that now you’re yelling at your family, freaking out, stressing out, and scrambling to get it cleaned up all the time, every day because you deserve it. It means you have too much stuff. It’s too much for you to maintain because you’re stressing out and freaking out before company comes over. You need to simplify. And that is at the core of what I teach is that you have to release the burden of the stuff because everything that takes up your space also takes up your time.
You are buying these items with your dollars and then you are having a recurring fee of minutes the longer you own that item. It’s taking up your time. You need to release that so that you have your house in a way where, yeah, you’ve got to do a nightly pickup or whatever. You have rhythms in place where things are getting taken care of. You know if you don’t dust, there’s going to be dust. There’s basic things like that, but overall it’s pretty simple and it’s pretty much running smoothly all the time without you having to be freaking out because you don’t have too much on your plate, meaning too much stuff. Too much that needs to be organized. Too many things that need a home.
And I think that this lie of you just need to get organized, it’s gone on long enough. Organization really has no place until you’re like, “Oh I want this to look better for me. I have the things that I need to have and nothing else. I just want this to look better for me.” Organization is like a frill. It’s not a solution to a chronic problem of overwhelm and stress. That is huge.
The problem isn’t, “Oh I guess I’m attached to the outcome of how my house looks still because I’m freaking out about what people are gonna think when they get here.” Why is your house feeling like that in the first place?
I feel like you and I both Kendra, as we grow as leaders and we talk about things, we evolve. The way I talk about things shifts and gets better. The common denominator is the same, but I’ll come into my own under a certain issue. And one of those things lately has been being real about the fact that I think people think my house is perfect all day, every day, because I have minimalism, rhythms, and I never miss a beat. Everything is just perfect and photo ready all the time. The truth is when there’s minimalism that’s great, but there’s still people living in my house. There are still items that we have, use, love, and like that are here in our house that get taken out and set down instead of put away because I don’t breed robots. I breed humans that forget to do their chores and use something and set it down.
So, during the day if I were to take a selfie in a mirror, there would be clothes on the floor. There would be an unmade bed. There’d be stuff behind me. There’d be old coffee from that morning out. There would be things out. It’s just that at night, the rhythm kicks in with picking up, emptying the basket at the bottom of the stairs and putting the things upstairs where they go, the kids doing the dishes, and that’s how it works.
It doesn’t mean that everything’s perfect all the time. It just means that things are functioning and I am not freaking out, stressed out, overwhelmed like a crazy person all the time anymore.
KENDRA: Yeah. You and I have the exact same feeling on this because that’s how my home runs as well. I look at how fast can I get back to normal? How quickly can we snap and get back to it? Because what most people, to get back to normal is a whole process. And when you’re living a simplified life, when you’re living with less, when you’re living with better rhythms and routines and having those things in place and delegating to the people in your house, you can get back to that normal place much quicker.
Anytime somebody asks how to do something, my first answer is you need to look at how to be proactive instead of reactive. Because most of the people that I see that are speaking in the homemaking/cleaning/organization like our sort of niche are very reactive based.
So it’s very like, well, instead of fixing the problem, let’s work on the symptom. And that’s what organizing clutter is. It’s taking the symptom and fixing the symptom. You’re not actually fixing the problem; you’re just putting a band-aid on a bullet wound and hoping that it heals. That’s what’s happening.
And what Allie and I are trying to do is trying to get to the root of the issue so that you can be proactive so before something even happens, you’re ready for it. You’re prepared for something to happen.
When I do my routines workshop, I talk about the analogy of when I worked at a pizzeria, we didn’t just base our life, or base our work on to-do lists. We didn’t come in every day and then go, “okay guys, what do you want to do,” and just become overwhelmed. We had a list of things we did in the morning and then we served our customers all day. Then at night you had a list of things you did at night. If you came in in the morning it was clean because it got cleaned the night before. But if you came in at noon during lunchtime, there’s going to be full garbage and there’s going to be stuff on the table if the crumbs weren’t cleaned up yet. That’s just the way it is because you’re living the life of serving people.
We didn’t freak out. We didn’t go, “Everybody needs to get out of the pizzeria because we have to clean it. We have to deep clean it.” No, we didn’t freak out about it.
ALLIE: Or, “nobody can come in. No customers, cause this is so embarrassing!” Life is being lived.
KENDRA: Exactly. And so, you do what you can. You manage it. Then at the end of the day when everyone has left you go, “Okay, now we have a routine of closing up and now we will do that and then we are prepared for the next morning.” It is a perfect analogy of how when you do that in your home you find so much more peace because honestly at 4:00 PM if there’s stuff around my house, I don’t care. It doesn’t bother me. I don’t freak out about it because I know come 8:00 or so it’s going to be our normal routine to clean things up, to clean up the kitchen, to do the dishes, to do all that stuff. And then back to normal we are.
ALLIE: Yes. And there are things that you can do, there are things you can set up to where there is less to clean up at the end of the day. One example that I love using is sports equipment because we’re a sports family. My boys play baseball. Bella tried once, it was the worst season of all time. She’ll stick to horseback riding lessons for now and art.
Normally with the way that the rest of the house goes, it’s chaos during the day. We have stuff out and it’s fine. We pick it up at the end of the day. But with sports equipment, we have hooks in the garage that they hang their bags on, they put their cleats in there and that’s where the stuff goes. That’s one less thing for me and us as a family to pick up at the end of the day.
So yeah, there are little things you could do like, “Oh, this belongs here so that I never have to pick it up.” But not everything can be systemized like that. That’s not a life that you really want to live. That’s joyless, boring, lame, and not fun for your kids at all. It’s not good memories. So, when you can have a solution for something like the basket at the bottom of my stairs that I always talk about and the hooks for the sports equipment…do it, that’s fine. But don’t try to systemize your whole life and put out all the fires because that fire is where life happens and it’s not going to be perfect. It can just be lighter and better.
And this is my problem with the minimalist community, sometimes, is that it becomes less for the sake of less, minimalism for minimalism’s sake. And I don’t want that. I have no desire for that. And that’s why I think some of the other leaders in the industry kind of hate me and I’m okay with it because I want less for the sake of more, less stuff for the sake of more of what matters. So, I don’t care if it’s ugly, unsystemized, and messy during the day. I know that I’m living present. That I’m able to say, “Yeah, come on over for dinner; we’re just here hanging out,” because it’s never going to be so bad that I’m humiliated. And I don’t really care if people come over and my house is lived in like the pizzeria example.
So, this was really good. I love this conversation. We’re amazing!
KENRA: We really are. We’re also super humble. I think that’s what I love most about us is our humility.
Also, I have to say that one of the reasons that I love you so much is your feeling about minimalism, the ‘less for more’ because things get so legalistic that it makes my head want to explode.
And the same thing goes for cleaning routines. I’m sorry I’m calling it out: we are out of control with the charts and principals, guys! Out of control!
ALLIE: I would like to know what percentage of people actually print them out. I mean I don’t feel like you’re a Type A. Are you?
KENDRA: No! I’m not a Type A.
ALLIE: Okay. Maybe it’s the Type A people. I’ll have to ask Amy on my team because she’s super Type A and amazing. She needs to be that way. But I wonder who is freaking out about the mess, swinging way the other way on the pendulum and going and downloading all of the printables, PDFs, and charts and then actually doing it? Like, “I remember the day I downloaded those PDFs and from then on we did all of them and everything has been perfect.” I’m just curious to see. It’s such a quick fix.
KENDRA: And the problem is that it’s not a fix. I just talked about this in my… you’ll love this example. I just talked about this in my latest webinar and I use the example of Kevin Malone from The Office and the episode where he starts talking in less words. Remember where he starts talking in less words? How he’s going to be efficient? He’s like. “I can say less and then I can have more time.” But the problem is by saying less people don’t understand him because he’s not effective with the language so he’s saying less words but he’s saying words and putting them together like ‘SeaWorld.’ Then Jim’s like, “See, I don’t know if you want to go to SeaWorld or if you want to see the world? I don’t know what you’re saying.” And so, it takes him longer and that’s what efficiency is.
Efficiency without efficacy is useless. And all of those charts, if you are not effective with what you are doing, if you don’t have effective routines in place, if you don’t have your routine down, if you haven’t really tried it and jumped in and see what works and what doesn’t work, those charts are just really pretty reminders of what you’re not doing. That’s all it is.
A chart is not going to do itself. It’s not going to check itself off. I think what happens is people so badly want instruction but they don’t want to actually dig in and figure out the root problem.
And the same goes for minimalism. So many people just want someone to be like, “just get rid of all your stuff and only keep what brings you joy,” but they don’t actually want to dig into, “Okay, but why am I keeping this really? And what do I really want out of my home? And what kind of joy do I actually want to be living in?” That is just a huge difference in wanting to be efficient versus effective.
KENDRA: Well, we’re amazing. Wow.
ALLIE: I am inspired by us.
KENDRA: I mean when we get off our calls together, really, we just go and do more in our house because we’re so inspirational to ourselves. Really.
ALLIE: Yeah. Really, really. Like I’m just… I’m made anew from this. I just love you. You are one of my favorite people on the planet, really.
KENDRA: I am one of my favorite people on the planet too, so I think that we have that in common.
ALLIE: On my list of favorite people on the planet, you’re right under me.
KENDRA: This is a glimpse into our regular conversations. It’s just Allie and I making this constant joke about how amazing we are.
ALLIE: You think anyone’s going to leave a review like, “Love this show!” Because you know how mean reviews are always like a backhanded compliment. “Love the show normally, but there was this one episode where they were just talking about how much they love themselves.”
KENDRA: I know because the sad truth is that people apparently in almost 2020 still don’t understand what joking is and they still just cannot understand the concept of sarcasm at all, and also can’t understand how to just turn something off if they don’t like it. They have to make the world know that they didn’t like something instead of just being like, “I don’t like this,” and then just shutting it off.
ALLIE: It’s going to happen because with our sense of humor you can’t really tell when we’re joking in our tone versus when we’re actually talking. I’m curious how this is going to go. We don’t love ourselves; we’re just kidding.
KENDRA: And that’s the point is that we’re saying all this stuff, but to be honest, Allie and I inspire one another. I read stuff from Allie. I read her emails. Every email she sends, I read them and I’m like, “I hate how inspirational she is. Now I have to get up and do something. Ugg! I have to get up and do something now because she’s inspired me.”
ALLIE: No, really though, there’ve been so many times where I feel like it always happens in a lull for me. I’m just kind of like blah and then you’ll send me a vox message or whatever, or I’ll see something on Instagram and you’re like, “I was thinking about doing this,” and I’m like, “Dang it! Now that idea is evaporated and I have to be amazing.” You make me want to be better. And there’s been so many times where I feel like we’ve woken each other up.
KENDRA: Yes. And it’s a really good lesson to women out there to be open to other women inspiring you, and be an inspiration to another woman. Be there to lift other women up instead of tearing them down. You have a choice every day. Am I going to lift someone up or am I going to tear them down? So even the person that’s thinking about writing the review, think about, “Is this lifting someone up or is it tearing them down?” Because you have the choice. You are making that choice right now with every single thing that you do.
And now that I’m more awakened to this, I think about that every time I say something about someone, talk about someone behind their back or you fall into that. I think about that. Is this tearing someone down or is it lifting them up? Because I don’t want to be the woman that’s tearing anyone down.
ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely.
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!