This is such a fun and amazing episode with my new friend, Dijon, who has been a part of my online community for a few years now. Dijon is an action-taker. She’s a wife, a mom of five, and a ministry leader. Her story is featured in my new book and I thought it was so important to also have her share it on the show. I’m so excited for you to hear this episode! Let’s jump in!
In This Episode Allie and Dijon Discuss:
Dijon’s overwhelming life before she simplified
The importance of Allie’s message
What it looked like for Dijon to take action with Allie’s resources
Dijon’s encouragement for other overwhelmed mamas
Mentioned in this Episode:
Courses (Use the code PURPOSESHOW for 10% off!)
Mom life. We’re surrounded by the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. We’re supposed to get through it. Survive. Cling on by the last little thread. And at the same time, Carpe Diem—enjoy every moment because it’s going to go by so fast. The typical mom culture that sends us all kinds of mixed, typically negative messages. We shouldn’t take care of ourselves; it’s selfish. The more ragged you run yourself, the bigger your badge of honor. But also, ditch your mom bod and work out. Don’t yell. Make more money. Show up. Be better, but not at the expense of time with your kids. I am putting a hard stop to all of this. While being a mom, running a business, and whatever else you might have going on is hard, it is a lot and there’s lots of giving of yourself, the idea that motherhood means living a joyless, nonstop-hustle-with-zero-balance kind of life, where you give and give and give and never take, needs to stop.
I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime (at least most days). Stop the mom guilt and shame game. Stop cleaning up after your kids’ childhood and start being present for it. I want to help you thrive in work, home and life. I believe in John 10:10 that we are called to living an abundant life and I know moms are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, some business and life hacks, spirituality 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.
All right, friends. Welcome to another amazing (speaking-it-out-before-it-happens) episode of The Purpose Show.
Today is fun because I’m here with my new friend Dijon. She is an incredible mother. She’s a mom of five and she is in Texas. She has been in my online community for how many years would you say?
DIJON: Probably through three and a half/ four.
ALLIE: Wow, amazing. Dijon and I connected because she has been a part of the book that I’m writing right now. Her story is featured in Chapter Five with several other women. You’re just amazing. You’re a doer, you’re an action taker, and I want to highlight that.
I figured it was important to have this story on The Purpose Show and not only in the book and to really expand on it. So, welcome!
You have so much going on. You work in ministry. You’ve got your kids. There’s a lot going on and you took the time for us today, so I appreciate you.
DIJON: I am so honored, excited and slightly nervous.
ALLIE: It’s fine to be nervous, but it’s going to be great.
Talk to me about your process, your story, where you were when you were feeling really overwhelmed and let’s dive into that.
DIJON: I was in a space where I had five kids in a matter of a year and a half. I was back to work full time. My husband and I were already really feeling pulled to go foster and do more than we were doing, but unfortunately I was drowning in housework, drowning at home.
There was so much stuff. I couldn’t get my head above water. I felt like I was drowning.
I was not the mom that I wanted to be. I yelled. I come from a yelling background, so that was hard to break anyway. It was the only thing that I knew.
Now I’m trying to break out of the negative parenting style. I literally just painted a thing that said, “If you don’t do small things in excellence, you won’t do big things in excellence.” And I realized how negative it was.
So, I was in this place of trying to evaluate how I was mothering, what I was doing, and that was around the time that I found you, Allie.
You said this and it did everything for me. When you said, “You don’t buy things only with your money, you buy it with your time,” that changed everything.
I was like, “Oh my gosh, I’m bringing this stuff in thinking that I’m helping my kids, thinking that I’m helping my family.” And I wasn’t. I was doing myself a disservice. I was doing them a disservice because now I’m teaching them to live in the same type of clutter that I grew up in.
No shade to my mom; I’m literally standing on her shoulders. She was a single mom with six kids. She did the best that she could. But I’m so thankful for pioneers that come and say, “You know what? No. Here’s a better way. There’s an easier way.”
In that time I found you, we were able to start fostering and adopting. If I would not have had the time and the margin in my life at that time, I would not have said “yes” to my daughter’s sibling.
To give a quick rundown of my children, I have an 18-year-old, a 13-year-old, a 9-year-old, a 5-year-old, 4-year-old and a 3-year-old. I’m not a numbers girl, so I have to think about their ages. They are all over the place. I’ll be at the doctor’s office and they’ll ask, “What’s the date of birth?” And I’m like, “Hang on.”
ALLIE: And then the littlest one is your oldest daughter’s baby?
DIJON: The 4-year-old is my 18-year-old’s son. It’s a whole thing. That’s a whole other topic I wanted to bring up at some point, because teaching my child to be a mom I see my flaws come out in real time. They are coming out in real time in my daughter.
I didn’t want to teach her to be a yeller. I didn’t want to teach her to just lose her crap because they spilled the milk because I don’t even have the capacity to clean up spilled milk because I have 15 million other things to do.
I don’t have time to play with them. That was the place that I was in—wanting to help, wanting to foster, adopt, do all of that stuff, but not realizing how much weight it would put on me.
ALLIE: Yeah. This is the thing—It’s sneaky and it’s normal and an absolute crap-fest and insanely overwhelming. Just trying to get through motherhood is normal. Unfortunately, it is. It’s so sneaky.
You look at it from an aerial perspective and you don’t realize that this is robbing you of patience. It’s robbing your kids of peace and robbing them of having a mom who has the mental capacity to not freak out over spilled milk.
You’re not bad at this. You’re not a bad mom. You’re just overwhelmed because what is normal for moms is not good and it’s not helpful. But it doesn’t have to be that way. And no one is really waking up to that.
DIJON: Yes. That’s why your message is so important. I’m not just trying to flatter you, but there is a war on moms. There is a war. If we’re not hot messes, then we’re fighting with each other.
There is a war going on for moms, and the last place we should be at war is in our homes. That’s the place where we should teach our children unity. We need to show them how to build good relationships, show them how to handle conflict.
And if we can’t get to that place in ourselves where we have that margin, we’re just going to recreate what we’ve always known. And it’s not good.
ALLIE: No. Everything that happens at home, everything you say—even outside of the home, but since that’s what we’re focusing on—that stuff recycles itself. Stuff recycles into more stuff, more time.
I don’t mean to put more pressure on anyone. It’s actually the absolute release of pressure so that you don’t have to be so stretched thin all the time. This is why people look at what I do and think, “Oh, you must be super organized and really Type A.”
No, actually I’m the opposite. But I see the freedom. I don’t care about the house. I mean, it serves me so well when it’s clean most of the time. I like a nice aesthetic for sure. It’s a haven for me. But it’s not about that though.
It’s about that peace that’s created. And because of that I can pour that into my daughter when she asks me to help her start an art business, or my son when he’s crying because he got bullied at school. I feel like I have space for that because I do.
It all recycles. So what are you going to recycle? You choose.
DIJON: Absolutely. I think more than anything, have hope. I want to live my life in such a way that it helps take away excuses from others. When others say, “I can’t do this because of this.” Or, “I can’t do this because of that.”
I want to say, “But what if you can though? What if on the other side of Allie’s courses is the margin you need?”
I have Unburdened and I have Your Uncluttered Home and those changed everything. The Unburdened course for my mind helps so much, because you don’t realize you find yourself in the margins. It’s so easy as moms to completely lose ourselves in our tasks and our kids. And yes, we want to pour out, pour out and pour out, but having margin to be able to train again is huge.
Before we started I was telling Allie that I’m in more of a harder season, and I was looking for some support, some foster mom support. I want something similar to Allie’s feel. I want somebody who’s in it with me, a couple steps ahead of me, a mile ahead of me.
I need them to tell me, “Let’s try this…It’s going to be okay.” Almost getting back down to the foundational level, which is what I feel like a lot of your stuff does, Allie. You get down to the foundation of, “What if clutter isn’t normal? What if this isn’t normal?” But I can’t find anything like that.
We have eight people living in our home, plus my daughter’s boyfriend is over all the time. He is basically a son to me. His laundry is in the house and everything.
Literally doing one load of laundry a day, I don’t have a laundry mountain. That’s not a thing. It doesn’t have to be a thing. Even with that many kids, it’s completely possible.
Not having some of those burdens at home, and coming up with rhythms and anchors in your day helps you dream. I was looking for all that foster stuff yesterday, found nothing, and I just began to get on my laptop and ask myself, “What do I want to see then? What do I want to see?”
I honestly found myself in a similar position that you did, Allie, so many years ago in your bathroom where it’s like, “What am I going to do?”
I just started writing out what I need, and I want to try to create that. I want to try to help people who are in this place because it’s not a hopeless place. It just feels like it is.
You’re not hopeless when you’re drowning at home. There’s another way. It doesn’t have to be this way.
ALLIE: You don’t have to have all the answers, but nothing is going to change if nothing changes. If you’re feeling that overwhelmed and you don’t know what to do and you are drowning, then the best thing to do is show up for yourself and invest in someone who can walk you step-by-step.
That’s why I do what I do. I can walk you step-by-step because I’m not there anymore. I know what to do. Just let me give it to you.
But you have to have ears to hear. You have to get some skin in the game. You’ve gotta show up for yourself and your family and show up for the fact that you say you want to change your life.
It’s so encouraging to hear that you’ve done that and you’ve done it so well.
What did it look like for you to take action on my resources when you were so deep in that overwhelming place?
DIJON: Yeah, that’s a great question. I did start with the dishes, the laundry, just those typical things. But honestly, I was at a point in my life where there wasn’t an option.
If I wanted to do this well, and I wanted to run my race well. If I wanted to live my life in a way that I was proud of at night when I go to bed, there wasn’t an option anymore.
It was either I could have this life of losing my crap and further hurting my kids. Yelling is really detrimental to kids. And coming from that and having to deal with that, I already have my own emotional stuff I’ve got to go through.
I don’t need to do more laundry. I need to figure this crap out. So, I think being in a place of desperation sped up the process for me.
I just jumped right in. I’ve done the Declutter Like A Mother challenge every year and I just kind of jumped in. I found your podcast and I listened to all of them within a couple of weeks. I guess whenever you find a brand new well to drink from, you’re like, “Give me more of that. I’ve never heard that before. I need that.”
Having my kids grow up as far as they had in an area that was cluttered, I had to be really gracious with them. That was our norm. That was normal.
I wouldn’t say that I just took away all their stuff or did any of that, because that would actually hurt them more. But I focused on me and what I could do. Not even on my husband, but what I could do, what I needed to do. That helped a lot.
I started with the dishes and getting rid of dishes. What a mind blowing concept to only have what you need, right? I started with the laundry. I started with the toys.
And you’re 100% right. Kids play better without a bunch of toys. In fact, they get super overwhelmed if they have a bunch of them. That’s really where it started for me.
ALLIE: Amazing. I love that you just dove in.
Is something that you feel like you want to impart to anyone listening? Because this is what happens and I see it and it’s disheartening for me because I’m doing so much in trying to get the message across and then to hear something like this is really hard.
I hear a lot of people say, “I’ve listened to all your podcasts but I haven’t done anything. I don’t want to spend money on the course.” Or sometimes they do and they just don’t even open it.
What would you say to somebody who knows that something needs to change, but for whatever reason they’re just not doing it? And more days are going by while they’re in that place?
DIJON: I would say, what do you have to lose? If you already could come up with the option you need, you would have found it already. You have to try something different.
What if the life you’ve always wanted is on the other side of this? You might as well try it for 30 days and if you don’t like it throw a bunch of crap back in your house. Just try it. What do you have to lose?
For me, trying it led to us being able to give a home and adopt another child. This is your life. This is your motherhood. These are your kids.
This is your family and your legacy. What are you going to leave behind? If you don’t like what you’re leaving now, then change it.
That’s the beautiful thing. You can change whatever you don’t like. It’s a choice. We get to make that choice ourselves.
ALLIE: Yeah. That’s very empowering instead of, “Oh, it’s too hard. It’s too much.”
Decide though. Decide what you want. It’s going to be hard for a lifetime rather than a little bit harder for a little bit of time while you work through this. And I’m here to help you.
DIJON: Yes. Also your kids are going to have to do it. If you’re not going to figure this out, your kids are going to have to. If they can even figure it out at all. If they can find the exit ramp to this chaotic motherhood, you know?
ALLIE: Yeah. Totally. Because they’re learning from you.
When you buy something, you buy it with your time. With minutes from your life not just with your money.
Studies show us that less clutter equals less stress and more time. It’s really as simple as that. This was the founding reason that I created Your Uncluttered Home.
It’s become my most popular, globally-praised decluttering course that I designed for moms who want to live their lives more than they want to clean up after it.
It’s truly the A-Z of minimalism. Every room. Every area. Every nook and cranny of your house totally uncluttered.
This super extensive, extremely detailed course is literally everything you need to become a minimalist mama who’s able to be a lot more present for what matters most. To learn more about the course, go to Alliecasazza.com/allcourses.
This really is the short cut version, the exact journey that I took as a mom five or six years ago now that got me to the point of an uncluttered, minimalistic motherhood where I’m spending the least amount of time on my house every day.
Motherhood is just way too sweet a time to be spent struggling so hard and living in survival mode day in and day out. Our stuff really is the cause of that.
If you want to start this lifestyle. If you want to simplify your life, I believe it all starts at home.
ALLIE: This was amazing. I just love and appreciate you so much. I can’t even tell you. This is the best episode. I love it.
Thank you so much for speaking this way, speaking this truth, sharing your story and being vulnerable. I know your family has been going through a tougher time and I am so thankful to you. Thank you so much.
DIJON: Thank you, Allie.
Thanks so much for hanging out with me! In case you didn’t know, there’s actually an exclusive community that’s been created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions around The Purpose Show episodes. It’s designed to get you to actually take action and make the positive changes that we talk about here. I want you to go and be a part of it. To do that, go to alliecasazza.com/facebookgroup.
Thank you so much for tuning in! If you’d like to learn more about me, how I can help you, how you can implement all these things and more into your life to make it simpler, better, and more abundant, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, online courses, programs, and other resources to help you create the life you really want.
I am always rooting for you, friend! See you next time! I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.
Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.