In today’s episode my husband, Brian, and I are answering some of your questions about our relationship, communication and how we do life together! Let’s dive in!
In This Episode Allie and Brian Discuss:
Spending quality time together
Deciding when to have kids
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.
ALLIE: Alright, friends! I am sitting here with my husband, Brian. I love doing episodes with you.
BRIAN: Yeah, it’s fun.
ALLIE: It’s been a while. I think the last time we recorded together was when I was renting the office space. It feels like at least six months ago.
Okay. We have some questions that we’ve pulled from you guys, both from the Facebook community that is attached to the podcast (which if you’re not a part of, you definitely want to go and join that community—The Purpose Show community), and then also from Instagram. We picked what things were asked most often, and then also some questions that we thought were really great that would serve you—the listeners—the best.
We’re going to make this a really lighthearted, casual episode like a Q & A. A lot of the questions stem around relationship, communication, and how we do life. We’re hoping that this is really helpful for people to hear, and maybe it will inspire you to do things in a way that serves you a little bit better as it goes with doing life together.
Okay. Question #1: How are you intentional about spending quality time together when you’re in a really busy or really broke season?
BRIAN: I feel like we’ve always made this a priority one way or another. I feel like we’ve been in all of the different seasons. Seasons with young, small, little kids, with me being gone at work a lot, with you being busy a lot, with us being really broke.
There are lots of ways, especially finding together what your favorite things are and just trying to make the most of it. When we were broke we did a lot of things at home. We found a lot of cool ways to do something different than what we would normally do.
Sometimes we would save maybe a movie or a show that we would watch on our own, we would do it together and make it special by making sure the kids were in bed and having a night. We ordered or made a certain food that was special and just tried to make it a date night, an event, a special thing.
It’s just about finding what you guys want to do and just being together, just making that time to be together. I feel like it’s more important really than even being broke or having money or going on an official date night. No matter what the circumstance you can find a way to have that really quality time together often.
ALLIE: It’s about taking the mundane things, like at night when we just watch TV or when I clean the kitchen and he catches up on email, and asking where is there space in this to infuse it with quality time? How can we take this normal, everyday, average evening (or morning or afternoon or whatever you guys’s schedule is) and infuse it with intentionality?
It doesn’t even need to be something that takes a lot of effort. You don’t need to have an at-home-picnic in the living room. Websites offer these kinds of suggestions and, honestly, there are so many seasons where I’m too tired and I don’t care if we have a picnic on the living room floor. I’m not gonna lie to you, that sounds like a lot of work.
I really just want to connect with you. I miss you. I’m tired and you’re tired and we’re in this together. We’re on the same team.
We’re doing this together. Maybe we’re in separate roles, but we’re on the same team. How can we come together in our exhaustion and do something that serves our energy levels and serves our relationship?
BRIAN: Yeah. And we even have that other podcast that we did about the date night ideas.
ALLIE: We’ll link to that PDF. We made that a couple of years ago and it’s still a fan favorite and that’s free. We’ll give that to you guys in the show notes for this. You can get your wheels spinning on some ideas if you do want to create an actual activity, because sometimes there are seasons for that too.
I just feel like there are so many seasons where it’s just been like, “No.” Even if you said, “Oh, well, I made this dinner reservation. Let’s go out.” I would say, “Do we have to?”
There are different times of life, and in those times don’t put so much pressure on it. Remember you’re on the same team and create something that you can be in together and just be together and have that quality time without pressure on it.
The next question that was asked so many times was about how to stay connected to each other when you have young children.
I feel like this is a very similar question but what just came up for me when I was seeing that is how right now, in the current place we’re in our life, we are basically every night sitting together somewhere in the house or in the backyard and we connect.
How was your day? What’s going on? How was this call that you were on?
BRIAN: We’re in the same house together all day, but we’re doing different things or going somewhere else or whatever. So, it’s nice to make that time. I know that I’m going to have that time with you to talk, we’re going to connect, always come back to that point, meet together, and be on the same page.
ALLIE: You can rely on the fact that even if the day is a blur we’re going to have that time.
To give some more specific details for you guys, our kids are a little bit older than they were when we started the business. Emmett is 5 right now at the time we’re recording this and he’s our youngest at this time. They can clean up after themselves after dinner and get themselves going on their bedtime routine.
Last night we went out and sat in the spa together. We were just sitting and talking. I told the kids, “Okay, you guys can get yourself ready for bed at 8:45.”
It was funny because we were sitting out there in the spa and all of a sudden we heard the shutters closing upstairs, we saw lights turning off in the house, and I looked at the clock and it was 8:46. Right on time they went and started doing their bedtime routine. And we got out, went in and said, “good night” to them and stuff.
For those of you who have really little ones, it’s hope for the future because it does get so much easier. I’m tired of people saying it gets harder. It’s different, but it is easier. We had four under five; this is easier than that.
If they’re old enough put them in charge of themselves. You shouldn’t be having to walk around and micromanage every single thing. Put that responsibility on them and follow it up with a natural consequence if they’re not doing it, because that creates space for you guys to go and connect together.
We usually will go and sit outside in the spa, sit outside on the sofa, or sit downstairs in the living room. The kids know we’re talking and there are not a lot of interruptions. There is not chaos because there are rhythms in place. The kids know what they’re supposed to do.
I think one of the keys to having that time together is creating an atmosphere and a family dynamic, a family culture that allows for there to even be space for you to mentally be able to check out, step back, and connect.
This is not 9:00 or 10:00 PM when the kids have been asleep. This is in the heart of the evening time and they’re still awake. It doesn’t have to be like that.
If they’re super little, what would you suggest for that? We’ve lived through that too. That quality time when they’re super little just looks different.
BRIAN: It’s different. I honestly feel like no matter what I was always running more tired and it just was a thing where I had to stay up later if I wanted to be making that time to talk with you and have the same kind of situations happen. Sometimes it is later at night because it is harder for them to go to bed or things happen or whatever. You just have to shift with the time and adjust.
This is easier now because they are older. They have school and they have to go to bed at a certain time and it’s easier in that way. But no matter what we’ve always pretty much made that happen.
ALLIE: You decide, and then you act accordingly.
I even remember there was a really long period of time when the kids were super, super little—babies and toddlers—and you were working really long hours and I was at home, we would talk on the phone during your drive home.
You would be driving home around 7:30 – 8:30-ish and that was right when I had put the babies down and they were good to go and we would talk then because I would be too tired when you got home.
BRIAN: Yeah, I had a full hour drive home, so we would talk.
ALLIE: That was our date night, on the phone. Do what you have to do.
BRIAN: Even when my job switched from working the night shift, we went out to the park and the kids would play in the morning and we talked while we were at the park before I went to work.
ALLIE: I remember when we would bring the basketball and we would play at the basketball courts at 9:00 in the morning with the babies in their car seats watching us play.
You just figure out what you need to do. You decide that you’re in this together. You decide that your relationship is a non-negotiable and you just figure it out as you go.
Be different. Who plays basketball at eight and nine in the morning when they have three under three because that’s the time they can spend together?
That’s what the situation was. We lived next to the basketball courts and we didn’t have any other time together, Brian was on the night shift, so that was it.
I think that it brings you together when you decide to be brought together. And that effort that we put in when we both agreed, “Oh, let’s do that tomorrow morning and see how it goes,” (and then we liked it and we did it a lot more times), that’s romantic.
It brings you together like, “Oh my gosh, look at us trying and doing this for each other.”
We were not having fancy date nights at that season of our lives. We do now. It’s just so different.
Next question: Tips on working together.
We have a whole episode on this too, which we’ll link to as well but I think that was two years ago so we have probably some different info.
BRIAN: Things have changed over the years of how we work together and what I’m doing.
ALLIE: And how much I work. Everything has shifted. But what would you say to that person?
BRIAN: Some key things are—respecting each other’s space, work, and time.
It’s more important to me that I make sure that your space is set up for work. You have the time. You don’t have the distractions. I’m helping you make that time. And then you’ve done that for me before when I have to work on something and you may not be as busy, so you’ll protect my time and make sure that I’m able to work.
We do have kids here while we’re both trying to work, so that’s a whole other thing, you know? It’s not like we’re both in an office by ourselves.
ALLIE: This is also where Sunday night prep meetings come in, which there’s another episode that I will link to for you guys as well.
We do this all the time when you have to get on a meeting or something. He looks at my calendar and will not schedule a call where he needs silence while I’m doing something where I’m invested in work. He’ll check the calendar and think, “Okay, is Allie working during this time? Is there a podcast interview she’s doing? Or is she free?”
And then he’ll ask me, “Hey, I want to do this at 11 on Wednesday. Does that work for you? I will need silence.”
If he doesn’t need silence then he can schedule whenever and we’ll have multiple things going on at the same time and it’s fine because the kids can make noise. It’s almost like we’re setting ourselves up to not have wild expectations for our crazy life.
The fact is it’s loud. The fact is there are kids here. The fact is we’re both running a business, we have different roles in that business, and we’re busy. We have to keep it in check and make sure that we’re respectfully scheduling around each other.
BRIAN: I think closer to what some people could have been asking with this question is: How do we work together?
I’ve heard people say, “Oh, I can never work with my husband. I could never do that. How do you guys do that?”
I feel like we just know how each other works, operates, and our things that we like and don’t like. We make sure that we balance. We watch out for each other. We make everything work together with your strengths, my strengths, your weakness, my weakness.
ALLIE: I wouldn’t give you something that was like, “Hey, I need you to create this, be the face of this, or figure this out for me.” That’s my forte. Yours is more supportive, filling in, and being an idea board and doing the behind the scenes. But I would be happy to be the creator and do these things and that’s what I’m good at.
Staying within our roles, being respectful, but also knowing that sometimes the other person just needs more and filling in the gaps for each other.
It’s hard to keep this general and helpful and not specific because our business is so unique.
BRIAN: We’ll tag team. We support each other with the stuff that needs to get done.
ALLIE: There’s never a day where we’re both in tasks. Never. I can’t even imagine a day where we’ve both been working on stuff. There’s always one person that is manning the kids and the house, making sure that they have lunch and things like that, and one person is deep in work.
Even if the person that’s manning the house, the kids, the meals and stuff is working, it’s lighter work. The laptop is out in the middle of the house. We can answer questions to the kids and be that barrier between the kids and the other person who’s recording or whatever.
It’s balanced. There’s never a time where we’re both working and the kids are a free for all. Or it’s stressful because I was expecting him to do this and he’s expecting me to do that. It’s talked about, planned, and balanced.
BRIAN: There you go. Talked about. I think the best thing to do is talk about what you both want, your likes, dislikes, and everything. Talk about all of the things in the way that you guys could work together, plan it out, and set yourselves up for success together beforehand.
ALLIE: The worst days of this lifestyle for us have been when there was a lack of communication and expectations that the other one didn’t say. For example, when you’ve said, “Hey, we’re going to do photos today.”
And I’m like, “Uh, that takes a lot of energy for me. I would have to get fully dressed and I wasn’t going to do that today. I was just going to hang back, do my work, and plan some episodes. You didn’t tell me.”
And then he’ll say, “Well, Amy (Amy’s on Team Allie) said we really need photos, so we have to do this.”
And I say, “Well, I can’t.”
And it just spirals. Planning ahead, communicating, again, this is why Sunday night prep is so important because you can get on the same page for the whole week. But at least a day before, talking about what the expectations are for tomorrow.
BRIAN: I also feel like the respect part comes in because I’m married to you but I still need to treat you like I would someone I worked with, like a client or someone else. I shouldn’t do different things because you’re my wife. I need to treat you that same way and have that respect.
Sometimes it’s like, okay, this is our work relationship mode. We’re doing work and we’re not going to let any other things going on in the house or whatever affect that. When we do work, we respect each other like we’re coworkers at a business.
ALLIE: We have the ultimate collaboration because we’re married. That doesn’t hold us back from working together; it aids it. It would hold us back if we let it.
Whatever’s going on in our personal life, we’re not talking about those things when we’re working together. We’re focused on getting the shot we need for the photo shoot. We’re focused on editing the video that needs to be edited. Planning content the way it needs to be planned.
The fact that we can collaborate so well together because we’re married, that helps us work. We can work very confidently and in ease and flow, which is really important to me. I never want my work to feel like work.
Next question: Best realistic way that you have found to resolve disagreements.
That’s a good question.
BRIAN: We have communication. Both of us talk about the disagreement and throw both sides of what’s happening out on the table—this is how you feel, this is how I feel. I feel like a lot of disagreements don’t get resolved when one of us is upset and you’re not listening to me or I’m not listening to what you’re saying and we’re just mad.
But I feel like if we just talked about it and communicated, “Okay, hold on, we’re gonna put this out here. We’re going to figure out what the problem is, talk, and be open and find the root of the disagreement.”
ALLIE: I think that also goes back to what we were talking about earlier with being a team. Even if you’re in a disagreement if you’re on the same team, and you have agreed that you’re on the same team, you’re going for the same goal.
For example, we’ve agreed that we’re married and we want to work at that. We want to work at staying that way. We want to work at not just staying married (because really who cares about that?), but staying happy together.
We have agreed on that. That’s the vision that we’re holding when we’re working through issues. We have agreed that we want our kids to grow up a certain way, so we hold that vision when we make decisions and have disagreements. We come back to that.
We can always come back to the fact that we’re not against each other. We’re on the same team and are doing this together. We’re just disagreeing about a detail.
To disagree on a detail is nothing. That’s every day. It’s fine. You can always go back down to the root of the problem.
You said something earlier that made me think of one thing that you and I do well. There’s so much that we don’t do well, but one thing we do well is we always say, “I feel,” instead of “You always,” or, “You made me.”
And if that ever does come out of one of our mouths we remind each other that we can’t make the other feel anything. I can’t make you feel anything. You’re the holder of your emotions, your thoughts, everything. We both take massive responsibility for that.
BRIAN: And that clears up a lot of that stuff that you could be holding on to and storing up. It doesn’t let that happen.
ALLIE: The energy of resentment and the energy of blame are heavy. It’s this stagnant mist that can come into a conversation in a marriage and really cause damage, and keep you clouded from the clarity of what actually is happening and that root problem and that teamwork vision.
So I will always say, “I feel that you are being disrespectful in the way that you’re talking about this issue with the business.” Or whatever. If one of us slips up we will usually keep the other one on track and say, “Okay, I can’t make you feel anything, so let’s rewind. What is the issue here?”
I feel like even if we’re mad or shouting or really feeling heated up we literally still stay in that place though, because it’s habit at this point.
Also, it’s okay to take a break. Sometimes I say, “Well, I’m tired and I don’t even know. What if we just sleep on it and see how we feel in the morning?”
I always joke with my friends that we let the sun go down on our anger and it works out way better for us than most people.
We’re parents. We’re business owners. We are influential people who have eyes on us and criticism thrown at us all the time. It’s exhausting. The best thing we can sometimes do for our marriage is just get some fricking sleep and revisit it in the morning.
Next question: How did you decide to start having kids and how do you decide to have more kids with the timing and finances? How do you guys make that choice for yourselves?
Starting having kids was an accident.
BRIAN: We talked first about how we wanted to have kids a certain way. We kind of had a plan of, once we start having kids we want them all close together. Then we thought we couldn’t have kids.
ALLIE: Then we thought, “Okay, well, we’re zero years old, so we’ll figure it out later.”
We were young. We got married when we were 20.
BRIAN: Bella came and it was like, “Oh, okay, well I guess we can have kids. So now that Bella’s here, I guess with our plan, we still want that, so here we go. Buckle up!”
ALLIE: I got pregnant with Bella eight months into our marriage. Leland was two years later exactly. Then Hudson is 15 months later than Leland. Then we had the miscarriage in between there, and then we had Emmett. Emmett is three years younger than Hudson.
BRIAN: We never had a perfect or a certain plan of once they get to this age then we start again. We just knew we wanted to have them close together. After Bella, we would talk about it a lot, revisit it. In a lot of decisions in our life, when we both feel the same way that’s when we feel like it’s time to do it.
ALLIE: We walk forward without needing to know how everything’s going to work out, without needing to know all the hows. We just walk forward and don’t walk into the closed doors and do walk into the open ones.
We have friends and people in our lives who are different from us who are hyper planning all the details. They need to know everything before they can walk forward. In my experience, that’s not really a great way to live in all aspects because basically you’re letting fear and doubt rule your life.
BRIAN: And sometimes things happen outside of that.
ALLIE: If you just go with what you’re feeling led to, then the details don’t really matter. You just know the next right step is going to appear in front of you. And for us, it always did.
BRIAN: One of the things was finances. That was the hard part. What we did was we just knew that we would do whatever it took to provide or take care of them. I’m gonna say it wasn’t the easiest time. If we had them now, it would be a lot different than before, because first of all, we were young. We were not even 25.
ALLIE: Can you imagine just now starting?
BRIAN: That would be weird.
ALLIE: We wouldn’t have had as many of them.
BRIAN: Probably not.
ALLIE: No, we wouldn’t. I know we wouldn’t.
It’s not that we would not want this many kids. It’s that, at this point in our life, with our age and the busyness of the business and all that, I would feel trepidatious. Can I do this? Can we have this many kids?
Before, we didn’t have any of that and we went all in. We followed our heart and felt God leading us to have these kids. And it was so good and they’re our babies.
And now I know, of course, I can do both. By the way, working women, you can totally have a giant, thriving family and run an awesome badass business. You do you.
But I wouldn’t have known that and I would have been scared.
You and I have talked about this, but I still to this day struggle to find women who are as strong, as much in a leader position, as thriving in their finances and in their business, and have as many kids as I do. It’s very, very hard to find. Those that I have found are not doing it well in secret, and things have come out about that.
I feel like I’m the only one sometimes. Which I’m not; there are other women, but it’s hard. So it needed to happen in this timeline for us.
The point is you have to know. If you feel like somebody is missing from your family…
BRIAN: That’s more important than money. There’s always a way to figure it out and make it work. It wasn’t the ideal, best situation that we could have wanted, but we were fine. We were able to live and take care of them and it worked out. So I wouldn’t put so much heavy of a decision on the money and think, “I can’t have another kid because I’m not meeting this number.”
ALLIE: I think it’s important to be smart and wise, but also what are you feeling? There’s a reason that you feel like that.
With the adoption that we’re in right now, we always knew we would do this. Always. And now I know someone’s missing from our family. But I was also completely at peace when I had a tubal ligation when I had Emmett. So, bio-wise we’re done. And I was totally at peace with that.
What’s the right next thing that brings you peace? That’s how God talks to me.
Last question: How often do you each schedule self-care and what does that look like for you, Allie? And for you, Brian?
BRIAN: Okay. Why don’t you go first?
ALLIE: We do each schedule in self-care, but we don’t have a rigid map.
BRIAN: I feel like self care looks different week-to-week, season-to-season. Each person is different. You may be going through a season where you’re more overwhelmed or you’ve been working so much, so now you’re in this place of needing to rest or recover, or you just need a break, or you are trying to keep from burning out, so you’re doing more self-care.
ALLIE: You’re going to get more high maintenance in different seasons and that’s normal. I think it’s important to listen to that intuitively and adapt, not just be like, “Too bad I’m on the brink of jumping off this ledge today because it’s not Monday and Monday is self-care day.”
BRIAN: I don’t think we have an exact day. We feel into it. Don’t let more than a week or two go by and let things build up and be busy and run away to where you’re not doing that at all, because keeping that on track will keep you from burning out later or keep you in a better place.
ALLIE: This is also a part of our Sunday night conversations too. Brian will say, “Hey, this week I would really love to have a morning where I can go to the beach by myself.” And it’s like, “Okay, well Thursday would work,” or whatever. We make time for each other.
For me, self care is a day whenever I need that day. The other week I went down to LA to get my hair done. I ended up also booking a lymphatic massage and a lymphatic facial, which was so amazing, extra, and different for me. It was beautiful and I’ve actually set that to happen once a month. I drive to LA by myself, it’s an hour and a half drive, maybe a little bit more depending, and I can have that time. I can listen to music and podcasts. I can go and have that massage and then drive back. I enjoy driving so much, so driving for that is everything to me. It’s so nice.
But I don’t have “every second Thursday,” it’s just once a month. I would say, “I really enjoyed that. Can we make this happen maybe once a month?” And Brian said, “Of course.”
BRIAN: You’ve had times where you really enjoyed going to CycleBar and you were like, “Okay, every Wednesday morning or whatever, I’m going to go do this.” And you had a season of just being like, “Oh, I need this. I’m loving this right now.” And I would make sure I gave you that. You would be so restored from even just doing something like that. It just depends.
I feel like you should keep that on a priority to schedule self care for yourself because especially with kids and so many busy things going on, you just need that.
ALLIE: What about your self care?
BRIAN: It’s just so different. I like to plan things where I can refresh and get away. I make sure that I do something like going to the beach or doing something that in a way could feel extra, something I wouldn’t normally schedule and you encourage me to do that. Riding a bike, fishing, running, hiking, or just something where I feel like those are the things that I regenerate or refresh from doing.
ALLIE: Obviously Brian is the active one. You go and hike and be like Bear Grylls for your self care and I lie on a table and let someone rub me.
BRIAN: That’s why sometimes our vacation…
ALLIE: Our vacation’s clash because he’s like “Today, kids we’re going to hike Mt. Wallapanuga!” And I say, “No, we’re not. I’m sitting here on the beach with a Mai Tai. Don’t touch me.”
We don’t have a schedule; we feel into it, so the answer to all of our questions is never rigid. We don’t neglect it. We don’t let it sit.
We also have created a life that encourages, it is woven into the fabric of the way we do our life, that there is daily self care.
Not working a lot, having a team, in creating wealth and abundance we have set ourselves up for rest and relaxation, having time with the kids. The houses we get. Where is there self care in this house? The spa was a really big thing for us. Now we can sit in the hot tub and talk.
How can we fit this in regularly? Taking a bath, sitting and watching a show. We have self care, both of us, every single day.
BRIAN: I remember when COVID happened we couldn’t go anywhere, so I would take a lot of baths. I was working out a lot and I just needed to soak in an epsom salt bath.
ALLIE: Every freakin’ day I’d come into the room to get something and Brian’s just soaking like he’s King Louis the 14th. Brian takes care of himself. It’s not on me to figure out his self care. It’s not on him to figure out my self care. We just talk. We’re a team.
This was good!
There’s a spider on the roof and I need you to kill it now before I freak out. It’s been there this entire episode and I’m done. Okay? We have to go! Bye, guys!
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.
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