Heather Chauvin is the host of the Mom Is In Control podcast and we sat down and had a conversation about how important self-care is for moms, how to get rid of the “self-care is selfish” mentality and how to create the life you really want and step into your Brave Zones. I’m so excited for you to hear this episode. Let’s jump in!
In This Episode Allie and Heather Discuss:
Creating the life you want
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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.
Hello, my friends! Welcome to another episode of The Purpose Show podcast!
Today, a new friend of mine is a guest on our show. We are going to be talking about how important it is for moms to prioritize really intentional, real self-care, and what that looks like.
We’re also going to be talking about ditching the “self-care is selfish” mentality, which is baseless, ridiculous, and needs to go.
We also talk about doing the work to create the life you really want, rather than just consuming inspirational content, getting all inspired, and doing nothing.
We’re also going to talk about what our guest today calls the ‘“Braves Zone,” which is all about stepping into that uncomfortable middle part between who you are now and who you want to be. This conversation is so good! I cannot wait for you to hear this!
Our guest is none other than Heather Chauvin! Heather and I met in November for The Purpose Show live event and we have since become friends. I love her! I can’t wait for you guys to hear what she has to say.
If you’re not familiar with Heather, she is a leadership coach who helps ambitious, overwhelmed women, conquer their fears and become leaders at work and at home.
Drawing from her professional experience as a social worker and her life experience raising three boys, she’s created a signature approach to help her clients create and enjoy sustainability, profitability, and ease in business and life.
She’s the host of the Mom Is In Control podcast where she reveals her most vulnerable truths about womanhood, marriage, parenting, and living through stage IV cancer, while also running a successful business without burning out.
Basically she’s a badass and she’s here to drop truth bombs all day long for us.
Please enjoy this incredible conversation and do not forget to take a screenshot, post it on Instagram, tag Heather Chauvin and myself, share that you were listening. Share your biggest takeaway. Share this episode with the women who follow you, because this is so needed.
ALLIE: Thank you for being here with us!
HEATHER: You’re so welcome!
ALLIE: Tell us about what it is that you do and who you are. I’m so excited that we’re meeting, by the way. Finally.
When I found you online, we had so many online friends in common I felt like we should have been friends for a while.
HEATHER: I know. And it’s weird that when you are in this online world the people that inspire you and have such a big impact in your life, none of them are in walking distance. You create these little online communities. I’m excited that we are finally connecting.
ALLIE: Yeah, totally. I feel the same.
HEATHER: I’m Heather Chauvin, founder of Mom Is In Control, the podcast, and author of a new book that’s coming out in March called Dying To Be A Good Mother.
A lot of what I do is around helping women really see and understand themselves on a deeper level. Seven years ago I had stage IV cancer. But before that I was into the personal development space.
I have a background in social work and I’ve always questioned, “Why do people do what they do?”
And then going down this rabbit hole of, “Can we really get freedom? Can we really have our cake and eat it too and answer those questions of how do you balance it all?”
I believe, yes. And it looks different for everyone.
From a personal and professional perspective, I think we’re making big waves, especially during 2020. Women are looking at what is no longer sustainable in their lives and asking why are we putting up with it?
That’s what I take a stand for.
ALLIE: Can you tell us a little bit more about your book that’s coming out?
HEATHER: My book, Dying To Be A Good Mother: How I dropped the guilt and took control of my life and parenting” was actually based off a TEDx talk I did called “Dying to be a Good Mother.”
It’s a prescriptive memoir. In the parenting space or the leadership space, there’s a lot of how-to books, and I didn’t want somebody to feel like a failure after reading this book.
I tell my journey through depression. I was a single mother at 18 in a relationship with a drug addict. I literally came into motherhood feeling like I failed.
I talk about all of these lessons and how do you get to a point in your life where you feel alive? I tell the deep, dark stories.
I even had a conversation with my mother the other day and asked her, “Do you want to read it ahead of time?”
She said, “Give me a copy when it’s ready.”
I pull back all the curtains, get real, raw, and honest. But I also give you the little tidbits when people are asking, “What’s the next step? How do I get started?” I give you some of that too.
ALLIE: I can’t wait for that. I would love to have you on again to talk about the book, get the word out, and all that good stuff.
We’ve been talking a lot today about taking care of yourself, putting yourself first, and the ridiculous, ridiculous head game that moms play of, “If I choose the kids and let the house go, then I’m guilty because the house is a mess. If I choose the house and let the kids go play, then I’m guilty because I haven’t spent enough time with them.”
And we’ve been talking about getting an aerial perspective over your life and asking, “What do I really want here? How can I align my days based on what I want instead of what I should be doing to avoid guilt.”
Which, if you’re in that head space, is impossible. We’ve been talking about self care and talking about how to align all of that stuff with what you actually want.
I know you speak about that a lot and I would love to hear what you would say to these women about taking care of themselves, putting themselves first, and what that looks like for you.
HEATHER: Okay. So, I’m going to get on a soap box here and go on a tangent.
First of all, as a human being you have to start thinking for yourself. Because the second you become a mother, and really it doesn’t matter if you have children or not, if you’re a woman or you identify as a woman, you’re lumped into this category: you are the nurturers of all. Give, give, give, give, give, and receiving is selfish.
I actually didn’t realize until we started writing the book that this is patriarchy. This is us not pulling back the layers. We’re not questioning, “Why is guilt my go-to thing? Why am I allowing this to stop me? Why is it such an issue for me to go to the gym or to go for a walk, but if my partner does, it’s socially acceptable?”
We’re not questioning these things.
I loved what you said about getting clear on how you wanted to feel and aligning your day with that. I call it energetic time management.
Yeah, we have the tools, we have the strategies, but why aren’t we doing that?
Because the cultural belief is that self care is selfish. And If you believe self-care is selfish, then you are going to act according to that. You’re going to tell yourself these stories and then you’re going to not do what you need to do.
But also, the illusion the self care is spa days and that it’s really expensive and we don’t have the time, or the money, or the support to do it.
But to me self care is self respect. Self love goes around a lot, too, but I just don’t connect to that.
What does self respect look like? How do I want other people to treat me? How do I want my children to treat me?
I have three boys, 16, 10 and eight. How do I want our relationship to feel? Yes, I want to feel connected. Yes, I want it to be fun.
It’s not going to be all these things all the time, but I want mutual respect. And if I want my children to respect me, not from a scary place but an authentic respect, I need to show them by respecting myself.
So now I’m taking the action but the guilt is there. When we’re removing the ego and all of the stories that we tell ourselves, sometimes I have to go to the next level and think, “How is taking this positive action in alignment with how I want to feel, or my desires, or going forward in my business or whatever it is going to influence not only my family but all of the women watching me? How is that making a ripple effect for the next generation?”
I would debate that believing that taking care of yourself is selfish is actually the most detrimental thing we can do to society, for all children, all women, all people.
ALLIE: I agree. Yeah, absolutely.
And you’re so right when you said that this is patriarchal. That’s the reason this belief is even in place. This is where it comes from.
That it’s so detrimental that we step outside of that and go a different way and not worry about what other people are going to say. We don’t have to document every frigging act of self care we do anyway. Actually, if you are documenting it, are you really in it?
HEATHER: Or are you just checking those boxes?
ALLIE: Yeah, are you really feeling it?
We were talking earlier about those pieces of self care like, “Oh, I got my mask on!” That’s skincare. For self care put on your mask and go sit for 20 mins. Lie on your bed, breathe, meditate and just be for a freaking second.
Really make it life-giving self care that moves the needle forward in terms of your soul and you feeling like the highest version of yourself as a human that you can possibly be. Not as a mom, as a human. And see how that spills out.
HEATHER: I love that you say life-giving because oftentimes I ask women, “What do you want?”
And they might say, “I want this.”
And I say, “Great! Okay, let’s go there.”
And then they start the process and they say, “Ok, that actually wasn’t what I wanted. I just chose those things because I thought that’s what I had to do or because that’s what everyone else is doing.”
And then you’re pulling back these layers. Asking, “What do you want?” And they’re saying, “I don’t know.”
But I believe everyone knows. I believe maybe you don’t know right away. But also the perfectionism comes in.
So, I’ll say, “Okay, you know what you don’t want, right?”
We all can make a list of what we don’t want. Make your “don’t want” list and then flip it. You don’t want to be yelling anymore. You don’t want to feel crappy in your body.
You don’t want to be broke. You don’t want to have these superficial relationships with other women.
What do you not want? Okay, cool. Switch it. Flip it.
Now take that and break it down. Is there a community you can get into? You don’t need to know everything, but you know what you don’t want, so flip that and start taking action towards that.
But when you just sit there and say, “My life sucks and I’m stuck,” you’re not taking radical responsibility for how you want to feel. You may be afraid and feel guilty now, but just don’t wait.
I always tell people, “We don’t need to wait for a stage IV cancer diagnosis to get our shit in order.”
This topic was in my DM’s maybe three or four times in the last month or so and it’s been bothering me—We also don’t need to wait to do what we want to do until our kids are out of the house or until the next thing happens.
Why would you believe that? What is it that you feel that you have to be doing so constantly with them that when there’s a dream that’s bubbling up inside of you that you can’t shake, you think, “Well, I have to wait 18 years.”
I feel like we’re always waiting until something is catastrophic. Or waiting and looking ahead until the next hopeful thing, the next easier season.
We’re basically suppressing ourselves and then we have all this resentment and bitterness and it makes us sick. It makes our minds sick. It makes our bodies sick.
Step back and think, “What do I really want? What would my ideal day look like in this season I’m in right now? What would it look like? How can I do little things to tweak it to where I’m enjoying this season, even if it’s insane?”
HEATHER: Yeah. And I’ll tell you right now, when March 2020 happened I had dejavu, because I remember that happening when I was going through treatment and I had to go into isolation. And all of my beliefs were coming up.
I thought nobody else could take care of my children the way that I could. What if they eat mac and cheese or whatever? Are they loved? Are they cared for?
I was living in a crisis state. How can I expect my life to be this beautiful creation when I’m just getting by because I’m not putting anything in my cup?
And then when the pandemic happened, I looked at my husband and I said, “We’re good. We’re good.”
I’m the breadwinner. He works within my company. I said, “We’re good.”
You know why? Because for the last six years I said, “I am done with this survival mode crap. Let’s look at every aspect of our lives and make it as full as possible.”
And if we just sit back and hide and twiddle our thumbs for six months to a year, we’re good. Of course, when you’re a purpose-driven brand, you don’t do that. You show up for your community and you’re like, “Come on, let’s go. What do we need?”
But these things will happen. Take it as a wake up call for what is not sustainable in your life.
And guess what? The beliefs that you have about people who aren’t just getting by, your judgements, are a projection of what you truly desire inside. And yet you won’t give yourself permission because you’re afraid you’re going to be judged too.
I was speaking to a friend who was asking me about some fitness goals. And I am not a fitness guru by any means, but me and my body are healing. We’ve healed a lot of our relationship. And I said, “Why won’t you quit that gym?”
She said, “Fear of disappointing.”
I said, “You’re hanging on to this gym membership for the owner. You’re not even doing it for yourself. And yet there’s something inside that is screaming to get your attention and you are avoiding it and cutting it off. Killing that part of yourself to keep somebody else warm, keep somebody else satisfied. But guess what? They can feel your resentment. They can feel your discontentment.”
If everyone was like, “Hey, this is no longer working for me. You’ve gotten me this far. Now I’m going to go to the next level.”
Oh my gosh. If the world was like that there would be no anger, no resentment. We’d all be taking radical responsibility for how we want to feel.
Our kids wouldn’t feel the burden of our unmet needs that we weren’t willing to give ourselves because we were hiding behind them. So, you’ve got to show up. The world needs it.
ALLIE: What would your process for someone who is unhappy and doesn’t really know what to do? I know someone who needs to get out of their job and they feel like they just can’t. What about those situations?
HEATHER: Really observe how many times a day you’re saying, “I can’t.” Pay attention to that.
I was with a friend the other day and every other word, all the list of things, every other word was, “I can’t.”
I looked at her and I said, “Then stop asking for help. You’re an askhole. Stop being an askhole. Stop asking and not taking any advice.” I said, “Every time, you’re blocking, blocking, blocking. You’re not open to receiving. I’m just going to sit back and watch you drown because you’re not even willing to grab onto the life preserver.”
But if you’re feeling stuck and don’t know where to start, stare at yourself in the mirror. Get angry. Stop shoving it down.
Take a pen and paper—this is my favorite journal prompt ever—and finish the sentence: “Wouldn’t it be nice if…”
There’s no attachment. You don’t have to do anything on the list.
Wouldn’t it be nice if I could have a day to myself. Wouldn’t it be nice if I got to have a glass of water? Wouldn’t it be nice if I could take a bath? Wouldn’t it be nice if we could travel right now? Wouldn’t it be nice if I could leave my job?
The little things to the big things, let it out, let it out, let it out. It’s interesting.
I go back years ago and wonder why did I put, “Write a book” 15 years ago and then avoid it for a decade?”
It’s still there. It’s still gonna come back. And it’s going to get louder and louder and louder.
Focus on the little things. Start ticking those off. Okay, I’ll do the bath. I’ll do the water. I’ll do the walk.
Then allow yourself to expand slowly. It’s a marathon. If you need to walk, do it. But stop staying stuck and drowning in this quicksand because you’ve got to create that momentum.
All the cliche sayings—fail forward, blah-blah-blah–when I don’t know where to start, I start throwing noodles at the wall and seeing what momentum I’m gaining.
ALLIE: Yeah, totally.
When there’s a situation that we do feel stuck in, we feel like, “I can’t,” changing it to, “I can. The way is not clear yet, but I can.”
Take the job example. If you say, “I’m here at this job and I don’t want to be here anymore. I don’t know how to get out. I can’t afford to just quit.”
I think when you are so dead set on getting out and you feel like you can’t right now, you get all upset and you get in that energy and you aren’t functioning well.
But, if you say, “I’m going to; the timing just isn’t clear. This obviously is happening for me, not to me. I’m going to look for the lessons, look for whatever I need to learn, so that this chapter in my life can close.”
The tight grip relaxes and you’re in such a state of ease and flow that the job doesn’t bother you as much anymore. Then when it moves on, you feel like, “Wow, it was in the grasping and freaking out that I was keeping this on me and when I let go…”
I’ve learned that in so many kinds of different things. That just came up when I was thinking about that question.
You do feel stuck and it feels powerless, but you’re always in charge. You can quit. You can change.
Yeah, it’s uncomfortable and maybe it’s not the easiest time right now. But you’re still choosing. You’re still choosing to stay in that job and wait for something better.
I think we discount how much control and say we have over our lives because it’s easier to blame it on the circumstance than to take ownership.
HEATHER: I have a lot of clients who are working in corporate, or they are business owners, or stay at home, or whatever the situation, and I’ve had a few leave corporate during COVID. They were just done.
Everyone around them was like, “What are you doing? Why would you do that? Why now?”
And they asked me, “Am I crazy?”
And I said, “Welcome to the club. Welcome to the club where you take a risk on the life that you truly want to be living. I know you will land softly. You may hit a few branches on the way down, but you’re willing and ready.”
Then I’ve had other ones that say, “You know what? I came in believing that I needed to leave my job and I know now is not the time. I still need to learn more lessons here, but I am different reentering that building every day and observing that the things that used to trigger me, no longer trigger me.”
We always think it’s this outsider perspective, right? It’s watching. Yeah, maybe you need to leave that job and you need to change because it’s leadership.
The podcast was labeled “Mom Is In Control” because everyone wanted to feel in control. They quickly realized that this is an inner journey.
It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about parenthood or if you’re talking about business or career or relationships. This is a leadership game.
How do you show up? This is an inner job. This is inner work.
I’m sure you and I could give all the strategies in the world. Here’s the blueprint, here’s the template, but what is stopping you from implementing it?
When you’re doing the inner work and willing to go in there, you can make anything happen.
When my boys watch me it literally brings tears to my eyes. I remember my little mantra I was saying to myself when I became a mother, “I need to become the person that I most desire my son to be.”
I think of how I want them to perceive me: She tried. She was brave. She was courageous. She never gave up.
When things hit the fan, cry about it, go into the fetal position, re-adjust, get back up. And man, you gotta be so nice to yourself. Respect, kindness, forgiveness, all these skills.
When COVID happened and my kids’ school eased learning I said, “I don’t care if you do a worksheet. If I can teach you anything during this time it’s how to get along as a family and respect each other in small spaces. And if you don’t log in at all, that’s okay. That’s okay.”
ALLIE: Wow. Good for you.
I heard you mention a couple of times, stepping into your brave zone. And I feel like it’s this permission you give to almost step into your alter ego, “What would this most bad-ass, brave, strong version of myself do in this situation?”
Can you talk about that? When you use it? And how it’s useful for moms?
HEATHER: It’s interesting to me that we will actively show up for everybody else except ourselves.
If you’re doing an okay job at parenting and when I say, “Okay,” let me rephrase. If you’re good enough. You’re going to feed them. The doors are locked. You’re not going to run away. They’re safe.
Here’s my point. We will make it happen. We’ll scrape by. We’ll do whatever we need to do. But if we have a desire and we want to go for it, there’s that messy middle, right?
So we have our Point A of who we are; we have our Point B of who we want to be, and then there’s this messy middle when all your stuff comes up. This is the Brave Zone. And yeah, you can be your bad-ass self, but you do not feel like your bad-ass self in that space.
I’ve done this again and again where you question yourself, “Why am I doing this? Why can’t I be normal? Why can’t I go get a 9-5?”
This is what I hear a lot, “Why do I have to want more? Why can’t what I have be good enough?”
Listen, you weren’t born to be good enough! Yes, we can say, “I am good enough.” But when you have this strong desire to do something different, you have to listen to that because it never goes away.
You could be a millionaire and want more millions. You could have 10 published books and want 20 published books. You could get to your goal weight and want to go to the next level. Whatever it is. And that’s the whole point of limitless.
So, in this space, for me, it’s vulnerable. It is so uncomfortable. I just did this at the gym this morning.
It is so uncomfortable because you are like, “I suck. I suck. I suck. I’m not doing this. I’m not good enough.” And then you’re done.
It could be something as small as that one friend who is texting you and it’s that friend that’s needy or that relationship. You know that if you respond the way that you do, it’s going to trigger them or they’re going to cling on like a leach and be that energy vampire.
You badly want to respond and say something, but you don’t. You just hold the space. That is your Brave Zone.
Or when your children are in the grocery store and they want “Candy, candy, candy!” and typically you just grab it to get them to be quiet, but today you say, “Honey, it’s not happening today.”
And instead of arguing or getting angry, you think, “Okay, I know people are judging me right now and I’m just going to hold space and tell myself it’s okay.”
It’s okay. And you just sit with all your crap. That, to me, is the Brave Zone.
When you’re choosing a different thought or different action to re-invent the cycle of how you show up in your life. It could be as simple as just getting out of bed in the morning and not hitting snooze. That’s the Brave Zone.
ALLIE: I love that because it’s the mundane little things. The shame game is in our head. I shouldn’t have hit the snooze button; I should have gotten up. This person wakes up early every morning. Why can’t I do that?
It’s the smallest little thing. It really feels like celebrating yourself.
As we wrap up, is there anything else that you would have to say to these moms who are listening? So many of them are running businesses, they’re working, they’re staying at home.
There’s so much going on in the world right now and heading into a New Year. What is your message for women right now?
HEATHER: If you’re listening to this, there’s something inside of you that wants to be expressed because there are many, many people that wouldn’t even consider pressing play or showing up. So, pay attention to that.
I’m all about no fluff; get to the point. If you are not implementing, nothing will happen.
I think I heard Mastin Kipp talk about this and I’m sure he wasn’t the first person to say this, but spiritual entertainment is a thing. When you’re listening to the podcast, you’re reading the books, you’re attending the workshops, but you’re not doing the work. Do the uncomfortable work
Glennon Doyle says, “We can do hard things.” And I have created my own version of that, which is, “We can do uncomfortable things.”
I don’t actually think actions are hard. The hardness is uncomfortable. Feeling our feelings.
So, do things every day that make you uncomfortable and that is when the magic is going to happen. It doesn’t matter if it’s today or the New Year. Just do something every day that makes you wildly uncomfortable.
It could be something as simple as taking a bath when you feel guilty for it. Not responding right away, putting your phone away. I encourage you to disappoint people.
I encourage you to not respond. I encourage you to do something that is going to ruffle feathers. Because then you’re building this inner resiliency and you can’t even put a price on the ripple effect of that.
ALLIE: Oh my gosh. So good. Thank you for being here in this space with us. Thank you for being a light. I also appreciate how when I ask something you take it.
HEATHER: I could have these conversations all day and I would love to come back and have another conversation.
ALLIE: Yeah, let’s do it. I just love you. Thank you so much, Heather.
HEATHER: Thank you, Allie.
ALLIE: Go and find Heather on Instagram. What is your Instagram handle?
HEATHER: It’s my name. @HeatherChauvin_. I’m pretty active on there, so you can send me a DM and I will respond. You can find everything there.
ALLIE: Perfect. Thank you so much.
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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