I’ve got Kendra Hennessy with me today and we’re talking about self-care. I know, I know. Self-care has become such a trendy thing. There are a lot of products out there that are based on self-care. And it can feel like this really over-talked about and super annoying thing. But before you click away, I don’t think Kendra and I are going to talk about anything that you have heard a million times before.
We’re going to talk about the difference between self-care and selfishness because moms can be really judgmental toward each other, and it needs to stop. So, if you’ve ever felt judged for taking care of yourself or you’ve ever judged another mom for taking care of herself, this episode is for you! Let’s jump in!
In This Episode Allie and Kendra Discuss:
The difference between self-care and selfishness
The effects of not practicing self-care
Judging other moms for practicing self-care
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 was too. That’s why I created a short video course that will help you get intentional, simplify, and pursue LESS this holiday season!
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.
ALLIE: Hey guys! We’re here with Kendra doing another fake intro.
KENDRA: Like we didn’t already talk for 15 minutes
ALLIE: Actually, we’re super excited to talk today because our topic is self-care and before you click away because it’s over-talked about and super annoying, I don’t think you’re going to hear anything today that you have heard a million times before and I’m super excited about that.
KENDRA: Yeah, self-care has become one of those…it’s trendy now. It’s like a trendy thing and so there’s a lot of products out there that are based on self-care. I know that you and I have very similar feelings about self-care, especially for moms, because it’s not just about the external things that you do every day or once a month treating yourself to something. Self-care is just a part of my daily routine. It’s just a part of what I do. And I know you’re exactly like that.
ALLIE: It’s the little things.
So, okay. Here’s what we’re thinking and we might have to redirect each other because this conversation is going to be a lot. But we want to talk about some things that have come up in our individual lives and questions that we have been asked by you guys for us to answer here. And then, also get into some action steps to make this super simple because self-care can’t always look like a really long bubble bath with a glass of wine and candles. It’s so good and there’s times for that, but sometimes it’s just not really what you can do and what you actually need.
So, we want to help you fit it into your day. And I have some ideas and things that I love to just do—little things down to as simple as the way I’m breathing and calming myself down. We’re going to get into all the things.
The question that we had submitted to us that brought this up was a woman wrote in on Instagram and said, “My mother is incredibly critical of me and has the belief that good mothering equals suffering 24/7.” That’s all she wrote because I didn’t give her very much space.
KENDRA: Well, Instagram doesn’t give you very much space.
ALLIE: That is so loaded and we just want to dive in.
I just wanted to start, too, by saying that this came at a really good time because I was having a conversation with this amazing mom, her name is Anna, she’s on team Allie. She does a lot of behind-the-scenes work and helps me write content and stuff. We were talking and she was sharing that she had been physically in a room with, it was like a mom event, where there was a group of other moms that were talking about how self-care is so damaging to motherhood and that it’s ruining a lot of things, that it is causing mothers to be incredibly selfish.
The words that she was saying were like, “harming their kids.” Which I don’t understand how they made that leap unless there was a specific story they were talking about. But essentially, the theme was they were so over self-care being talked about because it is so selfish and that— and this is my least favorite part of it as a Christian myself—that the Bible talks about not being selfish and never doing anything for yourself. And if you are doing self-care, and it’s this trend and it’s taking over, that it’s pulling away from the focus on what you should be focused on. I’m going to stop there and let you start because I want to join in from there.
KENDRA: Yeah. So, before we started recording we were talking about how one time someone asked me the difference between selfish and self-care because they were feeling that same thing. And it was someone that had a mother similar to the person who put that question in, like “I feel like I’m selfish when I’m doing things for myself.” Maybe even your spouse might be giving you the indication that that’s the way that it is.
To me the difference is that self-care is done out of love. Out of love for yourself. Out of a lot of self-acceptance, self-love and love for others. Because when I take care of myself, I’m a much better person for others. I show up better for them. I’m not resentful. I’m not angry. I’m not cranky. I’m not nasty. So, it’s really just love all around.
Where being selfish is done out of greed. So, it’s done out of the sense that I am going to take for myself because I don’t want anyone else to have it. It’s kind of the way that I talk about abundance versus greed. Abundance is done out of love: “there’s more than enough to go around.” And greed is like: “there’s not enough and I have to hoard all of this.”
I view it the same way in that there are plenty of people that act selfishly but don’t take care of themselves. The two can be completely separate. You can be selfish and not take care of yourself at all and you can take care of yourself and not be selfish. And I think that we have to start splitting those two up.
I feel the same way as Allie does. We have very similar feelings about self-care in general because I know that when I’m not taking care of my needs—my basic needs, my internal needs, my soul needs—that I am not a good person. I am not a good mother. I am a nasty wife. I am not good to the people in my life. I don’t show up for my audience. That all comes from not taking care of me and my needs.
And the same goes for so many other moms. I look at my own mom growing up and I see the times that she may have been (and she may be listening to this and she would totally agree I guarantee) that the times that she was most snippy, the times that she maybe yelled or something like that were usually the times where she had been doing for us for so long and had not taken a second for herself.
ALLIE: Yes. I would say the same thing about my mom and, you know, I think that would also be a really interesting conversation too. I know my mom has shared with me that she was just stretched so thin. She didn’t know how to connect with herself and take that space without feeling guilty because, especially for her, she’d had a very damaging childhood and a lot of selfishness from her parents. So, she really struggled with that.
She’s told me so, so, so many times looking back that the worst versions of herself came out of when she just had not even had a freaking second to even just sit and breathe for a minute, read a book or a page, anything, just nothing.
And doesn’t it make sense? We are not perfect. We’re not robots; we’re human beings. How can you continuously pour out, pour out, pour out in such a magnitude that is motherhood—which is the ultimate pour out, constant pour out—if you have not refilled at all. And it’s such a cheesy metaphor, but it’s the perfect picture of it. You cannot continue to give water to your family from yourself when your well has dried up. It has to be replenished from whatever your self-care looks like.
As I was talking to Anna about those women and what they were saying, she told me that she left and she was like, “You know, I work for you and I hear the message that you’re saying and it is so counter to that, but I still left feeling awful about myself, my boundaries, my self-care, and how good I am at it. I was feeling really bad about that.”
I just want to come up against that. If anyone is here and listening to this and you have felt guilty over self-care, or somebody has said that message to you. Or to the woman that submitted this question, your mother is critical of you and believes that good mothering equals 24/7 suffering…Let me say: that is such a lie.
And I think that is a very self-serving lie from the person who is speaking it because they are essentially creating a reason for the way that they lived. They’re creating this identity, this victim mode around them, like if they took care of themselves, then what excuse do they have? They have created this illusion, this identity, in being selfless. Giving and giving, victim, martyr, and like, “Oh my gosh, my kids, my kids.” What are you afraid of if you connect with yourself? If you take a second, what are you afraid of? There is something in them that they are worried about and afraid of. Not in you and the way that you are living.
And when your mother sees you taking care of yourself, practicing self-care, creating time for yourself, it makes her feel something about the way that she was as a mother. So, the only way out of that is to either face it, accept it, and want to change. Or to blame you, or to put something on you to make herself feel better.
KENDRA: We’re all just living beliefs that we’ve all had because beliefs are just thoughts we keep thinking. And if you, from the time you become a mom, believe that I have to be selfless, I have to be a martyr, I have to do everything and you replay that same tape in your head over and over and over, then it becomes a belief. Now it’s what you believe.
And so, at that point that mom is looking at her grown daughter who now has children and maybe that grown daughter has been following Allie and is like, “You know what? I want to live my most abundant, full, and purposeful life and I don’t want to live this way anymore so I’m going to take care of myself.” And her mother sees that and it’s probably extremely triggering for her. It’s probably triggering memories of her not being able to take care of herself. Her feeling like it was selfish to do. The story she heard from her own mother, from her community, from her church, from whoever it was.
And Allie’s right, you either face it…which Allie and I are both at a point now in our lives where we view triggers as an opportunity to grow because we’ve done a lot of work on ourselves and our deep issues that we have. And so, when I view somebody else and I see something that they’re doing and it triggers something in me or even a past trauma, that to me is an invitation to change. I’m like, “Hmm, what do I need to look deep into?”
But she may not know that and she may not be at that point. So, that mom is now triggered by that and is saying, “Well, that’s not fair. That’s not what motherhood is supposed to be. Motherhood is supposed to be suffering and if you’re not suffering, then you’re not a good mom.”
And that’s what this whole hot mess mom culture has done. It has literally done this. It’s swung that pendulum all the way over to the other side where it basically says not only are you supposed to suffer for motherhood, but everything is supposed to be this giant crap show in your life. And that’s just the way it is. “Oh well, you’re depressed.”
ALLIE: “It’s okay, we’re all in this together.” And it masks this lie around camaraderie and comfort.
I know that we’ve talked about this before, too. Like when I call the “hot mess mom culture” out and I call it what it is. You know, calling a spade a spade, like, “this is what it is.” People get upset because I take off their comfort blanket. Their security blanket has been ripped off.
The truth is I’m not here to say, “Oh, you can’t be a hot mess. You can’t struggle.” I’m saying, “Why are you wearing that so tightly? Why do you need that security blanket? Why can’t you go out into the world without it? What is it doing for you? How is it serving you? And is it really? Are you under the illusion that it is serving you? Which is usually the case?”
And I also want to say to that mother—and again you guys, we’re diving into this based off of a one-line question. We understand that we don’t know where she’s coming from and yada-yada. But this is a common issue so, we’re diving into the issue and not attacking the person—who is saying that to her daughter and her daughter is writing into us, I think that the very fact that she would live that way and put that on her daughter shows what happens when you don’t take care of yourself.
It shows that she doesn’t even have a grasp on who she is as a person enough to realize that she’s exuding her beliefs and her lies onto her daughter and harming her relationship with her. Harming her daughter emotionally, making her feelings hurt so much so that when we just on the fly asked, “Hey guys, what question would you like answered on the podcast?” Her daughter immediately had that already on her heart, already on her mind to quickly fill in that box with this big problem.
That’s sad. That is the result of a mother never practicing self-care. Never being aware of herself at all or connecting with who she is and being able to consistently pour out to her children from that place of confidence, peace, and calm. And having a little bit of a break every now and then just to breathe and take a second.
This is perfect timing because today I cleared my whole day, except for this recording with Kendra because this is life-giving and it’s not soul-draining. But I had some other interviews scheduled and stuff and I just cleared everything because I was just feeling really anxious and really just blah. I told Brian. He offered to help out and he took the kids out of the way. I sat on my bed and I turned on the “calm app” and turned on nature sounds (because God forbid I open a window; it’s hot) and I just sat in stillness for at least 10 minutes. You know how when you’re meditating you don’t know how long it was, but it was at least 10, 15 minutes, and I just breathed. I didn’t even really think about anything. I took breaths.
I kid you not. I got up. I felt like a different person. I could not believe that in a small period of time by doing nothing other than sitting still without the sounds of children and just breathing— focusing on my own God-given breath—that I got up and felt energized. I felt like a totally different person. The kids and Brian came back into the house and I was so happy to see them. We made snacks. We worked on schoolwork. It was so good and such a night and day difference.
That is self-care. It is not abandoning your kids and avoiding dealing with them. Or you know this stereotype of a long bubble bath every single night no matter what’s going on downstairs, no matter where your kids are or if they’ve had dinner yet. We’ve got to stop this extreme view of self-care and realize that it is simply taking pause because your life is insane.
KENDRA: One of my favorite ways to practice self-care is by just setting boundaries. I am really good at boundaries and Allie, as you guys know, because you listened to this podcast, is really good at saying “no.” That’s something that she and I definitely come together on a lot is that we’re very good at just saying, “No. That doesn’t serve me. That doesn’t serve my life. That doesn’t serve my soul, my family, my time, my business. It doesn’t serve me.” Sometimes that disappoints people, but I would rather care for myself and disappoint someone in the short term than say “yes” to appease everyone and disappoint myself in the long term. That’s exactly what you’re doing every time you say, “yes” to crap that you don’t really want to do, that isn’t serving you. And I don’t mean serving you in a way that something is good for you; I’m talking about it serving your soul.
Obviously, we serve people every day. That’s what we’re doing in motherhood. We’re just serving our families. I am talking about someone asking you to do something that you know full and well you do not have the time or the energy to commit to, but saying, “yes” because saying “no” would be rude and really we’re just supposed to say, “yes” to everything. No, you’re not. That’s a myth. It keeps getting perpetuated and that’s not your job. Your job is not to try not to disappoint other people. Your job is to take care of you so that you can be your best self.
Something that as you were talking, I thought about…and this is such a popular opinion and really plays into this whole idea of self-care…every time I go away for business, every time I go to visit you, or my sister, or I go to a conference or something, inevitably someone will say something about going away like, “Oh, well it’ll be nice. You can get away for a little while.” And I’m like, “Yeah, it’ll just be nice to sleep in a bed by myself.” And you know, “It’s for work. It’s okay because it’s for work.” And I’m like, “What does it matter if it’s for work? What does it matter if I booked myself a hotel for three nights and all I did was eat cheeseburgers and drink wine and didn’t do anything else for that three days?” (Doesn’t that sound amazing. Now I’m hungry. Now I just want a cheeseburger.)
But what does it matter to anyone else? It’s like we have to give some kind of reason. We have to justify. We are so used to, in motherhood, justification. We have to justify everything we do. “Well, I’m going to get my nails done cause I’m going to this event and I saved up money.” Girl, get your nails done if you want to get it done. You don’t owe anyone an explanation. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for why you’re taking care of you.
Alright, my gorgeous, gorgeous friend. Pause for a second. I want to ask you a gut-check question. Check in with yo’self. Is the holiday season this year making you feel that dropped-stomach-stress, anxious feeling in any way, shape or form?
Do you feel like this season is total magic and it’s joy-filled? And you are going to be not stressed about your budget? Not stressed about decorating your house and having people over? Seeing your family? Seeing all your relatives and having those conversations? Buying gifts for the people that you love and receiving gifts from the people that you love?
Your traditions with your family – Are they life-giving? Are they filling you up? Are you really excited about the whole process?
What about when the holidays are over? Do you feel like, “Oh thank goodness! I want to get this crap out of here?” Or are you feeling like that was a really sweet time?
Gut check with yo’self because this time of year is a big deal. The holidays take up a decent amount of our year and there is absolutely no excuse for feeling like you are completely overwhelmed and totally stressed out.
I have a short video course that will help you get intentional, simplify and pursue less in the holiday season by teaching you how to create sort of like a mission statement for the holiday season.
It’s really about setting the intent. Deciding before you get too deep into it. What do I want this to feel like? What are my goals here with my family? How do you decorate minimally without totally overdoing it and making your house feel like a clutter festival? How do you transition your family to a simpler Christmas and holiday season when you’ve previously totally blown it out of proportion and gone way overboard?
What about traditions? How do you check in and decide, “This tradition has always happened but it’s really not serving us anymore. It’s really not fun.” How do we make new traditions that are life giving, helpful, and fun for everyone?
How do you deal with buying gifts with your budget and a minimalist mindset? And what about receiving gifts from other people? You can’t really control that. Is this totally going to undo minimalism for you just because it’s the holiday season? There are so many things about choosing joy and simplifying.
I have this super short, super cheap video course that I want to get you into. It’s called Your Happiest Holidays. It was previously known as a Merry Little Christmas. You might have previously known it as that, but we’ve changed it because it’s covering all the holidays, not just Christmas.
I really invite you in. If you are ever, in your entire life, going to need a little help simplifying this time of year, please enroll in this program. It’s so cheap. It’s small. It’s powerful. It packs a punch and it’s going to help you.
You never know when there’s going to be a year that the holiday season is making you feel more like “Ugh” instead of so excited and ready for it.
Alliecasazza.com/holidays. Go there. Let’s get you simplified.
ALLIE: I know the ones that are people-pleasing and that are really struggling…I’m imagining friends that I have in real life listening to this and stuff coming up like, “But that just sounds so selfish.”
This is what selfish would look like: If you are like, “I don’t care that you guys are hungry for dinner. We’re not having dinner right now because I don’t want to cook right now. I am going to go upstairs. I’m going to sit and read and put my headphones on. You guys can just figure it out and fend for yourself.” Your kids are young and they’re not safe and you’re not even caring, you’re not concerned. You are not doing your job as a mom and you are selfishly greedily, going upstairs and doing self-care.
Not selfish is knowing something that is presented to you as an opportunity for you to help, or whatever it is, to serve in some way, and knowing in your gut right away, “I do not have the capacity to say “yes” to this. But I feel guilty because all the other moms are going and being class moms. Or the other moms are doing this for the PTA. Or the other moms are doing this in the homeschool co-op.” Or you’re just saying, “yes” because you’re afraid. Or out of that lack that you’re a good enough mom. All of that is selfish because now you stretch yourself so thin that you can’t have the capacity to be the kind of mom that your family needs you to be.
You need to understand the line between selfish and self-care so clearly. Like Kendra described it before, and I did in these examples, you need to know when to say, “no,” and when to say, “yes,” and to back it up with some action steps.
I want to encourage you guys to sit for 10 minutes and breathe like I did. Go for a walk. After me and Kendra record, I’m literally going to put my headphones in and go for a walk and just breathe and unwind because even though I had my meditation time and it was so good, today was a lot. There’s a lot of schoolwork that needs to get done later and we have baseball and it’s a lot. It’s okay that it’s a lot. It’s okay that normal life feels a lot for you sometimes that you feel like you can’t really cut it. You just need some breaks.
It’s okay to take a walk. It’s okay to not let your kids come with you. It’s okay to take your kids with you because you don’t have a choice, but you put headphones in. It is okay to fit in little acts of self-care. You are not being selfish.
What is selfish is living your life out of obligation and continuously giving too much of yourself so that you can’t give what you need to give to your family in the best way possible. That is selfish because you’re living to please other people.
KENDRA: And I’m going to say something that I know that there’s going to be people out there that don’t like this, but this is actually going to be an episode of my podcast, probably next year. We have been planning it out. Being a people-pleaser is one of the most selfish things you can do because people-pleasing is not about people; it’s about you.
It’s about not wanting to confront uncomfortable conversations. It’s not wanting to be seen as a bad person. You don’t want to be seen that way, so therefore, you say, “yes,” to things, call yourself a people-pleaser and decide that you’re a martyr all because you don’t want to approach those things because they’re uncomfortable. When I see people say, “Oh, I’m just a people-pleaser,” what I see is someone who doesn’t want to broach those subjects and they don’t want to be the one that’s seen as a bad person. To me, that’s a more selfish act than just saying, “no,” because I put myself in that position.
Allie, if I asked you if you could do something for me and you were like, “Oh yeah. Yep. Definitely.” And you were like, “Oh, I’m just a people-pleaser,” but inside you’re like, “I can’t believe she had the nerve to ask me; she knows how busy I am.” And you harbor all this resentment for me that’s going to come out in little ways over time, I would feel heartbroken. Versus me asking you and you being like, “You know, I’m so happy you asked. Right now is just not the time. Do you think maybe we could do something later? I just can’t do it right now.” I am going to feel so much better about that interaction. The people that are upset about your boundaries are just the ones that were benefiting from you not having any. So, we need to not worry about that.
It’s just something that I’ve really been diving into—people-pleasing—because I have found at different times in my life I am falling into that like, “Oh, I just want to be a good person.” And I’m like, “Do I really though? Is that what it’s about or do I want people to think I’m a good person?” Because those are two different things.
ALLIE: The way I’ve been noticing this pattern in my personal life…because we want you guys to have examples. We want you to know that we’re not coming from a place of “you shouldn’t be like that,” and we’re preaching at you. We’re struggling, too, and learning. What is that expression…”You need to be two steps ahead of somebody to help them?” We’re just a couple steps ahead and we want to help you.
My thing is I don’t necessarily feel the need to please everybody, like being a people-pleaser. But when I disappoint somebody, that is so hard for me. I know from therapy going back into childhood, it was a very big deal if I was told, “That disappointed me. I’m not mad. I’m just extremely disappointed in you.” That was a heavy weight that I was afraid of getting as a child.
I was the oldest so, I have all the oldest stereotypical responsibility and weight on me, which is pretty much unavoidable it seems. But working through it and knowing, “Okay, it’s a problem for me that I don’t like disappointing people.”
I’ve had issues recently where big business deals have been put in front of me and I know it’s not right for me and I know that no one else is going to see that or understand it. But it’s gut. It’s a woman’s intuition. I know this is not good and I’m going to disappoint somebody else by saying, “no.” I struggle. I’m like, “Well, maybe if I…it’s a business deal…I just feel like it’s a lot easier if I just say yes…let’s play it out, see how it goes.” And it’s like, “No! What the heck?!”
That might be the way it shows up for you. Maybe you don’t recognize that you are a people-pleaser inside yourself, but you really struggle with letting anybody down.
If I get a negative comment, I’m much better now at working through it. A lot of times it will just slide off. It kind of depends on the context. It’ll just slide right off. And other times I’m like, “I disappointed somebody. Somebody out there has been following me for a while (as they always make sure they mention) and is disappointed in something that I said.” And it’s like, “You know what? I’m a freaking human being. I am super blunt and sarcastic. That’s my sense of humor. That rubs people the wrong way. It gets taken the wrong way. Somebody was disappointed in something that I said? I am not responsible for living up to the expectations that person set in their head for me.
KENDRA: Yeah, because you didn’t agree to them. And I actually saw someone post that today: “I am not responsible for the expectations that you set for me that I never agreed to.” And I said something like that in one of the podcast episodes I did about expectations.
We all make these expectations of other people that they never agreed to. I never agreed to live up to tens of thousands of women’s expectations that I’ve never even met. You cannot expect people to do that. You can’t even expect that of people in your own life. And then I have to recognize that in myself when I’m following someone else and maybe I don’t love something they said.
ALLIE: But that’s not their job. It’s not on them.
This will kind of show how early we record, but the episode that came out today on my show is about that. I was at this guided meditation class and I just had this thing dropped into my brain out of nowhere. Obviously, it was a God thing, but it just appeared in my head. I saw myself holding onto this massive bouquet of balloons, like UP status, a huge bouquet of balloons. This sounds so weird and like woo-woo, but whatever. The balloons were not colors; they were made out of images of the expectations of people, how people see me. I just saw it and I saw my “real self” that I hadn’t seen in so long because I was wearing those expectations and expecting myself to uphold them, too.
I saw my “real self” holding them and crying. Then I let them all go and I watched each image flow away from me, and I felt the weight of that.
In the episode today, I shared that vision and was like, “This is weird and we’re just going to go with it.” It’s such a huge weight off.
Today when I was meditating just for 10 minutes, I did the same thing, I let it go and I focused on my breathing because you cannot be a people-pleaser and be a happy person and be in your purpose. If you are trying to please everybody else, it is impossible to be walking in your purpose. Because your purpose will by nature ruffle feathers and disappoint people. People will be disappointed that that’s your purpose and not the purpose they wanted your purpose to be.
We were crafting a new marketing plan and I had this really amazing idea for a video. I was so excited and within two seconds I had talked myself out of it because, “Well, I feel like it’s gonna rustle feathers, and then people are going to say this and people are going to say that.” It’s like I decided that I wasn’t allowed to talk about something that is extremely important to me.
ALLIE: That’s on your platform…
KENDRA: On my platform…exactly! That, by the way, will be a free video that someone doesn’t even have to pay for. I was talking myself out because, “What if people are disappointed?” Strangers on the internet? Strangers that I don’t know. That frankly don’t know me. They don’t even know me. They just saw a few seconds of a video. And I just gave it up.
But I was like, “No, I’m not going to do that. I am going to do this because I know that this is going to be helpful and change lives. It’s going to be helpful for my business, which is helpful for other people.”
Even people that don’t own businesses. This is what happens every day where you’re like, “Oh, I really want to start going to a 5:00 a.m. Pilates class because I love getting up early and I love doing that.” And then you do it for a few days and your crabby neighbor down the street is at pickup and she’s like, “Ugg, who would get up at 5:00 a.m. to go to a Pilates class?” They just make that one comment and you’re like, “Oh my God, maybe I’m wrong.”
ALLIE: This happens a lot with healthy eating. I think it was Robin Long, who we both adore by the way. I’ll link to her website, she is so special to me. She talked about this once. When you have been in a pattern of living a certain way and you attract people that do that too and that think the same way, and then you change habits…
So, like when I had all my hormone stuff and I was wrapping myself in unhealthy eating as this thing that I did and this thing that I joked about when really it was totally filling a void. And then when I had to get healthy, I would go to a restaurant with the same people that I was around before and get a salad and I would have my own dressing because I was trying to figure out what was bothering my skin and my stomach. I’d hear comments like, “Oh, aren’t you the healthy one? Oh, well look who we’ve got here.”
Why don’t you just say, “You get that salad! Good job. Good for you. You know what? I’m going to get one too.” Or, “You know what, I’m having a cheeseburger because we all need a cheeseburger every now and then.” I’m probably going to do that tonight because of what you said earlier. It’s like what does this have to do with you?
And then that brings up like, “Oh, I made somebody upset. I made somebody feel bad. I don’t want to make anyone feel bad. I want to make everyone feel better when they’re around me.’ But that is not on me; that’s on her.
It goes so deep, self-care goes so far beyond bubble bath time. Obviously, it’s so deep. It goes into all of these conversations, the way we interact with each other, the way we respond to what somebody does, or the choices they make. They are taking care of themselves and that’s on them. And if you don’t want that…shut up. It’s not your place to come and attack while I’m doing for myself and my family.
KENDRA: Yeah, I like the just shut up thing. I agree.
There’s that famous quote like, “Those that have something to say about how things are getting done should get out of the way of the people that are doing them.” It’s really easy to be that one who’s up in the stands telling people how they should be living their lives and judging other moms for taking care of themselves. I see it all the time. I even hear it in my own personal life, rumblings of people saying things like, “Oh well, must be nice. She’s going out on a Saturday. Who’s even watching her kids?”
That’s not your business. You don’t know who’s watching her kids and you don’t know what she’s been through that week. Leave her alone to do what she’s going to do and you do what you want to do. You’re judging her because you secretly are like, “Boy, I wish I was going out. I wish I was taking care of myself.”
We all need to be more loving of ourselves because the more loving we are with ourselves, the more loving we are going to be with other people and the less judgmental we’re going to be of each other. I know the more I find more self-love, the more compassion I have for other people.
I’ve noticed that over the last few years, especially, that I have so much more compassion for other people because I have a lot more compassion for myself.
ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely. And I think that the perspective shift that happens when you live out what you were just saying about self-love goes into your family. And you see all the results of feeling that way about yourself and taking care of yourself and you can take better care of them, and you just see all the benefits.
Another perspective shift that will happen is: you’re not looking for loopholes in the good things that people are doing anymore. I know that whenever I talk about self-care, I’ll get a message that’s like a “loophole” question because, you know, I didn’t cover every single base of all time, in all of human history, in the conversation. So, I’ll get loophole questions like: “What does Brian get? Does Brian get self-care? Isn’t he a stay-at-home dad? Shouldn’t he get self-care?” Did the episode title say, “Brian’s Self Care?” I don’t think it did.
You’re looking for the, “Well she’s doing this but she’s probably a really awful wife. Well, she’s doing this but she probably really yells at her kids.” Or like you said, “Who’s watching her kids when she’s doing it.” You’re looking for loopholes because the loopholes make you feel better about yourself.
KENDRA: Yeah, loopholes keep us in victimhood. Loopholes are really great ways for us to slip through into victim mode again. The “Well that’s easy for her,” loophole, and then we go into like, “Wee! Not for me!” I imagine them as literal holes that you’re walking and you just go like, “Oh, this would be good.” But boom! I’m going to go right through the hole and be like, “Nope.”
ALLIE: Or, “That’s easy for her to do because she’s rich. She has a husband and I don’t. It’s easy for her because she’s…whatever” It goes on and on.
There are things that you can recognize, “Wow! She has her life set up like this so she can do that and I can’t do that at this point. But man, I feel that ping that I want that. So, what can I do? How can I move things?”
We can talk all day about the different things, different situations, privileges, not privileged, all that. What we’re saying is when you see another woman doing something for herself, don’t put her down. Don’t try to make her feel bad. Don’t try to find a loophole about it. Just water your own grass.
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I am always rooting for you, friend! See ya next time!