114. Being a Mom, on Purpose (it’s not about happy, obedient kids)

What it means to be a mom on purpose – and it is not about having happy, obedient kids. It is actually about being a mom on purpose when our kids are NOT happy or obedient, or when life feels hard and we aren’t feeling happy. 

how overwhelm effects us in motherhood

Dealing with Automatic Negative Thoughts

Coming off a couple of weeks of feeling like I was hitting a wall and spiralling to all the things that are wrong in my life 

Our brain is wired to find problems so we can keep ourselves safe and protect ourselves from ‘problems’

We are the ones that need to talk back to our brains and tell ourselves what is true


Mindfulness as a mother

Mindfulness isn’t always beautiful and lovely. We need to be mindful of the things that feel not so lovely in our lives.

It is important to be mindful of the stories we tell ourselves because we act out, show up from those thoughts and how they make us feel

When we show up from frustration, resent, victimhood and then our outcome is always disconnection and more helplessness and frustration. 


Our two selves

We have the self that we ARE (what we are doing) vs the self we want to be (our ideal self)

Our work is to love us for where we ARE while moving towards our ideal with compassion and love. 


Led by emotions or led by intention

Often we let our emotions run the show – rather than being led by stress and frustration and anxiety, we need to be led by our personal values. 

Knowing our personal values means we know WHO we want to be and what is important to our core – in this season of life. 

It is also about bringing the work back to what we DO have total control of – ourselves. 


what do we teach them about the pursuit of happiness

Obedient Happy Kids

We ask for obedience and happiness in our kids

It makes it easier when our kids are happy and well-behaved, but is it what we should be fighting for?

We want obedience, plus gratitude, plus happiness, plus agreeability, etc. 

Consider how reasonable it is to expect all of these things from our kids, and see how we might not be good models of all we tell them we need to be. 

Kids learn by seeing what we DO more than they will ever listen to what we SAY

We need to be parents who DO the work on ourselves so they can learn by watching us tackle emotional intelligence, coping and contentment. 


We want our family to be happy (all the time)

What are we seeking when we want everyone to be happy all the time? 

When people around us are happy, it is easy. It is comfortable (a Type 9 mode for sure)

I have been the Manager of Happy, trying to make sure everyone was following the happy plan. It caused a lot of anxiety and strife in my life. 

What is really happening is that we scramble for control when we don’t feel capable. When we don’t feel capable, we focus on CONTROL instead BUT we don’t have control over all these peoples. We only have control over US


enjoying motherhood on purpose

Being a mom on purpose means

  1. we turn off the autopilot
  2. we stop showing up from negative emotions (stress, frustration, low key anger)
  3. we stop beating ourselves up for how we struggle (no more shame!)
  4. we step into INTENTION, even when it is hard
  5. we stop making hard things harder (and being a mom martyr)
  6. we look for ways to enjoy this and be the MOM WE ARE

Step into the empowerment of being a MOM ON PURPOSE even when your kids don’t listen, even if you feel overwhelmed, even if you feel like every day is groundhog day. 

Let’s do the work of being a Mom on Purpose (MOM ON PURPOSE BOOTCAMP)

Products recommended here may include referral links to Amazon. If you click through and buy something I will be compensated at no cost to you. 


 Simple Pleasure of the Week 

(as inspired by Red Light/Green Light from the Popcast with Knox and Jaime)

This week my simple pleasure is the author Isabel Allende – who I consider to be part poet and part researcher

I have read and loved 

Long Petal of the Sea


Daughter of Fortune



Making motherhood harder than it needs to be (Mom Martyr) (Episode 67)

The Hustle for Happiness (Episode 66)

Are You Parenting the Wrong Issue? (Episode 112)  

Life on Purpose Academy 


mom and son playing text says "being a mom, on purpose (it isn't about happy obedient kids)

Full Transcript 

Hey, friends, it’s Shawna, you Nerdy Girlfriend and Life Coach from Simple on Purpose.ca. 

The weekly podcast where I aim to keep every episode under 20 minutes, because I know we’re all moms on the go, you’re probably listening while you’re driving while you’re doing chores while you’re walking. I like to listen to podcasts while I get ready. At the end of the night, when I’m washing my face and brushing my teeth and all that kind of stuff.

So welcome. I’m glad you’re here, at simple on purpose, for those of you who are new, we talk all about the ways that we can simplify our home our hearts and our lives, and show up for our life on purpose. And so today we’re gonna talk about being a mom on purpose.

So first, let me say Happy spring, it was Easter, so I hadn’t worked in like four or five days. And I am really feeling a lack of momentum coming back into it. I had spring break off with the kids. And then we jumped right into Easter, I did not factor this into my work schedule to have the kids home for so long. And the other night, my husband and I were sitting on the couch and I told him how work is just in the back of my mind because it’s been put on the back burner. And you know, when you feel like there’s one area of your life, that’s not how you want it. Everything else just kind of feels Sharky is my friend Rae would say.

And I was just feeling this low level of sharkiness. And I realized that like, I felt like things were falling apart at work. I was switching hosts, I had technical issues, the podcast wasn’t loading, I felt like I was hitting a wall. And I was just spiraling into discouragement. And what is this for? And I know I talked a bit about this in the last episode when I feel like there’s one problem in my life that all I see are problems. And years ago, I would just like ride this spiral. My job is wrong. My home is wrong. My kids are wrong, I am wrong.

And Connor, and I would get into so many arguments in our first half of our marriage. Well, okay, we’ve been together 17 years. So let’s say the first three quarters. And sometimes you would say, it’s all doom and gloom with you. Like I’m a pretty happy person. But when we were fighting, he’s like, it’s all doom and gloom. It’s either perfect or It’s horrible. And I was like, Oh, he’s wrong. But as I watched, it just suddenly watched, I realized he was right.

And I can see how I just spiral into this place very easily.

Now I’m paying attention. I’m seeing that when my brain goes through these really negative places, and all of this, all of us have this. It’s called automatic negative thoughts. Like, the other night when I was talking my kids and my daughter’s eight, She said, Can I tell you something? And I said, Yeah, what is it? She’s like, today, I had some really bad thoughts that came into my head. And she told me what she was thinking. And I asked her if she believed them in her heart. And she said, No, I know those thoughts. Thoughts aren’t true. And so I talked to her about having a problem brain or a danger brain, that our brain thinks a lot of negative things and wants to find a problem. Because it does this so that we can make sure we are doing something about the problems in our life. And I reminded her that we’re the ones listening to our brain, and we need to talk back to it. And so when we have these negative thoughts, and I have them all the time, too. I told her I have thoughts like this. And sometimes I think this is so bad. Well, like how could I think that? Why would that that come up. And instead of getting mad at it or defensive like resisting it, I can just say, Well, I don’t actually believe that.

And this is mindfulness. And people talk about mindfulness like it’s this crisp, clear, bright, serene experience. And it can be if you are being mindful about lovely things, which is a worthy thing. But we also need to be mindful about the rest of our lives, then not so lovely things, the things lurking in our brains and hearts, the stories that we’re believing about how we’re doing it wrong, or they’re doing it wrong, or they don’t care, or this is all too hard.

And we need to pay attention because we start to act on these thoughts. We show up from these thoughts and how they make us feel. So now instead of being the mom, we want to be the mom on purpose. We’re the mom who’s acting from fear and resentment and pessimism and victimhood. And when we’re acting from that place, our outcome is always disconnection and frustration and helplessness. And we know we’re doing this when things just feel off. There’s two selves to us. There’s the self we want to be our ideal self. And there’s what we’re actually doing the self we are. All of that area in between is called cognitive dissonance feels uncomfortable. It’s I know what I want to be doing, but I’m not doing it. And our work as women and people in moms is to accept and love the self we are well moving towards the self. We want to be from a place that feels positive Loving with abundance and hope, because instead we try to use shame and anxiety, real negative motivation to move us there. But that will fizzle out.

So let’s get back to being a mom on purpose. When we are a mom on purpose, we are one being mindful about the stories that we are believing about ourselves and our motherhood. And really our kids too, because we can have a big problem separating the behavior from the child and I talked about that a bit in a recent episode parenting the wrong issue. And number two, we’re being a mom on purpose, when we are choosing to not let our emotions take over and run the show. What are we going to be led by instead, instead of our emotions of the fear of the resentment of the frustration, instead of being led by that, we need to be led by our personal values. So you might hear me say, how do you want to show up and this is what I’m pointing back to our values. So our values are those core qualities like you can feel them deep inside of what’s important to you, and how you are as a person like you feel like you are stepping into integrity, when you are living in line with your values. And we all have different values, it’s worth considering what yours are. This is at the core of almost everything I teach the free worksheets I have on it the life on purpose workbook, the life on purpose roadmap, I do values with every one of my coaching clients, because I want you to know yours, I want you to know what’s important to you, in this season of motherhood, because these are going to be your directives, these are going to be your like lighthouse. So to say, my values for 2021, when I sat down and wrote them out in January, are fun, action and empathy. This is what I want to be led by, not by scarcity, thinking or fear or victimhood, like I have so much in the past, I want to problem solve, I want to plan things I want to respond to things I want to just show up for the fun, the action and the empathy. This is what I want for me. Because here is what is hard for so many of us to see, being a mom on purpose also brings the work back to the only place you have total control up you. You don’t have control over your kids what they think or feel or do like that’s their journey. And if you were like, Yeah, I don’t, I don’t like that idea. I want to have control. I don’t like it either. I was the mom googling all of the ways to get my kids to listen better sit at the table, not fight, you know, just listen to what I tell them the first time, all of that is a version of do what I want them to do when I want them to do it, I want them to do it. Plus, also be happy about it, we because we really think deep down if our kids change, then we get to be happy. So we focus a lot on trying to force change in them. But what what our kids do or don’t do was never the reason we were so unhappy. And when I rely on that I give away my power to these cave people of my children, and how they choose to feel, I give away my power of feeling happy over to them. But here’s the here’s the rub for me. I’m not saying it doesn’t make it easier to be happy when my kids are well behaved. But also think about kind of what we expect from them. And if it’s really worth fighting for at all costs, because think about this, we want obedience from our kids. Plus, they should also be grateful, right. And they should be hard working like don’t have as those chores don’t shove things under the bed. And we want them to have a good attitude, even when things don’t go their way. Like don’t pout if you have to share with your sibling. And they should be agreeable, even when they don’t agree with us. So this is more about like, I want my kids to listen to me, they should be obedient, but also all these other really noble traits. And I just want to gently point out what I’ve learned in myself. We want them to be all of these things. We put a lot of pressure on an unfolding formed human to kind of be the superhuman of grace and grit and humility and positivity, which for one like if you met a person with all of that they’d be a pretty epic person. And let alone expecting a child to be that because for me as an adult with life experience and a fully formed brain, I’m not all of these things. Definitely not all. So if we pay attention to what we are actually showing them, we can see that even we aren’t being very good models of what we think they need to be so like when my kid isn’t being grateful. grumble about it, they should be more grateful, you should be more grateful. And then I’m not being grateful. Or when my kid has a bad attitude, then I’m kind of

grumpy about it. And I nag them about how they need to have a better attitude. When my kid disagrees with me, that feels uncomfortable, I think they should just agree with me. So I start telling them all the reasons why I’m right. Boom, respect is off the table. So maybe this focus of what our kids are too much of or not enough of, or struggling with or lacking. Maybe we can also be mindful about what it looks like in us because we all hear this, but I don’t know if we really believe it that kids learn by seeing what we do more ever than listen to what we say. Like even just think about this in your own life. What habits Have you picked up from your parents, despite what they told you what they taught you with their words? How do you handle money? How do you handle conflict? How do you talk to others? How do you handle stress? Like if we’re parents doing the work in ourselves of being purposeful, and peaceful and positive, well, still allowing for the parts that aren’t positive, the parts that are hard, then it’s like, we have these little apprentices watching us and learning what it looks like. Rather than having parents who need us to obey and be happy because As parents, we think that’s what’s gonna make us happy. Really, I know it makes our life easier, doesn’t it? obedience and happiness from our kids, makes our life easier, but it also glosses over real life.

Because we don’t want blind obedience in our kids. We want them to be obedient, but not blindly obedient. We

want them to grow up to be people who assert themselves stick up for themselves, and others when they know something is wrong. We think we want happiness all the time. And I covered this in Episode 66, the hustle for happiness, we buy into the myth that we should be happy all the time. And if you aren’t, something is wrong with you. What a lie, it pulls us out of doing the work of dealing with the things in our life that aren’t happy are hard. And it puts us into this hustle of keeping everyone happy. And this hustle how we’re trying to just get everyone to be happy all the time. It moves us further away from creating a sustainable and empowered vision of how we show up as a mum, like, I used to think my baby was happy. I was doing it right. And my first baby he was pretty happy with didn’t teach me anything. Then I had a second baby who was never happy. Now what. So if you want to hear more about that, check out Episode 66. I’m going to link that in the show notes. But having that second baby who wasn’t happy when I kind of built up my life around, just don’t stir the pot fly under the radar. It made me realize I’m a type nine on the enneagram By the way, obviously, it made me realize that I was chasing comfort. And when people around me were happy, it was easy. I didn’t have to do much work. And happy. This hustle for happy wasn’t making me a better mom. And it wasn’t helping me teach my kids contentment and emotional intelligence and coping skills. Recently, I was at a bookstore and there was a toddler, a mom and a dad. And there was a conversation happening where it was just the mom talking at the toddler and the toddler was walking around with this person her hand. And the mom was asking her to pick out some books. And the dad kind of said, I’m going to put that purse back. And the mom said she’s in a weird town out of her element. If she wants a $30 purse to make her happy, then she can have it. And the dad kind of walked away. I don’t think he really liked this. And then the daughters, the toddlers, like where did dad go? And the mom kind of shouts towards him. Oh, dad walked away. I don’t know why she wants you to come here. And I’m not saying this to mom shame. Because I had the opposite of judgment towards her. I had compassion. Like, I just wanted to go over and hug her really I just wanted to hug her and be like, it’s gonna be okay. Do you want to go get a coffee? Like, should we go eat lunch together?

I was not there to judge her because I totally get it. Because all I could think was that was me. I just wanted everyone to be happy all the time. I was like a manager directing all the people supplying the goods keep everyone happy. And if they weren’t complying with the happy plan, they got my grief. Because happy meant we were doing it right. It made it easier. But in the chase for happiness, I could see that I was causing a lot of anxiety and myself and my kids and a lot of strife in my marriage. And I really felt like if I can’t figure this out, it’s too hard. And and this is all helpless. So I don’t want to generalize this mom’s experience because I know what it takes to get to this place. She was probably up all night with a toddler in a new place. She’s probably tired, or there’s some really unfun reason why She has to be in this town or she’s just feeling overwhelmed. Like I don’t know. I don’t look at her and say this is a mom who’s controlling. Because I know that the truth is we scramble for control when we feel like we don’t have any. But what’s really happening is we don’t feel capable of dealing with things. And when we feel like we aren’t capable, we focus on control instead of just bringing it back to reminding yourself that I actually don’t have control over all these people, and what they’re thinking and feeling that’s their own world. That’s their own journey. But I do have control over me, being a mom on purpose means we turn off the autopilot. Because our thoughts are on autopilot, we show up with the same assumptions and stories and reactions because they have become habit in our brain. It also means we stop showing up from stress, frustration of low key anchor, I’ve had plenty of that. Mostly because change doesn’t happen here. And it just feels better to let go of that. It also means we stop beating ourselves up with how we struggle over motherhood. We shame ourselves a lot. And we shame our kids because it works. Because it compresses us down and it makes us cower. But that shame also feels like crap. And it keeps us from making changes that are based in love and moving towards something positive. Being a mom on purpose means we step into doing it on purpose, we show up with intention, with mindfulness responsibility with our values, even when it’s hard, we stop making hard things harder. And we look for ways to be more proactive. When we are a victim in motherhood. And as a previous mom martyr, as I talked about in Episode 67, we tell ourselves we’re helpless. And then we stop being responsible with the power we do have. And when we’re a mom on purpose, we look for ways to enjoy this whole experience and we start pouring into the mom we are because you are an awesome Mum, you just need to start letting that shine through again, there are things only you can bring to motherhood. And you are the mom meant for your kids, you are an awesome mom, even if you’ve lost your confidence. Even if you feel so angry, even if you feel stressed all the time. You are the mom for your kids. But let’s honor that part of your journey. It’s felt like a detour. And that has been a lesson that you needed. And now I want to help you step into empowerment, where even if your kids don’t listen, even if you feel overwhelmed by the chores and the crying, if you feel like every day is Groundhog Day, I want you to know how you can still be a mom on purpose. If this is something you’re interested in, in two weeks, we’re going to hold them on purpose boot camp, two days of it, it’s a deep dive. It’s an intensive session with me time support, because we’re doing it for two hours each morning, stopped by the life on purpose academy.ca if you’re interested in that, and as we wrap up, I want to introduce something new called simple pleasures. I listened to the podcast with Knox and Jamie, it’s it’s really funny. And it’s just like pop culture and I don’t have cable or anything. So it’s kind of where I learn about what’s happening in that world. And I’ll listen to it at night. Like I said, while I’m washing my face and flossing my teeth. And at the end of all of their episodes, they share a red light something they’re over their ex saying it and a green light, something they’re loving. And I love that part of their show. So I’m gonna do my own version of that here. I know that different podcasts do this in different ways. But I want to talk about the simple pleasures simple things I’m loving, from recipes to shows too close to products, whatever. And this week I want to talk about an author that I’m loving Isabel Allende. She is poet and part researcher. And she’s a Chilean author and her books are translated often from Spanish to English, but they don’t seem to miss a beat. They’ve got this beautiful language, all without being stuffy. She has a really cool life, too. I read about her in Wikipedia.

And in the 50s and 60s, she had a job translating romance novels from English to Spanish. And she was fired for adjusting the dialogue to make the heroine sound more intelligence. Like I just think she’s awesome. So I recently read, I think it’s her one of her newest books, long pedal of the sea. And it follows a couple who fled Spain in World War Two and immigrated to Chile. Well, World War Two is just starting, but she unpacks so much history like I learned so much. It feels like she has lived all these little details of it. She just takes you into that time. But she also has these beautiful tales of love, and relationships that always make me see things differently. Another book that I had come across, I think like at a thrift store was called daughter a fortune. And I recognized her name so I just picked it up. That was a great book too. It followed a woman as she grows up in Chile, and she follows her last lover to California during the gold rush. I learned so many cool things about the gold rush. I love that one. Okay, so epic love stories that aren’t like total cheeseball and make you want to puke happily ever after fast paced storytelling that’s also poetic in history that makes you feel like you’ve learned something deep and gritty about these areas. And her characters are just so interesting that you will love them. So I’m going to link those books in the show notes. Definitely check her out if you’re looking for something good to read. And if you can’t find the show notes in your podcast player, all you have to do is go to simple on purpose.ca because I’m in canada.ca, click listen and you are going to find all of the episodes, all of the show notes there and many of the episodes will also have transcripts. If you wanted to go back and read them or if you’re kind of like when you like to read those things. Those are there as well. It’s been a pleasure. Have a great week, friends

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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