This is a Q+A episode featuring questions from the Simple Squad (the Simple on Purpose Facebook Community). We are talking about feelings, marriage, seasons of life, parenting and family chores.
These answers are coming at you from my life coaching point of view. I am a mom of three kids, trained Life Coach, practical minimalist, and I help moms with intentional living.
Questions covered in this episode:
1. Can you talk about the seasons of life and how we can’t do certain things at certain seasons?
Related posts with more information on this topic
2. How do I change my parenting style when my husband is not on board or how can I get him on board…?
Related posts with more information on this topic:
- When your spouse doesn’t want to declutter
- Teaching our kids emotional intelligence
- Emotional Intelligence 101 (and by Enneagram Type)
- Book review: Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child
3. Meeting adult friends when you have little kids
Related posts with more information on this topic:
4. How to choose your feelings (eg. when you are annoyed at your husband but want to feel kind)?
Related posts with more information on this topic:
- Being mindful in marriage
- Working through a bad mood with one question
- My husband put the groceries away wrong, he doesn’t care about me
- Myths about emotion coaching
- Tolerating tough emotions in ourselves and our kids
5. What is a good system for taking turns with family chores and duties?
Related posts with more information on this topic:
6. How to handle bullying in school?
For those of you who are new here I am Shawna, I am a mom of three kids, they are 10, nine and going to be seven soon. I am a practical minimalist. So we have stuff in our house, but it’s the stuff we like the best. I talk about intentional living, which means turning off that autopilot, and planning and doing things on purpose, to build the life you want on purpose. I also talk about simple living, which means managing our resources or time or space, or energy or money working on that one in ways that are in line with our values instead of trying to do all of the things do the important things, and you get to decide what’s important. Today, I’m going to be answering some questions. So I often make myself a calendar of all the episodes I want to record over the next few months and share. And sometimes I look at a topic and I’m like I don’t really feel like talking about. So this is one of those weeks, and I asked with a Facebook group, the simple on purpose community there. I call them the simple squad. I asked them for some topics that they would like to hear about, and they just had some really great topics that I thought I’m going to try and just answer them all in one episode. So I’m going to give my best nerdy girlfriend and life coach answer to these questions. And if at the end, you feel like you have more questions or thoughts or want more clarity, bring it over to the Facebook group.
The first topic is to reflect on the seasons of life, and how sometimes you’re not able to do certain things in certain times, I really like to consider my life as being a series of seasons, because that helps ease up the pressure of feeling like it’s gonna be like this forever. I remember when I had my first baby, and I’m like, in my house code on the couch, and I thought, I’m just gonna live on my couch forever, I’m going to become my coach, the coach is going to swallow me, I’ll be like another coach. This is my life now. So I really like to step back from all of that mental drama, and remind myself like, it’s not gonna be like this forever. I think of some of the seasons I had have had in my life, there was nursing newborns where you’re really tied to a baby and your clothes have to be certain clothes. Like you have to carry certain things all the time, toddlers who need two naps a day and you plan activities around that or having to just follow small kids inside outside wherever you take them to make sure they don’t choke on things or you know, fall down things. having kids in preschool and getting that little bit of time. Like, even in my short parenting career, it seems like every year has been a bit different in what it requires for me and what it offers me. So I really like to look at things in seasons, what season Are you in right now? I feel like when we look at seasons, it can ease up on the pressure of setting priorities in our life, because that’s what life management is right? prioritizing. Your resource is what gets your energy and attention and your time and your space and your money. What do you want to be showing up for right now? I think COVID taught us a lot about priorities. Because when we are faced with a lot of options and what we can do with school in our day in our activities, it’s really hard to prioritize, and COVID reduced those options we homeschooled we were at home, there was nowhere else to be. And now that things are opening up and options present themselves, we need to go back to that skill of prioritizing. And it is a skill it does take practice. I feel like I should do a whole episode on prioritizing. What I want you to take away from this is that when you consider that there are seasons to life, I want you to feel empowered, and not like a victim of that season. I want you to look at the options that are on or off your table and practice prioritizing with what’s left it’s all a great lesson in prioritizing with what’s available to you. So when I’m at home with toddlers, when I have a newborn when my kids start going to school, this is me doing the work of saying what are my options here? What are our priorities and being all in on that. And you know what else I really love that it’s the long game. It’s not like I have to do all the things every day, every week, every month every year, some seasons of my life, I focus more on my health some seasons, I focus more on being at home like this summer I focus less on health and more on being a mom and being doing family activities. Some seasons, I focus more on the home. So just when you give yourself that longer version picture of life, you can have more balance in it. And you can set priorities and practice different priorities. And viewing your life and seasons just takes a lot of the pressure of you to do all the things all of the time. I also talked a little bit about that in the last episode about expectation overwhelm, if that’s helpful for you go check that one out to the next question is
I’m working on being a better parent in Doing less yelling. I’ve been listening to your podcast, reading, raising an emotionally intelligent child great book. I’m struggling to be consistent as my husband is not reading the book. And I’ve asked him to do it with me, he tends to yell or be annoyed with the kids. And it frustrates me. How do I change my parenting style when my husband is not on board? or How can I get him on board? is a great question. What do I do when my husband is not on board? So let’s not focus on how do I get him on board, let’s talk about what we can do when our partner is not on board. Because when we are making a change, no matter what that changes, we want others around us to support us to mirror us, we might even tell ourselves, it’s all for nothing if they don’t, or we might even tell ourselves have different we are now that they’re not making the change. And I’m making this change and look how different we’re going different directions. And it’s no wonder you don’t feel like you’re on the same page. So you can think all of these things, if you like, you can think that he has to be all in for this to work, he has to be all in for us to be on the same page, you can think those, but I don’t find them helpful. I feel like it starts to make his team and my team instead of as both being different members of the same team. I’ll say for us, my husband does an emotion coach our kids. And it isn’t for lack of conversation, because I’ve held many coach TED talks that he didn’t ask for on emotion coaching. And he nods along, and he agrees with it. But he doesn’t do it. So here’s how I choose to look at it. I do what feels right and in line with my values as a parent, and he’s doing the same thing. He has different values, different things feel right for him. So who is right and who’s wrong. Neither of us, both of us. Something that’s also been freeing to me is I think God gave our kids the two of us. And we both bring something different to the table. And I want to view that as a gift at giving our kids more experience about the different ways that people can be in the different approaches people can take to life. If my kids are upset, they know I’m here for empathy and support. They know dad is here to help them have fun and brushed it off. And I think there’s a place for both. They know that we’re both going to show up differently on the same issue. And I could tell myself that we can’t parent properly if we’re not doing the same thing. Or I can tell myself that we’re both showing up in the way that we feel is best. And I can look for the good in that I can look at it offers our kids, two totally different experiences. And they can have both experiences, they can learn both approaches to dealing with problems. The idea that we need to be parenting the same for it to work, we need to be a united front a united team. That’s one that we hear a lot about, well, what does that mean? Like? How can we get really specific on how we want to apply that in our family in our relationship? For us, we apply it to the big rules, we talk about the big rules together, we have the same expectations for these big rules. But then there’s a lot of little things in between that we handle differently. We Conor and I handled chores differently from one another, we handled discipline differently from one another. And I don’t want to view that as a detriment or us not being on the same page or a reason to disconnect, I would just encourage you, if you’re in the situation to keep focusing on the change that you want to make in parenting or in life at all. Because that’s what you value. That’s what feels right to you, and give your partner the same space to do that journey on their own. I’ve found that as I do this kind of work in the various parts of my life, my partner sees the benefits of it, and maybe they start to try it out, maybe they will think that it’s a good idea to maybe they won’t think it’s a good idea, maybe they’ll think it’s a good idea. And they’re just happy I’m doing. But we need to respect them as a member of the team who has a different approach. And look for the value in that because real talk, we can’t force change from shame. We can’t convince them, we can’t nag them, we can’t shame them. It can be effective, but it’s not empowering. And the more our partner feels like we want to change them, the more disconnected our whole marriage becomes. So I choose to think things that are going to make me feel like we’re on a team and I look for the ways that that is true for us. Even if we do things differently. We’re still on the same team. I talked a little bit more about this in Episode 72. When your spouse doesn’t want to declutter, if you feel like you want to dig a little bit more into the mindset of this, check out that episode.
The next question is making and meeting adult friends with little kids. Not it’s not a question. So I’m just going to speak generally about this. And this is my general advice to how I would approach this. The first thing that I would recommend is ask how you feel about meeting out friends with little kids. How do you feel about that scenario? Does it overwhelm you? Do you feel nervous or pessimistic? And then consider why you feel that way? What do you tell yourself about it? Maybe you tell yourself, it’s hard, there’s no time, I don’t know where to meet them, they have to have kids the same age they have to parent like me. So whatever story you have, and whatever feelings you have, is going to change how you approach meeting friends. So I just want you to be on to the story and the emotion that are running in the background on autopilot. Because if you think it’s so hard, you don’t look for ways it could be simple or easy. I do this all the time. By the way, I catch myself saying like, I feel like this could be way more simpler than I’m making it.
If you think you don’t know where to meet people, then you really close yourself off to seeing all of the options that are possible. If you were putting conditions on who that ideal friend is, then you close yourself off to a lot of opportunities that are right in front of you. So this is just to do the work of loosening up those stories and look for ways to approach it with more lightness and more openness. The other thing that I would encourage you to do is to be willing to be open to extending friendship to a lot of people, because not all of the people you meet out there are going to be that friend match. You might meet friends, but you know, like, those deep friendships that can take time, in willingness to keep putting yourself out there, extend invites, ask for numbers meet for a park date, have them over for coffee, I feel like I can only say this. Because this was my situation. I moved to a brand new town, like eight months pregnant with my first baby, I was leaving my job, at least for the time being. And anybody would look at that situation and think it’s gonna be really hard. She’s going to be alone with a baby. She’s not working. She doesn’t know anybody. But I will tell you from putting myself out there from saying yes, and and really, I prayed over this, I prayed over the friendships, I would have that I have made the best friends of my life in these past 10 years. So I say that because I believe it’s possible. And if you have a more specific question on that topic, when it comes to friendships, bring that into the Facebook group.
The next question is on choosing your feelings with the particular example of if my husband is doing something and I am annoyed, but want to feel kind instead, how do I choose my feelings. And I was recently coaching someone who said I wished I learned this sooner that I can choose how I feel. And I totally felt the same way when I realized I don’t have to think whatever pops into my head. I don’t have to believe that feelings that it causes. I don’t have to believe that my husband doesn’t care about me when he puts the groceries away wrong, and then feel disconnected and unappreciated. I’m allowed to challenge that. If you want to hear more about that specific.
That specific example, actually, my husband put the groceries away wrong, and he doesn’t care about me. That is Episode 62.
But I want to disclaim right here when we talk about choosing our feelings. This isn’t about positive affirmations, always thinking the best. Because sometimes we don’t want to push on happy when we actually feel sad. Sometimes sad things happen. And we need to feel sad. And I also want to disclaim here that if you feel like your feelings are bigger than you, that does not mean you are too weak or something is wrong with you. If you feel like I just don’t know how to choose my feelings, because feelings are meant to be felt guys, they exist for a reason. But we’re conditioned by society and ourselves to view feelings as a problem. But that feeling is there to tell us something. So let’s spend more time thinking about what that feeling is trying to teach us and less time trying to fight the feeling. Okay, so how do you choose your feelings, your feelings are created from your thoughts. This is the cognitive behavioral therapy model, this is the foundation that I coach with. So when I think my kids are so much work, I feel overwhelmed. If I decide to think there’s so much work, but I got this, I feel capable. That’s an example of choosing your feelings. And I will say this, it sounds simple. But it’s not easy. It takes work to understand the Thought and Feeling pattern you’re already in. It takes practice to learn new thoughts you can use to see the bigger picture to bridge your way up to what feels really positive from where you are what feels negative. So one suggestion that I would make if you want to start working on this is to ask What are you thinking right now that causes the feeling of annoyance in this example? Are you thinking he shouldn’t be doing that? He’s childish. He should do it this way. And then just step outside that box because that box is judgment. That box is looking at the checklist you have for him to be living by. And we have checklists for everyone in our lives that we want them to live by. But the people closest to us challenge the rules that we have for them. This is why we’re so annoyed. So we need to kind of step back and challenge our own checklist. I think he shouldn’t be doing that thing. I think he’s childish. Am I wrong? Could I be wrong. I think we could spend a lot of time on this question. And I think all the wives listening are nodding along, that this is an issue we all have. So I just really first want to commend you for recognizing that you want to use your agency so that you can choose what you’re thinking and feeling and owning how you’re showing up owning the stories. You tell yourself the stories you’re believing. To me, this is a practice I do everyday, I get salty, with my husband all the time. And I need to constantly check in with myself, What stories Am I telling myself? What is my checklist? How can I love beyond this checklist of rules right now? So I would start there, feel free to let me know how that goes in the Facebook group.
We have two questions left.
The next one is what is a good system for taking turns with family chores and duties? So here’s the answer we all hate to hear. But it’s true. What’s the good system, the good system is the one your family decides is good. There’s no right and wrong way to handle chores in a family. Some families have a chore chart, some kids are paid per chore. Some kids have no chores. Some parents share the workload some don’t. What system is the right one, you get to decide now how to decide. I’ll tell you what we did with our kids. We started Saturday morning chores, if you want to hear about that. That’s Episode 61. And on Saturday mornings, they clean their room, plus one other chore. And that second chore that they do is a chore that we say hey, here’s what needs to be done. Which one do you want to do. And then over time, we’ve added is just arbitrary rules we make up as we go. They turn nine and they get a second turn that week. Same thing we decide together, here’s the things that could be done which one you want to do. And then every year after that, they get another chore that week. So my daughter who just turned nine, she’s got Saturday morning chores, and then she takes up the trash cans on trash day. My older son who’s 10, he does two extra chores in the week he does dishes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. He recently told me that he regrets picking just dishes. So he might pick a different chore for one of those days. We also as a family just do a cleanup of the table of the living room. Like if we’re about to eat dinner. All right, everybody, come grab your stuff off the table. If you leave it here, I’m throwing it away kind of thing. Not in a mean way, but they know I’m serious. And we’ll put a song on and just like get that done in three minutes. My biggest recommendation is to include your kids. Sit down as a family asked for their ideas. Ask them how they can see themselves pitching in, ask what chores they think they would be doing. Use a reward system if you want. For years, we had sticker charts and my kids would do additional chores to earn the stickers, the stickers were good to reward. Usually they pick candy or screentime. And when they fill out a whole sheet where they were King for a day or queen for a day. And there’s people who say don’t do a reward start, there’s people who say do it, we had a good experience with it. But I think the most important thing is involving your kids in the decisions on what gets done. being consistent with it like doing the work of making it a routine. And I think most important of all, don’t we get so heavy and serious. There’s a little bit more detail on that approach in that episode 61 about chores.
The last question is how to teach your kids how to handle bullying at school and the tough topics they’re exposed to in life. And I really feel unqualified to answer this from any professional point of view. I’m not a child psychologist, I don’t work in schools like I don’t know, really what current like way that people are teaching kids this. But I do know they do a great job in our elementary school of teaching it and it still happens on bullying still happens. From my view as a parent, it’s a conversation we just keep having looking forward to talking about it. How do you think you would handle it? How do you want to handle it? My young, my younger kids, I can say walk away and go play with the people that you feel safe with. Go play with the people you feel like you can be yourself around. Now, I also know my kids aren’t always innocent. So sometimes I have to really listen hard to hear how they react to someone or how they’re treating someone who they tell me is mean to them. Because it’s so natural that we mere people, especially when they’re younger, and someone’s mean to you in class, you start being mean back. So I really want them to be responsible as well for how they show up to and I don’t want it to be a shaming experience. But just to remind them that it matters just as much how you show up. And I really want to take the pressure off of making them the ideal friend for other people because I think even adults screw it up. I know they’re gonna make mistakes. I know, they’ll get hurt and they’re gonna hurt people. And I just as a parent, like I want to keep walking them through that, like it matters how you show up. It matters how you’re treating this person. It matters how you’re setting boundaries, and keep having those conversations. Some kids need more boundaries. Some kids need to take more responsibility. Each kid is different and so really handling it on the kid by kid basis. I hope that’s been helpful for you guys.
I love sharing this podcast with you every week I told you on Instagram that I was out on an extended coffee break procrastinating recording is something I always procrastinate on because I know I’ve just like signed myself up for like an hour recording and editing and show notes. So, but I get it done because I love sharing this with you guys I love hearing from you. If you have something you want to say about this podcast, please leave it in a review on iTunes. Leaving a rating and review on iTunes increases the likelihood that iTunes will show this podcast to other people when they search for similar topics. So ratings and reviews just are street cred for podcasters Plus, I love reading them I love to hear what you’re getting from it. I love to see your names so I know who’s out there listening. So when you are done listening to this scroll down on your phone and click leave a review. Alright guys have a great evening.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai