Do you feel like your life is just putting out one fire after another? It’s hard to have hope when we’re in a constant state of stress. And just think about the image of putting out a fire… it’s stressful. There’s danger!
Learn the two things you can focus on to help you calm this feeling and significantly enjoy your experience of motherhood more!
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Does your life feel chaotic? Do you feel like you’re going from fire to fire throughout the day? We hear this really often in our community as women share with great vulnerability how they feel like they’re always drowning or they never catch up or there’s just this tension in their body all the time. You can feel it right now. Even when I say go from fire to fire, you can imagine what that feels like, Maybe you’re living it right now where we’re helping this kid with something and then that kid and then the grocery store and then dishes and then laundry, and then registering for this thing and picking up soccer cleats, kinda order that thing from Amazon before that person’s birthday, Oh, no. It won’t be here in time. Gotta go to the store. Right? Even as I describe that, I feel tension in my body. Just like, oh, that’s a problem. And today, I wanna talk about how you can live through those same activities, but not call them fires, not feel anxious while you’re doing them.
And I know this is completely possible because this is the transformation that I had in my own life before coaching and after coaching. I would have described my life that way. I would have said it’s so hard. I’m so behind. I’m a terrible mom. I am not keeping up with the house. and I had to learn how to change the words in my mind. Change the language that I was using.
So the other day, I brought someone on. for coaching, and she said, oh, I just keep going from fire to fire. And I said, oh, tell me what a fire is. and I watch her take a breath and think about, oh, what do I mean by fire? And she was even calmer, she began to explain to me, well, it’s this, and it’s that. But even if you just think in your mind, if you tell yourself, I just go from fire to fire. Well, fire is a very scary word, isn’t it? It’s a crisis. Fire means danger. We are like screaming fire.
We need firemen. It is a problem. Instead of saying, my three year old needed me to tie their shoes. My seven year old wanted to ask me a question about whether or not we were going swimming today. and my twelve year old was pouting about having to do the dishes, and all three of them were talking to me at the same time. I don’t love that three people are talking to me at the same time, but it’s not a fire. Now a lot of noise can feel assaulted to your body. Right? So your body can be like, oh, there’s a lot of noise.
There’s probably a fire because Throughout human history, that’s kind of how we’ve been trained. Right? We’ve been trained to listen to a lot of noise and perceive it as danger or to lift our heads up and go, oh, no. What’s wrong? Where is the source of danger? And so when you have a lot of kids or little kids around you all the time creating a lot of noise, it can feel like you are living in a constant state of danger. And I’ve shared this, I think, in one of the recent episodes, but certainly, in our coaching community, I’ve been sharing that I am telling myself very often, you are safe, and you are loved. You are safe, and you are loved. And the other day, we had extra kids over, so we had, I think, 4 extra kids plus my 6 kids to ten kids, and they were all chatting. No one was crying. There wasn’t a problem, but they were all talking to each other, and then 2 of them were trying to talk to me.
So I put my hand up, and I said, hey. Everybody looks at me. And he said, do you notice that for the most part, adults don’t all talk at the same time, and I kept my voice calm as I explained to them. It is very painful to our brains, when there are multiple people talking at the same time, particularly at us. It is why we train our children that when 2 adults are speaking, that they can speak quietly or they must wait to ask us a question. Many of you have heard of this activity, this exercise where a kid puts their hand on you, which means I have a question. you put your hand on them, which means I acknowledge that you have a question. And then when there’s a break in the conversation, you turn to the child and say, yes.
Can I help you? And so we don’t have a straight up, like, you must never talk at all when adults are talking, but we are actively teaching our children. Do you see that these two adults are having a conversation right now? You may speak quietly over there. Right? So we wanna find this balance between what parenting was in the fifties, which is, like, crushing and, like, what you want doesn’t matter and don’t speak and it was a little strong versus like, oh, you just get to have whatever you want, do whatever you want, and interrupt this whenever you want. k? wanna find a balance. And for us, we’ve just kind of landed on this. Please be aware of what’s going on around you, and then you can signal to me that you need something. And we also asked them, like, I want you to think twice, whether this is important right now, because I will tell them often. What you want is important to me.
I want to talk to you about the things that are important, but some things can wait until the evening, when the little boys are sleeping. And so the girls are really beginning to understand that. Like, oh, okay. Not everything. You know? Like, they’ll come bounding up to me like, mom, I wanna talk about my birthday. Like, yes. I love you. I really wanna talk to you about your birthday, but it’s in 3 weeks.
So can we do that tonight when the boys wanna sleep? And I’m explaining some of these kinds of parenting strategies that we’re trying out so you can see how I’m problem solving actual behavior of the children. I’m not just, in my mind, letting them act however they want and then telling myself oh, this is fine. This shouldn’t bother you. You’re loved. You’re safe. Right? It’s a 2 pronged strategy of managing your mind and not calling everything a fire. but then also helping the kids to learn skills, it is a skill to read the room. I love that phrase. Just read the room right now and notice, like, okay.
This kiddo is the other day. The other day, one of my kids threw up. I was just a little thrilled, but it wasn’t. He got in the bowl, praised you, and one other kid came up to me. He was like, And just like starts asking me about what we’re having for dinner. And I said, hey. Hey. When someone throws up, everything stops until we make sure that person is okay.
And I was calm, so I said it calmly, and I was only able to do that because I’ve been practicing this for a few years now. Because previously, I would have been like, why are you asking me that? Can’t you see that this other thing is going on? But now I know. Oh, this kid doesn’t have the skill of reading the room. So I’m gonna tell him, oh, hey. Did you know that when someone throws up, everything stops until we make sure the person is okay. We make sure they’re safe and they have what they need. And when I am done with him, I will come talk to you. And so part of why I don’t call everything a fire anymore is because I really like focusing on oh, what is the skill lacking here? There’s just a skill that’s lacking, and I do it myself too.
Right? Because there are things that you wish you were doing. behaviors you wish you had that you’re not doing consistently, and it’s just a skill that needs to be practiced. So if you find that your life feels like chaos, and you’re going from fire to fire, I want to give you some help. It does not have to be like that. My life is so full now, and we often have more kids. My husband just went on a 1 night camping trip. and he came back with 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 other kids. from 3 families, 2 kids each from 3 families, brings them back, which is totally fine with me.
And so then we just had twelve kids. And we have a magical property with ziplines and a trampoline and a pool, and it’s very fun, and we love having children over. And I know that that’s gonna increase the noise, but I know how to manage my mind around that. I know how to say, okay. There’s gonna be a lot of people here, as soon as I saw all of those kids, I thought, okay. This is probably gonna be a more intense 5 hours than I thought I was going to have. Not a problem. What do I need to do this evening to repair and recover? Maybe I’ll read a book, maybe I’ll take a bath.
Maybe I’ll ask my husband if I can leave and go sit at a coffee shop for a little bit. Alright. So I think another reason why it feels like fire to fire is because we are never taking care of ourselves. We’re never recovering. So imagine if there really was a fire, you would gather all this cortisol and energy and people, and you would go fight the fire and then you’d be exhausted, and you would come home and you would like to sleep, drink lots of water, and not do anything for a couple days probably. But instead in our mind, we’re living this fire to fire to fire, and then we’re not recovering and taking care of ourselves. So the first step is having hope. That is the first step is just making a crack in your heart or a crack in your brain to go, what if it’s true that I don’t have to live like this? And that is really hard. I want you to know when you are underwater or when you’re in the darkness.
It is really hard to reach for that first flicker of light. I think praying for the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom or inspiration or the gift of knowledge corresponds with the virtue of hope. And saying, lord, I just feel like I’m in the darkness. I wanna see your light. The first step is hope. If you do not have hope, you will not take action that improves your life. And so then from hope, like, oh, I wonder if this could be better. Then you’re gonna start problem solving, and I think you need to problem solve in two ways. 1, I think you need to take better care of yourself by learning how your mind and your body work.
That is a job. Those are skills. We were not born intuitively knowing how to manage our negative thinking and take care of our body probably in the Garden of Eden, we had everything we needed to do that. Okay? But you were born in America in the 21st century, And so the world has really, really rewired your brain and made it very hard for you to listen to your body. k? So I don’t want you to think anything is wrong with you. You just live in an environment that has made those natural signals really hard to hear, but it is totally possible to learn about your mind and your body. Okay. So gotta take care of you.
and then you wanna problem solve the things in your life. You wanna solve them. Like, if you had a job, Let’s say that you worked at a book publishing company. That sounds so romantic to me. Let’s all go work at a book publishing company. I’m sure that it’s not. But in my mind, it is. like, there are people who read the manuscripts, and then books are chosen, and then covers our design, and then launches are planned.
And then they release the book, and then they’re paying attention to the charts. They’re booking that author on a speaking tour so cool, all these all these things. k? But that job, you know, just like all jobs, is about problem solving. They’re like, the first problem is which manuscripts? Do we choose? How do we say no? How do we say yes? What’s our process for onboarding an author? you know they had to do that poorly until they figured that out. And then at each step of the, you know, book publishing process, it’s just a problem call me. And you know whatever they were doing 10 years ago isn’t working right now. I don’t even have to be in the book publishing industry to know that, that they’re like, oh, it’s different. People consume information differently.
The way we launch and promote authors is totally different now. And so they’re constantly problem solving. And just like moms, there are people in those jobs who say, I go from fire to fire from problem to problem, and they live with anxious energy in their body. And then there are other people who say, I love the pace of this job. I love solving problems. It’s so interesting. It’s so fun. I’m so good at it.
And what they mean is that they are good at solving problems because the problems always change. And it doesn’t mean that encountering a problem doesn’t create discomfort. It always does. It’s never like we’re floating on a cloud like, oh, I love this problem. Right? But when we add resistance or guilt or shame on top of a problem, it feels bigger and now we’re calling it a fire. Right? Now we’re calling it a fire. Instead, we’ll go back to motherhood just being like yeah, this is just one of those parenting milestones. This is what this kid needs right now.
This is a parenting problem I’m solving. This is a house problem that I’m solving. This is a financial problem that we’re solving. When we have acceptance of these challenges in these obstacles that God puts in front of us and we’re not resisting them, Right? because a fire shouldn’t be happening. Right? When there’s a fire in a house, it’s a problem. It shouldn’t be happening. We gotta put it out. But your children should misbehave.
Right? God designed the family unit to be a place to grow in virtue. So your children absolutely should be misbehaving in your house and sinning and living advice as you train them to live with virtue. That is absolutely the purpose of your home. Right? Our job as parents is to know love and serve the lord, and then teach our children to do the same. And so learning virtue and struggling with it, and practicing it is their work, and it is your work too. and it is not a fire. And so that is the mindset piece, the working on your thoughts, the accepting of what’s in front of you, and then the second piece is problem solving. And I’m just telling you there are so many ways to solve your problems.
So we just did the cool workshop. Gosh. Was that last week? I joined 2 weeks ago. and it was fantastic. And so many women came, and I taught all these tools for managing your mind, connecting with the Lord, and then problem And so we talked a lot about practical things like meal planning and wet towels and sassy teenagers, just real things that moms struggle with. And a lot of times, someone would ask me a question, and I would say, yeah. Go put that on Pinterest. And I didn’t say that to be dismissive or to not have to answer the question, but I wanted to train them.
That is a very easy problem to solve. You’re gonna go to Pinterest and put it in. and pick something, and I said, but the real issue is that you guys aren’t putting problem solving research on your calendar. So even if we do problem solving research, a lot of time we’re doing it for being totally freaked out. Like, what? It’s terrible that I’m a bad mom and everything’s on fire, and then we’re doing research. But how well do you think you research when you’re in that place? Not very well. But instead, if you just say, like, okay. You know, I’ve got a kiddo, and he’s hitting a lot.
I wonder how parents deal with a kid who hits a lot. I’m gonna put 30 minutes on my calendar, Saturday morning, Sunday afternoon, I’m gonna sit down on my computer with the intention of researching kiddo hitting a lot. That’s it. But when your mind is right about your job as a mom, You drop into your natural intuition of solving problems. You know what your kids need, and you know where to go to find the information. And I have lived through several of my friends having very complex medical issues either with themselves or with their kids. And I always say, okay. But you know what to try next because it can feel really discouraging when we’ve been trying to solve a problem for a long time.
We feel deflated, and we wanna give up. And I’m like, I know. That does feel terrible. I want you to trust the lord. and ask yourself, what’s the next thing that we need to try? And so if you find yourself, living in chaos, going from fire to fire to fire, I want to invite you to come join our Catholic mom community. and that workshop is in there, and I think it should be the very first thing that you do. and after only 3 hours, you will know how to manage your thinking. how to connect with the lord to find out what he wants you to do for your family, and how to problem solve better than you are right now.
I wish I could give every Catholic mom the gift of those 3 skills, and they are just skills, and you can begin to practice them. And then when unexpected things happen, when humans are human in your house, you can just roll with it. You’re gonna have the presence of mind to calmly say, let me teach you guys something right now. Let me show you how to read the room. Let me show you what it looks like to be polite and thoughtful. And let me tell you when you start living as a mom like that, you will feel so proud. There’s just a rightness to it. You’re like, yes.
this is how I wanna show up, and I don’t show up like that 100% of the time, but it is radically more. than I used to, and I’m so proud of that. And I wanna do that in other areas of my life where I wanna identify skills that I don’t have or have well. I wanna practice them, and I think this is what it looks like to become saints, to become the best versions of ourselves, to grow in virtue. And I think we can let God and the Holy Spirit guide where we should be growing. It should be a prayerful process to say, lord. What do you want me to be learning? What do you want these kids to be learning? And he will tell you, he will. You have a natural gift for knowing what your home needs, what your family needs. I hope This episode gives you hope.
It’s the first step. Just a crack to believe. What if it’s possible? Thank you so much for listening, and remember you were Made for Greatness.