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A beautiful way to live in the world is to look for Holy Spirit sparkles. The Lord gives you clues every day that He is with you and that He loves you. When you look out for these clues, you find them and makes life feel so much better.
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Welcome. Today, we are talking about back to school stuff. And for those of you whose kids don’t go back to school until September. You can just bookmark this and listen to it later, or you can absorb it right now and give yourself more time to plan. But I know that some kids are already almost back to school, which is crazy to me, just because we tend to start school after Labor Day. But I wanted to give you some tools to help you go back to school with more peace. So let me tell you why in general, we don’t have peace when we’re going back to school. And this is just true whether you’re homeschooling your kids or sending them to school.
It doesn’t matter what kind of schooling system you’re choosing, these four things are probably why you don’t have peace right now, why you’re freaked out, why you feel stressed, why you feel anxious, Right? When we think about going back to school, it feels like there’s a weight on us or something kind of chasing us. And we’re like, oh, there’s so much to do, and I have to remember all of these things. And so I’m gonna tell you why you’re feeling like that and what you can do to come back to peace. So number 1. you think it shouldn’t feel like this. You think it shouldn’t be hard. No matter how many times we’ve done this, we’re kind of surprised that transitioning from summer to fall, from playtime to school time is difficult. I think, especially because we’ve done it so many times, we think, well, I’ve done it, so it probably will be smoother this year.
And so it kinda catches us off guard. And we’ve talked about this a lot on this podcast, this concept of resisting what is. Resisting what it is is like looking at the situation saying, well, it shouldn’t be like that. And when you think this, when you think, it shouldn’t be hard to go back to school. This shouldn’t be so difficult. How does that feel in your body? frustration. Maybe shame. Maybe you think, oh, it’s probably easier for her, but not for me.
And so it feels terrible. And then from that feeling of stress, frustration, shame, you will show up poorly in your life. You’ll either ignore what needs to happen. You’ll be snappy at your husband or your kids. You’ll just show up not as your best self. And then you will make it even harder on yourself to move through this transition. Right? And so I love how Matthew Kelly says. People love change, but we hate transition.
And so if you just knew that you were in the transition and it was supposed to be uncomfortable and it’s supposed to feel bad, then it wouldn’t be so hard to deal with. and you would know that there’s gonna be an end. Right? So you just begin to coach yourself in your mind, like, oh, yeah. transitioning from summer to school is uncomfortable. It’s not my favorite thing, but we can do it. This is not a problem. Nothing has gone wrong. Right? It would be like if you were moving and you were packing the boxes to move to a new house and you were just surprised that you had to pack the boxes and move to the new house and that packing boxes wasn’t fun.
But most of us have a deep level of acceptance of, hey, if I want to move, I’m gonna have to pack the boxes, and it’s not gonna be fun. Alright? We have an acceptance over that transition state. And so I just want you to know that there’s the same thing about transitioning from summer to school. There’s gonna be all these steps, all these things that need to happen, decisions that need to be made, perhaps things that need to be purchased, and that transition is going to be uncomfortable. Okay? So the more you can just accept that and love yourself through it, the better your back to school experience is gonna be. Okay. Second reason. you think the stakes are high.
You think making the choice of what schooling you’re doing altogether is very important. You think which class’s subject curriculum that you choose is very important. you think getting the right school supplies is very important, either for your kiddo or for some other reason, Like, your brain is just looking at all these decisions, and it’s like, hey, you better make the best decisions because if you don’t make the best decisions, something really, really bad is going to happen. How many of you feel stressed just thinking about that? Like, oh, the stakes are really high. I’ve gotta get this right. It’s just completely normal for your brain to do that. Your brain is designed to predict danger, to predict future pain. And so it’s just saying, Hey if we don’t make the best decision or an ideal situation, it might cause pain in the future, but it is kind of confusing about how big of a deal this is. Because if your brain isn’t managed, if you’re just letting the thought run through your mind without slowing down and looking at them.
And it thinks, oh, we’ve got to make the right decision. about school. Otherwise, something really bad will happen, you’ll just allow that foreboding feeling, that feeling of pressure in your body. And right now, I want you to just think about what do you do? What’s your go to stress response when you feel fear and pressure? Do you get upset? Do you get angry? Do you numb yourself out? Are you scrolling on your phone? Do you avoid it? Are you one of those who put your head in the sand? Kind of moms? Do you over analyze? Are you a perfectionist? Are we making tons of lists and buying all the things? Like, what do you do when you feel the feeling of fear or pressure to get something right? But here’s the solution to this. The solution is to talk to your brain and be like, hey, brain. I love you.
Thanks for trying to keep me safe. Let’s just explore what something really bad will happen means. Okay. And let’s say you’re making the biggest choice of all, which is, you know, homeschool to kids, public school, private school. In general, those are the options. What would happen if you chose the wrong option? What would happen if you made a choice And then later, you’re like, you know what? That is probably not the ideal choice for our family, and I’m gonna change my mind. Well, what happened? Because your brand’s like, we’ll probably die, though. That’s how it feels.
That’s how high stakes it feels. And I want you just to talk your brain through that. Like, yeah, it would be uncomfortable. It would be unfortunate. We might lose some money. I might feel embarrassed. It’s embarrassing to change our mind sometimes. My kid might be upset, my husband might be upset, But as you talk through what would really happen, you can show your brain, hey, this is not a high stakes situation.
This is not a hostage negotiation where someone might die. I need you to simmer down my friend. Okay. Come back down. I love you. This is okay. when you think it’s a high stakes situation, you will have a strong emotional stress response and you lose access to the problem solving part of your brain. And it’s not all or nothing.
It’s a scale, so it’s like the more stressed that you are, the less access you have to the problem solving part of your brain. So, of course, If you’re feeling really overwhelmed that the stakes are really high, you’re probably not being a great problem solver. You might be making decisions from fear or scarcity. You may not even be making the best decision for your family because you’re so freaked out that your brain and its loving goodness is like, I need to shut off some of the brain functions because you are not safe right now. so I’m just gonna give you these really basic ones so that you can get to safety because it thinks your schooling decision is high stakes, like being chased by a predator and you might die. So your job is to bring your brain back and be like, you know what? It’s fine. I trust myself. I trust my kid.
I trust the holy spirit to move me to know what this kid needs and what’s best for our family, and I can change my mind. And as you’re making all of these decisions about school, I want you to think about why they’re even important at all. The answer I hear the most often in our community is, will I want them to have a good education? And that sounds like such a lovely answer, but I want you to force yourself to explain what that means. What is a good education? We can’t even agree on that as a country right now. Right? Like, we can’t agree right now on what we think students need to learn by the time they’re 18. And the technology is changing so quickly that we just also don’t know. And so I want you to just answer for yourself.
Why does this feel like such a big deal? and talk yourself through it until you just realize that god is with you. You can handle this. Nothing is set in stone and you can change your mind, and you can trust him to lead you and your children through whatever experience they need to have happen in order to become saints. That’s actually the high stakes game that we’re playing. Right? It’s not school. It’s Sainthood. And school will be part of that. and you just get to decide how you wanna navigate school as part of that Saint Hood journey.
And I suggest doing it with the lord. One of the other things that happens when we’re in a high stakes situation is that we don’t slow down enough to pray and really just turn what God is asking of us. But when you slow down, when you calm your brain down and you say, hey, this is not high stakes, and you invite the Lord in, things get a lot more clear. Okay? So the third one is that you’re actually making all of your decisions and your plans from a stress state. Okay. And so like we talked about, you thinking it’s a high stakes situation is creating stress, and then you’re planning from that state. You’re making your to-do list. You’re buying your curriculum.
You’re talking to all your friends. You’re picking the teachers. all these things from a stress state. And like we said, you do not have access to all of your problem solving brain, your rational analytical brain when you are stressed out. She got to calm your brain down. And I do that by doing steps 1 and 2 by being like, oh, this is supposed to be uncomfortable, brain. Nothing has gone wrong. I’m not in danger.
It’s just uncomfortable to transition. from 1 season to the next. And then 2, this isn’t a high stakes situation. Come back to me, Brain. So just recognize when your body feels stressed out. Okay? You’re breathing quickly. Your heart rate is up. Maybe you’re flush, maybe you’re sweating, maybe you feel paralyzed, maybe you feel really twitchy and anxious or snappy, Right? If I find that I’m kinda snappy, that’s such a red flag to me to be like, woah.
Hey, Sterling. What’s going on? You seem stressed right now. You’re not normally snappy. What’s going on? And you wanna calm yourself down. Okay. So number 4 is you’re looking to the culture instead of god for what you should be doing. And we mentioned that just briefly, but if you’re in a stress state because you know, your, like, transition shouldn’t be hard, and this is really high stakes, you’re probably not praying. You’re probably not going through a discernment process.
And when I say that you’re looking at the culture, I don’t necessarily mean the kind of the broad and toxic culture that we’re seeing in, especially in schools, it could just even be your traditional Catholic mom culture. You’re looking at what the other moms are doing and you’re letting that drive your decision. It can inform your decision. I love crowdsourcing things. I love saying, you know, what are you guys using for your math curriculum? And I love getting opinions, but then I want to sit with the lord and think about my kid, my personality, my time, our lifestyle, our family values, and make a decision that the Holy Spirit leads me to. It’s just so easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing. And that’s just true no matter what schooling option you choose. When you look around and you see a large group of people, especially ones that you admire choosing something, you will feel an internal pressure to choose that.
Your brain’s default programming says, go with the flow. Do what everyone else is doing. That is safer. Okay? But it’s kinda outdated programming because not making the same schooling decision even as your friends is not going to harm your body. It’s not going to kill you. They’re not gonna kick you out of the Catholic mom club. and then you’d starve because you had no friends. Right? Your brain is just being a little dramatic about social norms.
And we just want the Holy Spirit to drive our decisions. And so Get with your husband, get with the lord. Sometimes I pray first, and then I talk to my husband, sometimes talk to my husband, then I pray. Sometimes we pray together. Right? But then you guys with God in the center are gonna make the decision about your family. And remember, it’s not high stakes because you can change your mind. This is just what we’re trying right now. And being a woman who makes decisions this way, being a woman who discerns the will of god and is obedient to that is what you really want.
That will lead you to feeling the most peace. and it will ultimately lead you to this feeling of confidence, which I think a lot of us moms want. We want to feel confident. And when we know that we are walking closely with the lord and listening to him, what we actually feel is And I think that’s the feeling we really want. We’re labeling it confidence, but what we really want is conviction, which is, hey, I’m pretty certain that this is what I should be doing right now. I don’t know what I’m gonna do for my whole life. I don’t know what the schooling decisions are that I’m gonna make for each of these kids and every year into the future, but I know that for us, this year, we’re trying kind of a co-op model. Co-op is misleading because we’re paying a teacher to teach it, but we’re gonna use classical Catholic memory, which I really like.
I did it many years ago with Rose One Year. I really enjoyed it. and we moved, so that was the reason we stopped using it. And so we’re gonna do that again this year. And it’s just new, and I’m gonna try it. And I have no idea if I’m gonna like it or not. I have no idea if the kids are gonna like it or not. I don’t really feel like getting in the car and driving them somewhere every Monday.
So I’m gonna see how that feels. I feel very unattached to the outcome of it, but I feel very certain that this is what god is calling us to try right now. So if you’re feeling a lot of pressure about going back to school, I just want you to remember these 4 things. 1. of course, it’s going to feel uncomfortable. Probably less after listening to this episode, it can feel a lot less stressful, but it is going to still feel uncomfortable. There’s no way that we’re just smooth sailing through this transition without any kind of discomfort. k? And that’s normal, and it’s okay. Nothing has gone wrong.
2. you’re thinking it is a high stakes situation. It is not. bring that down. It is not a high stakes situation. 3. you are planning from a stress state. your body is freaking out, and then you’re making school plans. We’re not gonna do that anymore. We’re gonna get calm first, then we’re gonna make plans.
A member 4. you’re letting the culture or your friends or the people around you drive your decisions, instead of letting the Holy Spirit do that. And again, there’s no problem with looking around and gathering information, But you and the lord and your husband are gonna make this decision about your family. Okay? Now if this episode was inspiring to you, and I hope that it was, I filmed a free class on how to calm your body down. I think that this is the most important skill that I want to be teaching over the next few months to Catholic moms. I want to teach you how to calm your body down, how to recognize that you’re how to calm your body down so that you can make tempered decisions. Right? So you can grow in temperance. You can grow in prudence. You can spend more time in peace.
We cannot do that when we’re stressed out. because our brain, like, half of it stops working. We just get the run and jump in that tree half that isn’t the elegant problem solving half. Okay. And that’s an oversimplification, but I want you to come to this class. I want you to go. to catholicmom.com, and I want you to sign up for this free class, and I’m gonna teach you in a very short amount of time how to recognize that you’re in a stress state and how to calm your body down. Let us become women who walk closely with the lord and make decisions from peace.
I don’t know about you, but that’s the kind of woman that I want to be. Alright, ladies. Thank you so much for listening, and have a blessed day.