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Most moms feel like they’re living in chaos and of course, their brains are telling them things like, “You’re a bad mom. You’re such a failure. You’re a mess. If you just worked harder…”
But the truth is, we’re living in a crazy environment and a post-Christian society. We’ve never been this isolated while at the same time being hammered with so much noise and information.
It’s not your fault and this episode will tell you what you can do to find more calm in your life.
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TRANSCRIPT OF THE SHOW
Hello, my friends. Today is an exciting day. As you may have noticed, the podcast has a new name. And, really, our company has a new name. The new name is Catholic Mom. And so this podcast is now called Catholic mom calm. And my new book. You guessed it.
It’s called Catholic mom calm. And it is out, and it is on Amazon, and you can buy it. The audiobook is coming. And this book really is the culmination of the work that I’ve been doing for the last 3 years, really learning about why women are so stressed out. and just this deep knowing that motherhood shouldn’t be the way that we’re doing it. And so today, I wanna go over the points that I make in the book because I think everyone needs to hear these points. And, obviously, I go into more depth, into the books, you can go read it, but I want everyone to bring awareness to how crazy the times that we’re living are in. And not in a doom and gloom kind of way, but just to give context to what we’re living through. And I think one of the reasons why motherhood feels So difficult is because we’re walking around in a near fight or flight state most of the time because people have not made sense of the world to us.
So I’m gonna do that for you today. So I want you to imagine that there was a woman who had never heard about the concept of pregnancy. Okay? Just imagine that. She doesn’t know how babies are made. And a few months after being married, her body starts to feel weird. She misses her period. She feels nauseated. She is snappier with her husband. And she thinks that something is really wrong. And when we think something is really wrong, our mind starts to worry. Right? Something is wrong with me. Maybe I married the wrong person, and my dying. There must be something wrong with the food. And so as her stomach would start to increase, so would her fear? Right? She’d think maybe, oh, we need to move. Maybe there’s parasites, and I need to do a cleanse. God is punishing me.
I should pray more. Right? And this sounds silly because we know what pregnancy is. Right? But when we are scared and overwhelmed, we don’t make great decisions. So then imagine she meets this woman, this wise woman, and the woman looks at her body and says, oh, honey. Congratulations on your pregnancy. And the pregnant lady says, what does pregnancy mean? And the wise woman explains, oh, being pregnant means your body is making a baby. Your hormones are changing. You probably feel like throwing up and you might be moodier than usual. Your body is really sensitive for now. The woman nods. And the wise woman says, yes. That’s all very normal. instantly, the pregnant woman calms down because she thinks, oh, this is normal. And the thought this is normal is relieving. She no longer believes that there’s a mysterious threat. And even if she experiences some anxiety over the unknown of having a baby, she’s gonna feel relief in the moment that what she thought was wrong, what she thought was so dangerous, has been explained.
I’m not dying. I didn’t marry the wrong man. I don’t need to move. New information can radically change how you see the world. And that is what my book is about. It’s giving you context and information so that you understand the world that you’re living in to make sense of it because then when you calm down, you make better decisions. And so life feels hard for most moms right now. And they’re stretched thin.
And the way our brains talk to us they always tell us that the problem is with us. Right? So your brain is like, oh, you’re screwing this up. You’re not a good mom. And then it thinks funny things like you should drink more water or eat more green leafy vegetables, that would probably help you feel less stressed. And while those things aren’t bad, okay, they’re not gonna solve what I think are the 4 big things that are contributing to why modern motherhood feels so difficult. So the first one is excessive noise. Right? The amount of noise that your brain has to process these days is enough to make any human brain fritz out. Ok? Television, phones, advertisements, music, all the people who live in your house.
Like, it’s just an insane amount of noise. Okay? That is not normal. Okay? What is normal is that you’re having a hard time. Because if we just took any number of humans and put them in an environment, where they had this many inputs and stimulation and noise, they would feel weird. Ok? The second thing is information overload. Okay? 89 percent of Americans look at their phones within 10 minutes of waking up. people check their phones 144 times per day. Phone usage is around 4 and a half hours a day in 2023.
Hey, the amount of information that your brain is absorbing is staggering. And this is confusing because brain brains tend to shut down. when they get too much information, too many options, especially when we don’t know which sources we can trust. Right? And you know this because you spent 2 hours researching something online, only leaving you feeling more confused and frustrated than when you started. The third thing is lack of support. Most of us just really lack community. And some of you might have a good mom’s group or a friend or a mother-in-law that helps you, but even those things are just such a far cry from the village model. Okay.
And some of you have none of those relationships, and you’re doing this mom thing with crushing loneliness. And so you’re not wrong if you think parenting shouldn’t be this hard. We just really weren’t meant to raise kids in this much isolation. So again, you woke up, and your brain probably told you, you’re blowing it. At this mom thing, you’re not doing a good job. Instead of saying, hey, you’re in some incredibly difficult circumstances. Of course, you’re struggling. And the last thing is impossible standards.
And You know, the internet just throws so much at you, and we see this highlight reel of everyone’s best moments on social media even though we’re all aware of that, but we still fall for it. And so it just seems like everyone’s nature journaling and taking amazing vacations and, like, cheerfully playing board games as a family and living in Pinterest perfect houses. And then the internet’s like, hey. Hey. Do you know about red food dye? Are you watching your kids screen time? Do you know there’s toxins in your household cleaners? Make sure you’re not supporting any companies that don’t go against our values, put the kids in sports and music lessons, and make sure they learn a foreign language. And we’re gonna give you tons of conflicting parenting advice, but then we’re gonna judge you if your kids don’t seem disciplined. Like, oh my goodness. That’s insane.
And so no. Drinking water and eating vegetables is not going to combat excessive noise information overload, lack of support, and impossible standards. Okay? You should still drink more water, though. You should do But it’s just not going to help you deal with the things that are these underlying things that are causing us anxiety and depression and burnout. k? Because your nervous system is just fritzed out. It’s just on fire all the time. And so it’s either on fire or it’s just kind of like shut down and given up. Okay.
So you’re either in lots of anxiety or you’re in depression and burnout and kind of shutting down and disassociating from your life. Okay? Which for most of us is scrolling on our phones, which then contributes more to us feeling this way. Okay. And so, listen. I didn’t learn these things until my late thirties. But I am just on a mission, and I need your help. Did we just grab all the Catholic moms and go, hey. It is hard.
Here’s why, and it’s not your fault. And here are some tools that are gonna help you. I want you to imagine that you Cut your grass with scissors. Your mom taught you to cut grass with scissors. And so after you get married, you have a lawn and you cut down and you cut your grass with scissors. Right? And while you’re doing that, you would probably be thinking, this is exhausting. It shouldn’t be this hard. And then because brains are mean, That’s their default.
It’d be like, you’re stupid. You’re not trying hard enough. Right? Something’s wrong with you, and that’s why cutting the grass with scissors is hard. And then someone comes along and gives you a lot more. And immediately, your experience of cutting the grass changes. You still have to cut the grass, but you see that nothing was wrong with you. You just didn’t have the right tool. And you don’t even know there was a different tool.
And that’s what my book is about. It’s about giving you tools to understand your brain and your body so that you can handle your life better. Okay? And that should just be the best news you’ve ever heard. that you’re doing life with scissors right now, and I’m about to give you a lawn mower. And that’s how even if nothing changes in your life, right, even if the circumstances, the people, the house, all of it is the same. Your experience of it is significantly better. Okay. And so I want you to recognize that most of us are on the stress cycle.
And the stress cycle comes from the fact that our brain is designed to decrease your access to the problem solving part of your brain when stress increases. And this is really important because if a tiger is chasing you, You do not want your brain looking around being like, oh, it’s such a lovely day. Look at the way the light streams through those trees. and you don’t want your brain to be like, hey, we should pull out our phone and Google ways to escape a tiger. We should do that. No. You really want your brain to shut down all nonessential thinking so you can get out of there and not die. Okay? So we love this system, but in modern day society, when there actually aren’t any tigers and very few life threatening things, It’s just getting triggered off of so many different things.
Right? Kids having bad grades. Your house isn’t clean. Economy things. Your pants feel a little tight. And then your brain’s like, woah. Something’s wrong. And then it diverts the blood away from your problem solving. tools.
And now you’re making poor plans. And so the stress cycle there’s 3 things. There’s stress, then You make poor plans or no plans because your brain is in a stress state. And then because you made no plans or bad plans, then your life has more stress. Okay? And so right now, if you feel like you’re working so hard, You are energetically like the amount of energy you’re using to improve your life is a lot. But if you’re making plans, without your analytical brain, they’re gonna be bad plans. And so you’re just stuck on this stress cycle. So the thing I want everyone to know is that I believe that we all should be living with peace Right? I love that book.
Searching for and maintaining peace by Father Jacques Philippe, but the thing is we cannot have peace until our body is calm. And what I mean by calm is that your body is not in a fight or flight state. And when your body is calm, then you can feel lots of emotions. You can feel lots of things, including peace. And so these first tools in my book are about teaching you to calm your body down, and then give you lots of examples for that. So we’re gonna calm your body down so we have access to your problem solving brain. Okay? Then we’re gonna analyze what’s going on in your life because we’re calm now so we can look around and be like, oh, what’s happening? Why did I freak out? Why was I stressed? But we have our brains. Our brain’s full power to do that.
Then We’re gonna discern what God wants for us. We’re gonna listen to the lord. Okay? And you’d think that that would be the 1st step, but it is because you have to calm your body down first. And then I think for moms, we have to kind of dump out of our brain this running dialogue of what’s happening And that’s why I want you to analyze life a little bit and then take that to the lord. I mean, like, alright, lord. This is what my brain thinks is going on. Now I want you to show me from your perspective. Then we’re gonna make a plan. Okay? You’re gonna make a plan using leveraged action and protocols and being a scientist. And I teach you how to do all three of those things in this book. K? So Calm, you guys, is an acronym. CALM, come back to Calm, analyze what happened, listen to God, and make a plan. And ultimately, All of these things, what’s gonna happen is it’s going to increase your tolerance. to stress. Okay. We called the window of tolerance.
And so when you first became a mom, there were a lot of things that freaked you out. I use fevers as an example. I remember when my first born had a fever for the first time. Right? And we freak out. It feels very scary. Now, I have 6 kids. And when somebody has a fever, I gotta worry a little bit. I’m not like, oh, it’s totally fine, but I go through a series of steps to make them comfortable and wait it out and make decisions.
Right? So that’s an example of something that used to bring me a lot of stress. Now it doesn’t. I’ve increased my window of tolerance, my ability to stay calm when a child has a fever. and we’re gonna do that over and over again in your life until you can just handle your life better. Just gonna handle it. And let me just tell you, as I’ve done this, it is so freeing. It is So comforting, it brings so much hope because once you learn these tools, you see that you will just get to keep using them. Right? So I don’t have teenagers yet.
I don’t have adult children yet, but I know that when I enter those phases of parenting, there are gonna be new difficult things that feel stressful to me, and then I’m gonna use these tools to soften those things, to quiet those things. so they don’t feel as scary to my body so that I can be calm and so that I can be the peace center of my home. Right? That is my goal. I think that when we are truly in a state of peace, it means we are walking closely with the law and living life the way he wants us to. And so in this book, I’m gonna teach you how to discern the voice of god and to really believe in his goodness. And from that place, to make plans about your life. And I just know that if we can get this information into the hands of as many Catholic moms as possible that we will begin changing the tone of Catholic homes. And our children will notice.
Right? And even if your kids are grown, you will just begin to exude peace in your life, and they will notice. And you can teach these tools to that. And so the book is available on Amazon. And the e-book is available on Kindle. I’m going to be taking people through this book, and I wrote it so it could be used as a 6 week study. You can just buy it and read it. but I wrote it so that it could be used as a 6 week study with your friends. And I’m going to be taking people through it publicly starting September 18th.
Okay. So if you wanna do this 6 week study with me and go through the book with me, come September 18th, you can go to Catholic mom, calm, dotcom and sign up for this free study, and we’ll go through it together totally free. But if you want, I wanna encourage you to start doing this study at your parish or with your friends. I want you to get a few people together and go through this together. And if you guys wanna do that with me starting on the 18th, that’s awesome. But my real mission for this book is that it spreads like fire. And that as soon as someone reads it, they’re like, oh my goodness. Everyone needs to read this.
And they turn right around and they tell their sister, and they tell their aunt. They tell their friend from college. And in the book, I really encourage women to do it together as a study. You don’t have to. But I really encourage that because I want us collectively to begin talking about motherhood differently. I want us to be aware of this idea that we are like combat soldiers. But you know, when they send soldiers into combat, they give them tools to deal with that level of stress and intensity. but moms don’t get those tools.
So we’re just living in combat, right, this assaultive noise, these things that feel so dangerous to our bodies, and so we’re constantly in a fight or flight state without the tools. Right? We’re doing life with scissors instead of a lawnmower. And so I wanna invite you to go through this work. It is powerful. It is life changing. It changed my life, and I watched it change 100 of the lives of the women who have gone through our program. And I just wanted to make that information available in a book. So I’m very proud of this.
It’s very special. and I hope you check it out. You can go to catholicmomcom.com and see our new website and sign up for the study. You can order the book on Amazon. And ultimately, I just want you to have hope and want you to have hope that your life isn’t hard because you’re messing it up. It’s hard because you don’t have context. for the environment that you were living in, and no one gave you the tools to cope with the crazy environment that you live in. So I am praying for you.
I love you. Have a blessed day.