Join me as I share a raw, unfiltered narrative of what I'm currently working through in my life. I take you through my journey of navigating the latter stages of motherhood, dealing with being in the "mud" of life and having so many things up in the air.
I hope this episode reminds you that it's okay to struggle, that it's okay to be in the midst of it all, and that it's possible to find peace and light even when life feels hard.
Welcome back to another episode of Whatever with Heather. Thank you for being here. If you may be able to tell, maybe you can I'm feeling a little under the weather, just congested. I'm pretty sure it's allergies, because when I'm outside it is the worst. So please excuse my humanness and my stuffiness as we get into today's episode. Today we're talking about what I'm currently moving through, going through in life, and some takeaways and lessons that I am learning through this. Number one I am currently in the phase of life where I have a high schooler, a middle schooler and an elementary schooler. Our youngest kiddo is nine years old. Therefore, I'm halfway done raising him right. If, when he turns 18, he's an adult, I'm halfway done. I feel like I've reached the peak of motherhood and I'm on the other side of the mountain and everything is going so fast. It's such a freight train. I do have some regrets when I look back on their childhoods and how quickly they've gone. I do wake up in the middle of the night and think about their problems, big or small, that I want to try to solve, and I do find myself working hard to try to figure out how to be present for them, how to be a support to them while not living their lives for them. The first takeaway of this is my regret of their childhoods, and this will probably make me emotional. Really, my only regret is my daying cell phone, the amount of time I spent looking down at a phone and not up at their faces. And even if not at their faces, they will have memories of me for the rest of their lives, looking down at a phone versus being present in the room with them. I don't think I'm someone who overly uses my phone. I probably think I'm pretty typical in my phone usage, but 100% my phone has robbed me of time with my children, and it's not my phone's fault. The ownership falls to me. There are times that I won't get back, and cell phone usage takes away your most valuable resource your time and your attention. My takeaway is if you are a mama and you are still with your littles, delete the apps, put the phone away. You're not missing anything. There are multiple reasons we suffer, and I will talk about this later, but it can be living in the past, worrying about the future. And another reason we suffer is because we're escaping the present and our phones take us out of the present, which is why they can leave us depressed and anxious. We need to put down our phones. We need to put them away. There's nothing you will see while scrolling that is more important than being with those you love. My first takeaway is put down the phone Now. I can't change what I've done in the past, but I can change my habits now, the way I'm on my phone now, and that can reflect what I truly believe and truly value. So first there's that. My second takeaway are the things that keep me up at night, their struggles, and especially as you become a mom in the back half of motherhood. You can't fix everything, you can't control everything, and so, for me, learning how to acknowledge what is hard in their lives, talk with them through it and then assist where I can is my best defense. The takeaway is to release what you can't control, which is way easier said than done. And when I can't control the hard things in my kiddos' lives, what I can't control are my reactions, my showing up for them, my being a listening ear to them, the way I treat them when they're around me. Those are things I can control. The third thing in this phase of motherhood for me is the developing relationships with my kids as they get older, one where I'm not too in their faces but not too standoffish. It's definitely a dance, it's definitely a give and a take, but I do find that, since I've been their mom for their entire lives, I do know when I need to step forward and when I need to step back, because I know them and I know what they need, and it's trusting that versus me pushing what I want to happen or when I want to talk on them. It is allowing them to be their own autonomous human and I am there alongside of them. This totally goes back to the coaching your kids. They are playing the game and you are there, you're their biggest cheerleader and you call them out on the things they need to work on and you help them come up with solutions to problems. But they are playing the game. So trusting them to do that, like now, is the time they play the game. They have the tools and I am here for anytime they don't. I'm also as a coach, as their mom, scanning for potential problems but not stopping the problems and instead empowering them to solve the problems that will come their way or have come their way. So my number one takeaway is put down your phone, put down my phone. Number two is release what you can't control. And number three is step into that role of coach and allow them to play the game and support them where you can. What else is going on in my life as an update? Well, you follow me on Instagram. You know. I've been having some tooth issues. I've had a root canal, I have a temporary crown on going to be getting a real crown and my dentist says I need a lot more dental work and apparently for me, teeth are a big deal Like. I have handled a lot in my life. This has been something that has just broken me, has been very hard for me to deal with, psychologically and physically. It's interesting how many things you can go through in your life and feel really strong and then go through something else and be like what the heck is wrong with me? This is one of those things, and so, because of this, I actually find myself in a lot of waves of emotion. We did talk about this last week, letting the waves flow in and flow out, and I have been in waves flow in, waves flow out for weeks now. Some days are really good and some days are ugly, crying more than I would care to admit, and I am not perfect and therefore I have resistance to feeling these heart emotions. I just want the waves to stop. I just want the waves to stop. I know the waves are giving me a break, but also, like, give me a break, I don't want the waves anymore, I want to just feel good. And that's not where I'm at right now and as I'm doing this, I'm not being fake. I feel good right now. I feel fine recording this, but the getting here is challenging. The making myself sit down and record, the getting in the headspace is hard. It's like every day I wake up stuck in the mud and I have to find a way to get the momentum to get my wheels turning, and this has been for multiple weeks now. I've had a handful of days where the morning felt easy and most of the days the morning has felt like mud. It just felt like I'm stuck in the mud. So what have I done to move forward? Because we all have times where we are stuck in the mud, sometimes longer than other people and sometimes longer than we'd like to be. Actually, we probably would never like to be in the mud, but regardless, we are in the mud sometimes, and so being your own coach is getting yourself out of the mud. Now, the mud is hard to get out of because it's heavy. It feels exhausting to even move one foot. So making any progress to get out of this muddy feeling feels impossible. Now we know it's not impossible, but when you're in it it feels impossible. So how do you, when your brain is saying this is impossible, move yourself forward because you know it's possible? Some people might just say, well, choose happiness, choose to be grateful, choose this, choose that, just choose, just like. Sometimes that works and sometimes you're just really in the mud. So for me, the things that have helped are mantras and repeating them. One night I repeated the mantra I have everything I need 108 times and I woke up feeling the best I had felt in days, just repeating that mantra before bed. Some nights I'm doing meditation before bed, using the night time to set me up for the next day. Sometimes I wake up and I'm in the mud. I have created, just in the past four weeks, a playlist called activation that has songs in it. They help get me out of the mud and I will listen to those songs, and sometimes it takes more than one song and I'll listen until I slowly feel some traction. Another thing I do is that I will set timers, because it's very hard when you're in the mud to make forward progress in anything or move in any direction, and so I create a direction. I move in that direction. Maybe it's working on my book or my podcast, maybe it's cleaning the house or doing a chore or even moving my body, whatever it might be, and I set a timer and I do it for that amount of time and then that way I know that a break will come if I need it. And sometimes I find that I actually hit a flow and I don't need a break. But when you are in the mud is the initial movement. That is very hard, and it can be the initial four and five steps maybe more in the morning that are so hard. And by steps you know what I mean the mindset, the music, the making yourself do stuff it might be all of those in order to get yourself some traction for the day and out of just being stuck. So my takeaway is if you wake up and you're in the mud or you find yourself in that in the middle of the day, create some traction, take some breaths, get off your phone, move your body, go for a walk, set a timer and do something you know you need to do. Set a timer and do something you know you typically love to do. You have to force yourself to move forward and this is not fake. This is not fake until you make it. This is very similar to like when your kiddos were sick and they needed to take medicine. And they didn't want to take the medicine, but you knew it was for their own good, or they needed the rest, or they needed to drink the juice, or they needed to eat the soup and they didn't want to. And you were like but you've got to. And you were like no, but you have to. This will lead you to where you want to be. When you do things to get yourself out of the mud, they are the medicine you need, they are the soup. They are the thing that pushes you to where you actually want to be. And it may not push you to feeling happy that day. That's okay. We don't have to feel happy every day, but it will help push you out of the mud. And the mud is where we get stuck, and we can be stuck there for a long time unless we make ourselves do the things that we know we need to do. Okay, so the two main things happening in my life so far kiddos growing up, tooth stuff and being stuck in the mud. And since you know things come in three, let's talk about number three. For number three, I'm trying to think of what thing to share of what I'm currently moving through. Let's call number three up in the air. We are at a phase in our life where we have a lot of things up in the air. We are renting this house and our lease will be up soon. Where will we live? It's up in the air. I'm writing my book and doing the podcast and my husband's writing a book, but none of those things are completely like. The podcast happens, but the books are still not done. They are still in progress. We're moving them forward every day, but they're still up in the air. And then I also find myself socially in a point of limbo. I quit drinking alcohol. I don't even know how long ago. Probably over a year ago I would still drink here and there, but now I just don't drink at all. No specific reason other than I feel like garbage when I drink. And with my stopping drinking also kind of went my social life, because of a couple reasons. One, I stopped saying yes to so many things because I would go to things and since I wasn't drinking, the amount of fun at those things felt less fun, and it wasn't even that they were bad. It was that now I was comparing that I could be home with my family and I want to be with my family had nothing to do with anyone being bad at these events or me not liking the events. It was just now that I was like in a sober place. All I wanted was to be with my family, and so I slowly stripped back these events and said yes to less things. And similarly, since I stopped drinking, I did actually stop getting invited to so many things. These kind of coincided with each other of me choosing to go to less or I'd leave things early and me not getting invited to things. And there's no anger about any of it, it's just the facts. I stopped going to things and I stopped getting invited to things, and so my social support system that I had built disintegrated because it was built around us doing these social things together. And now that I wasn't doing these social things, the foundation of these relationships, for the majority of the relationships just don't like. We still like each other, but we don't see each other, because that's when we saw each other and it's really hard to continue friendships and relationships if you don't see people. And so, relationship wise, I'm in limbo. We had also started going to a gym and there was a whole situation there and we ended up stepping away from the gym so that we could spend more time at home, and so the relationships we had built there also kind of haven't continued on the degree that they were, because we only saw each other at the gym. And so in my life, as far as like social relationships go with other women, it feels pretty non-existent. I have my like few people that I see, and then besides that I don't have that, and so socially I just find myself in limbo. I trust, because every time I've been in a social limbo there is another group and another. You know more great people I meet. So I trust that exists for me out there. When you're in between, it's kind of like dating. When you're like in between relationships and you're like do I want a relationship, do I not? Is it my ready for what. That's where I'm at right now. I'm in the limbo of like when will this happen? Will it happen? I don't know. And so socially, I'm in a limbo. Homewise, we're in a limbo. The things we're creating is like in this limbo, and so I'm struggling to feel grounded and centered. I get very thinky-thoughty, I get very in my head. It's why my thoughts wake me up at night and I'm trying to solve the kids' problems and my own problems and the family's problems and the world's problems. Like I'm just like it's just a list of problems and none of them are that big, but them all piled up and all this limbo and so many things up in the air. It's like if you were juggling 10 balls, but like they're all up there and you don't know that you're going to be able to like catch them all, and they're all up there and you're like I don't even know that I can handle this and how will I handle this? That's what it feels like, and now it's not. That's not real, but that's what it will. What it feels like to have so many things up in the air. I'm sure you can relate. I'm sure there's been times in your life where you've had things up in the air, and so my takeaway is that I have to ground myself. This goes back to even like those mantras I would say I have everything I need. I have everything I need. I have everything I need. Or I will go sit in the grass and breathe, or I will just sit in my chair and breathe, or I will put my life into perspective of everything that I have now that past me wanted. And then current me is like, oh my gosh, all this that I have is so stressful. Like past me would have been so excited to be where current me is. So some reframing takes place because I can like put up a frame around who I am in my life and stick all my problems in there and oh my gosh, it's overwhelming. Or I can take the exact same things happening in my life and be like, oh my goodness, how exciting so many things choose from. Like do you see how simple it is to reframe? We don't often do it because we are just stuck. When so many things are in the air, it feels stressful, but sometimes it feels exciting. The takeaway is it's okay when things are up in the air and reframe your life and say the mantras you need. Say the things that you want to believe are true about your life. Instead of this is so stressful. Be like oh, this is exciting, this is very exciting. Instead of I don't know how we're gonna make all this work or where this is gonna come from or how it's going to happen, say I have everything I need. I have everything I need because the final takeaway of all of this is this my kids are getting older and I spend a lot of time in the mud lately and we have so many things up in the air. The final takeaway is this my experience and interpretation of my life paints the feelings that I feel. It paints and creates my reality, because I can have the same reality and could be managing it in a much different way. Kind of like the reframing. When I'm worried about my kids getting older, I think about how fun it was for me at those ages and then, when I channel that, I get so excited for them. And when I think about being in the mud, I also remember what it felt like in my life to feel nothing at all and it to be probably worse than mud. I also remember what it was like to be in such a negative space and have no support system as far as like a spouse goes For me to be stuck and have no support. And now I have support and now I also have tools that I didn't have. And then, when so many things are up in the air, that means I get to grab them and assemble them how I want, how I'd like, the best I can with the limited control I have. And nothing about anything I have said has changed the things I'm going through right now, but it changes my experience of them If we can work to stay in the reality we want, because, yes, I'm sad my kids are getting older but, dang, I'm going to enjoy my time that's left with them at home. And, yes, I'm in the mud, but, yes, I get to use all these tools that I have harnessed and fortified and practiced over the years. I get to prove that what I teach to people is real. And, yes, there are so many things up in the air. Other people have everything planned down to a T and feel very confined, and right now I have a lot of space. So, even at the beginning of this podcast, I was feeling overwhelmed, and just by the end you get to see how the exact same things can be reframed in a way that actually serves you. And, when it comes down to it, your day-to-day life is based not on what's happening around you, but on how you perceive and react to what is happening around you. Why am I in the mud? Because I'm trying to control it all. Why am I sad my kids are getting older? Because I have regrets about their childhood, but they're things I can fix now. And why am I so stressed about having things up in the air? Because I want more stability and grounding. But my perception of all of these things creates my day-to-day experience. Your perception of your life creates your day-to-day experience. Is there a way that you can perceive your life differently, in a way that will serve you better? Is there a way you can perceive your life differently in a way that will move you forward? Is there a way you can perceive and frame your life differently that will bring you peace? Thank you for being here as I verbally work through my life, for the bullet points of what's going on in my life right now. If this has served you in some way, send me a DM on Instagram or comment if you're watching on YouTube. And, yeah, just let me know if a format like this is helpful. We can get stuck in the how-to books of life, the self-help books of life, when in reality, it can be really helpful to see how actual people are moving through the hard things of life. And that's what I hope I shared with you today and I'll talk to you next time. Bye-bye.