381 The Best of 2022

To celebrate, we made a special "best of" episode with the top 5 Mindful Mama podcast episodes of 2022.

You'll learn about:

  • The Secret to Being a Zen Parent - Cathy Adams [334]
  • Mothering Your Daughter Mindfully - Dr. Michelle Deering [336]
  • Shame-Proof Your Parenting - Mercedes Samudio [335] 
  • Resolve To Declutter - Krista Lockwood [333]
  • The Secret To Secure Attachment - Bethany Saltman [337] 

Best of Mindful Mama 2022 [381]

Read the Transcript 🡮

[00:00:00] Hunter: You are listening to the Mindful Mama podcast, episode number 381, and this is a very special episode. It is the best of Mindful Mama 2022.

Welcome to the Mindful Mama podcast. Here, it's about becoming a less irritable, more joyful. At Mindful Mama, we know that you cannot give what you do not have. And when you have calm and peace within, then you can give it to your children. I'm your host, hunter Clark Fields. I help smart, thoughtful parents stay calm so they can have strong, connected relationships with their children.

I've been practicing mindfulness for over 20 years. I'm the crater of Mindful Parenting, and I'm the author of the bestselling book, raising Good Humans, A Mindful Guide to Breaking the Cycle of Reactive Parenting and Raising Kind Confident Kids. Welcome back, my friend to the Mindful Mama podcast, and this is a very special episode, and this has been an amazing year.

We, in 2022, we had some deep, thoughtful conversations on the Mindful Mama podcast that inspired. Positive change in the community. There was this review from mending trauma. She said, I have found so much value in Mindful Mama through hunter's interviews and authenticity about mom life.

Raising my five children, three who are differently abled is challenging in learning. Mindfulness completely changed my motherhood game, and these, this podcast and these conversations make an amazing impact in the community and that's just one of the amazing reviews and comments people have sensed.

So it makes me feel amazing. And If you're diving into any podcast, this is a great one to dive into because this reveals our top five episodes of 2022, and we're gonna start in reverse order with number five, the number five episode. I'm so excited to share with you cuz it's one of my favorites. I sat down.

Bethany Saltman, research editor and author of the book, strange Situation, A Mother's Journey into the Science of Attachment, and we t I loved her book so much. I devoured it I think in four days, I think at the beginning of this year. And we talk about. What does it mean to have a secure attachment? We have so much kind of baggage around this. We talk about, what are the keys, ways to develop a healthy attachment? And it may be totally different from what you think. So Bethany Saltman, her work can be seen in New York Magazine, Atlantic Monthly Parents and many others. She's the author of Strange Situation.

Here's a snippet. That amazing podcast, episode number 337. The Secret to a Secure Attachment with Bethany Saltzman Attachment is

[00:02:50] Bethany Saltman: not what I thought it was. So I'll start with what I thought it was. I when my daughter Azalia was born, she's almost 16. I had read Dr. Sears and his book on attachment Parenting, and I was under the impression that attachment was something, it was like a do or die.

It was a yes or no, and that a kid was, a baby was attached or was not attached. And that an. Likewise had a kind of good attachment system or a bad attachment system. And and he set it up to be, and, and he says lots of things to counteract this impression, but he does in fact state that this is a kind of intuitive system that if it's not if what he says is that if it's working well, it will be very good for the mother and for the baby.

And so my question was what if it's not working? . So my, my initial impression of attachment was this very nebulous kind of thing. And but what I learned in my research and after studying attachment for many years is that attachment is a very broad behavioral system that includes our entire bodies and minds.

And it's really an orientation toward connection. It's an orientation toward using another person as a form of. A really wonderful way of describing it is when a rabbit gets afraid, they run to a den to their like place and a person runs to a person. And so that's attachment.

It's that very profound, very primitive, and it takes everything that we have to learn to trust that someone will be there for us. Now when we hear that was. Peers, and so we think of all the ways that we trust or don't trust as adults, but when we're babies, it's really not like that.

It's much more simple and it's much more forgiving than we as adults may believe it to be. So a baby really just needs to feel sometimes like their primary care. Is delighted by them, is aware of them sees them as the apple of their eye. And is there for them in times of stress. Most of the time.

Some of the time it's not this super articulated understanding of trust and safety that we have as adults, which I think is where we get into a lot of trouble as parents, as humans, as women with this perfectionistic kind of hope that we're. Be able to perform this secure attachment when really what that more often is a kind of very externalized, performative understanding of what we think attachment's supposed to look like.

And it has nothing to do with the internal experience that a baby and a caregiver go through together.

[00:06:02] Hunter: That's such. Beautiful definition of it that I really appre appreciate and it's really different from it. I just, not to throw attachment Parenting under the bus because it has so many, there's a lot of wonderful things, but I have some big issues with attachment Parenting in that there's a lot of pressure.

That it puts on a mom's and also puts a lot of pressure on people to and it, and you wanna, I slept with my baby in the beginning and wear your, I wore, my baby, did sure things, I loved it. But I feel like sometimes people feel like that achievement idea of I have to do this thing, or I have to, even if.

Not getting enough sleep or even if I'm I don't always, even if it's not something, there's a lot of pressure to perform these these actions that act. Attachment Parenting prescribed. But that's not, those things are not the things that create attachment. You've discovered. That

[00:07:09] Bethany Saltman: is exactly right.

And that is why, DRS is not withstanding, or, setting Dr. Sierra's aside attachment is, has nothing to do with what we do and everything to do with how we. So you can have a, spectacularly perfect looking attachment parent who's got doing all the things and they're filled with rage and resentment.

So we can have, we can look like we are perfect attachment parents because we're wearing our baby, we're sleeping with our baby, we're nursing on demand, all the things. But inside we're filled with rage and resentment because we're exhausted. We don't like, It's not working for us. And that wasn't me, by the way.

, I loved nursing. I enjoyed sleeping with my baby. I wore her till she was like seven. I loved a lot of those things, but it wasn't because I. Those weren't the things that helped me have a secure attachment with her. Those were the things that I enjoyed because they made my life easier. They kept me connected to her.

I am allergic to gear of all kinds. I couldn't do strollers. I just, I need things to be very simple. So for me to cook, it was just easier for me to have her on me, things like that. . Yeah. So I agree , you can, and then likewise, we can have a parent who might look again to the enterprise, the Parenting enterprise, as not a very attuned parent who gives their child, doesn't nurse, maybe they give them juice when they're babies.

Maybe they are giving them processed food. Maybe they're going to McDonald's. Maybe they're watching too much tv. Maybe they're on their screens. Maybe they, the parent yells, maybe the parent has three jobs and can't. Take the time to do, put the baby in the hide chair and speak to them just and et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

And that has absolutely nothing to do with a secure attachment, because a secure attachment comes from that parent, regardless of their gear and their economic status and the way they look. It comes from their ability to feel their own feelings so that when the baby yells, or baby when the baby screams, when the baby's.

The parent can tolerate the baby's feelings and respond reasonably decently. That's

[00:09:28] Hunter: all it means. Yeah, and not every a hundred percent of the time heck no, , definitely go listen to all of that. Episode is so powerful. All right, coming up we have number four. Our number four most popular episode was episode number 333.

Resolve to declutter with Krista Lock. Krista is the face and mind behind motherhood simplified.com, and we're gonna talk about decluttering. We spend so much time picking up, we wanna find balance, and one of the biggest challenges to Parenting mindfully is the problem of too much. Something you said on your Instagram page really resonated with me, which is you can always get more money, you can always get more.

but you can't get more time. Once it's gone. And I love that. I'm so interested in protecting my time and having be having time abundance in my life and I really love that and. I would wonder, I just wonder if you could just talk to how that relates to decluttering, right? Because this is about resolving to get some clutter out of our lives so how does that relate?

[00:10:47] Krista Lockwood: Yes. So especially for moms, one of our most valuable resources is our time, right? Our time. Doing all the things that you have to do as a mom, first of all. But our time actually spent with our kids. And so one of the things that I noticed right away once I started teaching moms how to declutter is, The most immediate focus.

Of loss would be on the loss of like money and the loss of the things that they need, and no one was really understanding or seeing the connection between how much time they're losing every single day by not decluttering, right? Because you're spending so much time cleaning up the same things over and over again, spending your nights and your weekends, especially if you work outside of the.

just trying to catch up. So much time spent organizing your kids' toys or your clothes or the laundry, and sorting through everything just to have it all come undone in minutes. And so I'm so glad that you brought this up because it's really easy to focus on the money, right? Especially because when you declutter.

it almost feels like you're losing the money twice, right? You lost the money when you spent it in the first place, and then you're losing it again, and it almost feels worse to lose it when you let it go and realize that it doesn't really have a strong purpose or value in your life, and you have to let that go.

And a lot of times we just see dollars. And so I really like to help moms shift into seeing how the clutter in the home actually makes them spend their. and it's in all those tiny little ways.

[00:12:19] Hunter: Yeah. We don't wanna waste our dollars and a lot of us were taught by. Parents or grand PE grandparents maybe who grew up in the depression, and they're just like obsessive about not wasting food or not wasting money.

But yeah, there's a waste of time and that, that is really the only thing that we can't get back when we're, I would, I don't wanna spend all my time, I don't wanna spend my time like organizing a garage like that. Really, like that's not how I wanna live my life. .

[00:12:49] Krista Lockwood: And not only are you spending more time on organizing your stuff and shifting it around, but you're also spending more money, spend, like getting your stuff organized and put into sorted bins and shelves and all that is also expensive.

The organization industry has grown. The last statistic that I can remember off the top of my head from 2017, it's grown by 32%. That industry of just like bins and shelves and over the door hangers is growing exponentially because we have so much stuff. So it's consuming our time, it's consuming our money that we are worried about losing in the first place and just it's.

[00:13:31] Cathy Adams: It really spirals.

[00:13:33] Hunter: I know I, the, there's for me there's like a sort of quote that I like to think about, and that's like how you spend your day is how you spend your life, right? Like how what you're doing in every day is how you are spending your life. And sometimes we don't like to think about that, right?

Because maybe today was crazy, but maybe if every day. You're spending your time in ways that you don't wanna be spending your time. There's really something examined there. So I'm wondering for you how did you start your decluttering journey? Did you, were you like, over the top, did you just have a moment where you were like, oh my God, this stuff is driving me crazy.

[00:14:14] Krista Lockwood: So our, my story is really unique. I actually did not know. That decluttering was a thing, like I don't think it was even a word in my vocabulary, and we did it back in 2013 when we left Alaska. The place that we were born and raised had three kids and we moved to Florida. in about a month and .


[00:14:35] Hunter: Alaska to Florida. That's such a crazy range. .

[00:14:38] Krista Lockwood: Yeah. Yeah. It's like the furthest you can go. Staying on the continent. .


[00:14:43] Krista Lockwood: So we decided to move Alaska to Florida to pursue an opportunity for my husband, and we did it so fast that we just. only brought a suitcase of stuff per person, suitcase of clothes, suitcase of toys.

And we did that because first of all it's really expensive to ship your stuff, especially that far. . And it didn't make any sense to leave storage unit full of stuff, 4,500 miles away and who knows when we would get to it. And so my husband was, We'll just start over. And of course I'm like, what

Wow. That was my first concern. It's what about our beds? What about toys? What about clothes? What about literally all of this stuff? And so we did it and we got to Florida and it was awesome. But like I said, I didn't know what I was doing and we only had three kids at the time. Now we have five, and it wasn't until four years later, obviously we accumulated more stuff.

I don't recommend only having a suitcase of stuff. That's not super point,

[00:15:48] Hunter: super minimal . Yeah. Although, like when I go we've got, we like to, we do some l longer trips sometimes and like I'll live for three weeks out of one suitcase or four weeks outta one suitcase.

And sometimes that feels like really liberating to me. But it's not, personally, I'm not, I'm certainly not that minimalist at all.

[00:16:07] Krista Lockwood: It was a really good experience because I've ha I've had the experience and nothing bad happened. In fact, many great things happened. Like I, I haven't been behind on laundry since then, and that was like my life, right?

Like on weekends you just do 10 loads of laundry and try to get caught up and hope that you do. And if you don't just wait until the next weekend and try it again. And same thing with dishes and just cleaning up their toys and then adding in things like grocery shopping and. I didn't realize. And I think it's so normal for moms to feel this busy and this overloaded with so many to-dos and it gets extra confusing.

Cause it's we can't stop doing laundry. We can't stop doing dishes. We don't want our kids to have no toys. And so it's. Most honestly, most of the ways that I help moms is break that down and be like, it's not, you don't have to get rid of all of your clothes . You don't only have to have five pair of pants, but on.

You don't also need 40 pair of pants per kid. You just need less. And so I had that really good experience of. Living with so little, and then we just never reaccumulated to the amount that we had before. And in 2017, I got pregnant again and I joined a due date group on Facebook, which is, do you know what those are?

[00:17:29] Hunter: No, I just wanna ask so did you have your, did you literally have someone sell your. Bed and all the stuff in Alaska, like what happened to all that stuff in Alaska? How did that work?

[00:17:43] Krista Lockwood: I got rid of it all. So Alaska's pretty small. There was only one donation center that I knew of at the time.

In hindsight, I could have Googled some more. I'm sure there were more local thrift stores, but I held garage sales three weekends in a row. The majority of our. Didn't sell, I probably sold five to 10% of our stuff, which is pretty common for most people. Donated most of it, and I got to a point where just people wouldn't take it for free because that's the nature of clutter, right?

If it's clutter to you, It's clutter to somebody else. Like we all have the same kinds of stuff floating around. None of it's really unique. And if it is, that's the stuff that sells. And so most of us are drowning in the same things, right? Most of us have bins of clothes for future kids saved in our closets or clothes that we're keeping for, if we have more kids and what if it ends up being their favorite toy, right?

And we got rid of it. And so I. I donated most of it. And honestly it's a hard thing to tell strangers because I feel like people judge me for it. But the donation center told me they didn't, they weren't accepting donations from me anymore. . Cause I was bring so much stuff. Oh my gosh. Yeah. And so we had flights to leave and I'm like, I don't know what to do with this stuff.

I'm like putting it up in our community Facebook neighborhood group cuz marketplace wasn't a thing. and a lot of it just ended up trash because nobody wanted, a half full Ziploc bag of broken crayons and the donation centers wouldn't take it. And so that's where most of it st most of it went was donations.

As much as they could, sold a tiny little bit of it. And a lot of it was trash because a lot of our clutter is glorified trash. And. There's a ton of studies out there too, especially recently coming out more and more with how donation centers are even overwhelmed by this stuff. And the majority of the donations that they get, they can't sell.

And so basically they are a middleman for the landfill. And there's a huge conversation, , if you wanna get into it, we can, but a lot of times we think that donating is the solution, to our excess, to our clutter issues. , but getting to the root of our over consumption and why we buy things we don't need in the first place.

Why we, we buy two and we get one free when we only need one . And that just the way that we con like over consume is a big conversation that we have in the Motherhood Simplified group

[00:20:24] Hunter: as well. I think we all need that decluttering inspiration sometimes, so please go check out that episode if you need some more decluttering.

Inspo number three of 2022 in the Mindful Mama Podcast is a great one. I really enjoyed. Talking to Mercedes Samudio, a licensed psychotherapist, speaker and bestselling author who helps families develop healthy parent-child relationships. And we talked about shame proofing your Parenting. It was episode number 335 and we all experie.

These judgemental looks and unci advice from others. And we're gonna talk about why are society shames when we're simply trying to do our best. We're also gonna talk about the toxic effects of shaming the effects on our kids and how we can shield ourselves against others' critical eyes. So very powerful episode.

Check it. Episode number 3 35. Shame proof. Your Parenting with Mercedes Samudio. You're a psychotherapist. You help parents develop good parent-child relationships. Is shame one of the big problems you're seeing in that, in those relationships?

[00:21:45] Mercedes Samudio: Yes, and not so much in the relationship, but how shame influences the relationship is really where the book is coming from.

The idea of shame proofing or Parenting isn't about never experiencing shame or never. Being affected by it, but it's about understanding when that shame does come upon you as a parent or your family, how not to let it influence the way you react to yourself or the ways you react to your children. And so what I've noticed a lot in Parenting is that it's not just about how the parents feel about themselves, it's how other people in our society really place a lot of impossible expectations on parents.

And Interesting that I wrote this book in 2017, and then the pandemic happened where it really, I think, Shed light on just how hard Parenting is and how much Parenting takes from us. Even when you're trying to make the decision of, should I send my child back to school, do I get them vaccinated? Just all of the shame that comes with those decisions during a time when we're at our end, we're at the our limits, and so shame proof.

Parenting really shows up again now in the sense of how. I make decisions for my family that aren't based in fear and shame that are based in pretty much six tenets of shampoo Parenting, which are like empathy, knowing our needs being supportive of one another. Our awareness of what's going on in our lives.

These are things that are really important to not allowing shame to infiltrate, but acknowledg. What shame is doing so we can work together to get some resiliency around it. Another key tentative shame proof Parenting.

[00:23:34] Hunter: . So then there's like the shame from like the outer society or or et cetera, on parents.

But also there's the way that shame is used like in Parenting too. And a lot of parents might say my child should feel ashamed for what they did. If they hit their sib, they hit their, he, he hit her sister. And he should feel ashamed for what he did, and I wanna tell him that he's bad for doing that.

What about that aspect, right? When parents are coming from it from that point of view of this is a useful tool. W how do you start that conversation and what do you say to them?

[00:24:15] Mercedes Samudio: I think we acknowledge the truth that society has made shame a useful tool. And I start with that with a lot of my parents, especially when they say this is how it should be.

We talk about how well duh. Yeah, that's how society think about how when your child messes up. , what do people first say? Where are their parents? Does that child have any home training? That's the first thing we say when we see children mess up. And so our society is built on let's shame somebody in an effort to get them to change their behavior.

And so if that's the society our parents live in, why wouldn't they project or impose that on their child? is going to be living in that society. And so what I often tell people is we end up inadvertently Parenting our children for the current world as opposed to Parenting children. For a world that can be better and that's difficult to do when there's so much shame on you because people are saying, why doesn't your child have any home training?

As opposed to acknowledging that whatever the child is doing might be their own individual. showing up. It has nothing to do with the parent's training or not, right? When a parent sees that, I often teach them to think when your child does this, whatever that behavior is. Taking a moment to think about are they safe or do they have needs?

If they're unsafe, you definitely wanna jump in and support them because it's a safety issue. But if you realize, ah, my kid does this when they're tired. Ah, I noticed that my kid does this when they're having, when they're overstimulated, then it becomes an issue of I'm not trying to shame them into being better.

I'm trying to help them get that need met better. Hey buddy, looks like you're tired and you're starting to hit. . You usually do that when you're tired. Do you notice your body feeling a little tired? Really helping them to understand, right? When I'm tired, I do things like this. It's not a punishment.

It's actually now I'm bringing awareness to my child. You're noticing that when you're tired, you start to hit. You notice that when you're overwhelmed, you start pushing people because you don't know how to tell people to get away from you. It's okay, let's do, let's try better, right? And I say that. to say this in the moment.

I always tell parents, be safe in the moment. You cannot teach your child a new skill in the moment outside of the moment. Later on, just go back to, Hey, it looked like you were getting really overwhelmed with all the kids next to you, and you started flailing and you hit one of the kids, and I know you were sorry because you said so, but next time you're feeling overwhelmed, let's try.

And so now if you realize we've dealt with the issue, you failed. You did hit another. , right? But we still have to talk about that. But it's not because you intentionally wanted to harm them, it's because you were overwhelmed and didn't know what to do, and so you started flailing. So let's do something different.

If you look

[00:27:07] Hunter: at that, oh, go ahead. Yeah, just no I love that I'm. All in on everything you said, but for the parents were like, but I'm letting my child get away with something. I'm letting them get away with it. That's a thought that comes to their to mind is, yeah, I'm not being a good parent if I'm letting them get away with it.

And I know, it comes from this whole behaviorist. Right background where we're, oh, we're dealing with the behavior, and you are talking about the things that underlie the behavior. But what do you say to those parents who feel like, but am I letting my kid, or the partner who may be listening to this episode who may say, but they're, you're letting the kid get away with it and aren't they gonna turn into a sociopath ultimately?

That's what we're thinking. Yes. Yes. What do you say to that?

[00:27:52] Mercedes Samudio: I say Behavioralism actually has it. And so I never discredit the behavioralism because it's true. We tend to mimic people's behaviors. We tend to use behaviors to get our needs met. It's true. . So I don't actually tell parents who say, but I'm letting them get away with something.

Feel like that's the wrong. You actually are letting them get away with that behavior in that moment. But you, I'm telling parents to think is past that moment. There's in the moment reactions and then there's, we have to reflect and talk about this kind of, moment a as well. And so I try to teach my parents to do both.

In the moment both of you are responding to what's happening. Neither of you are wrong. You're just responding. The after the moment time is to talk about that. Hey buddy. When you started feeling, I got scared and I started yelling at you, and that probably made you feel more scared that I was really worried you would hit another kid.

So I started yelling, right? So we're both talking about it Again, we're not saying it was right for your child to hit the other kid. It's just thinking about long term in the moment. Your kid did do that, and it's more important to get them out of the situation than to reprimand them because nobody is Listen.

Nobody cares. It's nothing's gonna happen there. And so yes, to the parent listening, you are letting your kid get away with the behavior in the moment because it's more about safety and it's more about getting people out of the activated moment once the activated moment is over for you too, because that's scary to watch.

your kid flail about and possibly hit some money. And again, we're going with the hypothetical example here, right? Yeah. But it's scary. And so you also deserve a moment to get out of that situation. If you're at a birthday party, that's embarrassing. If you're at Target, that's scary too, right? I teach parents, you also deserve a moment to get out of that tube.

So if all of you go to the car, if all of you go to another part of the house, it's not because any of you did anything. And I think that's the first step that I try to teach parents who are moving out of kind of that old school Parenting, where it's due, as I say, not as I do to that kind of newer idea of positive Parenting or Mindful Parenting, is that your reactions are not wrong.

Don't start being like, I should have learned positive Parenting 50 years ago. No, you responded the way every human responds. This is why it's so important to realize whatever happens in the moment happened. If you choose not to reprimand, that's a good choice. That after the moment when everyone is out of those intense emotions, that's the good time for everyone to talk about.

Whew. That was hard. We were all scared and then we were all overwhelmed.

[00:30:45] Hunter: and they're not like getting away with it. You are taking the time to close the loop on that situation. You're processing it together, you're saying? Yeah, it's, this is the old school way. May have been like, I'm gonna, make my child hurt because they did something I see as bad, but the.

The more enlightened way of doing it. And the, what research shows is more effective is to say, is to help your child, your child needs to learn something in that moment and to help them close the loop. And you're talking about teaching them, helping them learn what can we do better? Yeah.

[00:31:19] Mercedes Samudio: Yeah.

And I think, one thing that I'll reframe too is it's not actually more enlightened. What I often tell parents is, The reason why we respond the way we do is because of what we've been taught ourselves and what we've learned. , no one can respond from some unknown understanding of the world.

We're all responding to what we've learned and so as you learn better, I teach my parents in the work that I do. My shame for Parenting intensives my workshops. As you learn better, it's also about forgiving yourself for those past reactions too. You cannot hate yourself for the past reactions while trying to walk forward.

You have to say, wow, I did pop my child once and I did not like that, but I learned that's because of my own anger, my own embarrassment, or this, and then forgive yourself as you move forward and as you move forward on this Parenting journey, even if you've completely embodied Mindful. , you're human. Yeah.

And so there will be times when it's just too difficult if you don't believe that. Look at your life over the past two years, right? Trying to be Mindful while everyone's in the house. 24 7. Woo. . Cut yourself some slack, right? And I teach people that Mindful Parenting positive Parenting, whatever.

Parenting. Shame proof Parenting. It's not 1, 2, 3. It's a way of living. You're just thinking, I don't want shame. Infiltrates. So let me go back and talk to my child. Whew. I didn't like how I said that. Let me take a deep breath and then go. That's actually what this process is. It's not that you've nailed it and you've got it.

It's this constant decision that after behaviors, you're gonna reflect. During behaviors, you're gonna reflect. Sometimes you're gonna mess up, sometimes you're gonna have hard days, and realizing that all of that. If you're committed to this new type of Parenting, is that it is Mindful. Parenting. Even when you yell, it is shame proof, Parenting, even when you let your mom's comments change the way you see your child, that's why it's happening.

To help you become more aware of, wow, we just finished the holidays and I was more hard on my kids because we were around my parents again. Huh. I don't wanna do that next year. Boot. You just did shame proof Parenting right there. You just did Mindful. Parenting right

[00:33:38] Hunter: there. We're getting close. Now. The number two most popular episode of 2022 was please mothering your Daughter Mindfully.

Episode number 336 with Dr. Michelle Dear. Michelle Dearing is sought after speaker and online educator and a consultant, and she has her podcast, mother daughter connections. She and I hit it off. We had such a great time talking to each other and we talked about mothering daughters because it is can be fraught.

She is actually the author of What Mothers Never Tell their Daughters, and we talk about some of those things and how this special bond comes with a unique set of challenges. We're gonna talk about how we can best navigate those challenges while appreciating that unique bond. So listening to this conversation with Dr.

Michelle daring from episode number 330. I am so excited to do because I am the mother of daughters . So selfishly this is like really good for me. So I would just wondered if you could start off this conversation by telling us like what are the, some of the special challenges that mothers may have with daughters that could be different?

Like what makes it different and special?

[00:35:05] Dr Michelle Deering: Yeah, it's different and special. I like that you actually include those two words together. But the arc of. The relationship between a mom and a daughter is different than the one between a mom and a son, in that when your child is born, and we're gonna assume in this case it's your daughter, there's a connection that's made between the mom looking at cooing, at re, responding to the daughter, and the, your daughter in your arms is now experiencing you as her first female.

Okay. Entity outside of herself. And what happens is as your daughter develops and she goes into her toddler years, we won't cover that. She goes into her tween years. That's where, around that time, tween teen is when developmentally a daughter is now having had what, 10, 11 years of experiencing you as her mom.

She's now getting to a point where her identity. Is starting to develop and she has to come to decisions as to whether or not she wants to be like you or not, or what does it mean to her to here is what femaleness has been modeled to me all this time. Is this what I wanna do? And Her process then becomes, how do I identify as myself, my own separate entity outside of my mom?

And will my mom be okay with that? Okay, . And that comes in all shapes and sizes. Whereas with a son, you still have the same. , caring and nurturing the way in which you respond to your child, say in the case of him being a, him, being the child, being a son, the way in which you respond to him tells him stuff about the outside world, but not about his maleness.

And so when he reaches his tween teen years that becomes his identity thing. And he's looking for what he's gonna model himself after. And, a. Depending on, again, everyone's different in their take on things. That's where the struggle be begins. But there's more of a definitive separateness.

. That's makes sense. Biological. That's just biological. Whereas with a young lady, , it's wait, you look like me. I don't know. . I don't know if I wanna do it exactly like you mom . Yeah. And that's where the tussle begins.

[00:37:39] Hunter: Yes. Yeah. So like my daughters are, basically saying, Evaluating, like I've got good things, I've got bad things.

And from there I've got some, I've got some good traits, and I've got some bad traits. I've got some annoying traits. I'm no . We all do . And so they're like, am I. , when I see this thing that maybe they don't like or whatever in me, is that part of who or in their mom, right? , is that part of who I am?

Is the question they're asking themselves and or then they wanna say, I'm not like you in these places. They wanna really make that clear .

[00:38:19] Dr Michelle Deering: Yeah. And actually one of the things that I tell a lot of my clients in, whether it's individual or in groups, is I let them know, The way in which you as an individual woman, I e mom, handle the experience of being separate, that is going to define and inform the way in which you deal with that whole process of your daughter transitioning out of being under your auspices, directly to being outside of your auspices.

And Okay,

[00:38:56] Hunter: hold on. So the way I'm dealing with like her separation, like us, like not, maybe not having as much input and control and all of those things. You're saying that def say that again. That

[00:39:11] Dr Michelle Deering: defines like that that, that will inform and influence how, what's going on the inside of you.

So say for instance if you have a mo I'm just going to, my brain has been on. Moms of daughters who are athletes lately. Okay. And so say you have a mom who, and I talk about this in my book, what Mothers Have To Tell Their Daughters, but where there's a mom who came to me, her daughter's a gymnast, the mom herself, had experiences as a collegiate swimmer, but now her's, her daughter, as a gymnast, and.

Ways in which the mom had not dealt well with performance. Started to seep into how she was reacting to her daughters. Response to her own performance. I e the daughter is wait, I'm not performing well. I want to go get help, which is how they ended up in my office. And the mother was like, what?

I didn't do that. Why are you doing that? How do I know that's gonna work? That's just an example of how when a daughter starts making decisions that are different than what the mother may have thought they should make or Yeah. The time of when they should have made those decisions. That all plays into it.

So that's more of what I'm saying. And actually, can you tell me a little bit how old your daughters are again?

[00:40:39] Hunter: Sure they're right in your range. 11 and 14 .

[00:40:43] Dr Michelle Deering: Okay. You're right in the thick of things. Yes.

[00:40:49] Hunter: Yep. Yep. I am

[00:40:54] Dr Michelle Deering: You have daughters? Yes, actually I have twin daughters who are now currently 20, going on 21. And so I do remember. That age range it playing out exactly like how it is and what I found, just speaking as a mom here for a moment, the is that there were many things that I didn't realize.

We're, and I hate using the word triggering, but were prompting me to res to react a certain way, and that's why I'm all about moms learning how to pause, which is why I really appreciate the work that you do because that it's in that pausing to consider what's going on in your behavior in the moment.

That's how you can get your bearings on what's going on inside of. And like for me, for our daughters, for, even though they're twins, each one was pulling at a different thing in me and I had to practice how to pause to consider, okay, what's going on in the moment? Not so much to, lay blame anywhere.

It's all about gaining understanding. Yeah. Because it's with understanding that you can then make informed decisions. Where, what you do next, what you say next, how you say something next.

[00:42:15] Hunter: I love Michelle. She's so wonderful. Okay, we've made it, I hope maybe you're remembering some of these episodes or you are making notes and going, gonna go back and listen to the full episode cuz they're so great.

And finally we get two, the number one. Most popular episode of 2022. Lots of applause everywhere around me. Oh my gosh. The number one episode of the Mindful Mama Podcast from 2022 is episode number 334. The Secret to being a Zen Parent with. Kathy Adams, and I love this because Kathy is one of my teachers, one of my favorite people in the world.

She's the co-host of the Zen Parenting Radio podcast and the author of Zen Parenting. She's a clinical social worker and a yoga teacher who lives outside of Chicago with her husband, Todd and her three daughters, and we talk. So the secrets to being a Zen parent, we talk about how to let go of expectations and what to do when your child feels overwhelmed.

There's so much here. Here's a taste of the power of Kathy's communication and our conversation. I know you're definitely gonna go listen to the full episode number 334. The. To being a Zen parent with Kathy Adams, you write in your new book, which I'm so excited about. In the intro, I experienced the paradox of loving them better.

This is the kids of loving them better by backing away. By living my life so they could have their own. I set myself free of needing their constant appreciation and then felt more appreci. I ditched the role of mom and became a person. Also happened to be a mom, which allowed me to approach my kids with humanness rather than hierarchy.

I got out of the box that told me who I was supposed to be and showed up as myself, allowing me to show up more authentically for my family. I love that so much, but tell us. I would love for you, if you could take us back to that, like how did you, were you caught up in the role and the like doing it right and the should and how did you get to that point of loving them better by backing


[00:44:42] Cathy Adams: First of all, it's a process and a practice, right? Because there was like, no, . I didn't have one moment where I'm like, Ooh, I love when people tell stories where they're like, and then this day came and everything was different. , I've had 80,000 of those days. But what I did, so what was interesting is my background is I worked at a children's hospital here in Chicago.

That's where I live. And I was in a partial hospitalization program as a therapist and as a clinician, as an as a teacher. And I then had my first child, And I initially with her when she was little, I was doing a lot of the behavior modification things I had learned as a clinician. I was using my professional awareness and my education to be a parent and I, what I realized very quickly is that, Doesn't always work.

That Parenting is much more relationship based and I believe this now as a clinician too, but it was just a, it was a, it was felt like a huge transition from professional to personal. And I was realizing that really the best way to be with my kid was to be with my kid as a human being and to drop.

Therapist hat and to drop my teacher hat and to drop the whole role of what I think a mom is supposed to look like. And instead just be with this person and be like, what do they need? And how can I show up and how can I be understanding and how can I be compassionate for their experience? How can I and again, like I said, this is a practice.

It's like I had days where I didn't have that. It's. Hunter. It's funny, it's almost hard for me to remember those really early days cuz my daughters are now 18, 16, and 14. And so I, what I do remember about those early days was that I was very tired and if I did not take care of myself, I was not gonna be able to do what I needed to do to take care of these humans.

I was not gonna be able to get them to where they needed to go or to their appointments or to get to a play date, or to be with them or to make their meals. There's very basic things that we need to do as parents that can be really redundant and boring, but very energy. The energy we need to do these redundant, often boring things is essential.

I had to learn to sleep. I had to, it was like a, I guess it just goes back to everything that you started with, which is what I realized is I had to take care of myself. I had to be the closest I could be to a full human if I was going to show up for these.

[00:47:28] Hunter: So were you influenced by cuz there's a lot of Parenting kind of modalities and things that it are influencing the culture Yeah.

Out there that are really, that really push the, kind of mommy martyr thing, cuz we know, there's Willy's attachment. Experiments, which are really amazing. We learn about those in college. The little monkeys that wanted to clinging onto the warm little monkey model, or even like the, the whole Sears attachment Parenting book.

I remember getting that bible and feeling like, oh my God. I, I'm not sure I can have my baby on my body, like literally all day long. Like maybe somebody else can have my baby on their body for a little while too. Like here, lovely, wonderful 12 year old, 14 year old from down the street.

I will strap my baby to your body and you can go for a walk. But like those, there are a lot of modalities, like specifically like attachment Parenting and things like that push , just meeting the baby's needs at all costs. , and so I'm wondering were you influenced by that?

And did you have to like, kinda, I don't know, what was your relationship to that

[00:48:48] Cathy Adams: kinda stuff? Absolutely. I was influenced by everything. Like this is the thing about Zen Parenting Radio, the podcast we do. And then what I wrote about is about combining all of these different areas of learning.

And I was trained in a very Western model as a clinician, as a social worker, and then all of my Like interests lied in things that were more Eastern, mindfulness meditation more compassion for ourselves and other people and the blend of the two. I never I, Todd and I just actually did a show this week about how I never wanted to label our show anything like Conscious Parenting or Attachment Parenting, not.

I have a problem with those labels because if people use that to describe me, that would be fine. But I don't think that I have one thing that I believe in because there are so many things that are not only overlapping, but you have to become savvy about when to use what. And I don't mean in a model of okay, for 10 minutes I'm gonna be Mindful and for 10 minutes I'm gonna be more Western.

But like right now, I have the energy to carry my child around on my chest, and I'm going to be in a more attachment parent kind of mode, and I'm gonna keep them close to my heart and I'm gonna whisper softly to them and rub their head. And then maybe a few hours later, I'm exhausted and I need that 12 year old down the street to, take them for a walk around the block so I can relax and I can maybe be with my other kid or I can get something to eat like all human beings need to do and that the work is not.

Guilt about the things that we aren't doing, but focusing on what we need in that moment. So we can try a lot of different things, which when I say this hunter, sometimes people are like, that is so general. Will you just give me an ABC of what to do? . And the problem is, that's what zen, the definition of Zen.

There really is no definition, to be honest with you. It is a completely paradoxical understanding of the uncertainty of our lives and that you have to flow with what is that you have to be present for? What is that you have to pay attention to what is. And that's the only thing I can label anything that I do, which is.

It's unpredictable, it's uncertain, but it's from a compassionate and grounded place. So if I need something for myself so I can offer that energy and that love to my kid, then I'm not going to feel guilty about that because that makes the most sense in that moment. And so again, just as we're getting going, talking, I know it sounds general, but it's actually freedom.

Because following some kind of platform of I can only do this or I have to do this, is very constricting and it can be very suffocating where you do start to feel resentful not only of maybe the book or the teacher, but of your child. . And that's what I'm always trying to avoid is my biggest.

influence is how can I build a healthy relationship with myself and this person in front of me? And that applies to my children, my partner Todd, my mom, my sister. Like it's not, it's universal. Yeah. And so it doesn't just apply to Parenting. It goes on and on.

[00:52:02] Hunter: How? Why do you think we're so guilty? If you feel so much guilt,

[00:52:06] Cathy Adams: Because the society tells us that this is our job and that it's the only thing that we're here for.

There's some misogyny built into it. If we're talking

[00:52:14] Hunter: about motherhood, this is what we're valued for, right? Is exactly caring for offspring and otherwise our val, yeah.

[00:52:20] Cathy Adams: That's who we are. And if you don't have a child, then why would you not have a child? And if you do have a child, you're supposed to have this, like this instinct of we're supposed to know what to do, when to do and how to do it.

And there is w. I believe in instincts. And I believe in intuitive belief. In intuitive feelings, but there's a lot of other work that needs to happen for us, even to feel those intuitive feelings. If we are like the story that I was just telling at the beginning about how I had to move from a more professional model of think about how we're raised, we go through school we learn how to get grades and how to do test scores and how to get a job and how to climb the ladder.

And Parenting is the furthest thing. From that experience, like Parenting is like setting everything down, looking at everything differently, turning everything inside out, going into your history, thinking about your own trauma. Like it is not a 1, 2, 3 ladder and there's no a .

[00:53:20] Hunter: Yeah, there's, you're not gonna get an a, your kid's not gonna give you an a


[00:53:25] Cathy Adams: And that, and a lot of books out there. Really do point to things like that. If you just do A, B, and C, then everything will turn out fine. And I know your book, cuz I've read it and a lot of other people's books is about, that's not the way it works, this is a day-to-day, this is an eastern, understanding or just, it doesn't even have to be Eastern.

It's that let's do this moment by. Let's do today. This is what I teach my kids too, when they're stressing. I have a daughter who's in college now, but I have a daughter who's a junior. So all that college stuff is coming up again for her. What am I gonna do? Let's just do today. Let's take the steps today.

Let's enjoy today. Let's not make everything about this. Let's have a broader scope of life, and if you do that every day, then you don't have to worry so much about the future. You know it, it dissipates a little bit. Doesn't go away, but it

[00:54:16] Hunter: dissipates a little bit. I love that. I hope you enjoyed this episode, the best of 2022.

Can you believe 2020 news is over? I never thought I would make. Honey, Tony do. I never really thought about it. It's amazing now to think about it. We've recapped the, this year I invite you to do the same thing. You should take a moment to look back at your year. What are the best moments of your year?

Notice I didn't. Come and put up an episode that was like the worst episodes of the Mindful Mama podcast 2022. No, we gotta look back and we gotta lean into our wins. The things that made an impact, right? And these episodes definitely made an impact, so I'm so glad they did.

Thank you so much for your ratings and reviews this year. Thank you, Amy Miracle for the review. You left in August. She said practical, compassionate advice. Hunter's podcast is so valuable. She and her guest. Share practical, compassionate advice for parents trying to have Mindful positive relationships with their kids.

As someone who's trying to be Mindful in all areas, this podcast feels like a breath of fresh air. Thank you so much for that five star review. I really appreciate it. Thank you, Emily, for your five star review saying that the podcast is life changing. Listening to this podcast has really changed my Parenting style for the better and greatly improved my joy in life.

Wow, that's amazing. I just love this so much. Finally, thank you so much, K Hall four 15 for your review. It's called the Podcast Decompression in a Pinch. This is my favorite podcast to throw on when I can start to feel myself getting overwhelmed with my kids in my day. The advice and things talked about.

Always helped me ground myself and focus on the day I want to be. Thank you so much for this. Thank you. I really appreciate these reviews. So to leave a rating with a review, go to Apple Podcast. It's makes such a big difference in sharing the podcast. I hope you enjoyed this episode. This is a great episode to share with your friends because it's like a, it's like a sampler platter, it's I don't know. When I was little, I used to go to the Chinese restaurant and order the poo platter. Did anyone ever do that? Do they? I don't even know if they still have those. It would come with a flame in the middle and you could roast your chicken. Anyway, this is the poop bladder of the 2022 podcast episode, so it's a good one to share with friends.

Please do it just helps enormously and thank you. Thank you. This community is awesome. This is powerful. As we grow, we are making changes bit by bit. I'm seeing it. It's I'm awesome and it really heartens me every day. And I wanna let you know we have so much great stuff coming in 2023. You are gonna.

Blown away. So stay subscribed, keep sharing it so we can continue to support it. My awesome team, thank you to sound editor, Sam to Awesome, Jack of all trades. Emma and integrator Chelsea. And thank you to Lynn. And the Mindful Parenting community manager, and Yvonne, our customer service master, and I love this team.

I love this community. I feel really grateful. Thank you so much for being here at the end of this recording. I really feel it in my heart, this connection, and I'm so grateful. So I wish you a beautiful. End of your year and beginning anew as we go into 2023, we are all beginning anew. It's such a great opportunity to do so I invite you to begin anew with me, and I'm wishing you peace and ease and joy and overwhelming love. That you may feel, for your kids, for yourself, for this amazing thing that it is when we walk on this earth and we communicate with each other. Holy schmoley. Wow. I wish all of that for you.

I'll be practicing too. I'll be back again in your podcast feed next week. Thank you so much. Namaste.

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