Elisha Beach is a birth mom of 3, adoptive mom of 1 and a stepmom of 4 step-“adults.”. Yes, you read that right… 8 kids (and a dog)…a.k.a a professional mom complete with a B.A. in Child Development. Her podcast, the Mom Forum, features intimate mom-to-mom conversations sharing the journey to and through motherhood.

468: Relisten: Self-Care for Overwhelmed Parents (208)

Elisha Beach

A few years ago, Elisha Beach chose to put out a REAL picture of motherhood: she’s sitting on the toilet, nursing her child.

A few days later, a news channel was calling her.

She used this sudden platform to be honest about the difficulties of being a stay-at-home-parent and help other moms carve out some sanity in the midst of the craziness.

In today’s episode, she shares how she stopped the overwhelm.

Relisten: Self-Care for Overwhelmed Parents- Elisha Beach (208) [468]

Read the Transcript 🡮

*This is an auto-generated transcript*

[00:00:00] Hunter: Hey there, it's Hunter, and welcome to Throwback Thursday. Most Thursdays, we are going to re release one of my favorite episodes from the archives. So unless you're a longtime listener of the show, there's a good chance you haven't heard this one yet. And even if you had, chances are that you are going to get something new listening to it this time around.

[00:00:18] Elisha Beach: And then I was beating myself up cause I couldn't do all of that, but in my head, I'm like, but I'm going to stay at home mom, like this is my full time job and I should be doing all these things. And so then my husband would come home and say a random statement like, wow, why is their fridge a mess? And I would take it so personally, because in my head, that means I didn't do my job.

[00:00:39] Hunter: You are listening to the Mindful Mama podcast, episode number 208. Today, we're talking about self care for overwhelmed parents with Alicia Beach.

Welcome to the Mindful Parenting Podcast. Here it's about becoming a less irritable, more joyful parent. At Mindful Parenting, 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 Clarkfield. I help smart, thoughtful parents stay calm so they can have strong, connected relationships with their children.

I've been practicing mindfulness for over 25 years. I'm the creator of the Mindful Parenting course, and I'm the author of the international bestseller, Raising Good Humans, and now Raising Good Humans Every Day, 50 Simple Ways to Press Pause, Stay Present, and Connect with Your Kids. Welcome back! So nice to be in your ears.

So glad you're here. If you're new, welcome, welcome, welcome. I'm so excited that you're here. In just a moment, I'm going to be sitting down with Alicia Beach, who is a birth mom of three, adoptive mom of one, and step mom of four step adults. And yes, that was right. That's eight kids and a dog. So this professional mom is a BA in child development and her podcast, The Mom Forum, features intimate mom to mom conversations sharing the journey through motherhood.

And that's what this is. This is a real intimate conversation. We actually got to hang out in person for this conversation, which was a real treat. And, uh, and, and I really consider her cool, wonderful friend now. Um, and so let me tell you how this whole thing started because the interesting thing about this is like, so she put out a picture a few years ago of this is a really real picture of motherhood of her sitting on the toilet nursing your child.

And you can find that picture in the show notes at mindful mom, mindful mama podcast. com. And so anyway, a few days later, a news channel is calling her. So she, she took this sudden, you know, platform and she used it to be really honest about the difficulties of being a stay at home parent and how to kind of carve out some sanity in the midst of all the craziness.

So I want you to listen for that, you know, overall theme of how to deal with overwhelm. You know, if you have a life with four kids or one kid or whatever, um, about how we need to be honest about how we waste our time. and small changes we can make towards our priorities. So I hope this will be a very helpful episode for you.

I, I know it will be, um, for sure. Uh, and now onto this episode. Alicia, thank you so much for coming on the Mindful Mama podcast. Thanks for having me. I'm excited. And this is a very special one because if you can't tell from the sound quality, being a little different, Alicia and I are hanging out in person.

Yes, I love it. And I came all the way out to California to do it. It's the best place to be. I mean, the sun is shining. It's gorgeous here. It is really, really nice. As someone from the East Coast, I can attest, a few days in California, do perk up one's mood, quite a bit, quite a bit. So, um, so thank you so much for coming on.

I'm so excited to talk to you because, you know, you're a, you're a mom blogger, you've done so much, you've, you've had, you've been sharing about motherhood and you have, For kids. Yes. And you start, I want to start out with that picture. The picture. The picture. It's okay. So this is an audio format. So I'm just gonna, maybe you could just paint a picture for what the picture looks like.

[00:04:42] Emma Lauer: Yes. The picture is of me sitting on the toilet having an everyday moment. And my daughter came over and decided she needed to breastfeed in the morning. After crawling across the bathroom and pulling everything out of the bathroom cabinets, all the stuff, and sitting there laughing at myself because like, just ridiculous.

I said to my husband, honey, you have got to come take a picture of this because like, this is life right now. And he took the picture and I thought it was hilarious. I wasn't sure if I was going to share it. Because at the time I was not blogging. I was not a mom blogger or anything. I mean, I had like maybe 300 followers on Instagram, which were all people that I actually knew.

So it was just. a random real life picture that I decided to get and it kind of switched the path of my life almost though when it came out or when I put it out myself. I did do that. And

[00:05:47] Hunter: it went like

[00:05:47] Elisha Beach: viral, right? Like super viral. I put it out. I said to my husband, I want to put it out and he's like, you are nuts, but whatever.

I've always been nuts. So I think we were like shopping at like an outlet and I just put it up on my Instagram on a Sunday afternoon and then like by Monday morning a co worker's friend Uh, messaged me on like Facebook and he's like, you're trending on Reddit and I'm like, what's Reddit? I don't even know what Reddit is.

And so he sends me the link and then I start following the trail of what was happening. It's like, oh my God. And then I get a call from a news station the next day. And my husband is always the type that's like, Oh, nothing's going to happen. It's just no big deal. And so it just kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger.

[00:06:41] Hunter: Oh my gosh. And that, so did that kind of like sort of launch you into like blinding and sharing about it? Because you share about motherhood in a really real way.

[00:06:53] Elisha Beach: Thank you. Well, what I, for some, I don't remember why I was in this like mom coaching group, I think it was, I was just kind of trying to find my own way after having a child and kind of moving on from a career and not really knowing where I was.

[00:07:10] Hunter: And you were an actress, right? Because this is the first time I looked up my information, some information about my dad, my guest, and I found an IMDB like profile for you. And I was like, Oh. And your husband is a big actor. Yeah.

[00:07:26] Elisha Beach: I wasn't really acting that much. I had done some random things. I was actually a professional dancer.

And, uh, um, I taught, uh, dance in the schools and I trained teachers. And then I was working with the LA County Arts Commission and, um, running some of their grant programs. And when I got pregnant, they lost their funding for this huge expansion that I was a part of and building into the school. So I still worked as a consultant with them and coaching school districts and creating plans.

But then I had my kid and I was just like, I don't know how to handle all this. And do I really want to still do this? And husband was traveling. I think every mother goes through that. What? I was not expecting all of this. So I was in this coaching group. So I called the coach and I was like, Oh my God, I put this picture out and it's going viral and I don't know what to do.

And she happened to have a contact at Huffington Post. So she put me in touch with the editor. And I was a grant writer, so I had some writing skills. So I wrote a response to it, basically saying like, I mean, come on people, this is real life. Nobody's perfect, and these are all the ways that I am not perfect.

And then that went super viral and got translated to tons of different languages. And I was just not set up to acquire all of that traffic. I literally had like, personal pages and that was it. So I was getting all these personal messages on Facebook of women saying, thank you so much for showing this.

This is my life and I never see anything like this. Or, I don't feel so crazy and I see that other people are going through the same thing. And I was just like, whoa, like, this is a thing? I can do this? And people feel like I feel? And it was just a little bit mind blowing that I had this ability to reach out to other women that literally lived across the world through like a picture and then a message of something that I decided to write about that.

And I was like, oh, oh, I can do this. Like, this is a thing, really? And it just, like, made me take a hard left in my career and try something else.

[00:09:44] Hunter: Yeah. And then at that point, how many kids did you have? I'm just curious.

[00:09:48] Elisha Beach: Because you have four now. Yeah, I had two at that time. So yeah, I had had my, who's, he's now eight, about to turn nine.

And I had just had, My daughter, who is at the time of the picture, it was 11 months old, and she's now five.

[00:10:06] Hunter: Wow. Wow. And you have like four step kids too. So there are many, many children that are in your life. And, and as before we were recording, you explained to me that your oldest son is. is your cousin.


[00:10:23] Elisha Beach: I was kind of explaining to myself that I've been a mom in almost every capacity that you can be a mom. So I've been a stepmom and then a birth mom and then an adoptive mom. Yeah. Foster mom, adoptive mom. So when my, my cousin, who is now my child, that's how I refer to him, um, at nine, his mother, who is.

My aunt, my father is the oldest of 10. His mother is the youngest. Um, and she was adopted, her and her sister were adopted by my grandmother. She got severely sick with diabetes. Um, I'm not sure the actual episode, but I think she passed out and never showed up at school to pick him up and they found her and at her home passed out.

And so, um, she has severe diabetes at that point and had to have her leg removed. Um, and so he went into basically a hospital like foster emergency care at the time, um, in New York. So my brother, we have a large family, obviously, clearly, um, but all of the older adults, my aunt's siblings, were all like retirement age.

And we kind of knew that whoever took on my son It was going to be full time.

[00:11:47] Hunter: Yeah.

[00:11:48] Elisha Beach: Um, we didn't think she was going to make it through the first surgery. So, my brother had to gain, uh, foster care rights through the New York family system. Mm hmm. Um, so that we could get him out of the hospital foster care.

Um, so that was a whole rigmarole. I mean, the foster care system and family court is just a lot. There are very many steps. It's, it's can be very convoluted. Um, and then just we were having, uh, meetings over the phone with the entire family and where would it be best for Legend to go and we were just set up to take him.

We had a family, um, a home prepared for him to come to. Um, I was already a stay at home mom and so we decided that he would come to me. Uh, and that took a good year. So how old was he when he, when we finally got him? He was nine. Well, he is, he'll be 14 in February.

[00:12:54] Hunter: That's really interesting. So, I mean, so do you feel like your relationship with him?

I mean, it's different, right? Because he was with his mom for, Or, you know, his whole chunk of his life and now he's with you. He's like, aunt, does he, like, what does he call you?  

[00:13:13] Elisha Beach: He calls me mom. I think, and it was a lot of wanting to feel like a part of the family. I mean, the poor kid went from living as the only child with a single mom to sharing a home and having siblings and having a father in the home and, um, and I think he really wanted to fit in.

So he pretty much right off the bat started calling me mom. We didn't have like a really, really tight cousin relationship, obviously, because I'm an adult and he's

[00:13:40] Hunter: Yeah, yeah.

[00:13:41] Elisha Beach: a child.

[00:13:42] Hunter: Different coasts.

[00:13:43] Elisha Beach: Yeah, different coasts. We don't, we saw each other maybe once a year, so. There wasn't a strong, established, like, cousin relationship there.

Mm hmm. So I think it was easier for there to be a transition like that, which can be kind of

[00:13:59] Hunter: odd, and we Mm hmm. Well, no, it's interesting. I mean, I think what you're showing, though, which I think is so beautiful, is like, you know, just through some of these stories, is the complexity that's in all of our lives, right?

Like, the complexity and the messiness, and like, Someone might look at you and say, oh, you've, you have, you know, pictures with your husband at movie pre premieres. Yeah. , which I found , but, um, but also there's this like messiness to all of our lives. Like, and, and well, what I think, you know, one of the things that, um, that you talk about and then I talk about too is that where we have a lot of overlap is that.

You know, we can do a lot of things, we can do a lot of really good things for ourselves, a lot of things are quote unquote right, but it's still going to be messy. It's still going to be messy, it's still, there's still going to be uncomfortable times, there's still going to be times way out of balance and out of whack too.

Yeah. Right? Yeah.

[00:14:59] Elisha Beach: And I talk about that all the time because life is going to happen. Like you cannot control what life is going to throw at you. at you at all. And even when you're like, yeah, I'm going to voluntarily step into this situation or take this on. You have no idea what comes along with all the things that that brings.

And so I do, I talk a lot about self care and because you have to prepare yourself to be centered, to be able to take all those things on without losing yourself in it, which is what I did and why I started doing what I do now, because it's so easy to just get washed over by life and just lose yourself in all the things that you're trying to do for everybody else.

[00:15:48] Hunter: So then let's take that step back because, um, you know, you're saying like you lost yourself. So were you, I mean, so for me, I kind of think that in some ways I was like, Really, you know, I, I knew I was like a very highly sensitive person and I knew before I even had kids, I was like, I have to take care of myself and I got a little bit of, you know, I got enough selfishness or whatever that I was like, I got to do this.

And I didn't, I succumbed to that whole like, you know, it's like everywhere, like that mommy martyr, the pressure from our society and our world for women, especially, especially moms to just let themselves kind of be, serve everybody else all the time. And that's the message we get is to serve everybody else all the time, do for everybody else.

And that's how you're a good person and a good parent. Parent and Good Mother and, you know, I don't know, I, I called BS on that. I forgot, but you, you, you sounds like That was something that was part of where you were going with your, with that path, right? Like the feeling that, that pressure.

Stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcasts right after this break.

[00:17:10] Elisha Beach: Part of it was situational. So my, my first child, I'm, I was a really self centered, like, I'd dance and I ran a business and I would go salsa dancing every weekend. My, I did my thing. before having children. Like I had my things and I knew what I liked and I pursued my career and I decided to go to college.

Like that wasn't hard for me then. And then I had a child that was born with a congenital heart defect.

And it was like, what, like, I don't know if it was my way of trying to control the uncontrollable, but you have a child and your life alters. But then on top of that, they have a major health problem.

And so I, I had lost my job also right prior to that. Like I was talking about earlier. Um, and so I just threw everything into my kid. Cause I didn't know where to put the energy that I normally have and like the drive that I normally have. So I have this kid, then we have health issues. So I just threw everything into that.

Um, cause it was also a, Oh, well, he needs open heart surgery, but we don't know when he's going to need to have it. And he's losing weight. And it was kind of like, don't really know what's going on. Um, cause we didn't find out until he was three months old. So he wasn't gaining weight. They thought my milk wasn't coming in and kind of had heart palpitations.

And so there was a lot of back and forth to the doctor for the first three months to figure that out. And then Thank goodness we had a super overzealous pediatrician who's like very like, I don't like this, so let's double check it. Um, and that resulted in us getting that diagnosis of his congenital heart defect.

But then once we knew that, then it was like, okay, what do we do? What do I do? How do I fix this? Like, how do I? And so I think I just took all of that energy and drive that I had prior and just threw it into him and getting him healthier and And making sure that up to the surgery, he was getting everything that he needed.

He was getting the calories in and, and then we had breastfeeding issues that I didn't know were related to the, um, heart problem. And he also tongue ties. I basically was like stuck in a chair, breastfeeding him. And then once we figured it out, it was like a, And like, well, do you leave him with somebody to go do the thing that you want to do when he could, like, Stop breathing properly in the midst of that.

So that's kind of, I just took all my energy and threw it towards that. Maybe it was part of just trying to control it and keep my feelings in check and not totally freaking out and fall apart. Um, but I think that was situational for me. Oh yeah,

[00:20:13] Hunter: sounds like I stand totally corrected. That's, that's an incredibly.

Yeah. What an incredible situation. Yeah, you, you would direct everything to that. for that situation.

[00:20:27] Elisha Beach: So and then once I mean he had a congenital heart defect where if you get one that's the one you want because it's the easiest to fix. Not to say that that's great, but good good luck. It's the easiest one to fix.

It usually only takes um, one surgery to fix. So it's like once we got up to that and we had the surgery and then that was taken care of and he was Thriving within like three days. It was like no surgery happened. This kid is a force to be reckoned with it. And then I was like, I don't know what to do with all this energy.

Like, Yeah, what do I do now? So I kind of started losing myself because I had thrown everything into the kid. Now this problem is solved and it's not so all consuming anymore. Where do I go? But then husband got a job in Chicago. We moved to Chicago. I got pregnant again and then back into that cycle again.

[00:21:28] Hunter: So a lot of like, I mean, that's an incredible roller coaster. Yeah, I can't, even imagine and for you, you know, that brings up for me like a memory of a friend of mine who had a congenital heart defect and anyway, he was, um, he was told, like, he was supposed to, like, not have lived past 16 or something. Or at 16, he was told he had 6 months to live.

And I met him in his 20s, in college, and he was a dancer, and he, like, taught, he was, like, It's like huge man with long dreadlocks and he, and he was a swing dancer and he would swing me around and then he died and he had never, I hadn't known. Oh, wow. And, um, but anyway, um, but it was like, well, oh, he was told he had six months to live and he lived like, you know, years beyond that.

And it was really beautiful to see that. So I am glad that is not the story of your son. No, he is now. Your story is like a real rollercoaster. I mean, have that happen and then to bring in your, you know, your son who's, who's adopted, who's your cousin and then to move and then you're back in California. I mean, you have to really be practicing and, and, and do consciously grounding yourself.

[00:22:48] Elisha Beach: And I, I just, I wasn't aware of the mindful practice because You don't necessarily have to be aware of it when you're not, when you're only caring for yourself. And so I wasn't aware how much of was slipping away from me as I was becoming a mom and doing all these things and trying to balance out my husband's career.

And it just was like, suddenly I come out of the haze of having children and I'm like, Whoa, where am I? What is happening here? This is crazy. Like. I've just slowly dissipated through all of this.

[00:23:30] Hunter: Yeah, this feeling of like, like that identity shift, right? Like, and, and that happens to a lot of us. Like you, you, I mean, I did that too.

Like I left a job and I was like, I'm going to stay at home and I'm going to raise my children. I'm going to, and this is great that we have the flexibility to be able to do that. But then, we don't realize in some ways, like, the sort of self identity and like, what that means in some ways that, so we, and we tell ourselves like, I'm just, just a stay at home mom and, and, and this is how I spend my days with little kids and wiping butts and it's, I'm annoyed and frustrated and all of those things and like, it's hard, it's like, hard to say, well, okay, what?

You know, what are those things? Wait a second, like, what are those things that fulfill me, that not only just help me not lose my temper, but also, you know, make me the person I am, that I'm still the same, you know, not, and not the same person I was before I had kids, but you know, I'm still, I'm still more than just a mom, right?

So, So talking to me a little bit about that for you, how that.

[00:24:44] Elisha Beach: Well, it really, it came to a head probably when my youngest was six months old. Um, is that like I've said, there's just been ups and downs and ups and downs and I'll catch my breath and start figuring it out. And then my nine year old joined the family when he, well, he joined the family when he was nine and then whoops, there comes another baby and it was like all these ups and downs.

And then my, um, right after my last child was born, my husband got a few jobs overseas. So there was about a five month period where I think he was home for like one weekend and like maybe a week, but right in the midst of that, his mother passed away from cancer. So that week we spent at her funeral. Um, his, uh, middle, my oldest, my middle stepdaughter has colitis.

She had a flare up and ended up in the hospital. Um, so she had to get blood transfusion and um, You know, I have a newborn and then I'm dealing with the transition of my oldest and it was just like this stuff, stuff, stuff, compiling, compiling, compiling. And I was kind of like waiting for the moment when I could go be with my husband and he was in Australia at the time.

And so we had to get a passport for the youngest one because he was going to come with me. And we figured out to get the ticket at the last minute and I'm at the passport office to get the passport for my youngest and the Australian government wrote the date wrong on one part of the application. And the passport guy is like, I'm sorry, we can't approve this.

The date is wrong. And I lost it. In the passport office, I'm sobbing into a cloth diaper. I mean, like the heaving can't talk kind of sob. My baby is like hanging out of the carrier. I'm like begging the man to try to figure this out, but then like, I just, it was, I mean, I can laugh at it now, but it was awful.

But it was really just like this culmination of all the things that I had been taking in and not. Just kind of stamping down because I had to keep going. I hadn't been doing anything for me. I hadn't been dealing with any of my self care because who has time for that? And I, it was a mess. And after that day, because it was like, oh, if I just wait to this moment, then I'll have this big grand trip and I'll get all this rest and everything's going to be fine after that.

No. And then it got, the door got slammed in your face. Oh no. That was kind of the universe's way of saying, you can't do this. And we have to show you that this is not a sustainable practice. What you're doing here is not going to work for you because life is going to happen. And if you keep waiting for the big moment to do something about it, you're going to fall apart, which is basically what happened.

That's why we're here. So I cried for like the next day, and then I was like, okay, we got to do something because this is not working. It's not working for anybody involved.

[00:28:19] Hunter: I think that's like, it kind of like goes back to that whole idea, like how, how you live your, your days. It's how you live your life.

Yeah. You know, and you can't, you know, you can't be putting off your needs forever. You can't be putting up these things forever. So what changed? So what, what did you start to do? Well, first I said, I need something for me.

[00:28:39] Elisha Beach: Where's the me? And that's where the mom form was born because, um, I had been writing since my piece had gone viral and the photo of my daughter had gone viral, but nothing steady.

And it was kind of surfacy. I mean, I was sharing like the truth about my motherhood, but. I felt like it wasn't really addressing what I wanted to say about motherhood or interacting with moms and building the community that I wanted. Um, and so I ended, I did end up going to another country with my husband.

We managed to get that one together. And I couldn't sleep at night because of the time change, so I basically sat down and built the mom form for myself and started writing. And not necessarily as, oh, I'm going to figure out how to get paid for this, but these are the things that I need to say. These are the things I needed to hear.

Um, and so it was like, this is my thing. I'm going to do this for me, even if that means I have to get up earlier in the morning. That's my thing. but something for me. And then I had to start thinking about how was I spending my time? What did I want for myself? What did I need for myself? And how was I going to actually implement that in my life?

Because I can't really change my circumstances. I got four kids now. My husband travels a lot. Suddenly say, well, you can't travel for work anymore. Wouldn't be like unfair to him and not like, that's who I married. So I can't expect everything to change now. I had to figure out how do I make this me, the center of all of this, cared for in everything that I am doing and being to everybody.

[00:30:24] Hunter: All right. Well, how, how do you take care of Mama in those circumstances? Cause I think a lot of people can relate to those circumstances. We all, whether you have one child or four children, like it's incredibly overwhelming, especially if they're young and they're not in school and you're, you're it's.

Life gets so turned upside down and just everyone's lives, you know, my kids are in school now, but like life gets full, life gets busy and there's a pressure in our society to just be going and doing and everything's sort of filled up. So what are, what are these ways? How, how do you make, how did you make time?

[00:31:05] Elisha Beach:

So, just a little background. I work with the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. I was a strategic planner for them. 

[00:31:10] Hunter: Ah, sweet. So, strategic planning.

[00:31:15] Elisha Beach:  And I was like, wait, I have this skill. Let me see if I can apply it to myself. Because I'm working with school districts and teaching them how to implement a plan.

I think I can work with myself. and figure out how to implement a plan. So I had to create a plan because I mean, when you have all of that stuff going on, there's just no way. That you could actually get focused on yourself if there's not some kind of structure to it. But one of the first things I had to sit down and do is to really get honest with myself about how I was using my time.

Like, was I really using my time in the way that was most beneficial to me? Or was I like using Candy Crush for 45 minutes at the end of the night, which is a total, like, fair, you zone out, but what is it giving back to you? Like, was, my time is so limited. Is my time giving me what I need? So I had to really sit down and get honest about how I was really using my time and if the things that I was doing was serving me in the ways that I needed.

So I took basically, uh, um, uh, I tracked all the things that I was  doing,

uh, to be honest with myself. And I was wasting a lot of time, honestly, which I think a lot of us do, and we're not even aware of it, how much time we're actually not using to our advantage. Then I had to sit down and think about, okay, what do I really want to do for myself?

What are the, some of the things that I want that I have not been doing? And then just pick a few of those to focus on at a time. And then to actually sit down and plan my week out. Okay, I need, I want to be able to read. I want to be eating better because my energy is low and I'm not feeling good these days.

And I need to be getting more sleep. So we're just a few things I can focus on right now to change my practice of. And then once I get that in check, then I can add something else. I just started like, instead of bringing my phone to bed, reading, keeping a book by the side of my bed and on the back of the toilet.

[00:33:23] Hunter: Plug the phone in downstairs.

[00:33:25] Elisha Beach: Yeah, on my desk away from me so I'm not even tempted to pick it up. And the next thing I knew I was reading again and I was finishing, you know, like a book a month. It's not how I used to read, but I was accomplishing things. And then I started being very mindful about, okay, lights out at 10 o'clock.

And mind you, this, these things cycle, like sometimes I'm really, really good about it, and sometimes I'm really, really not. But I feel like I would try to do it for 30 days to change the habit and make it a practice. So I just plan, create a plan, put that plan into actual time pieces in your day. Like, when are you actually going to take the time?

And most of it was just 15 minutes in the morning, 15 minutes afternoon, 15 minutes at night. But just that, setting that side of time for my, that time aside for myself, made a huge difference for me. Just that little, tiny bit of time. Or if I know I'm driving somewhere and I'm stressed out, Just taking that moment to turn off the radio and having a mindful moment as I'm driving to let my brain kind of relax and be.

So just really being mindful about what I'm doing and how it's speeding me. And not throwing my time away because I just, I need to zone out.

[00:34:52] Hunter: Yes.

[00:34:53] Elisha Beach: Which is, yes, that's a form of self care, but is the zoning out giving me what I need?

[00:35:00] Hunter: Yeah, and if you actually are, end up like kind of looking at your time really consciously, you might find you have a little time to zone out too, and that's okay.

[00:35:10] Elisha Beach: And if you're, if you're specific about that and you know, yeah, intentional about that, And then you, you're not sitting there going, okay, I'm spending this hour to watch Netflix, but really I should be doing dishes and I should be doing this. So you're not even enjoying the time that you're taking because you're not being intentional about it.

And then we end up beating ourselves up about the 50 other things that we're not doing.

[00:35:33] Hunter: Yeah. So being very specific and intentional. I love that. You're just looking at your time. What do I, what, what am I needing right now? And I think right now we, you know, like we know what we're needing. If we're not getting enough sleep, we know we need to work on sleep.

Right. We know, um, you know, I have clients who come to me and they're like, Oh, we want to like fit in the meditation practice. And sometimes we start to talk about sleep and I'm like, you know, you need sleep more than meditation right now. So like go for, you know, this is in that bit by bit. Creating a change, creating a habit, bit by bit over time.

I mean, that's, that's really what we need. You also talk about support. Yes. Right, so tell me a little bit more about, like, what were you getting support through? I mean, because you were moving different places, you were kind of back and forth. Was that, was that happening for you? And then how did you, how did you find support?

I think the biggest block in getting support was me not asking. Yeah. I'm such a doer and like, I got it and I can figure it all out myself that my biggest problem was not saying, Hey, um, honey, I need, can you do the afternoon with the kids when you're home? Cause I just need that downtime to kind of catch up with everything while you've been God or just.

You know, maybe asking my mom to come down to visit while he's away to support me in some ways. I found that my biggest obstacle to that was myself and trying to get out of my own way and actually state that I need help and putting people in place. to do that. The other side of it was, I felt like taking on the title of stay at home mom meant that I had to do all these things.

[00:37:18] Hunter: Oh, you were, you were pointing to something really important here. That's just like, I want to underline it right now because, say that again, because it's such a BS thing we tell ourselves. Like, okay, say it again.

[00:37:30] Elisha Beach: Yeah, I mean, I was like, okay, I'm the stay at home mom now, so I should be making all the dinners from scratch, and I should be fully entertaining my children, and oh, they should have some form of school time in the middle of the day, and my refrigerator should be organized, and the dishes should be done, and the laundry should be done.

And I'm going to look fabulous doing all of those things. And it was like, and then I was beating myself up because I couldn't do all of that, but I'm in my head, but I'm a stay at home mom, like this is my full time job, and I should be doing all these things. And so then my husband would come home, and Say a random statement like, wow, why is their fridge a mess?

And I would take it so personally, because in my head, that means I didn't do my job. And he sees that I didn't do my job. And then that means I'm not holding up my side of the bargain in this whole marriage thing. No, absolutely not. He's just doing what he does. He's a super organized person, I am not, and it's like, but I was taking everything so personally and had developed this, this standard of how I should be doing everything, as opposed to, no, I'm not capable of keeping the clean, the house clean while having two, three kids at home full time.

And so I'm going to bring someone to clean in the house and take that on. You know what? It's impossible to go grocery shopping with two kids in tow and actually get all the things that I need. So, hello Amazon, we're going to have the groceries delivered to my house. The Whole Foods Amazon Prime thing is so a gainty ter, OMG.

I love it so much. I'm like, I'm sorry. I'm giving Amazon all my money, but it makes my life so much better. I hate going to the grocery store. It's

a lifesaver. And I actually, I love going to the grocery store, but with two kids, it's not, it's a nightmare. And just finding those little ways to set up supports that don't necessarily have to be a full time nanny or a husband that does 50 50 in the household.

Cause that's not everyone's story, but. What's, what realistically can you put in place? What realistically can you let go of and let someone else take over? And in this day and age, there's just so much. There's, there's things, apps that will pick your children up, schedule pickups for your children. I don't know that I would use that personally, but there's so much available to us to create a support system that doesn't necessarily have to be.

Your mother or your mother in law or your sister or the full time nanny.

[00:40:13] Hunter: Yeah.

[00:40:13] Elisha Beach: That I think we're not taking full advantage of. And maybe even may carry some guilt around because we're supposed to be able to do all of it.

[00:40:20] Hunter: Yeah, I think that's the thing. I mean, it's the story we tell ourselves about like, this is my job and that's it.

That's simply not true. And just also talking to your, talking to your husband, talking to your partner about that. I mean, I know so many of my clients often, um, they often can't even, uh, or feel very, feel so much block, so many blocks against actually like, Just having their husband do bedtime. Yeah.

Stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcasts right after this break.

And you can go and do something else, you know, and, and leave that situation. But my kids want me, well, sometimes they don't get you and it's okay. Yeah. They are allowed to have your life, right? And your, your husband's going to figure it out. No one's going to die. Everyone's going to be all right, you know, and, and just letting, we have to.

I'll let go of that control because it's, it doesn't serve anyone for you to be everything. It's the recipe for resentment.

[00:41:30] Elisha Beach: Oh, absolutely. And then you don't even realize all the resentment that you're building up in the list that you're keeping of or the tally. I'm doing this and I'm doing this and I'm doing this and I'm doing this.

And then he is sitting over there doing that. And then it's like, you know, You're pissed off at your husband and he doesn't even know why. Yeah. Or your spouse, your partner, and I realized I was doing that a lot and my husband was clueless to the things that were going on in my head. And so it was like, I was holding him to this unfair standard and I wasn't even communicating what it was that I wanted or needed from him.

Because they're, they're just not mind readers. And honestly, I also discover a kind of All the things that live in my head, the list that live in my head, do not live in his head. Like if a birthday party goes by and he missed it or didn't send them a card or a gift, he could cancel it. It's like, that's just not even on his radar.

So for me to be all like, I take care of all the birthday cards. For him, that's like, I don't care about it. Like,

[00:42:41] Hunter: yeah, we, we have to be specific and ask. Like I, I remember at one point with my husband, I was like, I realized like, oh, that sort of like executive, like, uh, running, uh, mentally keeping tally of all the things that I was kind of doing some of, like all that.

And I was like, whoa, listen, you've got piano lesson, piano instructor, all that communication, that's you. And you've got the children's, the theater thing, right? Like all that communication, that's you, right? Or, you know, it was a conversation. I'm saying it like I was kind of Boston around. I really wasn't.

It was a conversation. But, like, we have to speak up and say, you know, because we do sort of unintentionally just take all these things on and they aren't, it's, if we're in a partnership, you know, it's, it's their, it's their job as well to, to take care of some of those things. So I don't even know when we pay the piano instructor, like, you know what I mean?

I have no idea, like, hey, you know, Bill, when, when does that happen? And that, you know, and I want to encourage. You a dear listener to like learn from this example and just say, you know, you. Don't, don't take all the things on and, and, and have those conversations. Ask for what you're needing. Don't just be ranting in your head.

[00:44:00] Elisha Beach: Yeah. And even the things that, like, you deserve to go out and have a girl's night out. Like that is a, yes, you need that. You deserve downtime to do nothing. You deserve that time and so does your partner. So don't feel guilt in asking that and don't guilt your partner. Thank you for asking for that, because we need time to develop ourselves and be with ourselves, because all that does is help you be a better partner, a better wife, a better mother, whatever it is you need to be, because you've had that time to check in with yourself.

And I see a So many moms that will maybe ask for help in the home, but won't ask for time to do things for themselves. There's so much guilt.

[00:44:48] Hunter: And I even push back against the whole ask for thing because we don't have to ask permission. This is not, your partner is not your father, you know, like it's, it's, it's, you know, have a conversation with, and yeah, I mean.

Uh, we have to like communicate with each other, but yeah, it's, um, it's, it's tricky. So good. When that is something you advocate for enormously is, is finding, you know, that, that sort of confidence and that ability to say, okay, I need, I need these things. I'm going to start to take steps towards making, taking and making these things happen in, in your life.

Um, yeah. Yay. Good for you. High five. Thank you.

[00:45:34] Elisha Beach: It's work, man. It's work. Like, it's not easy. It doesn't just come naturally for a lot of people. And then you think you have it figured out, and then your kid's school schedule changes, and you gotta figure it all out again. Or things at home change, or new jobs come up.

It's just like a constant, ongoing, working cycle.

[00:46:00] Hunter: Yeah, yeah. It's never, you know, it's always a little messy, and we, you know, but it's like, What is, what is that North I think sometimes what is helpful is to think about, like, Yeah, like taking that moment of step back, like, what do I need? What do I want, even?

Like, what is that vision, right? And when, as changes come, you know, how can I make choices that are towards my vision of what I'm wanting? Um, so if you don't mind, we can shift gears a little, because, um, I wanted to talk to you about, uh, you know, recently it's been, I think it's like such an important conversation to have.

We've been having all these conversations. In our culture and world about race and Black Lives Matter and, and Me Too, all of those things. And, um, and I'm the aunt of some beautiful nieces who are, have a white father and a black mother. She's, uh, she's actually African. She says, I'm not African American.

Anyway, um, and you grew up the child of a, uh, white mother and a black father, right? So, um, can you talk to, uh, and now you're raising kids and, um, Can you talk to them a little bit about maybe, um, you know, growing up, you know, when you did as a child of people who are two different races, which race is a construct anyway.

But anyway, what was that experience like and kind of how do you, how do you see these things sort of evolving and moving now? Because Well, there's so much. There's so much. I just want to open up a big old

[00:47:46] Elisha Beach: subject right there. In, in my home, I, I don't see, oh, my white mom and my black dad. Like they're just mom and dad.

Um, and I grew up in Alabama. So outside of the home, It was clear to me that there was, you know, judgment around that and people had feelings about it. But my mom, um, mostly did so much work about ensuring that we were in places that were multiple races. Yeah. Like the school that we went to, she made sure that it wasn't just all white or all black.

It was, you know. Extremely multi ethnic, um, because it was right in the middle of this big medical campus where a lot of foreign families went to. So, um, and it also had, uh, children that had, uh, hard of hearing and, uh, special ed classes and they intermingled a lot of the classes. So, she really went out of her way to, um, to almost overexpose us to multi ethnic situations and to make sure that, like, she put us in a black dance company, but then it was just, she went so out of her way to ensure that we didn't feel isolated in any way that I almost clueless to, like, the fact that there may have been problems.

I know they had to address problems, Um, because as an adult, my mom has shared some stories with me, you know, of like neighbors threatening them or things like that. But I never, I was clueless to that as a child. I mean, there were instances where I would be literally right next to my mother calling her mom and like an adult would address me like, where's your mother?

And I'm like, I just called this woman right here. I'm long. I have, I

[00:49:40] Hunter: have a good friend who has, uh, was, uh, this is the same exact situation, except she's that white mom. And she says, yeah, like, she goes into situations and It's like, people have

[00:49:53] Elisha Beach: this disassociation, they can't Especially back then, because, I mean, you have more multiracial families And especially living in California, it's a lot different, the lines are not as clear as they were, at least in Alabama when I was growing up.

Um, so I think I missed a lot of it. It's funny. My sister has a very different perspective. She's a lot more sensitive to that kind of thing. So she took more of an end than I did. Um, so she's able to come up with these stories that I was clueless to. Well, it's funny because we have these conversations sometimes about when we were growing up and she's like, you didn't know that such and such was happening.

I'm like, Totally clueless about that, but she's a lot more sensitive to that kind of thing than I am, but, but it also, I guess my mom was just so determined to make sure that she supplied us with all the things that we needed to self identify. I've always been so secure in the fact that I am white and I am black and I don't need to pick a side and I'm fine with the fact that you may identify me as an African American.

That's fine with me. But I know who I am. Um, and most of my parents were strong parts of my life as parents, even though they divorced when I was 12. So I think maybe I had a weird perspective on it because I didn't have as many challenges that I think a lot of biracial kids had.

[00:51:29] Hunter: That's cool. You make me very hopeful for my nieces because they live at a very Um, Multicultural Place and, um, sometimes I, like, I get worried cause, you know, we go to my parents house and we go to, we were in Rhode Island, which is like a really white state, but it was like, you know, we go to the beach and like, they're like the only kids of color, like, on that whole beach and I feel, you know, and, and I don't know if they're noticing it, you know what I mean, but anyway, your, your story makes me hopeful for them cause their situation is very.

So how about now, as you raise a black, black sons, because, you know, men of color, and that, to me, the whole, I feel so, like, I could imagine the fear, I mean, that you can have to raise a black man in this world is like, incredible because of the, the, I mean, just the, I don't know. It's like hard to talk about because it seems like this guy, I mean, you can't think about it obviously all the time, but like, so how does it, how do you deal with that?

How does that run through your head?

[00:52:46] Elisha Beach: I mean, I had, there is the narrative that we see in social media and the news and yes, some of that is real and there are situations that black men have to face that most people do not have to face. Yes. Is that my daily narrative though? No, it's not. My children are happy living, you know, lives of kids.

[00:53:12] Hunter: And

[00:53:12] Elisha Beach: they happen to be black boys. Does it come into play for me? Yes. Both of my boys, um, one of them is officially diagnosed with ADHD. The other one has AIDS. a vision issue and some sensory issues, um, with the thing called Irlen syndrome. And so they're high energy and they, it's hard for one of them is very hard for him to focus in school.

And, um, that comes up as behavior issues. And the other one is very super hyper focused, which also can come up as a behavior issues. And sometimes in dealing with the schools, I do worry, are they addressing them differently because they are a child of color? Are they, um, being looked at differently? Is their behavior being looked at differently?

And there are some instances where, yes, I do feel that way. And I, it's really frustrating when I feel like I need to address it. And it's a very difficult thing to address because people do not want to have that conversation or to address their own biases.

[00:54:16] Hunter: Oh yeah. And then for you to talk about it then.

'cause God forbid you seem like an angry black woman. Like that's like such a funny, that's

[00:54:26] Elisha Beach: never that, like I don't like to play into that narrative. Like, you have made me angry and I have a right to be angry now. And so now you're going to hear from me what my problem is. Um, and I don't know if, because I will speak up like that, I'm seen as confrontational, but I am, the thing that is wearing is that I have to be aware of those things.

Yeah. And to have to explain that those are things that I have to be aware of when other people can be completely unaware of it, it's, it can be exhausting at times. And I'm not saying that is necessarily true. Like some of the times that that is not the case at all, but you have to be aware of it and you have to constantly like, do I need to address this?

What conversation do I need to have about this? Just little, what some may see as minor things, I think people call them

[00:55:26] Hunter: microaggressions

[00:55:27] Elisha Beach: that could be easily overlooked or overpassed, or if you bring it up as minor, No,

[00:55:32] Hunter: no, that's not the case at all. I don't know what you're talking about. And you're like, We all have racial bias.

And yes, I mean, that's just, everybody does. It's like nuts. Like every single person of every color in our culture has it.

[00:55:45] Elisha Beach: Yeah. And then dealing with them in school is where it comes up the most. Uh, but my husband and I are very like, We want to teach our children self responsibility, self advocacy, to be resourceful and to speak for themselves.

And we don't, it's such a hard line to tow because you want to be aware of it. When do you make your child aware of it? Do you speak about that to them? Do you bring it up? Is this situation one where you need to have this conversation? And at the same time, teaching them that they are still responsible for their selves in the world.

And they still have to make responsible choices and you can't blame other people for your situation. Like you can't fall into the, because I'm black, things are still hard for me. Maybe, probably, in this situation, someone could be holding that against you. And then on this side, Someone may not, but you still have to learn how to function in this world and, and trying to toe that line of teaching your children when to be aware of that, when to know that that is not the case, when to make a deal of something, when to not.

It is something to carry, and it is a worry that you have in your head. And, Do I not show them this? And do we turn on the news and share this story with them and have a discussion and what part of it is just the hype of the news to make it a big story and what part of it is true? And what part of it affects my child and what part of it do they not need to know about at all?

I want my children to be children. I want them to be naive at eight years old. And I don't want to have to have these conversations, but I also want them to be aware of the world that they're growing up in. So it's just, it can be exhausting to constantly navigate that line. And even when I'm having to navigate their 504s or IEP plans, like, where's the line and what am I navigating?

And because part of it is you just don't know, and you may feel some microaggressions sitting under there. And sometimes, coming from the background that I am, biracial, I don't even notice it. And I don't know if that's an advantage or a disadvantage. I don't really know.

[00:58:16] Hunter: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it's so interesting because you, yeah, there may, you know, you may have less ability to sort of shelter them in some ways because you have to kind of keep them safe, right?

In some, and that's. And how, how do you navigate that and also like, yeah, that whole idea of like making them aware but not letting them use that as like an excuse, like letting them, having them take that responsibility. That's, that's a lot to hold. Um, I had Nefertiti Austin on the podcast a while back, and she talked about how with her son, like, she had to explain at a birthday party that she couldn't let him play in the, with, in the front yard with, like, the Nerf guns, the way all the kids are playing with the Nerf guns.

And she kind of explained this to the mom, and, um, and it's just, it's just, it's just things that people don't think about. So I like, I'm glad we get it. Thank you for sharing, opening up and sharing a little bit, because I think it's really important for us to understand, like, what's, for everyone to understand, like, what's going on and all these different ways so that, um, we can just have more awareness and more compassion.

[00:59:33] Elisha Beach: Yeah, I think a lot of it is just, if it's not introduced to you, you're completely unaware of it. Yeah, why wouldn't you be? Like, my eight year old is in gymnastics. And like, I worry, like we went to a big, the big competition with the older kids that, that like, Qualified you for the Olympics. Oh, wow. And one of the thoughts in my head is, I really hope there's black boys there that he can see on the floor.

And then my thought is, I bet you she doesn't even have to think about it. And then it's like, I don't have these thoughts, but they come up and it's like, just those little things and being aware that that may even be something that a mom of color has to think of. Just some of the things that we can even be aware of, like.

[01:00:22] Hunter: Yeah.

[01:00:23] Elisha Beach: The, the things that we don't know and being open to hearing about the things that we don't know.

[01:00:29] Hunter: Yeah. Yeah. Oh, good. And I hope this is like a small step in that direction for all of us. Maybe you, dear listener, hearing this podcast as well. Um. Bye. I should totally link up to that picture in the show notes.

I think it might. Uh, I guess it was so hilarious. Um, yeah. Uh, so as we, as we kind of wrap up, what, do you have any final words for the listener, anything you want to share and, um, and also where they can find you, of course.

[01:01:01] Elisha Beach: I just learned for myself, don't be afraid to put yourself first sometimes. It's, it's so necessary, um, because really it supports you in being better in everything else that you do.

If you constantly kick yourself to the end of the list, you're never going to get to yourself and it just does not serve anybody. That would be the advice I've learned

[01:01:30] Hunter: for myself to share out to others. Yes. Yes. You have to put yourself first. You gotta. Yeah. If you don't have it inside, how can you give it up?

Alicia, thank you so very much for coming on the Mindful Mama podcast. It has been a pleasure. Um, where can people find you? Especially on Instagram, I think is the funnest way to find you actually. My

[01:01:53] Elisha Beach: personal Instagram page is mylifeisabeach. Um, and then I also have the mom forum, which is my platform.

And then you can find me on Facebook at the mom forum. And my website is themom forum. com.

[01:02:09] Hunter: All right. Those are all the places. Yes. And we will, we'll link up to one of those places in the show notes at MindfulMamaPodcast. com. Thank you so much, Alicia. Thank

[01:02:19] Elisha Beach: you. It's been fun. I enjoyed it.

[01:02:29] Hunter: Hey, thank you so much for listening. I really love talking to Alicia and the whole idea of her kids. But I love how honest she is. She's like, I'm not good at cleaning the house. And, you know, how her, her honest, uh, ways of approaching the craziness of being a stay at home parent. Um, so I hope that this has been helpful for you.

Please, of course, let me know if it has. Um, actually, I want to thank, um, Marian YC or Miria NYC for the five star review on iTunes. So then thank you. I really appreciate your wonderful review. That makes Means so much to me to read that. If you want to support the podcast, leaving a review is a great way.

Discover the podcast and of course, sharing it with friends is such, such a wonderful way. So if this episode sparked something for you and you know it might spark something for a friend, please do share it. I love getting those shout outs on Instagram too. Those are fun. And I hope that you have a peaceful week.

I hope that you have moments of slowing down, moments of um, just resting in the midst of all the craziness. And I hope that you have moments of where you're really leaning into the joy. I will be trying to do that too with you. So thank you. Thank you so much for listening. I'm wishing you the best week ever.


I'd say definitely do it. It's really helpful. It will change your relationship with your kids for the better. It will help you communicate better and just I'd say communicate better as a person, as a wife, as a spouse. It's been really a positive influence in our lives. So definitely do it. I'd say definitely do it.

It's so worth it. The money really is inconsequential when you get so much benefit from being a better parent to your children and feeling like you're connecting more with them. Not feeling like you're yelling all the time, or you're like, why isn't this working? I would say definitely do it. It's so, so worth it.

It'll change you. No matter what age someone's child is, it's a great opportunity for personal growth, and it's great investment in someone's family. I'm very thankful I have this. You can continue in your old habits that aren't working, or you can learn some new tools and gain some perspective to shift everything in your parenting.

Are you frustrated by parenting? Do you listen to the experts and try all the tips and strategies, but you're just not seeing the results that you want? Or are you lost as to where to start? Does it all seem so overwhelming with too much to learn? Are you yearning for community people who get it, who also don't want to threaten and punish to create cooperation?

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com to add your name to the waitlist so you will be the first to be notified when I open the membership for enrollment. I look forward to seeing you on the inside. MindfulParentingCourse. com

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