[00:00:00] Welcome to this special crossover episode of the no guilt mom podcast and the purpose driven mom podcast. I’m JoAnn Crohn I am your host of the no guilt mom podcast. And we’re helping you go from feeling like a martyr in your household to being that role model for your kids. So you show them what that self like wonderful life looks like. [00:00:23] And I’m joined here with Cara Harvey. Hi, I’m Cara Harvey, and my goal is to help moms figure out how to work on their goals and their personal life and their business without putting themselves last and feeling like you have to hustle all the time to get everything done. Yes. And I feel like this is a perfect episode for us to do together because going into the holiday season, all of us moms have so much stress coming up. [00:00:44] Like moms just shut down in what they call the quote unquote burr months. [00:00:48] Yeah, it’s so hard. We’re expected, I think, to just handle it all. there’s all those memes that are so not funny but true about how Dad just shows up at Christmas and is What did you get? Oh, that’s really cool. Where we’re sitting there because we’ve done all the things. [00:01:02] And I think for so many of us moms, we go into this season already with this, heavy weight on our chest because we know in our brains, we think, Well, this isn’t going to be fun. I’m going to be stressed. There’s no joy in this. And we’ve, I feel like sometimes we’ve given up before the holiday season has even started because of the stress level. [00:01:19] Oh my gosh. Yes. Like the no joy. That’s the thing. I think going into the season, we’re like, okay, we just have to get through it. We have to get through it. And then the new year comes and it’s done. But we’re like, there is no happiness from it whatsoever. And when you talk about like the memes about dad’s just showing up, it reminded me of in my house growing up, my mom used to buy herself a present from my dad, wrap it for herself, say it was from him and then be like, thank you, honey. [00:01:47] Yeah. And I think it just goes to show like we put so much on ourselves as moms. And if we actually, if we saw that growing up too, we might have this skewed perception of what exactly is our responsibility and what isn’t our responsibility. I mean, do you feel that way too? A hundred percent. And I think there’s so much rooted in like the shame. [00:02:11] Uh, you’re a good mom eth, right? It’s the start of now, right? You see everybody at the fall pumpkin patches doing all their things. And yesterday my mom came, right? And I was like, Mom, why don’t we just go to the store and buy pumpkins and paint them? I don’t feel like doing all this to get a cute picture. [00:02:24] Like, I just don’t care, right? But I know there are some times I’ll like open up social media and I’ll see it and think, oh. My kids are quote, missing out on this fun activity because I’m not doing enough. And I think there’s so much of that out there that we take into the holiday season. We feel like we need to curate this picture perfect thing at the detriment of our own sanity, our own burnout. [00:02:45] When in reality, like our kids probably like, they just want to hang out with us and wouldn’t care as much about all those other things. But the pressure we put on ourselves then becomes the cycle of, well, I did it one year. Now I have to do it this year and it’s never just keeping up. It’s keeping up plus accelerating. [00:03:00] It’s keeping up with what you did, plus what the other person did, plus what the new trend is that everyone’s doing with their kids. It isn’t joyful like it isn’t fun for us unless we are intentional about making that joy and that fun and that that plan to like chill a little bit. You’re totally right. [00:03:18] I mean, I look at those social media pictures and I now being like on the other side of Instagram and putting stuff like that together. I realized that when they get those pictures, it’s like a slice. It’s like a moment in time because right before it. It’s usually everybody’s yelling at each other. No, like stop fiddling with that thing. [00:03:37] Oh, your shirt’s a mess. I have to tuck it in there. I mean, like when you walk by the pumpkin patches and you see people taking these family photos, like that’s always how it is. But the photo that we see on social media is like, Oh, this must be such a happy, joyous time. And. Oh my gosh, that mom must have her life totally together that she could have her kids looking like they didn’t just roll out of bed, which my kids look like all the time, at least my son does. [00:04:04] But knowing that it’s a moment in time for that, I think is really, really helpful and just a reminder to everybody listening that. Those instances, they don’t even exist. Like, they don’t even exist. It’s like the snapshot of a camera. And you mentioned, Kara, how right now it’s birthday season, and you guys are just struggling. [00:04:24] Tell me more about that. Last year, or maybe two years ago, I realized it was, like, becoming too much. As, especially as my kids get older, wanting bigger birthday parties, I knew, I was like, I need to make some sort of plan, or I’m going to go nuts. Like, I need to be… the game for my own sanity. So I’m not scrambling. [00:04:39] And my daughter’s birthday, like I said, it’s December 23rd. I sent out her birthday invitations two weeks ago and said, my friends were like, what are you doing? Like it’s October. And I was like, go look at your December calendar and tell me what free time you have. And they’re like, oh, right. But what, what used to happen was I’d be like, cool. [00:04:54] Like I have time, right? We always say that I have time, I have time and then we keep waiting. And so one of the things that is helping me feel. A lot less frazzled is this planning in advance. And even though, like I said, my friends are, you know, giving me a little bit of crap about it. Like they’re making fun to make it. [00:05:09] It’s always played in so far advance. I’m like, I don’t want to stress about it. I don’t want to think about it. I don’t want to worry about it. I want to book it and check it off because it’s not so much I find. The party it’s the decisions about the party. I got up at the day and the invitations and all those things. [00:05:22] So if I could just like move those things further up and just do them sooner, I feel like a couple of things happen. One, I got a lot less pressure on myself because I’m not scrambled. My brain doesn’t have to constantly be thinking about it, but then also it’s just one less thing that I’m allowing to leave my mental to do list, right? [00:05:40] Instead of in the back of my head, being like, book the party, book the party, book, the party, the parties book. I can take a break. The party’s booked. And not even worry about it. Exactly. And you know what? I am totally with you on those December birthdays. My birthday’s December. My daughter’s birthday’s December. [00:05:53] Like, my daughter knows from experience that she has to plan her birthday party. Like, right now. Like, she just asked her friends. She’s like, is this date okay with all of you? Because in years past, if she’s just waited a month out for December, they’re like, no, sorry, I have to go to this holiday party. I have to go to this holiday party. [00:06:11] Like, what you do is smart. Planning ahead for December been that way to where I I’ve done like all the things and I haven’t necessarily planned ahead I’ve kind of just responded to everybody else around me and one Christmas in particular that totally changed everything is I was just exhausted the day after and I was laying on the couch and my mother in law Bought me the book fair play by Eve Rodsky and you’ve read fair play. [00:06:39] I know, but like fair play really goes into this unequaled gender expectations in regards of home and work. And it just gives you so many great zingers. Really. Like, Hey, just because your husband makes more money does not mean his time is more valuable. Time is the same for anyone. And they were all of these myths that I had in my head that I was operating by. [00:07:03] And I just remember lying on the couch and just crying, like sobbing all the joy from the season. Like there was no joy from the season because I realized that I was all alone in this. My husband got to concentrate on his job while I concentrated on growing a company plus all of these tasks for Christmas and it just came down right there and my husband was like, I feel like he thought that I was broken like they broke me that Christmas, but It was the breakdown that was needed because it started the turnaround into what we are going to talk about. [00:07:43] We’re going to give you tips for today. And uh, Karen, I have some tips for you on how to manage all of the stress right after this break. So we’re back and Karen, I have three tips on how to make this holiday season just a little bit easier for you. Um, so Kara, in regards to like all the tasks you have, you have something that people can do right now. [00:08:04] What is that? Yeah, we’re gonna talk about preplanning and I like to talk about things proactive versus reactive when you’re telling that story. It reminded me of how I used to feel when I was in the reactive mode, which I think how a lot of us moms live. Our lives is very reactively because the constant barrage of things we have to do is thrown at us. [00:08:22] But when we can. proactively plan. It’s like you’re giving future you this gift to take a breath, right? It’s like you’re giving yourself a little bit of a break. So one of the reasons I’m able to, cause you know, I just said, Oh, I booked a December birthday party and somebody listened. It’s probably good for you. [00:08:37] Right? Like that’s nice. I can’t even get through today. I highly recommend right now is such a great time to make this list for yourself, not to overwhelm yourself because as soon as you make the list, when I walk you through some steps, you’re gonna be like, Oh, my gosh, I have so much to do, but to take it from the brain to paper so you can make a plan. [00:08:53] It’s that intentionality right of saying, I know I have these things to do. So what I like to do is start with, like, the main categories of what you have going on for the next few months, the holiday party. The, you know, white elephant gift exchange, the birthday party, Thanksgiving, like write all of them down, put on a timer, put on some like good music that you like and brain dump all of the things that you need to get done for that. [00:09:16] Now, I tend to have mine in Trello because it’s like electronic and then it’s just a template. So then I can use the same one next year. So if anyone works in Trello, you can just do that. But if you want to grab a piece of paper, what are all the things you need for Thanksgiving? I always host for Thanksgiving. [00:09:30] We have the same menu every year. I know exactly when the text needs to go out of like who’s bringing what, even though everyone knows what they’re bringing, right? Like we all have the same traditions that we do. They all need reminders. Yeah, but everybody needs a reminder. This is the time we’re getting together. [00:09:42] It’s always at our house. Make that list now because what you can do is once you step back from that list, you can start to kind of batch things together to make it easier for yourself. So these are some examples of things I batch together. I was just telling Joanne before gifts. I am like a. I’m going to buy it when it’s on sale all year round. [00:09:59] And so I keep things, I have a gift section like in my attic where I keep gifts. We have a birthday party. I’m like, thank you, Pascara. Like I never go to the store. I pull a gift out and I’m like, what would a seven year old girl like? Probably this thing that I bought when I saw it on an Amazon clearance. [00:10:12] Right? So like I’m in an Amazon deals group. I see it. I buy it and I just put it there because one of the most stressful things for me is anything last minute. I don’t want to run to a store last minute. I’m not doing that. Like, we ran out of tissue paper once and I was like, I don’t care. You’re just not going to get any tissue paper. [00:10:28] Like, I just will not do it. I refuse. I don’t do anything, if I can, help it that day for that day. That’s a good strategy. Yeah. It’s a good strategy. Unless it’s like something I have to do for that day. Otherwise, it can wait till tomorrow. That’s like always my thought. Because I don’t like Brussels. I must have got that. [00:10:44] Like I do that too, where I’m like, thank you past Joanne. I must’ve gotten that from you because that’s how I get myself to do stuff also that I don’t want to do, such as like what you’re describing, this whole gift, like buying beforehand. If I can frame it in a way where I’m like, I am doing this for future Joanne. [00:11:00] Future Joanne is going to thank me right now. I am much more likely to do the thing. And then future Joanne does thank past Joanne. And it feels like self care, doesn’t it? Cause it feels like you took care of yourself. So you don’t have to worry about it. I love that. So like make the list list now. So you can batch all this holiday tasks and do some pre planning and pre buying. [00:11:20] That’s amazing. I would say for my tip, it’s just to plan something right now, just for you, that you can look forward to, because we talked earlier about how there’s no joy right now for us in the holiday season. And we’re the ones who have to put that joy in else, everything else will be like. More important than whatever we’re doing. [00:11:41] So for example, like I was just talking with a friend of my daughter’s mom and we just went to this great, amazing bar over the weekend for my husband’s birthday. It was called Platform 18. And what this is is it’s like an immersive, like think Disneyland, but for adults. It’s you go into this train car and everyone’s like a conductor. [00:12:01] And we actually dressed in a 1920s attire to go. It was super fun. And like, there’s mist going and there’s like the train sounds going and like the windows are all visual displays. So it looks like you’re going through the countryside as you’re just hanging out with your friends. Yeah, it’s amazing. And it was such a fun night. [00:12:21] We had such a great time. It’s amazing to feel what it’s like without kids. I was talking to this mom and I’m like, Hey, this place is amazing. Have you been there? And she listed all of these things going on with her kids right now that prevented her and her husband from having date nights. And I just wanted to be like, okay, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, let’s stop right here. [00:12:39] Because one of the things that we have to do for our own mental health is we have to put things on the calendar that are just for us. And. Our kids are going to complain. Like it was not an experience where my kids were like, Oh yeah, we’ll just stay here happily with grandma and grandpa and you guys can go out. [00:12:57] No. In fact, my daughter was at a homecoming dance that let out half an hour before. They were supposed to. We were all the way across town in Phoenix, 30 minutes, and we’re like, we need some heads up, babe. She’s 14. I’m like, we need some heads up. She got completely mad at us, even though she could get a ride home with this friend’s mom. [00:13:15] My son was like, text me when you’re coming home. Text me when you’re coming home. Can you leave now? Even though he was safely at home with my mom and dad. So it’s not like… Anyone else is going to allow this, but knowing that and knowing that that is the response of kids and that’s the response of other people that night was so fun for me and my husband. [00:13:36] Like we were so happy. We got to hang out with people we haven’t seen forever, actually felt like it was before kids and like the kind of banter and the kind of talking and that experience just made me want to plan more. And it just makes me so energized and ready to take on. The rest of the week. So that is what you need. [00:13:55] You need to plan something for you. That’s fine. I like this a lot because I think we don’t, I think this goes back to kind of the pre planning. So when I go to do this planning, right, I look at my calendar and I pull it out. And I start looking at the dates. I put all the dates on there and I see this and all I think my brain wants to think is. [00:14:12] I need to do this for the kids, I need to do this for the kids, I need to do this for this activity, whatever. But I also will say to my husband, like, Hey, we need a date night. Like, let’s put that on the calendar now. Like, I just went away two weekends ago with my book club. We went away for the whole weekend. [00:14:26] And all of us, our kids are little. And they complained. And my daughter’s like, Mommy, you always go away. I’m like, I go nowhere. Right. But I was like, I was like, I don’t, I was like, but I can’t, not that I can’t care, but I can’t own that because I said, if I don’t get to go away and it was so refreshing for me to come back after not being mom for a weekend, if I don’t do that, I’m going to be so resentful and cranky and it’s not going to be good. [00:14:50] So I I’m like, let’s book it out now. And I will say. Sometimes people laugh at me because I’m such a proactive planner, but um, but again, it goes back to like, we’re planning our book club. We first planned November, December, and January. We put the dates on the calendar now. Why? Because there’s six of us, and it’s gonna be very challenging to find a time where we can all get together. [00:15:07] And so we just plan it in advance. Otherwise, if you’re like, hey, do you want to go out this week? Like, no, this week has been planned. Right? So I love this idea of, I need to be intentional now. Look at the holidays and say, this is great. We’re going to have fun as a family. I’m excited about this. But what is one thing I want to do? [00:15:24] Like as a parent. Exactly. Exactly. And the thing is, is like, then honor it. Because there is going to be so much that comes up during that time. Like I’m the same way with friends. Uh, we schedule things way in advance cause our lives are just crazy. Um, but if a friend calls me like 30 minutes before and she’s like, yeah, the kids are just really wanting me tonight and I just want to stay home. [00:15:46] I like get on, I’m like. No, you need this time. You need to come right now. This is your chance to hang out with us and feel like a human again. They are fine with their dad. He is their parent too. They are fine because sometimes we do get that tired and we get pulled by our kids who are going to complain. [00:16:06] So if they know, if you know beforehand that it’s going to happen, that it’s completely normal thing and be ready to go and honor what uh, past you decided you needed, it is going to be so, so good. Oh, I’m doing that reminds me of a friend we were last weekend. My son’s in Cub Scouts, right? And so, they had a hike that they were gonna go on. [00:16:25] And it was the same night as we were going to bingo for cheer with a couple of my friends. And I was like, oh, like, should we not go to bingo? And my friend looked at me, dead in the face, and she goes, they have a dad. Like, she was like, they have And I was like, you know what? That’s the conversation and the type of friends I need. [00:16:39] This is a reminder that I don’t have to do it all. While I would love to experience everything with my kids, and I’m sure if you’re listening, you’re like the same. You don’t have to, you know what I mean? And that’s okay. So I think it’s also just normalizing that conversation. Yeah, there’s gonna be a lot of holiday things that are gonna come up in the next few months. [00:16:58] And if you aren’t the one physically taking your kid to every single one because you’re doing something else that you’re allowed to have that joy, that’s okay too. Like we’re allowed it. It’s great for the dad child relationship as well because they need time to bond that you are not around. Their dynamic is different when mom’s not around. [00:17:17] And that’s a really, really great thing. thing. So those are two tips for you this holiday season from me and Kara, making a list to batch the holiday tasks and planning something just for you on the calendar. And if you want more of both of us, which I know you do, uh, you can find me at no guilt mom. It’s no guilt mom. [00:17:36] com. The no guilt mom podcast is on every Tuesday and Thursday. So come on over and listen to it. The same place you listen to Kara’s podcast, Kara, where can they find you? [00:17:46] Yep, I am at the Purpose Driven Mom show, Purpose Driven Mom all places, and we also have two episodes a week. So Mondays and Thursdays you can download an episode and get some quick tips to get you through the holidays while working on your own goals. [00:17:58] And with that, we can’t wait to hear how this worked for you. Please let us know on social media and we’ll talk to you later. Bye. Bye.