358 Transcript: Why Women Need Time Away (with Dr. Laura Froyen)

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00:00:01 – Jen Riday
You're listening to the Vibrant, Happy Women podcast. Today I'm talking with guest Laura Froyen, who has been on the show before, all about the importance of taking breaks from our daily life and her experience at the vibrant, happy Jen Riday. Stay tuned. Are you ready to expand your soul's capacity for joy? Then this podcast is for you. I'm Dr. Jen Riday and welcome to vibrant, happy women. Hey there, friends, it's Jen. Welcome back to vibrant, happy women. I have a very special guest for you today, Dr. Laura Froyen, host of the Balanced Parent podcast. She's been on this podcast three other times before and I love her because Laura is so compassionate, authentic, intuitive, and sensitive, and she brings that into her parenting practices and the things she teaches on her podcast. But she has also brought that to the vibrant, happy Jen Riday for the past two years and will again in this upcoming retreat February 7 through 11th in Mexico. By the way, if you want to learn more about the retreat, we have two openings due to a cancellation. You can learn more at jenriday.com/retreat we would love to have you join us. It is not too late to join us. So Laura is a guest today explaining the importance, and the benefits of taking regular time away for your personal growth. Time away to hear yourself think. Now, it's not easy to leave your kids if you happen to be a parent. It's not easy to leave your regular life. But Laura explains how she was able to do it by coming to her first retreat with me in 2022, then again in 2023, and now she's again coming back in 2024. I love Laura. I love a lot of the thoughts she has to share about taking space and time for yourself. And I hope you'll enjoy listening to this episode. So let's dive in.

00:02:05 – Jen Riday
Hey, everyone, I'm here with Dr. Laura Froyen. I'm super excited you're here.

00:02:10 – Laura Froyen
Oh, yeah, I'm so happy to be here. And we're going to put this on my podcast, too. So I hope you'll introduce us as so or introduce yourself. So, yeah. I'm Dr. Laura Froyen and I have my Ph.D. in human development and family studies. I think I've been on your show a couple of times now, but what I really love is helping kids and families find more authentic connection with each other and more authentic connection with themselves. So I have a background in marriage and family therapy right now. I work as a parenting consultant, coach and educator, and I just really love coming alongside families during moments in their lives. Periods stretches where they're struggling and helping them figure out what it is they actually want and how to get there in an effective way that's backed up by research and intuition. So, Dr. Jen Riday, why don't you tell my audience a little bit about yourself?

00:03:09 – Jen Riday
Yes, I'm excited to be on your podcast as well.

00:03:12 – Laura Froyen
This is really fun to be on a joint podcast endeavor. So before I do, my name is Jen Riday. I'm from Madison, Wisconsin, and my podcast.

00:03:22 – Jen Riday
Is called Vibrant Happy Women.

00:03:23 – Jen Riday
I want you to share, though, the name of your podcast.

00:03:26 – Laura Froyen
Oh, right, the Balanced Parent.

00:03:27 – Laura Froyen
Yes, the balanced parent. Okay, perfect. So as Laura said, I have a Ph.D., like Laura, in Human Development and Family Studies. And what I do is to help women with womanhood. Not the specific emphasis on parenting like Laura does so well, but helping women to figure out what they want to manage their time and balance their life in a way that feels good and authentic. Often after we become moms or I'm empty nesting, some of my kids, I should say after we become moms and have done it for a while, we burn out because we forget to put ourselves on the docket and to put ourselves first and pay attention to how we think and how we feel. And I help women with that so we can feel like life is joyous and awesome again.

00:04:16 – Laura Froyen
I love that. Yeah. And we need it, right? So I think that it's so easy to lose ourselves in motherhood. And I think a lot of parenting podcasts and places talk about that specific aspect of it. But I actually really love your podcast and your work because it's not focused on just women who are mothers. It's focused on because we don't just do this with our kids. We lose ourselves in the surface of our jobs, in the service of our partners, in the surface of our friends or our families. We get this cultural message that it's not okay to put ourselves, not even first, just on the list at all. And I really love that you teach very practical ways to do that work, of figuring out not just how to put yourself first, but how to feel worthy of that, too.

00:05:12 – Jen Riday
Yes, for sure. I think it comes back to, I'm guessing most parents do this. I remember when my kids, I have six children. I remember when my first couple of children were born.

00:05:25 – Jen Riday
I was going to do it right.

00:05:26 – Jen Riday
I was going to take everything I'd learned in school about parenting and apply it all. And then you hit these moments of just life where you're not getting along with your spouse or something's up with your finances or you're moving, and it's so stressful. And you're losing your temper, and you start to assess or reassess and think, I feel miserable. And at the end of it all, I think the best moms, the best women in general, are living a life that's happy and showing others by example what that looks like, because we all know what it feels like to be around someone who's unhappy and drained and exhausted and miserable. And that's not really, in the end, what we want to give our kids. So that's why, for excellent parenting, why you teach, it really starts with excellent self-care and excellent boundaries and self-mothering.

00:06:17 – Jen Riday

00:06:17 – Laura Froyen
So being a good mom to yourself, even if you don't have kids, learning how to be that good, wise mother, that maybe we didn't get that we always needed and always deserved.

00:06:27 – Laura Froyen

00:06:28 – Jen

00:06:29 – Laura Froyen

00:06:32 – Laura Froyen
We got together today to talk a little bit about the retreat that you have coming up that I've had just the pleasure and the luck to be able to go to with you a couple of times. Will you tell us a little bit about the retreat that you host every year?

00:06:50 – Jen Riday
Okay, so I host what's called the Vibrant Happy Women Retreat – similar to the name of my podcast, and it started in 2018. We started in Florida. We've been in the Dominican Republic this year. We'll be in Mexico next year, back to the Dominican Republic. The location is great. We all love beaches in February, so we love that.

00:07:13 – Laura Froyen
That's a given.

00:07:14 – Jen Riday
But what I love about the retreat is the women I tend to attract through my work are looking toGuess, invest in themselves again, invest in self-care and habits and friendship. And they're also very authentic. So I find it to be rejuvenating for me, even though I'm leading the event. But we spend four days doing workshops, big group workshops, small group workshops, playing pickleball, and eating together. The food is amazing, but just with the end goal of rejuvenating and unleashing some inner fire and figuring out what we want and getting that clarity that we sometimes miss when we're busy all the time and kind of getting out of the deep end of the pool, no longer treading water, getting out so we can think and breathe and figure out what we even want for the next year ahead.

00:08:09 – Laura Froyen
My gosh, I love that imagery of getting out of the deep end of the pool, getting out on the edge, resting, kind of getting back in touch with yourself. The first time I went on this retreat was. Was it 2022? I think it was 2022. So we were fresh out of the hard years of the pandemic. Right. It was a really hard time for the world. And I think my first trip that I took after things had changed, after Covid. Right. And I did not know what to expect. Jen. I was really nervous. I'm a kind of shy, you know, I didn't know anyone other than you who was going. I had a friend come with me. Thank goodness. That made me feel a little bit safer. But when I got there, the people were so welcoming and kind. And it was a situation, too, where you can do as much or as little as you want. You can kind of dip your toe in, see what feels good, and then take time for yourself to journal or to meditate or take a yoga class. And I really loved that piece of it. And the other piece that I didn't know I needed was time away by myself. Whenever I've been away from my kids, for the most part, it's been to go with someone to do something else, whether it is with my husband to go do something for an anniversary trip or to go visit a friend. It's never been just myself other than, I think, like one time I spent the night at a cabin or in upper Wisconsin in the cold. That was very solitary, which was lovely. I need alone time. But I had never really had a big stretch of it with other women that were from lots of different places and spaces in their lives. So I met women who were grandmothers. There were women with kids in high school, women with toddlers, women who weren't married, who were single, and just kind of a big range. And I think that for a lot of my time in motherhood, I had been surrounded by other moms. And while that community, that type of community is so important and so can be so supportive, I realized on that first retreat that we need diversity in the perspectives that we hear. A woman who perhaps doesn't have any kids and is in their moving towards retirement has a completely different worldview, a completely different experience, and lots of wisdom, inherent, innate wisdom to share. And when you get so in your experience, your world narrows down. And so the past two years, coming to this retreat with you, Jen, has really helped me broaden my view of the world, broaden my perspective, acknowledge where I am in a journey, in a life's journey. I think it's so easy. I feel like in the thick of motherhood, there's the saying, the years are short, but the days are long. And I feel like that just really has captured a lot of my experience of motherhood. This kind of the days just seem to stretch. But then it all goes by so fast. And seeing different women from different places in their life, different points in the journey, has helped me understand that I have a lot of time left on this planet. This small experience of having my kids growing up in my home for the next 18 years, for the 18 years that we get them, is a very small portion of the lived human experience of being a woman, of being Laura. And I've never had a context for really getting to know that. That's been like, I've had the experience in your retreats. The two times I've been to your retreat has been that, for me, just really helping me place myself in my journey and understand that I have a long way to go. Not in terms of growth. I mean, we always have growth to do, but I have a lot of opportunity, a lot of life to live, that there's stages ahead of me, that it's not all behind me. Do you know what I'm saying?

00:13:10 – Jen Riday
Yes. And it's not just motherhood. I feel like when we're in high school and college, there's this path in our brains, like, oh, I'm going to get married and I'm going to have kids, and there's really nothing after that. But is that kind of what you're saying? You have this whole individual identity separate from parenthood that needs to be fleshed out and hearing other perspectives helps you to do that?

00:13:36 – Laura Froyen
Yes, absolutely. I really liked what you just said, that we have this full identity outside of parenthood that needs to be fleshed out. I feel like so many of us go into having kids and we think we know what it's going to be like and we think we know who we're going to be. And our world gets rocked because it's very different than how we thought it was going to be. And we have to change our identity. And then we stop. And then I think we're going to bump up against other transitions. Our kids are going to move into teenagerhood and they're going to start looking to their peers for connections and belonging. And that can be a very rough transition for parents if they haven't done that work all along the way of continuing to get to know themselves, care for themselves, mother and nurture themselves. Yeah, I just think we have transitions ahead of us and we're the constant in them, the people around us, the jobs, our daily activities will change, but we're the constant. And we deserve nurturing. We deserve attention and focus.

00:14:43 – Jen Riday
Absolutely. That's one of the things I do love about the retreat now. It might sound like I'm tooting my own horn, but it's not me. When I showed up to the first retreat, it was a small group of seven, and everyone joined together for a dinner, and we were all nervous. I was nervous, what are they going to think of my retreat that I'm hosting? They were nervous because they imagined they were going to eat a meal with a celebrity, which made me laugh. And in the end, by the end of 2 hours at that first meal, I said, and several of them also agreed, it feels like you're meant to be my best friends. I don't know how this happened, and that feels similar. At every retreat, the women who come are people I would want to spend time with and authentic and real and funny and not divas. Not divas. Whatever that means to you. That's not who comes to the retreats. Real, authentic, growth-minded women who just are so awesome.

00:15:42 – Laura Froyen
It is always an interesting experience to have folks realize that the people that they listen to on podcasts are just actually like real people who like to eat chicken tenders or something. There's an aspect of that, for sure. I love getting to meet new people, even though it's stressful for me. I found that at these retreats, having the opportunity to get to know people in some of the workshops has made it easier to see who I'm kind of drawn to and sit down with at a meal. I've also giving myself permission to have meals on my own, which, I mean, gosh, for me, as an introvert, as someone who really never gets to do that, is really lovely. Normally, I love having meals with my family, but it's kind of a luxury to get to have something by yourself, too. So there's space to do those things on your own. But there's this thing that we go through during different periods of our lives where we're kind of forced to move into spaces that make us a little uncomfortable. And after those points, like new classes in high school, getting a dorm assignment in college after those points, maybe a new workplace after, if we start a new job. But there's not very many opportunities for that, especially for someone like me who seeks safety and Social Security quite a lot. And I know it's good for me. I know it's good for me to stretch a little bit. And it's nice to be put in a situation where like, well, if I don't want to just sit by myself, I've just got to go sit with some random people who are really nice and will be friendly to me. Ultimately, they're just lovely women. Lovely women from different parts of the world and country who have really wonderful stories to share, who've done a lot of work on themselves, who are committed to doing more work, are committed to growing and caring for themselves. It's really nice to find those people. It's hard sometimes to find those people in real life. I have a membership community. We're all online. We all have a lot in common. And when we get together in our Zoom room for workshops or for office hours, we all feel very comfortable with each other because we know each other so well. But it's hard to find that in person, in vivo, like having that, an actual physical person in front of us who's doing that work. And that is something that's really lovely about the women who come to your retreats.

00:18:46 – Jen Riday
Yeah, that is true. In person, it seems maybe there's a distance, there's a trick to finding people who love personal growth and doing the work and all those great topics as much as we do. Go ahead.

00:19:03 – Laura Froyen
Yeah, I do think that there's people each time I've gone, and I know a couple of people who are going this year who are completely new to the idea of personal development, too. So every time I've met a couple of people who are like, I just found it online and I signed up and I think that that's really cool, too, because those people, there's this sense of adventure and like, let's do it, which is fun and also hard for me. So it's fun to be around people who are adventurous in that way.

00:19:33 – Jen Riday
I remember someone last year, I know she wouldn't mind me sharing her first name. Trisha saw the retreat one night, I think ten days before it began, maybe even just a week. She said, is there still a spot? And I'm like, yes, we have one spot left. And she said, “I'm booking right now. I'm going to check my passport. Okay, it's good. I'm coming.” Amazing. And she fit right in with everyone.

00:19:58 – Laura Froyen
Yeah, that's awesome. I was just talking with the person who helps me coordinate the classes that I teach for UW Madison. I teach parenting classes for them. And she is retiring at the end of this academic year. And so I was telling her about the retreat. I was kind of working through our schedule and telling her when I was going to be gone. And she's like, well, wait a second, who goes to this retreat? And I was like, oh, lots of different people. Sometimes it's moms with kids, sometimes it's women who are transitioning to a new phase, have just gotten out of a marriage or are retiring. She's like, well, that's me. And we talked about it and 20 minutes later she came out to the parent, like the baby class I was leading. I lead an infant playgroup and she came out and she's like, well, I emailed Jen and I'm going, I booked my. So I'm so excited Barb is coming this, it's just, it's really lovely to get, I don't know. So there are those people who just like, they see it and they go, they jump in with both feet. I think that's.

00:21:13 – Jen Riday
My, what are some of the favorite, one of my favorite things at the retreat is the workshops in the afternoons. And you led a workshop last year. So many people came up and said, oh, I love Laura. She's so authentic and nurturing and soulful. But tell them about your class that you led last year, what you can remember, and give them a little.

00:21:37 – Laura Froyen
Yeah, I'm trying to remember. So I mean, I think it was an inner child work.

00:21:41 – Jen Riday
That's right.

00:21:42 – Laura Froyen
Yeah, class. So we talked a lot about our little ones inside us, how important it is to be tender and loving with them, to reparent them in the ways that we weren't met by our parents because they couldn't for whatever reason. So lots of opportunities to do some healing in the here and now. I know that lots of folks are nervous to do some of that work because it feels like they're going to have to go into the past and open old wounds. And that's not what I teach. This is more about in the here and now. What does this part of you need now? Not necessarily what they didn't get then, but what do they need now and how can you meet that need for them? So we did that and it was lovely and fun. I think the year before we talked about window of tolerance and stress response and that was pretty cool, too.

00:22:36 – Jen Riday
So you're leading a workshop at the next retreat as well. Any hints or teasers on what your topic is? Yeah, I mean, you don't have to lock it in. I know you like to feel into what feels right in the moment.

00:22:47 – Laura Froyen
I am a little intuitive when it comes to those things, but I feel like I've been talking, I feel like I've been talking a lot with parents recently about family dynamics, different ways we relate to people and how almost like the geometry of families, right. And how to set boundaries and how to have really good, authentic one to one relationships. So often relationships get complex when we pull other people into them or we're trying to navigate a relationship between our partner and our two kids. There's a lot of relationships happening in there. There's the sibling relationship, the partner relationship, the relationship you have with each kid, the relationship your partner has with each kid. There's a lot of dyadic relationships, and it can get quite complicated. And so I think what I would love to work with, and we won't focus entirely on kids because not everyone has kids there or wants to talk about kids. But I think what I really want to talk about is how to have really healthy one to one relationships with someone. And if you start noticing patterns where someone is pulling someone in or someone is inserting themselves into your relationship. How to gently hold boundaries with love and compassion so that you can have those direct, authentic one to one relationships. That's what I've been thinking about. I don't know how that lands with you.

00:24:15 – Jen Riday
It lands really well. I mean, it almost reminds me of family circle work. Am I imagining that? Do you know what I'm talking about?

00:24:27 – Laura Froyen
I don't know what family circle work. Well, we'll talk about it later.

00:24:29 – Jen Riday
But it sounds amazing. It sounds amazing, Laura, that's beautiful. Very good. Okay.

00:24:35 – Laura Froyen
And what are some of the things you're going to be working on? I also know you like to be intuitive. What are some of the things you're looking forward to talking about?

00:24:41 – Jen Riday
I have some new topics coming up, but I'm going to leave those as a surprise. But we always think about what's not working in our lives. What do we need to let go of, and what are we ready to introduce? We need to always have an ending of some things and an addition of things to feel aligned and aligned with what's right for us. I guess I call it kind of listening to your intuition. But some people use the phrase aligned. We're coming from the murky ocean or the deep end of the pool. We've gotten out, we're on the land, we're safe, and we get to redirect our compass. Really, where do we need to go next to feel our best? And what's the next best? Me having those moments to get out of the churning waters of wherever you are and just breathe, feel the warm sand, feel the sun on your face. Figuratively and literally. I think it's essential. I've always done things like this myself. I'll often, once a quarter, just check into a hotel so I can hear what quiet sounds like and hear myself think and notice how I feel about different ideas. So the retreat is just a big one where you can do it for several days surrounded with people you love, and not having someone saying mom, mom, or honey, honey, honey. Or your boss saying, Laura, Laura, Laura, you need to do this, you need to do that. Having your attention always on those needs of other people makes it harder to hear that intuitive voice. I feel like, yeah, I love.

00:26:13 – Laura Froyen
You know, since starting to come to your retreats, I have given myself more permission to do that sort of thing, to just take a day off where I block off my calendar and maybe I don't even go anywhere, but I'm just in my home by myself. I tell my husband to pick up the kids from school and go out to dinner because I'm just going to be by myself and give myself that permission to check in. It's important, I think, though, that it's hard for people to do that, to give themselves permission to do that. Why is it so hard? Do you know?

00:26:52 – Jen Riday
I think we have these standards of excellent womanhood and excellent motherhood coming at us through social media, through the media, tv, through our relatives, our older relatives especially. My mom would never, ever have gone on a trip by herself. She would go with her sisters, maybe, or to go check into a hotel. It just wasn't done. So we see these examples of how it's supposed to be, and we also see among those examples, women who are completely burned out and not loving their roles and not loving their lives. And I don't want to live that way. Life is too short. I am going to love this life if it kills me. You know what I mean? I think that's why it's hard is those shoulds that surround us. I don't know. What else would you add to that?

00:27:46 – Laura Froyen
Yeah, I think we don't have a lot of models. I think you're right. And I think that we forget that modern humans are living a very weird existence. The human beings are not meant to live in nuclear families. Our kids are biologically and evolutionarily primed to make four significant attachment, to have four significant attachment figures. Our babies are meant to have four significant present caregivers. And so the fact that when we try to do it with all one person or just all two people taking care of these kids, it's a lot of pressure and it leaves very little room. It makes sense that it's hard because it's actually not supposed to be that way. I live in a nuclear family. My parents don't want to live with us. And help me raise my kids, and that's totally fine. The fact is, we live in a very different way. But in the past, when we all lived together and lived in close, tight knit communities, we had aunties, we had grandparents who would take the kids and give you time to go off by yourself. Even if it was going off by yourself to gather something for the community, you still had a stretch of time by yourself. I'm involved in a moon lodge that an anashinabe woman hosts in our community and has invited folks into. And she talks a lot about how those traditions used to be such a place of sacred retreat for women, that every month during your moon time, you would retreat to this space of rest and creativity. You did no work. People sent food into you. All you did was journal or bead, or create and talk, share stories and wisdom for a week, one week every month. Can you imagine how nourishing that would.

00:29:53 – Jen Riday
Be for your heart and your soul? We need it. I know we need it.

00:29:56 – Laura Froyen
And so there's this piece of it that is the way human bodies are meant to work. And so we need this. We need this rest. Our bodies are crying out for it. And not just rest. We need community. We need a space to be with ourselves, around others who are being with themselves.

00:30:17 – Jen Riday
True. I love that. Be with ourselves around others who are being with. Yeah. Did I say that? Yeah.

00:30:25 – Laura Froyen
Yeah, you said it. Great.

00:30:27 – Jen Riday
Yeah. Wow. That's great. You're making me excited for the retreat again. Thank you, Laura.

00:30:32 – Laura Froyen
I can't wait to go, too. I'm so excited.

00:30:36 – Jen Riday
This next one, we're releasing this just before the 2024 retreat. This next one will be your third and I think my 6th. Wow. This is amazing. I'm glad you've been to half of my retreats. I can't even believe that.

00:30:52 – Laura Froyen
That's so exciting. When I went to my first one a couple of years ago, it felt like you had been doing this for, like, 20 years. I was so in awe of you. I had really only ever seen you in a friend context, and I was just so in awe of just the way you held a space for a room. I remember going to the. You had an EFT tapping session that was just so powerful. If you've never done eft tapping in person, in a group setting, you don't know how unreal it is. I'm a scientist. Okay? But there's something that happens during an EFT group session in person that just. There's just this magnification of it. It was very powerful.

00:31:38 – Jen Riday
Yeah, that's an interesting kind of little tangent I'll speak a moment to. There is something very healing about in person energy where a group is doing healing work, trying to up level their thoughts, release a trauma, change how they feel about something. So I feel like every year that I've gone to the retreat, I've up leveled kind of my baseline happiness or my baseline energy a little bit. It's an intensive way to just push up a notch. I'm going to be this much happier now because you experience that healing in the group. Sometimes I feel that on Zoom or over a podcast interview like this, but it's magnified tremendously. The healing.

00:32:23 – Laura Froyen
I agree. You can get the feeling online sometimes, but there's no replacement for in person work. Really. At the end of the day, we're meant to be together.

00:32:36 – Jen Riday
Yeah. And I guess I would add that my retreat style and why I invite you as well. We're not in our heads just learning facts. We are very much experiencing emotion and energy and love. I guess I would add something's happening to all of us at the physical level, at the emotional level. It's not just cognitive. And that's also. I love the retreat. It's really healing that.

00:33:04 – Laura Froyen
Love it. I love it too. Okay, so this is going to come out right before this year's still. As of right now, as we're recording, are there still spaces available?

00:33:15 – Jen Riday
Yep. This year's retreat is in Ixtapa, Mexico, which is the Pacific coast of Mexico. I always love the Pacific Ocean. I feel like the waves crash harder and the water is warmer. You just fly in and club Med, the resort where we'll be staying, picks us up, all very safe. And then we stay the whole time on the resort. So safety is locked in. And then in 2025, the retreat will be back in the dominican republic at a resort. Similarly, you just fly in, the resort picks you up. All your needs are cared for, all inclusive, meals are included, room and board is included. You're just taken care of. You have this container to not have anyone need anything from you. And it's very magical. Yeah. Oh my God.

00:34:05 – Laura Froyen
It's so magical to just go to a place and all your needs are met and you don't have to take care of anyone else other than yourself.

00:34:13 – Jen Riday
And someone's helping your room as needed, and you don't even have a spouse to deal with as much as we love our spouses sometimes. Tell me, Laura, or maybe tell everyone, why would you want to travel without your spouse? What does that do for you? Shouldn't you want to always travel with your spouse. I don't.

00:34:31 – Laura Froyen
I. Okay, so I love my, like, as of recording, I just got back from a weekend trip with him for his birthday. Like a four day trip with him for his birthday. It was wonderful and fun. But it's very hard to follow your intuition when another person has their own needs that need to be met, too, and their own desires and their own wants. Especially as women, we are so socialized to consider others needs before our own that it's very hard to get a clear sense of what you need when someone you care about is around you, because we're just so trained to not do that. And so going by yourself is really freeing. If you can get over that, like, if you've never done it before, if you can get over that hump of, they're going to be fine. I know for lots of moms who carry so much of the mental and emotional load at home, they have to think about things like, are they going to have food, are they going to eat? Do they know what to pack for school lunches? All of those things. They'll be fine.

00:35:45 – Jen Riday
They will be okay.

00:35:46 – Laura Froyen
As long as we can get that, put it in a little, do what we need to before we leave, and then put it away. I actually really like that it's international because then I don't even turn my phone on because I don't want to pay for international calling and stuff. So I just turn my phone off. Absolutely, entirely. And I love that.

00:36:10 – Jen Riday
I'm not ashamed to admit I have no interest in talking to my family while I'm gone because I know there'll be something they want me to solve even on those phone calls. Yeah, that's fascinating.

00:36:23 – Laura Froyen
Yeah. Secure attachment, both with kids, with partners, means that we want to be connected while being our own selves. Right. So it's the secure interplay between autonomy and connection. Right. And we have to be able to separate in order being able to confidently separate is a part of a secure attachment. So there's that piece of it, too. It's good for us.

00:37:00 – Jen Riday
It is. And I will add, I used to be much more of a traditional woman where I was the stay at home parent and my husband worked, and I didn't have host retreats or have a podcast. And at that time I did everything. Sad to admit, not everything. My husband would help. Right. He would help and he would babysit. But going on my retreats was one of the best things because I didn't make myself available. And my husband has become so much more present in every way, because that week where I was gone, he learned to do more of that stuff. And now I'm happy to admit that he probably does more around the house than I do by a long shot. He does all the cooking. He can sign forms, he can help people do their budgeting. Our kids have little budgets. He can run everything I only thought I could do in the past, and I love that it's taken so much pressure and that mental weight off my head to know he's got this. But it required me to detach enough to force or to allow maybe him to step in without me telling him how it should be. And he has his own ways in many things. And the house isn't perfect when I get back, but it's decent. It's like, doable. I'm not going to fall apart. It's scary, but I mean, it's completely worth it. It's helped him really show up presently with our kids and with our household way better because he's had practice, much practice doing it. So it was a gift of myself.

00:38:41 – Laura Froyen
And to him, too. So the research backs this up. When we do things like this, when we're in a heterosexual sexual relationship and the person who does all of the primary caregiving takes themselves out and gives the other one an opportunity to really step in, it increases their enjoyment of their parenting experience, too. So it's not just good for us, it's good for them, it's good for those relationships that are at home, too.

00:39:10 – Jen Riday
Yes. Agreed.

00:39:12 – Laura Froyen

00:39:12 – Jen Riday
And my kids are. They're still prone to want to come to me to solve problems, but they're quicker to know that their dad is available or they'll open the door and see him busy and I'll just ask dad. So I love that, too. Yeah, that's great.

00:39:28 – Laura Froyen
That's awesome. It's great. I love it.

00:39:30 – Jen Riday
Well, I think we've really touched on a lot of the benefits of getting away, getting out of the deep end of the pool, stopping to tread that water and just sit on the side. For some people, that's with a margarita and figuring out what we want next. We get to do that. We get to decide we're more than just caregivers and wives and mothers and all the things we are. Humans, really.

00:39:57 – Laura Froyen
I love that. Thank you for chatting about this with me and giving me the opportunity to share kind of what it's been like for me the past couple of years. I'm so excited.

00:40:06 – Jen Riday
Well, thanks for the chat. So many good thoughts from Laura. I hope you love her as much as I do. And if you want to meet her in person, join us. It's not too late to join us at this year's vibrant, happy Jen Riday happening in Mexico February 7 through 11th. And come find out what she's going to talk about in her presentation. Come find out what I'm going to talk about. Come experience the friendship and the joy and the connection. But especially come feel what it's like not to have anyone need anything from you to remember what it's like to be an individual human being. Because as Laura said in this episode, there is a whole lot of life ahead of you that doesn't involve your kids. If you happen to be a parent, there's a whole lot of life ahead of you that doesn't involve the particular career you might be in now. It's okay to remember what it's like to be a whole and independent human being where no one else needs anything from you. To get out of the deep end of the pool, to stop treading water, to sit on the side, or to go onto the beach and get out of the ocean waves and to breathe, to exhale, to connect, to commune, to think, to get that clarity for the next steps, to realign your compass or your inner gps. That's what this is all about. You are welcome to join us. You can learn more at jenriday.com/retreat well, my friends, I love you. I'm glad you listened. I hope you have an amazing, amazing week ahead of you. I'll see you next time. Until then, make it a vibrant and happy week. Take care.

Outro – If you enjoy this podcast, you'd love Vibrant Soul, the place to heal, transform and expand your soul with like minded friends. Join us at jenriday.com/vibrantsoul