89 Transcript: Sustainable Motherhood (with Heather Chauvin)

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J: You're listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast, episode number 89.

H: I had to completely surrender to the fact that I cannot put myself on the bottom of the to-do list anymore.

Intro: Welcome to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast, stories of vibrant women living happy lives. And now, your host, Jen Riday.

J: Hey, welcome to Vibrant Happy Women. I'm Jen Riday and I am so glad you're listening. I'm really excited to announce that our review contest has been phenomenal and it's ending today. We have 5 winners of that journal ‘Start Where You Are’. And if you're listening, here are the 5 winners. Before I announce them, everyone who left a review, thank you so much. If you haven't left a review but meant to, please go to jenriday.com/review to learn how to do that. Okay, those 5 winners of the journal ‘Start Where You Are’ (thank you so much for your reviews) are Irenell… Ireenell (I'm not sure how to pronounce it) Iranell R., Chantelle Christensen, Christina Fair, isabel Stevenson, and Rachel S. You've all received an email, check that, and it has the details for how to claim your prizes; so excited. I wanted to share Iranell’s review which she just sent this morning, and she got squeaked into the drawing, but she said, “I found your podcast a few weeks ago and have been listening to the episodes daily. Every time I have to drive somewhere, I turn on your podcast. Your voice is soothing. I love your kindness and warmth towards the women you interview and towards us, your audience. In every single episode, I learn something new, something heartbreaking, something exciting and inspiring. There's a reason why the universe directed me to find you so I'm very excited to listen to and learn from all the women you choose to interview, especially the episode with Rachael Pickworth was amazing. I was so energized and hopeful to be able to change something in my life when I listened to it twice. Thank you so very much. I am looking forward to each and every interview you do. I am listening to all of them past and future episodes.” Thank you, thank you, thank you so much Irenel (Ireenel) and I appreciate you taking the time to leave a review; so fun, thank you.

Well, last week, I spoke with Chewbacca mom, Candace Payne, and I love her energy. You know, there are those people out there that just kind of are so vibrant and you want to be around them? Candace Payne feels like that type of person for me. And it's amazing that she went through homelessness as a child and… and has struggled just like all of us, yet she's like, “I'm going to be happy. I'm going to do what I love. I'm going to have a life of adventure,” and it was really inspiring. And I hope that listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast helps you understand that you absolutely can choose to be as happy as you want to be; it's a matter of choice and mindset, even when it's hard. Well, today I am talking with Heather Chauvin all about sustainable motherhood. So many of us believe the, what I call, lie that you need to give everything for your kids and do everything for your kids and exhaust yourself, and only then will you be a good enough mom. Well, the lie is that that is not good mothering at all because energy counts. Remember Candace Payne’s energy last week? You've got to do what gives you that energy, that radiance, that vibrance, that happiness because everyone around you picks up on it. You're giving them a gift when you become the happiest version of yourself. So I am so excited to talk to Heather and I've read into this interview so you can learn how to mother in a way that really is sustainable for you with boundaries and limits so you could preserve your precious energy.

Heather Chauvin has been named the next generations thought leader in parenting and women's leadership. Her mission is to crack women open to their deep potential and help them create the life their soul craves. She's the creator of the New and Noteworthy podcast, the Mom is In Control podcast, and has been featured on the Own Network, Huffington Post, TV outlets, and others. Through her courageous rewrite initiative, Heather gives voice to many humans who courageously took inspired action to create lives they're proud of. With wit and wisdom, she inspires a global community of women to take back control of their lives and evolve how they lead work play and parent. Welcome to the show, Heather.

H: I'm so excited be here, Jen, thank you.

J: Yeah. So let's start out with your favorite quote.

H: There are so many quotes that I love, but the one that I always go back to is, “What we resist will persist and grow bigger.” And I've heard this multiple times from different people so I can't even give credit to the source, but that's something that always sticks with me.

J: I immediately have to know, what have you resisted in your life to find evidence that this quote is true and how did it play out? Maybe that relates to your low point.

H: Everything.


H: Nobody… I think about something as simple as, you know, “What we resist will persist and grow bigger,” you resist going to the gym, you resist eating, you resist like, you know, eating healthy, and what we resist will persist and grow bigger. So when you're talking about low points, I mean, my biggest lowest point was… I've had multiple of them, but I would say the biggest turnaround point was, for me, was 4 years ago when I was diagnosed with a stage 4 cancer; actually, it was almost 5 years.

J: Mm-hmm.

H: And what I resisted was taking care of myself and I kept resisting it and it kept persisting; these little aches, these little, “Heather, pay attention. Heather, pay attention. Heather, pay attention,” and will grow bigger and bigger and bigger until the point when I had to completely surrender to the fact that I cannot put myself on the bottom of the to-do list anymore. And when I do that, I can constantly just push myself off. And because I did that, it just… my health was so awful that it got to that point.

J: So you're still here, congrats, so you obviously beat the cancer. Do you want to tell us more about that or is there more you want to tell us about self-care? I don't want to steer your conversation, but so much I could ask.

H: Yeah. So, I mean, the conversations about… that I like to have about self-care, I mean, self-care gets a bad wrap-around… you know, people think it's about pedicures and it's about, you know, doing these things that make us look better. But I'm all about, “How do you want to feel? And how do you want to show up in your life?” I mean, if I go back even further before the whole, you know, cancer journey, coming into, you know, the work that I do and I talked about, which is like sustainable motherhood, “How can we create a sustainable lifestyle for ourselves, meaning time, money, energy, that's in alignment with how we want to feel?” But we're not being taught this as women. And so we have these stories of who we need to be and how we need to show up in the world, then we start playing out the stories and go, “Oh my gosh, I can't do this.” And so I'm sure, Jen, you hear this all the time of like, “Self-care is selfish.”

J: Right.

H: And I'm just like on a mission to go, “But like think about that for a second. If self-care fills me up and then I'm a nice human being to you and I can give more to you and I can be of service to you and more people, how is that being selfish?” And I think, as women, we really have to stop and to think about how are we really showing up in the world and how this transpires in our everyday; in our parenting and our everyday of how we… how we just feel we need to be. So on a daily basis, I'm constantly butting up against this, “Oh, must be nice,” and I go, “It must be nice and it is nice, and you can have it too.” But we need to stop and think, “Where are we getting these belief systems from? Where are we actually picking up on these stories?

J: Oh. (Laughs)

H: And that's about the whole self-care story of like, “What are you telling yourself?”

J: Well, I'm laughing because, I don't know if you've seen this, but Crate and Barrel… (you're getting free advertising, guys) but Crate and Barrel has an ad going around Facebook right now with Reese Witherspoon getting ready for Christmas. Have you seen that?

H: No, I haven't.

J: (Laughs). Oh, so they show these stunning Christmas decorations and she's spending hours on a day preparing for this party, you know, gluing popcorn to a tree and practicing, you know, making this flaming drink, and I just thought, “Gosh, it's perpetuating this stereotype that we have to be perfect.” And then of course, if we're living that stereotype, we can't find time for self-care because we're chasing that elusive perfection. So…

H: At the end of the commercial, are they saying anything or they're just like, “This is what Christmas needs to look like. This is what the holidays need to look like,”?

J: It's essentially, the whole ad made me feel like, “Wow! Wow! If that's what's Christmas is supposed to look like, then I'd better go to Crate and Barrel because, you know, obviously I'm missing something,” that's what it did. So of course I had to make a negative comment about that stereotyping.

H: Oh my gosh. It is this illusion that we buy into that, you know, happiness is what we can buy, and it's really not; it's about internal. And a lot of the work that I do with women when I started my business in my practice, I used to be a social worker. And I realized that, you know, people just didn't know how. They wanted the tangible ‘how to’. And to go back to this commercial it's like, “Well, this is how you create happiness; this is how.”

J: Yes.

H: And then you go down that road and you're like, “Wait a minute, this isn't in alignment with what I… I'm just…” you know, “I have a maxed out credit card and yet I still feel empty, what's going on here?” So we really need to stop and to think and go, “Alright, guys, like let's back the train up a little bit. Let's reassess; what do I want in my life?”

J: Mm-hmm.

H: “How do I want to feel?” and then take action from that place.

J: Yes. Well, okay what's kind of nailed down what this looks like. What would be the first question you might ask someone if you want to take them through this process?

H: So a lot of times when women come to me they're like, “I want more, Heather. I'm arguing with my children, you know, the money the time the energy, I just feel depleted. My relationships are struggling,” and I will say to them, “What do you want?” and a lot of times women will go…

J: They don't know.

H:. .. “I don't know. I don't know. I don’t know.”

J: (Laughs)

H: So then I will say, “Okay, what don't you want?” right?

J: Mm-hmm.

H: And everybody knows that list. Everybody knows the list of what they don't want; “I don't want to be exhausted. I don't want to be yelling. I don't want to feel like I'm go, go, go, go, go.” And so what people are really stuck in the, “I don't know what I want,” we have to stop and ask yourself, “Great, what you have in front of you is you know what you don't want, so write that list down and reverse it.

J: Mm-hmm.

H: “I don't want to be exhausted,” okay, what's the opposite of that? “I want to be naturally energized, meaning, I don't want to be running on a pot of coffee which actually makes me more tired,” I don't know about you, but…

J: Mm-hmm.

H: It's about, “What do you want?” So sometimes we have to stop and ask ourselves what we don't want and then reverse it. And then once you get that list, sit with it and go, “Great, what does that look like? What specific actions do I need to take on a daily basis to help me feel in alignment with how I want to feel? So what do I need to do to help me feel energized? What do I need to do to help me feel more connected to my spouse, myself, my partner, my children, whoever? What do I need to do to generate more money in my life? Whether it's spending less, whether it's finding another…” you know, if you own a business, changing your business model; whatever it is, “What do I need to do to feel whole from the inside out?” And this is where the scary stuff happens because then you actually need to take action on it.

J: Mm-hmm.

H: And that's where the courage, that's where stepping outside your comfort zone, and definitely all that resistance will come back up.

J: Yes. Well, let's say someone has decided they need to go to the gym, you know, 3, 4 times a week, that's the action they need, but they're going along, they do great, 2 or 3 weeks in, they're starting to lose motivation. How do we get over that hump of wanting to take action, knowing how we need to take action, but not quite making it?

H: Yeah. So when I think about going to an actual gym like that, I'd rather like cut my own arm off. Like…

J: (Laughs)

H: That is not in alignment with what I want.

J: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

H: It's about finding why do you want to go to the gym.

J: Mm-hmm.

H: Because maybe you're like, “Well, I want to look better,” well, why do you want to look better? Really, essentially what you're saying is, “I want to feel better in my body.” You could be 500 pounds and feel amazing in your own skin, and that's essentially… that's all that matters. It doesn't matter what size your pants are, it's how you feel in your body, and that's really what people are going after, right?

J: Mm-hmm.

H: So if going to the physical gym is not in alignment with how you want to feel, you're like, “It's dank. I don't like the people,” then you need to run away from there, say, you know, “No, I'm cutting this off,” or, “I'm not doing this again,” find something you do love. So once you find that connection of physical movement and then now to the next question which is talking about is, “How do we create that momentum?” right?

J: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

H: I mean, I'm a huge supporter of accountability and finding your big ‘why’. So, for me, I love CrossFit, disliked it, actually, I don't even say dislike, wouldn't have even considered myself somebody to walk into a CrossFit gym…

J: Mm-hmm.

H: … previously to getting cancer. So I was like, “Oh, that's so masculine.”

J: (Laughs)

H: “That's so rah-rah-rah. Those people are meatheads.” Like I just had this huge… you know, “I just got to do yoga and drink my green smoothies and be this snobby, you know, woo-woo person here that things are better than everybody else.” And the funny thing is now I realize I'm like, when I go there, I feel strong, I feel like more energized.

J: Yeah.

H: I'm you have depleted. I feel I'm surrounded by other people who are cheering me on, but also other people who are committed to their own personal growth. There's nobody here complaining about, “Oh, poor me, my life sucks,” it's like a big sense of community, and that's why I enjoy it. So connecting to a deeper ‘why’ when I grow the gym, I'm a better person to my client, I'm a better mother, I'm a better wife. And I don't have to drink the coffee like, I mean, the energy that I get is off the charts. So it's about connecting to the bigger ‘why’, “Why am I actually doing this? Am I doing it because everybody is telling me I should?”

J: Mm-hmm.

H: “Am I doing it because I watched that commercial and Reese Witherspoon has a tiny little butt and I want to look like her?”

J: (Laughs)

H: When I’m, you know, decorating my Christmas tree like, what is your ‘why’?

J: Yeah.

H: Your ‘why’ needs to be connected to what you want, not what society wants you to want.

J: Well, this episode will be airing closer to Thanksgiving, what would be a random tip that, off the top of your head, you could give for tapping into the ‘why’ of, you know, “Why… what do we want to feel for the holidays?” and, “Why are we doing what we do?” so we can maybe pare it down and actually feel how we want to feel, instead of frazzled.

H: So the fine thing is with the holidays is it's probably one of the most stressful times of the year.

J: Mm-hmm.

H: And people literally are like November, you know, if you're American; I'm Canadian so we already had our Thanksgiving. But if you're…

J: Mm-hmm.

H: It's like, “November or December, I'm out. I can't do anything else because I'm burning myself out trying to prepare for these holidays.”

J: Mm-hmm.

H: Well, ask yourself, “How do you want to feel?” and it's okay to say no. You will piss people off, but like how long do you perpetuate this discomfort, this resistance within your body of just trying to be a people pleaser and going, “I'm doing it for the kids. I'm doing it for everybody else,” and then setting them up for failure?

J: (Laughs). Yeah.

H: When I… because they'll never be able to meet up to your expectations, right?

J: Right.

H: And they'll be like, “How did mom do this?” well, mom did it with a fake smile on her face because then she was sneaking…

J: Mm-hmm.

H: You know, she was chucking back wine in the closet…

J: (Laughs)

H: … when nobody was looking because she can't function. So asking yourself, like saying no, it's okay.

J: Yeah.

H: Or making a to-do list and delegating, “Hey, honey, can you do this? You can't do this? Well, guess what? We either have to hire somebody to do it or I'm out because I'm taking a stand; I'm taking a stand for the life and how I want to feel.” So many people, especially women, put everything on their back during the holidays, “I need to be all to everybody,” and realizing they're just all sitting around, twiddling their thumbs, and then we wonder why we're so angry and resentful.

J: Yeah.

H: So it's about using her voice.

J: Right.

H: Using your voice and making… I mean, I'm a list maker; make a list. I talk a lot about energy leaks; what is sucking the life out of you? If there's something during the holidays that you're just like, “This is a huge energy leak. It sucks the life out of me,” write it down, communicate that to your partner, communicate that to your family. If they don't like it, they don't need to understand your desire…

J: (Laughs). Yeah.

H: … but you can make a statement. And it's just amazing how your life unfolds and how the doors fly open for you when you're like, “That's just not working for me anymore.”

J: Yes. Well, I'm proud to tell you that our Elf on the Shelf died last year and (Laughs)… so excited about it. That's a funeral I celebrated. (Laughs)

H: Yeah.

J: Because, I mean, I don't know.

H: Our dog ate ours years ago.

J: (Laughs). For those of you who love Elf on the Shelf, great, but it didn't help me feel anything amazing. It just caused guilt because, 5 mornings in a row, he would be in the same place and my kids would wonder why and I would have to say, “Maybe he lost his magic,” so, hilarious. (Laughs)

H: So funny. These ridiculous things that we buy into and then we go, “Why did I do this?” And then somebody who has enough time and energy to put up things on Instagram, Pinterest, and all of these, “And now he has clothes and he's got a reindeer and all of these other things.”

J: Yeah

H: And I’m like, “I get it, this is awesome. And if it brings you joy, please, please keep doing it. If it doesn't, let that shit go.”

J: And there's an element of, “You're not a good mom if you're not doing Elf on the Shelf,” If you're on Pinterest or social media, it's there, I'm positive, gosh. But I hope people don't buy into it, like you said.

H: Yeah, you just… you’ve got to ask yourself like, “Does this work for me?” right? And, I mean, I talk a lot… a lot of my community is, it's all about parenting; it's, “How do I want to feel as a parent?” And I remember I was running this energetic time management workshop, I do… I talk a lot about energy leaks, right?

J: Mm-hmm.

H: It's energy, we're managing our energy. And one of the women and it was like, “Heather, where's all your kids activities? Like our after-school, ours is jam-packed,” and I said, “I only do things on the weekends.” Like, I'm not willing to allow my children to run from sunrise to sunset because my children can't do that. They're not energetically capable of go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go and then they crash and then they're throwing tantrums because of the stress on their little bodies. So, yes, sometimes we have things after school and, you know, when you get into activities, but then you have to ask yourself, “If there's…” you know, and so it's fine for some families, but if there's resistance there and you're feeling this like, “Oh, I hate this. I hate this. I hate this,” and there's so much resistance from your child, I always say behavior is a language, and this is an opportunity to say, “Is this still working? Do we need to reassess? Do you need a break?” and you got to find what works for you because it's not going to work for everybody.

J: So, Heather, I want to dive in a little deeper with the parenting stuff.

H: Mm-hmm.

J: That is fantastic; I agree with you wholeheartedly. So tell us more… I get a lot of people asking, “How do you handle your kids whining,” A , and then, B, “How do you handle it when they won't pitch in; they won't do what you say?” So what are your suggestions there.

H: Earplugs and manipulation; no, I'm just kidding.

J: (Laughs)

H: So ear… earplugs, I'm not kidding…

J: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

H: … is…. is a huge like secret that I always tell people. I walk around with earplugs all the time. There's… I have 3 boys, sometimes we have a fourth child living here like an exchange student teenager; so there's 6 of us in this house and 2 dogs. It gets loud, I'm a sensitive person, so earplugs have been a game-changer.

J: Mm-hmm.

H: Like, I have saved the relationship with my children because of that. Because they can be kids and I could say, “Okay, guys, like, you know, you're indoors,” but it's calming down my nervous system because I'm not going from fight-or-flight in like, you know, less than a second going, “Stop it!” and screaming because I can't handle the noise.

J: Mm-hmm.

H: So that's a big one. The whining, whining is just a language; it's a learned behavior. I literally will say to my children, “I can't hear you when you're talking like that,” and I just don't respond.

J: Mm-hmm.

H: Like, “Mom, I want juice. I want this,” and I'm like, “I'm sorry, I can't hear you. Let me know when you're… when you want to use your normal voice and then we can chat,” and I just don't respond. If you don't give it energy, they will eventually realize. But what happens is people say that 10 times, and then on the 11th time, they give in. And so they're showing, they're teaching their children how to treat them. So, I mean, whining isn't an issue in my house because, one, I have earplugs in and I’m like, “I'm sorry, I can't hear you,” and, two, when they do whine, I go, “Hey, buddy, what do you need from me? I literally can't hear you when you're whining.” So I'm teaching them, “Use your voice. And when you use your voice, I can hear you.”

J: Love it, excellent advice.

H: Mm-hmm. And what was the second question?

J: Yeah, the B part was, “Okay, moms want more free time, but a lot of moms are stuck doing all the household tasks, advice on getting kids to pitch in and do what you ask, maybe even bonus if you can get your spouse to pitch in.” (Laughs). I'd love to hear your thoughts.

H: Put yourself on the calendar and make it a priority. If it was a funeral, you would attend. If it was your kids doctor's appointment, you would make it happen. So make… and I'm just inserting yoga, but let's just pretend it's a walk. Let's just pretend it's like sitting in your car in silence. If you make that time a non-negotiable time for you, you will make it happen. And when it comes to chores and the kids going, “I don't want to. I don't want to. I don't want to,” okay, cool , depending on the age of the child, I mean, there's so many things, people try to do sticker charts and all of that, it's just innate in the culture. I always… I try to think about, you don't go to the library and start screaming, right?

J: Mm-hmm.

H: You do, and they go, “Hey, you got to get out. Like, this is not acceptable here.” Because everybody kind of gets the vibe that like, “You don't talk really loud in a library,” like that's just… you get that essence, right?

J: Mm-hmm.

H: So if you set that energetic tone in your house, your children will listen to you. But if you're saying something and you don't actually mean it and you're not going to follow through with it of like, “Okay, every other night, you have to do the dishes.”
“I don't want to! I don't want to! I don't want to!”
“Okay, cool, you got to get to baseball tomorrow, I really don't want to drive you either, so you can miss baseball.” Like, yes, you're paying for baseball, but like why should we show up for our children if they're not going to be part of the team?

J: Yeah!

H: And obviously it's age-appropriate but, you know, you're not going to make your 2-year-old do his laundry, but what I'm saying is it's like, “Let's do this together; let's co-create.” So my 13 year old, he doesn't have a phone yet, but he has one of our old iPods and he'll use data or like he'll use Wi-Fi and whatever. I go, “It's just a non-negotiable, like you're not getting this during the week. I don't care if your friends have iPhone 25 and they have ridiculous amounts of data and they can do whatever they want, those are not my children, and I hate to say it to you, but they're not going to know how to wipe their own ass but they're older; and this is not the way that I am going to parent you. So, yes, you're going to have resistance to this and I'm totally okay with that because I know that, through the resistance, is I'm doing a good enough job not exposing you to this crack cocaine that society has, you know, said, ‘It's totally fine and totally socially acceptable!’” and I'm like, “No, it's not; it's actually messing up your child's brain.” So I go, “Hey, buddy, if you don't want to check these things off your to-do list, I'm not doing it for you either. And therefore, you won't be getting your phone this weekend. It's like a done deal, like I'm not arguing with you. If you don't want to show up, I ain't showing up for you.”

J: Woo! Yes, that is empowerment; I love it. And those are good boundaries.

H: But… and holding that boundary takes… you know, it's taken me years and years and years and a lot of tongue biting and a lot of like swearing out my kids when they're not around. Like, you know, a lot of like, “Oh my god! Why can't I just be that parent and just make this quote unquote ‘easier’? In the long term, my child knows how to clean a dish, my child knows how to be respectful to other adults.” And the beautiful contrast is when a friend comes over and you're observing their behavior and they go, “They've actually never done the dishes before,” or, you know, “When we have students coming to our house, the students are sometimes 18 years old, like considered an adult, and they've never done their own laundry or they've never made their own lunch.”

J: Ooh.

H: And I go, “Oh my gosh!” Like, this is not child abuse, guys, we have to realize your children are going to resist. If somebody said to me, “I'm going to pay all your bills for you, Heather, for 6 months, no… don't worry about it,” and then all of a sudden, they just cut me off, I would be annoyed too, right?

J: Mm-hmm.

H: So it's about understanding the resistance is going to be there. We're co-creating this relationship with our children and our job is not to bring them to Disneyland every year, our job is to make sure that they become like a vibrant happy healthy adults; that's it.

J: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

H: You love them, you send them love, you teach them life skills, and they will come back around and say, “Thank you for teaching me that hard lesson because I realize now, not many people know how to do this and it's a basic skill.”

J: Yes, I couldn't agree more. Well, let's take a break for our sponsor and then we'll come back and talk about some of your favorite things.

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(Interview resumes) [28:28]

J: Alright, welcome back. So tell us something that is exciting you today and then we'll jump into talking about a few of your favorite things.

H: Oh Lordy. This book that I'm writing is exciting me and also like giving birth to triplets all at one…

J: (Laughs)

H: … like coming out all at once; something that I've been resist for a really, really long time, but a passion project that's really lighting me up.

J: So what's it about?

H: It's going to be about sustainable motherhood, going to be about my journey through cancer, my struggle coming in to motherhood, about the expectations of what society puts on you; everything we're talking about today, but mainly just showing you it's okay to be happy, it's okay to feel joy, it's okay for life not to be a struggle when 99.9% of the population says that it should be, because there is another way.

J: Yes! Ooh, I can't wait. Do you have a title yet?

H: I'm sitting on a few,

J: Yeah.

H: But I'm not sticking to anything yet, yeah.

J: Alright, we'll watch for it. Okay, what is a favorite habit that contributes to your success?

H: Journaling.

J: Mm-hmm!

H: If like 8 years ago, I would have said meditation, but now it's journaling because there's some magic. I mean, and people get tripped up on journaling, they resist it. There's so many different forms that you can do it. But when you really just trust yourself putting pen to paper and just sitting with either discomfort or sitting with an idea or sitting with excitement, every day it just allows me to connect myself on a deeper level, and there is a huge difference between thinking about something and writing about something. And, yeah journaling is… is amazing.

J: Awesome. Do you do it before the day begins; at the end of the day?

H: Typically, all over the place. So I'm a little bit of a rebel and routine gets very mundane and annoying. So in the coaching I do, I talk about morning pages and the importance of writing in the morning. But, you know, after a while, if you're just like writing just to check something off, I'm not a huge advocate of that. So it's like when I feel inspired. I always consider it like water, right?

J: Mm-hmm.

H: If after a while you stopped drinking water, you're like, “I'm thirsty! I need something,” and that's how I feel when I'm journaling. And so sometimes I do it in the morning, not a 100%, in the evening, and sprinkled throughout my day, but there's always a journal in my bag as well.

J: Mm-hmm. And what's your morning routine look like?

H: So consistent morning routine, I get up anywhere between 5:30-ish, 6:00, before the kids. Now it's shifted a little bit; sometimes I get up early and I go to CrossFit and then I come home and I eat, and this is before the kids are even up. If I don't go out and workout, I just physically get up and walk slowly. (Laughs)

J: Uh-huh.

H: Literally move slowly. Oftentimes, I’ll… my monkey mind is running in the morning, like when I open my eyes and my body still recalibrating, so I'll pop some headphones in and just listen to an audiobook or something inspiring. And sometimes I'm a journalist, sometimes I'm not, but I'm usually make sure I'm fed; I'm fed before the kids get up. And then when they're up, I'm present and then I'm all in with them; I'm not multitasking.

J: Uh-huh. And then how about evening routines?

H: So this is funny because I feel like I don't know what is up with me lately, but I'm looking at the clock and I get to 8 o'clock I'm ready for bed; like this is ridiculous. And I'm not ready for bed because I'm exhausted, I still actually have a lot of energy, it just seems like a natural rhythm and progression. So I'm in bed by like 9:30, 10 o'clock the latest; typically go to bed with my middle son because he just… that's our thing right now, and I actually really love that time because he's the hyper, off the walls one, and that's just the time when he's slow and quiet. And we'll read together, we'll fall asleep together, and my husband usually comes to bed later and then he moves. But I'll either journal, I'll look at my calendar for tomorrow just to make sure that all my ducks are in the row or I sent any reminder emails, and that's it. Sometimes they even watch Netflix a little bit, but I'm not binging, I'm just like… I'm just chilling. And my nighttime routine is usually about like, I don't want to say 2 hours, but I'm in bed and falling asleep; yeah, within the hour of being in bed, but I'm just pretty slow.

J: Oh, that’s nice.

H: And my phone is not in my room.

J: Phone; where do you put it at night?

H: It's usually in the bathroom…

J: Mm-hmm.

H: … on a charger.

J: Smart. I also do the same thing. What is your favorite book, Heather?

H: Oh lordy. I have way too many favorite books. I'm a huge fan of Brené Brown and her ‘Daring Greatly’. Yeah, I mean, vulnerability is key. I would say ‘Daring Greatly’, that's the first one that popped into my mind.

J: Okay, and the best advice you've ever received?

H: “Don't take my advice.”

J: (Laughs). That's good.

H: Yeah.

J: Well, I'm going to remind our listeners that we'll have links to everything Heather talked about, including her site and everything else, her podcasts, on our show notes page at jenriday.com/89. And now, Heather, what does it mean for you to be a vibrant happy woman?

H: Mmm, just like… I'm thinking about the last question you just asked me about the best, you know, advice you got, and it's like, “Take your own advice. Listen to yourself. Practice what you preach.” It's so important to say, “What works for me?” and follow through with that. And when something doesn't work, having the courage to speak up, to shift it to change, just be you; and that's such a big concept but it comes down to every aspect of yourself, “Do I want to attend this event? Do I not want to attend this event? Do I give myself permission to explore?” It's not this big grand vision of, you know, getting rid of everything and traveling to Bali and doing all these, you know… oh gosh, online is it's just over complicated. But, you know, you get in this little Instagram world of perfection, it's asking yourself, “What makes me happy and vibrant?” and following through with those things; and it can be that simple. The only thing that will get in your way is your mind.

J: Excellent advice. Well, Heather, this has been amazing, and I want to thank you so much for being on the show.

H: This is so exciting. Thanks, Jen.

J: Take care.
Heather has great advice, right? I learned a ton; I hope you did as well. And if you know any other moms who are struggling with kids who whine or who don't want to do their chores or they're struggling to establish stronger boundaries to preserve their precious energy, share this with them, it will make all the difference; Heather had such good advice. I will be back next week, talking with Kelly McNelis all about sitting with our messiness; not a messy house necessarily, but the messiness of our lives, just owning that and not buying into the idea that we need to be perfect. It's okay to be messy; I like it. I will see you next week and share this with your friends. And until next time, take care.

Outro: Thanks for listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast at www.jenriday.com.