Raising Healthy Families with Moms Meet and KIWI

Motherhood and Identity: A Candid Conversation About What It Means to be a Mom

November 01, 2021 Moms Meet and KIWI magazine Season 2 Episode 1
Raising Healthy Families with Moms Meet and KIWI
Motherhood and Identity: A Candid Conversation About What It Means to be a Mom
Show Notes Transcript

As moms, our whole world tends to revolve around our children. But who are we outside of motherhood? And what is that elusive thing people call free time? Join the Moms Meet team for a candid conversation about what it means to be a mom, how being a parent has shaped our lives, and how we navigate our roles as mothers.

Chrissy:

Welcome to raising healthy families with Moms Meet and KIWI. We're giving you the tools to enjoy the beauty and chaos of life with little ones in the healthiest way possible. As moms our whole world tends to revolve around our children but who are we outside of motherhood? We discuss this and more in today's podcast. Hi, everyone. Welcome to the first episode of season two of raising healthy families with Moms Meet and KIWI. I'm Chrissy Kissinger, one of your hosts and a mom of two with one on the way. Today I'm joined by three of our Moms Meet and KIWI magazine team members to talk about what it means to us to be mothers and how that has shaped our identity. Let's go around and introduce ourselves before jumping in.

Annie:

Hey, guys, I'm Annie Douglass, the chief mom ambassador at Moms Meet and I am a mom of three.

Maureen:

Hi, everyone. I'm Maureen Frost, editorial director of KIWI and a mom of two.

Lindsey:

Hi Moms. I'm Lindsay clinger O'Donnell, the newest member at Moms Meet and KIWI and raising healthy families hosts and a mom of two. I'm so excited to be joining all of you today. This episode is brought to you in part by USA Pears looking for more ways to incorporate fresh fruit into your diet? You're in luck. You'll love the versatility and health benefits of Bartlett pears and your kids will love the sweet taste. Bartlett pears are full of fiber, extremely aromatic and are very low in allergens. Visit USApears.org for recipes, tips and more information about fresh us grown pears.

Chrissy:

Great. Alright, so I want to start off here with a little icebreaker question. So and you all have to answer honestly, there's no right or wrong answer here. So if someone asks you to describe yourself, but you can't say anything about being a mom, what would you say?

Annie:

That's a hard one, I would probably immediately go to what I do for work. I think that's probably my strongest identity. Kind of, like strongest the thing that I would identify with the most next, but after that I'm not so sure what I would say.

Lindsey:

Yeah, yeah, I agree. I think I would go for what I what I do for work, or maybe where I went to college or possibly, you know, the town I live in. But yeah, the number one thing is always talking about your family and your kids or your partner or your dog or something like that. Yeah.

Chrissy:

How about you, Maureen?

Maureen:

Well, um, I would say writer, because, you know, that's what I am but also what I have been for, you know, 10 plus years. So that's a natural fit for me. It's obviously my job to but it's funny, I was just thinking about, you know, on Instagram where you're allowed to like put a little bio about where you are and your name. So mine says writer, editor and mashed potato enthusiasts, so that is also who I am as a person. If I can't tell everyone that I'm a mom. I am obsessed with mashed potatoes as a human being.

Chrissy:

That's hilarious. Do you know mine says donut lover. So we both are on the same wavelength

Maureen:

We got we've got other things about us.

Annie:

I feel like you should have asked the question that differently than like, what? I would just say sushi and chocolate.

Lindsey:

Yeah I second the chocolate. Yes chocoholic for me. Yeah.

Chrissy:

Well, it's so funny because I'm like, I asked this icebreaker question. But I'm like thinking back to how we just introduce ourselves. And we all introduce ourselves with how many kids we had, like that was it right? So it's so funny, like, and that it is like it it's that is our main, that's one of our identities. But the whole point of the conversation today is to talk about what other identities that we have and how sometimes they get lost in motherhood. So one of the other questions that I always find super interesting, even like, not even the answers, but their first reaction to people to this question. It's kind of sad actually. The question is, what do you do in your free time? And usually, like every single mom I asked, they just like laugh and they're like, what's free time? Right? So I want to ask the three of you What do you do in your free time without you laughing and saying what is free time?

Maureen:

Yeah, my answer will be sad so I get one hour a day after bed and I watch a show with my husband, that is all.

Lindsey:

Yeah, I definitely feel that Maureen I feel like we're in a similar season with our yeah yeah, and it's that like one to maybe two hours if you stay up way too late and then you're up your

Maureen:

You stay up past your bedtime. Yeah

Lindsey:

That mom insomnia the next morning. But yeah, it's it's it's maybe a show I've gotten into or some some series with, you know, hopefully watching with my husband unless he's gone to bed, because he's tired, too. But yeah, you really don't get too much time during the day. But yeah, TV tends to be the activity that you do.

Maureen:

Yeah. Yeah.

Chrissy:

How about you Annie?

Annie:

Well, yeah, I mean, I'm definitely in a little bit of a different season. But I remember those days when, you know, once you put the kids to bed, there's just, you know, whatever free time you have there, you don't even have energy to do anything other than just a job. So, but um, yeah, I mean, my, my kids are a little bit older. Now, with my youngest, she is in first grade. So I have definitely noticed this past year, this kind of shift in all of a sudden having a little bit more free time for myself, or, you know, because the kids are more, you know, they're more on their own independent, they don't need to be by my side every second of the day. So it's been an interesting journey of kind of discovering again, what to do in my free time, because for so many years, I just, I did what you guys did just kind of, you know, on our free time here and there, and I all I could do is lay around, so yeah, I mean, I, I tried to take up some new hobbies, I honestly got to a point where I was looking at my husband, I was telling him, I have no idea what my hobbies are anymore. Like I just, you know, I mean, I used to have hobbies, for kids. And then, you know, they were put on hold for so long. So, um, one fun hobby that I recently picked up that I forced myself into is paddleboarding. So we live near, near a lot of bodies of water. And so that's just something I splurged on, and I splurged on it because I knew if I spent the money on it, I would force myself to use these darn paddle boards. But it has been a really enjoyable hobby. So that's one thing. Like, once I started getting into it, and making time for it, and really forcing myself to do it, I realized that how much I needed it. And it really kind of fed my soul, you know?

Chrissy:

Yeah, no, when you went paddleboarding there? Did you go by yourself? Or Did anyone tag along with you? That's the million dollar question.

Annie:

I made a mistake of bringing the kids once. And I will not do that again until they get a little older. But no, I've been trying to go with either one of my friends or my husband or just kind of, you know, alone. Just because it's a very peaceful activity. I'm trying to, you know, have something for myself. Um, so, yeah, I think it's important to when you finally do get the chance to come up for air. It's it is really, really important to maybe find at least one thing that you can do for yourself.

Chrissy:

Yeah. Oh, yeah, for sure. Well, it's so funny, Maureen and Lindsey both mentioned like the one hour of TV because so my husband and I just celebrated our 10 year anniversary. So we went away for the weekend. And my son, my son was like, but why do you need to go away together? You get to watch TV together every night. I'm like, This is so sad. Like, is this what it's come to? It is like it's so and even like the free time we're all right. Well, not Annie, but like Lindsey and Maureen, were identifying is like spending time with our partner. Right? So like, and then working full time, all of us really the only time that I have to like, do stuff is on the weekends. And then then I'm like, oh, I need to actually get stuff done around the house. And it's like, where do you even for you and me like, because you're in the same boat of working full time. So the weekends are the only time you have to get stuff done. So like, you have to be really strict about saying, okay, like, I'm going to dedicate two or three hours of my day to paddleboarding or whatever your hobby may be. But really just trying to make sure that you're setting aside that time for yourself, which is like, really, really hard to do, right?

Maureen:

Yeah, I'm really bad at it.

Annie:

Yeah. One thing that I have noticed is men seem to be a little better at not just a little better, they seem to be a lot better at pursuing their hobbies. Like I notice my husband. And even just other guys, you know, friends that I have, like they they have hobbies and they basically just say, okay, the plan, plan for it, you know, they say, Okay, I'm going to go out and do XYZ tonight, you know, and as moms as women, I do you think that we tend to get in that role of, you know, your, I guess your the main one primary one is, you know, taking care of the kids. I don't know like if...

Maureen:

Yeah, I call myself a default parent. In that situation, I'm number one, if I'm doing something else, then you know, he's up but, but usually understood that I'm the one doing it. And, you know, I've taken that on obviously, I want to be that person, but I also want to go for a bike ride today like my husband, or like, you know, he gets out so much more and now that we're all working from home, I It's like, you could spend the whole day until bedtime, not leaving the house because you wake up your work, then you go right into being a mom right after work. And then you have your hour of free time and you go to bed. Yeah, so yeah, it's really hard.

Chrissy:

I don't know. Well, yeah. Well, we always struggle with on the weekends is like, we're both my husband, I are both trying to get some stuff done. So if if that's happening, then the kids are just like, parked in front of the TV or right like or, and you know, if I'm, like, really on top of my game, I'll have them like color and stuff. But check out the first episode about screentime. But yeah, it's just it's such a hard struggle to like, have time for yourself. But it's so funny. You both say that about your husband's like, having it's just easier, or I don't know, they're more apt to finding a hobby. My husband tells me all the time, he's like, You really need to find a hobby. And I'm like, yeah, when no, like, serious. So So okay, so we talked about, like, what we do in our free time. But what if you could pick something if you could pick one thing that you do for yourself on a regular basis? So not just like sitting and watching TV? Right? Like, think about like, I don't know, getting your nails on your hair, whatever it may be? What would that one thing be? And then if you can even remember this far back, what did you use to do before you were a mom? In you know, for fun? Or as a hobby?

Lindsey:

Yeah, so, um, so I can I can take that first. But yeah, I think you know, you just mentioned getting your hair done. And I feel like that's one thing that I do now that I'm it's something that you know, kind of needs, I've started coloring my hair again recently. So it's something you kind of have to do and keep up with. So it almost like trained me that it's like, okay, I have to carve out time for this. I have to carve out time for myself. So yeah, so that's one thing kind of currently that I'm doing but but yes, before kids and just before kind of this this crazier time, I think it's really catching up with friends and those other relationships kind of outside the family and I think that's one thing that I'm in this season of life kind of struggling with is keeping up with that as well. Because yeah, I used to go to lunch with friends go to dinner or get a drink, you know, all of those kind of relationships just kind of keeping up with them. So yeah, that's one thing I think that is kind of not lacking in this season of life but is a lot more difficult to make time for and carve out so and I like remember that person that used to go to restaurants and things are obviously much more different and look different because of COVID and everything going on right now. But yeah, that's I miss it. Miss it, man. Give me a margarita. I miss it.

Chrissy:

Or just being able to like pick up and be like, Hey, do you want to go to dinner tonight? And like just being random and on the fly?

Lindsey:

That ease of yeah, that availability was nice. Yeah.

Chrissy:

So Annie, I know you you talked about paddleboarding? A little bit but you also did mention that like you kind of forgot what your hobbies were before you were a mom. Right? Did you ever have you like had a chance to kind of really sit down and think about like, okay, cuz obviously paddleboarding is seasonal, right? So, have you had the chance to think about like what else you might want to do for yourself on a regular basis?

Annie:

Well, I I'm a bit of a boring person. My other nor, like my other normal hobbies, if I had a choice and a lot of time on my hands, I love reading. And, and I I remember a couple years ago, picking up a physical book for the first time in a very, very long time. And I read it from start to finish, I think it was my husband and I had gone away on a weekend trip together. And we both bought a book. And we sat on the beach. And we both finished a book from start to finish for on the weekend. And I remember coming back from that and thinking, oh my gosh, I used to love reading. What happened? Like, I mean, it's just something I forgot about. So yeah, I mean, reading and then through through the pandemic, I really got into doing puzzles.

Chrissy:

Yes, that's a good one.

Annie:

I mean, I don't know it kind of seems a little geeky, but

Chrissy:

It's not, it's so good for your brain too. It's so funny cuz we started doing puzzles too, but I like excel at the kid puzzles. I haven't really quite migrated to the adult ones. It's so funny because on our weekend away, Mark was like, Do you want to get a puzzle Like a 500 piece puzzle, I was like, Oh, that's a little aggressive. Maybe like no, I went to 100.

Annie:

Yeah, COVID has been interesting because it kind of, you know, we were stuck inside. So we have so many puzzles. And I even told my husband, I'm like, Okay, after the kids move out, dedicate one room and make it a puzzle room. And that's fine.

Chrissy:

And that's when you know, you've gone crazy. Maureen, what about you? What do you find yourself doing? Like, I know, you said your husband goes out by riding? Yeah, is there something you do for yourself when you can find the time to do it? Yeah, that's it.

Maureen:

Exercise. And even if I can, so I, I also take my kids a lot when I exercise, I throw them double bob and then go for a run on the bike path. And but yesterday, my mom showed up, right as I was leaving, and she was like, oh, I'll take them, you go. And I was like, I can go by myself. So I had 25 minutes by myself yesterday in the morning before work. But exercise is something that I try to find space for before I move on to the like the relaxing, cathartic things, but I used to, because that's also like a mental health thing for me, I needed to feel good. I used to read on the beach, that was my favorite thing to do in the whole entire world, like sit on the beach with a good book for hours and hours and hours, before the beach was just chasing children around.

Chrissy:

And bringing a million things.

Maureen:

Bring everything from your house, to the beach. So that was you know, and I also used to paint. And I also used to do pottery, and write my own stuff on when I wasn't working. All of those things have gone to the wayside. Now, temporarily, I would say, no, they'll be back in a different season. And I'm not rushing this one to get there. But exercise is something for me that has to stick. And then also reading a book would be nice. So maybe I can add one book a year.

Chrissy:

So I'm the same as you like, even just for mental health I have, it's better for everyone in my family if I'm exercising, because it just puts me in a better mood, it gives me even like that hour to myself. It's more about like forcing myself to do it. But the hobby that I used to do before I had kids, so I actually used to be really into politics. And I would like volunteer with advocacy groups, and I like ran on ballots before. And I would help out a lot. And then also just like volunteering and volunteering for like nonprofits is really important to me, but I just haven't had the time. And it stinks because like part of me is like well, let me find things that I can do with my kids that they can volunteer with me so that it's showing them you know, giving back. But again, the time piece, it's like, it's a struggle, but I do think it's one of the things is really important is showing our kids that like well, yes, we are their moms and we love them more than anything in this world. We are also our own people, right? And we want to show them that we we have our own identity and lives outside of them as well. So like Lindsey was saying, spending time with friends, like it's okay to make plans with other people and go out for you know, an hour or two even. or god forbid, like a weekend away with friends.

Lindsey:

Like sign me up. I'm ready, like so ready?

Chrissy:

Yeah, it is, it's, it's so important to like for me, I really want to show that to my kids but and you know, our first identity, it tends to be mom and that's fine. And you know, it's all about like our life stage and where we are and our season. But again, it's not the only thing that defines us. And there's other parts of us outside of motherhood. So I guess the question would be, how do you remember who you are as a person when you're in the thick of motherhood? So I know, we're all so Lindsey, Maureen and I are kind of in the same stage and Annie's a little bit ahead of us. But I would say like we're all still kind of in the thick of motherhood, like we're all you know, all of our kids are at home depending on us. So how do you guys what do you do to remember, you know who we are as a person? It's a deep question.

Maureen:

Yeah, I don't think I am doing a good job of it right now is what I would say because I don't know just having a baby in the pandemic. It just you know, it was the hardest year ever. So, I think that that is something that I I'm starting to come out of the haze of like the newborn situation. She's almost 10 months. So that's something I am actually focusing on now. I can leave her longer and I can think about okay, what else should we do to like bring some more joy like personal joy back in not just like you're the doer and the giver to everyone. I'm trying to figure that out. But I would say that for the last year, I haven't remembered myself and that has, like, been hard. And I think, you know, I've suffered because of it.

Chrissy:

And you and Lindsay are in the same boat kind of both had babies during the pandemic.

Lindsey:

I was just gonna say, yeah, yeah,

Maureen:

Yeah. And, you know, she, she was the light of my life coming in, but it's also been scary and stressful, and just hard.

Lindsey:

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Just to just to kind of dovetail on that. I mean, I completely agree. So, my daughter is six and a half months old now. And yeah, that a pandemic, baby is a baby in general. And then a pandemic, pandemic baby is just, it's a lifetime in the the most beautiful, positive way. But it's challenging, you do kind of lose yourself a little bit. Because you're devoting yourself to something or not something, like a cause, but you're devoting the cause is this baby that needs you? 100%. So you're devoting yourself to, to that and yeah, you just you lose, you lose it a little bit. But yeah, I'm definitely in that season, too. And I've found that, you know, communication with my partner is really key. You know, my husband's very supportive, and he is encouraging, like, go, go, you know, go out for an hour go do this, or, you know, what we'll do too, is kind of, I have a four and a half year old as well. So he'll take the baby for the morning, and I'll take my older daughter out and, and do something with her, or, you know, we were talking about hobbies. And I was kind of remembering this as we were talking, but I use I mean, I love painting too. And and, you know, I love painting watercolors, and it's something that my daughter and I now do together. So it's a hobby that I had before. That now is not something I can just sit and do by myself. She's there with her little pain set as well. But But yeah, it's it's, you know, you have to figure out how to carve out that time and kind of divide and conquer. If you have two or more than more than one. And and yeah, it's it's hard not to lose yourself in that season. So in the season, but yeah.

Chrissy:

Yeah, for sure. So Annie, I know you and you, you bring a unique perspective, just because you do have older kids. But again, like I said, you're still in the thick of motherhood, like you have a high schooler, but you're carting her around, you know, to different sports and, and all those things. So what would your perspective beyond that, in terms of like, remembering who you are, while you're doing all those things as a mom?

Annie:

Yeah, I mean, I think, in a way, it's been kind of, it's been really cool to, you know, connect with my, my oldest, who's a freshman in high school now, and we started doing more, like, fun things together. Now. So we've started to, I started realize that, you know, we should have like, you know, mommy daughter date nights, and we were we both like sushi. So we would go out to sushi together, or we would go to the beach, you know, grab dinner and go sit at the beach and have dinner on the beach together. So including her, including my daughter in you know, in doing those fun activities that I also enjoy, that's been a new new experience that I felt I've been finding to be really helpful, not just for myself, but also for her. And then, I mean, I, I just I think that we're all very lucky that we all have really great partners for supportive, because my husband does very often remind me and push me to take care of myself. And, you know, if I'm at a point where, you know, I can't, you know, you know, I can't take something anymore. I've just had it, you know, then we kind of just kind of, like tag team, so he was like, Okay, I'm gonna take over you go, go do something, you know. So, um, I mean, I There were times where I would fight him, you know, and be like, No, nope, I can't do that right now. I can't I have to be here, you know. But I'm learning I've been learning to not fight him on that, but really take his lead, and just go take that. That extra time for myself.

Chrissy:

Yeah, for sure. Well, and it's funny because in the beginning of the conversation, we were talking a little bit about what will we plan to do once like we have more time right, but the reality is, at this point in our lives, we we're at the stage where we just don't have that time. So I guess my biggest word of my of this season for me is balanced, which is really hard to find. So how do you all work to find a balance between the different parts of your life as a mother so not even like, between personal time and your kids but between working your you know, managing the meals and carting kids around to sports and all of that. I would love to hear your your tips and feedback, because I feel like it's a struggle like every week, it just create pure craziness, like trying to cart everyone around and falling, finding all that like bounce and activity. So what do you guys experience with that?

Maureen:

I feel like when I go easier on myself, and I try not to do everything every day, then things go better. Like I tried to take the pressure off, I think it's a lot of it is mental. Like, you know, I said that exercise is really important for me. But also, like, if there's a morning, I'm not feeling it. And we just want to sit and like, you know, play in the playroom and watch cartoons before I start working. Like that's really relaxing and allowing those things and not feeling guilty that you're not doing everything every day perfectly and taking some rest time. Maybe makes me feel better, because I feel like I become like a pressure situation, and I get to my end so fast. And then you know, then then it's bad for everyone. So maybe expecting less like and not perfection, and just like, you know, trying to be happy in the moment. It makes me feel better when I you know, and just like, oh, what will make like everyone happy and relaxed right now, like, instead of like, I need to hit this, I need to do that he needs to be doing something educational, she needs to eat this, like, all of those things all at once is really like burdensome, and trying to just take the pressure off yourself.

Chrissy:

Yeah, and I feel like I don't know about all of you. But and I'm sure Annie can relate to this a little bit more. I feel like I find myself saying like a lot, especially in the newborn stage or in the baby stage. But even now, I find myself thinking, Oh, I just if they can just get to be like this age, and they can show on their own. Or if they can just do this. And they don't need help with homework or whatever the case may be. And then you're like wishing the time away. And you don't realize and you don't appreciate the experiences that you're having with them. And when you were talking about like just sitting and being present with your kids, like even if it's just like watching cartoons, there with them. And it's so hard. Like for me, it's so hard for me to just like sit there and I'm like, Oh my gosh, there's a million things to be doing. Enjoy this. But like Annie, I'm sure you can talk to like, it just flies by like I'm sure Ella was you know, just a baby the other day and your eyes and my school is just so crazy.

Annie:

Yeah, it does fly by but let me tell you it is really nice when they can get their own breakfast in the morning and get themselves ready. I don't even see Ella before she goes to school in the morning. She gets all my gosh, it's great makes she eats her breakfast. She gets dressed and she's out the door. And I'm like, oh, okay, have a great day.

Lindsey:

That's the sign of a job well done, though. on your part. Yeah, like you.

Annie:

Yeah it's true that thankfully, she doesn't need me to, you know, drag her out of bed every morning. So I'm thankful for that. But one of the things that I somewhat I have no idea where I heard this concept before, but it really stuck with me. And my view of finding balance is very different. So someone kind of said something like, don't measure don't like measure your balance per day. But like look at it from like a month perspective. So if you brought it to the month, there, you might have like one week where you just everyone ran around like crazy and didn't have family time together or there was just no balance. It was just, you know, very, very all work. Maybe it was all work, maybe there's a work event and you're just working all week. But then if you look at it from a perspective of the month, then you have a lot more time in the month to balance things out. So maybe the next week, you just spend a lot of extra family time or one on one time or what have you. So once I heard that once, you know I heard someone say that I really started putting that into practice in my life because you know, I'm you know, definitely I have very high expectations for myself. I you know, I have a lot of mom guilt. If I don't do things the right way and I don't feed my kids vegetables every meal and I just have all these lists of things I have to get done that I think I have to get done. But in reality, it's just it's not manageable and sustainable to think that way. So once I changed my mindset about okay, I'm just gonna say this month I'm going to find balance during the month. then that gives me more leeway, I guess, and less stress.

Chrissy:

Yeah, that's a really great perspective to have. Because I'm, I'm the opposite where I'm like, each day, like, Man, I really failed today. Failing, like, and then towards the end of the week, I'm like, well, we've we've come this far, my eyes will just keep failing, like, for the week, right? Like, it's a horrible mindset to have. But you're right, we do put so much pressure on ourselves as moms. And that kind of segues into the next question that I want to ask. So we, we all kind of talked about, we've already touched on our managing, like, the parenting responsibilities with our partner, right? We all kind of said that all of our partners are really great at helping out and, and all that, but notice how I'm saying that they're helping out like, it's like, that's not how it should be like, somehow it's it shifted, or somehow it's always kind of been where the mental load of motherhood just falls on the mom, right? Like, we, and I don't. It's hard because it's not like, our partners aren't willing to do it. It's just, I don't know, if it's a control thing. It might be a control thing for me. But it's like all the things that I'm thinking about on a daily basis, like, so this time of year, it's okay, where are we going to get the Halloween costumes? Or where are we going to, like, what do they want to do this weekend? Or, like, I need to pack this for school and all these things where I'm like, I always say to my husband, I'm like, I wish I could live in your brain for a day because it's so exhausting. And I know Maureen, you were talking about this the other day, too. So do you guys feel the same way? Am I the only one? Or is this like, like kind of a universal motherhood thing where we all just have the burden on us of remembering things?

Lindsey:

Yeah, I mean, I think I think you're right. I think it's universal. I think it's, it's interesting, because it's like, they're all willing to help and they're great partners. But you still have to ask the question, you have to ask for it. And it's like, we don't really need their permission. You know, we just have to have that open communication with them. But yeah, we're the ones that kind of store everything. And I think I yeah, I asked myself the same thing. Is it me feeling the need to keep everything to keep everything on track? Is that just me and my personality? Or, you know, that I can't like, let that go? Or? Yeah, what's the what's the balance of power there, if you will, or the you know, the balance of responsibilities? So, yeah, it's definitely a tough question. Yeah.

Chrissy:

How about you, Maureen.

Maureen:

So my husband does so much of like, the non kid things like he cooks every night, he goes to the grocery store, he cleans the house, he does tons and tons of stuff, but I mostly do. A lot of the kids like I will do the bath so I'll be the one watching them while he's doing those things. And that's kind of the pattern that we've fallen into. But it's hard to because like, you know, doing the dishes is mindless and it's actually would be a nice vacation to stand over there and do the dishes instead of like, you know, keeping the toddler from hurting the baby. So sometimes I say like, can we just please switch places? Like can I do the mindless stuff because I feel like you know, those activities are like he cuts the lawn but that's a nice three hour breakout. So he does so much but I do more of the the like nitty gritty with the kids. And I definitely am the keeper of every single detail that goes on with both of them, like all the way down to how to make her oatmeal in the morning. And then I have to train everyone else how to do it because I have figured it out. And then it's just like, oh my god now I'm like, I'm running a school on how to take care of my child taking care of my child at the same time. So it just it it gets a lot for me.

Lindsey:

You're doing it even though you're not doing it. Because you're telling him.

Maureen:

Exactly I'm like why don't you know how to do this by now. She's 10 months old. Yeah, and my husband is always like, just tell me what you want me to do. I'm like, I want to not tell you I want you to do it. You are not the assistant to me, although you are but I don't want you to be so that is you know, a constant challenge because then I get burnout from being the keeper of all the information and everyone looks to me you know, does she fit in this outfit still is she done her food? Like and I'm saying she because the baby is more like she's harder. I know her in and out because I spend so much time with her because I've been nursing her and you know, her mom but like my husband does take a lot of the responsibility off with the almost three year old because he's easier for anyone because he's just an easy kid. So yeah, but that's our house.

Chrissy:

We're gonna charge for this therapy session.

Maureen:

Yes, yes. It's nice to share with other people. But um, yeah, no, it does work. And we both do. We're both constantly doing all the time, right? That's the hard thing. No one's relaxing, not not doing anything. He's where it's just no, no, there's so much to do as a working parent, you know? Yeah.

Chrissy:

How about you Annie?

Annie:

Um, so I'll tell you a funny story. My husband and I are preparing to go on vacation next week. And until next week, okay, one week away. Two days ago, my husband asked me, who's taking care of our children? I said, we're going away in a week, I thought you took care of it. Like I thought you would have figured it out by now. You know, so I kind of like what kept going on that path. Like what you did it, you know, and he's like, you know, he's like, stop joking with me. I know, you always take care of the things like, I'm sure you have a plan. I'm like, You're kidding me. Right. So this entire time, you did not once wonder who were taking care of our kid, our three children? Yeah. And we almost got into a fight. But it didn't escalate that far. But anyway, so that's just a good example of Yeah, it's a very natural thing. And, of course, I wrote a six page dissertation on the entire day to day, hour to hour schedule for our children who are going to be shuffled between, you know, my our in laws and a babysitter. And I don't think my husband would know how to do any of that. Without it being written. Now, having said all that, he is a great partner. And we definitely have a very clear division of responsibility. I mean, he takes care of every everything from outside of the house that, you know, managing the, you know, anything. Like, if anything breaks, or, you know, even grocery shopping, he handles all of that and cleaning the house laundry. So it's not that he's not helpful. Like Maureen said, it's just that there is there has been this, like, Division of responsibility, and it kind of we each, it's almost like someone gave each of us a job description. And it hasn't evolved over time. You know, we just been stuck in the same job description. Yeah. So it's, it's, um, sometimes it is, I do get upset over it. And sometimes I demand switching places. But then, but then when I see how he packs the lunches, I'm like, I know that I have to switch back. Because you don't know what each kid doesn't like and likes and you don't know if they want their cross taken off their bread.

Chrissy:

Well, that's what I was just gonna say like, I feel like because I've had this conversation, I mean, as we all have with our spouses, like multiple times, and it's like, part of it is my fault, because I'm a control freak. So to your point with like, the lunches, I'm like, I'll just do it like I need to like, and it has nothing to do with his capability. It's more than I need to like control. And it's so funny. Maureen, you mentioned like your husband, you know, spending hours mowing the lawn. It is. So it's a running joke in my neighborhood, because I actually insist on mowing the lawn mowing the lawn at eight months pregnant, and My poor husband is like, I'm literally inside cleaning the house and you're mowing the lawn, like what is wrong with this picture? And all like it's, but I, I I'm like, that's like time for me. I like can listen to a podcast, like it's exercise. It's like, it's easy. It's mindless. But like, we definitely I think we're we're both pretty good. And he's great about like, taking on like, he'll cook like he doesn't. And I think it's pretty consistent in our whole conversation with all of us. It's like, our spouses aren't like, in the role of know, you cooking, you clean and you do all that, like everyone's kind of divvying up the responsibilities. But, you know, like, the conversation we're having, it's like, it's more of a mental capacity of just remembering, like, I don't even know.

Maureen:

I tried to explain it to my husband all the time. And he doesn't get it. Yeah, it doesn't get the like, the burden of being the rememberer. Like he does and it's like no, but you don't know like, what size clothes she wears.

Chrissy:

Let's be honest, how many lists do you all keep? Because I have like four different like areas of where I keep lists to remember things. So I'm curious what you guys do. Or am I the only crazy one?

Lindsey:

No, you're not there's there's a list on your like, on my calendar. There's a list on a calendar on a fridge. There's notes all over the house. I mean, yeah, it's it's honestly, it's very frustrating sometimes how much you try to communicate and it's like, but you still are the one that has to keep the information. So yeah.

Chrissy:

Yeah, for sure.

Annie:

It's gotten kind of bad at our house where I've gotten so fed up with. I mean, it's not just my house. And but my kids to they'll ask, Oh, what are we doing tomorrow or the next day? And I had already told them, you know, two times before. So it's gotten really bad to where I usually don't tell my family things until right before it happens, because and then they'll they'll act all surprised like, well, I we didn't know this was happening or we were going somewhere. And I would say, well, but even if I told you whichever remembered, like, you would have still acted surprised, even if I told you two times before. So to save myself the frustration of having to be the one repeating things over and over. I've just stopped communicating. I've just stopped telling people what our plan is. Because, you know, yeah, I'll just tell them when we're ready to go.

Lindsey:

Like, what are we what are we doing this weekend? What's on the agenda for the weekend? And I'm like, you can also look at the calendar then, you know.

Chrissy:

Yeah, yeah, for sure. Well, so we started this conversation talking about like, hobbies and kind of how we've lost what our hobbies look like. And I know, and he was talking about kind of rediscovering herself with her hobbies. So I guess the question would be for all of you is, when we are out of the thick of it, what do you foresee yourself getting into? Like, what would you like? What aspirations do you have for yourself? Or your hobbies for your just to kind of rediscover yourself?

Annie:

I would love to travel. I would love to do more of that. Because that's very difficult when you have little ones. Yeah. But even if it's just quick weekend, things are, you know, hearing they're just being able to have more experiences that are outside the home.

Chrissy:

Mm hmm. How about you, Maureen.

Maureen:

So there's, when I lived in Philly, I used to go to a pottery studio, but it's a very time intensive hobby, because you constantly have to go back and forth and be there for the drying process and this and that. But there's one now where close to where I live, and I picture myself as this like, cute old lady in the pottery studio, like every single day. And I'm hoping that I can start that, you know, maybe like I can start like venturing down that path again. Because it's therapeutic for me. You know, I don't know maybe when my kids are both in like a school age setting. I can take a night off and go do that and something so that that but Annie traveling? Yes! I left the state once in a year, I think.

Annie:

Yeah.

Chrissy:

Wait, hold on, let's specify traveling without kids, right? Because traveling out is a totally different experience. Someone once said to me, when you take a vacation with your kid, that's not a vacation. It's a trip. But just so true. It just, it's just a different type of getaway. How about you, Lindsey? What would you think you'd want to get into? And after you're out of the thick of it?

Lindsey:

Yeah, so definitely reading more, painting again, that's not with a four year old. So make sure that I want to paint not that she I start and then she finishes and improves. But yeah, definitely. I mean, traveling for sure. And we rescued our dog and before kids I was very involved in just the animal rescue and you know, would volunteer for their like Silent Auction events and their annual event. And, you know, I'd like to do that kind of thing again, like do something kind of something like that. That's just more Yeah, giving of my time and if I had it so.

Chrissy:

Yeah, I know, I definitely one of my biggest things is spending time just to volunteer but also so I am like known in my family I like kill any plant that lives and so I like end up just buying a bunch of fake fake plants. But so my goal in life is to become like, have a green thumb right? Like I want to be able to spend time on my garden I want to be able to plant things like I don't know vegetables and not have to rely on my husband and tell me what to do. I want to be able to have the the wherewithal and like the time to to research like what to do. And we have this like really cute, elderly couple as neat as neighbors and they're so cute. They're out there like everyday together like gardening their garden looks beautiful. And like, that's a pipe dream for me. And that's what I mean. But like, the sad thing is, I don't need to be like 85 years old to do this. Like, maybe it may be in the next couple years, but I think that would be it for me is gardening and volunteering. Those would be the two things.

Lindsey:

So gardening seems really rewarding to just like I mean, you know, seems really fun and you get to literally reap the benefits of it, veggie garden, that'd be really cool.

Chrissy:

Well, so I think the overall conversation is, you know, we're all on the thick of it, we're all moms. But at the end of the day, like, this is the most rewarding job, at least, you know, that I've ever had. You can just see how your kids are growing and see just like you're keeping your kids alive, and you're raising them to be kind human beings. So it definitely brings a different kind of joy, right, then, typically, like what a hobby would bring, or just spending, you know, having alone time or whatever that may be. It's just a different stage of life for us. Would you all agree? Kind of yeah, that perspective?

Lindsey:

Yeah, definitely.

Annie:

Yes.

Maureen:

So I, you know, we talked about in the beginning that, like, if we couldn't identify ourselves up moms as moms, what would we identify ourselves, but I think that we could probably all agree that the identity of a mom is like our proudest accomplishment, it for me it is in life, it's the thing I'm proudest of. It's the hardest job, but it's the best job. So while it's nuts, like, I wouldn't trade it for anything, and I'm so thankful that I get to do it, cuz I've always wanted to. And so, you know, it's not when you're in it, but like, it's also great.

Chrissy:

So yeah, yeah, I agree. Yeah, it's so easy to have, you know, it's nice to be able to have other moms to talk to like, we're all just struggling through it, but at the same time, like, we're all it's a beautiful stage. And like, there's people that don't have the, like the fortune of being moms right, like, so it's definitely it's definitely an amazing part of life. And it makes me appreciate my mom and both of my parents share a lot more. I'm like, did you ever have to do this or like yeah, of course we did. Like I'm so sorry. Like, thank you so much.

Maureen:

So yeah, I mean, on that note, I am so glad that we had the conversation about it because it's it's important and I know that I feel low and then in the thick of it by myself, but like when we get together as moms, it's nice to know that we're all kind of either going through it now or have gone through it and have some wisdom for us on the other side too.

Lindsey:

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Annie:

And next week we're talking with Jennifer Hemphill, an accredited financial counselor and author about how to teach your kids financial literacy and the best ways to talk to your kids about money.

Chrissy:

All right. Well, thanks for joining us for our second season. We can't wait to continue helping you to raise healthy and happy families.