On this show, we talk about health and healing which is a broad word and it encompasses so much! We talk about holistic health, emotional health, spiritual health, mental and of course, physical health. I also love talking about motherhood, femininity or the divine feminine which resides in each and every one of us and how can we integrate the wisdom of our body into our busy lives as moms who are raising young families. My main goal is to find a way to thrive as a woman, wife and a mother because I am DONE with surviving and just getting through the day.
I want to truly enjoy this time of my life, find joy in it and surround myself with like-minded mothers who want the same things.
Today I want to talk about one basic and integral principle and value in my life and business which is at the core of thriving and that is sustainability.
First, let’s understand what is the meaning of this word according to the dictionary.
So, there are actually two definitions of this word:
- “avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance.” For example, you would say something like: “the pursuit of global environmental sustainability”
- The second definition is: “the ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level.”
When I refer to sustainability I am referring to the second definition which to me means so many things and I lead and organize my life according to this one principal.
Before we get to unpack this even further, I want to tell you a little story.
Before becoming a mom I was on top of my game, I was very organized, punctual, achieving things, going places, meeting people and enjoying my life. I came to Canada at the age of 21, got accepted into a university, graduated with a business degree and was on my way to conquer the world. I was dreaming of a successful career in the insurance industry, driving a white Mercedez, living in a beautiful house and traveling the world. I was always a very confident and sharp girl. I was so proud of myself!
When my hubby and I got married, we knew that we want to have kids right away and I truly thought that I would rock motherhood! I will never forget the judgment and sarcasm I’ve had on my face towards other moms before I even knew how it feels to be responsible for anyone other than myself.
And then, nine years ago at the time of this recording, I had my first daughter. Even then I thought I totally got this. I came home from the hospital after a vaginal birth and since my daughter was still under the influence of the epidural I thought that that was my chance to catch up on stuff. So the first thing I’ve done was finishing up the laundry I started before going to the hospital, vacuumed all three floors, washed the floors and only then was ready to relax and rest. So what I had a baby, my life doesn’t have to change because of it. She will fit me, not the other way around. Only then my daughter woke up and it was the first time I’ve experienced that feeling that was in between anger/wtf/why now/you have got to be kidding me/you can’t do this, I am in the middle of something here!”
Well, the baby doesn’t really care, she needs to eat so I guess I had to drop everything I was doing and attend to her, which I did, but that feeling of “there are so many things I still didn’t do and they are waiting for me” was left.
I wasn’t done, I need to be somewhere other than here…
This same feeling grew, and overtime as it happened more and more often I felt like I am never getting to the things that matter to me! Normal things like keeping a tidy home, organized closet, clean clothes, clean toilets, stocked up fridge and pantry, healthy food in the fridge (or just any food for that matter). And then there were important life things like moving ahead with my career, keeping a consistent relationship with my friends, my marriage, travel, my spiritual practice, my health, exercise, etc.
Basically, I was pushed to the sidelines, prioritizing someone else over myself all in the name of being a “good mom”, because this is what good moms do, right?
Good moms willingly give up sleep so that they can attend to their child any time of the day to breastfeed her when she wants.
Good moms happily eat food that has gone cold or cereal with milk all day long because this baby’s needs are more important than me feeding myself.
Asking someone for help (even my mom) didn’t even cross my mind at the time because I am a superwoman and I’ve got this! They expected me to do what they did, and I was doing it. Who cares that I was on my way to losing myself. “It comes with motherhood”, they used to say.
Good moms should be thankful for this bundle of joy that had changed their lives upside down, and yes even if it was by choice, actually because this was my choice to become a mom I couldn’t complain and was meant to suck it up. This is what it is, it is just a hard time in your life, wait it out and one day you will be able to breathe and enjoy life again.
I don’t know about you, but at this point, I started developing minor resentment, at the time it was a tiny sparkle but because I didn’t know how to tend to it and how to unpack it, it grew and became a full-grown beast around the time my third baby was born.
At that stage, I was so sick and tired of neglecting myself as well as my needs and constantly putting myself last that one night I found myself crying into my pillow admitting to my husband that “motherhood destroyed me”. The thought of regretting motherhood came across my head every single day, sometimes twice a day.
This wasn’t healthy, for me or the girls. I had to do something about it.
There I was frazzled, confused, exhausted and depleted. I literally felt burned out and out of alignment with who I am and who I want to become. I felt like I’ve lost my identity and didn’t recognize myself anymore. My life was so chaotic and frantic and I felt out of control.
Believe me, I know what you mean when you say that you feel overwhelmed or like you are drowning.
Now, I’m asking you – what should a woman do at this point?
There is no one to talk to about this, I mean, you can’t openly talk about this with your family and friends! And even if I could, what would they do? They can’t turn back the time.
I did express how I felt to my husband, but that just got him disappointed and discouraged. I totally get it, I think any man would want his wife to adore his kids!
Thankfully, I am an avid reader and through reading a few books on parenting and personal development I have realized that up until this point my life was unsustainable.
I’ve had so many ‘shoulds’ and ‘life is supposed to be lived my way or the highway’ type of mindsets which brought me to complete burnout and self-neglect. I felt like because of all the things I wanted to do for my family, I never had enough time in the day to do what I want to do, just for me.
I insisted on cleaning my house by myself, doing laundry on Sundays which was our only day off, building a home-based business without asking for help or directions which for many years was a very expensive hobby, cook meals from scratch (including making my own almond milk and my own cheese), followed the recent health trends, I have tried it all – I was a vegetarian, vegan, keto, intermittent fasting, etc.
None of these methods worked for my lifestyle as a mother who is raising young kids who are so picky and particular about food. I have struggled year after year convincing them and trying to figure out why won’t they eat the healthy meals I’ve worked so hard to make??
This was ironic since after my second daughter was born I decided I wanted to become a nutritionist and was focused on kids’ health. I was working with families of picky eaters but didn’t really know how to solve this problem for my own family.
Now I understand that none of these ways were sustainable, practical nor did it feel attainable for me. I never felt successful with what I do, even though all I wanted is to do the right thing.
My life felt hard, I was unmotivated, uninspired, confused, angry and depressed.
What was I doing wrong?
The truth was that my life was unsustainable.
Our lifestyle wasn’t adapted to our needs as a family, rather we tried to fit into the rhythm of the world.
I was constantly putting myself into situations that deplete me totally instead of being super strategic, deliberate and intentional about my choices, how they would impact me and my family, and how they would impact my time.
Time is a scarce resource for us moms, which is why I am no longer willing to negotiate my own time and wellbeing with anyone. Not even with my kids.
I want to be very clear here, at any point in this story, am I blaming my kids. Of course not.
I have chosen to be a mother and a wife and it was up to me to figure out a more sustainable way to live my life and lead my family by.
My kids won’t and can’t give this to me. I am the adult, they are the kids.
I had to assume responsibility, own my BS and stand up for myself and my family.
I could no longer afford to waste any more time. The precious time we don’t have!
First, I had to get clear about my life’s philosophy and about my big rocks in life, I talked about this concept in episode 69. My big rocks in life (aka my top values) are having a clear personal space, constantly investing in my marriage, raising good human beings, health & exercise, my work, and time freedom.
These values are my compass, they help me to courageously design the life that I want to live and live in alignment with my purpose.
What are some things I had to rearrange in my life so that I can allow more sustainability, time and ease back into my life?
Number one, I have decided to only take on tasks that inspire and fill me up, everything else can be outsourced, delegated or automated. As a result, I’ve hired someone else to clean my house. I don’t know why I insisted on cleaning my own house for nine years! This was such a waste of my precious time. It depleted me on so many levels, so my hubby and I have finally decided to allocate a budget for a cleaning lady which is $200/month. She comes once every other week, cleans my toilets, helps with the laundry, irons our clothes, and I get not only my time back, but also my mental bandwidth, which helps me to be more creative in my life and business.
Before that, I felt like my head was clogged with a million things I had to get done.
This was an example of building a tribe of people around me who can help me to raise myself and my family. It truly takes a village!
Another example of this philosophy was hiring a babysitter on a weekly basis, so my hubby and I can go on our dates. We are actually working on automating this so that this girl will come to our house weekly on a certain day and time without needing to arrange ahead of time.
The more things are automated in our life, the less mental bandwidth we need to remember to do.
Yes, I manage our household, but this doesn’t mean it has to fully consume me.
This is now a non-negitiable!
My time matters, I matter! Mommy is a person too!
Another thing I am constantly evolving is enrolling my hubby and kids into my vision and health mission. I need them on board, to understand what it is that I want, and also to pitch in and help when needed. In the past, it was my job to clean up after everybody, to load up the dishwasher and turn it on. Now I am very clear that I expect them to clean up after themselves, load the dishwasher themselves and turn it on. My dreams and ideas matter and I made it very clear to them that if all I have to take care of is household stuff I don’t have the mental bandwidth to create and be of service to my clients.
One other thing is related to my kids, other than driving them to school which honestly I don’t enjoy and we are looking for ways to take care of that in the near future, but since my girls go to a private school I live with it for now. I don’t do activities for my kids. I don’t like to waste time in traffic and be a taxi driver. This was a very big reason why we’ve decided to buy a house close to a community center where kids can participate in activities close to home. I do not want to drive them around. Call me selfish or lazy, but I don’t think it is worth the effort, especially when I am short with time, to begin with. When we were kids our parents couldn’t afford to put us in activities and we were totally fine with it. As an adult, I am constantly evolving and growing and learning about myself. For example, I have been wanting to learn to play the piano for many years, and this is the first year I am actually doing this! I provide a service, get paid for it and allocate a budget only for that. I do what I want and I do it in my mid-thirties. That is totally fine and I live with it just fine.
So after school, we come straight home, eat and then just chill at home. If it’s nice outside we might go out for a walk or stay in to do homework and play. Our kids love that and actually ask to go straight home after school.
Another area of my life where sustainability is huge is health and food. This is a big one for me! I have been looking for a diet or a way of eating that will work for me, that I can feel good about eating healthy myself, feeding my kids and also wouldn’t take hours in the kitchen. I’ve shared this here before, I don’t enjoy spending too much time in the kitchen. I wasn’t surprised to find out that the busy mothers I serve also don’t have a lot of time to waste in the kitchen, and they were constantly on the lookout for easy simple meals that the entire family can enjoy.
This is a major reason why I have designed the health begins with mom mastery around this concept, sustainability is key for me! If something doesn’t feel sustainable I won’t follow through, and I know you won’t either.
All meals are super easy to put together, are made with 10 ingredients or less, a lot of them are one-pot recipes, and all meals are family friendly. Another cool thing is that variety is built into the four phases of your menstrual cycle, so without even noticing, your entire family will be eating according to your hormones, providing them with variety and you with the right nutrients to support the hormone fluctuations that occur in your body each month.
Your body is your best cookbook and health coach. Your eating style and the menu that is right for you is encoded in your body, menstrual cycle and in your hormonal system. It is fascinating and I feel so blessed to have access to this information and so honored to lead women through this process so that they can learn how to feed themselves and take care of themselves from the inside out in a way that doesn’t feel hard.
I am so excited about this piece for myself and for you ladies. We don’t have to feel like feeding ourselves healthy is hard or complicated. Food shouldn’t be hard. Eating is an intuitive process and when we complicate it too much or dig too deep into it, we lose the pleasure of it.
So many of the ladies I speak to are having emotional eating problems, where do you think this is coming from?
Being a mother doesn’t mean you and your needs have to be put aside any longer. Your health matters so much because your kids are watching you. I actually felt an immense responsibility to do this for my family so that my girls will be lead by example. I am not perfect at this by any means, every day has its own challenges, but I definitely feel like my current life is much more sustainable and I feel more ease and flow.
So if this speaks to you and you are curious to learn more about the health begins with mom mastery which is now open for enrollment, head on over to my website and fill out the application www.healthbeginswithmom.com/apply. Once I get your application, I will get in touch with you and we’ll talk about the process, the time and financial investment and I will do my best to help you figure out a way to make this happen. Please don’t let the financial investment stop you from jumping in! When applying, ask me what it is that you need and I will do my best to accommodate you.
I want you to succeed, I want you to thrive!
I look forward to reading your applications!
Sending you much love & healing!
Apply here to the Health Begins With Mom Mastery Program (6 months one-on-one coaching program)
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