Episode 32 –
Creating a Mom Life that Works for You with Dana Malstaff
“Because it gets really frustrating when you think you have something to do and then you can’t do it because your kids are there. And then you build up this resentment that, oh gosh, I just want him to nap so I can get this thing done. Oh, but I want to be present with my kids. And then you’re just in this cycle of guilt all the time, which we don’t want to be in..”
On this episode of the Raiseology Podcast I speak with Dana Malstaff on integrating your kids into your work and hobbies, learning how to connect with your children in a way that is unique to them, and the importance of finding a community of people that get you! Plus, Dana shares some of the BEST parenting advice a couple can get!
If you enjoyed this episode, connect with Dana and share this episode with a friend. Thanks for listening!
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Welcome to the Raiseology podcast with your host, pediatrician and parenting mentor Sharon Somekh, here to empower parents to raise resilient and independent children. Grab your coffee or your margarita and let’s get started. This podcast is for informational purposes only and should be used to supplement rather than substitute the care provided by your physician.
Sharon: Hi everyone. I have with me today Dana Malstaff. She is the CEO and founder of boss mom. She is a mother, author, speaker, business strategist, podcaster and movement maker. She launched the boss mom brand with her first book boss mom, the ultimate guide to raising a business and nurturing your family like a pro and quickly grew to a six figure business within a year. Now she has over 20,000 students in various courses, helps women all over the world raise their businesses and babies at the same time. She believes that pursuing our passions and building our dreams well, including our children in the process is the way, is the best way to build thriving businesses and families. And ultimately we need to show our children that doing what we love can be financially viable. So thanks Dana for being here today.
Dana: Oh, thank you for having me. I’m super excited.
Sharon: Yeah, I’m excited too. And I actually, um, brought you on the show today. Not really so much to talk about business because while that is an important part of your life and we probably will talk about it, you know, as we go through this conversation, I really think it’s commendable and admirable how you’ve managed to, um, do all of this while raising your family and, and really putting them at the forefront of everything that you do while still doing what you love. So, um, tell us a little bit about your family.
Dana: Yeah, sure. So I have two littles. I have a two and a half or three and a half year old. Sorry. I can get my kids’ ages right. A three and a half year old daughter and a five and half year old son. They just keep getting older so fast and they, my son, my son is the emotional, you know, loving wants to be helpful to everybody. Uh, very emotionally connected person and my daughter is snarky and conniving, super smart for her age. Um, I am actually recently divorced, so separated for now a little over a year. Um, and, uh, just, just finalized divorce. So that was an interesting journey last year. And, uh, yeah, so it’s been an, I’ve had boss mom for, let’s see, I started my own business about six years ago. I’ve had Boss Mom for about four years. Um, you know, I started my business when I had kids when I was pregnant with my son, so couldn’t help myself but when we are in like big life changing things, we just like to do life changing things. I think we can’t help it. Um, yeah. So it’s been, it’s, it, I, I know we’ve talked about this before, but it’s been a very interesting journey to not only have my own business, but then to have my own business as a single mom, to experience co-parenting, to also shift and have a business where my, my husband was in corporate and I had my own business and having that kind of security to having my own this with no security, uh, and you know, and the different dynamics for that.
Yeah. So the last year has been a, uh, has been a roller coaster.
Sharon: I can imagine. We had talked a little bit about how you, you like to involve your children sort of in everything that you do. And they are pretty young. So can we talk a little bit about what you mean by that and how you accomplish that?
Dana: Yeah, well, I think one of the things that I have found, I think I was thinking I would do, and so many women in, in the boss, mom community do, which is we try and shelter our work and shelter are exercise and shelter are nutrition from our kids. That is like, is there this thing that do, uh, when our kids aren’t around, right? Oh, I’ve got to find time to work out so my kids aren’t, oh, I’ve got to find time to work when they’re napping. And there are a couple of things, one, they’re smart, you know, too, they’re resilient and three, they want to be just like us. So I, I, you know, from a very young age, I said, well, I want, I grew up with my Stepdad, be an entrepreneur. Like I grew up watching my real dad own an autobody shop and I was his office manager in the summers. I wanted to be like them. I wanted to, I wanted to do the things that my family and my mom and everybody was doing and our kids are the same way. So why would we keep them from seeing the things we love? Because it gets really frustrating when you think you have something to do and then you can’t do it because your kids are there. And then you build up this resentment that, oh gosh, I just want him to nap so I can get this thing done. Oh, but I want to be present with my kids. And then you’re just in this cycle of guilt all the time, which we don’t want to be in.
And so, you know, I just, so I’m just going to condition my kids. There’s times when I have to work. And like for me, Saturday mornings, I like getting up in the morning when I have my kids. And I like having coffee, I make the kids some breakfast. And I said, okay, mom gets an hour of work so that I can feel, I can really enjoy this weekend and would do the, the most important things I need to for an hour and get stuff done and make sure that everything’s taken care of so that I can enjoy the weekend. And I said, so that means for the next hour you guys have to do, which you’re going to do. And in that time they make, you know, and I give them some things to do like, hey, by the way, if you want, you guys could draw me a picture that helps me stay motivated while I’m working. And they’ll do that, but they know that I’m working and when I work out the same, so they’re, my kids know about what work is. We talk about what work is, we talk about that work is how you earn money. We talk about that work can be fun. So it’s not this negative word. And, and then I also try and integrate them and we say, hey, you know what, I’m going to be emailing doing some emails. You know, why don’t you guys pull out your little fake, you know, computers. Why don’t you write some emails? Like who would you write an email to? And then I’d say I’ll print out something for a client that I need to review and then I’ll print out three of them and I’ll say, hey, I’m going to do this thing. Why don’t you guys highlight all the js? Cause they’re both Jake and Joe. Why don’t you highlight all the js that you can see in this document while I do this thing? And so because they see that they have the same sheet of paper I do, they’re very compliant because they want to do what I’m doing. And, and they love that they get to participate like our kids just want to participate and the problem is, is I find my kids want me to participate in their things, which isn’t always fun for me. Like I, there are some parents that love to play barbies and love. Like I like it when my son wants to do puzzles, but there’s a lot of things my kids play with that I have no interest in besides the fact that I love my kids and made me want to spend time with them, you know? But, and so there are things that I do that my kids will totally love doing if I create a fun environment for it where they can be helpful.
If I’m going to record something, I’ll say, okay, we’ll start at where you guys get to record and then I’ll put that on my iPad. You guys can watch the recording of you while, while mommy does her stuff. Um, and so I think that integration where we stop trying to keep our work and our, you know, our hobbies separate as if our kids can’t be there for those things and recognize that our kids want to be what like us. So let’s show them the parts of us that we love. And if you’re doing things you don’t love and you don’t want your kids to see how unhappy you are, well that’s a whole different thing you want to think about.
Sharon: Topic for a different show. Haha, no, I love that. And I actually think that there’s a lot of value there and I think that it really can be so stressful for, for moms and dads too, to try to feel like they need to find their own time. But some, I mean, some parents really don’t enjoy working out if they’re working out with their kids. I have, before I’ve put on youtube workouts and I put three mats on the floor and you know, whoever wants to join me, can join me. Um, but I’m not getting the same workout as I would if they weren’t there that’s for sure. Um, but it’s better than doing nothing. Um, and, and definitely we’ve done the recording thing too. They love using my microphone to record. Um, it makes it fun. I think it’s, it does bring a lot of great modeling to the table and it makes them excited about what you’re doing too.
They see that you’re excited about what you’re doing. And then I find that when I have to leave for something, for work related things or I really need them to participate elsewhere so that I could do my thing, they’re more accepting of it because they now understand what it is that I do.
Dana: Yeah. Yeah. And I definitely think for anybody who, there’s one particular thing you do that’s just frustrating when your kids are around, like, don’t do that thing around your kids for sure. Like, I can’t brainstorm out, you know, really strategic things when my kids are around. My brain is, is trying to make sure that they survive and don’t do something to kill themselves. Like I, so I can’t get into that strategic brain. So I don’t even try to do things like that when my kids around. But I do have a whiteboard in my kitchen, um, that is up on the wall. It’s like a frosted glass whiteboard. And so when the kids are eating or having a snack or something and I’m thinking I’ll, I’ll process that and brainstorm stuff and then I’ll ask them like, hey, you know, like this is what I, this is a page and this is a video. Okay. And then I’m going to do an email and you know, like, should I say, what should I say in the email? And I talk like, so I just play with that in the world and that works for me. And then there are totally things I can’t do with my kids around. Like if I try to do them, I actually get angry and annoyed because I can’t do it the way I’d want to do it. So those things, like I do yoga and so the kids will do yoga around me and I’ve just conditioned them to be like, hey, mom’s going to do yoga. I’m going to ignore you. So if you want to like, I want you to come and hang out with me. And what I will do is if you want to get on my back and you can be my weight, I’ll tell you when I need the weight and then you can come over and get on my back and we’ll do those. And so there’ll be there like, you know, be on me for certain posts and stuff like that. And then I’m like, okay, that was it. Go, go. You know, now you go get on your mat and do whatever you want to do. Yeah. So I’d say like do the things that work and test things out and then whatever doesn’t, don’t feel bad about just not worrying about worrying about it because some stuff you just can’t do around your kids.
Sharon: Yeah. And that’s okay too, to want your private time and to want to do things your way and don’t feel guilty about that either. You know? Um, that I think that whole topic of mom guilt is something that is really hard to get away from in a sense.
Dana: I think we all, I mean you, you do this for a living. I, for as somebody who has background in it, I just happen to have children like so many women do. Um, I felt guilty for a long time. I felt guilty that I want, want to be a stay at home mom. I felt guilty that I wanted to have a business and I like my kids going to school because I don’t, I don’t enjoy teaching my kids schools things. Uh, I like playing with my kids and making tents and teaching them life lessons, but I don’t want to be their teacher. So I felt really guilty about that. I felt guilty about anytime I travel, I feel guilty about separating. I feel, I mean, yeah, there was tons of things and I think because I just always assume I’m going to do something that messes my kids up. Like I’m assuming something I’m going to do, it’s gonna mess my kids up, you know? And then I realized like I look at my parents and I’m like, they weren’t perfect and they did things and I totally remember things that they might have said that turned me into the kind of person that I am. And, and in some ways I thank them for that. And in some ways I’m like, wow, I wish they would’ve done this differently. But the fact is, is now I’m an adult and I make my own choices and I get to become the person I want.
And I love my family. I love my parents. Um, and, and so I just told myself like, I’m going to do the best I can. I’m going to teach my kids what Brenea Brown’s who’s the only thing you need to teach them, which is to know that they’re worthy of love and resilience. That’s my job as a parent. And if I can give them those two things, then I’ve done my job. That’s my goal for parenting.
Sharon: Yeah. I mean, you know what? It’s true and nobody, even if you think you’re doing it perfect, you’re not doing it perfect because every child is different and what you think is perfect for one child, they might not agree one day in the future. And you have to really do what feels right to you. And I think it’s true. I think parents really are worried that they’re going to make this colossal mistake that’s going to screw up their children in some way. But that’s probably not going to happen. You know, if you love your kids, you’re making every decision that you make with that love, even if that decision is that you need to do something for yourself, you know?
And I think that it’s important to remember that and to, to really, I think if you’re showing your kids love whenever you can, that that’s something that never leaves them, you know?
Dana: Yeah, for sure. Well, and I mean, we’re as adults, I don’t think we’re half as forgiving as our kids are. No, our kids are full of love and connection and they go through a rollercoaster of emotions every day, but they, they never stop loving you. And they like, at the age that my kids are at, I’m sort of the, sure this will change as they get older, as it changes for all of us. But like they’re just forgiving of each other and of us and, and of themselves.
And they just move onto the next thing. They’re just like, all right, let’s move on to the next thing. I think we fester as adults. Like the older you get and the more conscious you get your fester on things, you think about it, you lose sleep over it. Uh, you know, in all of those things. And yeah, your kids aren’t, I just look at my kids and I’m like, oh, that thing that I forgot their lunch today or I, you know, did that one thing where I was really tired and Jake was complaining about me cutting with him and I was a little pissy about it. Like an hour later he’s hugging on me and loving me, you know, and I, I, he, I, I remember it more than more than he does or if he remembers it, he just, you know, is the kid where life is an amazing adventure when you’re that age.
And I think as adults we forget that kids are just wanting to learn and wanted to take everything in and experience things and be loved, like that’s just what the are naturally like. And uh, an I adult too much sometimes. Yeah. Like be a kid more, enjoy life more.
Sharon: I think we all do that. Um, I think you’re, even as they get older, I mean, they may not be quite as forgiving where an hour later they’re over it, but they by the next day. Things are forgotten. And um, and I find with my older children, my oldest is 12, I have this problem where she could have this colossal argument with her friends one day and she’ll come home and talk about it and you know, my husband and I will get more angry almost then she does. And the next day they’re best friends again and we still have these feelings of resentment and, and it’s, it’s hard. It is hard, but they even at that age, they, they sort of like get over it. And it’s a great quality to have actually.
Dana: Yeah, I know, I know. I, I sometimes look at my kids and how joyous they are about the simplest things and how, how easy it is for them to just be creative and get into the moment and you know, and, and enjoy what my, my son loves rocks, like just enjoying rocks. And finding like which rock it is in his gem book and stuff like that. And I, yeah, I look at it and go, oh, I want to be like that. Like I want to just be joyous about simple, simple things.
Sharon: Yeah. But you know, unfortunately I think as we get older even they will probably be less like that. Um, but you know, you take the good with the bad.
Dana: Well that’s it. That’s the thing. You’ve got to pay rent or mortgage and cars and get kids to school and manage thing. I mean, I think life gets way more logistical. Like they don’t have to worry how they’re getting to school or if they’re there on time. Like that’s my job. Yes. And so the more logistics we enter into our lives and the more complex those logistics, I think the less time there is to just enjoy things.
Sharon: Yeah. That’s why I say make space. So just whatever it is, it doesn’t matter how busy you think you are. Like you have to make space to enjoy some of the things that aren’t logistical. Um, and, and, and like create skills for yourself. Something that you can get good at. So everyday you feel like you’re getting good at something and better at something and valuable at something. Um, and because if you don’t like I’ve had my own business. I literally last year went through a divorce and my dad died all while I was leading up to the biggest in-person event, you know, I have, I’ve had um, massively stressful and it’s one of those ones where you are always busy. Like there’s always something to do. I could stay, you know, I would have somebody said, well, how much do you have to do before, you know, we can go have that dinner. I’d be like, there’s, I could work all night and then tomorrow and then all tomorrow night and then for like the next month and I would still have stuff due. So probably not the best question to ask me how much needs to do. It’s how much am I going to stop because I’m going to have to start again. And I just decided at one point last year, like I, there is no way for me to be done with things.
Like, I’m not emotionally in tune with things when I’m sad, if I’m seeing my dad wither away or you know, feeling bad about the separation or any of those things. Uh, but stuff’s still has to get done. I’m like, I need to start creating time that’s mandatory. Even if I still feel like there’s things I have to get done for me to try and just be more me again in, oh, so I need to, I play piano like an practice piano and I want to read a book that’s not a business book and I’m going to, you know, play crossword puzzles because I like doing that and I’m going to pick one show where I’ll get to watch a show, um, and do those things or like go to the movies or something and like create that space every day. Um, otherwise you just lose yourself and all this stuff that has to get done.
And then you’re just the shell of somebody that gets stuff done. But like is sad all the time. Cause you wish you were a better person and you wish you were better for the people that you loved. And then a whole, all hell breaks loose.
Sharon: Yeah. Well, and you want to model for them to, that taking that time for yourself is so important that you value yourself enough the way that you want them to, you know. Um, but that’s, yeah, that’s really great advice actually. I think it’s super, super important.
You and I have talked before about your, um, your children and how you and your ex husband manage sort of, um, to keep things really amazing for them even in this time that you were separating and, um, after your divorce. And I think that it’s not an easy thing for most people to conceptualize and do when they’re in this part of their life if they end up in that part of life.
So can you tell us a little bit about your relationship and, um, and sort of how your children have been or have not been affected by it?
Dana: Yeah, for sure. Um, well one thing is, Mike, I’m a one, I’m a big believer that your kid should see you being happy and being in love. And I don’t think that, I think in marriages there’s definitely ups and downs where there’s a little more love here and there. Then there are certain times when things are hard, you know, so like to keep that in mind. But I grew up with a mom and a step dad. They’ve been together for 30 years now where, um, like be still, you know, like plays with her hair at dinner and you know, things like that where I just, I grew up with a massive amount of affection between my parents and seeing that.
And, and so I warn people that if you ever want to start your own business, just be careful because when you start your own business, you go on a journey of figuring out like who you are and what you’re willing to spend your time on. And it’s a journey you can’t help. So you can’t avoid this because it’s not like being employed where they tell you what to do and you have goals and things, and you do them, but you can come home and it’s not your thing. So if you don’t love it, it’s okay because it’s not your thing. When it starts to be, I mean, you know, when it starts to be your thing, all of a sudden it’s you with and identified with you. It’s part of your identity. And that becomes soul searching. And at some point you wake up and you either realize you’re around the people that feed that part of you and who you have become, um, or you don’t. And so in my situation, my, uh, my spouse and I, we just didn’t want the same things anymore. We didn’t have anything to talk about. I didn’t want to talk about the things he wanted to talk out. And, and, you know, five years prior when I didn’t have my own business and we were both in corporate, we both have the same schedule, but he would know, he, I didn’t, I didn’t have to work nine to five and he would work five to seven. It’s, you know what I mean? So there’s all these things where all of a sudden I woke up and we just didn’t relate to each other anymore. We didn’t connect. And we weren’t really in love anymore. And so that’s part of where the separation. So a lot of people ask me like, did you get a divorce because you started your own business? And I’m like, yes, but not for the reasons you think like it’s because I, I became some, I became me way more me than I think I’ve ever been and that just didn’t like it. We didn’t connect anymore.
So we still had a lot of respect. And I think the biggest, the biggest challenge with co-parenting is that we get, we’re angry. Like I, there’s a whole year, like you go through the stages of grief, even if even if it’s, you both decide your separating or you’re the one that leaves, there’s just, you go through the stages of grief, there’s a part where you’re denying that it’s happening. There’s the part where you’re angry that it happened, that the person that you love just wasn’t willing to do enough or whatever it is you think was the reason you separated. So you go through all those stages and it’s really been a whole year until I’ve gone through those stages. Even though it was an amicable separation. And the one thing that we agreed to, even though I think sometimes we get frustrated and it can be hard, is that our kids know that we respect each other and that we never let our children say bad things about the other parent. If one of the kids, they’ll go through phases, well, it’d be like, oh mom, I want to stay with you and I don’t want to go over to dad’s and things like that. And I consciously, and um, you know, my former husband consciously says wonderful things about the other person, you know, like your dad is amazing and member all these things he does with you and just cause you spend three days with me, so you’re all attached to me. You’re going to go and spend three days with him and you’re going to be totally attached to him. And you know, there’s all these wonderful things. Why don’t we look up fun videos that we’ve had with dad, because they just, and then literally five minutes after they get to their house, they’re like, dad, I want to stay with you. You know, it’s just like, we think at that time when you drop your kid off at daycare and they’re screaming like they, you know, the first time you do it where they’re like, they can’t live without you and then you call, the daycare, an hour later you come up to the window afterwards and they’ve forgotten you existed because they’re having fun. Like, cause that thing. But it’s that mutual respect. We always say like, it doesn’t matter if I’m mad that there’s something he did or we’re in a, you know, we’re not any kind of situation.
We have to understand that, that the kids love both of us and they need to love us both equally. And they need to understand that we’re all mutually making decisions together even though we’re not living together. And so we, uh, you know, that’s one of the main things. And then the other thing is we actually like sit down and we, we have the whole year planned out as far as state. So it’s like, Hey, what do you need? What do I need? Where is there flexibility? What are things that we want to do or not want to do? Um, that kind of thing. So that we, and then we tried to be as helpful with each other as we can, you know, think comes up then and we need to switch days or do something, were very helpful with each other. Um, once every couple of weeks we try to have dinner together. Um, even though I’ll be honest, mostly centered around us hanging out with the kids as opposed to us being very talkative with each other.
Um, but, but for the kids to see that we are, we connect with each other and that we’re all together so that they, they really like that. Um, so that, that has been really helpful, um, for us. And, uh, and then we just, every, every month we sit down and we have a conversation about parenting things like, Hey, I’ve noticed the kids have started to have nightmares. They’re getting to the age where they dream and they’re remembering some of their dreams. How do we want to handle it? Like, hey, this is something we’ve noticed is going on. How do we want to handle that? And so once a month we just sit down and say, is there anything we need to know about what’s happening with our children that we want to be on the same page about? So it’s not like, well mom does it this way and dad does it this way. And then in that meeting with just the two of us, it’s proactive instead of reactive. And then we, I can be like, well, you know, I don’t think it’s a problem that the kids eat this food. And he’ll be like, well, I don’t want the kids eating this food and he’ll be, okay, well what’s the, what are we going to come to? What are we going to agree on that somewhere in the middle or something like that. So we can have those disagreements without the kids being around. So it’s not like the kids are there and then I, you know, he yells at me for doing some of the kids or I yell at him while the kids are there. We try and have those, what don’t we agree on conversations as adults separately so that when we are seeing the kids together, it’s something that we, that the kids see us interacting in a very amicable way. Um, and so far that’s worked for us.
Sharon: Yeah. I mean, I think that’s amazing. To be honest, a few weeks ago I did an episode, a solo up so to, on how to get on the same page. And I wish that all couples, I mean, all people who are parenting together, whether they’re married or not, would have these conversations that often and really try to work through things because it’s such a point of contention between people that I think it’s so great that you guys do that proactively. And, um, and listen, you know, obviously not every divorced couple can have dinner with their kids, but that’s amazing too. But, um, but just knowing that for you guys, their relationship with your, with you and your former husband is so important to the other is I think that’s such a great thing to show them and teach them to.
Dana: Yeah. And I honestly, I like, I love that you said, it doesn’t matter if you’re separated or not. I think when you’re together, we never had these conversations when we were together. It was in the heat of the moment. Someone would be like, don’t do that with the kids or I don’t want that to happen, or why would you do that in front of the kids? And it was very resentful, very like in the moment, heated, um, that kind of thing. Uh, and, and it would be like if I didn’t like something he did with the kids, then I would go and hug the kids. Like, how dare daddy do that to that thing to you, which is horrible. What? No, it’s like it was just cause I was emotional because they’re my kids like don’t say that to my children. And they’re like, oh wait, they are our children.
And then separating for us to have those separate things, it completely changed that cause it’s like, okay now we need to be on the same page because I’m not there when you’re there. And so it’s weird but separating forced us to actually have parenting conversations methodically and yeah, I really wish that when we were together that we had had more of those conversations and I wish somebody had told me when I started my business, okay you’re going to be a different person. Let me fill you on some ways to like help you guys grow together as opposed to not and that kind of thing. Because you know, who knows? Like it’s, we all change all the time and maybe I just changed way faster than he would have had time to because he was in a corporate job where they, he did the same thing over again. He didn’t have to go through this journey that I went through and I just kind of left him behind. She’s really kind of sad, I guess.
Sharon: Yeah. You know, I, I think that that’s what I, my goal is working with families is trying to really get them to have these conversations in, you know, at a time where there’s not a lot of stress around a topic so that when they’re, because they’re ultimately is always going to be, um, there are always situations that you can foresee in the future. Right. I know that most 18 months to two and a half year olds go through a picky phase of eating. So if I can teach a family how to handle that before that happens and prevent that phase from taking over their lives, then that’s always beneficial and better than trying to fix the problem after it’s happened. Right. Um, so I really think that what you guys are doing is amazing because I wish that everybody would do it, to be honest. Yeah.
Dana: Yeah. I know. Yeah. And I, I’m a big believer, like I have a life coach. I, you know, I love, I’ve had parenting coaches, I’ve had all of those things where I, for everybody listening, make sure you put those things in your life because you’re not an expert in everything. And just because you had kids or just because you started your own business or just because of whatever the situation is, it doesn’t mean that you understand how to do it, you know, in a way that’s good for you. And when we meet people that we fall in love with, you know, met my husband and we fell in love. We didn’t have kids, we didn’t have a mortgage together. We hadn’t moved three times. We hadn’t done any of those things. You know, I remember at my, um, my rehearsal dinner, his dad stood up and was like, oh, they both love to travel and it’s this thing that really connects them. Yeah. Have an infant, you don’t travel anymore.
So I wish somebody would have been there to be like so what else do you get to connect about if you’re traveling around and experiencing new things because you have a tiny baby and we tried to travel with the baby and we almost wanted to like shoot ourselves because bringing a tiny infant to Costa Rica it basically like we just bring them to a pool in Vegas cause you can’t do anything with a nine month old. So that’s the thing like I wish we would have done that way earlier and had conversations. It’s like hey that thing that used to connect you guys, you can’t do any more cause your life situation has changed. How are you going to carry now and force that conversation because we just like, we got logistical, it was who’s going to pick up the baby from daycare? Like what are we going to feed for dinner? Like when are we going to get pregnant again because we want two kids. And then life just got really logistical and all the passion, love and connection faded away and we just didn’t put enough effort into finding it again.
Sharon: Yeah. Well I think for everyone listening, this is great advice and I think that it’s, it’s true that there are going to be times in your life whether it’s, you know, starting a new business or getting a new job or moving to a new place that you might feel differently about them one another. And it’s really important to have those discussions before there’s a lot of kind of tension. Um, cause it’s much easier.
Dana: And I think before, before people are, or each person in the relationship is willing to fight for it, you know, cause there’s effort in coming back together and you don’t want to get to a point where, I mean there’s some, some people where I think like everything that me and my ex-husband went to get through together and we said, yeah, we’re different people. We want different things and the people, even the things we want 10 years from now are different. So it doesn’t make sense for us to be together when we don’t even want to grow in the same way. But I know a lot of, after I came out and told people I was getting an, and there was a lot of people that came to me because I told everybody, I was like, use this as a cautionary tale. Like there’s a lot of you that feels very much in an unloving space, but you can get back to that. So please go talk to somebody. Like just go talk to somebody cause it can solve a lot of problems. And there was a lot of people that came forward and said, wow, you’re totally right. I and I talked to my husband and we’ve gone, went and got some counseling and some things that have been really frustrating came up and like we’re coming back to a really good space. And I, I talked to one girl who said, you know, I, I don’t want to be divorced in like going, starting through a separation and I’ve realized I don’t want that. Um, and they actually went and to counseling in those kinds of things. And are back together again and it’s like, so I was really scared that I was going to get separated and then because I have an online community, I was going to like cause divorces or something or that people weren’t gonna stop thinking I’m an intelligent business coach because I couldn’t stay married or something like that. Um, that’s totally not what happened. And there’s a lot of people that I think said yes, like I get it. Like I want to be in love again and I’d like to be in love again with the person that I’m with who I have kids with and I have a family with and I have history with, um, you know, and but that takes effort. Like if you’re willing to fight for it, then I think that fighting, like bring back the love and passion and don’t wait for the other person to fight for it. Like, just own it. Like if you have to, if you’re angry that you have to be the first one to make a move, to make something better in your relationships, who, no matter who it’s with, just get over it, get over the fact that you have to make the first move and the anger that they’re not doing what you think they’re supposed to be doing.
Just get over it and do it because it’s like, it’s your life and you have to live it every day and you don’t want to regret that. Hey, if I just would have said something sooner, maybe things would’ve been different, you know. In any way, even with with parents and best friends and kids that become adults that you’re strange from and spouses and all of those things. It’s any relationship.
Sharon: Yeah, it’s true. We, I come from a family where, um, I have a relationship with my first cousins that is closer than some people have with their siblings. And it just, the way we were raised and, uh, we grew up practically, I mean, living next door to each other and we were raised like siblings. And so some people will be at a dinner table with us and they don’t understand. I mean, anything is fair game for any topic of conversation. And there are a lot of topics where, you know, this little thing is made to be a big thing because we want to discuss it at the moment that it’s on somebody’s mind and not wait and let it fester. So that three years from now we just don’t have the same relationship anymore. Um, and so true. It’s hard to do. I’m not always the best at it. I’m good at, if someone calls me and says, I think you’re upset about something, why don’t we talk about it? I’m not as good at saying, hey, something is bothering me, but I’m trying to be better at it. It’s hard, you know? But if relationship is important enough, no matter what the relationship is, if it’s with your sister, if it’s with your kids, whoever it is, it is important to just talk, you know?
Dana: Yeah. When I, so one of the very first things I ever created online was an infographic on introverts and extroverts. So I’m a classic extrovert. I need people, I’m a speak-to-think person. I talk things out. Like if I’m upset I need to be hugging somebody. Uh, you know, it’s just like I feed off people’s energy. I can’t in a room by myself for too long. Like I need to go out and be amongst, even if I’m in a coffee shop and I just know that people are around, I am massive extrovert. And um, and then, uh, most of the time we find ourselves paired with somebody who is opposite of us, right? We kind of like even each other out. So my ex-husband is a, was an introvert, you know, he didn’t have fun. It’s not, it’s not about like not liking people. He just, he gets his energy by internalizing and he needs his space. He’s a think-to-speak person.
And I found like real us through a relationship with this kind of person that the extrovert always has to concede to the introvert in an argument and an anything because I want to finish the conversation now. Like I’m in the thought I’m in the moment. I want us to figure out a problem and come to a solution. And an introvert is like, I have to go think about it. Like you have to give me my space. Because when I feel attacked, I retreat. When I feel attacked, I want to hug and like hug it out when they feel attacked, they retreat. And so there’s this massive pull of me going, well I want to fish the conversation. And then they just keep retreating and keep retreating. And then the extrovert starts thinking it’s their fault and it’s, you know, all these things. And so I had to start realizing it’s not my fault. It’s the way his brain works and the way his energy works. So I’m going to step away and I’m going to say, you know what? I’m going to go to us. I’m going to watch a girl movie, and you think about it, and then we’ll come back together and we’ll then we’ll talk about it. You know?
And I can totally see that my son is the extrovert and my daughter is the introvert and I parent that way. When Jake is upset, it’s like Jacob could come here and hug me cause I know that’s what you want. Joe Is upset, okay Joe go and sit in your room and you tell me when you’re ready to continue the conversation and I’m telling you like the more you know if the, how introverts and extroverts actually work, not like how social you are but how they really work from an energy standpoint and how we take information, process it and are able to put information back out and communicate. It can totally change the dynamic of a relationship because if I tried to push my daughter and push and push and push to make her hug me and connect with me in the way that I would resolve an issue, she just gets like frantic. Like she freaks out, she’ll start flailing her legs, she starts getting angry. But if I literally just give her her space and tell her I’m right here, you tell me when you want to hold my hand or do this and I’ll, you know, I just want you to have your space. It’s like all of a sudden things work better. It’s like, I feel like if parents could just know more about introverts and extroverts and who you’re married to and what your kids are like, it becomes so much easier to know like how to deal with them.
Sharon: Yeah, no, it’s totally true. And it’s really important to remember that your kids are going to be different from another, and learning what works best for each of them makes your life so much easier in the end, you know? Absolutely. Thank you. Thank you so much for being here, for talking with us, for sharing so much personal stuff. How can the audience reach you? How can they follow you? Um, I guess I’m sure that there will be people who want to know more about Dana, she’s a lovely, lovely person.
Dana: Oh, thanks. Um, well I’m happy to share by the way because I just, I think if we all just feel a little less crazy, like a little less like whatever we’re going to over the old ones, then it’s so much easier in life, right? You just want to feel like you’re not alone in whatever weird thing is happening in your life. So anybody who’s listening, you’re not alone. Um, Boss-Mom.com super easy, super simple. It goes, it tells you about all our resources. You can go join our community on Facebook. It’s like 35,000 strong, amazing women and you know, you can find your people there, which is I think what’s most important. Like find people that get you so you don’t feel so crazy. That’s what, that’s what I think everybody should have. Like find the group of people that doesn’t make you feel like you have to justify who you are and what you do that makes you excited and celebrate who you are and what you do. Like find those people. Um, so if boss mom can help you do that, that’s great, but make sure you find it somewhere because it’s vital to happiness.
Sharon: Yeah, that’s great advice. Thank you.
Thanks for listening to the Raiseology podcast. Head over to www.Raiseology.com where you’ll find plenty of you’ve got this resources for parents and any links or tools mentioned in today’s show. Be sure to hit subscribe on your podcatcher so that you can listen to the next episode the minute it’s out, and till next time, have an empowered week.
Meet Your Mentor
Sharon is a general pediatrician, loving wife and mother to 4 daughters.
After a decade of practicing general pediatrics and working with families, she realized there often wasn’t enough time while tending to children’s medical needs to help parents in the way that would be most helpful in shaping their children’s futures.
The Raiseology Program was developed to teach parents how to raise their children with the love and authority necessary to promote resilience and responsibility.
Sharon’s experience with hundreds of families as well as her own help her meet you where you are on your parenting journey to help you make it what you want it to be.
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