21: Break Out of the Hot Mess Hustle Culture & Create Moments of Rest in Motherhood w/ Alyssa Wolfe – Meant to Bloom
Finding quiet time throughout your day is a luxury and those moments are few and far between for us moms. That’s why we have to MAKE our own quiet time a priority – whatever it takes. We need the time to let our minds wander, to dream a little, and to allow our bodies to calm down (hello lower cortisol levels).
As moms we tend to fall for this cognitive distortion that we need to be go-go-go all the time, on 24/7 with no breaks. Let’s dismantle that belief.
Alyssa Wolfe of Your Unbusy Life is here to talk to us today about slowing down your life, giving yourself a break, and creating moments of rest everyday.
Links mentioned in this episode:
Brittni: Hello. My friends today, I have a very special guest here, Alyssa Wolfe, to talk to us about unbusying your life. Hi, Alyssa, can you go ahead and let us know you a little bit better.
Alyssa: Hi, Brittni, I’m an introvert, God follower, a perpetual bookworm, oh and mom to five. I have 12 years experience balancing multiple kids while still getting a couple hours a day to recharge, which is why I specialize in de-stressing your mom-life so you can reach super mom status with ease and stop locking yourself in the closet to get some alone time.
B: Oh, I love that. I too am an introvert and sometimes I forget that people drain me and children are people, and to grant them that grace of like, okay, I’m not gonna blame you. This is my personality type – I need some alone time.
Oh, you have an awesome heart behind your message. I can’t wait for you to share more with us today. So today we’re gonna talk a lot about slow living. So why, why slow down? As opposed to giving into that hustle and grind of our modern day societies direction?
A: Primarily, I think, cuz of what you just said, it’s our personalities we’re introverts – and when we start the day feeling like we have no time in between one activity after another, after another, nevermind what did we need to recover from the first outing or the first activity? It’s just too much. And then we’re going through the afternoon, the evening already drained. I mean, how can you do an evening routine to get yourself ready for the next day, if you are below empty already from your morning?
You have to start from where you are, which means giving ourselves more quiet and more of that time with not so many people around. And we’re moms. Right? So that means we do some serious, um, foundational work for our days because we have small children around, you know, all the time.
B: Yes. You intentional time. You just saying that – it’s like gears are clicking in my own head over things that I’ve already known, but it’s like piecing them together a little bit more. With being drained from like one outing and then coming home and wondering like, why am I so stressed out about the bedtime routine tonight?
Why, why do I have to like, you know, pass that on to my husband and be like, you know, I need to go be alone. It’s because I’ve already been out all day and didn’t take the time to recharge. We just came home and kept going.
A: Yes, exactly.
B: Oh, all right. So to the woman, who’s listening to this who is right now, just go, go, go, trying to keep up with everything… Where would you suggest that she starts to slow down and to make these changes to busy her life?
A: First, I wanted to say that is an absolutely amazing question because you don’t go from hamster wheel of life to some sort of Zen-perfection-Mom-life from, you know, in 10 minutes or even 10 days.
A: So what I would suggest is that her first step is to ID what’s absolutely necessary to get done today. Is it feeding the baby, cooking dinner and returning library books? You don’t get the overdue fine or paying a bill, think really granular. Only that day. And then look at your to-do list and notice what’s just nice to have, even if it would be really nice.
You want the house cleaned for company companies coming tomorrow. It would be really nice to not have to do it tomorrow, but it did not have to get done today because if you’re that deep in the needs of busyness, you need to get ruthless with your prioritization and start rebuilding each day from the ground up.
So that means cleaning mold off the tub. That’s probably necessary, but if you’re at the end of your rope, energy-wise. You don’t need to do that today. You can say that is priority for tomorrow. I can’t handle anymore today. I need to get some of that rest. Maybe you’re not too bad, but it could be a better kitchen.
Same thing. Maybe that’s tomorrow, maybe that’s evening after you’ve had some downtime. And you feel like you could swipe the dish rag over the counters for a couple minutes. Just the best question I have for that is can you push this off to tomorrow or next week without any repercussions? If your answer is yes, that’s your test.
You don’t need to do it right now. You don’t need to do it today.
B: I really like that as like a mindset shift of starting to pay attention to. All the things that are bubbling up with anxiety questioning, like, do I really need to worry about it today? Or can I worry about it tomorrow? I feel like we kind of grew up with this whole, like don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today.
A: Oh yes.
B: Oh, we have to do everything today. So maybe tomorrow we can have a day off so we can “earn our rest.” And then we’re just, you know, diagnosed with anxiety disorders and unable to really rest and feel restored from our time off.
B: I really like that mindset set shift. You’ve made me realize that right there.
A: This way, as you said, you’re working from the place of rest instead of working from the place of earning that rest. And I was raised the same way you looked at what you could do. That would be nice to get done for tomorrow. You did that ahead of time, but the problem was. That rest day never came.
There’s always something else that came up, you know, either today or tomorrow and then, oh, wait, I have all these other things I need to do. Or you suddenly said, oh, I’ve got this free space in my schedule, I should get to this other big project that I’ve been putting off. Our calendars, just fill back up again.
And sometimes those are really low priority items. If we actually applied that, can I put this off test to it? But that’s the problem of saying I have to earn the rest because somehow as moms, it never seems to happen if we take that mentality.
B: Oh yes. Yeah. If we’re not intentional about getting quiet time or resting with our time off, it doesn’t happen. So what more can you share with us on tips for making this mindset happen or incorporating rest into our days.
A: What I like to do is scout a downtime for myself when the kids are having a nap. And if you’ve got kids that are too old for a nap, then I just bill it as quiet time that you do not have to share with your siblings, you can go to your room or outside and you can pick an activity and you don’t have to share or be nice to anybody. You can just chill. So then I say, okay, what am I gonna do for myself? As opposed to, for my to-do list, because you might be like, oh great. I can vacuum the house without the baby holding on my leg.
Well, yes you could, but it would be a lot more restful if you sat down. And you did something fun. You were knitting, you were reading, you were taking pictures, whatever your particular hobby is. And then if you scrunched your to-do list into only those priority items that you can get then outside in nap time, because your to-do list should not have to take, you know, 16 hours a day.
B: Absolutely. One thought that came up with that is questioning like when you get those moments, or when you create those moments really. Questioning. What, what needs my attention right now? Is it my home that needs my care? Or is it me that needs my care? How am I gonna show up better two hours from now? Am I gonna show up better two hours from now? If I vacuum to the living room or am I going to show up better if I took some time to do something I enjoy.
A: And there’s no problem if your answer is back in the living room because it’s stressing me out. I have company for supper and I don’t wanna leave it to, you know, 30 minutes before they show up. That’s okay. But I think a lot of the times the answer is no, no, it would, I would actually show up better if I took the time for myself, even if I have not fully crossed off my to-do list.
B: So what about, as we’ve built these new habits of questioning and creating these moments, how do we keep from backsliding back into our old habits of constantly filling up that schedule?
A: Once you have this new routine of quiet time or something similar that works for you. I would even treat it like a calendar appointment. This is blocked off every single day. It needs to be something almost emergency level for me to put a to do or an appointment or an outing there. And if you do have to put an outing there, for some reason, you know, the doctor’s office was full, that was the only time they could work you in. Think of what, how you can make supper easy, or get a little time to yourself, extra that evening, just know that you’ll need some recovery timeframe. So if you have that set that you, every single day, you have this block of time to look forward to. I find it’s a lot easier to get through the day.
You don’t have to play so much, you know, recovery. Redoing your mindset work. When you have that foundational bedrock routine, I will get a break. Now it is non negotiable. I may not do any chores. That kind of a thing.
B: That is a really good tip, making it an appointment that you do not break, prioritizing the time that you have set aside for yourself and for teaching your kids to be quiet for an hour too. Or whatever timeframe you’re selecting. That is good, solid advice. Do you have any more to add to this conversation that you really feel like he needs to be said here?
A: Sometimes making it to one o’clock is too long whenever your kid’s nap is. So if you find mid-morning you’re running on empty that’s okay. It’s okay to say I’m not done for the day yet, but I just need 20 minutes to sit down and have a second cup of coffee, 20 minutes to go outside on the front porch and let the kids know they may not come out.
Something like that. It’s your mid-morning, whatever you wanna call it. Break. To get you to for the next, you know, two or three hours till you can have the full break, because depending on how early you got up that morning, especially if you had a nursing little one, you know, 10:00 AM could be five hours into your day and that’s over half of a work day.
So don’t feel like, yes, I have this one period of time, but I’m not allowed to take any time for myself until then. You’re not a machine. You can take a little reset and hit the refresh button.
B: Okay. Yeah, that just turns some gears in my own brain here, remembering back in the days when I worked full time and every two hours, it was required that we took a break
A: There you go.
And here we are, you know, like stay at home moms, your work day. It’s a lot longer than an eight hour shift.
A: More like a 12 hour one.
B: You need more than two, 15 minute breaks and a lunch. Yes. Oh, I feel a little bit called out on that one. Yeah. Okay. I have definitely let myself feel guilty for needing a break so often, but look at any other job out there – you’re gonna take breaks every couple of hours. It’s not one break per day you can get in if you’re lucky… Okay. So these have been some really great tips and topics that we’ve discussed today.
You’ve given me a lot to think about and reflect on. Like I thought I was slowing down and UN busying and definitely coming up that there’s still some feelings of guilt and hurriedness that come up that need to be worked through. So I challenge genuine listening to work through whatever, whatever kind of limiting beliefs have come up about rest for you today.
I think this episode is gonna be really helpful for a lot of the busy mommies listening. Um, where would you like to send people if they’re looking to connect with you more?
A: Sure. So I’m at yourUNbusylife.com and I’ll have a new podcast episode every Tuesday for you there. I’d also like to give you the Super Mom Sanity Jumpstart, so if you’re exhausted from spending nap, time cleaning up the house, well, guess what time for you too is coming right up. So I’m giving you instant access to a five day Super Mom Sanity Jumpstart that teaches you the basics of getting time to yourself every single day and five days from now, you will be relaxing at nap time without a care in the world. So what’s not to love for an introverted mom.
B: Oh, I love that. I can’t wait to download it myself. All right. Thank you so much for coming on today and for sharing all of this, and I will put those links down in the show notes for the ladies listening, make those easy to find. Thanks so much for being here today.
A: You’re welcome. It was my pleasure.