As you may know, I’m currently in a season of letting peripheral things go or be as easy as possible in order to very peacefully prioritize my life. My focus right now is on family and I’m trying to let my actions reflect that, and be very intentional with how my time is spent.
There’s two absolute truths in this episode:
1. Easy isn’t always simple. & 2. Guilt is garbage.
This last year I put a heavy focus on letting things be “easy.” I had no idea at the time that I would have to overcome so many mental roadblocks before that could really happen.
Easy isn’t always easy – especially when it comes with guilt that you’re not “doing enough.”
I was so blessed to have this very authentic and truth filled conversation with my new friend Natasha.
Let it be EASY, let yourself be FREE.
Transcribed with Descripted: Listen to the audio here.
BC: Why don’t we go ahead and start with you introducing yourself.
NM: Perfect. Sounds good. So my name is Natasha Mila. That’s actually my middle name, but that’s by go by and I. Just started a website. It’s just my name, natasha mila.com. And I have a podcast just mom, g i s t, mom, and yeah, I used to be a 4K teacher for the last, like a couple years ago, for five years, and now I’m staying at home with our three little kids.
They’re three. Our oldest is three Laney. Our middle is gonna be two at the end of January. Her name’s Dakota and our youngest is Grayson, and he is almost six months old. He’ll be six months old in a couple days, actually. Actually, yeah, two days, in two days.
BC: I think I might have the same age gaps between my kids.
NM: Oh, okay. That’s crazy. Yeah, it’s kind of wild, isn’t it?
BC: Yeah. Right.
NM: So how old are yours?
BC: My youngest is gonna be three in February. My oldest turned six in October, and the middle one is four right now.
NM: Oh, so funny. That’s very close together. How do you like, now that they’re a little bit older, you’re like at the next stage up.
BC: Right. I love it. I do. It’s really exciting. Like being out of the baby phase with all of them. Yeah, it’s a whole new world. It is so fun.
NM: Yeah. That’s nice. I love snuggly babies, but they are exhausting.
BC: I’m not a really huge fan of the baby years. I like when they’re like two and they still kind of wanna snuggle like a baby, but also they can totally play independently and like, you could just put snacks in front of ’em and they’re like, yep, cool. I’m good to go. I don’t need you to hold me and feed me
NM: Oh, right. Exactly. And other people are a lot more comfortable, like watching them for a couple hours here and there when they get past the baby here too. So that helps a lot.
BC: Yeah. Little less fragile.
NM: I listened to a couple of your podcasts and you used to be called something else. I think you had a different name.
BC: It’s a funny story.
NM: And then you kind of did a little transformation, and now you’re Meant to Bloom? It seems like the last, couple of episodes. It sounds like I must have listened, like right at that cusp of you changing, and it sounds like you’re really confident in this current role, like this is like where you’re supposed to be.
BC: Yeah, it’s actually where I started. That’s what’s funny about it. It’s that I started a podcast last year called Meant to Bloom, but I was transitioning out of being a blogger into a podcaster and things were kind of awkward and I was reading a lot instead of speaking and people could really tell. I had friends tell me that once I started podcasting rather than just reading my blog they were like, “I can really tell the change in your voice. There’s so much more passionate and emotion in it.” And I was like, yeah, because I stopped reading out loud. I was just reading things I’d written a year before before and that was called Meant to Bloom. And then once I kind of like figured out how to podcast, I was like I’m going to relaunch. It’s time for something new. Let’s rebrand and I changed the name and had a lot of positive feedback about it from people. But after you know so many episodes I was just like this doesn’t feel fun to tell people I’m the host of the I Get To podcast. It doesn’t sound the way Meant to Bloom Podcast sounded. And I was like, I need to go back to that, so I stole my own name back.
NM: Like Meant to Bloom 2.0.
BC: Yeah, so yeah, it definitely does feel like where I’m supposed to be, but it was a long story of getting here. You like just started your podcast right? Like a couple of months ago or something?
NM: Yeah, for sure, I just released a couple of episodes. I just recorded two new ones yesterday actually. So I just have to edit them and put them out. But yeah, I’ve had this in the works for a really long time. I’ve always been a blogger, but I just kept changing the type of blog I had. Not because I didn’t like what I was blogging about, but just because the season of my life kept changing. So I started way back in college, I just wrote like, random stuff on a blog. You know, because circa that year where people just wrote random things online, right? But then it evolved. So while I was in undergrad I actually worked in a 4K classroom at a private school and so I started doing like kid activities. But it just wasn’t really what I wanted to be talking about. Like sure, I could come up with more kid activities, but there’s a lot of them on the internet. So I didn’t want to add to that noise and it just wasn’t what I wanted to do. What I wanted to talk about was other kinds of stuff about kids, but I just didn’t feel like I was there yet because I wasn’t also a parent, right? So then I kind of changed gear and we are big, backpacker / outside people. So I then wrote about our backpacking trips really just for fun again. And then when I was a teacher I did a teacher blog for my parents, like the kids’ parents of our classroom. So I’ve always typed words onto the internet, but now I feel like have things to say that I wanted to say for a while and I like to talk so I thought a podcast is a great way to do that. And honestly, that’s how I, as a mom, with very little time, consume a lot of information – podcasts or audiobooks. You can just stick ear buds in and do the dishes and whatever else you need to do. So I, that’s who I’m writing to. So I wanted to cater to that need of a mom that’s very busy. So I’ll have that long format on the blog still, but then talk about it in a podcast form. And I think it’s a little bit more relatable too when you can hear someone actually saying something out loud.
BC: Absolutely, and I feel like people get misunderstood less often on podcasts. I tend to write kind of sarcastically or satirically a little bit sometimes, and I didn’t realize that for years of blogging, people could really be misunderstanding me.
NM: Right, and sometimes the headspace you’re in too – Like I write a weekly email to my email subscribers and I have a lot of fun with it and I put a lot of gifs in there. Is how you say that word? But then like, if you go back months later, you’re like, ok hopefully that made sense to everybody at the time, but it’s a little confusing. But thank God for gifs right? Because they really add to that, I. am. making. a. joke. here.
BC: Some people say it’s gif and I don’t know, Jiff is peanut butter. For anyone listening, we’re in agreement. It’s gif.
NM: We must be right if two people agree!
BC: We’re going with. All right, so let’s dive in. So we’re really here to chat about letting things be easy without feeling guilty about it, and you know, especially as moms, guilt comes easy and ease does not.
NM: Yes, yes, that’s true, very true. Yeah, I was going to make a couple of notes about guilt. So we’re constantly setting priorities and changing those priorities right? Depending on the size of that priority, you might be changing the order of importance by year or day or minute. What’s important to you that day? So, for example, family comes first for a lot of people, right? But what does that actually mean and what does that actually look like, for you, that day? So like one day, that might mean you’re like prioritizing healthy meals and getting everybody outside and spending a lot of time together. And another day that might mean you have to attack those 75 things on your to do list, so it might mean your kids are watching TV for two hours that day. So both things still mean that you’re prioritizing your family. It just looks a little bit different. So we’re constantly shifting priorities and we only have so much time in our day to do a priority, and so what that means is going to look different. And so I guess you’re always going to feel guilt, right? So I guess, instead of saying you’re going to be not feeling guilty at all about certain things that you make easy, you’re just kind of living with it, like despite your guilt. You’re saying, I feel a little guilty about it. But I’m letting that go and this is just where I’m at and this is just what we have to do in order for these priorities to, kind of, line up for the day. So getting to that point where you feel a little better about the guilt that you’re living with.
BC: Yeah, that’s interesting because I view guilt a little bit differently. I feel like I’ve kind of divorced guilt. Every time it tries to come back in the door, I’m just like, no, we changed the locks, you’re not allowed here. I don’t want you in my life anymore, and so I won’t let it in to, you know, have a seat at the table. Mostly because the way I view guilt is that it just doesn’t help.
NM: Sure sure, okay, so that’s so interesting because I actually feel like it motivates me a little bit. So I want to hear your side and then I’ll kind of like rebuttal you a little.
BC: Now that you say that, I kind of I think it’s a personality type difference. I have trouble with moderation when it comes to pretty much anything. And I have this long history with depression and anxiety that is very much rooted in allowing negative thoughts to take hold and to believe them as true. And so when guilt tries to come in, it immediately is trying to convince me, “You’re really bad mom for this. You shouldn’t even try. You need to give up right now.” So once it starts to come in, I have to remind myself that it’s not going to help me get this done, it’s going to distract me from doing it and it’s just going to make me feel bad about it and it’s not really like a motivating factor for me. So I think that’s interesting that it motivates you.
NM: Yeah, that’s totally interesting. It’s like an antagonist for you, like, “Please do not enter my space because you are a problem for me. So go away, and this is just what I’m doing.” You stop it at the door. I guess, I don’t mind it being in the room. I’m like, “Okay, you can come in the door like I see you, I hear you.” But I feel like the things that I feel guilty about, the reason I feel guilty about them is because they are actually still on my priority list, like I feel guilty about things like healthy eating or finances or like spending time and whatever. So those are all still things that are like on my priority list. I don’t mind when guilt is around, because I like to keep those priorities in the back of my mind and be like they are important to me, I haven’t forgotten that I want to be better in those areas of my life, but I just don’t have the time and energy to do all of the things to make that end goal of that priority happen. Guilt kind of gives me a little push. So it’s pushing me to be better instead of just stopping and letting all these things go. It’s always in the back of your mind, like, I want to be better at healthy eating, but I just don’t have time to make healthy sacks today and that’s okay. So I don’t want to totally forget about those things that are important to me, but I understand the amount of time that I have and like my capacity for the season that I’m in.
BC: That makes a lot of sense. What I’m feeling like I’m hearing is that your voice of guilt is a lot nicer than my voice of guilt.
NM: It does sound like that. Mine just kind of sits and waits by the door and yours is yelling at you.
BC: Yeah, yeah, mine’s not really here to help.
NM: It sounds like yours puts like negative thoughts into your head where mine is like, Okay. Remember, I’m here, but…I’ll let you go. I’m still here. I’m just sitting waiting.”
BC: Yeah, mine feels more like it’s a mean girl who wants to tear me down and send me down a spiral and yours seems like almost more of a coaching role. It might be nagging you, but it’s not trying to hurt you.
NM: Right exactly.
BC: That’s interesting. I’m glad to have this conversation with different viewpoints and different experiences of how guilt actually feels and sounds.
NM: So do you do anything that has made you life easier that you’re letting guilt go?
BC: I mean basically I’ve let guilt go on everything every time it tries to come in. Specifically, a lot of it revolves around home care and cooking dinner, because I just felt this need to overcomplicate these things and not let them be easy for so long and I’m not good at either of them. So that was not a healthy combination – to put a huge priority on, I need to have my house totally clean and I’m not someone who’s good at cleaning and I wasn’t, at the time, someone who was willing to ask for help from anybody, whether it’s hiring help or, you know, asking my mom to come in and help or asking my husband to help out more than he does, like I was unwilling. I was like, this is this is my role that I chose when I begged to stay home from work before having kids. This was the agreement that I made. That was all ‘my choice and my decision’, and so I took all that on and I put a lot of pressure and expectation on myself with keeping a kitchen clean and having a perfectly balanced hot meal ready. And I mean this predates me even having kids. This is me being a stay-at-home wife and I was like it’s just me at home all day with two dogs and a couple of cats, and I can’t do this. And so the guilt was really getting to me that I couldn’t keep up with the kitchen and I never took into factoring the fact that I was seriously struggling with depression and anxiety. I didn’t know at the time that I very much have a lot of traits of it’s like everything inside my head is against me to get this done and yet I’m making it the number one priority in my life and thinking that I’m a complete failure if I don’t do it. And so I had this one time with my husband coming in the kitchen and finding me crying because I was having a major panic attack while trying to cook dinner in a messy kitchen that I had already spent half an hour trying to catch-up on and clean, and he’s like well, why are you making dinner tonight? Why don’t you just pull out the frozen lasagna in the freezer? I was like, because that’s too easy. I can’t do that. That’s not enough work for you like that’s not good enough and he’s like I’d be fine with pizza. The agreement was just that if I come home from work after a long day that I’m not the one who cooks dinner anymore like it’s like he didn’t care the quality of the food. He just wanted something done because I said something would be done. When you come home hungry expecting food, you just you’re hungry expecting food. He was not asking for, you know, Betty Crocker, Rachel Ray, quality meals. He was like I’m fine if you order food, just have something ready, have something in the oven. And the thing about the lasagna was that it wasn’t even store bought. It was a lasagna that I had made myself and put in the freezer. I’m like I did put in the work weeks ago and I still feel like it’s not enough was really when it hit me like this is not a healthy mind set that I have. But there is something wrong like some bridge not being gapped in my brain that says it’s okay to have an easy to prepare dinner.
NM: Yeah, that’s so funny that wasn’t even really that easy, like you had already done full cooking of the lasagna. Were you just thinking, “I was home all day, so I should make the meal instead and that should be saved for like a day when we’re you know, really really busy?
BC: Yeah, yeah, so I think back to that. Every time I’m really trying to not let things get super hard, or you know I finally did hire someone to come in and deep clean the house because after like six years of being in charge of cleaning the house, I realized I’m never going to get to the window tracks. I’m not going to get to it if I haven’t done it yet. I need someone to come in and do that, and that ended up being one of the best days ever because I took the time that they were in the house, I took all the kids out and played with them in the park and I actually played with them because I wasn’t stressed about going home and doing everything that I wasn’t doing all the park. I’m like some one else is doing it. Finally, and I can just enjoy this moment with my kids and that was just the best thing. And so I try to remember those kind of things every time the guilt wants to come in and be like we’re not doing the lasagna thing again, there’s better ways to spend my time. I can actually enjoy this moment if push guilt out instead of it sitting here. You know, trying to play with my kids, but having that guilt that there’s dishes in the sink like I struggled with that for so long. The whole, the dishes can wait. I was like, yeah, they’ll be sitting there waiting and I hope the guilt the whole time nagging at me. I know they’re waiting. They’re waiting for me. It’s not a good thing that they’re waiting.
NM: I do like have a problem, have have a problem with those words that are said, “forget about them” and you’re like forget about them!? You can’t just forget about it. It’s always there in the back of your head, it’d a task that I have to do and I can add it to my to do list but it’s still there even when working. You still have to do it. But yeah, yeah, definitely that’s nice that you recognize that. And it’s great that you have that significant story too. To kind of go back on and be like, “No more lasagna stories. Not happening.” So you have something to hold onto every time guilt kind of sneaks up on you for sure. My guilt isn’t antagonizing. I recognize that it’s there, but I just kind of accept that I’m just going to have to live despite the guilt. Basically, so I’m just living with it in the back of my head instead of making me unable to do anything, because sometimes it can totally be paralyzing right like it just prevents you doing all of the things instead of doing one at a time. I can categorize the areas of things that I feel a little guilty about. But you can’t prioritize everything right? Especially if you’re an idea person. You have a million ideas and you will not be able to get to them all. Sometimes you have a priority, like I want to be healthy or I want to spend time with my kids, but you can’t spend 24 hours with them and you can’t only prioritize your health, right? So the end goal of those things is something that you’re working towards and you’re not there yet. So you aren’t going to feel like you’ve met that priority for a really long time, if ever right? You’re just always in the in the movement towards this. This thing, yes, one of the things is like healthy eating right, and so we, our kids, go to. Our two older girls, go to dance class on Monday night. And sometimes you feel guilty when you think that there are onlookers around judging you, right? So we go to dance class and it’s right over dinner time, and so there’s this break-in between both girls dance classes, and that’s when we eat dinner at the dance studio and I bring very unhealthy, random foods. I always think in my head I’m going to have enough time to prepare something a little nicer, and it’s been like a year of it and I have yet to do so. So I’ve accepted the fact that we’re just eating garbage on Monday night for dinner and I bring paper plates and I put it in ziplock bags. Besides, the healthy eating, the waste that we have in our house is also important to me. So I’d prefer to like bring it in containers and have healthy snacks that we’re eating or healthy dinner that we’re eating. But we don’t and there is another mom that sits there at the same time and she does always have reusable containers and definitely much more healthy foods. So I feel like that guilt can creep back to the front of your mind. You know it’s there, it’s in the back of my head, so it totally creeps back to the forefront when it is visible, like I am looking at another human being doing what I want to be doing. But I didn’t do that. And so then that guilt is kind of there, and so it is something where you just have to be like I didn’t prioritize that today. I’m not going to do guilt about that today because I made that choice and that is the choice that I’m going to stay confident with, like I was confident with it before we left the house, because it’s easy and I needed it to be easy today. But yeah, so I just kind of those kinds of things. I’ve let them go because we have three little little, tiny babies. You need to make your life easier. Do you know the Goal Digger podcasts, by Jenna Kutcher at all?
BC: I am familiar. I think I might be subscribed, but I haven’t listened in a while.
NM: Sure, I think, like not too long ago. I think it was on her podcast. I was listening to an episode and the words that they used where they were talking about making statements like that, that we’re a little bit more definitive. I’m pretty sure they literally used the words, “I don’t do guilt.” Like: I don’t do this today. I’m not concerned about wasteful dishes. I’m not worried about using plastic bags. Throw away plates is what it is.
BC: Yeah, I listen to the Purpose Show with Allie a lot the language she uses is, “I’m not available for this.” I’m not available to feel stressed about this right now. I’m not available to let those emotions take the front seat. Was there any last notes you wanted to add-in here?
NM: Yeah, I think, just really knowing that season that you’re in and just like you said what your, what space you have available and how much you can handle. And as soon as guilt starts to cause anxiety, that’s when you have to be like, like you said, “I’m not available. I just I don’t do this today because I don’t have room and I don’t have time to add that to my to do list today. So how can I make my life a little bit easier despite my guilt?
BC: Right. Yeah. All right. I love that. And just really quick say where like, my followers could find you.
NM: Oh sure, sure. You can find me at http://www.natashamila.com. That’s the easiest place. Or I hang out on Instagram a lot, so @_Natasha Mila_ is my handle.
Thank you so much.
Hi, I’m Brittni, a mom who’s determined to share my light, wisdom, and joyfulness with every mom. My desire is that every woman knows she is worthy of ease and joy and finds the encouragement and motivation to pursue her best life possible.
I live in rural Oregon with my husband and 3 sons. I never dreamed of being a boy-mom, but now I can’t imagine life not surrounded by toy dinosaurs, race cars, and fart noises.
Let’s hang out
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