My guest today is Lisa Sugarman, a writer and mum of 2 grown daughters from that famous town of Salem Massachusetts, USA.
Before having her children Lisa was a newspaper (news and feature) reporter, writing for magazines and papers in the US.
Lisa was a teacher for 15 years in local school system, as a class room teacher, coach administration and one-on-one aid for children with special needs.
It was after her children were a little older and she working in the school system that Lisa got back into her writing, writing about her own personal experiences in parenting, producing a column for her local paper just for fun. in 2009 her column "It Is What it Is" became a nationally syndicated column throughout the US and then around the world.
This lead her to the opportunity to write books, full of content the helps and inspires families, and in particular mothers, and based around how to embrace your perfect imperfectness. Let the mistakes happen and embrace them. This lead her to the radio in Boston for many years.
**This episode contains discussion around mental health, suicide + the death of a parent **
Lisa lost her dad to suicide when she was 10 years old, but didn’t find out that he took his own life until about 35 years later. Now, because of that life-changing experience, Lisa is a passionate and vocal advocate for suicide awareness and prevention and she's telling her story as a way of encouraging others to tell theirs.
Lisa is also a proud ally and member of the LGBTQIA+ community. She lives by the motto "It’s okay that life is messy…because we're all a work in progress."
Today in addition to my regular topics, we end up talking a lot about social media, and the role it has played in creating 'helicopter parenting'. and the affects of its portrayals of unrealistic perfection on our guilt and parenting expectations.
If today’s episode is triggering for you I encourage you to seek help from those around you, or from resources on line. I have compiled a list of great international resources here
Read about the Salem Witch Trials
Music used with permission from Alemjo my new age and ambient music trio.
When chatting to my guests I greatly appreciate their openness and honestly in sharing their stories. If at any stage their information is found to be incorrect, the podcast bears no responsibility for guests' inaccuracies.
Podcast transcript at the bottom of the page
Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode of The Art of Being A Mum Podcast. I'm beyond honoured that you're here and would be grateful if you could take 2 minutes to leave me a 5-star review in iTunes or wherever you are listening. It really helps! This way together we can inspire, connect and bring in to the light even more stories from creative mums. Want to connect? Take a screenshot of this episode and share it on Instagram tagging me in with @art_of_being_a_mum_podcast
I can't wait to connect. And remember if you or somebody you know would like to be a guest on the podcast, get in touch! I love meeting and chatting to mammas from all creative backgrounds, from all around the world!
Alison acknowledges this Land of the Berrin (Mount Gambier) Region as the Traditional Lands of the Bungandidj People and acknowledge these First Nations people as the custodians of the Region.
Welcome to the Art of Being a mum, the podcast. It's a platform for mothers who are artists and creatives to share the joys and issues they've encountered, while continuing to make art. Regular themes we explore include the day to day juggle, how mother's work is influenced by the children, mum guilt, how mums give themselves time to create within the role of mothering, and the value that mothers and others placed on their artistic selves.
My name's Alison Newman.I'm a singer, songwriter, and a mom of two boys from regional South Australia. You can find links to my guests and topics we discuss in the show notes. Together with music played, how to get in touch, and a link to join our lively and supportive community on Instagram. The art of being a mum acknowledges the Bondic people as the traditional owners of the land, which his podcast is recorded on. Welcome to today's episode. Thank you so much for joining me it really is an absolute privilege and an honor that you've chosen to listen to my podcast.
My guest today is Lisa Sugarman. Lisa is a writer and a mum of two grown daughters from that very famous Town of Salem, Massachusetts in the United States. Before having a children Lisa was a newspaper, news and feature reporter writing for magazines and papers in the US. Lisa spent 15 years working in local schools as a classroom teacher, a coach in administration, and a one on one aid for children with special needs. It was after her children were a little older, and she was working in the school system that Lisa got back into her writing, writing about her own personal experiences in parenting, producing a column for her local paper just for fun. In 2009 Her column it is what it is, became a nationally syndicated column throughout the US and then around the world. This led to the opportunity to write books full of the content that helps and inspires families and in particular mothers and based around how to embrace your perfect imperfectness. This led Lisa to host her radio show in Boston for many years. This episode contains discussion around mental health and suicide and the death of a parent. Lisa lost her dad Jim to suicide when she was 10 years old. But she didn't find out that he took his own life until about 35 years later when she was 45. Now because of that life changing experience, Lisa is a passionate and vocal advocate for suicide awareness and prevention. And she's telling her story as a way of encouraging others to tell theirs. Lisa is also a proud ally and member of the LGBTQ plus community. She lives by the motto. It's okay that life is messy, because we're all a work in progress. Today amongst the usual topics I like to discuss, we end up talking a lot about social media and the role that it's played in creating helicopter parenting, and the effective it's portrayals of unrealistic perfection on our guilt and our parenting expectations. The music you'll hear today is from my trio, LM Joe, which is made up of myself, M Anderson, my sister and her husband, John, we play new age and ambient music. If you're triggered by anything we discussed today, please reach out for help, either to those around you, or by seeking assistance online. I've compiled a great collection of international resources. If you're looking for a place to start, you can head to the podcast landing page. Alison Newman dot net slash podcast.
Thanks so much for coming on today. Lisa, it's a real pleasure to welcome you to the podcast.
It's such a pleasure to be here. Thanks for having me.
Yeah. So you're in America, we're about to you.
So we live about 15 miles north of Boston on the east coast of the country. And we're in this cute little, semi famous city of Salem. Wherever you might be in the world, you can recognize that name, because it's got a lot of history attached to it. So we just we just moved actually from my hometown about a mile down the road. A little a little sea coast town and the birthplace of the American Navy. We just moved out maybe nine months ago, we just our girls are grown women now and we didn't need a house in any particular neighborhood anymore. And we just kind of took advantage of the crazy real estate market and sold and moved down the road. So we're in Salem. Oh, very good. So
you're getting yourself set up in that special little town is it how many people live there? Is it very big Salem?
In Salem? Um, yeah, I mean, I wouldn't say that at this point. I know the exact population but it's a pretty densely populated city and it's it's fairly Large. So there are definitely, definitely a lot of people i We live in an area of Salem that's kind of not in the hustle, we're a little bit removed from where people who are tourists would typically come to see and everything involving the witch trials. And, you know, you know all of that history you would go maybe two or three miles away from where we are, but it's a pretty it's a pretty densely populated little city.
Yeah. Yeah, certainly. Yeah. I think that pretty much everyone that's listening, probably recognize the name and the connections and the history. Yeah. I remember reading the crucible in year 11, or 12. Yeah. Yeah, that's something like we obviously have our own sort of histories here. But we've got we've got nothing sort of along those lines. So it's really fascinating to sort of, and I don't know how much of that is really true, either. Like, is there a bit of sort of folklore that goes along with? Yeah, there's,
there's, there's some lore attached to it, for sure. And it's definitely I'm sure been embellished over the years, but I think, you know, so much of it, believe it or not, is, is actually very true. And it's been very well documented. And I mean, we haven't taken the tours since I was in grade school. And we would, you know, we would always, it would always be like a little junket to Salem to, you know, kind of take advantage of all that history. That's there. So I mean, I, I know that, you know, there is there's a lot of truth, kind of woven into all of those legends as well. So it's, it's a pretty deeply historical spot with so much significance. And it's neat, especially around October, Well, depends on your perspective, if you're from here, you want to be as far away from here as possible. If you're not here, like the entire world seems to converge on Salem, for the month of October. So everybody that that I know, knows to stay far away, because it's a little chaotic. Yeah. It's also kind of cool that everyone was,
would be really interesting. Living in a place like that. So tell us a little bit about yourself lay. So what you do what you've done, I guess you can expand for as long or as short as you wish. So the floor is yours. Yeah,
I appreciate that. So first and foremost, I mean, I'm I'm a mom, I have two very grown daughters, my youngest just turned 22. And our oldest is turning 25 in another few weeks. So I've been at it for a while that a little motherhood game. I was a teacher in our local school system for many, many years, probably close to 15 years and wore a lot of different hats in kind of in that role was a classroom teacher was a coach worked in administration was a one on one aid supporting just individual children with special needs over the years. So I had a really, really big open wide lens to really kind of view the parent child relationship, that that whole dynamic, the way the whole family system works, the way kids are, are educated and supported. So that's kind of what tracked me over toward what I've been doing most recently, in the last decade or so. I've always been a writer. So before I had children, I was a newspaper reporter for many, many years and wrote for magazines here in the US, and this way pre pre internet and that whole explosion. And we kind of took a break, or I took a break from that and stayed home and raised our daughters. And then it's just so funny how, how things happen. So unexpectedly, like you're you're tracking in one direction, and then you get an opportunity. And it kind of puts you on a on a totally different path. And that's what happened to me. I was working in the school systems. And just for fun, I started writing again, I had never written a column in my life, I was always a news and feature reporter and I just for fun started contributing to my local paper, because I had had some pretty deep connections there when I was in college. And they're always asking, you know, these these little hometown newspapers or I was desperate for people to, you know, to give them content. So I just started writing about what I was living at the time and what I was living with parenthood. So I started writing. And little by little, it just started catching on and people started responding really well to it. And it just birthed this whole brand new career. So the column was syndicated, it's called it is what it is. And it was just syndicated throughout this media organization, it was all over the country and then it kind of, you know, by virtue of the internet, it goes all over the world. So that happened for men. I've got like 12 years 11 or 12 years I was writing the column I still do and from time to time less so because I started focusing on books. And that led me to the opportunity to write books. And I've written a few of them, parenting focused all about kind of how to embrace your perfectly imperfect, this is really the easiest way to understand it. Let the mistakes happen, embrace them, and, and really kind of find the good nuggets that are within that. And then that kind of led me to the radio, and I ended up on the radio for a couple of years here in Boston. And so it's just, it's just been this, this really cool little flow of opportunities that have all kind of centered around creating content that helps support and inspire families and in particular moms. So that's, that's kind of the long answer to the How did I get to this point? And what kind of stuff do I do? So? Yeah, I still very much enjoy writing parenting content, although I've kind of shifted my focus a little bit. And I'm doing a lot of mental health advocacy, and suicide awareness and prevention and doing a lot of speaking and, and writing about that as well. So that that's, that's all interrelated, because it really, it impacts our kids an awful lot. And, you know, it's important to start and have those conversations. So that's kind of what I'm doing now.
Yeah, right. So with your books, do you sort of draw on your own personal, like things that have happened to you, things that you've learned, or, I don't know, wish you'd known that kind of
stuff? Yeah, that's exactly where it comes from. That's, that's where everything, just about everything that that I've done has come from, it's all anecdotally based. So it's really just either, you know, stories and experiences from my own childhood, or from, you know, the experience of raising my own children. And all of that experience being in the school system, both in the classroom and kind of in the administration role, and working with parents and kids so closely, and I just started seeing, you know, I started seeing such a pattern with parents and with children and parents were just getting so overwhelmed by this, this invisible need to be the perfect parent to have the perfect kid to make sure that they didn't make any mistakes, to make sure that their kids never fell on their face to make sure that, you know, there was no struggle. And in doing that, and it was all based from a place of love and caring for their children. But they were absolutely crushing their kids with these crazy expectations of how they should behave and what they should accomplish and how, I guess how, just how perfect they should be. And and it was it was really debilitating. And you can see the kids being affected by that and such negative ways. Kids kids couldn't couldn't build resilience, because they couldn't do things for themselves. They weren't allowed to do things for themselves. So I just started voicing my opinion, I guess, is what you could say about how counterproductive I thought that was. And that we really need to let our kids figure it out by failing by trying one way doesn't work. You go another way and, and it just really stirred up. You know a lot in me in terms of wanting to help parents understand that they don't have to be perfectly you can give yourself permission to trump the balls. And, you know, to kind of embrace that madness because parent parenthood, like if you can't laugh at parenthood, then you're in the wrong job, you know, yeah,
that's it, isn't it? I've got just after you've said that, I've got that many things I want to ask you. I've got so many questions, I can take you in lots of different directions. So I'm gonna go, let's go. I'm gonna go with so talking. I mean, the phrase that sort of comes to mind when you're talking about that, that method of parenting, that helicopter parenting where you've always got to be over the top of your kids making sure things go right. Like you said, they don't. They don't get that chance to build their resilience because they don't get the opportunity to fail and experience Is that sort of emotions and that sort of stuff? I wonder, because often we talk about different generations and how they were parented and the sort of norms that were around, then, when do you think things started to really change and become this different way of parenting? Because I remember, as a kid, you know, being allowed to go out for most of the day, ride my bike around the neighborhood, do all this sort of stuff. And now it's like, oh, no, you can't do that something will happen to you like, when did that start to change? Do you think and what might have brought about that change?
You know, it's funny that you should say that because I talk about that with my daughters, what we you and I have had similar experiences. The town that I grew up in this little coastal Harbor Town, just north of Boston, a mile from where I am right now is just this little peninsula town, surrounded by a harbor, four square miles, we would get on our bikes, there were train tracks, paths all around town, where you could get to and from one end and the other and that's all we did, we would be outside until Billy Fallon's mom rang the bell or blew the slide whistle and like the whole neighborhood would scatter and go home because they knew it was time to go home. But we out for like a second the sun came up. And we'd be on the path and we'd be downtown, we'd be in the harbor, and, and my kids, my kids were bike riders, not to that same degree. But they were the kids playing manhunt. I don't know if it's manhunt is a game that that, you know, it's it's tag, it's just like, all throughout the neighborhood and in the trees and in the fields and whatnot. So it still existed when my kids were young, but I feel like I can't say that there was a catalyst, like, I don't necessarily know that I can say, okay, that at that exact time, because of that exact event, everything shifted. But I do think it was somewhere in between our generation and my children's generation, where, you know, I think, I think meet the social media influence has just brought so much fear, it's done so much good. But it's also done so much damage. And I think that, with that constant connection, and that constant flood of information, and news and, and trauma, we're all living through trauma. I mean, look, no further. I don't know if the news has arrived yet. Of what happened in Texas. Okay, so, and I'm
really my heartbreaks. For you guys over there. It's just shocking.
Yeah, it's, it's, you know, as as someone who taught for so many years, and as the mom of two daughters, both of whom are teachers currently. You know, it's hard, I have so many teacher friends, and just a mom, and anyone who, of course, especially as a parent, can just hear that, that situation about those those poor children and those teachers who were killed. And it's just, it's devastating. And it's like, but we the reason why I'm bringing that up is because the second that happened, the world knew about it. It was everywhere. It was on, it was buzzing on every phone and every tablet on the planet. And so everyone is sharing in that trauma, everyone is experiencing that fear. Everyone is making plans because of it to protect their children. What else can I layer around my child? How else? How better Can I bubble wrap my child and my family and my world. And so we've got those influences in ways that we never had them before. So on the one hand, having something like social media or a phone or the ability to connect with your kids, when they're off in the world, is great, because it's kind of like that umbilical cord is still partially connected. And that's a comforting feeling. But I think we've leaned too heavily into that, to the point where everything is about instant gratification now. Why is my kid not texting me back? What happened to them? Did they get hit by a car? Did they get abducted? Did they I mean, like, so I think that you know, there's a there's a good side and a bad side to this whole social media phenomenon. But I think that, that right there. If I were going to point to one thing that has really done more damage, it's that because now everyone's hearing from every possible angle in the world. What could happen to your kid if you let them out the door? Yeah, you know, and so I think because of that, we've just, maybe our generation, my generation, I guess, has just clamped down an awful lot harder. Out of fear.
Yeah. Yeah, it's very fear driven, isn't it? It's that need to keep people safe or stop, stop the bad thing happening or stop them from feeling upset or bad or, you know, emotions that we see as negative or that kind of thing. Yeah. Yeah, it's interesting because I don't want to talk about bad stuff. But as an example, there was years and years ago in Australia, there was some children abducted though, called the Beaumont children. And for years and years and years. That was like the only, I guess, episode of that nature that we all knew about it. This was back in the 60s, I think. And so you know that that thing you're saying about, we're all connected now. Any everything in anything that happens? We all hear about it. So there probably was other stuff going on, but we just didn't know about it. Yeah. So once we know about it, we'll go Oh, no. And yeah, go into that fury action.
I'm glad you brought up social media, because that was something I was going to ask you about this notion of perfection, the the way that now because we see this curated version of people's lives, we not everybody, but a lot of people want to present the very best of themselves on social media, you know, which is fair enough, I suppose you want to even want to look good or whatever, but unrealistic, to the point where, you know, it's really not reflective of people's lives. And so it's giving off this false sense of perfection. So then everyone else that's consuming that information, starts to think, oh, no, I must be doing something wrong. My life doesn't look like that. Yeah. Is that something that you sort of you agree with? Oh,
yeah. Not only do I Gree with it, but I talk about it, often, I write about it even more often. And I really appreciate the fact that you use the word curate, because when I do talk about it, that is always my go to word. Because that is exactly what's happening. People, people are filtering or curating the best of the best of the best. And in most cases, and I mean, you know, there, I think there's now a happy to see now that there seems to be a little bit of a shift, where people are like, No, that's bullshit. Why am I doing that? Why am I why? Why are we only putting this facade out there? It's this veneer of what's you know, of what we think people want to see or what we want to project. And I think people are getting tired of it quickly, because it's sending such a, you know, such a damaging message. And it's creating, you know, we fall as parents into such a comparison trap, and I write about this, my co author and I write a lot about this, in our most recent book, we have an entire chapter devoted to not know, not falling into this comparison trap. And I think the biggest, the biggest suck into that trap, is what we're seeing on social media, and we really can't avoid it. I mean, do you know, do you honestly also know, a human being at this stage of life that does not have some kind of a device? I mean, unless it's like a newborn. And even I think the newborns, there must be like a newborn tablet or something, right? And they give you this push on. So I mean, it's like, granted, you know, people use things to different degrees. And not everybody who has social, you know, social media is on Instagram, and not everyone is part of Facebook or not, but the majority are, and, you know, when you're in that world, it's impossible to avoid seeing what's being put out there. And when you, you look at that, and you start comparing yourself to that, it's, I don't want to use the word traumatizing because I think that that might be a little bit of a strong word to use, but it's it definitely leaves a mark on you. If you're like, Well, wait a minute, like, how come that mom of 12 children is so beautifully, like she's perfect looking and dressed, you know, dressed like to the, to the nines, and she's, you know, she's she's driving her SUV and she's got her coffee in her hand and all of her children have braids. They're all wearing dresses. She's all made up, like, like, come on, like, this is crap. Like people like you know, I know so many moms who are Like, I couldn't even like, find a robe, to put on myself to get my kid to, like, conceal my, my pajamas to drive my kid to school, you know, you know, like throwing kids into into the school, like throw an apple and a handful of Cheerios at your kid and then dump them in the car. And so it's like, we need, we need that reality check. And we need to stop comparing ourselves because it's just so toxic. And it's so unfortunate because it really I think weighs heavily on people. Even though our rational brains most of us are like, okay, come on, this is dumb. Why am I trying to compare myself to that person? My situation is different. There's this different, but it's like human nature.
Oh, yeah. And that's the thing you're not when you're, you know, you're scrolling through your Instagram or your Facebook feed, you're not in, you know, switched on rational mode, you're in relaxed looking at stuff mode. So you do you use, that's your first reaction is to go to that, oh, how come? I can't do that? Or how come she can do that? Or, you know, and then yeah, you might think about it later and go, Oh, this is the list of reasons why perhaps, you know, but yeah, we will we go to it?
You mentioned that you're interested in mental health issues. Do you find that that a lot of issues with around people's mental mental health comes from this kind of bombardment of social media and the comparisons and that kind of stuff?
I do? I absolutely do. And, you know, again, I'm the mom of two children. And I think back to that time, which was not long ago, it was in my children's lives, when they didn't have this influence, they didn't have this gateway, into a world of other kids their age doing doing all these things. And you know, they didn't have the ability to see the, the birthday party or the bar mitzvah, or the event that they weren't invited to, you know what I mean? Yeah, you can now and, you know, they couldn't get harassed. In this way. It was like, back in the day, when you went to school and you got bullied on the playground, which was bad enough. Now, it's like, there's nowhere in the world you can't get bullied, because you've got, you know, this vehicle that allows that to happen, right in your hand all the time. So I think, again, it's like, you know, I keep using social media, and technology as kind of the catch all for why so many things have escalated. But it's in all fairness, like it is it exists and, and impacting kids mental health is definitely one our mental health to forget about just kids, but it's just as bad, you know, for us to see the, you know, the the girls trip that a whole bunch of the moms, you know, went on, and you didn't go or the big garden party that someone had or, you know, day on the boat that you weren't invited to, it's, you know, it's impossible to ignore it. I think that it depends on who you are. And it depends on how seriously you take that, being bombarded with that all the time. But, I mean, look at the suicide rates in young children right now in adolescent and teenage children. And it's startling, and it's going up. And, you know, every other day, you turn on the news, and you hear about a child who was cyber bullied, and they jumped off a bridge and you hear about a child, you know, who was shamed, you know, who was shamed because of their size? Or, you know, something, you know, that it's, there's bigotry, there's, like, every negative thing in the world can flow through your phone just as easily as every positive thing, and our kids are right there on the other side of it. So I think it's, it's absolutely had a really negative impact. And it's, it's sad. It's sad, and I don't know, you know, aside from putting things like parental controls in place, and really just understanding what your kids are looking at when you're younger kids are a part of that even even as they navigate it and start to be part of it and grow into it. Like we've got to, we've got to really be super focused on what they're focused on. It's too easy to let a lot of the negativity slide Under our radar, and still reach them.
And I think it's hard for some parents too, because because we didn't grow up in this world of what's happening to be actually actually aware of what is happening, because I mean, a lot of teenagers aren't, you know, super forthcoming with what's going on in their lives or what they're consuming on their phones. So yeah, to sort of, I don't know, yeah, I don't want to say educate yourselves, because that sounds really patronizing. But, you know, being aware talking to other parents and sort of finding out what sort of stuff your child could be into, or being exposed to, so you actually can help them out and put some boundaries in place, perhaps to sort of limit what they're what they're exposed to.
Yeah, I don't I don't think it's unreasonable at all to say to say that I don't think it's patronizing to say that at all, I think it's necessary to say that and even more necessary to act on that, because we're that line of defense, it is our job when they aren't rational enough as young people and they're developing and, you know, those connections are all being made in their brains. It's up to us to create those boundaries. And to keep talking the same talk. And I don't want to say it's rhetoric, because it's not rhetoric, it's important. But it's one of those things as parents, especially young kids, that we have to just keep saying over and over again until you want to throw up and until your kids want to throw up because they're so sick of hearing it, but we keep saying it anyway.
Yeah. I want to turn to still looking at social media as a little bit. But the something I really love to talk about guests as talk about with guests on my show is mum guilt and or mommy guilt or mom guilt, whatever you want to call it. What are your thoughts about that whole topic?
Oh, wow, I have a lot of thoughts about mom guilt, I also at times have had plenty of mom guilt. It, it is a toxic emotion, because it keeps us from doing the things that I think we need to do. And instead causes us to do things that we think we're supposed to do, like keep our young children busy from the second that they open their eyes in the morning, until the second thing go to bed at night. And we are so afraid of and so consumed by guilt, if we don't have, you know, a four course dinner on the table every night, if we don't have the house clean, if we don't have activities planned, if we don't have social events, if we like all all these things in that and this, this ties in all of this mom guilt ties very heavily into the whole comparison issue. Because we're all looking at everything that everybody around us is doing. And I'm not just talking about on social media, I'm talking about just like in general, we're looking at what everybody is doing around us. And we're feeling such intense feelings of guilt because we're not doing what that family is doing. Or we're that mom is doing and you know, and we're feeling guilty about things that we shouldn't feel guilty about. Like if you love your child, and you're dedicated to supporting your child and inspiring and encouraging your child and, you know, and you're not gonna let your child go hungry, like it's okay, if they have a bowl of cereal for dinner. It's okay, if the laundry is not done. It's okay. If you didn't get dressed today. It's okay. Like, that's the stuff we have to start emphasizing more than the whole idea of checking off every single box or else our day sucks, and we accomplished nothing. And we're guilt ridden because we didn't accomplish all the things that we feel like we're supposed to do. So it's a huge issue. And, and again, you know, it also is another issue similarly in the way that more and more people are starting to show their real selves on social media, which I love. And saying, I'm actually not okay. I'm actually a disaster, and I'm this and I'm bad and that's owning it and being honest In the same way, I think moms are starting to recognize that this whole guilt thing is complete bullshit that they shouldn't buy into it, because it's just going to chip away at your soul and your confidence and your self esteem. Because if you don't, and this goes back to perfection, if you don't, if you don't do everything the way you think you're supposed to do it, now you're riddled with guilt. And now you're in capacity. So it doesn't know what
yeah, it just serves no purpose to anybody does. It's such a, it's a horrible thing. I hate it. I just think it's a load of crap. It is even just makes me so cross. It's. Yeah. And I
just want to hug all the moms all at once every moment, like, let go.
Yes. Yep. Yeah, I had, I had some ladies on, I had like, four, four mums on at one time for a Mother's Day special few weeks ago. And they one of the ladies had written a letter to mum guilt. And it was like, Mum, guilt, you're a bitch,
I need to read that it was really good. Really.
And that's the thing, like, as well as like, not, like admitting that we're not going great admitting that, you know, I don't want to say a failure, I'm putting that in air quotes. But you know, that it actually is normal to not be doing everything, as well as you had hoped, like, these expectations that we feel like, we've got to do it this way. You know, for whatever reason, because we've been judged, or because someone told us, we should do that this way. Or, for whatever reason, you know, and to say, I actually, I don't buy into that stuff, you know, it's a really, it's a really powerful thing to say, and then to share with other mums. And they might go, oh, actually, I was feeling a bit like that. But I didn't know whether I should feel like that, you know, doubting yourself. And creating this whole movement of this, you know, giving the middle finger to monkeys.
I know, I love that. And I appreciate and support that so much. Because I think that so much of what motivates us to, to, to, to reach a place of guilt, or to compare ourselves to other people in the first place comes from, directly from our ego, as we're doing this thing that so many millions of people before us have done and so many people alongside us are doing. And there's this internal voice that says like, Oh, of course, like, I can totally do it, like they do it, like I should be able to do that. Right? I should be able to have six kids, and also run a business and also have a like, a Better Homes and Gardens house and look amazing. And besides to and, you know, it goes on and on and on. But, and I think that when we can't, or don't do the things that, you know, we feel are the things that should be done. You know, that's, that's when it chips away at us. And, and it kind of breaks us it breaks our spirit, because then it's like, well, how come they can do it? I can't show that I'm failing at it.
Yeah, that's the reason that we've we've got a hold up that, again, that perfection that everything's fine this facade of, you know, I see. Yeah. I really think people are getting more comfortable with that feeling of saying that, that they you know, not projecting the perfect world. I think I think we are getting better slowly.
Yeah. I mean, that's, that's what I've been begging people to talk about now, for? Well, well over a decade. You know, I moderate a group on Facebook that I that I started now, it's been years, it's been several years ago. And it's on Facebook, it's a public group, and it's called the vomit booth. And it's just a place that marries kind of everything that I do in terms of, you know, writing and speaking and kind of philosophies of parenthood, the humanistic common sense views of parenthood, and I brought it to this place where it could have an interactive component and people could actually come into this group and talk about the good stuff and the bad stuff and bond together and share together and the idea of it being a place where you could kind of like hurl out vomit up whatever it is, that's that's troubling you or holding you back and that people someone's there to hold your hair back while you let it out. And you can listen and vent and, and some incredible conversations over the past several years have come out because it's a place that I really encourage people to like If you're not okay, if you're struggling with XY or z, if you feel inadequate, like, let it out, share it, start that conversation, because I guarantee you that there are 10 million other people feeling the same way. But nobody wants to be like, nobody wants to be the first one to talk in the elevator. Yeah, like, just but once somebody does, everybody starts talking. So that's what we want to do.
Yeah, that reminds me that analogy of the first one to talk when I in Australia, we have this thing called Moms groups where after you have your baby, they, they put you with complete strangers, they're just people that happen to have their child at the same time as you. So you put in with these people that you have nothing else in common with, apart from your baby came out at the same
time you need. That's all you need. That's the common denominator.
And I remember one of the first sessions we went to, and I was, you know, things were not going well. And everyone goes around the circle and says how they're going. And everyone seemed to be going really well. And I was sitting there thinking, why is everyone going so good? What is wrong with me? You know, what's wrong with my baby? Why am I struggling? And then, when it was my turn, I think I said something. I tried to make a joke like, Oh, I'm glad you're all going so great, because I'm not and then just My life sucks. Right now. I shared all the crap things about the no sleep and the sore boobs and we couldn't breastfeed. And when I broke the ice with that, that's when everyone started to be more honest. And it was like, Oh, thank God, like we can be honest. Yeah. Yeah, it's just yeah.
That's what it takes. And then then, then everybody comes out of the woodwork. And then everyone's like, Oh, but wait, but me, but this, but that
we're outdoing each other with worse stories.
Exactly. And, and you know, not not to take the focus off of parenting, which is what I know we're spending so much time talking about to circle it back for a second to mental health. That is exactly. And this applies to children. And parents, obviously, it applies to mental health in the sense that once we start vocalizing are not being okay, or our struggle, or our fear, or whatever it is, once we put it out there, there is almost always going to be someone who will then connect with that, and then we'll have some kind of a similar experience or know someone or, or understand on a deeper level, and then it just, it's like self perpetuating, then all of a sudden, that dialogue starts and it's that's why it's so important what whatever space you're in, in the world, whether it's the mental health space, or the parenting space, or the marriage space. It's not communication, that can change everything that can elevate you from a place of silently suffering or feeling shame or being stuck to it elevates you to a place where okay, I'm not alone anymore. And other people know what I feel like and other people may have done some things can suggest some things that will, that will be useful to me. And that's why this there's so much incredible power in our shared experiences. But they do no one any good if we don't share them
Yeah. Yeah, that mental health is at least interesting one, I think. People are really afraid to share that. It's like, the way I sort of compare like, if you've got a broken leg, you're not going to be scared to go to the doctor to say, Hey, could you fix my leg? But for some reason, we were so worried about being judged by I don't know, it's, it seems like we've we've failed somehow, but we're not actually in control of the, you know, the chemical imbalances in our brains. But we've sort of learned, I guess, from previous generations that that's something you don't talk about. And, you know, I had an experience where I had quite bad postnatal depression with both my children. And I shared I did a podcast years ago with a mental health group in my town. And then that then snowballed into it was like a group of community people that were known in the community members that that would be identified, sort of through whether they like it as me as a singer. There was like, people that own shops like just pick faces that you know, in the community, and we ended up with these great big banners. They put us on these banners and put us all around town with the little like cute barcode scan, listen and listen to the podcast. And my dad said to me, are you sure you want everyone to know what happened to you? I said, Yes, that I do. This is exactly why I'm doing it. Because I want people to know that it is normal is nothing to be ashamed of. It's like normalizing this discussion around mental wellness or mental unwellness. And I don't know, it's like, yeah, that generation, it's like, Oh, don't don't talk about that sort of stuff, you know?
Well, we had no, you're right. 1,000%. Right. And I love the fact that you did that, because that is what we should all be doing. And I know, it's a lot harder for some than others. There are a lot of people out there who are, you know, very introverted, and very uncomfortable sharing. But the fact of the matter is that there has always been such a deep dark stigma associated with mental illness. I mean, I think back to, you know, another generation before me to my parents generation, though, I lost my father to suicide when I was 10 years old, thank you. And I didn't find out about his suicide until I was in my mid 40s. So 35 years later, I found out about it. Not at all, because my mother felt like it was shameful, had nothing to do with it whatsoever, my mother was just strictly trying to protect me, I had already lost my person to have told me at that time, when I was 10 years old, that it was his decision would have shattered me beyond repair. So in that sense, I'm so grateful that she did that. But it had nothing to do with a stigma. But still, at that time, and for so many decades later, until just really in recent history, it isn't, wasn't something you talked about, it was something that automatically, by default, gave you kind of a black mark, and made you feel less than or made you appear less than even if it didn't, it did in your own head because of the narrative that was associated with it. And, you know, it's like the same reason why parents were so reluctant to say that their children had learning disabilities, or that their children had mental health issues. And same thing, they didn't, they didn't want that stigma to be attached, but it's only in doing what you did, or what I began to do, which is to talk in every space I possibly can about my father's story, to help encourage other people to share their story, or their trauma or their grief or their, their illness, because that's how we change. That's how we normalize it. And that's how we change that narrative.
You know, I think of it in in so many different ways, when I think of what happened to my father, and how it's impacted me in my life. You know, there's the loss that I felt as a 10 year old, then there's the loss that I felt, so I have grieved his death now twice in my life, you know, once his child and once as a grown, married mother of two children. And, you know, I think about the power that's within that story, both as a child and a survivor of suicide loss, and someone who has had to kind of travel that arc of forgiveness. And I also think about it in terms of like, when I really found out the truth, my girls were teenagers, I had one, just entering high school, I had one who was graduating from high school, and, you know, my oldest, has, has had mental health issues and has had anxiety and some depression and is very open about it. And, you know, getting help for it has changed your life, it's changed, you know, because as you said a little while ago, these are things it's like, if you were born, if you were born with six fingers on your hand, you would be someone who was born with six fingers on your hand, and that was beyond your control. And in that same exact way, like someone's born with a heart condition or someone God forbid, has cancer. It's, it is no different. The mental health challenges, issues, diagnoses, whatever you want to call them, that we have as human beings like that is that is beyond our control. And we need to be treated in the same way that you would treat someone with heart disease or cancer or whatnot or a broken leg. Yep. So yeah, my my, my goal at that time once I kind of arrived at a place of really, truly understanding why my father, I don't know the reason why I will never know the reason why. And that haunted me for a long time. It doesn't anymore. I just know that my father had so much mental illness that was undetected by anybody in our family, but he it was not being here anymore, whether it was for our benefit or his was the only solution. And so I've come to accept that but I've also accepted the fact that my father had so much gin netic like the genetic cocktail in my poor dad's body, from where he grew up and how he grew up, and the mental illness that existed in his family, like that's in my destiny that's in my children. And what really inspired me, I think, to start talking in general about it to my children in particular, was, like, you guys may not feel this way or that way now, or have these feelings or emotions or thoughts now, maybe when you're 22, maybe when you're 26, maybe when you're 30, maybe, you know, these, these things don't always surface immediately. And I wanted them to know like, look, this is, here's your DNA. Here's, here's what could be in your DNA. And here's what it might look like in you. Because here's what it looks like in him, I have certain tendencies or issues. I'm an empath. I feel everything as though I'm grabbing on to like an electrified wire, all the good and the bad in my life house, and I feel it like I'm holding a live wire. And I know, that's how it manifested in me, but I wanted to have that conversation with my kids so that they would know and be able to have an open line of communication. Like, I'm okay, I'm feeling weird. I need to talk to someone I knew.
So, yeah. Yeah. No, thanks for sharing that it's worth. It's yeah, thank you. It's really great. So that, that you're able to share it. Because like you said, there's so many people that can't for whatever reason, and that sort of reason why I feel like I sort of want to help those people in my own way by sharing my story, because maybe they can't, but that, like you said before, you know, they might take something from it, they might go, oh, I can empathize with that I, I experienced that. Or I understand what you mean by that. And that might give them the little nudge to, to reach out and do what they need to do. Yeah.
You're listening to the art of being a mom was my mom, Alison Newman. Identity is another thing that I really love talking about this, you know, that we're, we're a woman, we're having this amazing life. We're doing all these things, and then we become a mother. And then it seems that our sole purpose is then to, you know, be a mother, that we might lose other components of ourselves that we had three children, or all? Yeah, yeah. So Oh, and yeah, I've spoken to a lot of people through these podcasts. And there's so many varying degrees of experience with that, which is wonderful. Because, you know, we're all different in that it's great to share. Have you got some thoughts about that? Topic?
Yeah, yeah, I do have a lot of thoughts, a lot of odds, a lot of experience with it. Yeah, I mean, I was definitely lost for a period of time, for sure. In my life. Probably around the time that I chose to stay home, my husband and I agreed, you know, that, that I would stay home. He was, you know, the primary breadwinner at the time. And, and it made sense, just economically, that I would be the one. And I was in that place that you talked about, like that incredible place of, Oh, I know exactly what my purpose is. My purpose is those two little humans and, and teaching them and growing them and nurturing them and loving them and doing everything for them. And you get lost in that place. And I'm not saying that that's not a beautiful place, and you have children, and obviously you have children to be devoted to those children and raise them and whatnot. But as I think we've all realized, over the past, I would say probably five years or so 10 years or so, maybe just even five self care is something self care and preserving or creating our own identity simultaneously, is so necessary, it is imperative that we do that. And so many of us just kind of pack up our former identity, and just put it in a little box and put it in the back of the closet. And that's where it stays. And we're so you know, laser focused on our kids. That then all of a sudden, and it happens all of a sudden, you know, it is gradual, but then it's not because all of a sudden you're at that point where you're like, well, they don't need me at all, for almost anything except maybe some cash from time to time. And laundry and food. So, and then all of a sudden you're like What the hell am I What am I supposed to do now? Like, where do I go? What do I do and, and it's really hard. And I was definitely in that space. And what really did help me was kind of this organic, tripping and falling into this life within the school system that I had. And that became a path that felt right to me for so many years. And for so many reasons. You know, and then I had a chance to, you know, write books for a living and do what I'm doing now. And it evolved, but it was only because I basically, like pulled on my big girl pants and said, I, I have to have something that is for me, I have to figure out what that is, and who that is. And you know, and honor what I need for my life. Because I've just spent the last, you know, 20 something years, giving my children what they needed. And the more attention that I started paying on myself. And the more I did for the benefit of my own growth, and the more I prioritized that the healthier I was everywhere else in my life, like bottom line, and it was work. It was working, and it continues to be work. But it's such powerful, unnecessary work. Hmm. You know, so lately,
That's it, isn't it? Yeah, that's something that I, I could not exist without things for myself, honestly, I just go, like, go more mental than I am now. No, I get it, I get it have to have, it's just, ah, I don't know. I, it's so it is so necessary. And you know, it's interesting, like, like, I was saying before, like, I couldn't, I couldn't be a stay at home mom, like I just, I have so much respect for for moms that do that, because I just couldn't do it. You know, and we're all different in what we need. And, and that kind of stuff. I just Yeah, I don't know.
But first of all, there's nothing I love better than a good Blab. That's, you know, that's where all the best ideas and you know, and experiences come from our blabbing. But like, I just have such respect for for all the different varieties of parenting that there are out there, like you've got the stay at home mom, or you've got the mom that those the hybrid, or you've got the mom that goes into the office every day or, you know, and every thing in between. And, you know, there's, there's just so much credit, I think to be given, for people who understand, like, this is where I'm really good. This is where I'm really great. And this is where I need to make sure that a lot of my attention is focused, and but it's also over here too. So it's like, you know, it's just it, we're constantly building on ourselves. And, and, and I love that there's so much inspiration for doing it in so many different ways. And there isn't one way that's, that's better or more accomplished than any other way. They're just great examples. And that just inspires me when I see that.
Yeah. And it kind of this, this, someone's going off on a tangent never it kind of makes me it makes me sad for a lot of sets the word, but it Yeah, it does. It makes me sad for for previous generations of women whose role it was exclusively to be a mother, you know, like, there wasn't a choice. It was like, when you got pregnant, you left work, because you had to give the jobs to the single women, right? When they got married, they had to quit their jobs. You know, just all the things that women would have wanted to do. You know, and if they did do it, they were judged so harshly for, you know, doing the wrong thing. And putting that in air quotes again. You know, just the opportunities that we have now, because of the work that previous generations have done to get us to this point is tremendous. Because I just think if I hadn't lived in that era of my grandmother, yeah, I would.
I would know, you and I would have gone on an island somewhere. Like another community where we could do anything we wanted because i It's funny, I often think about that my daughter, my oldest and I seem to fall into this conversation all the time about different periods of time, where we felt she she would have preferred living during like, caveman era for something she's got lots of wrist very funny, lots of reasons why, but with that I don't need to go into but that was like her period of time. And I, you know, I would have loved to have lived I think during the 60s. I mean, I was a child of the 60s but I was an infant. I would have liked to have had that experience because it was such an explosive period of time in the world. But I also think that you I don't think I could have survived it just like you like, I know, like, I would have known if I was the person I am today that back then I would have been like, Oh, hell no, like, I'm gonna work. No, like equal salary equal opportunity. I'm gonna work from home, my husband's gonna raise the kid, you know, and I think I made it would have made a lot of enemies back then because I just wouldn't have tolerated it. But yeah, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to those, you know, those pioneers who came before us for sure. Absolutely. stuff without them.
Oh, yeah. See, even like, when I watch, I really love period dramas. I can't even think like the Jain is and all that kind of stuff. Yeah, you just think those those skills there are in? What's that one that's on the British and, you know, you get a taste for it. There's one of the daughters, who just, you know, wants to do our own thing doesn't want to get married, you know, you just think how much of that would have gone on. But no one would have had a choice. It's just you had to do this, you had to marry this bloke for money, because it kept your family going, you know, all the sacrifices that women would have made to think Christ at night. Just, it's,
it's really disturbing. Like, read it. i Yeah, it's disturbing. And I also feel like such deep sadness that so many generations of women had to live such a pressed lives, and we're so limited and these brilliant, capable humans, were forced to do like, one of three things. Either you were going to be a teacher, or you were, you know, a mother or a homemaker or that was it. And, um, yeah, we we've, we've definitely come a long way. And, you know, I'm excited to see how much further we can go. But like, I'm just really grateful that I'm kind of living in the period of time
that I'm living right now. Yeah.
I would not have made it
yet. You, so you mentioned your daughter there. Briefly, I wanted to ask, as a mom of two girls, is it important for you to sort of role model the fact that as a mom, you can do anything you want? That? You can? You can? Yeah, the sky's the limit, basically.
Yeah. Yeah. That's always been incredibly important to me. And I think that the reason why it's, it's so deeply embedded in me is because of my own mother, and because of what my own mother has both gone through and accomplished in in her life. I mean, my mother, you talk about, like what people were supposed to do at certain times, you know, in history, my mother, when she went to school, went to high school was, was just such a strong and capable student she loved, she loved school, she loved the whole learning process. But she came from a family that was a very lower income family, everybody worked, and she wanted to go off to college, they couldn't afford college. So as soon as she graduated with honors from high school, she went to work with my grandmother. And so, you know, then my mother got married and worked a part time job in a nursing home. And my all of all of my experiences with you know, when I think of strong women, it all traces back to what my mother did. My mother was became a widow when she was 40. She had never had a college degree. She had to raise now a family by herself, a child by herself live in a home by herself. And my mother went back to school, six months after my father passed away, went back to college for five years at night, got her degree, worked, got a good job, you know, was the most present and hands on parent and it was because of that, like, I saw that. I saw that, you know, my mother and I used to do homework together in her bedroom at four and 5am in the morning, because that's the only time she could do it. She wanted to do it in a way that it wouldn't disrupt our dynamic. And so I started doing that with her and it just she and she alone was the one that that proved to me that like the sky is the limit. You can do anything that you set your mind to that women are so resilient. Humans are so resilient and I always wanted my daughters to feel that way. So it's, you know, when I started getting opportunities to do the things that I really wanted to do, like, I wanted to be on the radio, I wanted to write books, I, you know, I wanted to put myself out there, it was scary as hell, because, you know, you put content out there on a regular basis, and you know, that not everybody receives what you put out there well, and I was like, nope, gonna, gonna go gonna go ahead and do it. And as a result, you know, my, I've watched my daughters grow into their independence and want to just kind of, like, grab life by the throat and say, here I come. And it's beautiful. And it's, it's necessary, and if it doesn't come from us, it's gonna be a lot harder for them to be wired that way in their life. So
that's it, isn't it?
Yeah, when they get from us, and, and my husband too, is, is has always been so is, you know, inspiring in that way, and supportive and, you know, has built us up and motivated us and encouraged us to, you know, and supported us to get out there and do all the things. You know, so having those positive influences really makes a huge impact.
Yeah, that's it is it? It's like they, if they grow up with that, that that positive messaging from the beginning, it's like, that's, they're gonna take that through their lives and keep passing it on. And, you know, that just keeps rolling on all that. All that good stuff. Yeah, yeah. Something I've just started talking to moms about, I'm gonna make it an official topic, because I'm getting really interested in this lately. It's funny how like, like, you're talking before how you get led in certain ways, and you do different things that you might have been planning. Same happens with, like, the topics I talk about, they sort of evolve over time. And one thing that keeps coming up is this, the value, a big thing is through the pandemic, when things got shut down, as particularly in Australia, you know, we had the restriction on movements between our states, but our sports people, mainly sports men, were able to basically do whatever they liked, or the football and the soccer or continued, but the arts and anything sort of creative, like performance, you know, the shows, all that sort of stuff, that all got shut down. And that sort of is sort of sparked a bit of a, a conversation or a thoughts around the value that we place on the arts, and then that sort of snowballed into the value that we place on a mother that is a creator, you know, is it? Is it okay for her to do that? Because that's not a roll. Putting that in air quotes again. Yeah, you know, she's meant to raise children. So how do we view the mother? That is the Creator? Do you have any thoughts on that? I've just spread me sweat on you.
Yeah, no, I like I like when people throw questions like that at me that I don't see coming. You know, I think that it goes back to what we talked about a little while ago, that we, we and I say we, in terms of women, mothers have had to fight for our position. And, and it's been a very challenging fight. And, you know, I think by default, we, you know, when you think of parents, you naturally just automatically assume that the mother is going to be that prime caregiver. And that that has to be kind of the ultimate responsibility that, you know, that overshadows any other thing that that woman may be that you know, that she she may be a professional, she may be an artist, she may be a creator, any of those things, like, we've got to shove all that aside for 18 or so years. And we've got to focus on on, you know, the mom being the mom. I think, I think it's trending, but I don't know what you're seeing in Australia now that we're, I don't want to say that we're out of a pandemic, because we are by no means out of it. But I think that you know, I don't want to put it in these terms, but I think it is just, it's just but in these terms by default, you talk about like, oh, well, it was okay for the footballers and the men to keep doing what they were doing. Well, they were making money. It was commercial, they were making money. And I'm not to say that artists like I know that you're a singer and a songwriter, and you know, and those who are kind of deep within the arts aren't making money but they sure as hell aren't making money on the same scale, as you know, professional teams and things like that. So I think that they just got a free pass. Yeah. And we still had to stay kind of, you know, had to be kept in this role of, Oh, you guys have to be there to take care of everything else. While you know, well, well, you know, the money is being made. And, you know, there's, you know, the energy surrounding this, these, these sports and, and what comes from them has to be supported, you guys have to do the rest because by virtue of you know, parenting, I mean, it's you know, it's not a stretch to say that the majority of caregivers are moms are women. Not that there aren't plenty of stay at home dads and caregivers who are dads, but that's our role. And we have to just keep kind of breaking out of that. That, that place of that identity. And, and I think it all goes, it travels right back to the whole, you know, self care and identity conversation that we had a few minutes ago. Where's it we can't tolerate that anymore. That's the thing. We have to say, our art or our craft or our inspiration, or our creativity is just as important. And just as as necessary, and we have to fight for it. And it sucks that we have to do so much active promoting it and fighting for it. But we do and we have to do that collectively. And that's that's how we change that tide. Yeah. You know, your thoughts about it?
Yeah, the thing that, yeah, then the monetary thing is a big one, isn't it? Because we obviously live in a capitalist society. So money drives pretty much everything. And that's something that has really been annoying me lately, too. It's like, because because what you're doing doesn't have a similar monetary value to what someone else is doing. It's just automatically not given the credit that the other thing is given. And that's something that annoys me.
Oh, and, and I think it annoys me too. And I'm glad that we're talking about it, because it's by virtue of conversations like this, like whoever it is, that's listening to us right now. If they share that feeling, well, then that's, then there's a domino effect there. And then this conversation extends beyond you and I and extends beyond the podcast, and then it gets other people talking and gets other people aware. And then there's, then we have to kind of collectively not tolerate it anymore, recognize it? And then start talking about it so that it can be addressed. And it can change.
Absolutely, yeah. And I think an example that I always go to, with this show, whenever we start talking about value, monetary value, and how society generally, judges creativity, or the arts. There was a, I'm gonna get this story wrong every time I feel like I change it every time I tell it. But one of my guests gave me an example of how her and her sister in law both had young children that the grandma was going to be looking after, while the moms were working. The grandma would look after the sister in law's children, because she was going to a proper job in a proper office, putting their near quotes again. But she wouldn't look after the artists children, because she was just fluffing it out. She wasn't actually working. And I'm praying that air quotes get. And that's just, I mean, that's could be potentially a generational thing too. But oh, sure, for sure. Yeah, it's just that kind of view of the arts and mother's creating, it just gives me the sheets and really,
you know what it is? I think it's not it's like it's there's a stigma about it, that you're like taking your one in a million shot. Like if you think of, of someone who's a singer, songwriter, you know, you're doing that as a as a child or young person, you'd come home and tell your parents I'm not going to conventional following the conventional path and going to college. I'm going to pursue my degree in acting or my my acting, passion or my music, passion or my songwriting, passion, whatever it is. And I think that because it there's such a minority of people who become successful on a level that people equate with success, like you have to have like an album out to be successful. You have to have a book out to be successful. You know what I mean? There's so much. There's so many different degrees of success within that but I think that that it's it's based on? Well, it's not really legitimate, like, you're just, you know, you're just writing, you know, some some fluffy little songs here or there or you're, you know, you're painting some pretty little pictures here and there that there's no real substance or value or, or monetary piece that you can attach. So that it's like, it's it legitimized. Yeah. You know what I mean? So I think that's where a good deal of the issues come from. And, you know, you think of these proper tracks, college leads to job leads to financial security. Well, people are only now just recognizing that that is not the only way. That is not the only path that is not the only measure of success like that, that that dollar sign cannot, cannot be attached to the word success anymore.
Yeah. Yeah. And, yeah, it just reminded me of this conversation, my son, my oldest son's 14, and he's just having to start choose his subjects for next year school. So this, you know, the pathway to whatever job he wants to do, they're starting the subjects now. And I keeps my husband's a financial planner. So humans are completely different brains, the way we think about a thing. And I keep saying to him, just do something that you enjoy doing, you know, find the thing you're passionate about, work out, if there's job around that, you know, if there's not one, make one, you know, what I mean? Like, find something that you love to do. And then my husband's like, I'll make sure you get enough money. So it's like, yeah, covering it from both sides.
Yeah, that's, it's hard. Because I mean, look, we can't ignore the fact that bills have to be paid. Our kids at some point, down the line are going to have to be self sufficient. They're going out, they're going to need to live on their own, or they're going to have to buy food and gas and, and, you know, support all the things that, you know, are involved in living independently. But it's like, it's it just bums me out, when we attach like, well, you have to do you have to have a six figure job to do that well to mean that, that you are successful. And it's, it's crap. And it's setting our kids up, to be really disillusioned about doing what they really want. It's, you know, it's setting them up to believe that they shouldn't do what they really want. They should do what they really have to do. Yeah, I mean, we do have to keep it real in the sense that our children do have to learn how to support themselves. But at the same time, too, we can't, we can't make them believe that, you know, there's only one way to do that. And there's only one level at which they should aspire to do that.
Yeah, that's it, isn't it. The other thing that I think is changing when we're talking about money, and, and things, there's the whole culture, I don't know. I certainly noticed over here, but it's changing now, but this culture on social media of this hustle, and you've got to always be doing something and, you know, I can't think of any, like, Girlboss and all these sort of hashtags. And it's like, you have to be driving really hard. And it's just, it's exhausting. Like, you just think when do you have time when, like, this self care, you know, actually, resting rest is not a reward for doing rest is, you know, should be something that we do naturally, because our bodies aren't supposed to go full bore all the time. You know, that culture around that, I feel like is, is definitely shifting, which is really good.
It definitely is. I mean, you know, there's definitely this population that believes, especially these millennials, who believe like, you've got to have a side hustle. And you've got to also have a side hustle. And you've got to be in constant motion, and you've got to be that much more driven and that much more successful and that much more capable. And, and I think that's just coming from a place like in particular with women, it just comes from everything that you and I have already talked about in terms of like, we're kind of fighting for a position we're fighting still, to be taken seriously to be viewed equally, to be respected to, you know, and so it's, it's almost like we just, you know, we have to just go at it a lot harder to be taken even more seriously. And that's unfortunate that we that we kind of innately feel that way Yeah, it's just, it's unfortunate. And I hope that as as time goes on, and we begin to kind of normalize success, you know, you know, across across the gender spectrum, like it's, it's, you know, be just as successful as a man or a woman anything. That's, you know, it's going to take time for, I think, us to let go of that, that internal drive. Because I think it's burning a lot of people out, it's really hurting people out. You know, and I think it's causing people to be, you know, to put themselves in positions that they might not want to put themselves in, because they, you know, or do things in terms of like, jobs and opportunities, just because they feel like they have to versus they want to. Yeah, so hopefully those two scales will eventually balance. Hmm. Yeah. composure of hustle the way we do? Oh, yeah,
that's it, isn't it? It's like, it's funny, like, all this stuff that is ingrained in us as, as kids and growing up like, you always had, like college, like we call it University over here, but it doesn't have the same I don't think has the same sort of end goal. Like for you guys, like every, I'm making an assumption, but on TV shows and movies, it's like, everyone goes to college. Over here, uni is not, we don't all go to uni, it's like, if you get a job out of school, that's almost the best thing you can do. But I remember, like, like, my dad worked really long hours. You know, I think a lot of us grew up with that, that nine to five, or, you know, eight to six sort of culture around you, your parents or your your dad working. And it's like, that's what you're supposed to do, you know, and then all of a sudden, you go, Oh, actually, I don't really like this. And it's like, you start to no question stuff and see what people around you are doing. I remember the first time I realized that, I had a friend who was only working part time. And like this was when I was, you know, just out of school working as like, how can you do that? Are you supposed to be working full time? This is like, No, it was a foreign concept. From what I'd grown up, we'd say, you know, again, these little changes. And,
yeah, well, it's like the whole millennial mindset. Now. And I talk about this a lot with my older daughter in particular, because even though there's only three years in between our girls, it was a, it's a big enough gap that my oldest mindset about certain things is quite different than my youngest. And they're both very, very hard workers. You know, my oldest is in graduate school right now to be a teacher. And she's also working full time and my youngest works full time in the school system. But it's funny, like, you look at the millennial, the millennial mind nowadays, and they're all like, I don't want to be an I'm not going to be in an office, I'm not going to take that job that I'm applying for, if it means I actually have to go into an office or if it means I have to travel, they're like, no, no, I'm really focusing on my work life balance right now. Like that whole generation is not having it at all. And I think too, that you know, and this goes back to one of the, like, if you have to attach a silver lining to what's happened pandemic wise, it's allowed us to do so many things from home that we otherwise just that weren't allowed before. And so it's brought the world much closer, it's made everyone and everything much more accessible as the upside. And, you know, I just look at the way that my children are now and all of these millennials are like, yeah, um, so I've been working from home for like, the last 18 months, and I'm really not planning on continuing my company, if my company is not going to allow us to do that, you know, it's just so funny. You know, and now they're all like, converting vans, and living van life and working remotely from like, deserts and, you know, and, and beaches. And, and I absolutely know that if I had been born now, if I was my 25 year old age, I would 1,000% be working remotely, I would have like a Ford van that was converted, and I would be like on the coast of Australia somewhere down the road from you, and I take home from a van and you know, and and they're they're not settling for that so they things so I guess the reason why I'm saying all that about my own kids is because it's just proof that that that tide has changed. thing that they're prioritizing. They're worse. And they're prioritizing that, that work life balance and that self care a lot more in this generation. And they're not tolerating the idea of the whole, like, nine to five and the way that
it used to be like, he's so good, it's wonderful. Yeah, that's interesting about during the pandemic, like all this stuff that people would sit on, that's never possible. You can't do this, and you can't do that. And it's like, actually, you can. It's wonderful. You know, and I don't know, we learned a lot. I mean, it was horrible, still is a horrible thing that, you know, a lot of families and people have gone through, which is been really not very nice. But there has been some positives come out for, for the whole of humanity, I think, looking at things differently and challenging. Yeah. And it's that old saying, like, you know, why do we do it this way? Because we've always done it that way, you know, that, that? And I think that's a real sort of, I don't know, almost a masculine mindset. And I want to say that it sounds nasty, but no, reminds me of something my dad would say. Yeah,
no, I get it. I understand why you would say that. It's, it's just because historically, that has been the mindset. That's the way things were for generations. You know, think of the hierarchy who it was that instituted those ideas and those values and you're not wrong. Yeah, I don't want to blame all the boys but we're finger pointing at you guys history.
Have you got anything you want to share that you're working on at the moment or future projects coming up? Anything you want to give a shout out to and share? Where people can find you online? And that kind of stuff?
Yeah, sure. I'd love to. I think I mentioned a little earlier that one of the things that's got a lot of my focus right now is mental health, and suicide prevention and awareness. And that that actually slides right into the project that I'm working on right now, which is another book that really uses my father's story, the story of my my father suicide, as just a vehicle for starting conversations and for helping people just through my own personal experience, helping people kind of travel that that road to forgiveness, if they're a survivor of suicide loss. And so that's, that's something that I'm kind of deep in the weeds with right now, doing a ton of work on and then working to be a crisis counselor with a crisis agency here in, in the United States, that I'm actually very, very excited about because that kind of all goes hand in hand. So I'm working on that. And just continuing to do lots of speaking and writing about parenting, just the way that I'm doing now on all the outlets here in the States and around, you know, around the world that that help families be happy. So that's what I'm working on. And you can find me anywhere. I mean, you can find me, my website is Lisa sugarman.com. And everything I'm working on is kind of in that one spot. Instagram is Lisa underscore Sugarman, the Lisa Sugarman on Facebook, you can join the vomit booth if you search the vomit booth on Facebook we can I will I will let you in you can just curl it all up
oh definitely going to check that out. I'm really really interested in that. That sounds really good. I want all of your
moms in your in your community in your area in your part of the world I want to know what's you know, what's affecting you and bringing all this it's like a clown car you can I'll millions of moms and dads and stuff you.
I love it. Thank you so much for coming on later. I've really enjoyed chatting with you. It's been a really great conversation.
I I've loved I've loved every minute of it too. And it's so fun for me to just to especially to hear what's going on in places where I you know, I don't I don't frequent I don't I know know what, you know what's happening in your part of the world the way You do. And so it's it's often fun to find out, you know that some things are different and some things are similar. And at the end of the day like we still It proves my point that no matter where you are and what you're doing as a mom, it's like, we're, you know, we're all part of the same community and the same family here, and we're all dealing with the same stuff. So it's fun to be able to come together and share that.
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Thank you. And thank you for sharing so openly. And honestly, I really appreciate it. And I know my listeners will appreciate it, too. So yeah, thanks so much.
Pleasure. Thanks for having me.
Thanks for your company today. If you've enjoyed this episode, I'd love you to consider leaving us a review, following or subscribing to the podcast, or even sharing it with a friend who you think might be interested. If you or someone you know would like to be a guest on the podcast. Please get in touch with us via the link in the show notes. I'll catch you again next week for another chat with an artistic mom.