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Onnie Michalsky

US councellor and podcaster

S3 Ep83

Onnie Michalsky

Listen and subscribe on Spotify and itunes/Apple podcasts

On the show today I welcome Onnie Michalsky, a podcaster, coach and licenced counsellor from Montana USA and mom of 6 children aged from 23 to 8 years old.

Onnie began as a counselor in the mental health field. When she decided in 2019 to start a business it was inspired by her own challenges. Things like, the house would fall apart if she stepped away that she had to control everything, and that nobody could do the job as well as here. She thought that being a good mum meant everyone else's needs were taken care of often at the expense of their own.

Her online business Moms Without Capes brings plenty of her own strategies and experiences with "Supermon syndrome", or "the perfect mother myth" and her progress with overcoming it. To let go of the negative self talk the perfectionism the people pleasing and the unrealistic expectations, discovering along the way who you are, and learning to truly love yourself and your life and to finally hang up that Supermon cape. Onnie helps overscheduled stressed out mums to slow down recognize their worth and find their way back to themselves. Sounds pretty good to me.

Onnie Mom's Without Capes website / instagram / facebook group

Podcast - instagram / website

If today’s episode is triggering for you in any way I encourage you to seek help from those around you, medical professionals or from resources on line. I have compiled a list of great international resources here

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.

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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!


Thank you!


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.


elcome to the Art of Being a mum podcast, where I Alison Newman, a singer songwriter, and Ozzy mum of two enjoys honest and inspiring conversations with artists and creators about the joys and issues they've encountered. While trying to be a mum and continue to create. You'll hear themes like the mental juggle, changes in identity, how their works been influenced by motherhood, mum guilt, cultural norms, and we also stray into territory such as the patriarchy, feminism, and capitalism. You can find links to my guests and topics we discussed in the show notes, along with a link to the music played, how to get in touch, and a link to join our supportive and lively community on Instagram. I'll always put a trigger warning if we discuss sensitive topics on the podcast. But if at any time you're concerned about your mental health, I urge you to talk to those around you reach out to health professionals, or seek out resources online, I've compiled a list of international resources which can be accessed on the podcast landing page, Alison The art of being a man would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land and water, which this podcast is recorded on has been the Bondic people in the barren region of South Australia. I'm working on land that was never ceded. Hello, and welcome to another episode. I say it every week. But it really is a pleasure to have you and to welcome me into this world of encouragement and support for fellow creative mums. Today, I just want to give a quick mention to the email that I've been sending out every week. I'm really conscious of the fact that whatever we put online, we don't really own. And it could disappear at any time. And Instagram is the main way that I communicate with you all. So if you'd love to keep up to date with what's going on, in the event that you know, someone like Elon Musk takes over Instagram and recs that as well, or the simple thing like I get hacked and I lose all my data and have to start again, please go to my web page, Alison And sign up to the weekly newsletter, where I give a little bit of a more detail about who's on each week and a heads up about who's coming in the following week. And I also have a few little different bits and bobs on there that I don't share on the Instagram page. If that's not for you, no worries. Let's keep chatting on Instagram where I'm most active. And you can find that link in the show notes or just search for the art of being a mum on Instagram. Come say hi. On the show today. I welcome ani Michelle ski ani is a podcaster, a coach, a licensed counselor from Montana in the US and she's a mom of six children aged from 23 to eight years old. Five girls and one boy only began as a counselor in the mental health field. When she decided in 2019 to start a business it was inspired by her own challenges. Things like the house would fall apart if she stepped away that she had to control everything, and that nobody could do the job as well as her. She thought that being a good mum meant everyone else's needs were taken care of often at the expense of their own. Her online business moms without capes brings plenty of their own strategies and experiences with Superman syndrome with a perfect mother myth and her progress with overcoming it. To let go of the negative self talk. The perfectionism the people pleasing and unrealistic expectations, discovering along the way who you are, and learning to truly love yourself and your life and to finally hang up that Superman cape. In her business mums without capes on he helps overscheduled stressed out mums to slow down, recognize their worth and find their way back to themselves. Sounds pretty good to me. I hope you enjoy today's chat with Arne. Thank you so much for coming on the podcast Ani. It's such a pleasure to meet you and to welcome you today.

Yeah, I'm excited to be here. Ellison.

Oh, that's awesome. I'm really pleased. Yeah. Tell me whereabouts you are in America.

In Montana, which do you know what that is? Because I didn't know where it was.

It like not fully south but in the middle somewhere. No, it's

not in the north like it kind of is right Canada is right above

us. Okay.

Where the third state from the west. Yeah, right. I'm from the East Coast though. So when I met my husband, I had no idea where Montana was.

I'm learning so much about about geography, like American geography. It's really quite interesting. So what's the weather like man at the moment?

Today was actually in the 50s 50 degrees Fahrenheit Yeah, People are wearing just like jeans and sweatshirts, that kind of weather. But usually, it is, you know, two weeks ago we had to, like below zero temperatures, and it was absolutely frigid out. Usually we have ice packed roads through the winter. Right now we're just experiencing a little bit of a rarity these days.

Yeah, so that's 10 degrees for us, which is cold. Like that's cold for us here. For me here. That's a cold winter's day. We don't get that very often.

I still wear my coat even though I like the true Montanans like jeans and a sweatshirt, but I'm still bundled up with

me, wherever he from originally.

So from the I'm from outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Yeah, right. It's the same except our winters aren't as long or as cold. I don't think so. We still get snow and stuff. But yes, longer summers there.

Yeah. So when, when I saw on the news a few weeks ago, you guys had really, really like ridiculously cold. Temperatures. Did you guys like lose power and all that sort of stuff and have storms or

anything? No, I don't think we lost power. It was just so frigid. Like we didn't even want to go outside. I pretty much like hibernate from October through. It takes a lot to get me out of the house. And I had to invest in a good pair of snow boots and snow pants and everything when I got here, because for the first few years I like did not go out of the house for real.

Yeah, it's cold. Yeah, well, I'll tell you here today, it's all worked out before it's about 71 in Fahrenheit, and beautiful blue skies. Some shining. It's just it's a really nice day apart from it's a little windy. That's the only thing. But the other day it was have to convert it. Hang on. It was 36 centigrade, or Celsius here. So what's that in? You? Know? No, not here where I'm from. We don't get anywhere near as cold. Yeah, I wouldn't like that either. 9896 96 Fahrenheit. It was here just a couple of days ago. So it really fluctuates. Yeah, we'll have like days, a couple of days really hot. And then we'll go back to sort of meet whatever. 70s

No talking at all. No wonder you guys are all sick all over there. Oh, I

honestly, I swear it has something to do with it. Yeah. And you get you just get used to something and then it changes on you. And that messes with you. With everything in your body and name. But anyway, enough about that. I actually find it really interesting. When I talk to people I want to know what what the weather's like. It's just something that I find really interesting. I don't know.

Funny, cuz like talking about the weather is like consider like that small talk.

I know what I know. Because it's

when I was a kid, I had a lot of pen pals from around the world. And I just loved knowing what what the weather was because like, it's so different. Like, obviously, we're just talking about you know, I don't get snow. You guys get snow. I find that it's a whole different world. And I just find that really interesting and exciting. Have

you ever seen snow like have you ever bit experience? Yeah,

we did go once but we didn't. We didn't ski like we just went to literally say the snow. And it was different to what I thought like it was really wet. Like I thought it would be I don't know what salary but like, yeah, like, Yeah, I like sat down and just got saturated. Because we weren't planning. Yeah, we just had normal clothes on. We just went for a drive one day when we're in Melbourne. Yeah, but I'd like I'd love to go skiing. I think it would be really fun. I don't think I'd be very good at it. But I'd like to try.

I went in high school for my first time we tried to take the kids every year. A few years ago, my husband and I decided to try snowboarding. Yeah. Well when I went in high school, it wasn't until the very last day that I actually got the hang of it. And then it was years and years afterwards until I got to go try again. And I am not an avid skier at all but a few years ago we tried snowboarding and that I was even worse. My calves were killing I really was like the most awkward thing was getting up on the snowboard. Yeah, it was just awkward my whole butts up and I wouldn't be a cool snowboarder and it wasn't happening.

Yeah, I love watching them on the Olympics and stuff how they just like raw down here and then they just stop like they turn themselves in. They just stop so effortlessly. That would not be me. Oh god, that's classy

you're cold mums without cakes, which I think is fantastic. Can you share with us what the premise and the sort of ideas behind that?

Sure. So I created a whole business moms without capes. And what it is, is I help super moms who moms who think they have to be doing everything and taking care of everything. And with the huge like mental load and all of thinking they have to do all the things, and I help them create margin in their day for themselves. I helped them put themselves on their, on their to do list and give themselves permission to focus on themselves. So that's, that's really my huge mission is to help moms recognize their own worth, and give themselves what they need.

That is that is so important. Like that is the biggest thing that we talked about on this show, it always comes up is that people mums need time to still be the person they were before they had kids, you know, that side of you just doesn't disappear and fly off into the distance. It's like it's particularly go there. Yeah. Creative and I've always had a passion for making and creating and doing trying to find that space within the you know, the role of mothering can be tremendously difficult. But it's so important to do it because, you know, just helps you be yourself I suppose.

It's It's so true, like moms tend to lose themselves when they're sacrificing their, their identity. For the for being a mom, right? It's almost happens naturally you had to fight against it. But I helped moms like recognize themselves in the mirror. Because you get to a point where you're like, I don't even know who I am anymore. I don't know what it is that I like, because for so long, you're just doing everything for your family. And you turn around one day and you don't even recognize yourself who you are what what your purpose is beyond being a mom?

How did this come about for you? Is this from like personal experience or anything like that?

Yes, absolutely. So bite fi trade, I guess or I am a licensed counselor here in Montana as well. And so in the mental health field, and when I decided in 2019 All right, I'm gonna start a business right like that was like, as if I was just gonna know exactly what to do. I started learning more about you know, coaching and how to create a business and everything's like, everyone's like you have to niche down. And, you know, after I learned what that word actually meant, I had niched down to weight loss was what it was, because as part of my story, which we'll get into in a second, I had lost weight. And so I was like, Alright, I'm like, I'll do weight loss, right? So I started with that. And then I started gaining weight and I was like, this is not working. Well, I can't even get like a handle on like my own weight. I felt like it was worse than imposter syndrome. So I decided to do some more exploring and some more just you know, journaling, some talking to other moms and like just realized like trying to see like, what can I bring to the table? What can I create a business about? And who do I want to serve? So I knew right away even with weight loss, like I gravitate towards the helping moms. So I am a mom of six we have six kids. So I create a Mazda that capes as a way to bring my own experience because back in 2011 when I had lost when I started my like weight loss journey or started that I struggled with a lot of perfectionism and people pleasing and all the things that kept me from even taking a Zumba class. That was where it started. I wanted to take a Zumba class. and I couldn't figure out how to get the stars to line up for me to walk out the door. Because everything I did, I was homeschooling, I had to, you know, I was the primary, making sure the meals were all done making sure the house was all clean, like I had so many things on, like so many plates, I was spinning. In addition to like, I volunteered around the community and stuff that I couldn't figure out what it was that I needed to. So that really started my journey of like self development, and learning to get past those excuses that I was telling myself the lies that I was telling myself, you know, that I, you know, everything that I had to control everything that the house was going to fall apart if I stepped away, that nobody could do the job as good as me, right? All these things, these expectations that we hold. And I really had to do a lot of deep diving into all of that. And so yes, moms without capes, brings plenty of my own struggles and experience with the supermom syndrome. And much like my progress of overcoming it. Actually, I say overcoming it, but I still struggle. I just wrote an email to my my mom's and I was like, yesterday morning was like one of those moments where I was like, Oh my gosh, like, everything was everyone needed me within a 10 minute span. And I was just like, I can't do this. I can't do this. Sorry. So like, I have to continually keep myself in check. But where before I would just continually to like give give give. I've gotten to this point where I'm like, Okay, what do I need, and I give myself that. So like, in that case, yesterday morning, I was like, Okay, I need to walk out I need to breathe, I need to communicate to my family, like the effect that this is having on me like feeling like claustrophobic almost like, you know, you know, and I was able to rebound a lot faster than I would have 10 years ago when I was really like just thinking that, you know, to be a good mom, I had to make sure everybody else was taken care of. So I've done a lot of progress that way. But at the same time, I know that I it's not it comes back, the overwhelm comes back at times, you know, it's just the seasons, it's the seasons of like, you know, and the thing is our oldest is 23. And then we've got a 19 year old to 16 year olds, a 12 year old who's about to be 13 and eight year old. So by the time I get to the year, I'm like, I'm just tired. Yeah, you know, and like, I'm a completely different parent than I was 12 like 23 years ago, right? Like our older kids, like, never video games. Like I was always like, no, like that would make me a bad mom. And like, you know, try and like that the rains I was like home holding thinking that the world was going to collapse. Like I was able to definitely loosen up and when I say let Fun Mom sure face, you know, like, back and relax and like, enjoy company like enjoy like the company of my family and do things that before? No, because I always had to be the Enforcer. I always had to be the one that it was a lot of communication with a lot of personal work.

Yeah, good on you. That's, that's so inspiring that you've been able to do that. Now Good on you. Because I think you took equal like the Superman syndrome by this perfect mother myth that the good mum, in our mind, I think we've got all these stories we tell ourselves of what this person looks like. And there's a fantastic sociologist over here name's Dr. Sophie Brock. And she talks a lot about this and that person, they don't actually exist. Like, if you write down all the things that you think is makes the perfect mother, that person does not live on this earth, like they do not exist.

But we keep beating ourselves double standard. Yes. And

I think a lot of it, like, you know, the comparison that we we look at other people, we think, Oh, they they're doing that on my I should be doing that. Oh, you know, you're talking about the screen time or my kids on screen time. This long? Oh, maybe I shouldn't do it. A lot of it's, you know, brought on by this judgment of others or social media, you know, shows us these ideals that were supposed to be Yeah, literally a highlight reel of 10 seconds of someone's life. And, and we compare ourselves to that. So being really conscious of what we want to do as our own self, you know, not doing what the neighbors doing or what the person on social media is doing. It's it's really hard to do. But I think I don't want to say that's what it boils down to because it's so much bigger than that. But you know what I mean having the faith in yourself to say right, this is what I want to do for my family. These are the rules in our house regarding whatever Uh, you know, the expectations we have or the morals that we have or whatever, and trying to do it without looking. So

that goes down to you know, you have to know yourself to trust yourself. Yeah, with a point where you, you don't know yourself, yeah, it's really hard to trust yourself and then you get caught in that compare game. It reinforces that feeling or that belief of being inadequate, or like never measuring up, right. And then we have these huge to do lists that also create this feeling of like, I'm never good enough, or I'm never enough. And so by removing that, and recognizing, like collecting the evidence that says otherwise, because there's plenty of evidence that says that you are a good mom, right? Like you said, like looking at that definition. And you're like, No, like, why am I holding myself to this double standard, but you've got to be aware that you're doing that, because so many times we do it in our mind. And we can we compare ourselves to other people, we compare ourselves to this definition. And it's not getting us anywhere, except feeling worse about ourselves. It keeps us in this like, perpetuating cycle, where it's awareness is one of the very first step of realizing like, I don't have to be this doesn't have to be the norm.

Yeah. Yeah. Which is, yeah, can be really challenging to do. It's sort of I can't think, well, it's called there's a Maslow's hierarchy of needs. And it's like, you get to the top menu, like self actualized or something. And it's like, how do you know if you are that? You know what I mean? It's sort of that thing of looking at yourself. From outside in? And I don't know, it's a weird, I can't describe what I'm trying to say. But anyway,

right. Right. But like, that's self awareness, PS. Yeah, like, but first of all, like, give yourself that permission. Like, it's okay for me to spend some time on myself and in reflection, and asking myself what I need. Because, you know, I'm working with a lot of people pleasers that have a hard time setting boundaries. Yeah, I have a hard time like, you know, stepping away from that people pleasing, saying no, because, you know, you're saying no to other people, you're saying yes to yourself. And so you've got to, you've got to do the work, you've got to be aware of what what can change and have that belief that things can actually change?


There's a quote that I read on your website, about putting out putting our needs first without feeling guilty. How is that possible? is a massive topic that I love talking about. I find it incredibly fascinating.

That's so funny, when you just pull that coin like, oh, gosh, what's she gonna say?

Everybody says, everybody, when they hear me start going, they think, Oh, what is it? Everyone's

caught off guard one time when I saw them. Say, like, they wanted me to name the like, the seven things that like I just done like a Facebook live about. And I'm like, I just did it the week before. And I was like, ah, like, I don't have my notes for that. And then she's like, well, let me remind you

to remember and reason

about guilt. This was, this was something I really struggled with. And that is something that I also like, I see the progress that I have made, because I feel way less guilty. And let me tell you a story about when I first moved to Montana and my mother, like my my own mom rarely took her kids and we moved here when I was pregnant with number five. So when we were there, like we had four kids and my mom would like rarely take more than one at a time. So when we moved here, my mother in law called me up and she's like, I want to take the kids for the weekend. And my defenses went up now my mother in law is a great mother. Like she you know, she raised my husband like no problems whatever like I I went into a panic like because I had all these things like nobody can do the job as good as me and my a good mom because I'm like letting my kids go like leave me like that was like a touch. Separation anxiety on my part, but like, I all of these things were coming through my mind to the point that I got off the phone and like, cry to my husband. Like she can't take them like that. You know, we've got, I just had all these things, right. And so I, then I was crying to my best friend who lived in Pennsylvania. And she was like, Are you crazy? Like, let's talk. She's like, What is the worst that's gonna happen? Like you, you are going to enjoy this weekend like, let her take the kids, right. So she talked some sense into me, thank goodness because they went. And the overwhelming feeling that I had felt at that point was guilt. I felt like this tremendous guilt like of letting my kids like go. And they went, and it ended up being a really good week. Came back, we survived, everything was good, right. And it was doing those kinds of things like over and over. And even in small spurts. Like I talked about the Zumba class. Like, I felt like, I felt like one night the stars did line up, everything was good. There's meal in the slow cooker. The house was clean. The laundry was folded. It was a very rare moment. And I went to the class. And it was like I came back and like it was kind of like testing those expectations that I had or like that definition of good mom, and then taking the time to reflect on it and be like, holy smokes, I got away with that, right. Yeah, I started like collecting the like, things that like, where those expectations that I was holding weren't holding true. And it was at that thing that my, my belief started shifting. And when my belief started shifting, my thoughts shifted as a result. And then the guilt became less and less. And I also learned to ask for help. That was something that I was not able to do for a long time. And it's not that I'm perfect, and I still struggle at it. But I'm so much more able to ask for help. At this point. I've learned how to ask for help. And I gave myself permission to ask for help realizing that I can't do it all. And if I want the family that I want to, like have with the values in place, I want my daughter we have five daughters and one son so I'm like I want my daughters to learn that it's okay to ask for help. And I want my son to realize like that his wife is going to need help. Like we're always talking about like, you know, the other day we were watching a show my husband my son's like, it was about purpose. Did you ever hear the thing fairplay?

Yes. Yes. We were just talking about this on an episode I recorded a couple of days. Oh, yeah.

I'm actually thinking of becoming a facilitator for that. I was like, this is a game changer, right? About a practical tool to communicate the division of labor in the household. So anyway, so we were watching the documentary, I'd read the book. And so I knew what it was about. My son came in my 16 year old son, and he's like, we got this whole conversation about purpose. And it brings us back because he was like, Well, don't we give you a purpose? Try to lay the guilt on. And I'm like, Well, you do. But I made for more like I'm more than just a mom. And so yeah, like, being able to ask for help and have like that collaboration within the household allows you to live your purpose, more freely and more guilt free, like feeling like that. It's okay. It's okay to do that. It's okay to give yourself time and it's okay to give yourself space and it's okay to I know, you, uh, you know, your singing and your art and like all like, it's okay to discover yourself and to lean into your passions. And for so many moms. I've had moms cry to me. I don't even know what it is that I like to do. And I'm like, that's, that's okay, like, it's normal. It's sad as that is. There's so many other moms that are in the same boat. Yeah, like, Yeah, but let's, let's get out of there. Because you are men for so much more. Your family deserves a mom who leans into her passions. You're doing your family a disservice when you're putting yourself on the back burner or you're putting yourself not not focusing on what it is that you enjoy. So,

particularly moms that have had that, you know, mums that I speak to a lot, obviously creative and have had that outlet, usually before they have their child. And I find that myself included in this if we don't do that creative outlet. We're just not the people we want to be you know, and then even not just for ourselves, but then you actually have to go out of your studio or wherever you are, and then parent and be a partner as well. It's like if you don't have that outlet for us. Do you just, you know your feet all over the place. So it's so important.

I just, I'm taking piano lessons right now. And I love it. I love just sitting there like, I'm not really that good at I just started a few months ago, so but I do know a few songs and it's so relaxing. I took out my sketchbook and I was like, I need to start sketching like this was like two years ago. And my kids are like, you know how to draw. So just like, create, like finding those creative pursuits, and even like business, like I just remember, like, just even making posts and like graphics. Oh, Canva Oh, I love it. No die on that. Like, my rabbit hole, you know, like, it's like, yeah, just finding those ways to be able to express yourself and just create and get in the flow are so important, especially for moms. Yeah, absolutely.

You're listening to the art of being a mom was my mom, Alison Newman.

How'd you find your sort of adjustment to being a mum? Did you sort of have any sort of like identity shift like not identity crisis? But you know what I mean, like this going from? From from Nanta. Mum?

Yeah. So Oh, my gosh, a huge identity. And I would I think crisis was the right word. Yeah. It really was, like, really tight. You know, none of our kids were planned there, you know, 23 years ago. So totally different place. Like I was 22 when I had gotten pregnant, you know, and it was just like, it was a very scary time. I wasn't, we weren't married, I'm actually so with him. 23 years later, I ended up falling in love with him. And all of that, kind of did it backwards. But it all worked out. He's like my best friend everything. And we had five more. And I feel like every single time I was like, my editor really shifted. I was because I was in different parts. I was different places in my life. None of them were planned. Well, number two, we were like, well, maybe we'll have another one. And then I thought two or three years later, I'm like, Well, maybe not. We'll focus on my career. Because at that point I had was, had got my Master's in Counseling, and was working as an as an intern at a domestic violence shelter. And I loved it. Like I loved the work I was doing. And I was like, maybe I'll be one of those career moms, you know, it's trying to find out what kind of mom am I going to be? And then, you know, of course, how it happens, I got pregnant. So like, I kind of made my decision, I still, you know, is working and everything. And then I had not worked then we had twins, four years later, twins. And that was a huge adjustment, you know, and I feel like, every time I became and then you know, and then we moved to Montana, every time we became got the news, you know, like I was I was gonna be I was pregnant. It was, you know, a huge adjustment for our family and for who I was. And I mean, even that, even our last one, like, each time, you know, I had to figure out like, how am I going to do this? And what do I what do I see is like, important and what do I want to what do I want for our family? And then, you know, in 2011 That was when right after I had number five and so when I entered entered like pregnancy with number six, I had already discovered like the world like self care. And so I had really put that emphasis on making sure it's probably like my healthiest pregnancy. Yeah, cuz I continue to like, make sure that I was taking care of myself throughout it.

Yeah, yeah, that's yeah,

that's a really good point. Actually. It's

like, I can actually relate to that. After you've said it. I never thought of it. But yeah, I've got seven years between my two. And I was completely different points in my life, you know, and had different careers and different levels of experience. So yeah, that's it like every time you have another child, you basically find yourself again at a different place, wherever you are at that time. I was

like, you have the experience, though, like you're able to, like, kind of adjust a little bit differently than you did before. Because you've got that past experience. Like yeah, like I knew, like, this doesn't have to do with identity. But I knew by like, when I had the twins, like, there's no point of going to the hospital until I'm ready to like, drop, and I went and 15 minutes later I delivered. I knew, you know, by the time I had them, I was like, Okay, we have to go get something to eat, because I know I'm gonna have ice chips. You know, like,

and, like, just this is not related to anything at all. I'm just interested to know, each time you have your baby. Does your labor get shorter? Each time you go?

Yeah, yeah, I was. The last one was very strange, because that was the only one I got induced, because we lived an hour and a half away. And from the hospital, and I was so like, I think the doctor was afraid to that I was gonna go because we couldn't really judge when. And so it was really strange to just be like, All right, family, I'm going to have a baby. I'm gonna have a kid like, and to like know that at like six o'clock, I was going into the induced, like, that was the street and we hadn't found out the other ones, we found out the gender. And the last time we were like, well, we were kind of prepared for both at that point, a boy could work or pink and we don't have the swings. And like all the baby equipment that we had in our first few were like, we basically knew that, you know, when you have a baby, you don't need all that equipment. As a new mom, like a new fresh mom like you. You think you need all this stuff. And then by the time six, we're like, well, we can get by with like,

you could probably run I don't know, you might have already been write a really interesting article about the stuff that you actually do not need, like that much experience. It's like, yeah, done a really good point.

Like we had already tried the Diaper Genie like, they're all the gadgets and stuff. At one point. The thing is with having the kids like so far apart, like having the kids 23 to eight, like, at this point, like our eight year old gets robbed of like a lot of like, say for like the Easy Bake Oven. Like I'm like, I refuse to buy that. And I'm sorry, like, you won't have that experience, because I know it's junk. We'll just take a real cake and put it in the regular. It's hard to like Christmas shop for the younger ones. Because I'm like, at one point, we've had that and I'm like, and it's just not worth

it funny. Yeah, I like that. Yeah, you're like, Yeah, this this thing won't last long. You know? We're not getting these. Oh, that's really funny.

So growing up, what were you from a big family? You so um,

so my family I had we had three kids? Yeah, I was the oldest, I was the oldest. My My parents had me when they were 20. So, you know, kind of grew up with, like, when I look back, it's like last night we were looking through pictures, old pictures. And such babies. Like when I looked back at like murmurs or 20s. Like, oh my gosh, you're so young. I'm saying my husband pictures, like, Look at this. But anyway, so my parents were 20. And then I was the oldest. And then I have a brother who is 13 years, 13 months younger than me. And he is mentally handicapped. So he grew up, like we grew up, where they say Irish twins or whatever. Yeah. And then six years younger, my other brother came along. And then I thought our family was done. And, you know, I grew up, up until I was 16. When my parents both, both same parents decided to Well, they didn't decide they had, you know, an oops. It wasn't good. It was plastic. It was almost like, but it's so funny because when I was growing up, like all I wanted was a little sister, like I used to. With my dolls like that I had there was this doll called kids. It was like my buddy. And then it was I think it was like kid sister or something. And like, I cherish like my Cabbage Patch Kids. I always pretend like we're my sister. Like I always wanted a little sister. And then when I was 16 my parents found out that they're pregnant and ended up being a girl. I remember it was so embarrassing. I remember going into the bank and the lady at the bank said I bet you didn't even know your parents did it anymore. Yeah. I just 16 years old Allison. I was like worried.

I still remember. Like, you don't want to think about that at 16

I remember just being so excited though, to finally had that little sister and it was a cool thing because my my mom, one of my parents, let me come into the delivery room. Oh, wait. So I got to see the birth of her and I, you know, I wrote like, a whole memory book, like every day of her life, her first year, like, I just like, loved it. But then it was hard because I went off to college. Yeah. And I wasn't able, like I wrote her like letters, like when she learned how to go potty, or like, in kindergarten, like I was able, like, it was like, from a distance and I wasn't able to enjoy like a baby sister. In the everyday thing, like I was I was like, dying. Like, I wish that happened sooner. But it didn't happen now. She's 30 now. So she, yeah, and you know, we're not we're not that close. We're not as close as we want. Like, as I would like to be. We also live a country like a whole country across. They still live in the East Coast. here next week, I still go back and visit. But um, yeah, having that relationship, like so far apart. So I see that with my own kids. Yeah, like the oldest ones. And the youngest ones, like I know that they're, you know, even though like now, like our oldest will come to the little ones like, little like, any kind of school functions, like a Christmas concert and stuff. I'm like, I know that having that so far apart. That age difference is going to matter. But it's going to make a difference. But yeah, I mean, I can see with my own kids like the ties, the twins are like incredibly close. Yeah. And then like the different sibling combinations that

exists. And beat Yeah, the dynamics between them. And yeah, yeah, I we've just the seven years between my two I just think I mean, I think I was mad for going back again. But, you know, that's the way it worked to circumstances. And that's how it happened. But yeah, I think as they get older, they'll get closer, because at the moment, I think they just drive each other crazy. You know, Alex

is, like the every day like just tolerating.

Yeah. And they seem to stare each other up quite a bit.

which buttons to push each other? For sure.

Yeah. But I think yes, they get older. I think it'd be lovely for them to have have that. Because yeah, at one point, we thought we just have we just have one. And that'd be the end. And then my dad said to me once, do you realize that, Alex, because that's my oldest that he won't have aunties and uncles or something is sort of there was some relationship that he pointed out that he wouldn't get because he was an only child. And I sort of went, Oh, shit, like, that's, I'm

like the cousins. And it was like,

I'm denying my child, this part of life, or relationships with people because of my decision. And it didn't make me all of a sudden, go. Yeah, but it just made me realize how responsible I was for parts of his life that I might never even experience or may never see. And I thought, Damn, you dad put me through. It is lost. And also like, I think as we get older, as parents like, for them to have to organize, you know, like health care as we age or put us into a home or whatever, you know, it'd be nice for them to have each other to make decisions and talk to about stuff. And

they just need that now with my mom and like, she's one of five. So she grew up in a pretty big family and like now with grandma, who's 93, like her having like those other siblings to bounce things off and like to kind of share that care across siblings. So you're kind of like providing for your own security. We got half a dozen kids. Maybe hopefully one or two of them will care.

Yeah, by planning craft.

Like, parenting like my mom. My mom was a stay at home mom for the whole time I was growing up up until I actually had our first my first kid when we had areolas that my mom decided to go back to work. And then so she's been like a working for so for my sister. She's been a working mom like her home. So we even have that different. That different dynamic right there.

Yeah, it's interesting, isn't it? Yeah.

Obviously, it's important for you to do what you do, as your own person as Ani, without being a mum is important that you're we've talked to before about, about role modeling to your children, but it is important, particularly for you girls that they say that, that you're doing your thing that mom does this and has nothing to do with that at all.

I think, in fact, when I, when I talked to other moms about self care, I do a self care challenge in my Facebook group. And that's one of the big things is like you are an example to your children. Like, like I mentioned before, you're an example to your, to your daughters, how like that they don't have to lose themselves, they don't have to lose their identity when they become a mom, or when they get married. Like they can be their own person and develop them. Like they're, they can continue to grow. Even, it's even more important after they change their role, or add a role to their life. And then for their for the sons as well. Like showing them like that, you know, that their mom doesn't have to, or his wife doesn't have to give up her, give up herself. For him. Like, it just kind of it provides that example or that model being a role model. So when I do practice, I'm like my kids know self care, like because they all it's all they do is hear my eight year old actually for Christmas, she she's not getting an easy Baker. She didn't get an easy bake oven. But she did get a self care journal. We were like, you know, like, Okay, well, what's your plan? Like, you know, do you when are you going to do meditation, like it lays its adult journal. But like, she sits there, like we were trying to fill out the spots that she was able to plan, like how she was going to take care of herself that day.

I think that's so important. Like for kids to understand that that's a thing, right? From a very early age. And like it's it actually exists and it's important to do.

Yeah. eight year old takes it to extreme though, that right now, right now she's in the middle person, not at this moment. But this week, she's been personally training my husband and she's like, become this like personal trainer. And I walked out the other day. They're both sitting on the carpet, like in the rug in the living room in like, in lotus position, meditating. And like, she's leading him in like so guided. Oh, yeah. That's so funny. Like, it's

good on it and good on your husband for accepting that too. Because I think can be hard sometimes for for men to slow down and take meditation seriously.

Just like, are you gonna do my class? Mom? Are you gonna say that she started saying that was gonna be $1. And I was like, No, I'm not taking your class. She's like, why not like because you're bossy I hear you

just love that. She's gone places that anyone could.

So tell us, if anyone that's listening is got really excited about this. And they want to catch up with you online and find you and get involved in what what you're doing? How can everyone find you?

So moms without capes, I've got a podcast and I talk all about different mental health things. A lot of you know, when I mentioned the perfectionism that people pleasing all the things that keep us from being able to hang up or keep. And then I also am on Facebook, I'm on Instagram too. But Facebook's my main platform. And that's where I have a fun Facebook community that I would love to invite your listeners to join me in. We do. I have a book club that goes on there. And you know, I tried to do some fun events. And one of those is included, like a self care challenge that I do where I give prizes, and I help you to find what self care is for you and help you make time for yourself. Yeah. Oh, that's all happens on Facebook.

Yep. All right, well, I'll put all the links in the show notes so people can find you and can click away. Is there anything else you want to mention? That I think was on your mind that you want to?

I just want to you know, I feel like my main mission is to help moms recognize their own words. And it starts by just asking yourself, what do I need? And so making sure that you are asking yourself each and every day, setting yourself up living with intention and instead of Just like zooming through your day with making sure that you're checking all the tasks that you need, think you need to be doing. Take a step back and just ask yourself, what do I need to feel fulfilled? Or what do I need to feel like me? Not Not me feel like you. First off that, and then start taking steps to get back to who you are, because your family deserves you. To be you not to be some shadow of who you used to be.

Yeah, that's a lovely note to end on. Thank you so much, Annie. I just love chatting with you today. I feel like I've got so cheeks are laughing I keep wiping tears out of my eyes. And laughter It's been lovely. All the best. I should ask you, if there's anything in the future that you want to mention, it's coming up or anything in particular, come join

the group. Because our Facebook Our challenge is actually kicking off February 20. So I will be right in Provo mode when this episode drops. So definitely come just search moms with that case right there on Facebook, where you said you're gonna throw the link in the show notes. And then that way you can come join the challenge. Oh, Mom's got yet backslash challenge and just get registered, but y'all couldn't do it all happens in the group. Anyway. So

beautiful. Thank you so much. It's wonderful. I'm gonna check it out, too. I think it's, it's really important to, even if you feel like you've got a handle on things, it's nice just to check in and just, you know, because like you said things ebb and flow and you have, you know, different times when things are going good. And then other times things might not.

Everything's falling apart. Like, am I doing? I have no idea what the heck I'm doing. I've never been.

I feel like that's the thing. Like we're all in this together. We're all just doing our best at the time. Like whatever the present time. We're all just doing what we can. And it's lovely to have that support and to feel like you know, you're not alone. You know, we've all got the same struggle as well. We're all thinking about how much time our kids had screen time. You know, we're all doing things.

Lovely. Thank you, Ronnie. Thanks again on. It's been an absolute pleasure.

Yeah, thank you so much for having me.

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