This Facebook Live with Jessica Larson of Mama-Be Self Care was recorded during the lockdown at the beginning of COVID but the insight we share about connecting with our kids applies no matter what season we are in.
I have always seen parenting as a relationship, not a strategy. That's why I don't practice or preach any particular parenting style. Each of us, as Moms, is different and each of our children is different. In my opinion, being successful as a parent means understanding your child's basic needs and what fills their cup. Building an honest and authentic connection. Nurturing your relationship so it feels mutually respectful and safe.
Lockdown may have afforded us an opportunity to openly discuss the challenges, stresses and struggles of motherhood in a way that may have felt shameful or guilt-ridden before COVID. What it did NOT do is change anything about the way I approach parenting. I have always been focused on the connection and the relationship and I can't wait for you to hear the tips and insights shared in this Facebook Live Replay.
One little note before we get started - the At Home Mamas Club is now known as the Happy Mama Wellness Community AND is still open for any Mama out there looking for support!
Dr. Jessica Larson is a psychologist, mother, mentor and founder of Mama Be: Self-Care for Moms where she helps women develop and implement strategies to lead connected and fulfilling lives.
In this episode we talk about:
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Connect with Lynn on instagram @HappyMamaWellness. Looking for more support with parenting and motherhood? Check out the Happy Mama Wellness Community here!
this Facebook Live with Jessica Larson of mama be self care was recorded during the lockdown at the beginning of COVID. But the insight we share about connecting with our kids applies no matter what season we're in. I've always seen parenting as a relationship, not a strategy. And that's why I don't really practice or preach any particular parenting style. Each of us as moms is different, and each of our children are different. So in my opinion, being a successful parent means understanding your child's basic needs, what fills their cup, building an honest and authentic connection and nurturing your relationship so it feels mutually respectful and safe. Locked down may have afforded us an opportunity to openly discuss the challenges and stresses and struggles of motherhood in a way that felt shameful or guilt ridden before COVID. And I'm really grateful for that. But what it did not do is change anything about the way I approach parenting. I have always focused on that connection in the relationship and I can't wait for you to hear the tips and insights shared in this Facebook Live replay. One little note before we get started, the at home moms club that I mentioned here is now known as the Happy Mama Wellness community, and it is still open for any mama out there looking for support. Welcome to redefining motherhood. The podcast is all about embracing the messy, beautiful and challenging journey of being a mama while building a business. I'm your host, Lynn Turcotte-Schuh de Lyonne trainer turned to mama mentor and founder of The Happy Mama Wellness community. Mama partnership isn't always sunshine and rainbows. Sometimes it's more like a never ending game of Whack a Mole constantly putting out fires and juggling a million things at once. But here's the thing, you're not alone, we are normalizing talking about the unique challenges of being a Mamapreneur breaking down the stigma that says we should have it all together and creating a safe space where we can share our experiences without judgment. So grab a cup of coffee or Chai, and join us for honest conversation helpful tips and lots of laughs as we navigate this crazy wonderful thing called motherhood.Dr. Jessica Larson:
All right, and hello, Lynn.Lynn Turcotte-Schuh:
Hello, everybody. So glad to be here.Dr. Jessica Larson:
Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. And I was telling you before we got on that this is like the universe, perfect timing for you to come back to me because we have had a really rough morning with our kids. And so I'm really like just eager to learn from you about ways to connect to during a very different time than what we're normally used to.Lynn Turcotte-Schuh:
So yeah, for sure. I'm excited to share. Yeah.Dr. Jessica Larson:
Awesome. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your business and kind of what you offer? Before we get started into some of the strategies?Lynn Turcotte-Schuh:
Yeah, absolutely. So I am a mom, first and foremost, like, probably most of the people that will be watching. As far as my business and what I do for a living. I'm a parenting coach, and a childbirth educator. And so I usually work with moms, and I help them build relationships with their kids based on small moments of connection. And the reason that that's my focus is because I really truly believe that parenting is not a strategy. It's not a technique, it's not something that we need to learn. It's just a relationship. And when we build that relationship, we make it strong, we make it positive, then everything else kind of falls into place. We have trust, we have respect. And it becomes a joyful experience for everybody involved. So I work really hard to help with that building that connection and building that relationship. I am the founder of Happy Mama Wellness as well as the at home mamas Club, which is my online membership. So I mostly work with moms in there. But all of this started just as I became a mom. So before I was a mother, I was an animal trainer, worked with marine mammals for almost 12 years. And I really, truly mastered became an expert in what I just said, building relationships through these small moments of connection. It just happened to be with a sea lion or a seal or a whale or a penguin. But that almost made it more difficult, right? Because you have to be patient, you have to be observant, you have to really put in the time and the effort. And that's kind of what prepped me for parenting because now I do the exact same thing with just with my child. So that's kind of how I worked my way into it. All right.Dr. Jessica Larson:
I love that. And I that I never thought about the point of like you learn how to be patient by working with animals before becoming a parent. Yeah, yeah. And I honestly, and I wrote parenting is not a technique, it's a relationship, what you said, and that really resonates strongly with me, because I do think we are so focused on getting the technique and the strategies, right. And thinking, you know, how do I do this? How do I do that, like, it's all about for at least for me, a lot of it is fit, feeling like I'm using the strategy or not. And so to get into that mindset of it being a relationship, it just changes everything, it changes the way you see your you see your children and, and how to, how to help them and how to connect with them. So I just love that.Lynn Turcotte-Schuh:
Yay. I'm glad Yeah, I saw a quote many, many years ago, and it was about marriage. But it said, relationships are not 50. They're 100 100. And that is stuck with me. And I apply that to every relationship in my life, that if you need to give 100% of yourself, and you should expect that from the other person. And when it's our child that we're talking about. We're teaching them how to build relationships and how to interact with other people. So what quite often happens is when we are giving 100%, that shows them how to give 100% From there, and it's not something we have to follow a strategy or technique. We just have to do it. And then they will learn from us.Dr. Jessica Larson:
Yeah, yeah. So tell me a little bit about what you're finding with yourself going through the COVID, and the closure and everything in your family, and also some of what you're hearing from mom's like, what are you seeing that people are going through right now?Lynn Turcotte-Schuh:
Yeah, I'm experiencing pretty much what I've been hearing, like getting mirrored back. And I am one that I am happy to give my expertise, and you be a coach and be a sounding board. Because even though I'm going through the same thing, it's always easier to see stuff for other people, right? It's always easier to see a solution for someone else than to see it for 100%. Yes. So I still am like, I can do this, I can help you even if I'm not necessarily helping myself right now, like that I have information and and tools that I can help others. So I've been hearing a lot, and I'm resonating with it. And what I'm hearing most is that it's a roller coaster. To sum it up, right? That we are having days that are like the highest of highs, because we've, most of us, at least have never had this much family time. Right, most of the time, we're like ships passing in the night. And most of us have never had this much time to just connect as a family. But then on the opposite end of that we're having the lowest of lows, because we're isolated, our whole routine has changed, we're not really sure what to do with the emotions that we're feeling. So that kind of puts us at an elevated place. And then our kids match that. And it causes all kinds of conflict. And then kind of everywhere in between. So it's really just this, and it's not predictable, right. But other thing I'm hearing is that it's not like, oh, we had three good days. Now here comes a bad day. It just, you know, it changes like the weather, and it's hard to handle things when things are flying at you so quickly. And none of us have ever done this before. So we're all kind of like the blind leading the blind, just kind of taking one day at a time and, and hoping that that we get through it. I mean, we will we'll get through it. That's not right, we get through it intact is probably a better way.Dr. Jessica Larson:
Yeah, cuz that's really what I've thought about with my kids as I want them to get through this feeling. Okay, like feeling as Okay as you can going through, you know, having to stay at home and not being able to see your friends and you know, everything shifting. That's been a big piece for me, it's just I want to make sure that we keep as much as we can kind of that social emotional piece going with them. And that's been more important in many ways for me than even like the academics. I mean, we have some guidance and you know, helping them in that way but but it is I like how you call it a roller coaster because I do think there are those days where like, everything is awesome. And we're like, this is wonderful. We're all having fun together. We're playing a game and everyone's getting along and and then those other moments where you're just like, oh my gosh, I don't know how I'm going to do this another day.Lynn Turcotte-Schuh:
That's exactly exactly what I'm hearing. And I agree 100% with you, we homeschool, my daughter, six, and we've been doing homeschool with her since she was three. And we actually went when all of the, like public school kids came down into their distance learning setup, we stopped homeschool, I we didn't do a schooling for the first three weeks of the quarantine. And then we slowly started adding stuff back in. Because even though my daughter didn't go to school, she still had horseback left riding lessons. And she did scouts and she was in dance class, and she had basketball. And so she was still involved in all of these activities. We saw our family a lot. And all of a sudden, that all just stopped. And so even as a homeschooling mom, I said exactly what you said, we need to allow space here for us to process emotionally, what is really happening. And I feel like that was a game changer for us, because it allowed us to kind of make an adjustment to this is our new reality. And we're gonna have really good days, and we're gonna have really bad days, but we can come back to this sort of grounding place where it's okay, because this is our new normal. Right? I absolutely that social emotional piece. 100% needs to take priority over academics. Yeah, that's my personal opinion.Dr. Jessica Larson:
So I mean, like when I think about this idea of it's about connecting, it's about this relationship. And obviously, we're in weird times right now, what does that actually look like? Like? How do you? How do you see that happening, especially as you were saying, to, like, if I'm having a bad day, or if I'm really more like wound up, it's much harder for me to be president for them. And they feel that they, you know, and that's why obviously, you know, we're real big on self care. And that's like, my passion. But it makes us more complicated now. But I guess my question is, like, how do you really? How do you focus on that relationship and keeping that connection strong when things are so up and down, and you do have those down moments where you're like, there's moments where I'm just like, I don't even know how to respond right now. Because I feel like, I'm exhausted too. And they're having these really strong emotions, and I don't even know what to do. What would you suggest?Lynn Turcotte-Schuh:
Yeah, so my suggestion, and I offer this perspective, or this insight, during normal times, not just the quarantine. And that is to not hide those downtimes, that those are opportunities for connection as well. And sometimes I feel like, those are even more important opportunities for connection. Because a lot of times our instinct is to protect our kids. And by protecting them, we don't show our struggles, we don't show when we're having those more difficult emotions. And even though our intention is really good, what that ends up telling them is mom doesn't struggle. Mom doesn't get frustrated, mom doesn't get scared. So if I'm struggling, and I'm getting scared, and I'm getting frustrated, something must be wrong with me, because mom doesn't get like that. Right? And so, my number one tip, especially for the down days is to not hide those, those moments from your children, be honest with them, if you don't know how to respond, say that to them sit down on the floor with them. So you're at their level eye to eye, you're you're equals in that moment, you're really connecting. And you say to them, You know what? Mommy doesn't really have an answer. I don't really know what to do, either. But I know that I would feel a little better if maybe we just held hands or hug. Or maybe we could think of something together that would help us move through this right just kind of be honest and raw and authentic with them. Because that shows them Oh, she is having this emotion. And we're going to model for them. We're going to teach them we're going to lead them through the process of getting to the other side of it. So now they're learning. I can feel scared. And I can tell somebody I'm scared. And we can process through that and I can get to the other side of it. And those moments are so strong, so important for creating that connection in the relationship. I think even more so than the other moments that we normally would Think of beyond that when we're having the good days. I think on the good days, we think, Oh, we're together. So we're connecting, no. The same physical space does not equal connection. But if you take just 10 minutes, 10 minutes out of your day, just to go to your child and say, Hey, let's do something, what do you want to do, and this is where love languages for me come in, because each child is going to connect in a different way, right? But so maybe we go for a walk, maybe we sit and read a book, maybe you play a game, maybe we have a dance party just tell jokes to each other. I mean, it's gonna be different. But it's, it's connection is getting intentional. And having those small moments, they don't have to be long, they can be real short in time, where you're really giving 100%, right, that relationships are 100%, where you're giving 100% In that moment, you're not distracted, you're not multitasking. And that's where the connection piece can fit in. So, um, the good days, it's just a matter of being in being present and intentional. And that's where you can do the connection.Dr. Jessica Larson:
Yeah, I think that's such a good point. I never thought about that, actually. Because there's so much where, when we are having those good days like that is when I feel really connected to my kids. And I do I love that part about like, really, these bad, the bad days, or the harder moments are really the moments where you can build that connection. That's I think that's a really important perspective shift for people. Because if anyone is like me, when I'm in those bad moments, all I want to do is get out of that moment as quickly as possible. Yeah.Lynn Turcotte-Schuh:
But so do our kids, though. Right? Yeah. Not to interrupt you, but so to our kids, and they don't know how. And that's what causes the tantrums, and the meltdowns and the big crazy, you know, emotional reasons, because they don't know how. So we need to teach them. What better way to teach them than to have them go through it with us. Yeah, I didn't mean to interrupt you. But I just wanted to say, That's great.Dr. Jessica Larson:
Yeah, no, that's a good point. Because you're right, it's not just us going through those big emotions, it's obviously there as well. And trying to really, I liked that idea of being a little bit more on their equal playing field, getting down to their level if there's, you know, smaller than you. And, and trying to help kind of move forward with them. So just trying to think of that would work this morning.Lynn Turcotte-Schuh:
Listen, I You say this stuff, and I still struggle with it sometimes. Right? But again, when I struggle, because I have those days where I'll everything else is called referred frustration, right? Everything else is building and my head's about to explode. And then my daughter comes in, I broke my crayon, right here, like, Are you kidding me? I have those moments. But immediately I turn around, I say I'm sorry. I'm really sorry. Right? There were some other things that mommy was having trouble with? That nothing to do with you. And I should not have spoken to like that. Right? What can I do to help you? Right? So again, we think that we have to be like, No, we make mistakes that teach our kids it's okay to make mistakes. Apologize, you move on. Yeah. These are all moments of teaching and all moments of connection that we just don't even that we just drive by them every day, we don't even stop and think about it.Dr. Jessica Larson:
I love that I'm huge in terms of repairing as well. And I think it's really hard to repair when you make a mistake as a parent, I think it's you you want I think so many of us think like we need to be in control and charge like, and so to admit that you made a mistake is really hard to you're, you know, you're younger, you know, your children, or even if they're teenagers, or whatever. But I think like that has been a game changer in my relationships with my kids because I am willing to say I made a mistake. I'm sorry that I did this, or I'm sorry that I yelled, you know, and Mommy shouldn't do that. And, you know, here's how we can move forward. So that I know is being for them and taking responsibility for my own actions and teaching them they need to do that too. It's hard.Lynn Turcotte-Schuh:
It's super hard. It's super hard because as a person you're like, I don't want to admit that I just made a mistake. Right? Yeah. And and then to do it in front of your children who you're supposed to be like teaching and you know, I'm too things off of your comment. Hopefully I'll remember the first one is that I used to have a hard time with that as well. And so our solution is that we just we did this about a year ago, we have turned the acronym fail on those, turn the word fail into an acronym, and fail in our house means first attempt in learning, when our entire family has a goal to fail at least three times a day, because that's the only way we're going to learn and grow is by making mistakes and having these fails. So if using that kind of perception or concept, when I have those moments of, oh, I just yelled at her. Right? I can talk to her, I can say sorry. And I can be like, dude, mommy just had her first fail of the day, give me a high five, right? And it just dissipates, the tension goes away, right? The tension completely dissipates, we both laugh, we both smile, we move on to the next thing. And it's just been a really amazing tool. I love it. The other completely disconnected from that thought, thought that came up for me while you were talking. You brought up older children. Right. And that is the reason that I put such an emphasis on connection and building the relationship. And why using those hard moments are so important. Because if you don't set up that open line of communication in the hard moments when your kids are younger, they're not going to come to you and feel comfortable when they're older, having hard moments. And isn't that what we all want as a parent for like our preteen and our team to come to us when they're struggling? But if we don't teach them that early on, then it makes sense that they don't come to us because they might feel like they are a failure because mom has never had any issues. Mom does you know what I mean? Yeah, so when we share those things, when they're younger, and we create that foundational relationship, through those moments of connecting in the hard times, we're building that, that structure in, we're creating those habits of, you know, I saw, this is connected. I know, it seems this is how my brain works. But I saw a post on Instagram the other day. And it was one of those beams where it's like two people talking. And it was this kid was at a friend's house and his mother, the friend's mother said, I'm going to call your mother, you know, like in the you're going to be so I'm going to tattle on him. And the kid said good, because she'll fix this. Right. And like, that's, that's what we want. We want them to be like, Oh my gosh, I am having a horrible day, I am having this huge problem. My boyfriend just dumped me or my best friend just did something horrible. I'm being bullied online, right? I'm being bullied in real life. I'm gonna go to mom, because she's gonna help. Because I know that she struggles to, and we're gonna work through this together. So that's why the connecting piece at the younger ages were sometimes were like, their little right? Why does the three year old need to connect about that? Because that it's gonna matter later, when you start young? That is their habit. That's what they know. And it's going to carry into those older years when we want them coming to us for help.Dr. Jessica Larson:
Yeah, I love that. That's awesome. My other thought, in terms of when we were talking is you talked about leading in your family. And I know I just watched the video that you did on leadership versus management. Like you have so many of these great, just like the fail accident, like you have so many great things. I love the way that you frame things for people, because it just makes so much sense. So can you talk a little bit about what it means to be a leader versus a manager and your family?Lynn Turcotte-Schuh:
Yeah, absolutely. So, and again, all of this, most of these things come out of my own struggles. I do not pretend to be any better than anybody else. I just kind of share what ends up working. But in in general, not just related to parenting. But in general, even when we're talking about like big companies and organizations. Leaders are creating the vision right there. They're inspiring their teams. They are the ones right from their name, kind of leading the charge and getting everyone excited and being there to help guide and support when problems pop up. Right there. They're just Just kind of that visionary. That is kind of like the wind lifting everybody up. A manager, on the other hand, is sitting there building systems and processes and micromanaging, assigning tasks and duties and, you know, making sure everything is happening exactly how it's supposed to happen. And there's a big difference in those two perspectives. So when we bring it back down to family, many of us as moms, many of the moms, I work with our managers there, they're managing their family. They're micromanaging what their kids are wearing, they're how you know, it's time to do schoolwork, it's time to take a bath, it's time to do this, they're picking out their outfits for the next day. They're they're packing backpacks, they're, you know, all this little stuff, in an attempt to make their life, like happen in an organized fashion. But what ends up getting missed is an opportunity to, to give our family a chance to build their confidence, and take responsibility and have some control over what's happening in their life. So when you can switch from being a manager to being a leader, you set the vision for your family, right? You set this tone, you set the culture of how your family wants to be how to interact, how are you going to deal with problems, how are you going to make decisions. And then after that, you get your own assignment, because you are a member of that team. But so does everybody else. And they are responsible for their own assignments. And that's hard as a man because you have to give up control. But when you give up the control yourself, then your kid learns to take control and to be responsible and to hold themselves accountable. And they feel confident and they get empowered by it. And so it just kind of helps everybody because it gets a lot of the stress and expectation off of your shoulders, because you are not responsible for every little minutiae anymore. And then you get to step back and watch your kids just blossom. Like you just get to watch them, turn into these amazing little kids are so creative, and such an incredible, incredible problem solvers. Like they will come up with ways to get their tasks done that you and a Millionaire was would never have thought of. And it will make them feel so proud and so excited. And that is a moment of connection, because you can celebrate their wins together. Right? You can it just Yeah. I love it. I feel like I'm rambling now.Dr. Jessica Larson:
But it just know, you're so passionate, and I think was wonderful. And I think it's like, it's a good way to remind us to finish it really does fit into that self care piece. Because if you're managing everything you're taking everything on versus being the leader where you're inspiring the your family to take some stuff on it, take ownership, and it really works well for everybody. It just takes some of that time to get things in place. Like you're getting the vision and that sort of thing. Yeah, so yeah. So I could talk to you all day. But I realized we're getting kind of close to the end. I would love for you to tell us how can we connect with you more I know I follow you on Instagram. I love all your posts, you always bring like really good content every day.Lynn Turcotte-Schuh:
But as far as just kind of everyday keeping connected. I'm on Instagram is my jam. I like Instagram a lot. But I'm on Instagram and Facebook both as at Happy Mama Wellness. And so that's that's a pretty easy place to find me and we can from there you can find out everything else. Okay. And your website's Happy Mama Wellness, happy mamawellness.com. Yeah.Dr. Jessica Larson:
Awesome. Well, I really hope people get connected with you. And follow me. Like I'm saying I've been following you for probably a year and a half. Maybe I don't whenever I started getting into the online stuff. And I just really enjoyed a lot of what you share. I think your perspective is refreshing. I know for those of us who are exhausted and feeling like we need nourishment, just having that change in the way you perceive your relationship with your child. It that's everything. I mean, really like that's the way we think about it. I think what you're doing is really, really good work. So I appreciate you somuch.Lynn Turcotte-Schuh:
That means a lot Jess. That's all for today's episode of redefining motherhood. I hope you enjoyed listening to our honest and candid conversations about the ups and downs of being a Mamapreneur Remember, it's okay to not have it all figured out. We're all just doing the best we can. And that's enough. So give yourself a break, Mama, you're doing an amazing job. If you love today's episode, don't forget to leave us a review on your favorite podcast platform that helps us reach more moms who could use a little encouragement and support and make sure to share this episode was a friend who could use a pick me up. We'll be back with more conversations about learning to love motherhood as much as we love our kids. So make sure to subscribe to our podcast so you never miss an episode. Until then, keep on redefining motherhood for yourself and embracing all the messy, beautiful and sometimes challenging moments that come with it. Mama thanks