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Beyond “I’m fine”: How Moms Really Feel

Have you ever laid awake at night and asked yourself, “Why do other moms seem to have it all together when I’m over here exhausted and overwhelmed? Will I ever figure this mom thing out and feel like I’m enough for my kids? When does the worry end?”

If you have, you’re not alone. We all struggle with feeling this way. Today my special guests are Shelby Spear and Lisa Leshaw who have written the book “How are You Feeling, Momma? (you don’t need to say, “I’m fine.”) Authentic & Encouraging Psalm Reflections on the Many Emotions of Motherhood.”

These mamas have been through the trenches and combined have 66 years of parenting/stepparenting/grandparenting between them. You are going to love how authentic and vulnerable they are about their own struggles and challenges and what they have learned over the years and how much we all need each other and to know we are not alone.

Let’s dive in!

Scroll down to read the full episode transcribed.

What You Will Learn: 

  •  How mothers of different backgrounds can come together united in mothering.
  • What it looks like when we show up every day to do our best for our children without guilt and regrets.
  • The freedom we can experience when we’re honest and vulnerable about the hard parts of motherhood.
  • What a difference it could make if we reached out to other mothers and didn’t say “I’m fine” but instead told the truth.
  • Using humor as a tool to connect with your teens.

Where To Find Shelby Spear: 

Website: Shelby Spear

Website: Insight Timer

Shelby is a Certified Emotional Intelligence Coach, Certified Meditation Teacher (CMT), author, freelance writer, speaker, and love enthusiast who is passionate about helping others change the way they look at things so the things they look at change. Shelby has numerous stories featured in the national publication, Guideposts. She also has over 160 featured articles in online publications, including Her View From Home, Scary Mommy, Parenting Teens & Tweens, For Every Mom, Love What Matters, and Today.

Where to find Lisa Leshaw:

Her View From Home Articles by Lisa


You can find Lisa’s words online and in print at places like Her View From Home, Grown and Flown, Guideposts, and Chicken Soup for the Soul. Her decades of experience as a mental health professional along with her weekly empowerment circles give mommas of every age a place to celebrate themselves and one another. She prays daily that the world becomes a more tolerant and accepting place–hoping that each one of us will work toward making a lasting contribution to ensure this outcome.

Find more encouragement, wisdom, and resources:

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And here is the episode typed out!

Welcome to the Moms of Tweens and Teens Podcast. If some days you doubt yourself and you don’t know what you’re doing. If you’ve ugly cried alone in your bedroom because you felt like you were failing. Well, I just want to let you know you are not alone and you have come to the right place.

Raising tweens and teens in today’s world is not easy. And I’m on a mission to equip you to love well, and to raise emotionally healthy, happy tweens and teens that thrive.

I believe that moms are heroes, and we have the power to transform our family and to impact future generations. If you are looking for answers, encouragement, and to become more of the mom and the woman that you want to be welcome. I am Sheryl Gould. And I am so glad that you’re here.

SHERYL: Welcome, Shelby and Lisa, to The Moms of Tweens and Teens Podcast. I’m so excited to have you both on the show. We are going to have such a good conversation today. I have been loving reading your book: How Are You Feeling, Momma? (You don’t need to say, “I’m fine.”). Boy, do the moms need to hear your message about what you have to share today. We need encouragement and hope for everything that moms are going through right now.

SHELBY: Yeah, it’s a lot. We’re all going through it.

SHERYL: Well, I thought that we would just dive in. I thought it was fascinating. You’re both different. I’m wanting to know, how did you come together? How did you meet? One of you is Christian, and one of you is Jewish. Why don’t you explain your differences, too, because I think we need that in the world right now.

LISA: I think the most monumental draw for both of us is that we realize despite our differences in our backgrounds, our culture, our religion, our upbringing, that all of those differences are sameness, as women and mothers overshadow every one of those differences, and take center stage. 

I think the appeal that we felt towards one another, was based on that similarity. And that sense that we’re basically in a similar place, as mothers and women we’re walking through the muck of motherhood, and it doesn’t matter if we’re Jewish or Christian, who we worship, and how often we worship. We’re all in a similar trench. And if we just put aside those differences, and stop focusing so much energy on where we’re different, we’re going to start to recognize that our sameness is what’s going to take us through as mothers.

SHERYL: I believe that – that’s just beautiful. We need that – all the different ways, especially in our culture right now that we focus on the ways that we’re different, and how much we are alike. And that connection it’s very disconnecting when we focus on our differences, rather than what brings us together.

SHELBY: Yeah, we join in our shared humanity, and we love our children. And Lisa and I love each other dearly. And that is because I respect who she is, as a human being and we are all children of God, we’re all trying to do our best out here. And what makes us unique is what makes us beautiful. And what if we were all the same, that would kind of make life not so exciting, and it wouldn’t be such an adventure. We learn from each other. I’ve learned so much from Lisa. It’s been, what, four years now, I think.

LISA: Has it been that long?

SHELBY: It’s been that long. And but here’s the thing we’ve never met in person.

SHERYL: No? Seriously?

LISA: This is a partnership that doesn’t involve physicality, in terms of, we’ve never hugged. This is a virtual love affair. And it’s startling, the depth of this relationship and how profound it could be. Because sometimes, what we all get, as women and mothers, we all get caught up in so much noise. And Shelby and I, the fact that this relationship began in the fashion that it did, has enabled us to get to really understand one another, on a very intimate level, because of the noise that we always experience when we’re out in the world, and when we’re face to face is absent. So we really can pay attention to one another.

I truly adore her, and we disagree on probably many platforms in life. But where we intersect is the place that I think is most significant is that our hearts are in the right place. And as mothers, we want to show up, we want to be present and we want to love and so in that respect, it doesn’t matter whether you want to show up, be present, and love as a Jewish mother, as a gay mother, as a Christian mother, as a black mother as a white mother. It doesn’t matter the ingredients that have to be present. That’s what Shelby and I understand and that’s where we connect them.

I think we recognize how essential it is to do motherhood, not solo. But in combination with other mothers, some of whom are veteran mothers who walk this path, some of who were brand new sitting in the muck with us now, simultaneously trying to navigate this world.

And so for Shelby and I, this partnership has enabled us to explore motherhood on levels that I’m not sure people are given the opportunity to. So it’s been an absolute privilege. I think the book was the starting point. That was it, despite the fact that we wrote it together. That was the ultimate stepping stone. And now we learn more just in this friendship every single day. And so I’m hoping there’s another book in the works someday.

SHELBY: I’d second everything she said. I mean, we met because she’ll tell you a fabricated version of this. But I found an article she wrote in Guideposts, that was beautiful. It made me cry. And it was so touching and you can tell listening to her personality, you just get sucked into it. And the way she writes is exactly how she talks. So it captivated me immediately.

I posted it, tagged her, and then I sent her an email, asking, “Are you the Lisa Leshaw?” Because we wrote for Her View From Home because I had also written for Guideposts, and she was in the group Her View From Home. And so it was just kind of connecting the dots. And that’s how it started. But she thinks that I was doing worse than that. Right, Lisa?

LISA: I could take the gracious approach right now and just completely agree with you. I’m gonna segue into my truth. And my truth is you aggressively sought after me similar to stalking behavior. But in a very generous way. And what I recall, my recollection is that you asked whether or not I had authored the particular article in Guideposts, and then proceeded to list the other 850 articles that I had some involvement with over the last 35 years. I found that lovely.

SHELBY: Yeah. I looked her up because I was enthralled. I’m like, “Who is this person? She’s amazing.” And so the book came from an email series, we were writing, every day, we had people sign up, and we would share our perspectives on these emotions.

We had such a great response. The open rate was like, in the 80%, throughout the whole time, and people loved it. All we did was put it on Facebook. So I said, Lisa, this is a book, why don’t we reach more people with it. I had to twist her arm and bend her upside down.

It’s been perfect, because the Psalms with her being Jewish, and me being Christian, we both tie into that with our faith backgrounds. And there was literally a chart in my Bible that had the exact number. And it was like, the number of emotions that we want to do, and it was tied to each song. So it was meant to be.

SHERYL: That’s so powerful. How and you both are like yin and yang.  I found myself reading yours, Shelby, and then I would read yours, Lisa. And I’m like, Ah, ha, ha,

LISA: I think the revelation and the epiphany that we shared is that in the initial writing, the preparation for the book, we realize the number of times that we cross over emotionally into places. That mother’s experience daily was nearly identical.

I think that’s when both of us sat back and said, you know, what’s so fascinating, is nothing that you think is going to apply to motherhood. In terms of what you’re taught, the influences, your religions. Nothing, at least my view, matters that much, except that motherhood brings us all to a very similar place at very similar times, with very similar reactions, except we don’t know that, because, prior to the internet, there was no opportunity to express ourselves.

But with the introduction of the internet, mothers have a tendency to – I don’t want to say embellish, but perhaps just put what they perceive as their best foot forward. So we’re all misleading one another, not necessarily consciously or intentionally.

But we’re all putting ourselves in a position where we have to question What’s wrong with me? Why am I falling short of the mark, what I discovered is, that we’re all in the same trench. And before they ever introduced Elf on a Shelf or Minch on a Bench, I wrote an article for mental health magazine called, We’re on a bench in a trench.

We’re all in a motherhood trench. And depending upon what stage our children are at, at various intervals, we’re seated on that bench with different people the emotions are so similar. I visualized when I wrote that article, we’re sitting on a bench in a trench, that the older mothers, the women that had just experienced that stage would sit on the bench. And when they saw us coming, they would move over slightly, pat the bench as to say, sit down, enjoy, sit down and be part of this because that’s the whole concept of this – it’s not meant to be done solo.

I shared with Shelby a little bit about the kibbutz in Israel. I said, maybe someday I could take Shelby, we could go live on the cookbooks together for a while. But the women helping other women and sharing in the duties and understanding that in any given time, we’re going to be overwhelmed as mothers it’s okay to raise your hand and say, Hello, help. I’m not all right. And there are rescuers, there are helpers, there are healers. There are other mothers there that will come in.

It’s no different than the elephant tribe. You know, there are matriarchs and aunts that helped raise the baby elephants. I think when Shelby and I came to the conclusion that every difference we have is insignificant in comparison to the shared sameness of emotions that we experience as mothers at all different intervals and stages. That was a pivotal moment when we realize everybody else is probably in this trench with us. Except nobody speaks about it.

SHERYL: Yeah, I know. I feel like that keeps us so alone and isolated. I mean, you’re talking to Lisa about how important it is when we have been there, we can give hope when moms are going through that. And both of you are empty nesters.

your book also offers such a unique, message because you’ve been there. And when you think about looking back, what would you have done differently? Lisa, do you want to speak to that now that you have older kids? And you look back?

LISA: I would have done probably three or four things differently. One, I would have listened to my instincts much more. I just think that God gives a mother enhanced instincts once a child is born, I think as an adult, they’re kind of in the background faded for a while. And when that child comes into your life, I think that guy just flips the switch with a click, and your instincts kind of just start hovering around and present all the time.

Yet, I think as young mothers, there’s a tendency to just either be dismissive of them or not recognize that they’re there and available. And we rely on so many other people. I think instincts guide us.

I think number two, I would zippy the lippy. Raising children is a minute-by-minute daily battle. And I think that there are moments in life where we should say less. As we engage our children, we should sit back and become better listeners and I wasn’t the best listener.

I did too much talking because I thought that it was incumbent upon me as the wise mother who supposedly knew more to do the talking and to do the preaching, and invariably, that closes the door on the conversations. And that lets you learn much less about your children. So I would zippy the lippy.

Without a doubt, I would read fewer books written by supposedly experts in the field. And I will look towards the real experts, which are the mothers who have already walked through the phases that I’m now journeying on. I would have encircled myself with a group of mom veterans who I would have befriended.

Grandmothers, old wise scholars who I think tend to be pushed aside in favor of the more youthful moms because we want to bond and connect with mothers who were experiencing the stage of childhood in life that we are. I would have never extricated those older women. I waited way too long.

And so the experience I had, once I engage them was just ironic, an understanding that maybe had I brought them in sooner, it might have brought some change. I don’t know. Because as a young mom, I’m sure we’re closed off to older views, but that’s what I would have done differently.

SHERYL: Wow. Yeah, that’s so good. How about you Shelby?

SHELBY: Yeah, to all four of those. I can kind of lump into one major thing for me, which was, that I’ve learned that motherhood is the most epic personal development tool on the planet for me. I wish I had understood myself more and had more self-awareness, and was further along on the healing journey because I really needed help for my own mental health and my own traumas that I had not worked through.

And that stuff was bleeding into motherhood, especially in the early years. And that really affected a lot of things. Because my self-love wasn’t great. how we love ourselves impacts how we love our children. it’s not that I wasn’t doing everything to love and pour myself into them. But a lot of it was I wasn’t able to do as much as I could have because you can’t give away what you don’t have. Inner strength, I was trying to do a 180 and be everything that I didn’t have.

And there’s this thing that says 180 degrees from sick is still sick. So if you’re not understanding what’s going on. So my big thing now is this mindset of when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. And there are so many things that I looked at, with this particular lens because of my past, because of what I didn’t understand about myself. You assign meaning to all these situations with your kids, my fear and worry were off the charts.

The way we think about the situation is way worse than what’s actually happened oftentimes. So those are the kinds of things where I say it’s overarching because of having that figured out. I encourage women now to do self-care.  Jesus says you were blessed when we get our inside world, our mind, and our heart put right.

That’s key because as within so without. So what I’m feeling in here is going to affect how I’m experiencing everything on the outside with my kids at every parenting stage. So that’s what I would do differently but a lot falls underneath that.

SHERYL: I feel like you could be telling my story. That’s how I started doing Moms of Teens and Tweens. It was my oldest, who’s now 31. When she was a tween, I took her to therapy thinking I was going to fix her and then got brought into the sessions. And I was like, Ooh, I think I need to fix myself. It was like I think I’m the problem here and there was a lot of unfinished business I needed to heal.

I look back on that, although I don’t believe in living in regret, I do have sadness around thinking about the ways that I was so hard on her. Like you said, living in that fearfully anxious place trying to give her give the things I didn’t get. And overreacting.

I got out some of my old journals because we’re moving and so we’re packing. I was reading them. And I’m like, I just blew it way out of proportion. And it was more about me, it wasn’t really about her and my own stuff.

SHELBY: I would encourage people too. We’re doing the best we can, with what we know. When we know better, we do better. So we can’t drown in guilt over it. Because we’re doing our best, we are loving our kids like crazy and trying.

LISA: If you had to sum up in just a sentence or two, what the best mothers do – if there’s even a concept called the best mothers – they are present and they love. There’s no navigational map, and there’s no instructional manual.

I don’t know why we walk through life with this assumption embedded in our minds, our hearts, and our souls, then we must reach the pinnacle of someplace, some undefined phantom land of a perfect mother. we are flawed human beings, that walk into this stage of life, hoping and praying that we will do what’s best for our children.

That varies by household, sometimes by the day. And by minute, we hold ourselves to a standard that were bound to fail, if we don’t just say, “Wait a second. I’m here, I love this child, I’m going to do everything that is humanly possible in my power to express it.”

In the midst of doing that, I’m going to falter, I’m going to run scared, I’m going to make mistakes, but I am not going to stop trying. And I’m going to make sure my child knows I’m here, I’m present, I’m available, and I love. And in the context of all of that, there’s gonna be luck. And there are going to be days that you just say, I’m so trapped. If I can’t locate an exit ramp, I’m going to lose my mind. And there are days when we do lose our minds. And then we patch ourselves back up and we come in.

I think if we would just go with that basic premise, I’m going to show up, I’m going to love to the best of my ability and I’m going to be present, then we can’t create that self-defeating attitude, where we’re constantly asking ourselves, “did I do enough? Am I good enough? Is she going to be okay? Is he going to be okay?”

Because I always say to myself, for every second in life that a mother devotes to asking herself the question, Am I enough? Am I doing enough? Then you’re not present.

SHERYL: You can’t be.

LISA: You can’t be absorbed in that mental outlook of “am I doing enough? Why is that mother doing better?” In that comparison game. That’s like the little runner that goes in a circle. And eventually, you dig yourself into that hole and you’re deep in that trench.

I just wish there was a signal that every mother could come up with that the moment she began that self-defeating toxic mantra. “Am I enough? How come I’m not as good as her?” I wish that we had a signal. You rang a bell and we would stop ourselves on that track and say, “No, I’m here. And I am trying. And if my child sees that I’m here, I’m present. I love her and I am trying.” That’s the combination.

SHELBY: I just shared a meme this morning that said, “if we aren’t careful, our kids grow up when we’re not looking.” And that’s the thing – if we’re not present, and we’re consumed and we’re in that headspace, and we’re living in the past and we’re projecting this worst case, but we’re here now. they grow fast enough as it is without being losing time because we’re worried about it.

LISA: I think that is a toxic headspace and then we have to add to it and let’s look at the harsh reality. Motherhood is can be a place where you feel trapped sometimes. And if we would just say that – I feel trapped, I can’t walk out on my kids the way I would on a grocery line where there are too many people in front of me, and recognize the severity of that realization that you can’t just walk out you, you can’t divorce your children, the responsibility is so overwhelming to bring another human being not only into the world but into adulthood and beyond for the rest of your life.

I think if we would say that, we’d recognize it could be overwhelming and unbearable. And that’s when we have to put in all the other pieces that enabled us to be successful, starting with a support team of other mothers where you could get into a room and could say, “oh, my gosh, I feel trapped. I want to run away from home, I almost ran away from home.” But instead, I hid in the bathroom and pretended I was involved in some personal hygiene for two and a half hours.

Once we start to share how difficult it is and be honest with one another, who isn’t in the muck of motherhood. Yes, we have glorious milestones, and there are triumphs every day, but there’s also muck and when we get trapped, I think it’s okay to say, I feel trapped.

I think sometimes we just label guilt upon ourselves. “Oh, no, this is a beautiful blessing.” And I’m afraid if I speak my truth, I’ll be struck down by God. That’s unreasonable. We’re human beings. And it’s an overwhelming responsibility to raise a child. An exquisite one at that.

SHERYL: Yeah, the truth will set us free. Why do you think that we feel like we have to say we’re fine, Shelby?

SHELBY: Yeah, I think we actually believe that we’re the only ones that feel these things, all these emotions, and to admit, it’s almost like saying, I’m weak, and I’m not put together or something’s wrong with me. If I say I’m not okay, I have to admit that. I’m struggling and maybe social media has made that worse, because, as Lisa mentioned, before, people were trying to put all the best things online and sharing all the wins, which are great.

But if I feel like I’ve been really trapped and really struggling and not having the wins and I go on and I see everybody. I don’t want to say, this is hard, I can’t do this. And it’s societal, it’s a construct that’s out there that needs to be dismantled, we need to have a new way of thinking about it. Authenticity heals.

When I say to you, I’m drowning over here, I could just use an ear, then that opens the door. Me being authentic opens the door for you to then be authentic, it’s like, wow, she’s being vulnerable, and she’s allowing me to hold space for her. Then you form this relationship, and then you feel safe.

I can hold space for you. But if we hide all this behind closed doors…I think we’re that’s the way it was back then. We’re evolving. People would never even be having this conversation, maybe 60 years ago but we’re getting better. Don’t feel like you’re the only one you’re not alone. We all are struggling with life.

SHERYL: Absolutely and how speaking the truth and saying I’m struggling, and then that opens the door for another mom. “Really? It’s not just my kid. I’m not the only one that’s struggling with this” and then your anxiety comes down and you feel so much less alone. Ready to go back into your house and not feel like gosh, why is my family so screwed up? We’re not perfect, we’re human.

LISA: We’re conditioned and trained to believe that we’re supposed to be fine throughout motherhood, and we’ve failed to factor in that we have our own emotions and our own issues that come into play with our children. Sometimes they trigger them, sometimes they’re able to subdue us, but the bottom line is we’re a separate entity from our children. I think sometimes we don’t recognize we’re bringing in our baggage, our past luggage, along our children.

I think because we are conditioned to believe that motherhood is supposed to be an exceptional blessing, we’ve convinced ourselves that everybody else is faring better than us. And of course, we discuss getting caught in that comparison game, which is the most unhealthy vortex because it’s like the spin cycle in the wash.

You can’t really extricate yourself from that, once you start that comparison game, you’re likely to have a very distorted view of what’s really transpiring in every household.

The bottom line is, I always tell my friends, at the moment that you’re talking and believing that the mother next door is just finishing up all the little ancillary duties, and the house is under control, that children and they’re in their classrooms on time, she’s sitting on a rug in the middle of the living room, with her head in her hands, asking how am I going to sustain myself into the next minute. And once we have that imagery in our mind that the mother next door is on the same road that we are on, that’s when we can connect.

I think that’s what gives us in terms of a mental health outlook, a sense that we are never alone. Despite what we are constantly convincing ourselves. We aren’t alone, there is another mother sitting on a rock, and she needs to be reached out to. And if she’s reached out to me, then I call that the ripple effect.

So reach out to another mother. Because once we all come into the same room, we realize as we started discussing half an hour ago, background culture, heritage, religion, sexual orientation, they don’t hold the candle to the sameness that we experienced as mothers.

And if we stop pointing fingers at all of the differences and just quiet down for a moment, we would be able to hear one another. The same exact cries for help, the same anxiety, the same angst, the same fears about the world, we’re raising our children in, it would all come out. I think we could all breathe a collective sigh of relief and say, it’s not me, it’s all of us together. And in the glorious moments, we celebrate one another. In those heart-wrenching moments, we come together, and we raise one another. If we do that, then it’s like the caboose – we have friends. And, and that’s what we need.

SHERYL: Wow, that’s powerful stuff. You know, it is beautiful, how the two of you came together because so often we make it about: oh, she’s doing it right, I’m doing it wrong, or she’s doing it wrong, I’m doing it right.

You both come from different backgrounds and have come together, and using the Psalms that speak to your heart. In each chapter, you’ve taken a different emotion that the Psalms speak to, and how beautiful that is. Because when we get in our head, like you were saying Shelby, and into right or wrong, or the comparison thing, it keeps us from the connection. Do you have anything else to add to that Shelby?

SHELBY: It keeps us from this authentic true space of who we are. Of connecting to the true space of our children, of other mothers because all that stuff in our head is an illusion. It’s not real. This is real – the heart is the connection point.

If we can get behind all these walls and all these constructs and all this self-preservation that we’re all hiding behind, how do we pierce the veil and get to see each other heart to heart, soul to soul? Our children are where the beauty lies. That’s where freedom is for me is to drop the stories, drop anything that’s not limiting my relationship with my child or another person in any way because it’s up to me.

Is what I’m thinking about the situation with my kid useful? Is it helping? If not, why? Why am I clinging to it? And it same goes with any differences that we have. Love prevails through all of that. Love overcomes fear because it’s just fear. Fear of what we don’t understand. We understand love. We just have to believe it for each other. What was important to us is important to me. And I have to believe that about you and see that in you and the rest doesn’t matter.

SHERYL: And when we can give that to ourselves, we’re more we’re able to give it to our kids. It does start with us. Well, as we come to a close, we’ll have to have you both on because this is such good stuff. I know it’s going to speak to moms that are listening. What is your favorite Psalm? Do you have one? Do you have a favorite chapter in the book?

SHELBY: Well, mine is “Be still and know.”

SHERYL: I love that. That’s a good meditation.

SHELBY: I’m a big meditator and stillness is where all the answers come. That’s listening to God and that it’s not talking to God but listening.

SHERYL: Really good one – how about you, Lisa?

LISA: I no longer have a favorite Psalm because I find that each one is applicable sometimes on a daily basis, depending upon what stage of engagement I am in motherhood.  I’ve come to appreciate them all at different places at different intervals. I sing and I hum this – I hum curse words, so nobody can hear. You can hum and you can curse and nobody knows.

SHERYL: Oh, that’s a good one.

LISA: You come across as fun-loving and humorous. I sing loudly when I’m most frustrated with my children, I’ve been known to lay down on a rug and emulate a magnificent temper tantrum so that my children’s eyes cross. I have found that believe it or not, humor is probably one of the most advantageous resources that we have. Because we’re not always in a position where we can reach out to another mom, we don’t always have the Bible within two inches of ourselves. But we have humor that’s from within. And it’s a marvelous tool.

If we’re not utilizing humor in motherhood, we’re gonna fall short of the mark, because it’s just overwhelming sometimes. And we need to be able to laugh, at motherhood in general, and ourselves as mothers and our children, as we all take this journey, and we’re always near the edge of a cliff. I just think that you have to find something to laugh about.

SHERYL: There’s a reason they say humor is the best medicine, for sure. We tend to take ourselves way too seriously. Yep. Well, tell our listeners where to find each of you. So, Shelby, you want to go first.

SHELBY: If you just go to Shelbyspear.com, that’s got all of my social media links. I’m on Instagram, Facebook, writer’s page on Facebook.

SHERYL: And tell them what you’re up to because we didn’t fully get to that.

SHELBY: I’m doing some teaching now I got a license in emotional intelligence and meditation. I’m doing a lot of working with moms and other women. Changing the way we look at things. A lot of mindfulness stuff and slowing down is still that kind of work. And so I’m excited about that.

I’m going to transition more of that into what I’m putting online as well, just because that’s where I’m at. And that’s what really made a difference. And that’s what I would wish I had more of understanding myself. As a younger mom, I think it’s important. These last couple of years have been a lot, people seem to be more apt or want to be more self-reflective, and how can I be the change?

SHERYL: Yeah, we need more of that moms for sure.

SHELBY: There is a book I’m writing with, do you know, Esther Gertz for parents with kids that are older or in an empty nest, and then whatever Lisa and I – what our next book will be. We’re supposed to have a podcast what I’m going to say out loud on here, but we haven’t done it yet. “Breathe Mama Breathe” is the name Lisa came up with.

SHERYL: Whoa, I love it.

LISA: I recently retired from my career as a therapist. So now what I do is I’m on the periphery. I just offer my home phone number to mothers that just feel like they need a listening ear. Because more often than not, I have found and will believe this forever: mothers have the answers. It’s just sometimes it appears so befuddling and so bewildering. And if you offer a mom a chance to be a listening ear, most mothers discover in the context of a conversation, what they need to do.

And so I just decided, as I retired from my career to just stand on the outside and offer my phone number and an opportunity if somebody wants to just chat. I’m open and receptive to that. Because I think if we had an opportunity to just chat more, when we’re on that edge, and the cliff looks very near to us, we could all pull ourselves back.

There needs to be a give-back stage for moms as we age through so many phases. The give-back for me is just to say to a younger mother, I walked through this journey, and I recall how difficult it was. And I will listen. And sometimes listening is the most therapeutic offering we can make. We don’t have to have the answers.

Thank you for this lovely opportunity. Any chance to be with Shelby is joyous. But I’m just feeling very privileged that you offered us this format and this wonderful platform. I just think that more women like you who engage other mothers on this level, it’s life-affirming and life-sustaining. And we just all need a lifeline. And this is a lifeline. And it’s transformative, and I greatly appreciate it.

SHELBY: 100%

SHERYL: I’m so appreciative to get to know both of you and the way that you’re supporting moms and putting into the world more of what we need – that encouragement in community and to know that we’re not alone. So thank you, it’s an honor to have you on the podcast.

SHERYL: Honored to be here. Thank you so much.

LISA: Thank you. Hugs and kisses to everybody.

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