Freeing Ourselves From Mom Guilt And Shame With Becky Baudouin

Mom guilt. It sucks our joy. It burdens our hearts and weighs out down.⠀

In this episode, I’m talking with my new friend Becky Baudouin who just released her latest book, “Enjoy Every Minute and Other Ridiculous Things We Say to Moms.”

Some of the shaming messages and lies we tell ourselves:⠀

“I am a horrible mother.”⠀

“It’s my fault. If I would have been a better mom my kid wouldn’t be struggling with this.”⠀

“That mom has done such a better job than me. Look at her kid and how happy they are.”⠀

My kids deserve better than to have a mom like me.”⠀

This is shame and there is a difference that we talk about between shame and guilt. I encourage you to go to our bio and give it a listen.⠀

It’s an honest, vulnerable and comforting episode. ⠀

Believe it or not, there are proactive things we can do when mom guilt strikes, and we can turn it around and use it for good!

Scroll down to read the full episode transcribed, if you don’t have time.

 

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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’re 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 to the show Becky. I am so excited about what we’re going to be talking about and your new book that just came out, “Enjoy Every Minute and Other Ridiculous Things We Say To Moms.”

BECKY: Thank you. It’s great to be here.

SHERYL: In your book, I love how honest, open, and transparent you are. I’ve been reading your book, and I was talking with a mom that I coach and work with. She was saying, “I really enjoy listening to podcasts, but I get really discouraged when I hear mom’s talk. They sound like they have it figured out. And they’ve arrived and now they’ve written a book. And I’m still in it and I don’t know if I’m going to have a happy ending.” It was reminder to keep it real and raw here on the podcast. So let me start out by asking you, we’ll just jump right into this.

What are one or two of your biggest mom fails?

BECKY: My biggest area of struggle over the years has been my anger — managing and controlling my anger. It’s not exactly what you might think. It’s not like I’m just an angry person. I didn’t think I would be an angry mom.

But I write in the book the first time I lost my temper, like really just lost it in front of my daughter. She was only six months old, and I didn’t get mad at her. I got mad about the circumstances. She was sick and had an ear infection. For some reason, I felt guilty that I had allowed her to get sick. I know it’s irrational, but I felt like I must have done something wrong. I was getting conflicting advice from my chiropractor and my pediatrician whether or not I should give her the antibiotic, then I’d have to give her probiotics and I just, I just didn’t want to mess up at all. I felt so much pressure.

So she was sitting in her bouncy seat, and I got the liquid antibiotic and I squirted it in her mouth. And she spit it all out. And it just ran down the front of her all over her shirt. And I just flipped out it was like I just lost it because now I didn’t know how much she had swallowed.

Am I supposed to give her another dose do I give her half a dose. And I walked into my kitchen and we were in a small apartment. So it was all in one space. And I slammed the cabinet door. And then I grabbed the frying pan off the stove that still had our scrambled eggs in it from the morning and I flung it in the sink. And I started yelling, and then I caught her out of the corner of my eye and she was just looking at me like startled. Yeah, immediately felt so much guilt and felt like oh, you know, I’m a terrible mom. That’s what I was just thinking. And I remember thinking, she’s young, she’ll never remember this. And I’ll never do it again. And of course, I did. And over the years, I think I just over and over found myself in situations where I didn’t know what to do. I was stressed out. I felt like I was inadequate, ill equipped.

And anger is for some reason, I think partly because I grew up in a home where there was a lot of anger. But that was sort of like my leading emotion that would come out. So I have a lot of stories in the book just about struggles over the years and kind of what I did. stumbling forward, I would say as I would get better at handling my emotions, but also figuring out what’s underneath. Because underneath my my anger a lot of times is fear.

 

SHERYL: Yeah, I love how you make that connection and how you share that here. You are trying so hard to do everything right? But you’re getting conflicting messages, and don’t give her the antibiotic give her the antibiotic. She’s sick. It’s your fault. Yeah, and all of that is just stopped inside.

 

BECKY: I blown many times over the years and it’s been a process it’s it’s definitely gotten better. And I think I’ve become more emotionally healthy overall to be able to deal with the fear that’s underneath. And also this when you realize you don’t have control. It’s a terrible it’s one thing when you don’t have control over things for your own life. But when you are, you know, you have these children and you realize you can’t control what happens to them either. Or you can’t control them. It’s just it’s really, really hard.

 

SHERYL: You have four girls, right?

 

BECKY: I have three girls and one’s getting married.

 

SHERYL: And then is she going off to college?

 

BECKY: Yeah, so my oldest is the older two are in college. But Kate is graduating next weekend from nursing school, and then getting married. And then her and her husband will be moving to England for their first year of marriage. So he can do grad school. And then my 20 year old is a sophomore in college, and then we still have a 15 year old at home.

 

SHERYL: Oh, wow. I want to like simultaneously get the Kleenex out. Also get excited for you. Yes. You know, I mean, all talk about not having control. Yes. You know, at the age the ages that your kids are. Having tweens and teens, but then having your daughter get married, and then move away. Yeah,

What’s that like for you?

 

BECKY: It’s, um, it’s a lot of letting go. And I feel like I just keep in my relationship with her seen that she’s ready. Like she’s been becoming, you know, this adult and she’s, she’s ready, but it’s me having to let go. And it’s not easy. I’m excited. And it’s I know it’s gonna be, it’s gonna be hard to get to.

 

SHERYL: Yes, it is. And that’s great point because we can feel so many feelings all at once. Yeah. And this stage of life when you have tweens, teens, young adults, there’s a lot of that letting go. Yes. Yeah. And, and it’s not easy to do. tell our listeners First, let’s just start with what led you to write the book.

 

BECKY: So this is my second book. But I feel like, in some ways, I feel like it’s my first because I’ve been writing it for like 10 years, I started writing and speaking to moms about 10 years ago, I had a column in the Daily Herald. It’s a newspaper in Chicago, called a mom’s point of view, or I just wrote, every month for almost five years, I wrote just anything I wanted to about being a mom, I experienced as a mom, it was such a great way for me to cut my teeth as a writer. And then that led me into speaking at moms groups. So I love doing this.

I’ve been doing it for a long time. And one of my favorite things after I share a message is then sitting in on a group discussion afterwards. And I always ask the leader, is it okay if I sit at a table because that’s where I get to hear what these moms have to say, you know, and what their takeaways were, what resonated with them, what their experiences are, they’re hilarious stories. And I just have been I just put that back into writing. So I’ve had a lot of this content for a long time. I just it needed to be the right time for me to kind of piece it all together and find a way to make it work. Yeah, important things I wanted to talk about.

 

SHERYL: Yeah. Well, and you do have a lot of humor in the book, too. I was laughing. I was laughing out loud with the teenager chapter. And yeah, it’s really there was some really
funny things. Yes.

 

BECKY: Well, I wanted it to be a book that I think it makes you laugh. And I think it makes moms some moms cry too, because they’re just so hungry to hear. Words that will encourage them and let them know they’re not alone. And then there’s so much humor in there, too. I had a lot of fun with the it’s basically 12 cliches or myths that I sort of pick apart and look at and some of them are really funny. So I had, it gave me a good structure to kind of talk about a lot of the important things I wanted to talk about.

 

SHERYL: Yeah. Did you have a stronger feelings around one of the chapters like something that like really? I wasn’t planning on asking this question, but yeah, something that you know how you have somebody say something. And what Becky’s explaining is, every chapter is something that we say like a platitude. That isn’t true. Yeah. Or you would explain it. Yeah. to each other, like all one chapters. Oh, just wait till they become teenagers. Yeah. And yes, there’s you talk about Yes. There’s truth in that raising teenagers can be really tough. But you normalize that as well. Yes.

 

BECKY: And there’s good there’s so many good things. And why do we say that to young moms when they’re already overwhelmed with their kids, and then we throw out there. Just wait till they become teenagers. It’s just like a funny thing that we say, you know, that’s not really helpful. Yeah.

 

SHERYL: And slaps a little bit more fear on there that we are enough off, for

 

BECKY: Yes, but to answer your question, I think the so chapter four is probably the one that I just felt I talked about mom guilt in this chapter. And I talked about what I call broken parenting. So some of the, for me the anger that I feel like, I was doing an interview with someone and I talked about growing up in a home where there was a lot of anger. And she said, it’s really like you and you were an intern in the School of anger. And when she said that, that made a lot of sense to me, because it’s what I saw. It’s, it’s what I learned. And it’s sort of like my knee jerk reaction, you know, when something feels out of control, or I feel upset. So I talk about that. But the mom guilt was, it’s something that I hear from moms all the time. And so I really wanted to talk about that. So that I put in the chapter if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy, which is fun to talk about, because some people will still say, well, that’s really true. But my point is, that’s a lot of pressure to put on a mom that the mom has to kind of make everyone happy, keep everyone happy, she’s got to be happy. And if she’s struggling, then it’s almost like there’s not space or understanding for that. So I talk about mom guilt, I talk about anxiety and depression. And that’s really my favorite chapter too. Because I share a lot of stories from other moms. I asked other moms to contribute. So I think it’s very well rounded. Because I’m only one Mom, you know, I am everything. So I really wanted it to be other voices and other experiences as well.

 

SHERYL: Yeah, yeah. It’s a great chapter. And I really want to dig in to the mom guilt, because it is something that we all struggle with, especially in this generation. I’m like, what, what happened? I don’t think my I know, I think that my mom felt guilty about some things, but not to the level that we feel. Yeah. With the mom guilt. Because we’re inundated so much with so many parenting books, and there’s just so much now. I mean, my mom had Dr. Spock.

Why do you think we struggle with that so much? Do you have any theories behind that with with mom guilt?

 

BECKY: I mean, I think what you just said, when you think about the the quantity of advice and information, especially over the last year, when you just look at COVID, and everything related to the pandemic, you know, and trying to like our kids through that, it’s like, I don’t even know what resources I can trust, I don’t even know who to look at and say, Okay, this person is the person I want to follow, because they haven’t figured out there’s so much information and oftentimes conflicting. And then we also have social media and sort of this comparison, that we’re constantly seeing people who really look like they have it all together, they look like they’re killing it. And we, you know, look at that and just think why am I the one that’s struggling? It doesn’t seem we don’t see a lot of people who are struggling well, who are able to talk about it and kind of invite us alongside of them.

 

SHERYL: Yes, yeah. We also have these fantasy photos in our heads of what we thought things were supposed to look like, are they gonna look like and then it’s not looking like we thought that it was supposed to look like and that puts so much pressure on us as well, all these expectations, we thought and then it’s not, it’s not turning out that way. And so it must be my fault. I must have done something wrong. But then there’s always the mom on social media that it’s looking just the way we wanted it. We thought it was supposed to. We compare ourselves like you said, so you start out the mom guilt chapter. And I love this quote behind every great kid, as a mom who’s pretty sure she’s screwing it all up. I think it’s very comforting.

 

BECKY: Yes. Cool. And that’s kind of a that’s a quote that I had found. But I’ve heard that, you know, I remember speaking at a moms group and I talked about fear. And the topic was fear kind of in general, and what am I struggle with fear and anxiety and how that expanded when I became a mom. But when I sat in on this table afterwards, I heard most of the moms what they were talking about was the fear of not being good enough the fear.

One mom said, I’m just afraid I’m gonna mess up my kid. And I looked and she had her baby next to her like in an infant car seat. So her baby was still very small, very young, and some of the other moms and I finally just said, Well, of course, you’re going to mess up your kid. We’re all going to mess up our kids. If we really think that the goal or that for me to be a good mom means that when my kid becomes an adult, they’re not going to have anything at all to talk about what They’re therapists that might be somehow related to anything that happened in our home or in our family or whatever, then I just think we are setting ourselves up for an impossible impact. It’s an impossible standard.

But also, wouldn’t it be better if we created a culture in our family that said, let’s get help when we need it. And as a mom, both of my college daughters actually have counselors that they go to every week. And I have to remind myself to be grateful and to be proud of them for going and getting help even knowing that there are times that I know that they are talking about things that happened in our home. And instead of being ashamed of that, I want to just say, what do we need to talk about? What can we how can we keep growing and moving forward? Because none of us are perfect? I mean, can you just feel even as I’m talking like, oh, lift off, like, what if that didn’t have to be our goal?

 

SHERYL: Yeah, amen. Sister. Well, and you know, what, if we’re trying to be perfect, and this is what I’ve learned, and it sounds like you and I were very aligned, and how we felt as early on as moms, I really did think that I was going to do it. All right. Yes. Now I say that I was going to feed him the right food, they weren’t going to have the sugar.

I sent him to Christian school, I even before my daughter went to college, she was very strong willed. And we said, if you go to a Christian camp will get you a dog. I mean, I’m so embarrassed to even admit that, but I just want other moms to know out there. And the dog, I wrote a blog post on it and the dog bit the neighbor. It was it was one of the puppy mill, I ended up loving him, but keep booked all over.

 

BECKY: You know, that will be fun. And I knew that was self inflicted.

 

SHERYL: And I know that that’s what we do. I was so trying so hard to make everything be the way I thought it was supposed to be. And I had this perfectionism. And just like you said, doing that work, like I had to do a lot of work on myself. Yeah. And a lot of that. And that’s how it led to me doing what I do now.

And you doing what you do is all those mistakes, but there wasn’t safety in the family to really talk about how you feel. Yeah. And I think that that’s what we don’t realize perfection. Nobody puts so much pressure on us and our kids, even though in the book, you say, Well, I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t say that I thought I was going to be perfect. But I thought I would be able to get close to it.

 

BECKY: Yes, I did. I thought well, nobody’s perfect. But I, I could maybe make very small allowances for myself to maybe make a little mistake here or there. But I was not prepared for what would come out of me and the brokenness that I would see in myself, just as I was, you know, routinely faced with challenges and things that felt beyond my capacity to like, you know, perfectly maneuver so. So I knew that I wanted to have other moms weigh in on this. So I did my own research. And I put out a couple questions on social media. And I thought that moms would respond. And there would be a lot of comments.

I really expected to have this great online public conversation. And I asked moms, tell me about mom guilt, what kinds of things you feel guilty about?

And then I said, Tell me what it sounds like in your head. Like, tell me the thoughts that you have. And nobody would talk about it. People were making comments like mine was were saying things like, Well, you know, how much time do you have? Or g where do I start or only every day of my life, but nobody wanted to say it.

So then I invited them to private message me and I got so many messages from moms, emails from moms. And I included them in the book, they didn’t put their names I asked permission. And some of it just broke my heart to hear a lot of the thoughts, some of the things that you know, moms feel guilty about almost everything and so much of the thing, so many of the things that they feel guilty about are not even things they have control over, like their kids getting sick, or their baby’s not sleeping through the night or they’re not good eaters, or they, you know, they struggle in school, or maybe they have a learning disability.

And then they get a little bit older and moms feel guilty because their kids aren’t making good choices or they’re struggling socially. Even moms whose kids have left home talked about feeling guilty that they hadn’t done enough. Yeah, many moms said that they felt guilty because they couldn’t provide a sibling to their only child.

So even something like infertility, that they have no control over but yet they look at their child and just have this guilt that one mom that shared this with me is in her 60s and still feels that guilt because her grandchild will not I will never have a cousin. And she puts that on herself. Wow. So that was really so important to get all of that feedback from moms but, and I just saw similarities across the board of the kinds of burdens that we’re carrying as moms and I was able to kind of see this different. A slight difference kind of sneaky difference between guilt and shame, which I talked about in the book.

 

SHERYL: Yes. Tell us what is the difference between guilt and shame? And then we’ll talk about what we do with it. That’s really, really important.

So what’s the difference? Have you see that?

 

BECKY: So I look at it like, true guilt. I think it’s about something that I did. It’s it’s an action, I took a word words, I said something that I did, that I feel bad about, because I either broke a moral code, I, I hurt somebody that I love. I said something I shouldn’t have said, I did something that I feel is wrong. So to me, that is guilt. It’s about something I did, there’s clarity of wrongdoing. And there’s also then clear next steps.

So if I’m, you know, I can say I’m sorry, I can take ownership for what I did, I can ask for forgiveness. There’s a path forward, there’s ownership and forgiveness. So I think that true guilt can be very good. And we we want to feel that and we want our kids to feel that I think so many of us have said, You know, I just I pray that my that my kids will get caught if they’re doing something wrong, or I want them to feel that, like I did something and it wasn’t right. And I need to come clean. We want our kids to ask that true guilt that leads to really repentance and forgiveness and moving forward in a healthy way. And healing and healing.

Shame is more about who we are. So guilt is what I did. Shame is who I am. And what I saw, the difference was guilt was, you know, I lost my temper and I yelled at my child this morning, and I know that I hurt them, I need to I need to own that and ask for forgiveness. Shame was, I’m a horrible mother, my kids deserve better than to have a mom like me, I’ll never change, I’ll never be able to change. And that’s some of the shame that I heard was I felt really a dangerous level of shame.

Because I think that’s when people start thinking things that are really, really so harmful. You know, when you’re thinking my kids would be better off without me, that’s a level of shame. That is so damaging and destructive, you know, and there’s no next step. It’s sort of just this vague sense of I’m bad, but there’s really nothing to do about it. And sometimes this can even happen in a conversation with somebody, it’s one thing if somebody says, You did this, it hurt me. And you can respond to that. But when someone just hurls insults at you, or says, you know, you are this, and there’s really no clarity of what you did, there’s no, you know, that’s shame. That’s like, dating someone. So when I think that this kind of shame grinds us down and makes us feel worthless, so it’s, and then with our kids, it’s also important, because I think it’s really important to deal with the behavior. But to make sure that we don’t label our kids or label each other or label ourselves as being bad. You know, I think that’s a big distinction.

 

SHERYL: Well said, this is a generational issue. And I and I see that now in my own life, that I was like, I am never going to pass on to my kids, some of the things that happened in my family growing up, I’m, you know, whatever.

But it, it looked a little different. But until I began this healing work, and used my guilt, and was like, rather than looking at it, like you’re bad, not that I haven’t done that, you know, over and over again, and can still do it. But now I know what to do when I’m in the shame pad. Yeah, to get myself out. I want to break this pattern in my family, and I want there to be healing. And I want to have healing, and I want my my kids to experience that as well. That’s very different. And when we don’t do that, when we have more of the shame, I feel like I’m just thinking of this in the in the moment that it holds our kids hostage to because then they they catch it, you know, they feel like I’m not going to be good enough.

But if we can have a you talk about creating a culture, in our family where we’re safe, to be seen to be fully down to make mistakes, how different that is, what do you what Have you seen in your own life, about the healing work how that is made that you’ve done that made a difference in your family?

 

BECKY: Well, I think what you just shared is so, so good. And I kind of talked about feeling like I was handed a baton, and it was broken. You know, for me, it was anger out of control, there was some really tough stuff that happened in my childhood growing up. So I’m giving this baton we all are, all of us are given a baton, that’s not perfectly whole.

And so to be able to look at that, and then every day to make a choice, make choices that that move us towards healing instead of continuing the same patterns. And when you were just talking, I thought about a more recent example for me, and this is what it’s looked like now more in the moment, I can catch myself, where I’m perpetuating that brokenness, instead of moving towards healing. But the amazing thing is, is that you can do a 180 and a U turn right in the same conversation and go the other way. And before Christmas, I had to have major surgery, it was a scary thing that I everything came out, turned out well, but it was a big deal. So my college daughters came home to be here at home and to help out.

And my 15 year old, who I would just say, is very strong willed, very determined, she will ask about something and wants to present her case. And if if I don’t say yes, then she’ll come back and try for round two. And she’s very, very persistent in that way. She had asked if she could do something, and I said, No. And this was the night before my surgery, my daughter’s had come home from college, I made lasagna, we were going to have a family dinner. And Brenda just kept asking me about this thing I’d already said no about.

And I got real upset with her. Because now I felt like I want to have this nice family dinner. And I want you to let this go. And I’m gonna have surgery tomorrow or whatever. So we went upstairs. And you know, we’re kind of hashing it out in our bedroom. And we both got pretty upset and said things that we later had to apologize for.

But one of the things I said to her and as soon as I said it, I just knew this was broken, this light coming out of my mouth, I looked at her and I said, You exhaust me, as soon as I said those words, and that was very shaming, because I’m saying you exhaust me. And as soon as I said it, I knew, okay, this is the kind of thing that if I don’t do a U turn right now, and I don’t take ownership for that and bring it up and say, and she didn’t bring it up with me. She didn’t say that was something that was hurtful when we started to do the repair work. But I came back and said, Brenda, when I said this to you, it was so wrong. And I don’t want that to be like a little seed that goes down inside of you and then grows and then somewhere down the road, you’re going to have somebody else say a comment to you. And it’s going to reinforce what I just said, what I should have said was I’m exhausted, yeah, I am exhausted.

And this conversation is exhausting me, but not to put that on her and say, You exhausts me. And so the beautiful thing about grace is that there was healing then right away. And she I don’t think that went down inside of her and then grew roots and became this core message that’s going to stick with her her whole life. I think she’s gonna remember the mistake I made, and that I owned it and corrected it. And then I spoke truth.

 

BECKY: We don’t have to get it right all the time. Yeah. So keep coming back and trying to make it right. When we, when we fall short.

 

SHERYL: And what a beautiful model of being in relationship that, that we pray and hope you know, will benefit our kids in the future that she, she’s learning from you how to do that, because we do blow it and we do say things that are hurtful.

But if we can go back and do the repair. Yeah, there’s been actually lots of studies done on that if we if we go back and do the repair how healing that is. Yeah. And you talk about the therapy with your daughters and I, you know, say with with, to my kids they have, they have also done therapy and learn so much. And one of my kids has come back to me and has told me some of the things that I did that were really hurtful.

Thankfully, I learned I was working on myself and healing a lot of my own wounds that I could listen to that. Yeah. And I could say even though it wasn’t exactly the way I remember it, you know? Yeah. corrector Yeah, you enough to say, and it was hard.

I mean, it was painful to hear some of the things that she was sharing with me, but I knew in my heart, how important it was for her to tell me that if our relationship was to have healing, and how healing it would be if I could say to her, Wow, that’s really hard to hear. And thank you so much for telling you that and I’m so Sorry that I reacted that way, and then I hurt you in those ways. And that was really powerful. And so she could tell me and I was able to take it in, and admit that what she was saying was true that I had heard her. And that was amazing in our relationship, and added to a whole nother level. But I think we don’t, we didn’t learn so many of us how to do that. So our relationships stay blocked, and we stamp out these resentments and hurt built up.

So I love what you’re sharing, because then she knows she can come to and that you’re going to have that repair that you’re a safe person for her.

 

BECKY: That’s very powerful gift I think you gave your daughter, like you said to listen, and if we can get somewhat accustomed to just being able to own our stuff, then we really can listen, and it doesn’t have to mean I’m a horrible mother, if I agree with what they’re saying is I’m a horrible mother, if I admit that I that I messed up and that I did this wrong. And I don’t think our kids see it that way, either. I think it can show them that. You know, it’s both and we have a lot of good things we do we have things that are not so good. But it doesn’t, you know, we are
who we are.

 

SHERYL: Yes. That’s that whole gray space you talk about? I had to be able to, to accept my own fatal flaws and feelings. Yeah. And and tell the truth about it. You know, otherwise, I think if it had have happened, you know, of course, she was little event, but 10 years earlier would have been very defensive.

 

BECKY: And of course, we feel defensive.

 

SHERYL: I don’t think that always goes away. Yeah. But anyway, so tell me how Grace has played a role in this for you, because that’s an important piece.

 

BECKY: Well, I see grace as a transforming power in my life. So I mean, what that means is that every time I come back to God, and I say, I’m sorry, I’m sorry that I did this, please forgive me, I know that I have that forgiveness. And then, in my relationships, to be able to comment, I know that every time I come back, and I humble myself, and I say, you know, I’m sorry, there can be healing and forgiveness. Almost always, at least on my side, when I’m trying to do, and then with myself to be able to just accept, I am a person who is living daily in grace. So, of course, I don’t want to mess up. And it’s not about becoming lazy and taking advantage of that grace and saying, well, I doesn’t even matter. Of course, it matters. Of course, it matters. But I just don’t live under that burden, for the most part of feeling like, I’m such a failure, and I’m messing everything up. And there’s just a freedom that comes when you know that I’m a work in progress. And my kids are works in progress. And we’re kind of in this together. And then I’ve just found as I share the feedback, I get more than anything else on the book, and if you read the reviews, is just by me being so vulnerable and sharing my weaknesses. other moms are then able to know that I’m not the only one. And they’re able to then and there have been groups that have done this book together. And that’s the most beautiful thing ever is to see up moms together, reading through it and sharing their own experiences, and just experiencing what that grace actually looks like. Yeah,

 

SHERYL: Absolutely. That’s, that’s my mission, too. I feel like if we can, if we can share our challenges and struggles, will feel so much less alone. And then we can give so much more grace to ourselves. Yeah, solitude of receiving that, that grace from others. And I can see how helpful your book would be in groups with moms. And because you do have those questions at the end of every chapter. To me, blacked, and then to be able to talk about it.

 

BECKY: Yeah, I really wanted to do that I wanted to. So the end of each section, it has review, like a little paragraph, and then it has reflect a couple rearfoot reflection questions. And then I respond, which is usually a prayer but I wanted it for a man who was reading it individually to be able to just even kind of dive into her own heart and kind of go through the questions and connect what she just read with her own experience and her own story, and then connect with God also. But I my deeper longing was that women would be able to do it together and then use those questions together. So that’s been really exciting as there have been groups that have gone through together. I definitely had that in mind when I was writing it because I believe so much in the power of being in a group and walking alongside other people and sharing. And then realizing I’m not the only one here, you know?

 

SHERYL: Yeah, yeah. Was that scary for you to share? Share vulnerably? Well, I

 

BECKY:  I feel like a really good team of people around me that are protective of me. So every every story that I share it even if I’m sharing about like a share a story about losing my temper, again, with my daughter slamming her door and the frame crashing on the floor and breaking and but even with that, I got permission from everybody.

That’s not just my story, that’s also part of her story. So making sure that everybody that I shared about in the book was okay, and gave me permission. But I have one of my very best friends. That story about slamming the door and breaking my daughter’s frame after she she read everything I sent her all of the chapters, she was my first reader to kind of read the content. And I remember she questioned me and said, I just you’re so vulnerable.

And I don’t know, like, are you sure you want to do that? Or if she was feeling protective of me? And what people might say or think of me? So are you sure you want to do that? And I remember just thinking about it. And then I just thought, No, I’m I know, I’m not the only one. I have talked to enough moms to know that I’m not the only one who’s ever slammed a door or I’m not the only one has ever. I just reading a really good book from an author who kicked a hole in the wall and her kids couldn’t believe it.

She got so mad, she kicked her foot and put a hole in the wall, and then covered it up with wallpaper. And it was such a funny story. But I’m like, I know, I’m not the only one. So I’m yeah, I decided to it was intentional. And I thought if I’m going to write a book than I want it to be a book that will truly help moms not feel alone. And the only way that I know to do that is to be honest, and authentic. You know,

 

SHERYL: Yes, it’s so counterintuitive, because when we do share those struggles, then it come get it’s like comes out of us where we can share it. And then it lessens. Did you find this like the anger and the upset? Because you could share it with a safe person? Yes. And rather than just keeping it all inside? And that really builds up? Yeah. And makes it worse? If like stuffing it, stuffing it down. Yeah.

 

BECKY: Or if we have these things, it’s almost like a secret. If anybody really knew how mad I got, or if anybody really knew, then they you know, there’s that, then they wouldn’t like me or they wouldn’t want to be around me. And there’s such a freedom and being able to say, “Do you really want to know me?” Because this is who I am.

And this is who I’m becoming and this is the way God is working His grace in my life and do you want to be a part of it? I mean, that’s such a different way to live. Of course we have to do it with safe people that we feel are safe. Yeah, definitely. I think you have to be with people that you know are safe people that are going to that are going to hold what you share, you know, with care, you know, not be careless with what they come to know about you.

 

SHERYL: You talk about how your most despised weaknesses can become tools God uses. Can you share more?

 

BECKY: Yes. So I tell the story in the book about my friend Trisha, who her little guy was in first grade last year, so she went to school to pick him up. And she overheard one of the other moms say that her little girl had been so excited for Super reader day and my friend Trisha just her heart sank because she forgot. It was super reader day, she was supposed to send jack to school with his favorite stuffed animal, his favorite book and a blanket. And she totally forgot. So here she’s thinking, Oh my gosh, it probably he probably had a terrible day.

And she was just beating herself up with guilt. And jack comes out of school and he seems like he’s okay. And then she has this conversation with him. And he tells her, you know, I was disappointed when I saw that. I didn’t have what I needed in my backpack. But I went to my teacher. I told her I didn’t have it. She let me pick a book off of her shelf and she had extra stuffed animals. So I picked one of those. And I sat on the floor and I read it and she said I’m so sorry that I forgot. And he said that’s okay, I forgive you. And the story just touched my heart.

I thought here she is taught her kid How to Be gracious and forgiving. But also I thought like look at what he did he he went to his teacher and he problem solved and he was able to be flexible and it didn’t ruin his day just because he didn’t have the things that he wanted to have. And I thought as parents, I think we all say we want to raise flexible, resilient kids. who know how to problem solve and to empathize and forgive and to be gracious with others. And we want them to understand that the world is not perfect, and that things aren’t always going to go their way.

And yet, we keep trying to be perfect and thinking that we have to be perfect. And I heard someone say to me, you know, I think we would actually be doing our kids a disservice if somehow we were able to be perfect, because that would not prepare them for the real world. So when I talk about how God can use even our weaknesses, or our failures, I think he uses it to equip our kids. Yes, the world for their real spouse, they’re going to have some day for their real, you know, employers they’re going to work for and the friends they’re going to have everyone is going to let them down at some point. And so, you know, I think if our hearts are right, and we keep coming back to do that repair work that you were talking about, I do think that he can use all of it for good to equip.

 

SHERYL: Yes, absolutely. I love that story. That was Yeah, wait, and I can totally relate.

 

BECKY: Yes, we all can.

 

SHERYL: I know the different things I’ve done where I’ve forgotten something, or Yeah. Oh, gosh, why don’t you just feel so badly when that happens, but that he figured it out?

 

BECKY: Yes.

 

SHERYL: I think that that’s one of the reasons that we rescue our kids, even as they’re older. And we’re, we don’t want them to that suffer that discomfort, yes. And yet, we’re doing a real disservice to them. Because they can, they usually do figure it out. I remember son going and it was like an hour away with baseball, and he forgot some equipment. And I couldn’t go back. And he like borrowed cleats or something. And he, you know, he figured it out. And I think he had to wear dirty pants or something. And that was fine. But yeah, it all ended up being okay. And here I was panicked about it. But sometimes we jump in too quickly.

 

BECKY: Yes. Because even that what you’re describing, it kind of pushes our kids to have to live in a vulnerable at a certain point vulnerably in front of others and say, I need this, I need a pair of pants, I need cleats. And that’s what we want. We want to I want to raise daughters who can go ask for help when they need it and don’t have to feel like they have to pretend that they have it all together. So if we do that, and we try to create this world where everything goes as perfectly as possible, we’re only then teaching them that they have to do that. And they’ll be carrying the same burdens then when they become adults that we’ve been carrying, that we’re trying to get rid of. It’s like you talk about breaking that cycle. One of the ways that happens is by our shortcomings, you know, you know, that’s

 

SHERYL: so well said. It’s, that is so true. Because I remember like, Oh my gosh, I should know this. I should have this. I’m so embarrassed. I mean, even this adult like I don’t want them to know. Yeah, I forgot this. Rather than you know. Oh, no. Holding it lighter. Oh, I forgot me. Yeah. You know, I’m so upset that I forgot. But then it ends up usually it’s like, Sure. No, it all worked out. Everyone survived. Yeah, it wasn’t that big of a deal.

Thank you, Becky, for that. Let’s talk about anxiety, because you’re worried about having anxiety and, and let’s talk about fear. Because that’s a biggie. Especially when our kids are starting to pull away. They enter into the teen years, we don’t have as much control. We wave goodbye to them as they drive off in the car. They’re just started dating. I mean, there’s just they’re on social media. I mean, there’s just Yeah, it’s a minefield of fear.
Yeah.

How have you coped with your own anxiety? I’ve struggled with anxiety. What? What has helped you with that? What have you learned about yourself?

 

BECKY: Well, I I feel like anxiety has its own sort of journey. And it’s looked different in different seasons of my life. But from the time I was a child, I had so much fear. With the chaos in my home growing up, I started stuttering when I was in third grade. I don’t know why I didn’t even know I was doing it. But the teacher saw it. And, you know, tried to intervene with a speech therapist, but it really just snowballed after that. And that’s when I realized there was something wrong with me. So then I had extreme anxiety about going to school and speaking and I stuttered into my 20s. I mean, it just kept me from doing anything where I would have to speak to people. So I lived under this.

Just extreme anxiety and letting anxiety really call the shots for me if I was invited to go do something. Nope, I might have to talk so I’m not going to go. So, um, and then becoming a mom. You know, and all of the anxieties that you just talked about with that, with all What if this happens? Or what if this happens? And I think for me personally, it’s kind of a, an abstract concept. But I think what has freed me more than anything, is there’s a verse in the Bible that says that God’s perfect love drives out fear. And so at one point, I remember thinking, what if I’m focusing on the wrong thing?

Like, what if I’m just focused on my anxiety, and how to get rid of it, but this verse is telling me that God’s love is greater and more powerful. And it’s almost like I could just picture it, the more that I could be filled up with it, the more it would push the fear out of my life. And that’s what I’ve experienced professionally as I started speaking, and with the things I’m doing in my work life now is I don’t have to, I can be really secure and God’s love for me, I don’t have to be afraid that what people are gonna think about me or that maybe I’m not going to look a certain way or, you know, the fear of failure, the fear of rejection, those kinds of things, I can feel secure. Knowing that I am loved.

God is perfect love. But then the way that that kind of comes into different parts of my life, the most recent thing for me, and I don’t understand it, it’s kind of crazy.

But I’ve had an extreme fear of flying for probably 15 years. So much so that I have medicine that I take before I get on the plane to help me just because it’s a panicky feeling I have, well, after this last year of not flying, I flew to Little Rock A few weeks ago with my daughter, and I wasn’t afraid to fly. Like at all, like the night before. I didn’t think about a falling asleep. I woke up, we were eating our Starbucks breakfast sandwiches at the airport gate. And I’m like, why am I not afraid? I’m not afraid at all got on the plane. I was like, Nope, I’m not nervous at all. daughter, and she, my daughter’s very insightful. And she just said, Well, maybe for you, this last year has been filled with so many big things that are out of your control, the pandemic, you know, my daughter’s getting married and moving away, I had to have the surgery that was so like scary and out of my control and had the possibility for there to be something serious as a result of what they might find.

So I just had all these big fears. And she said, Maybe you’ve just had practice over the last year of just having to let go because there’s stuff is so out of your control. So I don’t know if that was it. But I know that when we came back from our trip, and I got on the plane coming home, again, I was not scared. And all of a sudden, I just had this thought, it’s not my job to fly this plane. That’s not my job. Like I don’t know how to fly, I don’t have any training.

That’s there’s, there’s someone in here, who that’s their job, they’ve been trained, this is their job to fly this plane and get me home. I have nothing to do with it. So I can either sit here, terrified, or I can sit here and just like it’s just not my job. And I’ve been thinking about that and actually wrote a blog post about it. And I’ve thought about all the other things in my life that I could say that’s not my job. It’s not my job to make sure that my kids are happy all the time. It’s not my job to make other people like me. It’s not my job to fix other people’s problems. Yes, you know,

 

SHERYL: We can’t control it. All these controllers try and control like you said, You can’t try the plane. All we can do. I mean, we could walk out tomorrow, and something happened. Yeah, we’re vulnerable all the time. But why do we think we can control these things? Yeah. But that is so cool. And what how wise of your daughter to say that?

Yeah. No to you? Because that makes sense to me, actually. Yeah, it does. But you have you have stepped so much out of your comfort zone. And I remember you saying to me on our first call. You’re like, I have just learned I’m just trusting God, and I’m just putting myself out there. Yeah. And that really helped me because if we’re in fear, we’re not going to put ourselves out there. And and it goes for our kids too. If we’re living in fear, we’re going to hold our kids back. Yeah, because we’re going to be so afraid to let them know and and I have struggled with that myself and but knowing it’s like what, what can we do when we’re in that fearful place? And one of the things I hear you saying is acknowledging what we can what we can’t control, which Yeah, probably 95% so much. I know.

 

BECKY: And then for me, so it’s what does it look like to surrender because, for me at least that anxiety and the fear is me just trying to hold on to it. You Even though it’s not, it’s not mine to hold on to I really, truly, that’s what was so like, almost like, this is such a no brainer statement to say like, it’s not my job to fly the plane like duh, of course. But for me it was like so eye opening, like, why do I think that I have anything to do with this? I don’t, it’s totally out of my hands.

I can’t control any part of it at all. And I think that is how this last year has felt with, with everything. And I think for some people, though, I think their anxiety has kicked up and is even worse over the last year. So it’s not, I don’t know how to like, take what I just said and translate it to make it work for everybody.

But I think it comes back to being able to surrender and being able in with our kids. It’s really hard, but but recognizing they really belong to God. And can I trust him? That’s like the biggest question. And that’s what I keep coming back to. And when you had said earlier about somebody saying, you know, sometimes people write books, or they talk like they have it all together, and they know all the answers. And this book is definitely not that. And I find myself going back and reading sections of this book, like because it still helps me because it’s I’m not there yet, either. And I’m not I never gonna be there. I still need the message that I wrote about for myself.

 

SHERYL: Yeah, I love that you’re going back and reading it. It’s like, I always teach what I need to hear all the time. And right what I need to hear. So yes, it’s like replacing those voices. So those lies that hold us back and robbed us of our joy. And so that’s neat. You’re reading it through again.

 

BECKY: Like, what are you reading? I’m like, I’m reading my own book, Chapter 10. Go when your kids go, you know, it’s like, it’s helping me What can I say?

 

SHERYL: I know, I thought about recording myself when I’m like driving in the car, like a loving message. Oh, I love you.

That’s not a bad idea. Sure. You’re good enough. You’re smart enough. So, this is so great.

 

SHERYL: And we’re gonna have you back on you already said yes. Because Yeah, just so many other things to talk about. Yeah, talk about so maybe next month or the, you know, the month after, after that, but we’re not going to wait to Becky, there’s a verse that you share in the book that I feel is very encouraging. Whether people read scripture or not, whoever’s listening, I just love this so much. Can you share that verse about just not allowing ourselves to be so burdened down? Yeah, and, and Jesus’s words,

 

BECKY: Yeah, sure. I’d love to. So this is right, when I’m talking about the burdens of perfectionism, comparison, guilt, unrealistic expectations, and how these are these burdens that we carry around that are backbreaking, and we were never meant to carry them. So this is a verse it’s Matthew 1128, through 30. And it’s, it says this, are you tired, worn out, burned out on religion? Come to me, Jesus is talking. Come to me, get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me. Watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill fitting on you. keep company with me, and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.

 

SHERYL: I love that. Yeah. freely. And why what a great way to end? Yes, yeah. Thank you so much. Thank you for this book. Thank you for being vulnerable and being open and for sharing your story and the stories of other moms and making this available to experience healing and more joy and freedom in our lives. So yeah, tell our listeners where to find you.

 

BECKY: So you can find me. My website is my full name, Becky. The last name is BAUDOU i n.com. And on the website, you can find out about the books if you’re listening, and you don’t have time to write down my last name, which is kind of hard. You can just google enjoy every minute book and it’ll come up. But I also have the first three chapters available on my website if you want to just read a free excerpt to see what you think so you can find that there and then I’m on Facebook and Instagram with my full name Becky Baldwin.

 

SHERYL: Excellent. Well, I’ll put the links in there too. Okay. Every minute, enjoy every minute. And other ridiculous things we say to moms.

 

BECKY:Yeah. And but the one is every minute type a book, every minute book.

 

SHERYL: Um, yeah, if you’re if you’re just googling it, you can just google enjoy every minute book and it’ll come up joy every minute book. We had the fun of the medal, by the way.

 

BECKY: Yeah, it is. It’s the title. And it’s the first myth.

 

SHERYL: Yeah. So all right. Well, thank you so, so much. It was very worthwhile, meaningful conversation today.

 

BECKY: Yeah, it was great. It’s always great to talk to you. Thank you, Sheryl.