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How to Ditch the Cranky Monster Mom

Parenting tweens and teens can be so challenging in so many ways. 

Our tweens and teens are pulling away, they tend to think they know everything, we have less control over the choices and decisions they make, 

It’s hard to not react and feel resentful, frustrated, and angry.

Today, I have the honor of having Becky Kopitzke on the show, Becky is the author of three books including her latest release, The Cranky Mom Fix: Get a Happier, More Peaceful Home by Slaying the “Momster” in All of Us.

Scroll down to read the full episode transcribed.

What You Will Learn: 

  • Choosing to look at being a mother as a gift, not a burden.
  • Who the real enemy is behind your cranky self.
  • Recognizing our triggers and how we can better manage them.
  • What moms tend to do that squeezes the joy out of the moment.
  • The danger of perfectionism and the message that it sends our kids.
  • Learning to let go of the control with our teens and tweens.
  • Sometimes our kids need painful mistakes to truly grow.
  • Humbling ourselves and being vulnerable with our kids.

Where To Find Becky Kopitzke: 

  • Becky’s book: The Cranky Mom Fix: Get a Happier, More Peaceful Home by Slaying the “Momster” in All of Us
  • Website
  • Facebook
  • Instagram

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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, Becky, to The Moms of Tweens and Teens Podcast. I’m so happy that you’re here.

BECKY:  Hi, Sheryl. I’m happy to be here. This is gonna be a fun conversation I can already tell.

SHERYL: It’s gonna be an awesome conversation. I know moms, you’re just gonna love her. You’re gonna feel so encouraged. You have written a book and we’re all going to relate so much to this, called “The Cranky Mom Fix: How to Get a Happier, More Peaceful Home by Slaying the “Momster” in All of Us.”  I love that “momster.” Did you come up with that term?

BECKY: I’m pretty sure my kids came up with that for me. “Mom, the momsters here again.”

SHERYL: I just don’t know what you’re talking about. Right?  I think that that is a great word we can use to bring humor into our parenting when we’re messing up.

BECKY: Because it’s gonna happen, on a regular basis, there’s gonna be a mess up and there’s no perfect mother out there. And so in those moments, when that evil version of us comes crawling out, that is the “momster.” And what do we do to chop her head off and tell her to leave the house?

SHERYL: That is what you’re going to be helping us with today.  I would love for you to share with our listeners, what does your momster look like? Or what did it look like? And what led you to write the book?

BECKY: So what led me to write the book was realizing how on my own journey, at one point in my parenting really defaulted to the monster. She was not just an occasional visitor, she had planted herself in my home, and she was taking a permanent residence. I realized that wasn’t the state I wanted to be in for my own mental health. And especially not for my kids. I didn’t want them to look back and have a memory of their childhood clouded by this cranky woman who showed up in the house every day.

I had just begun a journey of my own, really trying to seek how to get myself out of that state, how to put some practical habits into my daily life so that I was kinder and gentler. through that, I started coaching some other moms on how to walk through the journey. I created an online program. From that online program came the book. So it was all an evolution that really began with my own root need to get out of this state of consistent crankiness. Because nobody was happy under that umbrella.

SHERYL: Yeah, when mom’s not happy, nobody’s happy. And really brutal. We do set the tone for the home. That’s a little overwhelming. When I’m all tense and stressed out and anxious, everybody is feeling it. Even though I might not want them to it just seeps out.

BECKY: Yes. And so there’s a responsibility there. But there’s also an opportunity there, knowing that mom sets the tone. I have the ability to turn things around, not just for myself, but for everybody in my wake. So that’s why I realized whether I like it or not, Mama wields a lot of power in this house. And so I want to use it for good.

SHERYL: Yeah. Awesome. I love that, like flipping the word. Rather than it being such a negative, this is an opportunity that we have to really make a difference in our homes and the way that we show up,

BECKY: Yes, and not in a way that puts all the expectations on us. It’s not meant to weigh us down as though “Oh, it’s another thing I could mess up in.” Not at all. It’s if we spin it and look at how I treat my family can define how this whole household runs. That’s a good thing. Because that means I actually do have more control over how I’m acting and feeling in a day than I think I do.

I choose to go into a day with a positive attitude. And it is a deliberate choice. That’s the cranky mom fix. It’s intentional. And that means I’m not a victim. I’m not a victim of crankiness. It’s not something that I just have to resign myself to. I have a choice. I can choose that crankiness. Or I can choose to put some parameters in place and some safety in my life that helps me to climb out of that attitude, to choose instead, to be kinder and more loving. So that not only me, but the whole household can rise above it.

We are not defeated. We are not slaves to this attitude, we feel like we are. But we do have a choice. And we’ll all feel better: ourselves, the kids, the spouses if we make a choice to alter our attitude, and it’s not easy. I’m not saying that having the choice means it’s easy to make the choice. But it’s worth it. Because we want to build a legacy, right?

SHERYL: It’s the most important work we’ll do. We’re raising the future generation. We can do this.

BECKY: And we’ve been called to do it. If you have a child in your arms, whether it’s by birth or adoption, whatever way that child came into your household, you have been called to do the beautiful work of raising a child, that job was given to you on purpose for a purpose. And again, not to make it like the world is on your shoulders kind of a situation but it is an opportunity. It’s a gift.

And we can choose to look at family life as a gift, or we can choose to look at it as a burden. Our choice there really dictates how we treat everybody in the household and how we treat ourselves. I become a really big advocate for being aware of what makes me cranky so that I can turn it around so that the rest of the family can experience a legacy of joy in this household. Because now that I have teenagers, I have an almost 15-year-old and a tween, I have a 12-year-old. And I’m realizing now how quickly these years ago.

SHERYL: Yes, I know, tell us so what have you done that has been helpful for you?

BECKY: Well, the first thing I recognized is who my real enemy was, it’s not the kids. We’d like to blame it on the kids the way they’re acting or how they are bickering with each other, or how they’re disobeying or rolling their eyes, or whatever it is. And that’s a trigger.

But it’s not the only one really, it starts with me, it starts with my own attitude, my own heart issues. When I realized that my enemy was my own heart, it wasn’t the kids. That’s what empowered me to make the change, it was no longer about my skills in parenting.

It was about how I treat myself, how I view myself and how I choose to snap myself out of bad attitudes. It’s not even a parenting skill so much is just being aware of what’s causing the crankiness in the first place. The kids usually are just the last straw, there’s usually something underlying happening. And then when the kids are misbehaving or something, it just tips me over the edge. But there are other things that are going on underneath.

So in my case, I just started exploring my triggers that cause me to be in a state that is leaning toward crankiness. If I’ve just had, for example, an argument with my husband, that’s going to set me off, and I’m just not going to be in a good headspace for anybody.

Or if I’m really worried about something or discouraged or disappointed over a situation. Or if I’m really stressed about my work or deadlines, that’s going to put me in a place where I’m more likely to respond poorly to my kids.

Or physical triggers. Headaches are a big one for me, fatigue is a big one for me. I realized that sometimes there are physical aspects of my daily life that caused me to be less kind in my responses. So I had to recognize what those things were and put some safeties in place.

Make sure have I gotten enough to eat today. Have I gone to get a checkup over these consistent headaches? And am I taking care of myself?  So I can better take care of the people who are around me.

Those triggers are across the board going to be different for everybody. But there are some common threads, it’s going to be something physical, something emotional, something environmental. When I’m feeling rushed, I’m way more likely to snap at my kids or not take their own behavior with a grain of salt. If I’m rushed, and they’re dawdling. That’s the perfect storm.

SHERYL: Well, and they are master dawdlers. Moms are like “how do I get my kid up out of bed on time?” They’re dragging their feet or it’s taking my kid hours to do like one worksheet.

BECKY: It’s a pain in your heart. It’s a pain for their hearts because who wants to spend hours working on one worksheet? That’s nothing anybody wants to go through. But if we also recognize what our kids are struggling with, and address that underlying struggle, it’s usually not dawdling. It’s usually there’s an underlying story.

SHERYL: With everything that we’ve gone through over the last two years, kids are really struggling. Kids are in a tough space. I love how you talk about that. There are a lot of questions that we need to ask ourselves. Being curious about why might that be? What might be going on? What’s going on inside of me? One of my triggers, it’s playing things into the future.

BECKY: Never goes well, does it?

SHERYL: Yeah, like, you’re not doing their homework, playing it out: they’re never going to be able to get a job. They’re never gonna amount to anything, whatever that means. But we can say those things to ourselves. And it’s such a lie.

BECKY: It is a lie. And what we forget is that sometimes those mistakes that our kids make are what shape their character the best.

SHERYL: If we don’t give them space to develop the way they’re supposed to, then we’re meddling in work that isn’t really ours to meddle.

Triggers can be a real mental battle. We’re in our minds thinking things that just aren’t true. I know you have talked about perfectionism. Can you tell the spelling bee story, because I thought moms are gonna really relate to that?

BECKY: Oh, my goodness, one of my classic mom fails. I’ve had many, but when my older daughter was in, I think it was fifth grade. So she was a tween. She had qualified for the school-wide Geobee – The Geography Bee. And of course, we were excited. She couldn’t wait to compete.

The problem was she qualified in December and the event was in January, and we had Christmas break in the middle. She had asked me to buy her the study guide, and we were going to go all out. And then we got busy with December activities. We had Christmas break here.

It is the first week of January and my daughter says to me, “Oh, mom Geobee is tomorrow.” I said, “tomorrow?  Have you even cracked open that book that you asked me to pay for? Have you studied for it?” She was just excited about the Geobee.

But instead, I went to “you’re my daughter, you will represent right, you will get all the questions right. And you have studied thoroughly and you will be on that podium. And because you’re capable, and you had all this time, and you wasted it.” I basically ripped her to shreds when all she wanted to tell me was I’m really excited about the geobee.

Now the Geobee, I believe is for fifth through eighth-graders. I realized that after the morning that she was about to go to school. So what kind of attitude did I send her off to school with? You’re a failure, you should have done a whole bunch of work that you chose not to do over Christmas break. Come on what kind of a mother makes her daughter study for the Geobee over Christmas break.

That evening said, “Alright, I’m going to turn this around. I should not have come down so hard on you. We’re going to make a game of this. We’re going to get the Geobee study guide. And every question that you get right, you’re going to get an M&M.”

And so of course, there are hundreds of questions. And so she had a feast of M&Ms that evening. But then I’m looking through this Geobee book, because it was our first year with my oldest daughter, so we’d never been in this spot before. I’m realizing how absolutely impossible it is to actually study for the National Geographic Geobee. Nobody knows all those answers.

So I just sent her off to school the next day with a kiss and a hug. And said, do your best. And that little stinker, she ended up on the podium, she tied for third place, with eighth-graders, so she was in there as a fifth-grader, tied for second or third place. She had hardly studied. Which reminded me this is not about perfection. It’s about enjoying the journey.

It was pure luck, which kids were in or out. Because you could you could be asked what ocean lines the coast of Florida? Or you could be asked, where does this random rare tree grow? So she had fun with it. And we were so proud of her. She didn’t need to do a boatload of studying to succeed just fine.

So it was my idea that we are an academic family and we will succeed. My perfectionism imposed it on her and I ruined a perfectly good opportunity to celebrate with her that she got to participate in the Geobee in the first place. I redeemed it by the end.

But still, it was that whole idea of imposing my perfectionism on my kids, and then realizing how ridiculous that was, and how I stole what could have been a good moment for us. But again, I redeemed it, but how much better would it have been if I hadn’t responded that way in the first place?

SHERYL: When we can see what we’re doing and become conscious of what we’re doing, then we can change it. I just think about how easy it is as moms to make it about us. And how we kill the joy.

I just am relating myself to the heaviness that I put on my kids, where it’s such a joy out of whatever they’re doing, or a love of learning or enjoyment, having fun. It’s just because I care so much, that it doesn’t become as fun, not that we don’t need to parent and all those things, but I think it’s like when we’re over-caring when we’re jumping over the fence all the time. That’s gonna really squeeze that joy.

BECKY: What standard are we setting for our kids? It’s okay to have high standards for our kids. But perfection should never be the standard because not a single one of us is perfect. That’s why I am okay with making mistakes, turning around, and apologizing to my kids. Acknowledging I’m not perfect, I made this mistake, because it shows them by example, that perfect is not the goal. Your mother is not perfect.

I need something beyond myself because I can’t be perfect in this world. That’s not the goal for your kiddos. I’ve learned that the hard way over the years.

Now my older daughter’s in ninth grade, we just had a conversation about her report card. In her first semester of ninth grade, she has a 4.0 going and I told her, please don’t think that that’s my expectation for you. I know you’re capable of it right now, you’re going to have some AP courses down the road, you might end up having more extracurriculars that reduce your time for studying, please don’t think that our expectation for you is to get a 4.0.

We happened to be having this conversation when we were visiting my parents. And my mother turned to me and said, “Oh, who does that sound like?” because she did. She said to my daughter, your mother used to kill herself to get perfect grades. It’s not worth killing yourself over. And so my own attitude has shifted to the point where I realized how detrimental that was to me to chase perfectionism. And I see the propensity for it in my kids. I don’t want them to go down that road. I want them to hold them to high standards because I know what they’re capable of. But that high standard is never perfection.

SHERYL: Yeah, and there is a difference. So talk about what’s the danger of perfectionism? And the message that it sends our kids?

BECKY: Yes, well, the message it sends is that first of all, it’s all up to you. And you can control everything and every outcome in your life is up to you. Then when things go wrong, what do you do with that? We are not to blame for everything negative that happens. So if we can take credit for everything positive that happens, that means we must also take credit for all the negative.

That’s bad life theology. That’s not how it works. And so I never want my kids to think that their life, their world is all under their control.

I’m a woman of faith. So to me, that means God has a big part to play. Not everybody necessarily subscribes to that. But either way, the principle remains the same, which is that we are not to be perfect because we live in an imperfect world.

As soon as we think that our goal is to be perfect, we are chasing something that’s impossible. I would rather my kids enjoy this life than think all of their successes and their failures are up to them and on their shoulders. I didn’t always do it right. I want them to have the freedom to not feel that tremendous pressure.

SHERYL: I love that you’re saying that because I do think as a recovering perfectionist myself and a recovering control freak and being a woman of faith also, I was playing God a lot. Like because this is going this way with my kids, then I’m failing. And I have to do X, Y, and Z. I can feel my energy when I’ve got to get them to this place and it’s up to me. They are gifts from God, I can relax, I can guide them and direct them. But ultimately, it’s not all up to me.

BECKY: No, God determines who they become. We actually have less to do with it than we think we do. We can have the power over our own choices, but we don’t have power over the outcome of our children, because they are also independent people that God has created to live their life.

Our job is to nurture who that person is. Who did He create them to be? What are their strengths, and what are their weaknesses? We can help guide them through both.

But in the end, they’re meant to be a unique individual, they’re not meant to be a reflection of their mother, they’re meant to be a unique individual. If I am constantly sending my kids the message that they have to be perfect, then it suggests that my love for them is dependent on their performance, which is never true. I love them. Regardless, I love them, whether they mess up big or small.

All my love for them never changes with their performance, their failures, their successes, never. And so I don’t ever want them to think that mom loves you better when you get straight A’s. That’s ridiculous. And if that’s the message I’m sending, that’s when my perfectionism has completely ruined my intentional parenting.

SHERYL: Yeah, so good. Checks and balances, we have to check ourselves when we’re sending that message. You can strive your whole life and never feel good enough. You feel like you’re falling short but you’re never going to be perfect.

BECKY: No, it’s unattainable. And it’s like we said earlier, we learned so much from our mistakes. Our mistakes shape who we are just as much as our successes. The same will happen to our children. I want my kids to be shaped through challenges.

I don’t enjoy the process of them going through a challenge. But I think as a mom, my first reaction is, I have to figure out how to fix this for my kids, I have to make everything okay for them, I have to figure out how to remove them from this challenge when actually the challenge itself is probably what’s going to shape them and strengthen their character.

So part of it for us as moms, especially as we get into the teen years and learning is to learn how to let go. And that may experience some negativity, some mistakes, and some challenges.

SHERYL: I don’t know about you, but that’s how I’ve almost learned everything is through mistakes.

BECKY: It’s not something we relish. We don’t want to see our kids in pain. But when I look back on my own life, what were some of the greatest growth opportunities for me? It was when things were not going right. And so I don’t want to remove the opportunity for my kids to grow through their own experiences when things aren’t going 100%.

The difference is, though, what is my role to guide them through that? To remind them, that they are loved, that their identity is not determined by whether or not this scenario is going well. It’s to be their cheerleader, to be the shoulder that they need, to build a relationship where they are willing to come to me.

Because they’re going to have challenges. They’re going to have mistakes. And the natural thing is for Mama bear to come climbing out and say I’m going to take my kids away from this pain, but sometimes that’s exactly what they need to grow.

SHERYL: And a lot of that, I think is our own pain. We don’t want them to experience the pain that maybe we experienced where I was trying to help them not to have that. But there’s no way to get through life without experiencing disappointments, experiencing pain in going through a breakup with somebody. Those are so hard. I’m hearing from a lot of moms right now that a lot of friendship issues going on. That’s a heartbreaker.

BECKY: I just want to slap all those Mean Girls and bring my daughter home and give her a bowl of ice cream. But those Mean Girls are somebody’s daughter too. And we’re all trying to figure out how to parent our kids, how to teach our kids how to be kind, how to receive unkindness. And these are all life lessons that we’ve got to walk through.

But if we have a good relationship with our kids, we can at least walk with them through it and encourage them along the way. Even if we can’t fix it. We can encourage and just be there so that they know they are loved and they have a safe place. That’s what I endeavored to provide for my kids. My home is not going to be perfect but it’s going to be a safe place.

SHERYL: Yeah, perfectionism and a safe place – they don’t exist together.

BECKY: We don’t want our kids to be walking on those eggshells. They need to be in a space where they are free to make mistakes in the house and outside of the house. When my kids make mistakes, I never want them to think that their place in this family is somehow affected by it, or that my attitude toward them is affected by it. I always love them.

If they’re going to make mistakes, why not make them here in the house? When we can talk it through together? I don’t ever want them to feel like their mistakes mean that suddenly they’re not as welcome here. are they’re not as loved, or they have somehow disappointed us. They’re learning to live life just like I am. I still am in my 40s and beyond.

SHERYL: Yeah, we’re learning right alongside them. Am I expecting my kid to do something that I can’t do? Like they’re yelling and yelling, but I’m telling them not to yell?

BECKY: This brings us right back around to that cranky mom fix because that’s part of the point. You’ve got to learn how to curb your own behavior. So the example our kids are seeing is one that they can emulate yet again, understanding it’s never the goal of perfection, we’re gonna mess up. And we can ask for forgiveness. And that teaches them just as much, I think even more than if they had seen me do things right every time.

SHERYL: Absolutely. So what do you do? There’s a mom listening, and she’s like, “oh, I’m failing. I’m not doing this. Well, I’m messing up” You talk about forgiveness, grace, and repair, which repair is really important. That can heal.

What has been damaged or the wounds that have been created by some of the things that we’ve done? Share with our listeners, what are some of those things that you have found helpful when it comes to repairs?

BECKY: If you’ve just had an incident, a mom fail, or maybe it’s a legacy that you’ve built, and you recognize it, and you want to start shifting the tone of your relationship, the first step is always just to humble yourself as a mom, and realize that it is not your job to demonstrate perfection to your kids.

Humble yourself, and let them know that you just need to release the anger and come before your kids and be vulnerable. And that’s okay. We’re not meant to be the perfect statue person, it’s okay to be vulnerable with our own kids, let them see the real you, and then acknowledge the mistake and talk with the kids about it.

I’ll tell them, “I really messed up. I should not have talked to you that way. I responded very poorly. And I was not respectful to you in the way I treated you, will you please forgive me?”

When you ask them for forgiveness, you invite them into the scenarios. I don’t mean to say an equal partner as you’re still the parent, but you give them ownership in the situation. And you give them an opportunity to express forgiveness to you the same way they want to be forgiven when they mess up. So it becomes a reciprocal relationship.

Kids can learn so much from that forgiveness. And it shows them that we’re dependent on forgiveness as much as they are. And then sometimes we do need to hold our kids responsible for their part in the mess up. Often our “mom feels” are a poor response to a trigger that was somehow related to some behavior or decision that the kids made.

So hold them responsible for it, but not in a way that is blowing up at them. And so I’ll say, “this is what I did wrong, I overreacted. This is what I saw happen. I always love you but that choice I didn’t like but I always love you. But that choice was difficult for me. I overreacted to it. But can we talk now about how we can mitigate the risk of that kind of choice again in the future?”

So let’s hold the kids accountable for an age-appropriate language discussion. I’ll tell my kids, “I didn’t react well. But we still need to address the decision that you made and how do you feel about it. And do you recognize how that maybe wasn’t really so smart?” But you want to go about it in a way that’s really calm and intentional and help the kids realize you’re more interested in guiding them, than condemning them.

SHERYL: The way that you just said that wasn’t like, you did this and you did that. That puts them on the defensive and creates that disconnection and the power struggles and defensiveness, but you were like, “I messed up. I don’t like how I overreacted and let’s talk about what would you have maybe done differently in this situation?”

Asking questions rather than coming from this judgmental place. That’s where the humility comes in. It is so interconnected because we are gonna mess up.

I remember a long time ago going to listen to someone talk at church, and I remember sitting there, and he said, “your kids are gonna mess up. That does not mean they’re bad kids.”  This was years ago, and I was dumbfounded by that. Because I had some thought that this was not gonna happen.

I was being such a good mom, why was my kid acting like this? Because I was such a good mom. It was pride versus humility. So of course, they’re gonna mess up. And so come alongside them. “I messed up, and you’re gonna mess up, but what can we learn?”

BECKY: “What can we learn from it? And then I’d like to brainstorm solutions together. Let’s talk about now how can we work this out so that next time we can avoid this kind of blow-up. What can Mom do to handle a situation like that better? What can you do to prevent any part of the trigger?”

Then always end by reminding our kids, that they’re loved. That decision was poor. But you were not a bad kid. The decision was bad, the choice was bad, you’re not a bad kid at all. Just always remind them that they’re loved. And your love for them is never dependent on their performance, their choices, their mistakes, or their successes, remind them they have unconditional love in your household.

Sometimes it’s going to come out in heated arguments because you feel like you have such passion over the fact that you want them to turn out well. But then acknowledge that they have a big part in doing that.

And so together, how can you help equip them to turn out well without making them think that they have to do everything perfectly. So just have those open conversations. It’s all about guiding and equipping those teen and tween years, guiding and equipping more than dictating how they should behave.

SHERYL: We become like a coach or mentor versus giving all that advice and we’re fixing.

BECKY: And what does a mentor do? A mentor shares from their own experience. In our case, I have so much experience of times that I’ve messed up times that I’ve succeeded, but what have I learned from that? How can I impart that down to my kids, to show them that it’s not about perfection, it’s not about your performance?

Let’s talk together about what sort of guiding principles we need to build into our relationship to ensure that you feel heard and that you are given the tools you need to succeed? And that I am also aware that you are going to have struggles and I want to encourage you through them not condemn you for them.

SHERYL: That is so good. I was just struck as you’re saying that we have to realize how loved we are. We don’t have to earn it that we are loved, that there is a God that loves us, and if we don’t believe that, it’s hard to give that to ourselves.

BECKY: It is and if we believe it, we can be filled with all that love that just pours out. I like to call it being God-soaked. If I feel like I’m remembering how much I am loved then when somebody squeezes me, what comes out, it’s not going to be anger. It’s going to be that love that is soaked in me. That’s what I want to come out of. So what is in us is what’s going to come out when we get squeezed.

SHERYL: So that’s so good.

BECKY: And a little scary. What are we allowing is the question. We are so loved. I like to say God is the perfect Father and He’s not waiting to spank me for something I’ve done wrong. He wants to guide and protect and that’s what I want to do for my kids.

SHERYL: It’s ongoing. I think that’s good to remind ourselves – we’re works in progress.

BECKY: But isn’t that a blessing? We get to live this life being imperfect and we get to figure it out as we go. And that can be an adventure and a joy, not just drudgery. So if we look at it that way, you know every day is going to bring something new and we can be afraid of that or we can embrace it. I’m not saying I make the right choice every day,  but I’m preaching to myself right now.

SHERYL: Yeah. That’s good stuff.  What are some final words or anything that you would like to impart to the listeners, and encourage them if they’re feeling discouraged right now?

BECKY: There are so many moms out there who are discouraged. And I feel that in my heart, so I just want to tell any mom who’s feeling really just rundown today, or like they can’t keep doing this another day, that you don’t have to do it alone. There are people in your community. There is a God who loves you.

There are people in your community and you do not have to do this alone. You can reach out to other people and be real and be vulnerable, with what you’re dealing with, because quite honestly, I think more people will probably relate to whatever your scenario is than you can imagine.

And the problem is, we’re often not willing to speak about it because we feel shame.  There’s no shame in parenting. We are all imperfect people trying to figure out how to do this the best that we can. The more we talk with one another about it, and we lean on each other, I think the more normal some of the struggles will become.

This is discouraging on the one point because so many of us do struggle. But on the other hand, when you see there’s a community of people are walking through what you’re walking through, then it becomes possible to overcome. Because you’re not alone. You’re not in a dark place by yourself. And whatever your kids are struggling with there are solutions, people can help you help them. So please don’t feel defeated. There is always hope.

SHERYL: I heard it compared in the Boundaries book by Josh Townson and Henry Cloud. Have you ever read that book?

BECKY: I have it on my shelf.

SHERYL: They compare it to a backpack. And I love that analogy. We’ve all got rocks in our backpacks. But when things are heavy, we are not meant to carry that backpack alone. And when you have other people like we have a community here at Moms of Tweens and Teens. It’s amazing.

I’m sure you saw it when you were writing your book and you were doing your online course. That’s when moms come alongside each other and they hear each other struggles. There’s just it’s like dumping those rocks out of that backpack. You’re realizing you’re not the only one that’s carrying them. And then it lightens your load.

BECKY: It just makes the journey feel more feasible.

SHERYL: Yes. And for moms to hold on to that, because shame can cause us to hide. And that’s such a painful place to be.

BECKY: So yes, I wouldn’t be a writer today if I hadn’t chosen to walk out and be honest, and not feel a sense of shame. To break free of that. Because a lot of what I write about is based on honesty about how I’ve messed up and finding in doing so and talking with other women, that it was more common than I realized.

Honesty in itself is a beautiful community. So don’t be afraid, to be honest with one another. And to walk through this mom life together. It’s really it’s a gift when we can do it together becomes a joy and a journey.

SHERYL: Yes, absolutely. Well, Becky, tell our listeners where to find you.

BECKY: You can find me at BeckyKopitzke.com. And Sheryl, I really hope you have show notes because nobody knows how to spell my last name. That’s where you can find my blog posts and some other resources and information about my books for moms in particular. I just love to connect with other women, other moms, heart to heart because we’ve got to do this thing together. I always say we moms need to stick together.

SHERYL: We sure do.

BECKY: So the book is available in bookstores and Amazon and in Barnes and Noble and that kind of thing too. But you will find more information about it online if you’re interested.

SHERYL: Yeah. Wonderful. Well, thank you. It’s been great connecting with you.

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