You Are Mom Enough Through The Challenges, The Loneliness, The Heartache, And Shame, With Rachel Marie Martin Of Finding Joy

Welcome friend,

We are all about showing up here real.

Some days, we feel like we have nothing.

I am super honored to have Rachel Marie Martin on the show today. If you don’t recognize her name, she is the writer behind the site Finding

She’s written about divorce, heartbreak and reconnecting with an estranged child, dealing with an autoimmune disease in her youngest, feeling overwhelmed with littles, living through financial crises,  waiting up for teens, and simply being overwhelmed and overjoyed by the day in, day out demands of motherhood. 

A second marriage, co-parenting, being a bonus (step) mom to four more amazing people, moving across the country, anxiety, and being an entrepreneur and coach. 

She believes in the power of the human spirit to overcome, to thrive and to find deep joy and because of that she pours out her heart via these platforms:

She recently released her latest book Mom Enough: Inspiring Letters for the Wonderfully Exhausting but Totally Normal Days of Motherhood where she offers encouragement for moms by sharing over 40 personal letters through her journey. 

Let’s dive in! 

What You Will Learn: 

  • What are some of the most trying times that Rachel has gone through as a mom?
  • What has gotten her through these challenging times?
  • What are some of the messages that we struggle with as moms?
  • The lessons Rachel has learned from raising teens.
  • The greatest gift we can give to our kids as they are moving towards adulthood.
  • A message for the mom who is struggling and feeling like she’s failing and her heart is breaking.

Where to find Rachel:

Find more encouragement, wisdom, and resources:

Sign up for our Moms of Tweens and Teens newsletter HERE

And here is the episode typed out!

Welcome to the Moms of Tweens and Teens Podcast. If some days you doubt yourself and 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 families and impact future generations. If you are looking for answers, encouragement, and becoming 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:  Rachel, welcome to the Moms of Tweens and Teens Podcast. I am so honored to have you here. 

RACHEL:  I am super excited to be here and just as honored.

SHERYL:    I have been following you; I told you for years and loved your writing; we’ve shared it. And when you came into my inbox about your new book, I was like, Oh, my gosh.

And just, I mean, the millions of moms that know your writing and have been following you. And now you have compiled so many of your letters into a book that you have written to moms, and we will talk about that, your story, and your journey. 

And I’ve been feeling so exhausted lately. I’m like, Oh my gosh, I’m so glad I have you today. I need your encouragement. And I just want to tell them about the title of your new book. It’s called Mom Enough: Inspiring Letters for the Wonderfully Exhausting but Normal Days of Motherhood.

And what made you decide on that title?

RACHEL:  Well, the title was inspired by one of the most viral letters that I had written. And the letter was about why being a mom is enough. And it just went crazy. And I remember when it went like people; it was just about celebrating the simple things about motherhood; it was like because, as moms, we are hard on ourselves

We’re like, I didn’t get anything done. And we missed everything. We miss all the simple moments. And I liked the title so much because we’re enough, even though sometimes we’re like, wow, that was a terrible day. 

And I was told, Mom, your track record for surviving terrible days is 100%, like you have made it through every terrible day. It might have been messy, but you’ve made it, and I just want moms, especially in the social media world, to take that breath. 

And now, I’m doing my best. And I’m enough. And that word is powerful because enough means that we’ve become comfortable with who we are and what we bring to the table. And it’s we live in a world of expectations or what we think of expectations, but they’re not.

SHERYL:  Wow, I’ve never heard it explained like that. Like, I feel like I’m well. I want to write it down and say that again because we often hear, ” Oh, you’re enough. And the way that you just explained it is that we actually, how did you say that we’re comfortable with who we are?

RACHEL:  Like getting into your skin, like I always say, it’s like really liking who you are and not basing enoughness. That’s me. I’ll just make that word up. If it’s not one on everything that we see on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, or when we go to Target. 

But knowing that we’re the right moms for our kids, and we don’t have to look like anybody else, and learning to like us, I think that’s super important. 

We tell our kids, like, you should like yourself and figure out who you are. And the mom enough is like it’s being comfortable and knowing that we’re enough with who we are and who we were created to be.

SHERYL:  And when you think about that and your journey, tell them a little about your story because you’ve gone through a lot. 

RACHEL:  I have joked in my first book that I live a publicly private life, which is what I refer to. Because there are enough people who know who I am, like I’ve had teachers, they’ll give me the little head nod, and then they’ll realize, so I realized that my life has this public aspect. 

But there’s also this part where I just keep some of it to myself or my kid’s journeys or minds, and that publicly private means that as a writer, I’ve been willing to share some of my vulnerabilities because I truly, truly believe that when we share our vulnerabilities, we bridge the gap of loneliness that’s in our world. 

Because the number one email I get all the time is that I don’t feel like I’m enough. I feel like I’m failing, and I’m all alone. And though I have over and over, I can tell you, I’m going to get one of those today. And the antidote to that isn’t like I’m going to do more all of that. It’s when we bridge the gap. 

We extend the hand and say hey, I have struggled too, or I’ve gone through that. And when I started writing, it was like 2008; I started in the blogging boom, I’m gonna say, and I didn’t know exactly what I was going to write about; I just started writing. And I just kept doing it every day, every day. 

And then, there was a day when I wrote a letter, and it was a dear mom who felt like she was failing. And which is in the book. The letter was written in response to an article written the previous day. That was 10 Things Moms Should Remember. And this lady wrote back; her name was Angel, which I have always considered interesting. 

I’m like, the universe is so powerful here. And she said, I love what you write, but I feel I’m failing. And then I remember thinking, well, if she feels like she’s failing, and I feel like I’m failing, I’m just gonna write her back. And I wrote her a letter back, and her email was anonymous. 

So, I realized that what I had written was universal. And I had a friend who said, you just need to publish this; just hit publish, and I have that real nervousness in my heart. And I did, and it went viral. 

What’s interesting about that, for me, is when I wrote that, I was in the midst of a messy marriage; my first marriage was, I will say, it wasn’t rightly ordered. And I was trying to untangle myself from it, and I was dealing with my own, you should do this, or this is what a good mom looks like, or you’re gonna mess up your kids or all of that. 

And then as that’s happening as my, like getting my life back and deciding, this isn’t how I should be treated, or this isn’t the right part of how life should be going. 

I was also writing so my journey became public, of like, people, like I knew all of a sudden as if I was going to be authentic, I’m going to have to share, like, going through separation and all of that, and people would comment back, like, you’re so brave to share. 

And it just reinforced the idea that we don’t talk about stuff like that, especially social media-wise; it’s just not so talked about. And I grew up in the 80s when everything was hush-hush. We don’t talk about money. We don’t talk about what our parents make; it is just like we just hear that we don’t talk about that. And then I think I took the opposite approach, like, well, let’s just talk about it. 

And for me, one of the things that I talked about a lot was, in my first marriage, my finances were a nightmare. And it gave me tremendous anxiety. And I lived with fear and felt like I was failing and ashamed. And I started to change my life and change my financial story. 

And the irony, like where I once would never talk about it. The irony is that I was on The Today Show, talking about finances and healing your money story. And I thought, how powerful is that? Are the very things that we are afraid of the things that offer healing to other people?

SHERYL:  I watched that. Yes, I did. And yeah, and how much your words have spoken and resonated with so many moms because we have so much shame around it. I think that’s, when I read your stuff, it’s like, it just goes deep. And it’s those words that I need to hear that are so comforting. 

And I love how you said that it bridges the gap vulnerability and bridges the gap of loneliness. Yet, we’re so terrified to be vulnerable because I don’t know about you, but my belief used to be that I’m going to be rejected, right? 

I’m going to be showing my ugly side, and people are going to judge. Of course, we want to be responsible, right? And, instead, Thank you, thank you, that you’re expressing what I’m feeling, but I don’t want to talk about it.

RACHEL:  I appreciate that. I’ve learned that vulnerability for me, as a writer, there’s a lot of stuff in my drafts. There’s a lot of content that I’m like, what, no, it’s just gonna stay there because I want to do a couple of things. I want to meet people, women, and moms where they are. I want to say, like, listen, I get that because sometimes you just need that to know somebody else. 

It might not be exactly it, but it’s almost like they’re seen like I’m not unseen anymore. And then I want to offer encouragement, but I never want to leave people wallowing in it like life is so bad, like that kind of moment of it. I always want there to be an element or a spark of hope. Like what, maybe I can do this. Maybe I actually can do it. 

And if you look at the failing mom, who feels like she’s failing, I didn’t know that back then. Looking back, I realize I ended it with just doing one thing. And that has been my mantra for the last ten years. 

If you don’t know what to do, just choose one thing, do that, and then just do it to the best of your ability. And then you can say you’ve done it. And that, to me, is the biggest thing, leaving people and moms with this little ember inside them that thinks, I can do this, I can do this, I can do that. 

Because there have been a lot of times when I’ve had to tell myself, I can do this. I can do this. So it’s like that old book, what is it, The Little Engine That Could? I think I can. But my dad would read it to me all the time. And there’s this power to that, like, what you think you become?

SHERYL:  Yeah. Yeah. And I think what is special about your writing is that you feel seen. But then you feel that hope and that encouragement. And I don’t think that’s easy to do. Do you? Do you feel like your writing hasn’t been mostly that you’re writing for yourself? And then it ended up resonating with others?

RACHEL:  I feel like Yes. And no, I feel like I write about stuff that I understand, like moms will say, Hey, could you write to me about raising a child with diabetes? And I will say, I can’t; I have people that can because I never want to step into somebody’s shoes and go, I get it. 

I understand what it’s like if somebody said, Could you write about raising a child with celiac disease? I’d be like, Yes, I can. Because my youngest guy has that, well, he’s 14 now. But I can because I understand its nuances. 

But writing for myself, a lot of it is like there’s one letter, and I’m trying to think, oh, is the motherhood days that we don’t talk about, but we should. And it shut down. It got shared so much that Facebook declared it spam. 

And it was right during the, I think it was the Kim Kardashian movement when she had the image where there was like a champagne glass and water on her bag, and that went viral at the same time. And on Facebook, I had to copy and paste images of it; I couldn’t even republish it. And I had to appeal, and all this stuff, and it ended up coming back on. 

But it was really about the days when I was my single mom days. And I think I started it off with the other day; I went into my room, put, and screamed into a pillow. Because I was so frustrated, and it wasn’t like I was frustrated over the big things. 

I was frustrated over things that I felt I shouldn’t be frustrated over -milk spilled or kids needing me, and then I had that guilt, if you’re a bad mom, how can you be frustrated over milk spilling? And it’s just all that stuff. And that one was really about that talking about it. 

Or, dear Mom, are you stronger than you think? That was in the really hard parts of my divorce. And I needed to remind myself, and I knew if I needed to remember it, going back to the failing when there’s somebody else that strength doesn’t often look like, finishing the marathon while that’s amazing, or all that other stuff. 

Strength sometimes is the audacity just to keep going. I have no idea how I will get through this day. But I’m going to do it. I’m going to tuck you in. I’m going to read the book; I’m going to put the dishes away. It was strong, and I wanted to celebrate moms, but it was almost like I was writing to myself at that moment. Like, this is strong what you’re doing.

SHERYL:  And you have seven kids and then four stepkids.

RACHEL:  I do. I do. It is crazy. My husband likes to speak and loves to be like how many kids we have. I have seven kids, and my first marriage ended. My youngest guy was three; it was the scariest thing ever because I, the seven kids, became my responsibility. And honestly, they have been; I have been the one to step up for them. 

For me, part of doing the hard things was breaking a cycle and having their life story change even though, at that time, my kids were wondering what was happening or were mad or angry. I knew that if I didn’t step up to the plate, I wasn’t serving them in the way that they needed.

SHERYL:  So actually, knowing that by leaving, that would be the healthiest thing for them.

RACHEL:  It was. I think that when you’re in a situation, you don’t, I would say to people to have a lot of grace for somebody that’s getting out of an unhealthy marriage or dealing with something because, in the beginning, you don’t see, I had lots of friends that would say, No, this is the right thing. 

And the farther I stepped back, the more I started to see, wow, that was so unhealthy. But I was living within paradigms that I thought couldn’t be broken. I thought one of my paradigms was good Christian women don’t get divorced. It was just a paradigm that I had. And yet, it kept me bound into something that wasn’t right. It wasn’t the right thing. 

So I had to break down. Oh, so much on my ideologies. And in that process of that, I started to see it. And then I started writing about it, too. You can see more of my writing as I become alive again.

SHERYL:  Wow. Yeah, that belief, a good Christian woman if you’re getting divorced, and yet by staying in something that’s unhealthy and having to overcome that. And I think that the thing I love so much about your writing is there’s so much grace and compassion in it, and we need that so much while we’re going through hard times because we’re so hard on ourselves. 

And I wonder if, as I’ve read so much of what you’ve written, you feel like because you’ve had been able to write and to have and go through this growth process of having grace for yourself, it’s helped you to get where you are today, as far as like achieving, because I look at you, I’m like, seven kids, four-step kids and married, you started a business with your husband, and you have, millions of dollars every month. I’m like, how did she do this? This, like, inspires me. And so how have you done that?

RACHEL:  Well, there’s a lot to it. I think that when you get that fire within you to change your life, that is extremely motivating; I needed to change my life, I needed to change my finances, I needed people not knocking on my door anymore, like gonna turn off the recruiter, and I needed that not to be my kid’s story. 

And once you push a snowball, that’s where I was given that analogy, like, once it starts moving, it starts moving, it’s just that initial, deciding to push it and change it. For me, a lot of it is that I always tell people I’m just a busy person. That is just my nature to be doing stuff. 

One of the reasons I write about rest is because it’s very hard for me to sit still; it’s very, very hard for me to take that moment because I feel guilty. And I don’t even know where that came from, like that guilt of, ” Well, you shouldn’t be doing something.

And this year, I’ve been like, No, this is just as important as to sit. I just go back to doing one thing every day. One thing, one thing, one thing, like in 2022, I ran 1000 miles, which I don’t know what it got in my head. But I was like, Okay, I’m gonna do this. But it wasn’t like 1000 miles. I didn’t in a month. It was every day; I would commit to running a little bit through three miles or so. And I would write it down. I just made a giant grid checkbook checkbox in my notebook that I carry with me. 

And every time I returned, I was like a little kid; I filled in a little square. And then I’d be like, I’ve got a line done. Because I believe in that power, the power of small steps will change your life

Because I think social media, while I love it, it’s my bread and butter. I love it, love it. But it kind of gives us the illusion that we can change our lives in six weeks. You can do this in six weeks and have a million followers in six weeks, and blah, blah, blah, but it’s really tenacity and sticking with it and deciding, like, this is my lane. 

And even if they’re doing all that stuff, it doesn’t mean I have to do it. I’m gonna stay here and serve my community. And that has been what it’s always been: just staying here, dealing with, like, Oh, my frustrations, but just getting it done.

SHERYL:  It’s little things that matter. It’s taking those little steps. It’s the little things that matter. And I think when we’re micromanaging, you talk about that too. I wanted to manage everything by so much of that when you have teenagers, and you have three chapters about teenagers in your book and our moms of teens, a lot of that is letting go of a lot of stuff. What have you found is the most challenging about having teenagers? And do you have teenagers?

RACHEL:  Oh my goodness, let me think 14, 14, 16, 16,18 Five teenagers. So my bonus kids are the same age as my two youngest teenagers. So there are two 14-year-olds to 16-year-olds. 18-year-old, I’m going to tell you that our insurance agency loves us; we probably pay for the sign right now because of the car and driving. 

I like the teenage years. I think one of the things I tell moms is this all the time. Sure you do, too, to never tell, like when moms with little kids just wait till they’re teenagers. I think it sets that precedent like it’s going to be awful. But I think the teenagers are amazing because you see these people emerge

Now, that being said, teenagers are moody. But this is where the grace part comes in. Sometimes, we forget what it’s like to be that age. We forget our own stories and that hormone thing.

I mean, I just have to remind myself, they don’t know what’s right, what’s up, what’s down, all of that stuff, and there’s so much noise coming at them. And especially like, when they’re tweens, I think that that’s a really hard age; I vividly remember one day being in my bedroom when I was a little girl or tween, and not knowing if I should play with my Barbies. 

I remember thinking, well, I want to, but then I remember thinking, but I’m too old for that. But I want to, and I’m too old for that. And it was that back and forth. And it was so confusing. And so I try hard to remember like, okay, that’s okay, or to give them space. 

Because I tend to micromanage and want to know everything, for example, if I drove the kids to school, my son Caleb was graduating this year. One year, a couple of years ago, I was driving him to school. And in the hallway, I thought I needed to talk with him and see what was happening. 

And finally, he’s like, Mom, seriously, like, on the bus. It’s my quiet time. He goes, No offense, but I just needed to be quiet because I’m going to school, and I need to prep to go in there. 

And I immediately felt a bit like, oh, how could you say to be taken aback? I thought, no, no, no, he’s expressing himself to me. He’s telling me I don’t need you to create more noise in my life. I just need you to be here in the car with me.

SHERYL:  That’s so great that he could say, like, we don’t think about that, like I’m prepping to go to school. Mentally, I’m gearing up. Right? It’s stressful, right? 

RACHEL:  I watched him yesterday. I went to get his passport. And he was doing homework in the car. And I told him, I’m like, you only have two months left until you’re not under the school’s jurisdiction. Like when you go to college. I’m like, it’s more you. It’s your responsibility. But like that idea, he can’t when you’re in school; you can’t leave the hall without a hall pass. So that’s stressful. I would like to choke if that was me.

SHERYL:  It’s so stressful. And today was when we were young, but it’s a different ballgame. Now it is.

RACHEL:  There’s a lot of different stressors for them now. And so I have learned grace. As a result, it is a big thing for me, as the word grace. And I always joke, too. I have a daughter named Grace. So, I feel like the universe, or God told me I must incorporate grace into my life. 

And it’s funny because she’s my spitfire, and she’s in her 20s now, but when she was young, oh, gosh, she was just I’d be like grace, grace, grace, grace. So, she has taught me to embrace that part of life.

SHERYL:  Yeah, it’s just funny that she’s named Grace, and she’s a spitfire. Oh, you needed to name her Grace. So you could do it over and over again yourself?

RACHEL:  Oh, yeah. It became a mantra chant for many years.

SHERYL:  You also write about the silence of the teenagers, and I know that’s hard for moms when they’re wrapping in their room when they’re not talking. How have you navigated the quiet?

RACHEL:  I look for opportunities when they’re not quiet. Most of the time, if I get them in the car, They’ll talk, which is a weird dichotomy I’m so grateful for. But the silence I’ve discovered now with having so many teens is that there’s this blip of time, and I don’t think my youngest one is completely gone; he might have skipped it, like 13 to 15. 

Where they just get so quiet and so moody. And so, like, we don’t know anything anymore. And I think many of my kids, you don’t know anything as they go through that, but it’s not bad. 

That’s what I’d want to tell moms all the time: it’s not necessarily a slam against us. It’s that they’re trying to become independent. They’re trying to figure out who they are and their voice, and they’re getting these messages, like, be you, and then we’re as the moms like, don’t do that. 

So there it’s, this navigation of I say that motherhood is like when they’re little, you hold on to them tight, and it’s released in the grip of your hand until you let go, but they know your hand is always there for them. 

SHERYL:  I agree with 13 to 15. That’s a time when they start climbing up more. I remember our daughter, our youngest, not one; I’m sure it also happened with the older two. But I especially remember her because she was a baby and didn’t want to go out to eat with us. 

I was at the grocery store when the kids from school showed up. She was running around the corner to not be seen with me. It was, yes, time. And then they come out, then they come out of it. And I think it was around 15 when that seemed then she could have dinner with us again, go out to a restaurant. I was like, Oh, that’s interesting.

RACHEL:  Yeah, it’s hard to take. It’s hard not to take it personally because I tend to take things personally in general, and I’ve had to work through that a lot. Like, I’ve written about the fact that I’m overly sensitive, but I think for me, where they’re a safe place, it comes down to that, like, they know, I’m going to love them. 

And I’m going to show up for them no matter what. And they live in a world where people watch and judge everything they do or say, especially with social media. And sometimes, they just need to have that safe space. 

My mother told me that sometimes when I was a teenager, she could tell if I was in a bad mood or whatever. I play the piano loud, but sometimes, I’m like, Wow, you are Superwoman. She would intentionally get me mad at her because she knew I was keeping everything inside. And I needed to get it out. You unleash the beast.

SHERYL:  And it worked.

RACHEL:  It did; it would get me mad, and then I would share what I kept inside. And I’ve always wondered if that insight has made me realize that the longer we keep stuff inside, the more there’s you. It’s just like it tethers you down. It’s speaking it out, talking it out, or sharing it that allows you to move forward.

SHERYL:  Do you remember what she said to you? Because she pushed a little bit, she pushed just enough.

RACHEL:  I have no idea. I don’t think it’s because I was a fairly moody teen, but I think it’s because I’m an introspective person. And I was bullied a lot in school, like terribly, and when that happens, you just take it on. Like it’s me, it’s me. It’s me. It’s me, like as a kid. 

I was like, What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I be good enough? I didn’t have the tools yet to realize it wasn’t me. It was that situation, and maybe that’s just talking with you. I’m like, Well, maybe that’s part of the grace part and being empathetic to and seeing people because you just don’t know another person’s story.

SHERYL:  Yeah, I relate to the being bullied piece because I was bullied. My maiden name is – I just remember thinking and being told I was a dog and I’m a psychopath. Or I was a weird kid. And now I look at pictures. I’m like, I wasn’t a dog. Like, I was a little different. And I was sensitive. 

So, I was a great bully because I would usually cry, which just pitches it. I don’t know. Right? But yeah, going through those things can make you stronger. And I know that’s a platitude, but the empathy and understanding pieces really matter. So, yeah. So, that’s important to remember what it’s like. And you write that in the book when we were teens.

RACHEL:  And even if we don’t just like, for me being in my late 40s, like, there’s a lot of hormone stuff happening, like, I almost need them just to be able to be human, or, I’ve told moms this too, like, when you and I were in school, there are problems, there wasn’t tech. 

We could check grades all the time. My parents didn’t know my grades; they knew my grades at midterm and the end of the quarter, right? And then, if there was a problem, the teacher wouldn’t message. 

Well, nowadays, I could go on right now and look instantly at all the kids’ grades and be there. And I’ve had to learn to step back and not micromanage that like to give them a chance, like I could see, like, Ooh, you got too late assignments, and they might not even be late, it might just be that tech teacher hasn’t entered them yet, and all of that. 

But if I micromanage it so much, I’m not giving them the opportunity, like I had to go, Whoa, I got a low grade in this class; I’m gonna get it up before the grades return. 

And so, for me, that’s been a lot of being a mom of teenagers, letting them make mistakes and fixing them. I don’t have to fix it all for them like, okay, don’t have to deal with this, fix it or to not micromanage to not constantly look at everything, and, okay, where are you right now, like, my mom and dad used to drop me off at the mall and be like, be at the back door by the arcade at nine. 

I knew, like, they’re gonna be there. And if I’m not there, I’m in trouble. And nowadays, I could look at an app and say, “Ooh, they’re driving 72. 

SHERYL:  And it can just make a crazy deal. I’m looking at everything and watching the grades. And if they’re missing an assignment, that’s part of it. In the membership we have, I use a backpack analogy. We had this exercise where we asked what belonged in their backpack and what was in our van. 

And writing that out. Because having five teenagers, I imagine if you were hyper-focused on all of them, you would not be doing what you’re doing now. You would not have a good relationship with them. 

You couldn’t do what you’re doing. And, living our own lives and focusing on those things, a lot of that grace and peace. Letting them be human and make mistakes is freeing, like, amount of freedom and hearing you talk. 

RACHEL:  I think a lot of it, too, comes back to going back ten years when I had to take back my life like moms would say, well, how did you do that? And I tell moms, too, there’s these different seasons. 

And that season for me as – I call it the harvest years of motherhood like I had to work so hard, like I, and I compare it to the harvest because I had a grandfather, who was a farmer in Minnesota. 

And when it was harvest time when we visited him, he didn’t like playing on the floor with us. He was working in the field, but I never doubted whether Grandpa loved me. I just knew Grandpa loved me. 

Sometimes, moms must go through the seasons where we have to work hard. And it might mean Taco Bell for dinner or all this stuff. And it doesn’t look like what everybody else is doing. 

But it doesn’t mean that it’s bad. During that time, I also learned that I had to let go of some of the control because I couldn’t be micromanaging that, and doing all this, I would have burned out. 

SHERYL:  Yeah. Well, Rachel, everything you share in your book is so good. And how do you find that moms put it on their coffee tables? Is that because it’s so beautifully illustrated? 

I mean, you have beautiful pictures in there too. And it’s just kind of what you need to hear for the day, is how I look at the book. 

RACHEL:  That’s my goal: you’re not going to want to wait, probably read it all the way through, you’re just going to be like, Okay, what do I need today? And I feel like I’m failing, and there’s that whole section on that or of the teenagers or letting go, and it is meant to be kind of like that kind of gift book. 

But for me, it was having that friend that you need at 3 am when the time when you feel alone, that there’s somebody else out there that gets it and that’s been there, and the idea that these letters have been shared heard millions and millions of time means that a lot of people get it. A lot of moms get it. And because of that, if you’re feeling that you’re not alone – 

SHERYL:  We need those reminders. That’s what I love about reading your words. It’s like, I need to remind myself as I read it, so you can read it over and over and over again and pick what you need. 

RACHEL:  Exactly. And, I would say, if you just do that one thing, man, 365 days of doing one thing, you will not be in the same spot you were a year ago.

SHERYL:  Yeah. You’ve said so many good things, but you are listening today. And she feels despair, discouragement, and lack of hope; what would you want to say to her?

RACHEL:  Well, first of all, I would say I see or hear you, and you’re not alone because I think that feeling that lack of hope can be a lonely spot. And it can be a spot where you think I shouldn’t feel this way. 

And so there’s all that other guilt. And I just want to encourage her to take that breath; I talk a lot about, like, inhale, peace and inhale, hope and exhale, all the stuff that’s you’re holding on to, and then to start to see all the little things that you’ve done every day that make a difference, and to not discount them. 

Because I say if you load the dishes, it counts, and you tucked you tuck them into bed, you read a story you picked up, you sat in the pickup line, you sat on a bleacher where it hurts your bottom, it goes on and on and on, and all that stuff matters. And then I would leave it with, you got to do one thing every day for your heart. 

Because it goes back to that, the analogy of putting your oxygen mask on, you got to put yours on before your child’s, and if and I lived a life where I didn’t take care of my heart and it was suffocating. 

And when you start caring for your heart and doing it, even if it’s like they can watch something on Disney Jr. or whatever it’s called now, and I’m going to read a book for 20 minutes, that counts. 

Or I’m going to take the long way home and just breathe. But you got it. You have to take care of yourself. So just do one thing every day for yourself. Get up, make coffee, or walk around the block and call a friend. But the more you start investing in your heart, the more you’ll free up space to give to everybody else.

SHERYL:  Yeah, yeah, thank you for that. We have to remember. Yeah, on our hearts. So Rachel, tell them where to find you. So many people already know you who are listening, but where to find you and your book and all of that?

RACHEL:  Well, the most popular place people find me is on Facebook; it’s the Finding Joy blog. So, if you type it in, my face will pop up. Otherwise, I’m also on Instagram; I have one of those Instagram handles with the underscore’s finding_joy. 

And then my website is My book Mom Enough is available. Amazon, Books a Million, Barnes and Noble, and the local bookstores. So, I always encourage people to check them out, too.

SHERYL:  Wonderful. Well, thank you so much. Thank you for all you do and for being here for all of us. And just speaking graceful, comforting, compassionate words today because we all need it.

RACHEL:  Well, thank you. I’m very honored to be able to be here and to share. And I just want to end with, for most of history, women have asked and pleaded for a voice to be heard. 

And this online platform has given so many of us a voice; it would be a shame to let it be polluted with rudeness. So, one of my things is that when you’re on there, just be kind and celebrate this opportunity to share.

SHERYL:  Love that. Thank you, Rachel.

RACHEL:  Thank you

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