Ep. 76: Medical Mom Soul-Searching w/ Moira Cleary, CPC

 

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Summary

As caregivers, our needs often get pushed to the side. Self-care can seem impossible. Which is why I love the simple act of recognizing our top four values. According to Moira Cleary, when we identify our top four values, we identify what we need most in our lives. These can vary wildly from person to person.

Moira gives us the tools we need to do a little soul-searching and figure out just what these values are for us. Simply being aware of these things can inspire us to make subtle and simple adaptations to our ever day (busy) lives that truly make a difference.

In this episode, we also discuss the need let go of the expectations we had for parenthood and embrace our very different reality. Moira also speaks to the importance of recognizing our limited capacities—We cannot and should not try to do it all.

Episode Transcript

Moira Cleary  0:00 

Just try. I was where you are. I was in a dark place, it was heavy, it felt like just a wet blanket, I didn't know how to take it off. It also takes just a tiny little thread, we just need to pull and experiment with it.

 

Madeline Cheney  0:17 

Hello, you're listening to The Rare Life. I'm your host Madeline Cheney, and today I have guest Moira Cleary for our very first professional episode of season five. Moira is awesome, because she's a rare mom, and a certified life coach and mindfulness practitioner. Today's conversation is centered around how we can honor our core values, and our limited capacity, while running around and doing all the things required of us in any given day, which, as we all know, between appointments and hospitalizations, and parenting, in general, is an exceptional amount. We will learn how to hone in on our top four values in life. And the impact of just being aware of these things as we go through the day can have. We also talk about how to adjust how we imagined Parenthood to be to work with our reality, which like, yeah, how many of us imagined our lives to be as they are today? Probably not many of us. And we talk about how to honor our limited capacity, we shouldn't try to do it all. I'm really excited about these takeaways because I really believe they can influence the quality of our lives in like really subtle but meaningful ways. And I love this conversation because it's kind of a flavor of self care. It's making small pivots, in the way that we view our world and the way we do things in order to be one and whole with who we are. And it's an invitation to do some medical parenting soul searching. Because how many ways and times can I say it, you matter, strip everything away, like family, friends, accomplishments, perceived failures, you matter independent, and regardless of it all, at your core, you matter. And this really is a conversation honing in on that value that you have. And you know, kind of figuring out who you are, and honoring it. So Moira lives in Georgia with her husband, Michael, and their two awesome teenage daughters. With over 15 medical conditions. I feel like that's a major medical mom flex. Her career is dedicated to helping parents like us navigate our own well being while also caregiving. When not coaching, she hosts the surviving the waiting room podcast, as well as the latest edition of the parent and caregiver Summit, which some of you may have heard of. She's also just a lovely friend to me in this space. And she even hooked me up with my two interns, which I so appreciate. I love Moira, more as a lover of Brightspace and tinkering with technology. Let's jump in.

 

Madeline Cheney  3:37 

Hi, Moira welcome to the show!

 

Moira Cleary  3:39 

Hi, thank you, I'm excited to be here.

 

Madeline Cheney  3:42 

So as you know, I'm hoping that today we can really talk about self care, but in like the most basic form in a way that we can integrate into our everyday lives very naturally. And that will have a lot of results. Because I know that, you know, as parents with these children that have a lot of extra appointments and things like that our bandwidth is limited. And I think a lot of self care that a lot of other people use is not necessarily practical for us. And so I'm excited to talk about these, these more basic forms that can really affect us in our daily lives. Before we jump into this three point outline that we talked about previously, I would like to just hear a couple minutes of why you think it matters. Why do you think it matters how we're doing as parents as people? Why do you think that that should take up a part of our day or space in our hearts?

 

Moira Cleary  4:45 

Wow! So first of all for the listeners. As Madeline was talking, I was shaking my head this entire time like yes, yes, yes. Why does it matter? So even before we knew My daughter's had these very complicated lives with all these medical issues. I had the kids that always needed extra. So I was always putting myself on the backburner. I had learned coaching, I had been a coach, but there's something about it when you feel exasperated, and you're being with your kids, you're going in the doctor's office or just being by yourself, you still feel that exasperation. So there's really that we call it catabolic energy, where like you're eating away at yourself, it's that self talk, it's the anger, it's the frustration, it's the well, I could do this, but I have to do that. Or I would do this, but I first need to do that, you know, you're trading things off, and it really brings you down, it brings you down to a point of anger, it brings you down to a point of self pity. You know, nobody likes to say that nobody likes to bring that up. But, you know, we do need pity parties every once in a while, like I am all for you need to soak it in, you need to live it, but you need to move through it. And these little points along the way, you can catch yourself, or you can say, You know what, I choose to be at a higher level of energy, like I choose to be more accepting, I choose to reconcile what's going on right now so that I can move forward in a healthier form, it's really important to really notice where you're at is your energy really low? And you know, there's a lot of that victim mentality, a lot of that anger.

 

Madeline Cheney  6:32 

Yeah. And I think, I think it's very easy to know if you're in that state, like you talked about the anger, and I want to do this, but I have to go do these other things. And the pity the self pity, I think, like that was totally me today. Like To be honest, I was definitely at that lower level. And it's a strange place to be because I think we can also like logically be like, Oh, but like, life is really good. And we're doing these fun things together as a family and I have so much to be grateful for. And yet, we can still be in that lower that lower spot energetically. And so I think that's why we have to really nurture ourselves and give ourselves this care, and this love and compassion, because I don't think we can logic ourselves into a better place, it really has to come from kind of at a soul level.

 

Moira Cleary  7:20 

Absolutely. I still remember the very first time that I recognized it in myself. I was waiting outside in the car while the girls were inside getting tutoring, or they were doing something. And I was just screaming in my head, like, what about me? What about me? When is it my time to do something? What is it going to be my time? And that's when I realized, like, shoot, I really need to get some help, because that's not healthy. And, and I could rationalize it. And I could put in the coping mechanisms. But you know what, it kept on coming back and haunting? Because I wasn't taking care of it. I wasn't actually acknowledging it and, and filling that need that I needed at the point in time.

 

Madeline Cheney  7:58 

Yeah, yeah. So I mean, like, as I kind of mentioned at the very beginning, I think a lot of times we can be like, Well, yeah, but like, there isn't time for me, like, there aren't things that I can do for myself. But that leads us into our three points we're going to talk about today, right? So I'd love to dive in with figuring out what our values are, and making space for that in our lives. So what would you have to say about that?

 

Moira Cleary  8:25 

There's lots of things online, you could do, you could Google it, you could you know, get a PDF of values. I always like to think of it as what are the top four things that you need in your life? And starting there? Because you could you know, when you see the list, like, there's like 10 of them, and I thought I have to have my life and I'm like, but what are your top four? And then what I learned along the way, is that, are they yours? Or are they somebody else's? Because sometimes we take on somebody else's value, because it's so important. It's important to them. But we take it on because we feel the importance of it, because it's important to that other person. So it's really hate to use the word again, but it's very important to look at it and to say, okay, is this me or is it somebody else's?

 

Madeline Cheney  9:15 

I'll just throw in really quick, I'd be willing to bet that most people's values that maybe we take on as our own that aren't really our own, are probably our parents. And for me, it's like my mother's like, right, like, Oh, is that important to me? Because it actually is or because I watched my mother value these things. And so then I was like, oh, that's what I need to value to? Or is it really my own?

 

Moira Cleary  9:37 

Yeah, I had that it was my dad, my dad and time my value time. You know, I was obsessive about it until I knowledge like, I really don't care. You know, and, and I slowly started to teach myself to stop being so obsessive about time because that wasn't about me.

 

Madeline Cheney  9:56 

Yeah, I think there's definitely an empowering and freeing moment. With that as an example, I didn't care about my appearance very much like I've never been a high maintenance kind of girl, like I didn't wear a lot of makeup in high school didn't really care to learn how to do it properly slapped it on and did other things because that meant more to me. But then, like, I watched a sister who was like, super into that. And I was like, oh, like, that's really important to her. I guess it should be for me too. And I like kind of took that on. But then recently, did some soul searching was like, no, actually, Maddie, you don't really care that much about that? Why are you wasting your time on this, and it feels very freeing, because I think it feels compatible with the rest of us. And it feels right and taking on someone else's values I don't think is healthy, that adds extra weight to us instead of helping us feel better.

 

Moira Cleary  10:46 

And that right there is exactly the puts the extra weight on you. And that is a really good way to recognize that it's not your value, when you feel the pressure that you have to have it that you have to do it. That is a great acknowledgement that is not yours, and something to look into. So I always love doing this exercise. And when things are. I don't know, just every so often I'll do this exercise, and anybody who listening can so once you get like your top four, I always go through and say okay, well, how am I living each one. So I'll figure out three ways that I'm living each value. And then I'll look at three ways that I'm not living that value. And it's so interesting to see, like, the heaviness and the guilt and the frustration when you're not living the value because it's just clear as day. And so you could ask yourself, well, what do I need to do so like, during COVID, when we were all quarantine, I couldn't get outside. So I was love sitting my back deck, I always love to get in a fresh air and seeing the greenery. So as many other people did, like, I brought a lot of plants into my house, because that's the way like I live that value of just being out in the open into the fresh air. So it's a great exercise not only to get everything out of your head, but also like to see it in black and white, like I actually do an a different colors. So I see like all the ones that I live it in one color and all the ways I don't live in another color just to make it a little more contrasting for myself.

 

Madeline Cheney  12:15 

So can you give us an example? Like maybe like list off? Like, I don't know, 10 things that might be examples of values? Because for me, I'm trying to like, okay, like, I hear what you're saying, but I'm trying to conceptualize this.

 

Moira Cleary  12:27 

Yeah, off the top of my head I can only think of, of mine, of course. So mine are growth. So any kind of education learning, I always like rowing, I like space. So it's like a physical bright space, like, the more open, the better, the more light, the better. And loyalty and crazy loyal almost to a fault. Because I just believe that once I have found something, or someone that it really does fit with me, and it takes me a lot not to not to be loyal to that anymore. So those are really mine and your values change over life. So freedom has actually started to becoming more and more a value for mine. So a lot of people have family, so their family is above everything else. Oddly enough, I do not have family as my top values. But that's a very common one. Freedom is a common one. And adding fun and excitement, like what do you need to add to your life. So my sister has beauty as hers, but to her beauty is like decorating the house like in a beautiful way. Whereas other people think of beauty and they think of being beautiful. And that's a value. So I always make sure that you make your own definitions for these words, even though they're very generic words, we all look at them very, very different.

 

Madeline Cheney  13:56 

Yeah, that makes sense. Because you're defining these things that are very near and dear to your heart and kind of make up who you are, right? Like what you value is very, very personal. And so it makes sense that they'd really be customized to yourself and very, very subjective.

 

Moira Cleary  14:13 

Right. And so like you were talking before about your parents, that you could have the same value as your parents, but look at it from a completely different perspective that, you know, probably in a much more modern way that what they did, because when they grew up, it was just a different world back then.

 

Madeline Cheney  14:30 

Yeah. And so integrating these values into, you know, what we would call self care, which is a very catch all for a lot of these things, but it is, you know, love for yourself. What are some ways that you looked at the things that so when you were evaluating your values, you're like, hey, the three ways that I'm not upholding that value in threes I am. How did you prioritize and make space and time for your values in your life, even with all the busyness and everything going on?

 

Moira Cleary  15:00 

I did not make space and I did not prioritize. I just noticed, I just took those point times notice like, Okay, well, if I always feel like I need to grow, and I'm stuck, like I'm stuck in the muck right now, like, I am overloaded, I'm way down, there's no way I can grow. How can I? And then it was, okay, what can I look up? What can I learn. So you know, I would just pay any top all and I would just learn about on the internet, or I would get gobs and gobs of books from the library and just like have a stack of like five bucks. And as I go through them, I might see through quickly it might not, but just those little things of just acknowledging I'd need that, or I want that. And the moment I realized that when I put my earbuds in to make dinner, and I put my music on, and I could see the kids and they could do their work, and they could be laying around, you know, whatever. And I was in my own world. So it was interesting that even though I wasn't alone, and it was in a crowded space, it was in a noisy space. me having earbuds with my own music in my own world doing my own thing was enough for me to feel like I was living that valley to feel like I had that freedom and had that space that I so desperately needed. So ever since then, it drives my kids crazy, because I always have them. Because I need that. And the crazier it is, the more that I wear them, because that really helps us to calm me down helps to relax me, it helps me to feel that I have control over something when you know, usually we don't.

 

Madeline Cheney  16:39 

Yeah, and I love how that adapts to because like you say the kids were still there, you were still you know, being mom, even though you probably would prefer to like go off and do something by yourself and you couldn't write then write I love how adaptable that is. So I hope that like all of us can kind of problem solve like that, like, hey, what can I integrate into my life without changing a lot, but to, to put that value at the top of our priorities and make sure we're getting that so we can really feel, I don't know, it sounds cheesy, but like one with ourselves. Because I think when we're feeling that disconnect with ourselves, that's probably when those values are not being respected and are being you know, pushed down to the bottom of the list. And we need those things, we need our values to be prioritized. Saying that way to do that.

 

Moira Cleary  17:27 

Yeah. And, you know, you brought up hanging out with your family. And sometimes it can feel like you're living your value, and sometimes it doesn't, because sometimes, you know, we're really caregiving for them at a point when it's just all the emotions along with it are overwhelming. So at that moment, like, what do you want to put in place? Or what do you want to think about doing? Like, what do you actually enjoy? About that family value? Like, how do you define it, so that when you're in those moments, you can really go back and you can know that you have that, you know, you can bring that back in. And you know, life changes on a dime with our kids one point in time, and we're overwhelmed. The other point in time, we're like, we're dancing, we're laughing, and we're crying. And they're also very, very different. So you have to just play with things you have to see sometimes things work out, sometimes things don't you just adjust.

 

Madeline Cheney  18:24 

I like the idea of like, evaluating which activities or what moments you enjoy more with your family than others. Because, you know, I think there are some very clear activities that I don't enjoy doing with my kids. Like they're having a great time like, "Hey, Mom, come play Duplos with me" and I'm like, I don't want to play with you. But like, it's important to you. It's like, you know, sometimes I'll sit down on the floor, and I'll do that. But it's like, but I'd rather sit and read a book with you. Or I'd rather ask you about how your day was at school and chat. That's when I'm really feeling that, you know, fulfillment. I'm like, Oh, this is so fun. Look how cute he is. Or look how, how happy she is. So I think that's interesting to be intentional about that. And to notice. And obviously, we can't only do the things that we enjoy doing. And they're all starve and die and it'd be bad. But I think that's like really a great way to because like really, when you think about self care, I think is just the knowledge that you matter. And the intentionality of putting yourself up there with your family and others that you care for it like I matter. And I'd rather sit and read a book. So I'm like, Hey, right now, I need to read a book with you and said, play Duplos I just can't really I don't have it in me to play Duplos right now, you know that little things like that.

 

Moira Cleary  19:42 

it's okay to tell them like I don't have the energy to do that. Like, all I have to do is just to sit down here and read and do things quietly with you. That communication back and forth with your kids is is really interesting, the more that they can do it. There was one point in time when I was figuring all this out and my older daughter, I forget how old she was at the time, she must have been a young teen. And she's like, well, do I have values? Yeah. So we went through her values. And together, we had this awesome conversation. And she got to understand why I did things. And I got to understand why she did things. Because, you know, the sad part is we all don't have the same values. And you know, as parents, we just figure that our kids should just like whatever we like, or you know, had the same commitment to things. And they don't so to understand where they're coming from sometimes allows you to have that grace with each other as you're finding your way through this unchartered territory.

 

Madeline Cheney  20:41 

Yeah. And I think our children's seeing our example of putting our values first can be really powerful for them. And you know, what do we want for our kids? We want them to to put their values first when we think of it, you know, that way? It's like, yeah, I want Wendy to put herself up there with everyone else that she may care for. Yeah. And you know, when you were talking about talking to your younger daughter, that reminds me that it might be helpful when like, kind of soul searching like, Hey, what are my values? I think it'd be really cool to think back, you know, about yourself as a child, you know, what are some really awesome memories that you have as a kid? What, what were you doing at that time? What was important to you right, then? Because I bet that a lot of those really key memories in our lives from when we were kids were in line with our values, you know, and I think that could be a cool way to figure that out.

 

Moira Cleary  21:32 

Totally. Yeah, I'm laughing because when you think of space, and all that stuff that I always talk about, I used to go up into our woods, and I would sit and I would try to do like the Yoda thing of like moving things in my mind all by myself. Like I was in this glade of trees. So like, that's a clear, clear memory of mine. And I always love that memory, because it just felt safe and comfortable. And yeah, it was great.

 

Madeline Cheney  22:00 

That's awesome. Yeah, you are living. You're so congruent that and so yeah, in touch with yourself. That's so cool. I love that picture a little more in the woods. It's so cute. Well, before we were just chatting, casually off the hook, you told me about a client who kept trying to parent a certain way, because that's what she wanted to do. And then one day, she realized, like, hey, this just isn't working with my child, and they're different disabilities, and she was able to pivot and change. Do you mind telling that story?

 

Moira Cleary  22:34 

 It's one of my favorites. So she was brought up in a military house, you know, with a very strict code of how to how to have a house. And she had three children with ADHD and a husband with it. Also, she wasn't enjoying life, she wasn't enjoying any bit of it, because wasn't how it was supposed to be. And so we worked through it. And we, you know, we just talked about it, like, "what do you think it should be?" And she never actually understood that it was taking on the ideas and the beliefs that her family had had, that she grew up with. And once she was able to decide, okay, wait a second, I'm the adults, I get to make up whatever rules I want. And all of a sudden, her life changed, she was able to see the sock on the ground and see it as a growth for her son to remember to pick it up himself. And she like, called me immediately, she could not believe it, that she was able to walk by a sock on the floor and leave it knowing that it was a growth experiment for her son instead.

 

Madeline Cheney  23:42 

Yeah,that's so cool. I think, like, especially like picture, like a super structured, you know, high strung household and trying to replicate that with several members of ADHD like I have several. Yeah, family members with ADHD. And I'm like, oh, yeah, that, that probably wouldn't go down very well. And then you'd be fighting it the whole time. And that's not fun for her. And that's not fun for them. And I do think it's, it's hard to be flexible on that, and what we pictured our lives being like, but you know, it's gonna be a lot better for us a lot better for them. And there's probably things like that, that we kind of hang on to and, I think it's really healthy.

 

Moira Cleary  24:25 

Yeah, and we're reminded of it too, because we have family come to visit us, right? We have our our moms and our dads and whoever else, whoever created that in the first place, they come to visit us and they usually show us their opinion or tell us her opinion or we can see it on their face because we know them so well. So we're reminded of it too. So it's really difficult to you know, develop the house you want that house you enjoy that as your house and when they come to still stay comfortable in what you've just created and not feel guilty not feel like you're letting your parent down not doing all that other stuff. And that's a really deep place to get. And it's just, it's eye opening. And it's an education for your parents as well. Because they're probably set in their ways, you're probably never going to change them. But if they can just accept the way that you've decided to raise your kids and your house, and have your house, then that's just respect. And so it's, it's a great way to open up the communication there.

 

Madeline Cheney  25:28 

Yeah, and especially, maybe not so much with things like ADHD, but especially with, you know, these medical complexities and those kinds of disabilities. A lot of times, not all the time, but a lot of times, you know, our parents didn't deal with that. And so I think our parenting can look very different than theirs, not even just in our styles, but like, what we're doing like our day to day life is just so different. And they probably will never fully understand that either. And so I think maybe just accepting that as like the whole thing, like, okay, my parenting experience will be completely different than my parents parenting experience. And I can pick and choose what I want to bring into mine. And I can leave the rest, you know, and just pick what works for me. And because again, it goes back to that self care and that self compassion be like, I don't choose that I don't choose trying to fight, what my life is, I choose to accept it, because that'll bring me greater happiness in the end. You know, that's the ultimate goal. And love who said that? Okay, so I would love to move on to our third and our last point, and that is recognizing our capacity and not fighting it or expecting more of ourselves than we should. So let's talk about that one.

 

Moira Cleary  26:43 

I think often we we always push ourselves through the capacity is just, there's just so much to do. And there's not even so little time, it's just there's so much to do. You know, everything from dinner, to bed, to work, to doctor's appointments, there's so much to do. So what do you do when you're at capacity? And, and how do you get through it is one of those really, again, this is a whole episode, I think about really personal things. It's really about finding those little simple things that you could do. So like when we talked a second ago about making the rules in your own house and like doing things your way, like having that moment that recognizing like, "hey, wait a second, I can experiment, try something different." So when it comes to just being overwhelmed, okay, well, what can you do? Like, what do you want to try to do to not feel that way? Do you want to say no more? Do you want to see like, what your boundaries are? Like? What are the things that you are always going to say no, to what are your boundaries about? I do find that like one area, when people do start putting boundaries, they don't always tell the people that are in the house. And when that happens, there's a lot of animosity that comes in. And there's a lot of anger and confusion. So I would definitely say that. If you start to change your mind and try things out, just communicate, just tell the people in your house like what's going on. Like you know what, I realized that I hate socks on the floor. So let's every night just make sure the socks are up. Because when I come downstairs in the morning, I like the floor to be clean. Just saying things instead of being mad that their socks on the floor, making sure that people know those things. And yes, everybody forgets like we're in constant motion, but just starting to realize and verbalize what those boundaries are that you need, and saying no to things. So you and I were talking about helping out a school and stuff. And I had a similar experience that they expected me to help out with with the Girl Scouts when my girls were younger. But I was already at capacity, because I was already doing all this other stuff. But they didn't see that. And I was like, well, it's not really my fault that they don't see it. And they're not asking me and I'm not going to tell them because it's not really their their business what's going on, you know, so you need to be okay. And calm yourself down, like calm yourself at the core. And just so you know what, I mean with this like this, what I'm choosing and that's it like that's a boundary for me.

 

Madeline Cheney  29:19 

Yeah, I think. I mean, I recently had an experience where I had said yes, and I was committed to it and doing it and I could feel it. Like I think that's something that is just you just kind of know, like when you're like, you know what, this is too much. I said yes. when I shouldn't have said yes. And I went back and I was like, you know, like, I need to step down from this. I can't take the time and attention that it needs. And I need to help you find someone else to replace me. And I felt so good. And I think it really again went back to that compassion for myself, you know, and and saying you can't do everything and attempting to do everything that People ask you to do is not going to serve you, it's not going to serve them. And even if it did serve them, like, you know, you really do need to prioritize yourself. And it felt so good, I felt guilty, because I think we're kind of conditioned to feel like we should do everything. But it did feel really good. And I think, realizing that we do have a limited capacity, and especially we're in our lifestyles where a lot is asked of us in our parenting capacities. I think letting go of the extra, the other things that do not need to be done by you, that can be done by someone else, can help us enjoy the other things that we have said yes to. And we can be more present. And we can put more of our hearts into the things that we've chosen. And I think that is a really great way to show our self care, our character, our own selves and our love for our own selves.

 

Moira Cleary  30:54 

Absolutely. And it's important that we listen to ourselves. And I don't think that people really talk about it enough. But even though you want to say yes, because you're trained, and you're programmed to say yes, you know, to do whatever somebody is asked of you. Your body already knows the answer, because it is screaming at you. When you say that. I mean, like you're telling a story. And like my gut is like, oh, like, you guys, like feel like the negative energy, like shooting through your stomach? And if you feel that, you got to say no, I have just the opposite habit. I have the habit of saying no, like, I say no to everything. And then I come back and say, you know, I thought about it, and that I say yes to this. And not always saying no, but just saying you know what? Let me think about it. And that would give me time so that I didn't have to give an answer right then. But that'd give me time just to think about it. Or, you know, if they were saying you know, we need to get this bloodwork done, or you know, whatever I'm like, let me just think about it. And then we'll come up with a plan and then we'll come back to you. So that had been a saving grace over time. But listening to your body is just brilliant when you're in the moment.

 

Madeline Cheney  32:09 

Yeah. Because you really can feel that. And, you know, I'm also thinking, Okay, what about what about things that are seen as required, right, like, well, maybe people that are listening right now feel at capacity, but they're not necessarily the extra things like they're just, it's just life like, like, because I do remember, especially in the first few years with Kimble, like, I was completely maxed out, I was way above capacity, but it was, you know, specialist appointments, it was like it was the therapy appointments, there were things that everyone was saying, this is completely vital. What would you advise us to do in that situation?

 

Moira Cleary  32:48 

We need to find support, and you need to find help. So you know, if you have another adult living in a house with you, just letting them know that you are at capacity that you can't do anymore. And you know, if they could help you with the dishes, or help you with just little things around the house, maybe doing the laundry while they're doing other stuff. But on top of that, seeing if a neighbor can help out seeing if a neighbor, you know, wouldn't mind trading days with something, or just taking the day off and not feeling guilty for laying on the couch and watching Netflix all day long while your kids are right next to you. You know, like making sure that you're taking care of yourself making sure that people know that you need help. I know for me, that was the hardest part that I couldn't admit to anybody else that I was at capacity, because everybody else works just as hard as I do. So how are they going to find time? How are they going to help me and it's amazing, like when you say it when you say I'm at capacity, like I can't do anything, my houses is completely cluttered to roof. And I have no time for anything, I have no energy to do anything. And when I do have time, I don't have the energy. I think that's also where the other things that we talked about today really, really come into play a bit a bit because those little things help you when you get to that point. So they like that little lifeline, that little thing like okay, well, I'm just going to do this and I know that makes me feel better. And it's just a better way to cope with a situation unfortunately, coping with things might have to happen for a little while. And it's okay as long as you're talking to people and letting them know.

 

Madeline Cheney  34:41 

Yeah, so you're not suffering in silence cuz I think that can make a really isolating experience even like just so much more isolating if you are not making that known to people. And I love you know, recently you posted on Instagram. You're like I took a day and I watched shows literally all and lay on my couch. And I like reading that I was like, Oh my gosh, I feel my anxiety because I'm like, I go overboard with being like, I have to be productive and at my own expense, and so does I was like, but like, that's actually really cool. That sounds awesome. Like, I think I need to like be okay with that idea, you know, and like into take advantage of doing things that maybe our parents did not do, right, like going back to like the parenting style thing. Yeah. But like to take care of ourselves the way we would want to take care of anyone else that we love and care for.

 

Moira Cleary  35:32 

And I actually, never do that ever. Like, I don't take naps like I am. I'm go go go all the time. But I have to say that when I did that, my family took it really seriously. Because mom never does that. And they all left me alone. Like it was it was really interesting to see the dynamics in the house, because they saw that it was important because I never do that.

 

Madeline Cheney  35:58 

Yeah, in a way, I think that can be kind of telling them I'm at capacity, I'm having a hard time without necessarily telling them. Yeah. And that's really important. I mean, like, and I have a hard time. Like recently, I've been struggling with some other personal things that aren't really related to Kimble, but like miscarriages and things. And yeah, and I definitely feel this guilt when I need to take time to go cry about it or go to Justin like, I cannot find it in me to make dinner like looking at the fridge. I'm like, I feel completely overwhelmed. Even the smallest things like I'm just emotionally I'm just not at a place where I can do anything right now. So I would go into the room and just cry while he went down into care the kids, which I will say right now, I know not everyone has that. Not everyone has that support. And I'm very grateful that I did and that I do. And I felt so guilty. I was like I what am I doing right now, like I'm failing. But if that had been anyone else that was in that situation, I would have absolutely been like go cry about it, you would go sit up there for a while coloring your coloring book while I go take care of the kids. And I think thinking of it that way can help us have a lot more self compassion for these coping mechanisms or coping skills that are not always so pretty. And it's kind of shameful.

 

Moira Cleary  37:13 

And you bring up another good point, too, is that the tasks that are ours to do in the house, feel really guilty when somebody else does them. And I don't know why, you know, because it's my task. And I can't handle that. And that's a lot to let go of. But the thing is, it benefits the other person because we all like helping each other. Right? So if you're never giving somebody else the opportunity to help you when you actually need the help. That's giving them a disservice.

 

Madeline Cheney  37:43 

Yeah. And again, it goes back to that like the word self care, like you're literally caring for yourself. And especially in a time like that, where it's not like, you know, go get your nails done. And then you know that thing, it's like, go cry, have a sad day, like that's okay. In especially in the lives that we live with a lot of intense things happening, we have a lot of intensities a lot of things asked, all the little things add up so quickly, all the therapies and it can definitely lead to like staring at the fridge be like I have no capacity right now. And figure out something to eat.

 

Moira Cleary  38:20 

And it's the moment that you realize that you haven't actually exhaled, like you're always inhaling, and you're holding it in, and you actually forget to exhale because you're frozen, and you don't know what to do. So here's a tip for you that if your daughter knows how to use a knife, even a soft one, cheese and crackers for dinner,

 

Madeline Cheney  38:38 

There you go, she would love that. We're all about crackers at our house. I think it's important to to like, again, like realize that the life you're living is very different than your parents. And hopefully you're making your own home. And it can be full of cereal for dinners and things like that, like whatever you need, to reserve that capacity for what really needs to be done. So I would love to wrap up with envisioning someone listening right now. And maybe they're thinking something like, Yeah, but I don't like myself. Like, I'm just, I don't want to do this stuff because I don't think I deserve it. What would you say to that parent?

 

Moira Cleary  39:23 

Just try. I was where you are. I was always in a dark place. It was heavy. It felt like just a wet blanket. I didn't know how to take it off. It was I always think of it like borderline depression. It was too much for me to handle. And I just found a little thread and I just pulled it and I just found that I just needed space. I just made a time by myself. And that's when I found the earbuds and that's when I experimented with something else. And it was just adding those little pieces that helped me get back to where I am I could see myself again, enough light came through that you can start doing that. And then start imagining things like, I know a woman that would just imagine this golden bubble around her. When she came home, she would consciously fill it with all the goodness and all the love for her house to protect her from all the exterior and just doing that act just made life lighter. So, you know, nobody, she just made that up, we have to like just experiment, what do you need right now, like, what would be helpful for some people just not being so heavy, but not having a weight of the guilt or the, the impossibilities sometimes that we that we have in our lives? So what can we do to lighten that load a little bit, you know, do we need to put on some fun music do we need to like, you know, do a jig, I don't know, like just add a spark that can just start changing the energy. So that instead of feeling that lower energy, you can start feeling the higher one of like helping somebody else or, you know, seeing that everything has a purpose, or, you know, just feeling better about yourself, it's just so helpful. But it all just takes just a tiny little thread, you just need to pull and experiment with it.

 

Madeline Cheney  41:22 

I love that. And I can really picture how, you know, really figure out what your values are, in ways that you can incorporate that can be those little threads, the first little tiny steps forward to showing yourself a little bit of care and a little love that you deserve. And, and increasing on that increasing on that. And yeah, more of that. Well, thank you so much Moria for coming on and sharing your thoughts and your perspectives with us. I really appreciate it.

 

Moira Cleary  41:52 

I'm so glad to be here. And I hope that I was helpful to somebody else out there. I know that when I listened to your show, I always take away some nuggets and always makes me feel better.

 

Madeline Cheney  42:01 

Well I am glad to hear that. Thank you. So after this conversation, I really wanted to sit down and figure out my top four values, I realized, like how important that is, and I didn't really know what they were. So I did that with my husband, Justin. And that was really cool to get his insight and kind of bounce ideas off of each other. So I would I don't I really recommend grabbing a trusted partner or a friend to do some soul searching together, I think it was really cool. Also, I found it helpful to jot down kind of every aspect of my life that feels like it relates to the core values, I'm not really sure how I could really tell I just felt it like yes, this is something that's really important to me. So I jotted down a ton of things. They were just little things like being in a Zumba class. And being in a role as sister and daughter instead of just mother, then I was able to kind of categorize them into four groups, which ended up being those four top values, which are really the why behind how much it matters to me. So I just want to be kind of fun to share with you my top four values that I figured out. And I would love to hear yours maybe on social media or something you could tell me guys. So they are power and influence, which my siblings can attest to. And you know, I am a slytherin, so there you go. Intimacy, which I'll have to say it's in all forms, like I realized as a part of the reason that I love this podcast so much and why it's so meaningful to me, because you know what we talk about very intimate and, and we get really intimate with each other. As we talk about these things. And you know, being in nature, that's a part of intimacy to me. So, you know, as you can see it like more talked about, I really defined it in my own way and the way that I express it. And then another one is responsibility, and sense of self. So it was really fun. You guys, I really recommend going and grabbing more as download or you can just do kind of freestyle and figure out what your values are and ways to become more in sync with them. And I think you'll have some aha moments. That'll be really cool to me. So go do you can find the links in the show notes to find Moria on social media and on her website if you're interested in learning more from her. Also in the show notes is a link to receive a free download that Moria created to guide you through the values exercise that we talked about in the episode. Okay, so last year, I recorded episode 32 with Jessica Patay about self care in kind of a more traditional sense. And so go check that one out if you want. There's a link in the show notes. Join me next week for my solo episode entitled to those who cannot say I wouldn't have them any other way. I think there are some really important things for you to hear in there and I hope that you take take the time to listen. See you then!

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Ep. 107: Season 6 Finale episode w/ Brittany season 6 finale https://d3ctxlq1ktw2nl.cloudfront.net/staging/2022-10-9/295951222-22050-1-4c66a0f45d1b8.m4a

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68: Dipping My Toes into Educational Advocacy

 

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