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Episode 73: When You Just Don't Feel Like Being a Parent Anymore with Nicole Schwarz

Brief summary of show:

What is grace-based parenting? Do you give yourself grace in those hard moments with your kids?

Do you ever feel tired of parenting and want a break?

You're not alone, and Nicole Schwarz joins me to talk about what to do when parenting feels overwhelming.

Nicole Schwarz is an imperfect mom to 3 girls, Parent Coach with a License in Family Therapy, and author of "It Starts With You." She believes there are positive alternatives to timeouts, spankings and never-ending arguments with your kids. She also knows that parents can use some encouragement to take a deep breath and try again.

Listen in as we talk about:

  • [2:30] The pressure of being the perfect mom or parent

  • [3:15] The difference between guilt and shame

  • [4:25] Where shame comes from

  • [7:30] Being curious vs. judgemental

  • [11:10] Reclaiming ourselves as our kids get back into daily routines

  • [15:05] The biggest challenges Nicole sees in kids today

  • [18:20] Thoughts on anxiety in children today

Notes from Natalie:

Connect with Nicole

Connect with Me

View Transcript for this Episode

[00:00:00] No one said it would be easy, but no one mentioned that we might need a break from parenting. Hi everyone. It's Natalie. The stress of life is a lot add parenting, discipline meals work.

[00:00:12] Something has to give, we know we can't quit parenting and we don't wanna quit. We just need a break. Sometimes my guest today is Nicole Schwartz from imperfect She's a mom of three going through the same struggles you are sibling rivalry, jealousy, anger, aggression, school challenges, friend drama, power struggles.

[00:00:35] And so much more before we get started today. I wanna hear from you as I prepare for upcoming episodes, my contact information is right in the show notes here, and I wanna know what topics you wanna hear more of when it comes to your health and your family. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast and sign up for my newsletter.

[00:00:54] And let's get started today with my parenting expert, Nicole Schwart.


[00:01:02] Natalie: Nicole, thanks for joining me today. So for a lot of parents their kids have been home for the summer. Some are just heading back to school, some have a little bit more time, but I wanna talk about this idea of parents sometimes feeling guilty that they're not enjoying parenting. You know, maybe they're overwhelmed or they're just tired of the fights or whatever that is.

[00:01:23] Is that a pretty normal feeling?

[00:01:25] Nicole: Yeah, absolutely. And I wish people talked about it more. I feel like anytime I mention something like, oh, my daughter talks nonstop. You know, I, I get five other people say mine too. And, but we just, we don't talk about it enough. We it's, it's a hard thing to share that we don't always love.

[00:01:45] Natalie: Parenting. And especially in, in this day and age where we feel so much pressure,

[00:01:50] I feel like everywhere we go as a parent, it's like pressure to perform and pressure to volunteer and, and, you know, pressure to be the, the Pinterest mom or make everything perfect or bring the perfect snacks or, you know, and that just leads to this like deep sense of, of guilt of like, I'm not doing.

[00:02:12] Nicole: Yeah. Yeah. And I think for some people, it even can shift into more of like a shame. Like I am not even worthy to be a mom or, you know, I'm just a mistake. I'm messing all this up. And so it, it can go kind of to a really dark place that has kind of a negative spiral. We just feel so stuck and we forget that we're doing other things that.

[00:02:35] Great, you know, we're showing up for yeah. Yeah.

[00:02:38] Natalie: Can you talk for a minute about the difference? I think it's really important that you just mentioned that guilt that can turn into shame. What's the difference between guilt and shame and why is it important for us to, to understand that and identify that.

[00:02:54] Nicole: Yeah, I real simply I think about guilt as I made a mistake and shame as I am a mistake. So when we feel guilty about something that we did and it's a healthy kind of guilt, we can move forward. So we can say, Ugh, made a mistake. Here's how I'm gonna repair it. Or I made a mistake. Here's what I'm gonna do differently.

[00:03:13] Next time, shame really keeps us stuck because if we're. Unworthy. If we are a mistake we need to hide, we can't be making things better. We can't show, we can't show up anymore. Cause we're, making all these mistakes. And so identifying that we feel one way or the other is really important. It's okay.

[00:03:34] If you don't know kind of where you fall yet, but giving yourself a second to think, you know, am I feeling like I made a mistake or. Am a mistake, is that is an important place to start.

[00:03:46] Do you think that

[00:03:47] Natalie: shame comes from our upbringing as well? I mean, do, do things turn to shame pretty quickly just in a daily cycle of parenting or, or some of that come from how we were raised and, and, and something deeper.

[00:04:01] I, I tend to always go deeper. You know, maybe that's a, maybe that's a therapist or an interviewer type thing is like, where's this coming from? Why do I feel this way? Do you think it

[00:04:11] Nicole: comes from our past? Absolutely. I mean, it absolutely can. I think, and it can also pop up later in life. I think if maybe it's the beginning of your parenting, you start feeling this way.

[00:04:24] But shame can be, felt really early, like in the toddler years. And so even before our parents even knew that they were saying something that impacted us shamefully, It might have already kind of planted that seed. So it's hard to, to look for the why and where did this all start?

[00:04:41] And sometimes that's helpful and sometimes it's not, but it might be worth saying, wow, this has been around with me. This has been my constant companion since I was very young. And that, that might be an important part of the story for you.

[00:04:56] How do you

[00:04:57] Natalie: identify that if we are going deeper? And I know as a therapist, like a lot of people will recommend, I'm sure you do to get therapy or journal or understand, but how do people kind of get to that root in understanding why they parent the way they do or where their guilty feelings come from?

[00:05:17] How, how do you work with people and tell them. To get past that or understand that in themselves.

[00:05:24] Nicole: Yeah. It it's tricky. And I think we don't often make space for it. So I think part one of the first steps would kind of be to slow down, maybe get outta journal, maybe start noticing and naming what you're thinking and feeling in, in tough moments.

[00:05:40] So often we just have thoughts kind of floating around in our head, but if we slow 'em down, it might, they might say that little voice might say, you know, If you're failing, you're a son or, you know, good mom do this or something like that. And we don't even realize it's there because it's a real quiet voice.

[00:05:56] So slowing it down might be helpful for a lot of people though, that slowing down and processing, is it. It's not really effective to do it alone. And so you might need a therapist and I actually recommend a lot of people. If it's available to you to seek out, help from a therapist, an outside perspective, someone who can kind of guide you and you don't have to do it alone.

[00:06:17] But just being curious about why you react and thinking it again, if it's safe to do so without a therapist, you might just say. How were emotions handled when I was a kid? Oh, they were, you know, maybe you'll find like it was not safe. It was a big boys. Don't cry sort of situation or something like that.

[00:06:37] And you don't even need to do anything that with it at the time you might just say, oh, that's interesting. No wonder, you know, I, I feel like I need to stuff all these feelings inside or whatever, but being curious and, and nonjudgmental and slowing that process down.

[00:06:53] Natalie: Okay. You just hit something really important.

[00:06:55] And I love this concept of be curious versus judgemental. Tell me about that because I know we can use that in our parenting too, but with ourselves, like being curious, why we feel a certain

[00:07:07] Nicole: way. Well, I think this, this is the grace based parenting that I talk about. Yeah. For, we have to say, Hey, I'm worthy.

[00:07:16] I'm I am worthy just because I'm per, I'm a person. not because I'm perfect. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:07:23] Natalie: I'm human. Yeah. Right.

[00:07:25] Nicole: So we start there and then we say, okay, I'm gonna just look at this as if I was looking in from the outside, or maybe I'm gonna look at this as if a friend was going through this, or you can say what was going on around me.

[00:07:39] What kind of things was I experiencing? What, I don't know, what was the situation? Why, you know, just kind of. Looking at it in a way that allows us to move forward. Because again, if we start putting that judgmental or that shame piece in, we're gonna shut down. And so instead you might think yourself kind of if my friend was going through this, what would I say to them?

[00:08:01] Would I say you're a horrible parent? Or I might say. Yeah. Think about you were running all those errands and then you had to do those five drop offs. And that was really hard and that's a lot for you to carry. but often we don't we don't offer that same kind of grace and non-judgmental phrasing to ourselves.

[00:08:21] Natalie: We're so much harder on ourselves. If we would only treat ourselves as we would, our best friend.

[00:08:28] Nicole: Yeah

[00:08:29] Natalie: to really look at that. I just moved. And so I, I walk out to my garage where things kind of landed before they came in the house at, at the last fit. And I go, Ugh, I can't, I can't believe I haven't gotten to this yet.

[00:08:41] And I'm hard on myself. And then I stop and I, I, I'm trying to give myself grace and like, what would I tell. As somebody else like, oh, you did a lot in a week. Oh my gosh, you exhausted yourself, but I'm, trying to do that now in what you're saying and giving myself grace, instead of you need to get this done and move on, get moved in, cuz we're just so

[00:09:02] Nicole: hard on ourselves.

[00:09:04] I know, and it's, you know, culturally and it's, you know, maybe from upbringing and also from social media, I mean, you just think, Ugh. Yeah. You know, all you see is like the picture of the moving boxes and then the totally complete house. I mean, you

[00:09:16] Natalie: don't see. Oh yeah. And then I stop and I hard on myself and I say, oh, this would've been good social media material.

[00:09:22] When all I've done is moved. I don't, I like have social media has. Totally gone by the wayside for the last three weeks. I, I just, you know, can't do it all and to give myself that grace. So thank you for reminding me of that. I needed that today. , let's go back to this concept though, with kids going back to school and parents having a little bit of guilt could be shame identifying that of, I need time back to myself.

[00:09:48] I have. Entertained the kids all summer, we've gotten to the pool, we've done all these activities. Maybe we've been on vacation, whatever it might be for parents, but, now going into it's okay to take care of yourself and it's okay to feel like. I'm kind of tired of parenting.

[00:10:33] Natalie: Can you give us some more kind of tips on reclaiming ourselves as our kids are back into routines?