281: Your Brain is not Mush: How to Continue Learning as a Busy Mom // Alli Roper


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As moms, our brains can often feel so full, so noisy, and so exhausted that the idea of dedicating time to learning just for fun feels completely foreign. Maybe even laughable. That’s why there are so many jokes thrown around about how when you become a mom, your brain turns to mush. But my guest today is passionate about busting that myth and reminding parents–moms and dads–that you don’t have to stop learning just because you are in a busy, demanding season of life.

Alli Roper is the host of the podcast Wiser World, a show dedicated to making world history and world topics more approachable for busy people who forgot it all. She is a former high school World History teacher turned stay-at-home mom to two little boys, and her goal is to increase global literacy and help people feel more wise and educated, without the overwhelm. Alli says, “I really believe that the more we learn about the world, the more we embrace our shared humanity.” 


3 Takeaways on How to Continue Learning as a Busy Mom

  1. Change the way you talk about your learning. Instead of saying “I’m not smart” or “I can’t learn to do this” or “I don’t know anything” try saying things like “I don’t know anything about that yet” or “I want to learn about that” or “I love a good challenge!” This is the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. For me personally, I sometimes have a bad attitude about learning something new because I feel like it takes too much time–like, I don’t want to take the time to watch a YouTube video and figure out how to install my internet router–but when I reframe those everyday tasks and think of them as an opportunity to learn instead of just as a big inconvenience, I find so much more energy for the task–and I do end up learning a lot!
  1. Stop waiting for big chunks of time to learn, and start in a creative and realistic way. This is especially important for busy moms! You may not have time in this season to read for hours every day, but do you have time for 10 minutes before you fall asleep each night? Could you listen to an audio book or podcast as you do chores or commute to work or nurse your baby? I was actually talking to Alli after we stopped recording, and I asked her how she originally found 3 in 30. She said she was looking for educational things to listen to as she spent hours nursing her first baby because she didn’t want to spend that time just scrolling her phone. She wanted something she would be excited to listen to and learn from and that’s when she started binging old 3 in 30 episodes until she had made it almost all the way through the archives. Such a brilliant example of using those pockets of time in everyday mom-life to intentionally engage in learning about something that interests you.
  1. Join or build a learning community. This makes learning fun! You could start a book club of “discussers”–or if that feels too ambitious, try a podcast club where you all come ready to discuss an episode or a Think Club where one person presents on a book and everyone else just comes to learn. I think you will find that having different topics to discuss with your friends or family will deepen your connection and relationships, as you go beyond just “how’s work?” or “how’s the kids?” to really diving into their thoughts on complex topics or their academic or personal interests. 


>>>Are these tips from Alli Roper on continuing to learn as a busy mom helpful? What would you add to the takeaways? Tell us in the comments below.


Get in touch with our Guest!

Instagram:  @wiserworldpodcast

Website: ​​wiserworldpodcast.com


  • BetterHelp: This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp. Use the code 3in30 to get 10% off your first month of online therapy!
  • Green Chef: use code 3in3060 for 60% off plus free shipping

Mentioned in the Episode

Related Episodes like this on Continuing to Learn

048: How to Find Time for Personal Development As a Mom: The 3 P’s // Mary Jenkins 

121: How to Clarify your Life’s Purpose // Brooke Snow

244: How to Pursue Fulfilling Work Outside the 9-5 // Kim Rittberg

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