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


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Your Brain is not Mush: How to Continue Learning as a Busy Mom


As moms, our brains can often feel so full and so noisy. We are so exhausted all the time that the idea of dedicating time to learning just for fun feels completely foreign, maybe even laughable. 


Can you relate? 


That’s why there are so many jokes about how when you become a mom, your brain turns to mush. But today, we are busting that myth wide open! 


Moms, even the busiest of moms, can absolutely continue learning


Alli Roper hosts the podcast Wiser World, a show dedicated to making world history and world topics more approachable for busy people. She’s a former high school world history teacher turned stay-at-home mom to two little boys. Her goal is to increase global literacy and help people feel more wise and educated without the overwhelm. 


I loved my interview with Alli because she shares so many practical, easy ideas for how moms can become engaged and excited learners – even in our busiest seasons. She adamantly assures us that “you absolutely do not have to sell your brain to be a mom.”


These are Alli’s three takeaways for how to continue learning as a busy mom: 


1) Change the way you talk about yourself and your learning


Alli encourages us to remember we’re not in school anymore. We don’t need to get all of the “right” answers to do well on the “test.”  To continue learning as moms, we don’t need to focus on learning a bunch of facts. Instead, we get to find things that interest us and learn about them in any way we want! That’s the fun of being an adult!


The key is to adopt a growth mindset. Rather than saying, “I’ve never been good at math,” we can say “Math takes me more time, but I’m learning!” Another great phrase is, “I love a good challenge!” 


If we create a growth mindset, we will carry that with us for the rest of our lives. Alli said, “I want to be one of the people that’s 95 years old and still trying to grow.” 


Once we begin adopting a growth mindset, we’ll notice there are opportunities to learn all around us.


2) Don’t wait for big chunks of time to learn.


Alli reminds us that we’ll never get into the habit of learning unless we take advantage of small chunks of time. So, if you want to learn about personal finance, for example, you are probably not going to have time for an hours-long course, but you might have time for one weekly podcast. 


The key is to pick something that you’re genuinely interested in. Get excited! Then, do something small to learn about it. Something is better than nothing.


3) Join or start a learning community.



I know what you’re thinking: you are too busy for this! It’s too much work! But hang in there. Alli gives some really easy ideas to make this happen, even for the busiest of moms. 


First, she suggests online communities like Good Reads. You can participate on your own time, which is perfect for stressed out moms, but these communities allow you to connect with like-minded people and get ideas for new books, which is a perfect way to continue learning


If you’re looking for something in person, Alli suggests a book club. And if you’re not into reading, then you could do a Podcast club. She even knows about a group where one person reads the book and then everyone gathers to get the summary and spend time together.


She also reminds us that we can use Marco Polo and other platforms to meet with learning communities. You could have a group where you listen to a speech once a month and then discuss it. What great ideas! 


You can get really creative on building these communities, but the important thing is that they help you continue learning even when you’re in the midst of diaper changes and carpool runs. 

Here’s to a life of continued learning! I had such a good time talking with Alli, and now I need to start some sort of club. Who’s with me on that?

To listen to our full conversation, be sure to find episode 281 of the 3 in 30 Takeaways for Moms podcast in your favorite podcast-listening app. 




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