It’s TEEN MONTH at 3 in 30, and I’m so excited to kick it off with two of my motherhood mentors, Tiffany Sowby and Allyson Reynolds, who I met about seven years ago when I worked for the organization Power of Moms.
The transition into motherhood and the different stages of it often comes with unexpected loneliness. As our children get older, their needs change, and they need us in different ways than they did when they were young.
Tiffany and Allison have 9 children between them, ranging in age from 21 down to 10 years old, and according to them, “What is hard when kids are little is easy when they’re older, and what is easy when they’re little can be challenging as they get older.”
Today, Tiffany and Allyson are sharing three takeaways for combating “the unexpected loneliness of parenting teens”:
- Find friends in real life you can trust. Unlike so much of the parenting advice that comes through social media, sharing the heavier things requires privacy and connection.
- Seek out resources that are available, including professional help. Book, blogs, and podcasts are easier to find for moms of young children, but they are still out there for moms of teens! And everyone needs a therapist!
- Enjoy the good. Even though your teens aren’t with you as often, it is truly FUN when they are: in these years, you get to develop your friendship with them and see their unique personalities emerge.
There’s no question that parenting has been difficult for every generation– but has it always been this difficult? I’ll admit, my dreams of parenthood were idealized in many ways, but I often wonder if the day will ever come that my children actually stay in their seats at dinner long enough for good conversation and connection. I wonder if their big emotions and high energy will continue to affect our everyday lives, or if we will be able to have memorable outings that don’t require quite so much emotional energy with managing expectations and refereeing.
Katherine Reynolds Lewis, an award-winning journalist and certified parent educator, had the same questions as she raised her own strong-willed children. The more she looked around at other parents and children, the more she realized that she wasn’t alone–kids today just seemed to be harder, even though parents devote more time and energy to their children than in any other generation.
This seeming epidemic of strong-willed kids with difficult behavior is the reason that she embarked on writing her book, The Good News About Bad Behavior– Why Kids Are Less Disciplined Than Ever and What to Do About It.
After years of incredibly detailed research, Katherine found there are three overarching reasons why kids today have less ability to regulate their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors:
- The decline in unstructured play and outdoor time.
- The growth of media and technology .
- The increased focus on achievement and performance, instead of character and contribution.
In this episode, Katherine unpacks each of these areas and gives suggestions for what we as modern parents can do about it.
And don’t forget to come back next week for part two of this super interesting discussion!
Katherine’s website: katherinerlewis.com
Katherine’s Instagram: @katherinereynoldslewis
Katherine’s book: The Good News About Bad Behavior: Why Kids Are Less Disciplined Than Ever– and What To Do About It
We are so grateful for our 3 in 30 Sponsors! Thanks to Jill from j-coterie.com, our fifth and final sponsor from my Declutter Your Motherhood Workshop in Utah.
Get 20% off your order through 6/30 with the code 3in30!
I think we all know that parenting can be hard– but from what I’ve heard, step-parenting is even harder. Think about some of the struggles you face with your children– maybe it’s dealing with sassy attitudes or figuring out the rules and technology expectations in your home. Then imagine trying to navigate all of that with children who also have another parent or set of parents and another home they live in part of the time. I can only imagine how complicated that must get and how many big emotions are involved.
Today’s guest, Amanda Louder–a life coach, podcaster, mother of three, and stepmother of two–gives three takeaways that have helped her navigate and embrace her blended family:
1) Treat your step children as equals to your own children: give them the same amount of love, responsibility, and discipline
2) Understand that he was their dad first
3) Try to find a new family culture
Amanda has such a positive outlook as she strives to “live from love” in the relationships she has with all of her children.
Podcast: Live from Love
“To the Mom Who Doesn’t Feel Like a Mother, Yet”– blog post by Katie Davis Majors
“Parenting After Divorce” online Conference–sign up soon because it ends March 15th!
“The truth is, I don’t like motherhood–and I desperately want to.”
In August of 2016, I wrote these words in an email to a woman I’d never met before but had admired from afar, asking for her advice. At the heart of my message was this question: “How can I learn to love motherhood more?”
My kids were 5 and 2 at the time, and long days at home with them were brutal for me, despite my best efforts to be a patient and fun mom. I felt lost and unfulfilled–but too embarrassed to admit just how desperate I felt to anyone in my real life. It was safer to reach out to someone distant, and that’s why I emailed one of my mom-heroes from Instagram, Kelly Jensen.
I never would’ve believed that just over two years later, I would be talking to Kelly on my very own podcast, reading her that heartfelt plea for help I sent I sent via email and sharing her response with moms all over the world.
It was thrilling for me to interview Kelly for this week’s episode. She’s a mother of five who is known for her contagious love of family life, with her seasonal “Live Lists” and love letters to her children (#wordsformybabies). In this episode, she cheers every mother on with the reminder to value who we are as individuals–and know that it’s enough.
-Kelly’s Instagram: @kellyejensen
-I am so excited to announce “Declutter your Motherhood Extended,” which starts with a kickoff workshop on Saturday, April 13 at Eleve Event Center in Pleasant Grove, UT, and continues for 30 days with mentoring and support. Go to 3in30podcast.com/workshops for more information and tickets!
**Use the code 3IN30 this week only to get $30 off your ticket.
It’s time to pick up the kids from school, but the baby is napping.
You need to go to grocery shopping but can’t bear the thought of wrestling everyone into the car and through the store.
You want to plan a vacation to spend quality time with your older kids, but it wouldn’t be ideal for the babies.
Do any of these scenarios sound familiar? Beyond babies’ sleep schedules and toddlers tantrums, motherhood manages to get trickier as our children grow into different stages— especially in families with big age gaps between siblings. In this episode, Vanessa Quigley, co-founder of Chatbooks, gives us a glimpse into what it is like mothering seven children and juggling the needs of kids in different stages of life.
Vanessa advises moms to, as Elsa would say, “Let it go!” (as we can’t be everything to everyone); divide and conquer; and seek help through trades or hiring someone. I know you will love Vanessa’s sense of humor, warm encouragement, and down-to-earth wisdom in this interview.
**We are so honored to announce Chatbooks as a sponsor for 3 in 30.**
-Download the app to get start making your photo book or check out their website: https://chatbooks.com/
-Don’t forget to use code “3in30” for a FREE book, up to $10 in value!
-Hilarious Chatbooks commercial with Lisa Valentine Clark: https://bit.ly/2dXTHut
-There are a few tickets left to my workshop in Twin Falls, Idaho on Saturday, February 9th. I’d love to meet you! 3in30podcast.com/workshops
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