Transcript: Helping Moms Re-Ignite That Spark by Bringing Adventure Into Family Life

This is a text transcript from The First Time Mum’s Chat podcast. The episode is called Helping Moms Re-Ignite That Spark By Bringing Adventure Into Family Life and you can click on the link to view the full episode page, listen to the episode and view the show notes.

When you’re a new mom it’s hard finding time for yourself isn’t it! You hardly have a minute to breathe! Many of the moms I speak with yearn for opportunities to get out and enjoy the great outdoors again and they often reminisce about hiking and other adventures.

Those with family either interstate or overseas also face the logistical challenges of finding the time and coping with the cost associated with visiting them.

Today’s guest, Jodi Fried who is an empowerment coach for women, is no stranger to these challenges! Jodi lives in the United States but is originally from South Africa and with four children and a 30 hour flight to contend with, to visit great grandparents and other family, she’s had some challenges to overcome!

In this episode Jodi shares some great tips and insights on how to find that spark again and to build that adventurous life you crave with your new family.

Helen Thompson: Hi Jodi and welcome to First Time Mum’s Chat. So I’m delighted to have you here. So can we start by getting you to tell us about what you do and what you’re passionate about?

Jodi Fried: Yeah, absolutely and Helen, thank you so much for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here with you today. Yeah, so I am a life coach for moms, an empowerment coach, and I work with mamas to help them feel full, to help them build themselves up because so often we lose ourselves in motherhood.

We lose that spark, that spark just dims. And it’s difficult to find our way back. So I work with moms on the inside and the outside to help them feel really good about themselves. And another piece to what I do is helping moms put together everything that they need to successfully travel with their children.

So putting together the packing list, identifying what foods to take, kind of making the checklist and getting all the ducks in a row. Because I know that’s something that can be very intimidating. And now that COVID, is kind of waning a little bit, depending on where you are and borders are opening it’s something that a lot of people are itching to do.

And now, I have kids and got to figure out how to do it with the kids. So those are the two pieces to my life coaching work.

Helen Thompson: So that sounds really intriguing. I like the idea of you helping moms to build themselves back, after they’ve had a baby, because I know how hard that is, because when you have a baby, you get over tired, over exhausted, stressed and everything.

And having that list I think that’s good. So what kind of things do you put in that list and how do you support moms in that way?

Jodi Fried: Yeah, absolutely. So the first thing is asking yourself, what do I want? And I’ll just ask for all your listeners right now. When was the last time that you actually asked yourself that question or that anybody asked you, what do you want? What do you want in life? What do you want your life to look like? And also when was the last time that you allowed yourself to dream, that you let your imagination just go? And for many people that last time was in childhood.

Something that we’ve been conditioned to set our imaginations aside, and I know Helen, you know, how important imagination is and play. And we get to do all of that as adults too. And we get to envision and dream about the life that we want, the way you want to feel, the way you get to be treated by other people, the way you got to treat yourself.

So the first step I always tell my mom is giving yourself a little bit of time. Like setting aside an hour or two hours or even half an hour to just not have anything to do. And just sit and ask yourself that question, what do I want? And then once you ask yourself that question, a practice that I love to do is put a hand on your heart, put a hand on your belly and close your eyes and just breathe in, through your nose and out through your mouth and see what comes up. What colors, what thoughts pop into your head as you think about that question, what do I want? And then open your eyes and jot it down. Write down everything, everything that came up for you and it can be really powerful.

Helen Thompson: I’ve done that myself and it can be very powerful.

Jodi Fried: Yeah, and you know, a lot of times people will ask me, my mind just keeps wandering, and that’s okay. It might take a few tries for you to really be able to ground it and you can just train yourself to say, okay, bye thoughts, now I’m focusing on this.

So it might work for you or it might not but at the very least, ask yourself that question, what do I want and give yourself some space and time to think about it and write it down. And I can offer a few prompts that can really help to organize your thoughts as you’re embarking on this journey and letting your imagination run.

So when I did one of my first visioning exercises, I had lost that spark myself. Everything looked okay on the outside and sometimes it even felt fine on the inside, but overall I felt like I had lost a piece of myself and I didn’t know how to get it back and I remember one night my husband was out and I just took a piece of paper and a pen and went to the couch, the kids were asleep and I just cried and I cried.

So good to let it out. And you know what, because until that time I hadn’t given myself the space to just be and to just be with those feelings. And so yes, it’s so healing, just even just the crying, but then after that, I kind of got the tears out, which was very therapeutic and then made a few columns and started writing down.

So I started with my priorities, what are my priorities in life? So in that column are things like, the kids, my health, you know, X, Y, and Z. And then I had a column that’s about my non-negotiables. What are my absolute non-negotiables in life? And sometimes those non-negotiables can differ from priorities or priorities might be more broad, I’ll just give you one example.

A priority might be religion, right? And then a non-negotiable might be I always go to synagogue or go to church or whatever on the Sabbath, so that might be a non-negotiable for one person. It’s obviously not going to be for another person. So priorities, non-negotiables, my dreams and that’s where anything goes .Make a million dollars, help out this person, enable my kids to attend any extracurricular they want. Whatever you want goes there. And then what’s holding me back. And when you ask yourself that question, what’s holding me back? I really, again, recommend closing your eyes, putting a hand on your heart and breathing into it because there’s stuff for everybody.

And usually you can access at least some of it, in a relatively short amount of time by just tuning into yourself, you know? So writing down, what are the things that are holding you back? And a lot of times, I’ll just tell you some of the most common ones are, I don’t have money, I don’t have time, I don’t have the skills that I think I need. So listing out whatever comes up, doubts from my parents. Whatever comes up, just listing it out. And then in another column or on the other side of the paper, writing out, what is one step that I can take to debunk, pretend as if those doubts, those feelings of inadequacy don’t exist and what is one step, one teeny tiny step that I can take.

Helen Thompson: That’s very powerful because I used to do personal development seminars years ago, and I learnt those techniques, but I’ve let it lapse and I’m not in tune with myself as much as I used to be. So from my point of view, I totally get where you’re coming from, because if I sit down and peaceful and I’m quiet and I close my eyes and put my hand on my chest like you suggested, it really helps you to refocus and go back on track. I know that from experience. That’s a very good tip.

I think what you say is it’s very important and I think a lot of moms need that time. It doesn’t have to be half an hour, even if it’s just 10 minutes just to sit down and just close your eyes and just reflect.

Jodi Fried: I’m glad you brought it up and I’m glad that you mentioned that it doesn’t have to be a long time. It can be a 10 minute block, but just knowing that you are giving yourself that time and space and I think just to build off of what you’re saying is once you go there and put these things on paper, you broaden your awareness of yourself and as they say, knowledge is power, right? And so you’re deepening your knowledge about your own self and you can learn so, so much from yourself. And once, you know the things that are your triggers. Once you know the things that light you up, you have a framework, you have something to work off of to move forward.

Helen Thompson: Knowing yourself and trusting your intuition and visualizing where you’re going, I think is very valuable. And you mentioned when we first started talking about bringing back your hobbies and bringing back the kind of things that you like to do as a mom, because I know some mums, as you say, they lose it. Moms are very supportive to their kids and very supportive to their families, but it’s bringing back the support as you’ve just mentioned to themselves, but also about the hobbies. So. I know you’ve got to take on that as well. So what’s your take on building up the hobbies again?

Jodi Fried: Yeah, no, that’s such a good point. And this is really how I got my start into the life coaching world is because I am in the states and have family all over. My grandparents are in South Africa, which is where I was born and when we started having kids, I said to my husband, I want the kids to have a relationship with their great grandparents. I don’t want to give up on that just because our family is growing and just because it’s hard or more expensive. And so we really did a lot to make it work so that we could take the 30 hour plane ride from where we were living in the states to Johannesburg, South Africa and do that trip with two kids and three kids and one kid and eventually four kids and we realized that so many other moms were just not doing it. I had a very strong motivation and some other people do too and just can’t find the way, they can’t find the money, they can’t find the time. So I kind of made it my mission to help moms be able to do these things, and then that extended into things like camping and skiing and hiking, which were all hobbies that filled me up that we made a very conscious effort not to give up on.

And of course, when priorities change, right and a child coming into your life is a huge change and a huge priorities shift, right. And your priorities do shift, right. And so part of it is identifying what are the things that really do fill me up and what do I really want to either not give up on, or what do I realize I did give up on, and I’m not really satisfied with that and that I want to bring back and just getting to those first few steps that you can do to put one foot in front of the other to get back there.

So, if you want to go on a camping trip with your two month old, some people are going to call you crazy. Right. But being okay with that, if you think that that’s right for you and your family and figuring out how to make that happen, or if you want to take that international trip with your six month old or with your 12 month old or with your three week year old, it’s identifying what are the things that are going to be different. Like you’re going to need to take snacks that your kids going to eat. You can’t just rely on the food that they’re going to serve you on the airplane or whatever you can get in the airport. Yeah, exactly, exactly you’re going to need extra changes of clothes.

And so giving yourself, that grace, that it is going to look different, you are going to feel different, a vacation is not necessarily a vacation anymore. It’s just time to make beautiful memories and being realistic. There are going to be some hard times, there might be a blowout on an airplane, or a kid might throw up when you’re landing or who knows, they might jump in the mud with their clothes on.

It is fun. It is fun, but we have to gear ourselves up for it because it’s not necessarily something that people are so thrilled about their kids jumping in the mud. Although if you set yourself up for success, If you prepare your mindset ahead of time. I like this is an okay thing for my kids to do, because it is totally fine for them to get dirty.

Just like, take that extra change of clothes or be okay with them coming back into the car covered in mud, like whatever it is, but just setting yourself up for success is really key.

Helen Thompson: It’s interesting how you mentioned the three months old baby, taking them on a vacation and camping because my experience as kids and growing up, we used to do that. We used to travel all the time. And I used to frequently see, three months old babies with their parents and doing things. They still do what they want to do just because you’ve got a three month old doesn’t mean that you can’t do those things, as you say, you’ve just got to think, right, if you’re bottle feeding or if you’re breastfeeding, it may be a bit easier and you’ve just got to have checklists, but it doesn’t stop you from doing it because it gives them a sense of adventure as well. It teaches them, that you can have fun and you can do different things.

Jodi Fried: Yeah. And one thing that always struck me as our kids stepped into toddlerhood and we went to Mexico or even South Africa to visit the family or wherever, they were picking up on these little nuances about the culture or about people. And it’s so beautiful to be able to expose them to that from an early age. ’cause then it just, it becomes like a normal part of life, which is really great. And so that’s why, I love supporting moms and putting together their plans and making sure that they are going to have everything they need and putting together a timeline because there’s just nothing like it for mom or for baby.

Helen Thompson: Cause we traveled a lot when we were kids and my parents used to take us everywhere when we were kids, I’ve got two sisters. When they got older, they actually went to Mexico and traveled Mexico and wrote a travel guide on Mexico.

And I think because of the travel experience that we had, when we were kids, they had that sense of adventure. They had that sense of right, okay, let’s go and do this. Let’s go to Mexico and write this book because they were asked by a company to write a travel guide.

So that’s what they did. And it was a tough time for them. It was a really tough time for them, but they loved it. They said, writing that book was such a wonderful experience to them and it was really tight and really tough, I think, from what you’re saying, it really inspired them to do something like that. And I just wanted to mention that as you mentioned Mexico.

Jodi Fried: That’s so fun. And it’s also a great example of, you never know where life’s gonna take you and you never know which experience is going to be the one or the two experiences that really make a profound impact on your child’s life.

Helen Thompson: Yeah, I just wanted to bring that in because I think that helps people to understand what you’re talking about. That it’s the inspiration.

Jodi Fried: Yeah, absolutely and there’s always stuff to grapple with. Sometimes family members kind of look down on it or people don’t think it’s safe and you just have to do your best to know what’s right for you. And what’s right for your family and that comes with the inner work. Building up your self confidence, building up your self worth and reignite. It’s all related, reigniting that spark that’s within you so that you can really feel full and feel good and then that way you can feel more grounded in your decisions and in what’s right for you and your family.

Helen Thompson: That’s all very powerful what you’ve said. So we’ve talked about so many different sort of examples of different things. So if my listeners wanted to get in touch with you and wanted to talk to you about your, about what we’ve discussed, how can they get in touch with you.

Jodi Fried: Yeah, absolutely. So you can always reach out to me by email or on Instagram and Facebook my handle is @loveadventuremom and I’ll also send you a link Helen for a family travel journal, and it’s a journal that you can do along with your children on any travel. I think it’s a five or a seven day journal with prompts and, you know, pictures to circle and lots of fun stuff to help really cement those memories and make them even more special. So anyone who signs up for that can get that downloadable journal and get in touch with me.

Helen Thompson: Thank you, that’s a really nice gift and thank you for coming on. I have really, really enjoyed talking to you and let’s hope that what we’ve discussed, inspires moms to go and have a fun journey, or just even find out about their true self and where they really want to go in life.

So thank you Jodi, it’s been a pleasure.

Jodi Fried: Thank you so much for having me.