Transcript: Tips to Help Moms Improve Their Mindset For a Positive Parenting Experience
This is a text transcript from The First Time Mum’s Chat podcast. The episode is called Tips to Help Moms Improve Their Mindset For a Positive Parenting Experience and you can click on the link to view the full episode page, listen to the episode and view the show notes.
Helen Thompson: This week on First Time Mum’s Chat, I’m chatting with Amanda De la Madriz, who is a certified life and mindset coach. Amanda focuses on helping make motherhood easier for moms by helping them to create awareness around their thoughts.
During our chat, you’ll hear Amanda talk about how to increase your awareness of your thought process and learn how to let beliefs go that do not serve you in your life. Why you need to be gentle on yourself and get into the mindset of identifying that you are a good parent who like everyone else does have some bad days instead of constantly focusing on the negatives. The importance of not letting overwhelm get on top of you and to always take care of yourself so you can be a 100% present for your little one.
And so, so much more.
Hi Amanda and welcome to First Time Mum’s Chat. I’m delighted to have you here. Can we start by just getting you to explain a bit about yourself and what you do?
Amanda de la Madriz: Yeah absolutely, thank you Helen. I’m so excited to be with you today. I am a certified life and mindset coach, and I focus on helping make motherhood easier for moms by teaching them how to create awareness around their thoughts and perspective so that they can feel better in their mum lives. A little awareness can go a long way and I work with clients one-on-one, and we meet every single week. It can be really powerful to have that time for yourself as a mom every single week, to just have someone to support you and listen to you and hold space for you and help create a little bit of shift in your perspectives. Mom life can be really hard, so I’m here to make it easier.
Helen Thompson: It can be overwhelming, it can be exhausting and frustrating and it can also sometimes be quite depressing. I know people think, it’s wonderful, you’ve got a new baby isn’t that lovely and it is lovely, but when you’ve had a life of your own without having a little person to look after, it can be quite a challenge.
Amanda de la Madriz: I do find it to be so true that a lot of the time, we mothers just throw ourselves head first into it, which is normal and wonderful, but I think that’s part of the overwhelm that comes from just completely dedicating yourself into this role of motherhood and then trying to claw your way back to a little bit more of semblance of identity and wholeness as a person can be really difficult sometimes.
Helen Thompson: Yeah, I can imagine that. So as a coach if you were talking to a mom, how would you support them to get that awareness and to encourage them to be more supportive to themselves?
Amanda de la Madriz: Absolutely. I think it all goes back to everybody’s individual experience. So what I like to do first is to help paint a picture of where they’re having trouble, cause a lot of moms might struggle with mom guilt and a lot of moms might end up struggling with self prioritization or resentment towards their partner or overwhelm.
All of those things might have the same source or they might not. So I really like to hone in on what is the main thing that they would like help on. Then week to week, we work on that based off of what’s going on with them in their specific lives. So with circumstances and with examples of like, this is what I struggled with this week, in this realm of overwhelm and then we work on those things to understand, well this is what your perspective was, and is that really true? Is that serving you? So that way they can start to see basically the stories that their brains are telling them that’s not really helping them feel better on a day-to-day basis. It’s so funny because we just believe the things that our brain just tells us automatically without understanding like, wait a second, that might not be true. Or that might not serve me to believe that my children are work, obviously, ’cause it makes me more tired. You can start to see the results that you create in your life based on the beliefs that you have and if that’s in regards to motherhood or in regards to how you believe or see yourself as a person, it all interlaces together a lot of the time.
When you can start to understand how important it is, for example, to take care of yourself because you are a person and it also is better for your family, then you can start to take those steps more consistently week to week and I can help track them. So I’m a coach, so I basically get to sit there with you and be like, did you do this this week? Did you do what we spoke about?
Helen Thompson: Yeah it’s all to do with your brain telling you what to do. It’s your brain, but it’s also the subconscious part of yourself telling you, oh, no, you can’t do this. It’s that little voice inside of you that’s telling you these things, and it’s a matter of balancing that between your intuition and that little voice, I think.
Amanda de la Madriz: Absolutely because I think our brain’s just trying to keep us safe, and as part of that, it always goes to the negative. It always goes to the danger. So it’s really about training yourself to see those thoughts as normal, because your brain’s doing what it’s supposed to do but having a higher consciousness, being able to understand like, I don’t have to believe those things, I can choose something else instead. In motherhood, I think the biggest thing that we tend to gravitate towards is believing that we’re bad parents..
Helen Thompson: Yeah, yeah,
Amanda de la Madriz: Instead of believing that we’re good parents, and I think that that’s something that people don’t realize is an option. They don’t understand you can make a choice to believe that you’re a good parent innately or you can go with what your brain is telling you and believe that you’re just a bad parent, and look for all that evidence on how that’s true and see the results that that creates for you in your life and the stress that it causes, and the overwhelm and the pressure. I could go on and on.
Helen Thompson: I relate to that because I know that if you say those thoughts to yourself that I’m a bad parent all the time, that’s what you’re going to create. You’re going to create what you say. Whereas if you can shift that slightly and just say, look, I may be a bad parent today but I know I can do better or I had a frustrating day yesterday, let’s ring Amanda and and say to Amanda, look, I had a bit of a frustrating day today, I’m feeling a little bit stressed, I’m telling myself I’m a bad parent, which I know I’m not. I’d just like a little bit of help to shift that energy into something positive.
Amanda de la Madriz: Absolutely and there’s so many thoughts. ’cause obviously everybody would be familiar with like, oh, I did such a bad job today, or I’m a bad parent, or I’m a bad mom but there’s also surprisingly tricky thoughts that we believe that also lead to that belief that you’re a bad parent.
Me personally, I had the constant thought of, oh, I wanna be a good parent and really what was lying for me under there was the fear that I was going to be a bad parent. Either way you would immediately be like, oh, well that sounds like an okay thought, of course, everybody wants to believe they’re good parents, but when you start to examine really what’s going on for a person underneath something like that, you can see, oh, but you’re saying you wanna believe that you’re a good parent because you are actually worried you’re not and so that fear is still there underneath that. Most people just don’t understand that they just automatically go with believing that they’re bad parents ’cause that’s the norm, right? Just because that’s the norm doesn’t mean it’s right. You love your children, you care about them, you’re a good parent. That’s it, the bar’s not that high. Everything else is just a story that your brain is feeding you and you can either decide to believe it or decide to train your brain to believe something else.
Helen Thompson: Absolutely, so I know you’re not a doctor or a psychiatrist, but how would you help the parent to train that brain, to support them. I think that’s the key here.
Amanda de la Madriz: Yes, I think the first step for sure would be opening yourself up to the possibility that you can choose to innately believe that you’re a good parent and that might take some work, that might take some coaching. The other step that I think is part of the experience of parenthood is also that piece that it’s hard. I think there’s a societal belief that because it’s hard, that it must mean that we’re failing. So we also have to break down that belief that parenthood can be difficult and nothing has gone wrong just because it’s difficult. Once we can work through those two pieces, then you can start to put into place a belief of I know I’m a good parent, and start to look for all of the evidence on how that’s true.
Believe that belief, sit with it. At the end of the day, after you’ve already put the kids to bed and think, how was I a good parent today and look at all of that evidence. I fed my kids today, good parents. I didn’t yell at them for something that I wanted to yell at them, I fought the urge to yell at them, I’m a good parent. I played with them for 10 minutes, for an hour, for 15 minutes, whatever that might be. Then you can start to reveal all the evidence to yourself on how you’re a good parent and start to cement that belief for yourself so that way you don’t have to necessarily, consistently, consciously think about it as much as you might have done at the beginning.
It starts to become more natural, second nature to believe that, and that’s the way it is with any belief that you start to practice. Once you start to see that it’s possible and believe it, not just know it, but believe it, then you can start to work on cementing that belief through searching for the evidence on how that’s true.
That’s why it’s so important to have a coach week to week help you with that because it keeps it consistent and obviously, ’cause everybody does, you have struggles. You don’t do well one week, it’s about getting through those tough times too, to make sure that you consistently push through any difficulties that you might be having to continue cementing that belief because you know that that new belief is actually going to get you the results that you want in your life.
Helen Thompson: I agree with all that, and I think that’s very interesting. Also, isn’t it important about acknowledging your thoughts. If you are saying you are a bad parent, to acknowledge that thought, but to try and work out a way to turn it to a positive.
Amanda de la Madriz: I think it’s not about necessarily forcing it in any situation. Yeah, I think it’s exactly like you said, Helen. It’s recognizing that it’s there, giving yourself that space to recognize it and that compassion to be like, yes, here’s this thought again, I know I’m not a bad parent, but here it is again, potentially get coaching on it depending on what’s happening to understand. Maybe there’s a different perspective here that’s available for you, or maybe you need to sit with the guilt over something that actually happened or whatever feeling that might be there for you to experience in the moment.
Then remind yourself, oh, I’m actually working on this other belief. That’s right, let’s remind myself and consciously remember, I am a good parent and here’s the work that I’m doing to prove that to myself right now, because it’s already there. All of the evidence is there for you to see, it’s just you’re choosing to see the bad evidence instead of the good evidence.
Helen Thompson: Like a building block, I suppose. You are building the positive blocks so that you’ve got the positive blocks to come back to when those negative or bad parent blocks come up, to overcome that feeling, and you can say, oh, right, well, I’ve learned this, that I am good. Or you think of the positive. Then when the negatives come up, you think, oh, okay, that’s fine, but I know that, but let’s try and build the positive blocks again.
Amanda de la Madriz: Right yeah and it’s all about really just being there for yourself no matter what it is that’s going on for you in the moment because if you are trying to force yourself to change your perspective without believing it, it’s never going to stick and so if you happen to have a bad day, then you had a bad day. Let yourself have a bad day. This is not about being that toxic positivity or you have to be perfect all the time. You are just a human being who wants to have a different perspective about your role in motherhood or in parenthood, and you are allowed to believe that you’re a good parent with bad days.
Helen Thompson: Of course. Yeah we all have bad days, especially as a parent, because whether your kid’s a baby, whether your kid’s a toddler, whether your kid’s a teenager, they’re always pushing your buttons every day. Even a little baby can push your buttons and I think it’s important to realize that, that they’re just pushing your buttons and you’ve gotta work your way through it.
Amanda de la Madriz: Absolutely right. That’s what they do. That’s what they’re here for.
Helen Thompson: Yes, that’s right. Or the other thing to do with the baby is to learn their different cries and to learn why they’re crying. I don’t know if you know this, but there’s a whole theory about how babies cry and why they cry. They might be crying ’cause they’re hungry. You can actually hear that hungry cry. They might be crying ’cause they’re constipated and you can hear it. It’s not just a normal cry. You can tell.
Amanda de la Madriz: Oh yeah, hundred percent.
Helen Thompson: There’s a whole theory of baby language because people say that they don’t understand their babies and that’s another way of supporting a mom when they’ve got a crying baby, just to say, look, just take a big deep breath in because if you are stressed, your baby’s gonna get even more stressed because they’re picking up on your energy.
I know that’s very hard for a mom. If their baby’s crying and crying, you think, oh, what’s wrong, what’s wrong? You just want to scream at your baby saying stop crying but if you actually take a big, deep breath in and just relax, your baby senses that and your baby will not calm down necessarily, but sense mom’s a bit stressed, she’s trying to calm herself down to help me calm and they’ll pick up on that energy.
Amanda de la Madriz: Absolutely right, you are the closest person to them in their entire existence, and you probably will be for a really long time and so understanding that connection, it’s almost vital for you to make sure that you are taking care of yourself as well, because if you are stressed out or you are overwhelmed or burnt out, your baby will absolutely pick up on that.
Then it’s like a vicious cycle, right? They pick up on that and they cry more, and then you’re more worn out because you’re experiencing all that crying. I think so many of us, again, just fall into that space of, well, it’s all about the baby but it still is about us too, and that’s okay.
I think when you can truly see and believe that it is good for your baby, for you to take care of yourself, then it’s easier and let’s say you are able to do it from a place that’s not of shame. In taking care of yourself, in feeding yourself, in making sure you take that nap when the baby’s napping instead of going for those dishes.
You know what I mean? It’s understanding that it is so much better for your experience in motherhood, but also for your children’s experiences with you as their mother when you can take care of yourself and obviously are in a better mood and well rested and have more patience as a result of all of that.
Helen Thompson: Yeah, I think so and I think they know that and if you do that as a mum, then you are setting them up for success at the same time. You mentioned taking a nap. So many people say to me, oh, I don’t take a nap when my child’s taking a nap. I might just sit down and have quiet time, or I might go for a walk around the garden or just listen to some music just to relax and as you say not go for the dishes, but just do something that you like to do to totally sort of veg out and just relax. Whether that’s watching tv, whether that’s taking a shower, whether that’s going to prune the roses or pull the weeds out of the garden. It’s something that you are doing for yourself and relaxing.
Amanda de la Madriz: Of course but it is from that place of loving yourself.
Helen Thompson: Yes, exactly and I think that’s really important. But when you are first a mom, that loving space, sometimes isn’t there, although it is been there before, but you just have this overwhelm because you’ve got the baby that you love so much as well, and you are loving that baby, but it’s also turning it around so you’re loving you too.
Amanda de la Madriz: I didn’t do that. It’s such a common story, to get lost in that overwhelm of motherhood. I truly wish someone had told me and just shook me like, I promise it’s going to be good for everybody if you take that nap. It’s gonna be so good for you if you go and have that hot meal, if you go and take that walk, if you go out into the garden. Don’t forget to love yourself because then you’ll have more love to give to everybody else too.
Helen Thompson: Yeah, and as we said at the beginning, it’s a very tough thing for a mom to do because all they want to do is to love their baby and to feed and to make sure their baby’s safe. It is a common thread, as you say you didn’t do it, and I think it’s really hard to get that feeling of right okay I do love my baby, but I also love myself. It’s like that scenario, it’s not the same as a mom, but in some senses it’s the same. If you think of when you go on an airplane, they always say to you take the oxygen before you give it to somebody else and that’s a similar thing for a mom because if you don’t feed yourself first, you are not gonna be able to be nourished or relax to feed your baby. It’s exactly the same scenario as on the plane. In some respects, it’s similar because you’ve got to give the oxygen to yourself, ’cause if you don’t give the oxygen to yourself first, then you are not gonna be in a position to support your baby to give them that oxygen.
Amanda de la Madriz: Yeah, it’s so funny ’cause I use that example all the time because you have a small space of time before everybody passes out on the plane. So I use it because it’s drastic, but it’s such a good illustration of like, if your child passes out, obviously that’s not ideal, but if you pass out in that dire situation, what is your child going to do without you?
So many people they don’t believe that. They understand that intellectually, but they don’t see the evidence on how much better it is for their children and their family when they, as the mother are loved, self, loved, taken care of, well fed, showered, you know, it’s so important and having that balance really can make all the difference in your experience as a mother whether it’s your first time or your second time or your third time, it doesn’t matter.
Helen Thompson: You’re always a first time mom to every child that you have. You may have 3 children or 5 children, but you are a first time mom to each one of those children. Each child is a different human being, different individual, and they all have their different ways of doing things. So you’re still a first time mom to your second or third child, just as much as you are to the first child.
Amanda de la Madriz: I love that. It’s so important.
Helen Thompson: Yeah. So if anybody wants to get in touch with you, how can they do that?
Amanda de la Madriz: I think the easiest way and the fastest way to get in touch with me would be via Instagram. My handle is @thatmomlife_coaching, but I am also on TikTok and Facebook, and my website is also up and running for anybody who’s interested in finding out a little bit more about me and that’s at www.ThatMomLifeCoaching.com.
Helen Thompson: And do you do anything online or is it in person?
Amanda de la Madriz: Actually, all of my coaching is via Zoom, which makes it so much easier for the moms out there who might have a baby napping and wanna be able to talk to someone while their baby’s napping at home. My schedule is very flexible and obviously, with being a mom myself, weekends work and nights work and early mornings work, it really depends on what the particular person’s schedule is and how I can best support them within their schedule.
Helen Thompson: Well thank you Amanda, for being here. I enjoyed talking to you and having a different perspective to self care. So many people talk about self care in the respect of, oh, you’ve gotta do this you’ve gotta do that, but I like your perspective, where it’s checking in with you and working with you as a person, as a mom, and as a human being. So, thank you so much for being here.
Amanda de la Madriz: Thank you so much for having me, Helen. It’s been a pleasure.
Helen Thompson: Wow, Amanda certainly shared some great tips during our chat, and I think that examining your mindset and beliefs are important steps. Amanda has made this special offer to listeners of First Time Mum’s Chat. If you would like to arrange a free initial 45 minute session, just send her a message via her Instagram page, mentioning this podcast episode and she’ll organize this for you.
I’ve included links to Amanda’s Instagram, website, and other social media in the show notes, which can be found at MyBabyMassage.net/podcast/132. I’ve also included links to some other First Time Mum’s Chat episodes where self-care has been discussed, which you will also find of benefit.
I share each episode on First Time Mum’s Chat Instagram page, and you’ll hear me chatting live with folks I’ve interviewed from time to time. Please support me by following me, and I look forward to meeting you during one of my lives.
Next week, I’m chatting with mum of 3, Jenna Hodge, who is a motherhood coach who teaches these moms how to take care of their little ones and themselves. We will be talking about how to manage relationships when you are suffering from anxiety and how to adjust to parenthood with your spouse without causing problems. Be sure to listen to this episode when it comes out next week, and please subscribe to First Time Mum’s Chat via your favorite platform so you get quick and easy access to all our episodes when they are live.