Parenting expert, Master Certified Coach, and my dear friend Pam Howard is back on the show this week.
Pam specializes in helping moms who are successful in many areas of their lives, but don’t feel successful as a mom. Most of us can relate to the parenting drama of getting reactive or feeling out of control, and Pam is here to share her expertise with us so you can handle anything that comes your way.
Join us as Pam shares the parenting struggles she’s personally found most challenging to work through, and how to start seeing and believing that you are a damn good mama.
Listen to the Full Episode:
I’ve created a brand new free training that you can get your hands on by application only! This is where we’ll be discussing how widowed moms can truly love life again without forcing gratitude, thinking positively, or reading more grief books. It’s happening on Tuesday, December 20th 2022, so click here for all the details on how to apply!
If you want to create a future you can truly get excited about even after the loss of your spouse, I invite you to apply for Mom Goes On.
What You’ll Learn from this Episode:
- Pam’s path to scream-free parenting.
- What positive intelligence means and how Pam incorporates it into her coaching.
- How to experiment with measuring your success as a mom.
- What believing you’re a damn good mama is about.
Featured on the Show:
- Interested in small-group coaching? Click here for details and next steps.
- Join my free Facebook group, The Widowed Mom Podcast Community.
- Follow me on Instagram!
- If you are a Life Coach School certified coach, I’m working on an Advanced Certification in Grief and Post-Traumatic Growth Coaching just for you. If this sounds like something you would love, email us to let us know you want in on the interest list to be notified when it launches!
- I send out several pick-me-up emails each week including announcements and details for free live coaching sessions. Enter your email in the pop-up on my home page to sign up.
- If you’re looking for an easy way to remember the most important memories you shared with your person, you need Memories that Matter, a digital journal with 100 prompts for making documenting your memories simple.
- Pam Howard: Website | Instagram | Podcast
- Screamfree Parenting by Hal Runkel
- Positive Intelligence by Shirzad Chamine
- How We Self Sabotage Quiz
- Ep #72: Less Drama More Mama: An Interview with Pam Howard
Full Episode Transcript:
Welcome to The Widowed Mom Podcast, episode 185, Damn Good Mama: An Interview with Pam Howard.
Welcome to The Widowed Mom Podcast, the only podcast that offers a proven process to help you work through your grief, to grow, evolve, and create a future you can truly look forward to. Here’s your host, Master Certified life coach, grief expert, widow, and mom, Krista St-Germain.
Hey there, welcome to another episode of the podcast. I brought back the amazing Pam Howard today. If you recall, Pam has been on the podcast before, it was way back in the summer of 2020. But Pam is a parenting expert. She is a master certified coach, a good friend of mine and everybody just loved her so much the first time. I thought it’s time to have Pam back. So today you get the benefit of listening and learning from the lovely Pam Howard.
I also want to tell you because you might not know that I have created a brand new free private training, application only. It will be on Tuesday December 20th. You can get all the details by going to coachingwithkrista.com/lovelife. You have to apply. This is one of those trainings where in the training I’ll actually be telling you how those of you who are interested can join Mom Goes On. And so I don’t want to be telling you that if you’re not actually ready for Mom Goes On and the application tells us that.
So you have to apply and be accepted and then you will get the invitation to the free private training. We will talk about how widowed moms can truly love life again without forcing gratitude, thinking positively or reading more grief books because we don’t want to do those things and they aren’t working so well.
So if you identify with being stuck in a grief plateau, if you love the podcast episode on how to tell if you’re in a grief plateau, if that sounds like you, if you are really wanting to truly love your life again. And you don’t want to have anything to do with tools and tactics that don’t work like forced gratitude and silver lining thoughts and reading more grief books, this is the training for you. Go to coachingwithkrista.com/lovelife and I will see you there. Alright, let’s get into my interview with Pam Howard.
Krista: Welcome, Pam Howard to my podcast again.
Pam: Hi Krista. Thank you.
Krista: I should say thank you. When was the last time you were on the podcast?
Pam: I think it was towards the beginning of the pandemic.
Krista: Was it that long ago? Okay, good. So listeners, if you haven’t met Pam Howard, you’re in for a treat. Pam is my dear coaching friend and also currently my little accountability partner. And I just kind of realized, I haven’t had Pam on the podcast in a while because Pam specializes in parenting drama and most of us have that.
Pam: That sounds funny. I specialize in parenting drama.
Krista: You don’t cause parenting drama, you help people solve it. I’m sure you say it much more eloquently than I did. But let’s just stop and let’s have you introduce yourself. Tell listeners a little bit about you, who are you, what do you do, all the things?
Pam: Yeah. So my name’s Pam Howard. And I am a mom of two teenagers, almost 17, this month she’ll be 17 and 13 year old daughter. I am a licensed clinical social worker in Florida and was a kindergarten through 8th grade school counselor for many years while I was also building my coaching practice. As you said, I think you said I’m a master coach with The Life Coach School.
Krista: I don’t even know if I said that.
Pam: That’s okay. And two years ago, I guess it was two years ago I left my job as a school counselor to become a full-time coach. And was the best decision ever. I am just loving being a full-time coach. So I help moms who are successful in many areas of their life but they just can’t seem to get this parenting thing down, they don’t feel successful as a mom. And find themselves yelling and reacting a lot. And so I help them feel calmer, and more confident, and more connected to their kids.
Krista: Amazing. And you have a podcast called Less Drama, More Mama.
Pam: Less Drama, More Mama, yeah.
Krista: Which is probably my favorite podcast name of all times because that’s what we all want is less drama, more mama. So Pam and I, go back, we were certified together back in 2017. Then we did master coach training together back in 2020. And you do things that are more specialized I think, well, in different ways. I specialize in grief and posttraumatic growth, you are really a parenting expert. Mental note by the way, you need to come and teach in Mom Goes On. I’m just thinking about this. As I say it, I’m like, “Why has that not occurred to me either?”
Pam: That would be fantastic, yeah.
Krista: Yeah. You need to come teach in there. Okay, so we were talking about before this episode, what do we want to talk about. And I was kind of curious to know, I always think it’s a better conversation when it’s super natural and flowy, and it’s not overly forced of what are the things in terms of parenting that just make you crazy? What are the things that are fingernails on a chalkboard to you? What are the hills that you just want to die on in terms of what you want to teach, those kinds of things? That’s what I want people to hear.
What are the stories that you have from your own parenting faux pas, and lessons, and how you’ve helped clients and all the real stuff? Give us three actionable tips that we can take away.
Pam: Right, yeah. Well, I think what bothers me the most is probably, they say that you teach what you most need to learn. And so I think the things that bother me the most are also things that I’ve struggled with or that I dealt with when I was a child and then see other kids like in Target. You know what I mean? When you’re in Target and you see the mom screaming at her kid or hitting her kid and it’s just like, ugh. But I was there too. I understand what that’s like and I didn’t like that about myself. And so that’s why I think it bothers me when I see it in other people.
But at the same time I can totally see where it’s coming from. So I would say when people in general don’t take responsibility for their emotions, this is where I think it took me until my mid-20s to really understand this concept that I wasn’t responsible for my parents’ emotions.
Krista: Good for you, at least you figured it out in your mid-20s. [Crosstalk] still haven’t figured it out.
Pam: I know. And that was lifechanging that I was like, “Oh, my dad is making himself angry and it has nothing to do with me.” And I think that changed me of course immediately when I figured that out. It changed the way I approached things with him, the way I behaved around him. And ultimately our whole relationship changed. I mean it took him a little while to catch up. But when I started changing, I just stopped taking things personally. I stopped doing things to please him and that sort of thing. And then our whole relationship changed from that.
And so that’s one part and then like I said, I was reactive, I was yelling at my kids and blaming my emotions on them so then figured that out and figured, you know, worked on taking responsibility for myself and not blaming them for my emotions. And so then that’s created these two beautiful relationships that I have with my kids now. So I want to help other moms do that.
Krista: As you were saying what drives you crazy in other people is what you see in yourself. I really did so much of that because I know it’s like fingernails on a chalkboard for me when I hear people talking about their new normal in a way that tells me that they’re settling for a life that they don’t really want. And as you were saying it, I think that is why it bothers me so much is because I was there and almost settled. I almost bought into that and could have.
And I think that’s probably why I have such a visceral reaction is because I can see what my life would have been like had I not figured that out. And then I became so passionate so that other people don’t have that experience, so it makes total sense why. You can see a past version of you and you’re like, “No.”
Pam: Yeah. And that’s also why our kids’ behavior is triggering to us because we see in them things that we don’t like about ourselves. And then we react to that too.
Krista: Can you give an example of that, how that’s affected you?
Pam: I mean I remember when my kids were little and my older daughter would talk to her little sister in a condescending way. And I would hear myself in the way she was talking to her sister. And I was like, “Oh my gosh.” And I would get so upset with her and stop it. But meanwhile she’s just copying what she’s learned. She’s just doing what I have done. So that was such a wakeup call too of okay, her behavior is just a mirror to what I need to work on.
And I think luckily for me I realized these things when they were still very young. And not that I never have my moments now but I learned so much when they were young and was able to change my pattern of things that they don’t even remember that version of me anymore. They’re like, “You used to yell? We don’t remember that.”
Krista: So they don’t remember?
Krista: What was your path to not yelling?
Pam: So I talk about what I consider my lowest moment in one of my podcast episodes was when Marissa my older daughter was probably three and a half, her little sister was a newborn. And I was trying to get her ready to go to camp and she was refusing to get ready. She was refusing to go to camp. And I was so frustrated because I just wanted her out of the house so I could be alone or with the baby but not have to deal with her. And so she was refusing to go to camp and she was hiding under the dining room table and I was yelling.
And I threatened to call her camp counselor and tell her how she was behaving. And eventually she came out from under the table and tried to run past me but I grabbed her and I put her on my lap and I spanked her. And I’d never done that before and it was almost like an out of body experience. I didn’t even know what came over me and it wasn’t just one spank. I was going to town on her tush. I just was trying to get out all my frustration. And then after that I just broke into sobbing, and tears, and everything. I felt so guilty.
And then the phone rang and it was her camp counselor. And I was like, that’s weird, did I text her during this? I don’t even recall how that came to be but she called and I put her on the phone with Marissa, my daughter and a couple seconds later she hands the phone back to me and runs upstairs to get dressed. And it was like, you know, the counselor said something to her to make her go and get ready. And so that was the low point. And I know for some people that’s like really that’s your low point, big deal. But for me that was my wakeup call moment.
And I started reading parenting books and mind you, I am a licensed clinical social worker, I didn’t have my business at the time but I had skills, I had worked with kids and families before. But it’s completely different when it’s your own. So I just was like, “I need to go back to the books and I need to read everything.” I started doing that and one of the books called Scream Free Parenting by Hal Runkel was the book that really turned things around for me. And he talks about stop trying to control your kids and focus on controlling yourself.
And that was the turning point. I actually became a Scream Free certified leader. I don’t know that he offers that anymore but at the time he was offering, training people to be certified in his methods and so I did that. And started teaching parenting classes at my kids’ preschool and started a blog and everything. And then eventually went on to The Life Coach School.
Krista: Two questions that came to mind. One, when you went to The Life Coach School were you intending to coach parenting issues at that point?
Pam: Yeah, I had already started my business. I had already started Less Drama, More Mama. And I had been doing classes and a little bit of private coaching. I was calling myself a coach even though I wasn’t certified but I was like, “I have a license in social work, I can call myself a coach.”
Krista: And you can, yeah, as can anyone.
Pam: And then I was introduced to Brooke Castillo’s work through a business coach actually. And she recommended her book and I read the book and I was like, “This fits, this aligns with everything that I believe, that I talk about already.” And so then from there you and I kind of had a similar, we joined her program and then went on to certification together.
Krista: Yeah. And then we’re like, “Take all our money, we’re fully in.” Yeah, okay, so one of the things that I wanted to know as you were talking about it is I can see where it would have been really easy to go into a shame spiral and really shame yourself for your behavior. I wonder, did you struggle with shame at all, if not, why not? I assume your clients probably do struggle with shame.
Pam: Definitely. So it’s interesting that you bring this up. So in the episode where I tell this story on my podcast I also tell another story. So that was my low point and then pretty much I felt like things were getting better, and better, and better and I started the podcast. And I’m helping all these moms. And then last year I had another outburst, kind of very similar to the one I had had back then. And the difference though this time was that I stopped beating myself up so much sooner after it was over.
And I just gave my compassion and okay, that happened, now what? Instead of continuing to beat myself up over and over and call myself a bad mom and hide. The thing is I felt so much shame about that spanking episode that I didn’t tell anyone. I didn’t tell a soul until a few years ago, I did a workshop with a friend of mine who’s a writer. And we did a workshop called something like Rewriting Your Stories. And her prompt was your worst parenting moment. And so that was the first time I ever told my story.
But it was so liberating because as you know, shame can’t survive being spoken. It can’t survive when you talk about it. And so then the next time this happened where again, Marissa was refusing to go to school. Now, she’s in 11th grade but it was the same exact situation. She’s refusing to get out of bed in the morning and I lost it and I was threatening not to call her teacher but to call a truancy officer. It was so similar to the original incident. But then I was just like, “Wow, okay, you were having a moment there, Pam. What’s going on for you?” And I got curious.
And I was just compassionate with myself, and things went on, I apologized, she apologized to me, my little daughter was apologizing too because she’d got into it with us. And so we just moved on from it so much quicker. And I think that was such a huge lesson to me too of we all deal with this stuff and to keep it quiet and not talk about it is just perpetuating the shame around it. And so the other thing that I did, besides stopping beating myself up in my own mind was that I told people about it right away.
I dropped them off at school that morning and then I called my mom, and I called my sister. And I was even telling clients about it in session. I was just talking about it all over the place, which was so different.
Krista: Yeah. So I’m imagining though, people are probably like, “Yeah, if I don’t shame myself. If I don’t feel terrible at what I’ve done then I’ll just do it again.” What do you say to that?
Pam: It’s the opposite because when you’re feeling so much shame and you’re hiding it, you’re trying to suppress it, then you just keep perpetuating that cycle of I’m a bad mom and proving that true over and over again.
Krista: Yeah. And you don’t learn anything from shame because you can’t even understand the pattern of what happened because you’re so anxious to get away from it. I used to do this with, I guess I would call it urge driven eating. It wasn’t quite binging but it was very urgy, do you know what I mean? Where it was not stuff my face until I couldn’t eat anymore.
Pam: Yeah, I know that well, yeah.
Krista: Yeah, it was just more like, okay, nobody’s watching right now so I’d better eat this quick. Or I’ve got to eat this quick before I talk myself out of it. And I used to have a lot of – I don’t even know, I mean I know I felt shame about it. But it was almost so much shame that I would just kind of act like it didn’t even happen. And I think it’s the same thing here where until you can actually get curious and compassionate with yourself and go, “What’s going on here? What’s happening here?”
And then you can slow it down and shame isn’t in your way of looking at it, of understanding, why am I doing this? Because all of my behaviors make sense if I slow down and look or have a coach help me look if I don’t know how to do it myself. But it all makes sense but if I’m so busy shaming myself I can’t look and then I can’t learn. And then I can never get any leverage over the behavior because it’s just in a dark shadowy corner.
Pam: Yeah. I love the way you said that, yeah. It’s so true and that’s what I have come to realize is every situation can be an opportunity to learn something and to grow. And that’s just kind of my – I don’t know, I live for that now, just learning more and more about myself every day and growing, and it’s awesome.
Krista: Yeah. I also love that you said you had an outburst kind of recently. I think it’s really easy because I know I’ve done this to myself and I see a lot of other coaches do it where we put some sort of pressure on ourselves and it’s not just a coach thing. But we put pressure on ourselves, that if we think we have learned something at a certain point that we have evolved beyond being human anymore. And I also think it’s fascinating that your daughter’s name is Marissa and so is mine but anyway, we were meant to be friends, Pam.
The same thing last semester with her, she would tell you, I was not a model parent a couple of times where being a senior for her was tough. It was a tough year and especially the fall of her senior year was just tough. And there were some moments where, yeah, I lost my temper. I didn’t know what to do with myself. And then thank goodness I knew what I knew enough not to shame myself about it because otherwise I can so easily see where I would have been like, “Krista.” I can literally hear that voice, “Krista, you should know better. How are you going to help people?”
Pam: Yeah. And did you have support?
Krista: Yeah. But I think that’s because, well, I mean maybe some people have a lot of coach friends that are never honest with them. But I think part of that is just because I have so many coach friends. And I’ve coached with the same person who we certified with, Vicky and I, we have coached every week since we certified. So I always have that person that I can go to and just be like, “Hey, this is what’s going on.” And be met with compassion and love, and somebody who holds such a good space for me.
And it’s weird just too, a lot of my clients have become former clients where we have become such dear friends too, yeah.
Pam: Yeah, I love that, it’s so different about therapy. The client therapist relationship, that doesn’t happen, but it’s much more common.
Krista: Yeah. And I can’t even blame, I mean this is how it was for me, I don’t know how it was for you. I think in some regard even though I would say my therapist was lovely and I refer people to her all the time. There was a desire to please from me at that time. There was a desire to tell her what I thought she wanted to hear.
Pam: And I think it happens in coaching too.
Krista: It definitely happens in coaching but I think in coaching you’re at least kind of being taught, I mean depending on the coach, I know I try to do this, that thoughts are not moral. That it doesn’t mean anything about you if you think something, or feel something, or do something. Everything makes sense through the lens of the model that we teach and it’s not a commentary on you as a human. So it is not about approval because it’s just so irrelevant. And I don’t think I had learned that yet from her.
And she probably didn’t even know I needed to learn it or maybe didn’t know how to teach me that. And so yeah, it was more like sugarcoating things or saying it, not all things but certain things. And just continuing to keep up the reputation as what I thought was important at the time, which was get the A. Even from the therapist.
Pam: That’s interesting. I was never like that.
Krista: As though that was a thing.
Pam: I was always like, “Here’s everything.” I was always like, “Just help me with everything.” Yeah.
Krista: That’s awesome. I mean really truly, yeah. So I know since we talked last and I know we talked a little bit about it on the podcast but I don’t really know much about it and I want to learn. So can we talk about positive intelligence and what that means, and how you incorporate it into your coaching? How can listeners benefit from learning about it? I know that’s a big question. That’s a big one.
Pam: Yeah. So positive intelligence is this, well, first of all it’s a book by a man named Shirzad Chamine. And he is a brilliant guy and he wrote this book. It’s geared towards kind of businesspeople and people in the corporate world. But he has a program, a coaching program where he teaches his method and his ideas about the brain, similar to what we talk about. But the way he talks about it, there’s the saboteur part of the brain where our saboteurs live. And then there’s the sage part of our brain and there are sage powers.
And so in his program, you can take an online quiz, actually that maybe we can link to in your show notes. It’s free and you can take this quiz to find out who are your top saboteurs. And so the saboteurs, they’re labeled things like, well, everybody has the judge. The judge is the number one head honcho guy who resides in all of our brains. And then he has accomplices. So they are named like the controller saboteur, the pleaser saboteur, sounds like maybe you had that with your therapist. The restless saboteur, the stickler.
There’s nine of them and then plus the judge. And we all have all of them but just more or less, is that the right way to say it? Greater or lesser degrees. And so that’s part of the program is identifying your saboteur and understanding that basically they’re patterns of thought and their lies. So for example the pleaser saboteur will tell you that you need to do things to make other people happy so that they’ll like you for example. But we know that that’s not true. You can’t make somebody else feel anything.
And especially when you’re trying to please them it’s at your own expense and so you end up feeling resentful and put out and all these things. So recognizing that the pleaser saboteur is there, understanding what the lie is and then kind of trying to reprogram those patterns of thought. So then you’re also in the program they teach you some sort of grounding techniques to move you out of the saboteur part of your brain and into the sage part of your brain. So there’s an app that goes along with the program and it’s so amazing.
It’s state-of-the-art technology where there’s an app and you get reminders all throughout the day to do these two minute meditations so that you’re constantly kind of becoming more grounded throughout the day. And so you’re staying as much as you can in that sage part of your brain instead of reverting back into saboteur land. Anyway it’s fascinating. And so I have been offering it to my clients and they are loving it. And so not all my clients have gone through it. It’s best when it’s done in a group and because you have accountability and everybody’s going through it together and it’s really good.
Krista: And so how do people use that to make themselves more calm parents?
Pam: Yeah. So basically when you’re reacting to something that your kids are doing, and it’s in a negative way, it’s because there’s a saboteur at play. There’s something going on in your brain that is sabotaging your ability to remain calm, to handle the problem effectively and peacefully. And so you need to kind of catch it and move over into the sage part of your brain which is that prefrontal cortex which can remain calm and loving and all of that to be able to handle it in the way that you want.
And so learning how to use those grounding techniques to kind of bring you into the sage mode. It’s really, really fascinating. I could go on and on about it.
Krista: I can tell. Is that going to be part of – I know you’ve got a new program coming, is that part of it or is the new program something else?
Pam: It’s to be determined whether that’s part of it or not, yeah. I mean it’s a great kind of a bonus that I’ve been adding in, yeah.
Krista: It kind of reminds me. We do a lot of inner critic work. It kind of reminds me of just kind of all the different personality types if you will, that people spot in the voice that we call the inner critic but maybe just with a little more specificity in terms of how you label it. Yeah, so good. Yeah, this month one of the things we’re doing, this is one of my favorite challenges. Sometimes we do little bonus challenges, we’ve been doing them every month but this month we’re working on self-compassion.
And one of the things I’m having people do is every day write down something that your inner critic told you. And really trying to write it down as you heard it. You should have blah, blah, blah. You’re not a very good mom. You’re lazy. Whatever the mean thing is. And then answering it kindly. Answering it with self-compassion and just doing that once a day. It’s just a game that we’re playing. It’s not really the core content of the program but I find that little things like that, little moments of awareness of yeah, where did my inner critic show up today?
And what do I want to tell them? So we can have an appreciation for one another that feels compassionate and doesn’t need the inner critic or all the different saboteurs to leave. They can still be there but we can think about them differently and relate to them differently. And they can be in the car but just they’re not driving.
Pam: Yes. And Shirzad says the same thing in his program. Your saboteurs aren’t going to completely go away. They’re always going to be there. They’re always going to offer you thoughts. They’re always going to try and sabotage you but you just get better and better at saying, “There you are again, yeah, yeah. I hear you.” And ignoring it basically.
Krista: Yeah, I love it. That’s probably why I was so interested in it anyway because it’s right up my alley, yeah. So what is your new program? Are you still kind of figuring it out?
Pam: Yeah, I’m still working on it but I’m super excited about it. I haven’t even launched it yet so I don’t know when this is going to be.
Krista: So my listeners, they’re going to get in on the behind the scenes as it evolves kind of deal?
Krista: Because the last time you were on the podcast I know at least one of my current clients at the time went and coached with you, I don’t know if she did your group program or she coached the individual. She just had such a great experience.
Pam: Yeah. She did two rounds of private coaching with me, yeah. But this is a group program and I’m super excited about it. It’s going to be three months long and basically we’re doing a lot of just focusing on becoming calm and connected in 90 days, that’s the goal. And I love the name of it that I chose. And I’ll tell you, there is a story that kind of goes with it. So it’s called Damn Good Mama.
Krista: You’re good at names, Pam. Damn Good Mama, who doesn’t want to do that?
Pam: It just came to me in the car. All my names come to me in the car by the way, I’m driving along and they just hit me in the car. But the reason I love this is because it reminds me of, so I’m divorced and back in, I would say 2015, maybe it was later than that, maybe it was even 20, no, it was 2018 actually. So we had been divorced for a while and my ex-husband and I were in a parking lot at night and we were arguing over something. And he was saying some not nice things to me.
He was saying, “You’re a worthless human being and you’re a horrible mother.” And all of these things and I remember thinking very clearly in that moment that what he was saying had nothing to do with me and everything to do with him. And I remember thinking, he’s so wrong because I’m a damn good mom. And I remember leaving there feeling so empowered, just so amazing because this was a relationship where I felt very, very powerless when we were in the relationship and even for a couple of years afterwards.
So gosh I just felt so amazing after that interaction. And I want all the moms to feel that way. I want all the moms to feel like no, I’m a damn good mom, who cares what you say, what anybody else says? I feel good about me, so that’s what the program is.
Krista: Yes. And how much of that, I’m just so curious, how much of that do you think requires behavior change versus the way we perceive ourselves? I mean it all starts with the way we perceive ourselves.
Pam: Yeah, I mean the behavior comes from that but it all starts with how we think about ourselves which is such a huge part of the program.
Krista: Yeah. Because I guess the reason I asked that question is because I mean this is what we hear. You will hear coaches like me or coaches like Pam tell you that something is possible for you or that you are something, you could be something. You could be a damn good mom. And you will think, well, that means I need to be a different mom.
Pam: Yeah, yeah, yeah, I see what you’re saying.
Krista: As opposed to no, actually it’s like the things we think about ourselves need to change, don’t. The way we think about ourselves does. We have to think of ourselves differently. And yes, then probably we will show up differently but we don’t want to wait until somehow we’ve met some standard of parenting to be able to declare that we are good moms.
Pam: Right. And that’s part of the program too is creating an intentional mom identity. And so what I mean by that is deciding consciously who you want to be as a mom. What do you want to define your responsibilities as? How do you want to define success? How do you want to spend your time without feeling guilty about it? All of these things, you get to decide.
Krista: Yeah. How do you measure your success as a mom? And it can’t be by how your children behave or what your neighbor thinks of you, or your mother-in-law. And I know this is just extra hard too, I mean somewhat different. You’re divorced, most of my listeners are widows. But there are similarities in the kind of trying to do it yourself, trying to be all things, trying to accommodate for hardships that your children have gone through.
And then just putting this impossible standard on yourself and measuring yourself against it. So I love that that’s part of what you’re going to help people do is decide, yeah. It’s what mom identity is, let’s go. When are you starting?
Pam: January 9th.
Krista: We’ve got to get on this, people.
Pam: So when is this podcast coming out?
Krista: It’s airing on the 12th.
Pam: Okay. So will it be open for enrollment then? Enrollment is going to be on the 7th, so yeah.
Krista: Well, send me the link, make sure and I’ll put it in the show notes.
Pam: Okay, yeah.
Krista: So was there anything else you wanted to talk about, any little gems, or stories, or things you were like, I really want to tell her listeners?
Pam: Gosh. I mean I talked a lot about my stories and I think just letting people know that they have everything they need inside of them to be the best mom that they want to be. And I’m happy to be their guide and helping them to find that person, be that person.
Krista: I love it. I would like everybody to just go consider telling themselves that they are a damn good mama. You can just try that on for size. And just contemplate, what if that could be true? What if that could be how you identified? And if not, how would it feel if you did, if you really did fully believe it, how would that feel? And would you want that for yourself?
Totally okay if you try on a new thought or a new identity and it doesn’t resonate with you yet but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible for you, it just means you’re not there yet, it just means that there’s some work to do in how you see yourself.
Pam: And it doesn’t mean I’m better than anybody else. It doesn’t mean I’m a better mom than you. That’s not what we’re saying. It’s just like I feel good when I put my head on the pillow at night that I’ve done my best.
Krista: Yeah. You’re still a human but you did your best. You’re not perfect. Yeah, I love it.
Pam: Because I think some people might hear that and be like, well, I don’t want to say I’m a damn good mom because then other people will feel bad or they’ll think that I’m stuck up or full of myself, or something like that. When it’s that’s not what it’s about, it’s just about feeling proud of yourself and feeling good about who you are.
Krista: Yeah. That’s reminding me of, so back in my 20s I owned some fitness centers, they’re called Purves. They’re still around but I used to have a couple of them. And one of the things that we did for members who were brand new was we had a t-shirt made and it said, on the front it said, ‘It’s official, I’m amazing’. And then on the back it said, ‘I completed 10 workouts in 30 days’. That was what we kind of promoted was three workouts a week. So the initial goal was 10 workouts in 30 days.
And I just remember as you say that, I remember this woman who took this shirt after she had hit that goal for herself and then she brought it back. And she couldn’t wear it. She was so uncomfortable with calling herself amazing. And it struck me because in her mind calling herself amazing really meant that other people weren’t and that it was arrogant and she just couldn’t feel good about it. And I’ve thought about that off and on that yeah, I so badly wanted her to feel amazing and it just kind of broke my heart a little bit that she couldn’t.
But yeah, it doesn’t mean that other people aren’t amazing. It’s like, hey, I’m amazing and you’re amazing and look at all of us, we’re amazing. Yeah, and she just couldn’t receive it, so anyway.
Pam: Now you’ve made me think, I’ve got to get t-shirts made.
Krista: Yeah, Damn Good Mama. Yes. And I bet that would be too, such a great yardstick for people, measuring stick of how do I feel when I put this on? Because then you know when you’ve arrived, that belief and it’s fully installed because you can wear it proudly. But it would be a great metric on the way. It makes me want to think about how do I want do it with Mom Goes On too, of yeah, how do we know that that belief is fully installed? We know when we look in the mirror and we’re like, “Yeah.”
And we feel like you felt in that moment where you knew that it was your truth no matter what he said.
Pam: Would you wear a shirt?
Krista: Yes, I would wear a shirt.
Pam: Yeah, me too.
Krista: I would but I don’t think that’s a natural thing I’ve always had. I think that’s one of the many things that coaching has done for me is like I’m a special unicorn that has just always thought she was a damn good mom.
Pam: Okay, I’m going to go make the shirts, okay, everybody who joins gets a shirt.
Krista: I love it. Let’s go. So if people want to get in touch with you besides the link which we’ll definitely put the link in the show notes but in terms of social media, those things, how do they connect with you?
Pam: Okay, I’m mostly on Instagram and my handle there is lessdramamama. And then my podcast, Less Drama, More Mama, yeah, and the same website, Less Drama, More Mama. And I’m coming out with a book in 2023 with the same name.
Krista: I want to buy it. Can I read a draft?
Pam: When is it coming out?
Pam: I don’t know exactly. It’s in edit form right now but it’s almost done. I mean it’s done, I’m just editing, so yeah.
Krista: That’s awesome. It’s going to help so many people, that’s awesome. Thank you so much for coming on my podcast and sharing your wisdom with my people.
Pam: Thank you, it was so fun.
Krista: Alright, we’ll text later.
Krista: Okay, I’ll see you soon, bye.
If you like what you’ve been hearing on this podcast and want to create a future you can truly get excited about after the loss of your spouse, I invite you to join my Mom Goes On coaching program. It’s small group coaching just for widowed moms like you where I’ll help you figure out what’s holding you back and give you the tools and support you need so that you can move forward with confidence.
Please don’t settle for a new normal that’s less than you deserve. Go to coachingwithkrista.com and click work with me for details and the next steps. I can’t wait to meet you.
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