An incredible interview with Mom at 41 Dr. Karen Osburn. Karen shares her experiences as a mother and talks about her incredible community of mothers who come together on her websites and communities.
Dr. Karen is a Passionate Chiropractor, Adoptive Momma to her two sons, Tyson and Kai, Podcaster, Blogger, and Wife. She is the creator and founder of Mom at 41: Embracing Imperfect Moms Everywhere. Mom at 41 is a Podcast that quickly rose to the top of the iTunes chart after it launched at the end of July 2014. It also includes a weekly Blog, Newsletter, Resources, and a Facebook Community that discusses the challenges of being a mom, and the life lessons along the way.
Subscribe to the Mom at 41 Podcast on iTunes www.momat41.com/itunes
Subscribe to the Mom at 41 Newsletter: www.momat41.com/newsletter
Go to the Mom at 41 Website www.momat41.com
Email Dr. Karen: email@example.com
Karen: Oh, thank you Jade. I’m really appreciative to be here. Thank you so much.
Jade: Oh, absolutely. I’ve been so excited for the past couple of weeks because when I asked you to come and be a guest on my show, to talk about Mom at 41, you were so gracious and so kind. You were just so happy to come on the show and talk about motherhood.
Karen: Hey, I am very appreciative back at you too. Any opportunity that I can have to really connect with moms out there and just help them embrace their imperfections. I am more than happy to do that and very thankful.
Jade: Oh, yeah, absolutely. You definitely have some great advice every day whenever I look at your blog or whenever I listen to your podcast and everything that you post on Facebook is absolutely very insightful and packed with wisdom.
You really offer people a wonderful community as far as mothers to really embrace motherhood and maybe you can expand on that. The community that you’ve built with Mom at 41, what has been your focus? What is that about?
Karen: Thank you. Yeah. It really came out, Jade, when I used to blog. I still blog. I’m a chiropractor as well. So my chiropractic website, I started blogging about three years ago. I would blog about health, nutrition, movement, purpose and parenting.
I found that the blogs that I posted on parenting got the most likes, shares, comments. It would be – the more that I wrote, the more vulnerable I became, the more just really real and raw and honest. It would be the post, particularly the ones talking about how tough being a mom can be, that I would have moms send me messages that would say, “Oh my gosh! I thought I was the only one. Thank you so much for writing this,” or I even had patients in my office say, “Thank you for writing that, but there’s no way I could have this honest conversation with my best girlfriend.”
I kept hearing this message again and again and again. I feel the same way too. But I feel I can’t talk about it. I feel like I can’t say these things, let alone thinking them and feel guilty if I do.
So it was kind of about a year or past year of that, that I just kept thinking, there has to be – I have to create a different space for this, some kind of a community. I didn’t really know what it was at the time, to really allow moms a chance to say that yeah, I love being mom. But it sucks some days and it’s hard some days.
It’s OK to say that and to feel that and to not have this perfect image of what – I can maybe say collective we society thing that being a mom is in the way it should be and because it’s not. Women that are trying to attain this to somehow balance which is just such a silly myth about everything in motherhood and be a lovely wife and be fit and healthy and lots of energy and never lose patience with your children and have a fantastic career and somehow do it all. This whole notion of – I actually wrote and put podcasts about this, about moms. Supermom just needs to go away and so Mom at 41 was just to create that.
It was funny because when I was getting everything ready for the podcast, I kind of put a deadline on myself and I couldn’t get the opt-in for my newsletter to work just yet. Like something – I don’t know. It was just something in a particular newsletter provider. It wasn’t allowing me to put my opt-in.
So I kind of went to my Facebook page and said, “I’m just going to create this Facebook page because I can put it there.” Needless to say, I didn’t really know that that was going to grow as fast as it did.
So I put it up there. I put some just really simple Facebook ads out and shared it with friends and family. But that was maybe like the first 50 likes or something. But I would be on Facebook putting posts and I could see like the little red numbers popping up of more and more people liking the page as I was on it.
So I kind of knew at that point that you know what, this message is obviously something that people are – women, the moms are looking for, because the interest was just so huge.
So Mom at 41 is really about that. It’s about embracing your imperfections as a mom. It’s about understanding and acknowledging that you are enough and that – yeah, that there’s many moms that feel that way. You’re definitely not the only one.
Jade: Wow. Well, you know what? To be honest with you and to just be totally transparent, I’m not a mother. I don’t have children obviously. But I have tremendous respect for mothers because you do everything. I can understand how it could be challenging because you’re taking care of everybody.
So as far as the struggles and the challenges, what have been the main core struggles that you’ve experienced in your life and that you’ve heard about in your community’s lives?
Karen: Maybe I will start with the community first. That’s an easy one. So the biggest challenges that the moms tell me is that they’re trying to – again, this whole notion of balance. I still use the word with the moms at times, because that’s what they’re familiar with. So balance. Fatigue is a big one and feeling like they do have to do it all.
I would say it’s that. Yeah, this whole notion of being so afraid to make a mistake or feeling like the one wrong time that you yelled at your child is somehow going to damage them for life.
So those are some of the biggest challenges, so balance, fatigue, time, feeling like they have to be perfect. For me as a mom, just my journey to become a mom Jade was a tough one because I struggled with infertility for about seven years, before my husband and I turned to adoption.
So we adopted both of our boys from birth. So we adopted our first son Tyson. I was 41 and our second son Kai when I was 44. So Mom at 41 is me. That’s when I became a mom was at 41.
Karen: So the biggest challenge is yeah, I was just getting there in the first place for sure. I would say letting – when you talked about that notion like moms that kind of do it all and to be honest, we don’t. We don’t and the ones that I think are saying this – and I say this without judgment, that are saying that they can do it all and they’re always happy and their kids are always perfect and everything is wonderful, are just really not showing all of it.
I think – and are afraid to, because it’s just – again, it’s the same thing I just found conversation after conversation, that moms would say like, “I can’t talk about these things.” I’m like, “Well, why not?”
“Well, you know, people expect a certain thing,” and it would kind of go off onto this belief system they had of what they think it is to be a mom. But I think the challenge is just letting go of thinking that you can do it all. That’s a tough one for me.
You talked about kind of giving advice. The way that I kind of see it is that I’m sharing my experience. I certainly don’t think that I know it all. I think I make lots of mistakes but I think I’m learning with the experience and I think that by sharing that story, women connect with that.
I don’t have to have this parenting expertise. That’s why I bring guests on my podcast too. I’m going to let them speak from their wisdom and their education and their experience. But it’s just really me as a mom, because I really – I want to do it all. I want to have all the home-cooked food. I want to spend time with my kids. I want to be an entrepreneur, writer, podcaster, all this stuff.
I want to have time obviously to take care of me, but I think it’s that you need to understand that you really can’t do it all. So you got to figure out what is most important to you and to make your choices based on that. So I would say those have been some of the toughest ones. So yeah, getting to be a mom, fatigue is a big one and just really letting go of thinking you have to do it all.
Jade: Wow. Can you give some clear advice on how to prioritize to make your life a little more easy?
Karen: I think that’s the million dollar question, Jade. Really. That’s a tough one for me because I know that I struggle personally when I’m trying to get my message out there and to connect with moms of – most kind of information out there for moms is basically, “Do this. Here are your top five lists. Here are your top three tools, the strategies.”
I write that way sometimes too because again this is how most people kind of take in information. But at the same point, I don’t think there’s any one way that’s right for everybody. Every mom’s situation is different. I can’t speak from where I’m having a partner or a husband who helps with children if I was talking to a single mom.
That’s a totally different experience. I can’t talk from a place of, well, here’s what I think you should do for maybe a mom who’s a first time mom at 20 and doesn’t really have a lot of life experience or confidence or maybe just – maybe the birth dad is kind of out of the picture. I mean it’s a hard thing to kind of say what advice or what would I say to other moms. But I think one of the biggest things that moms can do is to just listen to their instincts.
We’re so bombarded with information, which is cool. We have all this information, all this content, podcasts and blogs and books and all this stuff to really learn. But sometimes what that ends up doing is that moms just feel completely overwhelmed. They feel like they’re not doing all these things. So therefore they’re a bad mom and they stop listening to what they think is really right for their children, because honestly I mean kids don’t come with a manual, which I’m sure you’ve heard people kind of say that before, right?
Karen: But I think you do kind of know at times as to what’s really best, but maybe doubt yourself. You listen to all the voices or the words that you read or things that you hear from other people. But really I think you got to really tap back into your own instinct and what you feel is best for your children and for your family.
Jade: Well, tell me a little bit more about that as far as how do we – this is not only for mothers but for absolutely everybody to listen to their inner voice, their intuition. It’s very important. But how do you best do that? I mean do you not watch television or you don’t listen to other people? Do you meditate or what are your thoughts on that?
Karen: I think all three of those sound good. Yeah, all three of those sound good. I think you have to – you know what? I think you have to do the work and that is whatever that is for you. So whether that’s you attend seminars, whether that’s you journal. You meditate as you mentioned. You really are aware and observant as to what’s happening in your life. I think just really to think. It sounds like such a – kind of fastidious thing to say.
But I think we’ve become a nation of people that just follow blindly and don’t really think to what we’re doing and saying. Even if you just think of people who will say things like, “I will see you tomorrow.” It’s like no, I’m actually not seeing you for like two months. What do you mean I will see you tomorrow? Just again, a simple thing of how we’re so unconscious sometimes and how we live our life, that I think being able to follow your inner voice, your instinct, your intuition, whatever you want to call it, that you need to do what you need to do to get there. Again, whether that’s reading or listening to podcasts or having meaningful conversations with people and maybe leaving people out of your life that don’t really support that process or maybe certain things, like TV.
I really stopped watching TV a couple of years ago. Not because I think TV is evil and if you want to watch TV, knock yourself out. But I just found for me, I wanted to spend some time reading and so if I wanted to say yes to reading, I had to say no to something else. To having more time to do this, I have to say no to TV.
So I think it’s the same thing. I know this is a really vague answer but you got to find it on your own. It would be easy for me to say, “Here are the five tips Jade,” or “Here are the 10 things,” or “Here’s what I think you should do.” But it’s not really my place to tell someone how they’re going to get to that place. I think part of the journey is figuring out how to get to that place.
Jade: Right. That was a very good answer actually. I really like that. How did you find your place? I mean how did you go through your day and listening to your instincts and your intuition? What has helped you in your life?
Karen: It’s a good question. I think from my early 20s, the first book that I kind of read on self-development, personal growth, spirituality, was The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield.
I remember seeing him like on Oprah. So this would have been back in, oh gosh, like early 90s and just being completely – like just mind blown wide open, like oh my god, so there’s a connection to things in the universe. Not that there’s a reason for things happening because I don’t really like that saying. But just there’s a connection that’s happening there. So to me, that kind of sparked my journey of wanting to read more books from people like that, to Tony Robbins at the time, to Deepak Chopra, to just really wanting to immerse myself.
So for me it has been about reading books. It has been about going to seminars and it has been about probably having some really great mentors and teachers and experiences along the way.
Jade: Just to maybe change the subject just a little bit, you became a mom at 41 and you adopted your two sons, Kai and Tyson.
Jade: So how did that change your life? Did you adopt them at the same time or …
Karen: No, they were different times. So we adopted – they were both from birth. Are you kind of asking like what’s the process of adoption or just kind of what was my experience becoming a mom for the first time?
Jade: Right, exactly. What was your experience like becoming a mom for the first time?
Karen: The first time. It’s a hard one. That’s like there’s no sound bite for that one, right?
Karen: Gosh. Gratitude. Probably one of the biggest things was gratitude. I blogged about this – actually my chiropractic office website and then also I kind of changed that story a little bit and put it on to Mom at 41 and did a podcast about it as well too, because I had a lot of people that didn’t really quite understand adoption and perhaps for me becoming a mom later in life, maybe saw it as – maybe I didn’t want the “hassle” of being pregnant. So I felt I had to kind of like tell my story and really share what it was all about. But yeah, the moment I heard my son – because we were actually outside of the hospital room when he was born. His birth mom actually wanted us there at the hospital when he was born.
Hearing him cry for the first time, just dropped to my knees, just sobbed, because I was so grateful to finally have the chance to be a mom. So I think, yeah, first and foremost gratitude. That was probably like the first three months. I just couldn’t believe this little being, this little spirit was in our life now.
Then that quickly turned to the – I would say the honeymoon phase was over, but then I was like OK, this is really hard to I don’t feel like I know what I’m doing. I think being an adoptive mom and I share this with other moms who aren’t adoptive moms. They go, “No, no, we all feel that way.” But I think there’s something that’s a little bit different when you’re an adoptive mom because you feel a little bit out of place.
I definitely – so any of the mommy groups in that, it was just like I did not belong there. They’re talking about stretch marks and getting their – losing the baby fat and breastfeeding and nothing that was any part of my world as an adoptive mom.
So yeah, I think I felt like kind of an odd duck. I felt like a little bit out of place and then of course when a lot of the challenges come up for me – and I think this rings true with a lot of adoptive moms because most that adopt adopt because they’ve been unable to conceive on their own.
Not that it’s a default but it’s where the path was supposed to lead at least for me becoming a mom. So I certainly would question whether or not I was supposed to be doing this mommy gig, because I tried so hard to conceive on our own, went through all the different procedures and tests, and it just never really happened. Then maybe feeling that OK, well, if I’m having this big challenge, maybe it’s because I’m not supposed to be doing this, which is tough because for the most part, I have fears and concerns and worries like everybody. But for the most part, I consider myself to be a pretty strong woman, pretty confident and so motherhood just kind of – it was like the rug pulled out from under you. It’s like everything you know to be true about life and feeling like OK, I got this now, and then things would change.
You go, “OK, like I got this next challenge now.” Then that would change. So I think what it has really taught me is a lot about patience, a lot about being OK with not controlling everything, and that there’s a lot of uncertainty in life and that that’s OK, and maybe just to not be so serious about things sometimes, because you got to have a sense of humor when you’re a mom. That’s by far one of the most important attributes to have.
Jade: Oh my goodness. Now being a mother for the first time, did you feel an overwhelming sense of responsibility? You have this baby that totally depends on you and his father.
Karen: Yeah, I don’t think there was so much that for me Jade. I’ve always loved kids. I was babysitting from a really young age and so the logistics of that stuff was not so much.
I think it was just the – I don’t know. Maybe it was that a little bit. Maybe as I’m kind of reflecting on it. I think it’s just kind of wondering like how am I going to do all this stuff. How am I going to – I wasn’t a stay-at-home mom. How am I going to continue to be in the practice and do all this?
What are kind of the next steps and stages of things? I mean I was just like I don’t know. When do you feed kids food? I mean I didn’t know that kind of stuff, right? Of when you do what.
I think also too wanting to raise our kids in a very kind of natural holistic way and that goes everywhere from food to our philosophy and what we want to teach our kids. I think it was just maybe a little bit more of, “Am I going to find other moms that are like me that I can hang out with?” which I still find to be a challenge at times.
When so much of society is just a lot about wanting to like make their kids into something or to have stuff be moved so fast and so quickly and oh, you should have them in this lesson and that lesson. We’re doing all these things. So yeah, I think that was the biggest part for me.
Jade: Wow. So when did you and your husband decide to adopt the second son?
Karen: Well, we kind of knew early on that we wanted to have two. We preferred – I mean we’re thankful to have our one son Tyson but we really didn’t want him to be an only child, if we could affect that at all. So a year after you’re placed with – at least in the province of Alberta and Canada it works this way, that within a year of when you’re placed with your first child, you can go back on the waitlist again.
So we kind of promptly did all that stuff and had to go through all the process again of police checks and fingerprints and personal references, letters, phone calls, the hours of home study. Basically you do everything as you do the first time around outside of having to attend the two-day pre-adoption seminar.
So we kind of got all that stuff in place and then got back on the list when Tyson was probably just a year, a year and a few months. So yeah, and I mean in Alberta the wait is anywhere from – gosh, up to two years is – like around the two-year mark is average. But some have gotten placed in a month and some it’s five years, right?
So average is two years. So just kind of doing the math on stuff, it was like OK, so I’m 42 at the time we placed him again. Also one of the reasons too why I think we’ve kind of said, “Well, we’re done at two,” because just again, I hate to kind of – it might sound a little silly but I do – having a child at a certain time in my 40s is one thing. Now the process is more of saying, OK, so when they’re 18, I will be – with Kai, I will be 62. Like that blows my mind. I cannot even fathom at this point. So it’s – I blogged actually and podcasted that too, but then I called it Why I Hate Math.
Karen: So that’s – yeah, I’m sorry. I went a little bit off topic there.
Jade: No worries, no worries. We’re free flowing here. I’m enjoying every moment of this. Oh my goodness.
Karen: Oh, thank you.
Jade: Oh my goodness. So let me ask you. I mean you have two amazing sons. But this adoption or having children, how did it affect your relationship with your husband?
Karen: Actually I just put a newsletter out about that last night.
Jade: Oh, really?
Karen: Yeah, really. You’re feeling it or something, yeah.
Jade: Oh my goodness.
Karen: You know what? Yeah, here’s the thing. I think it’s very easy and my parents, I watch my parents do this. I watched my parents put aside their relationship for us kids. I have two older brothers.
I don’t think that’s a healthy thing to do. I think it’s a very easy thing to have it happen. I think you can put it all aside for the children and just be so – you got so much going on and you’re tired and you kind of go, “Well, you got me.” So do I really need to still make an effort? I guess it’s maybe the way that you might see it.
But I think it’s so important. I had this kind of epiphany about it the other day when – my husband and I have been pretty good about having date nights. Over the last few months, we haven’t and so it kind of made me realize again then too and realize how much it is important to role model that relationship for your kids. If you think of it, I mean this is the first relationship they see, right?
This is how a lot of them will kind of start to have their thoughts about marriage, good or bad or otherwise. So my husband and I kiss and hug in front of my boy Tyson and he goes, “Aw, that’s so sweet.”
Jade: Really? Oh my goodness!
Karen: My almost four-year-old who’s like – you know, he’s a very spirited little kid. He’s very independent. He’s a lot like mom and he’s challenging some days. So to have that little sweetness come out was just like lovely. Then I thought, well, maybe he’s just feeling extra kind of loving day, whatever. I’m going to do it again tomorrow. It was like the exact same response.
So I said, “Tyson, do you like to see when mommy and daddy kiss and hug?” He goes, “Yeah.” So it was just kind of a – again, this epiphany of just like – not that we don’t show affection in front of him or in front of our younger son Kai. But just like we have to make more of an effort to show that, to role model that because they’re seeing it. Their little eyes are picking up everything. Their little ears are hearing everything you say.
If you don’t think that’s true, just say something random and they will find it and say it back to you at some point in your life. Remember mommy when you said that thing? Yes, honey. I do. Mommy is so sorry she said that word. That was a bad word. Yes, yeah, yeah. So yeah, I think it’s just to kind of include that. It’s tough. I think it’s tough but I think just like you place time investing in your children and in growing your children and helping develop and teach them and be there for them, you have to place that same time and effort back into marriage or relationship, right? Because before kids, it was us. It was you and them.
So I don’t think that you can’t invest time into that and think that things will keep going. So I think you have to. You have to make that time as difficult as it may be.
Jade: So the two of you, you and your husband kind of worked it out and just kind of maneuvered and flexed around it and still gave each other the time you guys needed together.
Karen: Yeah. At first when the babies are new at least, it’s like it’s so hard and you talk about your kids, which you still do a lot when you’re outside. OK. We’re not going to talk about the kids. Inevitably it ends up that way. But then now, it’s just like OK, you got a sitter? Great. Bye boys. See you!
It’s like I feel I have this little like secret getaway for like two, three hours just to go down to the movies or go out to Starbucks or go out to dinner, that kind of thing. So it becomes those – like you almost – at least my husband, like I appreciate the time we’re alone together because we don’t have it all the time, right?
Jade: Right, right. Well, that’s wonderful. How did your husband enjoy being a father? Is this his first – are these his first two …
Karen: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean I can’t really speak for him. So I’m going to say – but he would probably say some of the same things. There are definitely some challenges there but at the same point, I think the times that I love my husband the most is when I see him with our sons, when I just see him – he didn’t have a really great relationship with his dad. He just really wasn’t a good dad and so I think it has been – I think it’s hard when people don’t have that. He shared with me. He was like, “I don’t know how to be a good dad. I didn’t have a good dad.” So what is your role model? Maybe your friends’ dads or like actors you see in the movies or something. How do you know if you haven’t had that experience? It’s hard to really understand what it’s all about.
So now he’s a great, great dad. He’s very, very hands-on, very loving with our boys. I think one of the things we wanted to teach having boys is to teach him about feelings, is to not have this silly thing about boys can’t cry or don’t show emotion. So I think for him it has been a real effort but to really have those conversations about feelings and talk about those things and if Tyson says he wants to wear pink or like something that’s not masculine, he’s not really a dad that would really care at all. He just wants to see his boys be healthy and happy really. So he’s a great daddy. Yeah.
Jade: Wow, that’s amazing. I mean over time, as a mother, have you noticed anything that – any kind of habits that you may have actually picked up from your parents that you actually utilize as a parent today?
Karen: You mean the good habits or the bad habits?
Jade: Any, either or, either or. I mean …
Karen: You know what? I don’t think – look, I don’t think that you can’t be the result of your experiences, right? So as much as you can try to say perhaps and maybe this is more – I mean I love my mom. I love my mom. I’m just going to preface with that. However, we haven’t always had the greatest relationship even now. It’s just – probably since like teen years, it has been a struggle and I’m now 45. So yeah, I don’t think you have to – you have to have some of that stuff wear off on you, right? The whole nature-nurture debate, I mean you have to have some of those experiences come up, maybe when you least don’t expect it.
I know one thing. I remember my mom used to always say to me and my brothers was like, you know – like, you know, whatever you’re just being kids and probably giving mom a hard time and kids are so ungrateful and we were thinking like what do – what are you even talking about? I don’t even understand you at all.
When I see sometimes like I’ve like done lots of cooking or I’m getting stuff ready for the boys and stuff and then my oldest boy Tyson is just being a real little bugger, in my head I go, “Oh my god! You ungrateful kid!” and I’m like OK, definitely not saying that one out loud.
He doesn’t know. He’s four. He doesn’t get any of these things yet. So yeah, I don’t know. Youngest of three. I definitely spent time with my parents. I think – you know what it was really? It’s just the time that we spent just doing whatever. There was – it didn’t have to be a special trip. We did some of those things too, but I think it was just – I remember being the youngest. I think I spent a little bit more time with my mom and dad when I was younger and then even when I was little but older, because I was also the only girl in our family.
So I just kind of hung out with them and did lots of stuff that they were doing. So I think just spending time with your kids is probably the greatest lesson. It doesn’t have to be anything big, but your kids just want your time. They would rather just hang out with you and be silly and wrestle and play LEGOs and play trains or run around the park than go on a cool trip or have this amazing birthday party. They just want your time.
Jade: Do you find yourself kind of rethinking like you said certain things that you say in front of them or is this something that you want them to feel a sense of expression? If they want to say something, they could say it and that’s how you give them a role model for it. Does that make sense? Was that an actual question?
Karen: Yeah, it does. It totally does. Look, I think it’s really important to be honest and real with your children. But I mean I’ve made mistakes like every single parent. I think there are maybe some things I’ve said that maybe they’re just not ready to hear yet, right?
It doesn’t mean you’re being dishonest but I think it’s understanding where the little brains are functioning at that point in time. So my husband and I definitely had arguments in front of our boy and we realized kind of early on like OK, this is not OK. We definitely make an effort of saying, “You know what, Tyson? Mommy and daddy have a disagreement. It doesn’t mean we love you any less. It doesn’t mean we love each other any less. It’s just sometimes we have fights.”
Then we try to make it a real point of showing him in saying that we’re sorry to each other in front of him, because I don’t think the whole thing of never fighting in front of your kids, I don’t think that’s healthy, because then they think that that’s what marriage is. You never have a fight. So then what happens when they are now maybe married or have a partnership relationship at some point in their life and have a fight for the first time, they’re probably thinking like it’s over or something.
So I think you have to really decide where that line is for you but yeah, we definitely show them some of those things. But then we will show the resolution. I think that’s the key.
Jade: OK. The huggy-kissy after …
Jade: OK, good.
Karen: The same way if he goes up to his little brother who’s like almost 15 months and pushes him over or he comes up and he’s – so Kai is now starting to kind of walk and that. So Tyson is sitting on a chair and he comes up and he wants to engage with him. He just like pushes him over, right? We’re like – in my head I’m going, “For the hundredth time, buddy, he’s little. I know you want your space sometimes but there’s a better way to express that and that’s not OK.”
You say sorry. If he comes back with a, “No, I don’t want to,” then OK. Then just kind of walk away and ignore and then he often now later will come over and just say, “Mommy, I’m really sorry.” We’ve talked about this. We’ve talked about it. You can make mistakes but it’s really important that you say sorry to that person and then you learn from that.
So I think showing those things whether it’s disagreements with your spouse or just being honest when you screw up as a parent. I have. I have yelled at Tyson and then later said, “You know what buddy? Mommy is sorry. I shouldn’t have yelled.” No buts, no because you made me or any of that stuff. But just a straight-up apology, I am sorry mommy. I shouldn’t have done that.
So he – I think role modeling that, role modeling the imperfections as you will, whether it’s yourself as a parent. Just you as a person or you as in a relationship I think goes a long way to teaching your children a lot about life.
Jade: That reminds me of one of your blogs called The Problem with Mom Shaming.
Jade: You posted it back on September 10th this year and I would love to hear more about that.
Karen: Well, I have to say I haven’t really been the brunt of that too much. I definitely have it. I’ve kind of experienced recently where I have. But it’s this – to me mom shaming is the judgment that you sometimes feel as a mom from other moms and yeah, I don’t really get it. I think it comes from the uncertainty that some moms feel and how sometimes – I don’t know if you want to just call it human nature or maybe if people just don’t have that confidence or just don’t have that certainty, that they feel better maybe tearing someone else down to make themselves feel good or just to make themselves feel better than.
So the whole mom shaming thing to me is just judging moms from wherever they are to whether it’s you saw someone yell at the kid in the grocery store and they go, “I would never do that,” or gosh, I don’t know, whatever decision it might be. Maybe they’re choosing to formula feed and not breastfeed. Oh my god, you got to breastfeed. Then again I don’t – it’s whatever you feel is best for your child.
But there certainly are – I think there’s this judgment in life. The people will just, I think, feel they have the right to look at somebody else’s life and think that they know them. Really you don’t know. You don’t know the experience that mom has had. You don’t know if she’s like – you know, two hours of sleep for the last eight months per night and she’s just at her wit’s end and for god’s sakes cut her some slack.
It’s very easy I think to see a snippet of a mom in a short little experience, in a school setting, at a sports game, out of whatever and judge. I think it used to be that motherhood was about having this village, right? That you had other moms that lived nearby you, your mom or your mother-in-law lived in your house with you, the family lived nearby. You had a community to help you with your children.
So that old adage of it takes a village to raise a child, it really was a village that was raising your children. It wasn’t just you. Now we all live far away from each other. We don’t have any of that. We have lots of social networks and that’s cool. But we don’t have what we had in the past and yet we are working. We are – again, the whole notion of being this perfect mom and everything is lovely and never make a mistake. It’s way too much pressure and women just crack under this. I just – this is where I think the mom shaming comes about, right?
I don’t feel good. So I’m going to tell someone else that they’re not making any good decision or being a bad mom. So for example, when I was actually writing that article, I think I was going to call it something like “the problem with calling women a bad mom,” or something. So I often will kind of Google and see what comes up.
I think when I Googled “bad mom” or “mom shaming,” it was all these like blog posts and Facebook posts and whatever, articles and rants about women who are being bad moms. It’s just like oh my god, this proves my point. I didn’t think I was going to find – that I was just kind of seeing what search words are women looking for. They might hopefully stumble across and see this article or the podcast episode.
So yeah, I just think it is killing women to have this and I think that we really need to come together and to say that, “I’m having these challenges,” and have other women support each other. So like on the Mom at 41 Facebook page, I see this at times. I see moms saying, “Hey, I’m having this challenge. I feel like I’m the only one.” I will have not just me but other moms pipe in too like, “Hang in there. It will get better. I felt the same way too.”
I think sharing these experiences is really what helps us as human beings and I think as a mom when you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing, when you feel like you’re the only one, those words of support, not judgment, not shaming, but support, is really what’s going to make this change and maybe make moms not feel that they have to be perfect anymore.
Jade: Wow. I love the community you’ve built and you’re right. I think everybody that is a mother should pipe into your community. Mom at 41 on Facebook, Twitter. You’re all over the place actually.
Karen: Yeah. So yeah, Mom at 41 on Facebook, @DrKarenOsburn at Twitter. Yeah, connect with me there and then the Mom at 41 Facebook page or there’s MomAt41.com and I would definitely recommend them. If you want to really stay in the loop the most, we were talking [0:37:26] [Indiscernible] about Facebook and the algorithms and not how everyone sees your posts anymore with how everything has changed and to connect and to register for the Mom at 41 newsletter.
So that’s where I can really stay connected with everyone who’s on that list and I send out twice per week. So I either have a story that I share, which was again the one I talked about with – I think I called it Hey Honey, Remember Me?
About how marriage changes when you have children and the importance of maintaining that and investing time in it and then I also send out a separate newsletter each week with some of the updates from the podcast episodes and just to let mommies know of some great guests we’ve had on and some great ones that are coming up.
Jade: Absolutely. Well, your podcast is absolutely phenomenal. I mean you’ve gotten such great rave reviews and I mean you’re at the top of the game there on iTunes actually.
Karen: Thank you.
Jade: Your high rankings. So good for you.
Karen: Thank you very much.
Jade: You’re welcome, you’re welcome. So the best way to get a hold of you is …
Karen: Well, it would be through the website so MomAt41.com and I can be contacted through the contact page there or by email, which is DrKaren@MomAt41.com.
Jade: Wonderful! Well, thank you so much for spending so much time with me today. I really enjoyed listening to you and I just love what you have on your website and how moms could come together and communicate and really not be alone, I would assume, in motherhood. They don’t feel like they’re the only ones having these feelings or these issues. They could come together and help each other.
Karen: Awesome. Thank you so much, Jade. I appreciate being here today. Thank you.
Jade: Thank you Karen. Well, talk to you soon.
Wow, I really enjoyed talked with Karen. She’s just an amazing person and she has a lot of wisdom and she’s just very authentic and just talking to her is like talking to an old friend. So I highly recommend that you check into her iTunes podcast and once again that is Mom at 41 and check out her website where you can see all that she has to offer to mothers and see how you can connect with Karen. She’s amazing. That’s MomAt41.com and if you found value in this episode or any episodes here on Jade Inspiration – Right On Baby Podcast, you could leave an honest review and help support this podcast. We would so appreciate it.
If you would like to get a hold of me or find out more about Jade Inspiration – Right on Baby, you can go to my website at that’s JadeInspiration.com. Thanks a lot everybody. I look forward to talking to you again next week. If you have any questions or comments, I’m always open to them. So please email me anytime at Jade@JadeInspiration.com. Thanks a lot. Talk to you later.
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