Purchased a FORA.tv video on another website? Login here with the temporary account credentials included in your receipt.
Sign up today to receive our weekly newsletter and special announcements.
So I I do want to know any of your grand parents or mother in laws, do you have your own kids, okay right but right you have your own kids. The reason I ask that before I start is I have had the most interesting interviews with in laws and with grand parents, I think it's have been they have been very un expected interviews, I have interviewed over 400 people around the country, actually now it's over 500 parents, grand parents, kids and experts and have learned so much about what's going on with the modern mother and so much as about the motherhood is about debunking the super mom myth because it's really out there and I think people are really grasping for role models, whether or not they think so, think so, that theme in so many of my interviews with current mothers is there is they are wondering how others are doing it even at 5'O clock one mother of four she has four kids, some around college and she is wondering how every other mother puts dinner together at 5'O clock in the afternoon and I and I thought I always thought that she knew how to do it, I am a mother of four and I am always wondering how are they doing it and to night I left my family with a great meal and hooked it hooked it over here from Palo Alto and I say that because this is not always a great meal that I am leaving my family with this I cooked it all out and sometimes I am taking sure cuts to make things more manageable and that's not necessarily better it just is what it is, but I found with the grand parents in particular, they are carefully telling the the mothers or the daughter in laws, they don't want to say they are too busy but they are kind of wondering why these moms are racing around doing all the stuff, and and well what one grand mother said in particular was doing all this busy work, she was wondering why are they doing it because here - I am finding in lot of these interviews, I find a lot of modern moms are actually taking sleeping pills to calm down, there us just - there is a lot of stress and we don't know always now where it's coming from, but a lot of it is about the expectations, I think a lot of it is about the expectations in America of having a well rounded child so it's not necessarily kids going to Ivy League schools but it's about parents wanted need to get their kids an equal opportunity to just try this sport try that sport try out an instrument and when I interview couples international international couples for example some one from - a couple from France was very vocal about this, they came on my TV show, and said, in France you really specialize with the kids and you pick one thing and you just do it well and my daughters in gymnastics and same thing in Russia, in Russia, you know Russian culture, you specialize it's one thing and you do it because these Americans these Americans what are they doing? They are running all over the place, and I think that's real a lot of the pressure comes from is that people are trying to provide their children with some thing and that's in their best interest wanting to expose them to these different things which means because if we are in America with people moving around it means getting in your car more it means both parents than car pooling, taking these kids to different places. I think soccer, is actually - my latest take on soccer is they are so much going with fitness with getting kids more fit, because the obesity awareness is going on, so soccer is a really easy way to get kids involved in a group, activity people can pick it up quickly because some times I hear people who are not parents saying what is this soccer phenomenon, why is there soccer, why is it, like this and I think it's a very real thing to get people on the field and kick a ball around and they can excel at it they want to or if they are so inclined where they can pick other things but there, in general it's getting people in the cars and racing around and so heads of pre-schools are telling me that some times what's happening is mothers are no longer trusting themselves and saying this is enough what I am doing here with my family is enough and so a lot of sort of motherhood is about recognizing your limits your personal limits. I find once we recognize our limits it's very freeing and it's about debunking the super mom and it's about building community and I think motherhood is not a competitive sport but an endurance sport and so we can train and better prepare ourselves for the long the longer day because we can all hit walls, it was at 3'O clock can be at 3'O clock slump just with getting tired and wondering how on earth we are going to get to the end of the day and enjoy that enjoy that time or it can be hitting walls for many of the reasons because of course we have other pressures going on in the world today with whether it's work work related or just political and you know whatever it's say it is on your mind and so anyway I just want to on start I will go back to start with my original opening which is give you will wake up and feel that "R" over your head. The idea that you know I am talking about "R" for responsibility, I think we can really have a lot of responsibility and its so much responsibility, daily responsibility that sometimes it's really hard to get to what I call the fun stuff and the fun stuff is what helps prevent the mid life crisis which gives us longer lasting health. And is what you are putting your memory box with your family, you remember those fun times they remember those fun times you go back to those fun times it's kind of a fuel for our families and so if we make time, the fun stuff is essential to our good health too. So we can get to the fun stuff with little more mindfulness and a bit of game plan and sort of motherhood is about helping people come up with the game plan. So I do I have a I will go back to so I am Genevieve Butcher, I have cable show that's come out of the book that's just been blast that I had for a couple of years now and its gone to and now Huston picked it up and Philadelphia and other parts of California San Francisco and San Jose in the bay area and Sacramento and it just been really fun we have put on 23 shows in the last few years and we won some national award and some local some regional awards and with the show I have learned, I took classes to learn how to produce it and and host it and I work with a team of people and this is a blast because work there as a team creating this thing and it's all about the hot parenting topic of the day so we have even done the show on food allergies on kids that was the last show that we had, Dr Godbellon, he is the president of the California allergist association and a couple who had a peanut allergy if they had a peanut allergy in their school, the school district nurse in Palo Alto, Robin O'Brian from allergy kids came in and she flew in to talk about her protocol and her ideas and allergy action plan and then the fifth person, one was a lawyer and we put them altogether and we just created something else on the set and it was just, it was really interesting the audience had questions and I say its interesting just because I think we all learnt something, we learn even little things like skin sanitizers don't give rid of peanut food peanut oil and so the school district nurse actually didn't seem didn't seem like she need that but the doctor said that this is what you need to do to really clean those tables to do the sort of thing and so there is just general allergy one on one education but there is a lot of talk about worry what where do we he got lost his parents and his parents are without these food allergies, where are they heading, well they are heading all the time worrying that this is going to be the big reaction and so also help you see how there is sort of the worry out in the just as you run around in the world in America with food allergies are very high and they have really grown in the last ten years and just kind of understanding what you people can do collectively when someone get you know has one finds about one but resources that they go can to work and they find their support and so so much of this is about identifying as well as we had and then once again going to find the support and resources we have around us. So I am not a super mom, I am just like many of you and I am balancing on often on a daily basis it is sometimes conflicting priorities of work family and personal pursuits and from my own experience and from the interviews that I have done around the country I realize that the sparkle of who we are can really dim under the mother in laws as of laundry dishes deadlines and financial resources and financial pressures. And I think its really up to us to rekindle that spark and have a shot at our dreams even if it just means one hour a week and so it's about honoring our pre-kids self, or pre- parent self or future self in bringing that longer term interest in incorporating it into our very very manageable way which also is a lot about editing some other things prioritizing streamlining so that we can make the time for a few things for a one things that also feeds our spirit mind and soul. And with that that gives us energy more energy for a marriage, for our kids for our family and for ourselves. So what I would like to do so wanted to just tell you I anchor that book in that whole idea of at one point I was wondering of I was in between kids, my kids right now are ages what are they four, six, nine and eleven one just started the middle school and so I am in a new place of parent with middle schooler and all the conversations that we already had just in a first school about, some very hard topics from middle schoolers it's a trip you know and I realized a while back that I needed to feed that creative part of me while I was raising my kids and I needed to channel that energy and I just like I said in this very manageable way and I was really on to something. By honoring that commitments that one hour we go either writing or painting. I felt more integrated. And so I just this exercise I have in the book. I have exercises at the end of every chapter for people to really just apply to their own lives to what's going on and develop a game plan, because I think for this one imagine your future yourself. Imagine what you will be like 40 years from now. Fine words would describe the kind of person you would like to be in your later years. Mentally try on a lot of personal styles to see which - what future self appeals to you. You might be adventurous, spirited, carefree, a queen bee, kind, happy, ambitious involved in global or community concerns. Athletic, artistic active and educator and so on. and then after you have imagined your future self you know, take out your "Sport of Motherhood" journal and note book and free write for five to ten minutes on the following questions, how would you like to be remembered in 40 years. In what values, accomplishments, people and places would be important to you. If you could live the next 40 years doing whatever you wanted, how would you spent that time. List the things you would like to be involved in the next 40 years. Family, career, politics, marathon by the way a sovereign marathons, which is what this book is based on in terms of just the structure. And a community grand mothering etcetera and write down where you would like to be living in a particular city, on a farm, in the mountains, on an island in another state, in a less expensive area or all over the world as a world traveler. And these are huge questions that not only can answer for ourselves but then also in the workshops that I have done the couples will then interact around these questions because as I did these with my husband you know, we realized it helped us get on the same page with where we were headed which may be really not in silicon valley where it's so busy and expensive you know, there are other places that we would like to end up and knowing that that might be what we are aiming for and constantly where we are or may be we will stay here. But as we each have our own personal agendas with the area, I think it helps to really talk about about even those kinds of of a small town versus the - you know, the countryside versus the city. Is it amazing not like may not seem like a big discussion to you but you know in my life it was a very big discussion. Given my husband is in banking and so we really need to stay near the big cities, even though I would love to I love this small towns, I could go live on a farm. And just trying to find that balance and may be in that longer term goal. So understanding our longer term goal. So we know, we are aiming for so this is where "Sport of Motherhood" is a lot like the marathon. So you just in a marathon, you pick your race and you don't just go run it. You train for it and you know, but to clarify your objectives, you clarify your goals. Are you going to run this race for time or is it more for enjoyment and what I found after having my kids, was I heard so many people say I can't do this because I have kids now. I can't do that, I can't run marathons, I can't do this because I have kids. And I kept thinking, yes you can, but it's all about the way you define your goal. What is successful to you and for me a lot of what I think success is about is just moving forward or honoring that whatever that commitment is that you pick and for me it is about keeping at least now, for a marathon it's about completing it, but it's not for time. That's very different, the most marathoners, you will often hear them talking about their pacing times and training times. They are going to break four hours, they can break three hours kind of do all of these things. I know that I am on like the family training plan which means I mean I have got the kids, I can train you know, as I can kind of train. I always run with one friend. It's like meditation; it's over that wonderful anchor to my week. And then I throw in some other work outs and round it out and it's a family training plan, it's not which you are going to find in the hand books or the Galloway method. But it is a realistic way for me to train and I run and I complete them and I feel really good. And it keeps me interested in working out still. And that's the kind of the goal. How do we stay interested in kind of keeping healthy? Does it mean you have to go run marathons; we can all pick our sport a lot of women are into yoga. And for a lot of people they have decided, it's about a health issue. They want to work on - actually getting more sleep before they can even work on some of these other things. It's not about picking three goals and packing them in. It's about just doing one at a time. So it feels good. And so that's what that one is about but I also found another theme in mothering that I had so often was loneliness and isolation. And that entreats me, I would find in all of these mother's groups, you would often hear the reason that mother's groups are up is because everybody is kind of moved around. The world has changed a lot as you know. And there is a lot of public awareness about you know, this molester is here. You have got this up on the billboard. And as you read more, you realize these things have been around for a while there is just a lot more kind of hysteria and or a more sensationalism around it. But still the result is people are afraid to let the kids run around in the street like you used to. And when I do when I have done these workshops, it's been so interesting to hear what are people's favorite memories growing up. What are your favorite memories growing up? Do you have any or does anybody want to say? Running around in the street picking black berries or I know for me it was like doing we were always in forests and having acorn worse, I was a tom boy and I lived with all the boys on the street in and I loved that freedom any when I hear this people talk from all these different generations about their favorite times growing up, it's not about getting to karate or soccer, it's about that play time that down time so once again a lot of this is about when people can do what ever they want we all have our own family dynamic we all have our own interests, but I think if you as much as we can if we can take ourselves off that busy path, the busy path is the norm. If we can take ourselves off that as much as possible to protect that family time, I think we just constantly putting good food into the - in to the food bank, into the money bank what ever but good currency in to our family and something help hopefully but when you go back to those memories and bring them out and talk to them with your kids because it's really interesting to hear what they think is fun and you have your fun list, what is your top three three things you want to do in the summer I mean one of my daughters and it just its about in it going for a walk or a bicycle ride it's not even about going to a theme park. Its something pretty simple as because you are going to have varying needs but I think the more we ask more we can simplify so one of the - I did find coming back. In this book I actually help people set up what I call the the Mom Strategic Plan. Identifying your obstacles, you know what are goals what your obstacles, what is your resources where you support and how do you release flush out that good support system because I think we all have some kind of support system but do you have accountability buddies, do you have chair leaders and if you have to go its helpful to have one if you trying to move forward with one thing. So who are those people they are not necessarily all your friends you might have to have accountability buddies for chair leaders within a classroom setting if you are taking a tech class I find a lot of people I know in us are changing careers, lot of women I interview and so they are putting things in place to change those careers, they don't need to change it quite yet but there but as your step because there are a lot of people transitioning back to work, if they are not already working and transitioning back to work and often the job no longer fits if they have left it, the credentials have expired, they have got new needs as a mother now and don't really know where they want to go with some of the staff and I fit this time in time again and so if they even just put it in the research time in the class room, consider that research time. It start to develop their accountability buddies there there and there mentors. How do you cultivate those mentors? How do you really flush out that support that work, so I have a friendship assessment in there, just as so we can understand what kind of ground we are standing on and then as you move along areas just like with the training team for a marathon, it is just your team, your support team and what your teamwork like at home. How can you bring the kids then more on tours, it teaches some responsibility and good citizenry and so the more you bring your kids on being helpful around the house, the better they are, the better they are going to be going off to college and being a good roommate and the better they are going to be going off and being helpful spouses you know, they are just learning good skills by bringing them in on everything, it's not about the mother doing at all and I think most people don't want don't expect themselves to do at all but I think often there is less time so it's harder to take the time to train the kids to make the best to do this because it's about being a little bit too busy. So another thing is when you hit walls as I talked about one of the moms talked about she was sending the e-mail and I just thought it was great you know, do one more thing and then we will wrap that but she said one recent time both of my kids were so cranky all day, the baby wouldn't sleep, the two year old was throwing one fed after another. I was at my wits end I couldn't even talk anyone on the phone because somebody was always screaming in the background and at one point in the after noon I found myself caring both of them, one screaming in each ear at the top of their lungs slobbering on both of my shoulders and I just lay down on my bed with this screaming pile of kids on top of me and I thought half joking find your happy place find your happy place but I could not get to my happy place through the screaming slobbering runny nose children and I thought there may be if I couldn't beat them then I join them in crying but before I broke I just pick shot what it must look like, me lying there with no one on bed with two screaming slobbering slobbering runny noisy kids on top of me and how if my husband came home right now, he would probably have to laugh before coming over to give me a hand and to make me laugh too or at least smile well may be. I didn't really smile but I stopped being so grumpy again about the whole thing and I got my energy back up to deal with them once again and of course now I told my friends about it and we sit back and laughed and that kind of story has been a real jem because I I think the hardest times makes great stories, so if you can't call someone and tell them about them why is this happening, if you just know that you can tell some one about it later and its going to be a funny story to them it can help you find make it funny because I think we are hit with these. There is no for me there is and for so many people I have interviewed mothering can really bring us to our knees like oh my gosh you know, you want to get the kids your best and they are they the tantrum or whatever it is or the moodiness of the teenager can make you feel like you have been hit by a truck like how do you recover how do you keep up your spirits, how do you keep going forward and I think it's just the finding the fun in it all really keeps it funny and I remember at one stage, I had such little kids and I realized I was nursing I was I was so deprived and I just realized I lived on a farm that's what it felt like. But the time I got to school I already been up is every body need to be fed and milked and changed and all these stuff and when I came up with that analogy that I feel like I live on a farm it it has to be done no matter how tired I am I got to get up at four in the morning and do all the stuff. It became very funny and it was very important for me to go tell some other friends about that. And then I came up with strategies I had my kids sleeping in their clothes so they are already for school the next day because I was overwhelmed and my family doesn't live here okay. And I am not the only just I got that tip from a mother of five and I just thought it was great it was much to the entertainment of my kindergarten class my daughter's kindergarten class it's like you mean they slept in that like you had because I have some doodlers who wouldn't put on their clothes or they are always stripping and I just figured the easiest way is that they sleep in their clothes they I have got part of that out, it's just about feeding them and brushing their hair and getting them to school. Now we faced we faced out of that but with that one of the doodlers in my have my kids she learned to earn the right to put her clothes back on I mean earned to right wear her pajamas to sleep. Because then she got faster and faster and it worked it was the strategy dose effective for just where are the funny strategies what you will be so much fun in all of this and so I think a lot of it's about highlighting that I am big on telling having bringing out that great oral tradition, what are the funny stories that you have going on around your family and telling them at the table and having the kids tell them because they really enjoy that so just keeping that oral tradition unplugging them and and highlighting the fun because there is there is a lot of there is a lot of pressure these days and you are seeing all of these with this stressed out students and all of the things you are going after sure is a lot of fun too and if we highlight it, we are teaching them you know get out to skills because perceptive is really so much of life. So the last thing I want to say is as you live along and hit a wall, some times it is very hard and I have to show called honoring grief and and it was about some thing very un-American which is about actually sitting with your feeling while you are grieving because in America its kind of like it's the micro wave place I mean every thing is fast you - you stick it in there and you go and I found with my own experiences with death that it was actually the show that helped me sit was among my feelings I had just lost my sister in law, my grand mother and I had the Kara - the represent of represent from Kara grief support on and some other people who like who amidst care just one at a child die and they talked a lot about sitting with your feelings and letting them come up and Liz Powell with Kara so u can grief is an individual journey and understanding that even within a family every body is going to grief differently and that's so helpful and it's stuff that people don't want to talk about and I know right before this I actually have this book signing schedule for a while ago and I actually miscarried and had emergency surgery back when I was supposed to have this and I know that even my own family I kind of climbing out of that this whole summer of just understanding that there is a loss and just being okay with that and what I left from the show and what I learned was we can carry these memories with us in our pockets and it's it doesn't mean they have to go away and you and you can grieve properly it just means they can still be with you always. Think, that to me is very free because I feel as you - as you talk to other mothers and grand mothers I think a lot of parenting is also about loss even as the kids go from stage to stage you - I just was talking to a teacher the other day, she burst in to tears remembering her son when he was five mean while her son is now thirty and I it just was it was so clear how much we remember those stages and that's where the losses and I am of course you are excited for them to enjoy their lives as they are older too, but so much of the supermom myth is not a is not acknowledging any of them lost and what's really going on and so much of who we are is about moving through our days with some of these heavier feeling, heavier issues and being real so I think it's very freeing and all of this is about, this philosophy of living is about really once again understanding our limits, rallying together when you have got some thing sharing it with other people, you know the right you know the people that you feel comfortable with, I know people are private but it should help someone else but I found specially these mothering circles one mom will share some thing and boy do the others relate right away and it really helps carry them forward and more together in all of this so any way thanks. Do you have any questions?