The Parenting Coach Podcast with Crystal

S04|09 - Finding Your Values to Build Your Unique Life - Coaching Call #2

Apr 25, 2022

Life coaching is integration- tune into this sneak peek of a coaching call where we move out of shame and into value-building. What do I want my life to look like and why? Does it need to look like anyone else’s? How can I find joy and peace in building the life I love?

What we coach on:

  • Cooking dinner for kids who never enjoy or appreciate it
  • Moving from shame in motherhood to growth
  • All-or-nothing thinking and how it can block us from growth
  • Finding the middle ground and ditching comparison


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Episode Transcript


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Hey, I'm Crystal, a certified life coach and mom of four. In this podcast, we combine radical connection and positive parenting theories with the How-To Life Coaching Tools and Mindset Work to completely transform our relationship with our children. 

Join me on my journey, unleash your inner parenting expert, and become the mother you've always wanted to be. Make sure you subscribe wherever you listen to your podcast and rate this podcast on Apple, and check out my transformative monthly membership for moms in the show notes.


Hi, and welcome to today's episode, Finding Your Values to Build Your Unique Life. All right, welcome to today's podcast. I am excited to bring you another sneak peek of a coaching call. And the reason that we do this is because it's great to take courses and to read books and to learn new things – but implementation and integration is a different thing, and it can really change our lives in a really powerful way. So, I want to show you guys what that's like. 

Today, I am bringing on a client to come and get coached surrounding the topics that we've been talking about for the last few weeks, and you can get a sneak peek into what it actually is like to be on a coaching call – and see the transformation and the shifts that happen. 

The client that I have coming on today, does know quite a bit about coaching and a lot about thought work. So, if you are confused as to any of the lingo that we use, go back to season one and listen to my episodes like The Model; that one would be a great one to cover. 

And I have a couple other thought work episodes in the first season, so we will dig into it.


Coaching call in progress

Crystal The Parenting Coach: Hello?


Coaching Client: Hello. Okay. First of all, oh, what you just said about coaching is so true. Like it helps you integrate it because I'm a person that's been involved in self-help and reading the books and going to the-- like, that's been a huge part of my adult life. 

But coaching was where like it got personal. It got to the point where those shifts and things were happening because it was specifically my thoughts about things. Not just like, oh, that's a good idea or that's a good principle, but it was like, how is this playing out in my mind and in my life?


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yes. Me too, 100%. Like I had been reading books and doing things for years; and it wasn't until I personally got coached and I personally could figure out – what are my struggles and my unique situation with my kids and my thoughts and my brain… and how does that work? And I feel the same way that you do. 

Before we hop into coaching, I always like to ask this question first; how are you feeling right now? Emotion word.


Coaching Client: Oh, I'm actually pretty relaxed, which has not been my state for the last couple days. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Okay. 


Coaching Client: Yeah. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: All right. So, going into this, just dive right in. Tell us what's, kind of, on your mind right now. 


Coaching Client: Okay. I think the biggest thing that I'm working with in my life right now is I've been working really hard to eliminate shame – not eliminate, you use a different word, don't you? Just like be aware of it. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Become shame resilient. 


Coaching Client: Yeah, resilient. Yes. I'm becoming shame resilient and very aware of like, I don't want to live my life from all the should, and which has produced lots of wonderful things in my life. And it feels like a bit of a pendulum switch of like swing of like, okay, yep, nope… just because I think I should do that, doesn't mean I have to – and like really owning my life. 

But then there's these little gremlins like little thought gremlins coming and they're like, 'Well, if shame isn't going to get you to do it, what is?'


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah. 


Coaching Client: I'm like, there are things that I'm like, 'Okay, that's fine.' And then of a sudden, I'm like, 'Oh-oh, didn't I lose my--' Like, oh, I need to make dinner but I'm not making dinner because I should make dinner… I don't really want to make dinner or--' 

Anyways, so it's finding new places of motivation for kind of that black hole that used to just like, I used to just push through with all of the shame and all of the—Yeah.


All-or-nothing thinking, and how it can block us from growth

Crystal The Parenting Coach: Okay. I love this because you guys have probably heard this before, but all-or-nothing thinking, right? 


Coaching Client: Oh yeah.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: So, on the one end, we have that shame and we're like, the shame is going to help us get there; and we often feel like it is. Like, I just talked to a client about this yesterday, and he was like, 'Oh no, but the shame is what helps me do better.' 

And as we started to like really get into it; the shame was not helping him to do better – the shame was pushing him farther away from his goals, which we've talked about a lot on this podcast too. But our brain often swings over to the other side where it's like, 'Okay, nothing… like all-or-nothing is nothing, on the other end of it,' we're just like, well, I guess we do nothing

So, my metaphor is always… if you were going to the gym and somebody was working there and came up to us and was like screaming and yelling at us – and telling us what a terrible job, and that we should have come sooner, and that we're not doing it hard enough and not doing it long enough – we can see that that wouldn't be super supportive in our journey. 

But if we go to the gym; and there's nobody there, there's no supports – there's no people, nobody's helping us and maybe there's not even like equipment – we're like, 'Hey, now what do we-- I guess we just don't go, I just guess we don't go to the gym. 

So, the cure for all-or-nothing is to figure out like, what's the middle for us? So, I want you to tell me a little bit about this all-or-nothing for you; like what it looks like when you're like, notice the shame and you kind of move from that… then, what happens?


Coaching Client: Good question. It is very all-or-nothing because I'm like okay, I can't do that. And just that extremism of like, 'Okay, I have to do totally the opposite.' 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah. See if you can think of like a situation maybe that you can think of recently where you noticed this. 


Coaching Client: Oh, just like not making dinner ever. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Okay, let's talk about it, not making dinner ever. So, tell me about the shame first that kind of led to the not making dinner


Coaching Client: Well, no, the shame was I have to make dinner because that's my job and, what kind of person am I if I don't feed and nourish my family? 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: You answered that question though, 'What kind of person are you if you don't feed a nourish your family?'


Coaching Client: Well, right now I'm a happy person because I hate making dinner. Okay. So, that is one that I feel like, so just this week I was like, 'Okay, it's getting a little out of control, I don't need my family just lounging to try and feed themselves all of the time – that doesn't really align with my values either.' 

But it's interesting you said the support of the gym because I was like, 'Okay, well--' We used to get good food, and I was like, 'That's too expensive.' But like I was at Costco, which I also hate grocery shopping and I almost only do like collection grocery orders, which are the best. 

But I was-- I have to-- I need a diaper so I was at Costco, and I was like, 'You know what, these pre-made meals are not that much more expensive. Like if I'm having a hard time doing this, like middle ground is; if I get these, that's a little easier – and at least I'm making supper, it might be a little bit more. 

But it's certainly not as much as like my kids getting hungry and asking their dad to do skiff while I'm, you know, like skip the dishes while I'm out that night. And I'm like, 'Oh my gosh, you ordered it again?' 

And plus, I was like, and these are easy enough that I could assign them to other members of my family like, 'Oh look, that's from the fridge that's ready.' You know, 'Help with dinner.' 

So, that mid-ground of like because I think the all-or-nothing, the shame – what kind of person am I if I don't make dinner – that's trying to attach all of that value to what I do. So, if I don't do that, who? You know? But the reality is that has nothing to do with who I am. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah. 


Coaching Client: Nothing. It's just a choice that I make. It's just a reality of life. It needs to get done. So, the midline thinking, I think is, 'Well, what are other ways that this could get done?' 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Exactly. 


Coaching Client: The support of like, it's not an empty gym and it's not someone shouting at me at the gym… which, let's find a new metaphor because I don't like the gym either.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah. I agree. I think it's just-- It's so obvious that that person would not get the help that they need, right? They'd be like, 'I'm not going to this gym anymore,' but we do not--


Coaching Client: It's a yoga class, and the teacher is like very lovely guiding you through and helping your body know what they need. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah. Right. That's what the middle is. 


Coaching Client: So, my family needs fed, but there's lots of ways I can get to that. 


Moving from shame in motherhood to growth

Crystal The Parenting Coach: So, the shame story, on the one hand, is always what we make it mean about us. So, when you're like, 'I should make dinner because that's my job because if not, then I'm not a good mom or I'm not a good person, or I'm not a good wife, or whatever that is,' and you notice that--


Coaching Client: That is comparison because I'd be like, good with it. And then I'd like notice other moms being more diligent about it or more creative… you know, like they make dinner every night – I'm like, Ooh. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah. And what was the thought there, do you think? Like, when the comparison was happening, what do you think you were thinking? 


Coaching Client: 'If I was a good mom, I'd do that too.' Yeah. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah, 'If I was a good mom, I would do that too'. So, you'd noticed that – and you know a lot about a thought work, and you were able to kind of shift that. So, what's the thought that kind of switched you over to the, like now nothing phase, what were you thinking?


Coaching Client: Well, I did shift the 'if I was a good mom, I would do that' because I was like, 'No, I've learned through thought work that me as a good mom is me as a happy mom, as a-- I'm a good mom when I'm not miserable.' 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Also, you can be a good mom when you are miserable. 


Coaching Client: Yes, yes, yes, yes. But like, but I had-- There was more choice there than I was-- There was more-- There's more ways to be a good mom than just what I was laying out. Okay. Wait, the shift of-- Okay. Yeah. So, the shame of like, I think I got curious. I think I was like, 'Okay, so if shame isn't going to be the reason I clean my house and I do all these things, that are my mommy jobs--  

And getting to it like, you know, letting them go a little bit and being like, woo, this is getting a little bit chaotic. And then thinking back to my own childhood, which did struggle to function because the lack of that organization, like family doing things. 

So, I was like, 'Okay, we're getting to some scary ground here,' right? Like, I don't want to neglect my kids, I want them to still feel supported – and like they're living in a place that has some order, has flexibility, and it has, you know, everyone contributing. 

So, then I had to get really curious about like, 'Well, shame isn't going to drive them, what could? What would be an emotion-- what would be a thought that would help me get the result?' Right? Because the result is I was like, 'I made my kid’s bed.'


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yep. 


Coaching Client: So, what can I replace as a thought, instead of, 'Well, if I'm a good mom, I'll do this'? So, then every time I don't make dinner, I feel like a bad mom – that's not helpful. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah. I love this because one of the things I talked about a few weeks ago about shame was that when we're in shame, it takes out all the learning, right? 

If you were to stay in that space – like no learning would happen, no shifts, no changes… at least nothing positive or no healthy growth in that space. And when we're able to move beyond that and we're able to feel compassion for ourselves and really kind of shift those thoughts, now you're in this space where learning can happen, right? 

Learning can happen from this space where we're like, 'Okay, it doesn't mean anything about me as a person if I don't make my kids an amazing dinner and that they have to just like get whatever there is in the kitchen.' 

They're not starving, they're healthy – there's food in our house all the time, they're totally fine. Right? So, I can feel good about that; and now I can move to the space where we look back and say, "Okay, now what have I learned?" 

Now, going over to this like, kind of, nothing phase, 'Now, what have I learned?' And I also like what you said about, what is my values? How can I live in line with my values? Looking back on it now, what would you say you want your values to be? In an ideal world, what would that look like?


Togetherness & connection over dinner

Coaching Client: I value togetherness and I value connection; that's one of the reasons that sometimes dinner is a hard time for us because, and I'm sure lots of people can relate to this. 

But, like, sometimes I'll even have dinner, like I’ll prep and then I'll like go do something and, all of a sudden, like my husband's eating dinner; like he's started to dish it out, and everyone's spread all over the kitchen eating separately. 

And I'm like, 'Whoa, I can't put forth the effort to make dinner if it's not going to actually result in what I want from this, which is connection.' Right? So, two different ways I can approach that; I can say, "Okay, well, maybe I need to take pressure off of that, maybe dinner is not when my family's very good at connecting." You know? Maybe that isn't.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Maybe there's so many times during the day.


Coaching Client: Yeah. Maybe we're way better at it in a different setting. Maybe when everyone is hungry and all of that. I've also gotten way more flexible with it. Like, we eat dinner really early, like almost as soon as my kids are home from school, like we're eating – which means they snack later, and all that. 

But like because I was so annoyed with them eating while I was making dinner, then I'm supposed to set them down… like we're supposed to have dinner at this like magical time. 

My husband has flexible work and so that's something that's available but like, or having dinner without my husband there because he doesn't value that… like us talking at dinner, I think he finds annoying; he's like, 'I'm eating.' 

He's very focused, like he's a 'one task, kind of, man'. He's not a multitasker. So, he is like, 'I'm eating, why are you asking me questions? We'll talk when I'm done.' So yeah. Like if the result I want is connection-- If the result I want is connection and my people to be fed, those don't have to happen at the same time.


Finding the middle ground and ditching comparison

Coaching Client: So, realizing that I can kind of disconnect those and maybe give up-- Like you asked like the ideal, like maybe give up a little bit of the ideal and find a middle ground of like, 'You know, maybe we chat more while we're cleaning up after dinner,' right? I don’t know. Yeah. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah. I love that. I love that you were able to see like, 'This is what I love about it, and then how can we--' It doesn't have to look like another family's looks like. I can still get that connection time because connection is an emotion that we feel – so we could feel connection even if all of the kids are everywhere. 


Coaching Client: But I don't feel that at meals, I don't. I feel frustrated because I think I should feel connection. And when we're not feeling connection because we're too busy passing the blah, blah, blah – then I'm frustrated, and then I feel resentful because I put in the effort to do this thing that I thought would result in connection but didn't.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: And it didn't. And what do you make that mean about you, when it doesn't result in connection you put all that time in… doesn't work out?


Coaching Client: I've made it mean lots of things. I mean, sometimes it makes me mad at my family. Like I kind sit down, I appreciate it; like I know that's normal, but-- Well, I make it think if I was a mom who loved to cook and loved to just like be excited about different recipes – or just like more love was in it, then thinking like, 'Oh, it would be received with more love.' But like, they know I hate this. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah. That is always my favorite question to ask myself when I'm really bothered by something, what am I making this mean about me? About my family? That our family, like there's something wrong with us? That we're not like this? That we don't just sit down and have a lovely meal? That I should enjoy this more? That they should enjoy this more? 


Coaching Client: Well, you back that up to like my thought about me cooking, right? Like, I don't like to cook. That's a thought that has a whole bunch of connotations too – when really, it's neutral. Me not liking to cook is the same as me not, I don't know, like that I don't like-- I can't think of something… eating liver. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah. Well, and is it even true that you don't like to cook? Are there times when you do? 


Coaching Client: I like making-- This sounds so selfish. I like making food for myself when there's absolutely no pressure, and there's actually very little ingredients – and I have to be very, very creative… like just making a little something, but like the mass-feeding and like, ugh.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: What are you thinking in that situation where you're like preparing it for yourself – it's healthy, nutritious, interesting – your curiosity's pique… like, what's the thought there? 


Coaching Client: Well, it feels creative, and there's no pressure because I don't have to like it – but I end up liking it… like I make choices that make me like it. But there's freedom and no pressure because it's just me. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: That's what I want us to go to because we think that it's like our circumstance, right? We think it's a situation that's making us feel that way. But we can borrow a belief that's really serving us in one area and put it in another area of our lives. So, you want to feel freedom and also creativity, is that what you said? Freedom and--? 


Coaching Client: Yeah. Yeah. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Creativity, right? 


Coaching Client: That's always what I want to feel about. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: And lack of pressure. How could you feel that about cooking regularly – that freedom, that lack of pressure, that creativity?


Coaching Client: Oh, okay. Yep, that's the-- I do like boring thoughts, it works really well for me. Oh, I have lots of thoughts about, it's supposed to be efficient and if I can… like it needs to be cheap, then it needs to-- There's so many qualifications for like how to feed a family well. 


Cooking dinner for kids who never enjoy or appreciate it

Coaching Client: Oh, I have done like-- Okay, so a lot of our meals – because the picky-eating is just so annoying when you make the whole meal, and they're like, 'I don't like eating--' And you’re like, are you kidding me? Like you're just going to go--  

But we do a lot of meals where it's just the ingredients like wraps or shallows or pieces of everything – and then they have to put it, they put it together in their own bowl or their own wrap. 

So, I do like-- Because that kind of offers them the creativity and them the freedom to do what they like to do. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Do you still all feel pressure in that situation or no? 


Coaching Client: Well, I feel like it's inefficient. If I was efficient, I would just make a casserole and feed my hundreds of children. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Why does it have to--  


Coaching Client: That would be cheaper and that would be, huh? 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Why does it have to be efficient?


Coaching Client: Because it's something I don't like doing; and when I don't like doing things, I do them faster so I have more time to do the things I like doing. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: But there's lots of things that you do fast that you like. Right before we hopped on this call, we were talking about quick vacations and being able to motor from one place to the next… you could see so much. 


Coaching Client: Oh, that's true. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: So, maybe. 


Coaching Client: I value that I am efficient. Yeah. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah. Because it means something about you, if you are. 


Coaching Client: Yeah, it definitely is one of my things I value about myself. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: So, what if we just draw--  


Coaching Client: That's funny because I don't want to-- I want to be efficient at dinner so that I can be lazy with the rest of my evening. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: The rest of the evening. 


Coaching Client: Not lazy, but like not efficient, like spending time--


Crystal The Parenting Coach: What if we dropped the efficiency about dinner and the pressure about dinner; and it was just creative, and we did it with freedom, and it didn't have to be so fast or so much. 


Coaching Client: It's hard to imagine. I do the same thing with cleaning. I kind of just end up trainrollering my kids sometimes because I'm like, 'Let's just do it fast, then it'll be done.' 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: What do you think you'd need to believe in order for that to happen? So, you still have just as many kids to feed. I should have prefaced this with, 'This client that I'm talking to right now has a lot of children'. So, you have a lot of kids that you're still needing to feed but you're not feeling pressure, you're feeling free and creative. 


Coaching Client: That's going to-- It's going to be a hard thing to break, I think I've felt it for a long time. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Okay. So, sometimes it's easier for us to think of someone else in that situation. Someone that we think could come into our kitchen, and do it with freedom and creativity and no pressure. 


Coaching Client: Well, then there'd have to be connection, that's what-- If someone's kind of making a meal, and la-la-la… like I can do it with my friends are over. Like if I have friends over for lunch and I'm just like chatting happily with a friend while I, you know, put out snacks for our kids; and I do that.

I guess, I like talk on the phone to be distracted so that I'm like feeling connection while I'm doing that. You know, it's funny because in some ways, when you say like the freedom of creativity – it almost goes back to like, not always cooking. 

That is kind of the extreme freedom that I like – that some nights, it is just… I open 10 yogurt tubes for a kid tonight, that sounds like a good dinner. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Or I order a good food box or we do skip sometimes or I have somebody else come help me or I do click-and-collect or I buy the like pre-made lasagna at Costco. Like, there's so many solutions, right?


Coaching Client: There's so many options. Yeah. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: And on the one hand, we're like, it has to be connection and it has to be like enjoyable. And on the other hand, we're like-- Or it has to be super-efficient so I can just get it over with because it's not enjoyable, I want to feel better when it's over because I can't feel good during it. That's the all-or-nothing again. 

We're in the center like, we don't have to enjoy it all the time; we don't have to feel connected. But we also don't have to like get over it as quick as possible. We don't have to do it like anybody else does it.


Coaching Client: And I don't have to do it the same. I think that that's one of my little thought patterns I end up at a lot is like, 'Well, if I would just figure out a good system, and then I would just do the system--' Because I look at other people, and I'm like, 'Well, they have a good system… that's how they do it so well they meal-plan and they know and all the things.' 

But the reality is I don't want a system. I don't, that isn't my answer because I feel trapped by that. I want to be able to some days make dinner and sometimes not, and that I get to decide. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: That feels like the perfect middle ground; Sometimes do it, sometimes not… sometimes feel connection, sometimes don't. I don't have to rush through it. It's not like this terrible thing that has to happen that I have to be super-efficient at. It doesn't mean anything about me. If I don't feel connection and if I don't feel efficient, it's just food. 


Coaching Client: Well, because there's, it's there's in my head there's right ways – but like, long, like make it slow and chop it together and talk, and like that feels right and the efficient… like really that feels right too. 

But there's no right way. There's not a right way for day-to-day. There's just, this is how we're doing it today because this is how it's playing out; and I can be resourceful, and I can be responsive to my family and their needs… and I can be creative and free about that. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: That value that you have is freedom and creativity, and no pressure. But also, you have the value of like taking care of your family, making sure that they're fed, right?

Like for me, there's lots of days I don't make dinner – and if my husband decides he feels like he's going to make dinner for everybody, then he does and I'm like, 'Okay, I guess, we're having dinner because you're doing it.'


Coaching Client: We're stressing people out though, Crystal. There's people listening they're like, 'No, no, no, no… oh, I have to do my-- like I have my system.' 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: This is what it looks like; I just phoned someone on what their idea of an ideal family was, a dad. And it was fascinating to hear what he thought an ideal family was because really what it is, is like in order to have that; we'd have like no personalities, we'd have no-- we'd make no mistakes. 

We'd sit there around the table and everybody would talk and laugh and be awesome and comfortable and never fight. And the food would be delicious and healthy and made and like everyone would have time for everything they wanted to, before and after. Like, it really is perfection that we're going for. 

And whenever we're trying to go for this ideal that we're not living up to, we're going to feel really bad about that. And then we're trying to push away the shame and be like, 'Okay, I'm processing through the shame'… but also, like, now what? Like, now where do I go? So, we find ourselves swinging to the other end of like, 'Well, now we just won't do anything because that feels better.' 

But I think what really feels better is to find that center ground. Where are my values? What really matters to me most? And how can I just find my own way that's not like anybody else? There's no-- There doesn't have to be a right or wrong way to parent or mother or live or family or cook or anything. There's just a lot of different ways. 


Coaching Client: It's so powerful because when it's based on your values, that's what makes it feel good. And to really understand your values and not just, like, feel the pressure of your values… but to understand, like you're really, really aware of them. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Really dig into it. Yes. So, your opportunity for growth would be to figure that out. Like why, if it feels impossible to get to the space of freedom and of no pressure at dinner, what are the thoughts there? What thoughts come up for me when I think about this, and think about why this would be so difficult? 

And even just gaining awareness around that, you'll probably be able to shift it because you've already done so much thought work; I don't think it'll even take any time. 


Coaching Client: Yeah. I feel much better about dinner tonight. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah. Thank you. Thanks for coming on. 


Coaching Client: Thanks. So good.

Crystal The Parenting Coach: I hope you enjoyed today's episode. Make sure that you give it Five Stars on Apple, and check out my monthly membership for moms in the show notes.

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