S05|04 - Integration, Client Journey with MaryannAug 08, 2022
On this episode I introduce you to my client Maryann and her story… mom of 4 (and a half), one with ASD, and new to being a stay-at-home-mom. She was looking for changes in her parenting and had just stumbled across conscious parenting before we found each other on Instagram. You’ll be inspired by her and her story… and you may also feel like it’s possible for you.
In her story you’ll hear:
- What parenting used to look like for her and how all the books didn’t help (in fact, they made it worse)
- How she struggled to find joy in the day-to-day doldrum of motherhood
- What her parenting looks like now, and how it’s transformed
- How inner healing has changed much more than just parenting for her
- How self-compassion was key to her change
If you’re ready to take your journey to the next level and integrate this work in your own life, join us as we start Parent School (starting August 15th), a small and intimate group program designed to increase the confidence you have in your parenting tools, simplify your parenting and help you tap into your own inner magic. Read more by CLICKING HERE. This will be the last opportunity to work with me until 2023, so don’t miss out (:
Coaching has changed my own life, and the lives of my clients. More connection, more healing, more harmony and peace in our most important relationships. It increases confidence in any difficulties that come up in parenting, which helps you be the guide and teach your children the family values that are important to you- in clear ways. If you feel called to integrate this work in a deeper way, that’s what I’m here for.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Hi, I'm Crystal The Parenting Coach. Parenting is the thing that some of us just expected to know how to do. It's not like other areas of your life, where you go to school to be taught, get on the job training, or have mentors to help you learn. Now, you can get that help here.
I believe that your relationship with your children is one of the most important aspects of your life, and the best way that you can make a positive impact on the world and on the future. I've made parental relationships my life study, and use life coaching tools with connection-based parenting to build amazing relationships between parents and their children.
If you want an even better relationship with your child, this podcast will help you. Take my parenting quiz, the link is in the show notes. Once we know what your parenting style is, I'll give you some tips tailored to you and a roadmap to help you get the most out of my podcast. I invite you to help me spread the word by sharing your favorite episode on social media or with a friend.
Hello. Welcome, Maryann. Thanks for being here today.
Maryann: Yeah, of course. Thanks for having me.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Okay. So, I'm so excited because Maryann's awesome, and I'm excited to introduce her to you guys. And I don't know if I've ever had a client come on the podcast before. We've done like some coaching on the podcast, a couple of sessions; you can go check them out in the last season.
But this is the first time where we're going to just be chatting about Maryann's journey, and how coaching has been for her, and what's been happening with her. So, why don't you tell us a little bit more just about you and your family.
Maryann: Okay. So, I am married; we've been married almost 10 years. I have four kids, almost five kids. My oldest is eight, and then my youngest is almost three. I just recently became a stay-at-home mom like this year. And yeah, that's my family.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Right. Awesome. Maryann, like me, also has a child that has high-functioning autism. So, we share that in common, as do a few of my clients. There's some-- There's some unique challenges that come with that. So, we're going to talk a little bit about that today.
What parenting used to look like for her before taking a parenting course
Crystal The Parenting Coach: And Maryann, tell us a little bit about, before we found each other on the Instagram-- Thank you for the Instagram. Before we found each other, tell me a little bit about what your parenting looks like.
Maryann: Before we found each other, I was in the process of trying to-- I would say that I didn't even know that there were parenting styles, but I knew that what I was doing wasn't what I wanted to do. I would say that I was definitely-- Like, you want me to name it or you want me to just kind of like, go through?
How all the books that she read didn’t help (in fact, they made it worse)
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Just like, what was an average day like for you parenting and also just like your background. I know a lot of people were like, 'I've read a lot of books' – or, 'I kind of knew what I wanted to do'. Or some people are like, 'I didn't really have any idea, I wasn't really thinking super intentionally about my parenting.' So, where were you in that?
Maryann: So, I would say that-- Okay, so first it started like, I just started reading books before I found you, probably. Maybe like six months before I found you, I probably started reading books.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Okay.
Maryann: And I started doing that because I realized that my yelling was like record-breaking, and I hated it. I hated it; I remember thinking, 'Oh my gosh, I cannot stand the sound of my voice…I feel so bad for my kids, let alone my neighbors.'
I just-- Yeah, I wasn't happy with where I was at. I feel like I have always obviously loved my children, and I feel like I'm good at giving hugs. I'm good at those things, but I wasn't doing it; I wasn't doing all the things that I felt like I wanted to be natural.
And then when I hit rock bottom, when I finally was like, 'I need to do something more drastic,' I felt like…every day I felt like was a burden. Not every day, but, you know, I felt like things were a burden.
Things that I could have been and am now like enjoying, I just, you know, like even making breakfast, I'm like, 'Oh my gosh, I can't believe I have to do this, everything is hard.' You know? So, I think it got to a point where I just wasn't enjoying parenting, I wasn't enjoying it. I wasn't enjoying who I was becoming, and I knew that it was time to turn things around.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: What made you take the plunge into parenting coaching? Like, what did that look like for you to be like, 'Okay, so it's one thing to be like, okay, I want to make some changes, I know that there's some shifts, I'm having some challenges?' But like, how did you know that you needed support in doing that?
Maryann: Because-- That's a good question. Well, your free workshop was a big game-changer for me because it was a first thing that I ever like actually got on a Zoom call and was like listening – you know, because like you read things or you see little videos on Instagram and you listen, okay, whatever…the workshop I was listening in the background and then you asked questions like, oh write down, I forget what the question was.
I think it was, 'Write down how you felt about yourself or something.' And I listened in the background and I was like, 'Okay, yeah, I'll think about that later.' Then I was like, 'No, I need to do this.' So, I like paused it and I started writing down. I was like, 'Oh my gosh, I didn't know I felt these things, I didn't know that this-- You know, I didn't even know I had these thoughts before.'
And so, after that, I was reading more. I was trying to like, learn more. I didn't even know the terms. So, I was like hearing the terms, 'Conscious Parenting', 'Gentle Parenting'.
I started reading about it and I was like, 'Okay, yes, this is what I want.' But I had read two books before I had met you, and I remember you said something in one of your things like, 'Yeah, I read the books and then it made me a worse parent' – or, 'It made me think I was a worse parent'.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah.
Maryann: And that's where I was at. I was like, 'The comic here says I'm supposed to say this when they do this, but when I do it, I hate what I'm saying…I hate how I sound, and I just sound like so fake.' And so, when you're like, 'Oh, we're going to take, you know, what you learned and show how to do it,' you know, and I'm like, 'Okay, yes, that is what I need because these books are just driving me nuts'.
Like, I remember I would read it and I would just like set the book down. Like, 'Oh my gosh, I don't even want to read this stupid thing anymore.' I would rip the pages out and put them on my fridge and I'm like, 'I can't-- I can't do that…it's just not who I am…I can't-- I can't talk like that or say those things because it's not what I want to say, I don't--'
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah. It just doesn't feel really genuine. It's like, 'Here, say this phrase or do this thing or look your kid in the eye or spend 10 minutes connecting with them.' Right?
Crystal The Parenting Coach: All those things that we’re told "to do". And so, then I felt like I had this laundry list of like even more stuff that I felt like I needed to do them before. And I also, like, you, just didn't feel like it just came naturally to me.
Maryann: Yeah. And I felt like it started making me be like, I just stopped talking because I was like, 'I don't know how to respond to what you just did, so I'm just not going to say anything because I got to go look in the book.' So, then when you had the option for the monthly mom's thing that you had before, I remember I talked to my husband and he was like, 'Oh, okay.'
Because I hadn't really, like, explained to him what I was trying to do. And then I don't know, I took a walk that morning. It was like the morning, you said it was the last day to sign up and you were like, 'If you have a pukey feeling, you should do it.'
And I was like, 'Yeah, if I let this go away…I'm going to be so upset.' And then, yeah, I just decided to do it. But I think-- I think what made me really start to look into classes or even consider like paying for something was just that I was reading the books that everyone told me to read and I didn't feel like it was who I wanted.
It also wasn't who I wanted to be, even though I liked the parenting style they were talking about.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah. And I want to point out also for people that are listening, our goal in changing our parenting is to have more connection with our kids. And I think a lot of the times, especially for listening to this podcast, is our goal is also intuition to become our own parenting expert, to know what to do in those parenting situations.
So, in reading those books, like Maryann was doing in the beginning, she was feeling less connected to her kids. She's not taking the time to like just, you know, have those conversations and feed that connection. And she's also feeling less connected to herself and less intuitive. Like, 'Oh, I need to go read the book and then it'll tell me what to do.' Right?
So, in this space, books and, you know, all of those other little bits of support weren't necessarily helping in the way that she wanted. And this is definitely where I found myself also was like, 'Hey, I've done all these things, I don't really feel like they're supportive…and like, now what? Like, how do I actually parent in the way that I want to, now that I kind of know how I want to?'
So, I want you to-- Yeah.
Maryann: Sorry. I was going to say the other reason why I signed up is because right before I found you, I actually had talked-- I was a dental hygienist before, and I had talked to one of the patients who was a therapist; and I was talking to her, I was like, 'I don't really have any like thing I need to work through…like, I didn't go through anything that I need to like chat about…but I need something, like I know I need something.'
And then one of your podcasts had like the difference between like therapy and life coaching.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah.
Maryann: And then that was because I had never, I had no idea what life coaching was.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah.
Maryann: And honestly, I didn't even really know what-- I mean, I know what therapy is, but I've never been, so I didn't know. And so, once you kind of laid down the differences, I was like, 'Okay, yes, this is', so it all kind of fell into my lap. I was looking, but also it just, it felt right.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: It really was. It was like this perfect magical timing for us to both like be on the planet at the same time finding the in, you know, on Instagram together.
And the episode she's talking about is called Life Coaching versus Therapy; and I highly suggest that if you haven't listened to that one, because I didn't know what life coaching was just a few years ago too before I got into it. I was actually looking to become a therapist at that time.
And when I found out about it and I started looking more into it, it was so much of a better fit for what I already had kind of envisioned I wanted to do. I just didn't even really know that it existed. So, listen to that episode, and you'll get a little bit more of a description of what that is.
What her parenting looks like now, and how it’s transformed
So, fast-forward us now. So, now you're in the program. And the program that I'm running that's open right now, I'm calling it Parent School. And when Maryann took it, I called it The 12-Week Intensive, but it's the same program. We're just changing the name a little bit and changing a couple little things about it.
But what I want to know from you is; what do you feel like your parenting is now? Like what-- Let's just fast-forward to like the very end. What does it look like now?
Maryann: So, I feel like-- I feel like I connect easily with my kids, I do. I think that I do it differently than a lot of the books say, but I feel connected, way more connected with my kids.
I feel like because I have more, I trust myself more as opposed to trusting like the books…I feel more, I feel like I know what to do and when I don't know what to do, I have more like compassion for myself. And when the kids do things, I feel like I have much more compassion for them.
Whereas before, I don't know, this is a horrible example…but I always, I would joke to my husband and I'm like, 'I used to treat them like they were animals, like dogs, and I had to like make them do things.'
And now, it's more like a team effort of like, 'You're a kid and you're figuring things out…and I'm a parent and I'm figuring things out, and we're going to figure it out together.'
I'm not saying it's perfect, but it's much…it's easier, and I like it, and I wake up and I'm happy, and I go to bed and I feel I am like at peace with the day even when I don't have a great day. Even if, yeah, I didn't show up the way I wanted to, I find way more peace when I go to sleep than I've ever had before.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah. And I feel like a lot of us can relate to that. Like we kind of feel like we're just herding cattle all the time. Like we're just like trying to make sure they're fed, that they go to sleep, that they're going to school, like that they're wearing clothes.
Like all the things like the necessities are covered, and we're not really thinking of it so much as like a back-and-forth relationship and connection that we're trying to build.
And another point that Maryann hit on that's so important is that perfection is never the goal here. It's never the goal to have us be like, 'Okay, now I'm always perfectly calm and connected and, you know, always feeling confident and compassionate towards my kids and all of those things.' Our goal is to be good enough just to do our best.
And over time, sometimes our best looks not great. Sometimes our best looks abyssal, and sometimes our best looks awesome. And it's just like an average of all of those, right? It's just that good enoughness that we're going for.
And I love that at the end of the day, you say that now you feel that peace, like that even it doesn't have to be like 100% day for us to feel peace at the end of the day.
Maryann: Yeah. And I also feel like I definitely used to catastrophize like everything; and now, you know, the kids will do something out of their ordinary and I'm like, 'Well, that was today, you know, that was today…it doesn't have to be tomorrow or the next day.' And yeah. So, I think that's what brings a lot of the peace too. Not everything is such an urgent panicky situation like I felt like everything used to be.
The changes that Maryann has noticed in her kids
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Do you notice any, like-- I know we talk a lot about our relationship with our kids from our point of view, but do you notice any differences or changes in your kids?
Maryann: Yes. So, that even started way back, like when I was doing the monthly program, even. But it’s a lot more now like my oldest son who's eight, almost nine, I missed a step with him or something because we used to be like BFFs because he is like, you know, my little buddy.
And then he grew up, all of a sudden, and I missed it. Now he became like a teenager and, all of a sudden, when I started doing this, and you know, to be honest, I thought me and him were cool. Like we were fine.
I didn't have a problem with him, and he didn't have a problem with me. It was my other kids that, like, I was, you know, my middle ones that I was like, 'This is why I need it for these two little boys right in the middle.'
So, I didn't even have a focus on him, specifically. But, all of a sudden, I'm like, 'Hey, he is like talking to me about his day.' That didn't used to happen. I used to have to like, how was your day?
What did you learn? Who did you talk to? Like it had to be like a very like interview for him to be able to like speak to me. But he would come home and tell me about his day, and I was like, 'Oh, that was cool and you don't do that.'
And then, so that started in the beginning. Now it's even like, it sounds bad when I say it loud because I didn't even notice that it wasn't happening, but like, yeah, he laughs…he has fun, he wants to play, he wants to be home.
Before he used to like always want to be with his cousins, which I felt like, 'Oh, that's the age,' you know, and they live up the street, cool. And you know, but now he wants to be home, and he wants to play with his brothers.
And before bed he asked for hugs, and when we leave he asked for more hugs. And he, yeah, he didn't use to do that. And so, definitely, and not just him. I mean, my other kids, like the one with ASD, it's like we always had a bond because, you know, I always knew something was, he needed something.
I didn't know until just November that he got the diagnosis. But like, we were close because I knew he was different. But yeah, now it's like he, me and him are like, I mean, magnets. I mean, he looks for me. We are-- Yeah. And I feel like I have so much more compassion for him.
Yeah. All my kids, I mean, even my four-year-old, oh my gosh, he could be hard…but him, literally, he'll look across the room randomly in the day and he'll just be like, 'Mommy' and smile at me. Like, just love. There's just love all the time. And yeah. So, I know there are changes even on my kids' side.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Okay. I love that because we do this work, especially when we're, you know, changing our parenting around, so that we can change inwardly…so that we can change that relationship from our end.
But the power that we have in our relationships is us, that's where our power lies. But if we shift a relationship, they feel that relationship too, the relationship shift as well. And I love how your kids manifested that in just like these tiny sweet little ways that they were feeling that connection also.
And that you didn't have to be like reading the books and doing the comic strip things for that to happen. That it happened so much more naturally and in your own way with like your own personal unique, you know, energy.
Maryann: Yeah. And them to each other too. I think like the way they talk to each other is different.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: It's different.
Maryann: Yeah. The way they apologize or say 'please' and say 'thank you', and it's not like me telling them, they're just more kind to each other.
The changes that Maryann has experienced within herself after coaching
Crystal The Parenting Coach: And what about changes within you? Have you noticed anything like with how you treat yourself or how you show up in the world? Like what's changed there?
Maryann: That's the biggest thing. Like, I mean, I can't even tell you. I used to be the most uptight person probably on the planet. And I would like "do things for myself". But the whole time I was doing it; I was like feeling guilty, I was feeling rushed, I was feeling like there's a knot in my stomach.
Like, for instance, I used to get my nails done…if the lady ran five minutes late, I was sweating. I was sweating because I'm like, 'Oh my gosh, my mom's watching my kids and I need to hurry up and get out of here.'
And so, the whole time; I was not calm, I was not like relaxing. Really wasn't doing anything for myself except like the opposite of what I was supposed to be doing. And you would never see me sit down there because that would be lazy.
And every morning, I would have a checklist of all these things I had to do. And if I didn't do them, I would be like angry. Like, there's so many things, but the biggest thing is that I talk to myself way kinder.
And even like just recently I had a bad day, you know, but I was listening to myself talk to myself…and it wasn't like, I used to be so mean to myself. And now it's more like, 'Are you okay in there? Like, is everything okay?' You know? It's just so different, and it really changes.
Like, I still have bad days, I still mess up, but like, I'm not sitting there hating myself like I used to. And it's crazy. I can't explain the difference that that has made in every aspect of my life…like with my husband, with my kids, with my friends, with my sisters, you know, everybody. Yeah.
How Maryann’s confidence has improved after coaching
Crystal The Parenting Coach: I remember you talking about your confidence even just like out in the world shifting. Tell me a little bit more about that.
Maryann: I forgot about that. Even that-- I usually walk with my head down and I used to call myself anti…you know when you said you shouldn't even call yourself things? I used to say I was anti-social. I still believe that. I don't like to be around a lot of people, but I used to-- I would purposely-- And this sounds so rude, I would purposely not say 'hi' to people because I don't want to talk <laugh>.
But yeah, and it would make me avoid like going places, especially with my kids. That was one of my biggest things; I couldn't parent in public, that's what I used to say. But yeah, I would be confident. I would say 'hi' to people.
It sounds so silly saying it out loud, like, say 'hi' to people? But I didn't used to, I would literally pretend I didn't see people because I didn't want to talk to them. But yeah, I have way more confidence. I like look people in the eye a lot more than I used to. I say 'hi', I smile.
And it's funny because I used to think that I had like two different personalities because like at work I could say 'hi' to everyone, I would talk forever while I was cleaning people's teeth, you know?
And like, I was friends with everybody – but then I'd go home and I'd be like, 'No, that's not me.' But yeah, now it's easy. I mean, my kids make friends at the park, and I'm like talking to their parents that used to never be a thing. So yeah, I have more confidence.
How coaching has impacted Maryann spiritually
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Hey, one more thing that I remember you mentioning that I would love to ask you about too is how it shifted your own spirituality, like your religion and spirituality and how you approach that now. Will you tell us a little bit more about that?
Maryann: Yeah, so I grew up religious. And I went to a Catholic school and always went to church on Sundays, and it was a big part of my life. And I continued as an adult and with my kids.
But before, I think one of the first things I asked you about was like, 'I can't take my kids to church, I hate it…when I come home, I just have to go to bed…I hate the day, I hate church, I hate everything.' But it was just something that I did.
You know, like we-- You know, that's what you do. You go to church on Sunday, that's how it was. And now, it's-- I think because I learned to be more mindful and peaceful and, you know, looking to like, you know, when we were learning about intuition and higher power and an outside, you know, source.
I'm like, I've had this my whole life. I just didn't look at it like that, you know? And so, now when we pray or when we go to church and I'm sitting there, even if my kids are crazy and wild…like I find peace there.
Like I find-- I find what I was, you know, what it was for the whole time. And I've been going there, you know, it was 32 years, but I just didn't, I didn't have that, that connection with my faith and-- And now, yeah, I can truly say I do it as a choice now, but not just a routine.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: I love that. I love that so much. I remember when you told me that and I was like, that is such a sweet result that has come from the work that you've done that seemed such a, like not connected at all to what we were doing, but also totally interconnected, even though it doesn't feel that way. So, I love that. Okay.
How self-compassion was key to her change
Crystal The Parenting Coach: So, my last question for you would be, what do you think made the shift happen so much for you? Like, what was it that made those changes happen?
Maryann: Out of all the things-- Not the tool, right? Whatever, like my thought.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Anything.
Maryann: Honestly, it was having more compassion for myself, which is, in the beginning, I-- You know, I started this because you said it in your podcast and I feel like everything you read is like…yeah, you think you have to change your kids, right?
But then it's like, it is changing your thinking about yourself and not blaming yourself, but just having so much more compassion for yourself for all the things that you're doing.
And at first, I feel like I felt like, 'Well, that's lazy and that's selfish.' You know, like, I should love…you know, all those shoulds; I should love my kids, I should love my life…you know, I brought them here, you know, I should be doing this.
And just having more compassion for myself. Like, yeah, I did choose to have five kids, but it doesn't mean that, you know, it's not hard…and it doesn't mean that I don't--
I'm not good at it every day, or it doesn't mean that I can't be sad sometimes or like, you know, so just having that compassion for myself first seems so counterintuitive. But it really just spread all over to everything else. And I think that that was the biggest thing.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah.
Maryann: But it took a while. I know you start with that in your courses.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah. That's like our first step.
Maryann: It's first, but it didn't happen for me right away. I went through all the things. I kept having to go back and going through this and going back. And yeah, even in my darkest times, I still am like, 'Are you okay?' You know, like checking on myself.
And I would've never-- I would've just said that that was selfish in the past, I had no idea how important that is.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah. Yeah. That self-compassion is like the least selfish thing you can do.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Because the more that you give it to yourself, the more you have it for others to give. It's like, it just like expands…like boiling pot over, boiling over to everybody else.
And I love that you said that's like the first thing we do. It is the first because it's the most important. So, it gives us time to go back and keep integrating it in different ways. Then we're going to talk about some other form of parenting and go back like, 'Okay, yep, this brings up this, this brings up this.'
And so, I think it is. I think I love that that was your answer because, just so you all know that are listening to this, I did not prep her for that answer, but that is what I would've picked also because I think that self-compassion is the key to connection in parenting. Because it's connecting to ourself.
And if we don't connect to ourself, how could we possibly be connecting to our kids in the way that we want to? Yeah. So, thank you. Thanks so much Maryann, for coming on and sharing your experience.
And for those of you that are listening and want to learn more about Parent School and possibly join us in this next round, you can check out the link in the show notes or you can reach out to me on Instagram and we can schedule a little chat to talk about it. Thanks so much, Maryann.
Maryann: Thank you so much.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Thanks for listening. If you'd like to help spread this work to the world, share this episode on social media and tag me, send it to a friend, or leave a quick rating and review below so more people can find me. If you'd like more guidance on your own parenting journey, reach out.