The mental load of motherhood is enormous. As mom, you are teacher, nurturer, childcare, nurse, doctor, chef, housekeeper, chauffeur, boundary enforcer, and so on. It’s easy to feel tired (at best) and completely overwhelmed and frustrated (at worst).
In this podcast, I (Natalie) share the positive thoughts I practice about motherhood to help me feel appreciative and thankful to be a mom.
This podcast offers inspiration to help you find the glimmers in motherhood so you don’t feel like you’re missing out on enjoying motherhood.
Welcome to the Design Your Dream Life podcast, where it’s all about helping moms live their best lives. My hope with this podcast is you’re more inspired to become the mom you are made to be. I’m Natalie, your host, a wife, boy, mom, dog lover, Chicagoan, and former lawyer turned professionally certified coach. If you’re here to grow, I can help. Let’s go.
What’s happening my friends? Welcome to the podcast. We are gonna talk about thankfulness and gratitude and appreciation and how to have a thankful motherhood and mindset. Specifically, I am going to be talking with you about how I think in motherhood. This is gonna be a really personal episode, so I hope you are ready to dive into that. Before we do, I want to make a request. Could you do me a huge favor? Could you leave me a podcast review and just help me out? It would truly mean so much to me. It helps get the word out about these tools to other people, and the more people that have this work, the more lives are changed. So whether you are on Spotify or iTunes or any other platform, if you could drop a review, help me out, it would mean so, so much to me. I also read every review that is published and I take it seriously. So thank you in advance, my friend.
Now let’s dive into a thankful motherhood mindset. So all of the work we do here at Natalie Bacon Coaching is what I call the inner work. It’s taking a look at our thoughts and feelings so we can show up more intentionally in our lives because on default we have this primitive brain and it’s the reason why we overeat or overdrink or overwork or we feel really overwhelmed and stuck. It’s the reason we don’t exercise or the reason we yell at our kids. It’s wired for survival. And thankfully, unlike my pets Penny and Benji, my dogs, we have a prefrontal cortex that we can use to direct that primitive brain to be the boss of that brain, to practice more intentional thoughts and create an intentional and empowered mindset.
And when we do that, we end up showing up much more deliberately and creating much better lives. So everything that you do is because of how you feel. So your thoughts create your feelings. This probably isn’t new news if you’ve been a long time listener, but it’s always good to hear since it’s so hard to remember in everyday life. But let’s start with that premise. Everything you do is because of how you feel, because thoughts create feelings and feelings drive actions. So if you change your thoughts, you very practically change the way you act and therefore the quality of your life. So you can’t just sit around and think positive thoughts all day and expect your life to be different. But if you genuinely change the way that you think, which means that you actually change the way that you feel, you will take completely different actions and therefore you genuinely will change your life.
So one of my favorite tools that I teach inside Grow You is how to take a look at your thoughts, but more specifically once you’ve taken a look at those thoughts, how to intentionally create better feeling thoughts. I call it intentional thought creation. It’s using your prefrontal cortex, that smart, very thoughtful part of the human brain to create a purposeful mindset that really serves you. So today, in honor of Thanksgiving week, I thought it would be fun for me to share my favorite thoughts for you to practice appreciation, thankfulness, gratitude, all of that. Now I’m offering you these thoughts to borrow, which means try them on, say them out loud, see how they feel for you. You may have heard me say in the past that affirmations don’t work well. The truth is that affirmations you don’t believe don’t work, but affirmations you do believe do work.
So if I tell you that money grows on trees and money is easy and you have a deeply rooted belief that money isn’t easy, that money is hard, that money doesn’t grow on trees, then practicing the thought money is easy, and money grows on trees is not going to work because your brain is really smart. Your default brain is gonna say, yeah, that’s not true. So I never want you to practice thoughts that you don’t believe are true. The idea with me sharing all of these thoughts that just help me feel so appreciative and thankful for motherhood is so you can get a sense of someone who you know, whose thoughts I I assume you value as as sort of your your coach here and your teacher. I have thoughts that I can share with you that really help me. And what you can do is then try them on and see if they work for you.
If any of these thoughts don’t work for you, just drop ’em and don’t use ’em. But if any of them do work for you, write them down and practice them. It’s not enough to sort of intellectually know how to change your thoughts. It’s not enough to just listen to the podcast. I say this over and over. Just a little side note, I was coaching one of my private clients, my private marriage coaching clients, and she was just saying how she just went through the Inner Work Framework course that we redid inside Grow You. She is in both Grow you and a private client. And she was just saying how incredible it is and she was saying how much she feels better about managing her default brain because of that process. And I say that because I want you to know that doing the inner work is very different than just sort of listening to positive input.
I think listening to positive input is better than listening to negative input. However, taking it a step up from that means really applying this to your life. And part of that is taking a look at your thoughts, coming up with better feeling thoughts, and then practicing those thoughts. So I like to compare it to learning how to cook. I’ve been cooking a lot lately. If you have been following along over on Instagram @NatalieBaconCoaching, you know, I am recently very active compared to how I’ve been in the past and I sort of just have this completely different strategy now that’s been really fun to connect with you all. And one of the things that I share is just kind of my mindset around cooking. And I think that the analogy really applies here. Like if you read a cookbook or you read a recipe, you sort of get a sense of what’s going on, you know, what ingredients you need to get, you know how to kind of, um, put things together and you know what temperature the oven needs to be on and, and all of those things.
You, you kind of get it intellectually, but there’s still no dinner. You haven’t actually made anything you’ve just thought about making something that is, I think a just perfect analogy to doing this work. Listening to a podcast or kind of um, intellectually thinking about doing the work is cool, but it doesn’t actually change your life. What changes your life is the application. Okay, so that was a little bit of a, a side tangent, but I think it’s really important because otherwise you don’t really understand how valuable it is to create better feeling thoughts for yourself. So I’ve created these, I use these, I love these and as your coach, I wanna offer them to you to borrow, to try on, to get your brain thinking. In fact, it might be that you don’t use any of these, but it gets you thinking about what thoughts you do wanna use.
I like to think of my job as your coach as not telling you what to think, but showing you how to think. So in this episode, it’s sort of like I’m putting an asterisk on the, on the whole thing because this is me sharing my thoughts with you about motherhood in hopes that it kind of gets those creative juices flowing for you to think more deliberately. I don’t want you to think that these thoughts are the right way to think these thoughts just help me show up in motherhood in a much more empowered way. So I am the primary childcare for my kids. I stay home with them. I build my business in part-time hours. And my husband also contributes to childcare when I’m working, which, um, we sort of plan ahead of time. Since he works full-time, typical business hours, I am able to have a much more flexible schedule and plan that in advance so it really works well for our family.
I think that the reason I even need these thoughts and want to have, um, intentional thoughts that are sort of my go-to thoughts is because I value staying home with my kids so much. This is just a personal value for me. I have always wanted to be a mom and I just think that for me and my desire there is no higher calling. I truly am called to be a mom. It is such a gift and these are some of my thoughts that I’m already diving into, but I wanted to preface it with where I’m coming from. Um, it might be different. You might want different thoughts if you are working outside the home full-time, for example. So I think that having this empowered, abundant positive mindset really helps me in the day to day when I am with two under two, it really helps me enjoy it and, um, get the most out of it and show up as my best self regardless of kind of what’s happening in the circumstances to the extent that that’s how I want to feel.
So of course there is no one right way to be with your kids and I am a full supporter of doing whatever works for you, but these thoughts come from kind of what my circumstances are and creating intentional thoughts to help me. So spending all day with the two kids under two really requires me to have an abundant mindset and a positive mindset so that I don’t get drained so that I don’t feel overwhelmed, so that I don’t feel like it’s mundane. It really is just a mindset and a practiced mindset. Okay, now let’s dive into some of my favorite thoughts to practice on an everyday basis in motherhood.
Number one, I’m so blessed to have this life. Number two, I love my family. Number three, I’m the exact mom my kids are supposed to have. Number four, there’s nothing more important that I could be doing. Let me just pause right here. Number four, there’s nothing more important that I could be doing is one of my favorite thoughts. I’ve coached a lot of y’all on how to kind of stay in the present moment and play with your kids when you wanna be doing dishes or folding laundry or picking up or just doing other things. And one way that I sort of combat that urge or process that urge is to just repeat to myself in the moment when I’m playing a toddler game, there’s nothing more important that I could be doing. I just love that thought. Okay, number five, this is such a gift. Number six, I’m doing a good job. Number seven, I am a good mom. Number eight, I’m half mess and half amazing, like all moms.
Okay, let me pause right here because number seven is I’m a good mom and number eight is I’m half mess and half amazing. So sometimes I really like the thought I’m a good mom, but I don’t say that to kind of set myself up for failure. So what I mean by that is I’ll coach a lot of my clients and say, that’s a terrible thought for them because what they’re making it mean is that if and when they make a mistake that somehow negates them being a good mom, they equate their actions as a mom with their identity. So if you say I’m a good mom, and then you make a mistake, you sort of, um, make it mean then you’re a bad mom. And instead I just tell myself the thought, I’m half mess and half amazing. So when I’m getting it right and things are going well, I do tell myself I’m a great mom. And then when I make a mistake and I want to repair, which is number nine, I’m really good at repair, I tell myself I’m half mess and half amazing.
Now remember, these are just thoughts. They’re empowering thoughts that help me. So there is no like blood test for them. So sometimes it feels really good to tell myself I’m a good mom, but then when I’m getting it all wrong or I’m a mess or I yell or just anything that I’m not proud of, I don’t equate it to my identity. I tell myself I’m half mess and half amazing and I tell myself I’m really good at repair. This is important because if you don’t tell yourself you’re really good at repair, it’s likely that you’ll go into shame and you’ll think I’m a bad mom. And the problem with thinking that is number one, it just feels terrible. But number two, it will be very challenging to repair IE to apologize because you’ll be very kind of, um, embarrassed or just kind of feeling shameful about it.
So this benefits not only you but also your relationship with your kids and your kids when you kind of have the mindset, I’m really good at repair. Okay, number 10, I’m supposed to make mistakes. Number 11, motherhood is a gift. Number 12, I am called to be a mom. Number 13, I love being the leader of my kids and my family. Number 14, I love homemaking. Let’s pause again. This is a new one for me that I just love, particularly around the holidays, when it’s an opportunity to host and to give gifts and to over deliver and to decorate. Now I am kind of religiously practicing this work, so I don’t use this against myself. IE I don’t somehow make it mean that because I love homemaking, my home is supposed to be perfect. That leads into number 15 perfectly messes cold coffee and the soft pitter-patter of a baby’s feet are the delight of this season.
I really use this one a lot. Like when I look around and my coffee is cold and there’s a mess on the floor and I see Robert sort of running slash jumping around the house, it just creates such a delight in me because I’m focused on the thought. This is a delight. This season is a delight ’cause I know that this season is temporary. Every single season of your life is temporary. Now you can use that against yourself and create scarcity or you can use it to embrace the good and the bad of the season knowing that it will pass. Number 16, laughter makes life better. Number 17, I created my dream family and it’s better than I could have imagined. Number 18, what I look for is what I’ll find more of and I choose to look for the sweetness. This is one that I practice not just in motherhood but also in my marriage.
What I look for is what I’ll find more of. My lawyer brain likes to be critical of my kids and of my spouse and of my home and of myself because being critical is just sort of like wearing glasses. It’s judgment glasses. So it, it can’t just be applied to one thing. You might be more aware of it in one area of your life, but if you have those judgment glasses on, if you are being more critical of one thing, it’s likely showing up in multiple areas of your life. And so for me, I sort of remind myself to take off the judgment glasses and remind myself that what I look for is what I find more of. And so I want to look for the positive IE the sweetness. Number 19, I am good inside. My kids are good inside. Number 20, all feelings are welcome.
It’s safe to feel negative emotions in front of my kids. I can’t tell you how much I coach on this one. A lot of moms will say, how do I make sure my kids don’t see me upset or frustrated or angry? And I say, why don’t you want them to see you upset? I think it is such a beautiful opportunity that we have as moms to show our kids that negative emotions are normal. So if you’re separating out feelings from actions like I teach, you can process feelings around your kids. You can say, mommy’s feeling a little bit sad right now, and that’s okay. You don’t have to feel sad if you don’t want to. Mommy’s just feeling sad and you can go about your day. Processing feelings doesn’t mean acting out on the feelings. So you can process anger and actually be very calm.
Crazy, right? We have a Processing Feelings course in Grow You 10 outta 10, recommend it. Number 21, what a blessing it is to be alive. This gets kind of deep, but it really works just in the everyday that isn’t deep at all. This is just a random Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday and I will be looking around and it’s a mess everywhere and craziness happening and I’m just thinking what a blessing it is to be here in this season alive. I love this thought. It helps me so much. It really grounds me and gets me into appreciation. Number 22, I set the culture for my family and my home. I really like this thought because it helps me step up. It’s really easy for me to sort of, you know, get up and and start looking at my calendar and get into sort of to-do list mode even though I don’t use a to-do list.
It’s sort of that energy where you wanna get things done and it is not the most joyful, positive, appreciative energy. And when I remind myself that I set the culture for my home and my family, I hold myself accountable to higher expectations. And I really like that for myself. Number 23, cooking brings us together as a family. This has sort of been a new mindset for me. I am just finding so much more joy in cooking than I ever have before. And I think in part it’s because of this thought cooking brings us all together as a family. Number 24, my home is a safe space. I love this thought. When I was a child, my home was so chaotic and there was yelling and you know, my dad was drinking and I never would’ve had the thought that the home was unsafe. But as an adult, thinking back to how often my nervous system was activated and comparing that with the life I’ve created now I delight and indulge in so much joy when I think the thought my home is a safe space.
I just love that. And number 25, the best is yet to come. There are a lot of social media kind of memes and and pieces of content out there that talk about how limited our time is with our kids. And whether those are true or not, I don’t find them to be helpful. I find them to be actually very harmful because they have you focused on the negative and it puts you into scarcity. And so what I choose to believe is that the best is yet to come because what do we know is true that your thoughts create your entire experience of your life. So I want to choose that this is the best time of my life. And you know what? When my kids are grown and outta the home, I’m going to choose that. That is the best time of my life. I promise you my friend, when you practice this work, there is no downside to thinking that right now is the best time of your life and that there is still best yet to come best exponentially compounds to more best.
Are you with me? People like to romanticize the past and say the good old days and then romanticize the future and think it’ll be better when I get over there. And instead, the work is to romanticize the present, indulge in the cup of coffee and the kids at home. And the privilege it is to do things together as a family, like cooking and cleaning and laundry and all of those little things that um, we think of as sort of chores and not enjoyable. They can be enjoyable and you can indulge in their goodness and their sweetness without trying to use them against yourself by thinking that this is so hard and overwhelming the way that you think is a choice. And your default brain is likely not going to choose these thoughts. But when you practice these thoughts over and over, I like to think of it like a dirt road that you’re forming.
So at first, you’re gonna have to really work at it until it becomes that neural pathway highway. You probably have a lot of highways right now. Hopefully a lot of those highways are serving you. But if you’re top emotions are negative, let’s say they’re overwhelm, anxiety, self-doubt, maybe some other emotions, frustration, those top emotions you wanna pay attention to, they’re coming from how you’re thinking. And if you want to switch out your top emotions and feel better or feel however you wanna feel, I’m all for that. Let’s practice some intentional thought creation, come inside Grow You. I would love to coach you and teach you how to do this and really radically change your life. So those are my top 25 favorite thoughts to practice in motherhood. I’m sure I will have more and maybe do an add-on to this. If you found these helpful or you have any questions, you can just DM me @NatalieBaconCoaching.
Let me know you came over from this podcast. Before we wrap up, I do want to take a second and talk about toxic positivity because I think that toxic positivity is real and I just want to separate out what I’m talking about in this episode from toxic positivity. So toxic positivity is kind of the idea that you want things to be positive all of the time, and it’s suppressing any negative emotions. It really invalidates the human experience. It says, because I’m a mom and I wanted to be a mom, I should be so happy all of the time. And it’s ignoring your overwhelm and it’s thinking that you’re a bad mom because you feel overwhelmed. So then there’s judgment against yourself as well. That is not what this is about. So please, please, please don’t use these tools against yourself. Use them to get curious.
If all of these thoughts sound completely impossible for you to think, that’s okay, don’t use it against yourself. Use it to get really curious about what’s going on for you. This is about choosing how you want to think and feel instead of thinking and feeling on default. So for example, if my dog dies, I want to be devastated. I don’t wanna be happy. If my child struggles I want to maybe feel supportive and confident and connected, but I probably don’t want to feel joy when they’re struggling. So we don’t always want to feel joy or always want to feel positive emotion. It’s really not about thinking positively all the time. It’s about thinking intentionally. And in this podcast specifically, I’m offering positive thoughts as options because for me, when you know there’s nothing sort of big going on in my circumstances, there’s no diagnosis. The dogs are healthy, the kids are healthy, everyone’s kind of doing well.
I still find my brain goes to that like low grade negativity, right? I’m trained as a lawyer, I’m a firstborn. My mind really focuses on the negative on default. And so rewiring that so that when you know all other things being equal, my brain isn’t focused on the negative so much and when it does come up that negativity comes up. I process it as a feeling instead of fixating on it and ruminating on it and spiraling. That is the power of doing this work. So if you are feeling overwhelm, that’s when you wanna process the feeling by going into your body out of the moment. Like one of my clients brilliantly dmd me and said, I practice this by writing down the thought. I wanna think about being a stay-at-home mom in the morning. And then I practice that thought. I was like, that’s brilliant.
It’s so easy, it’s so simple. But it does require practice. It’s like you gotta get in the kitchen and actually mix the ingredients to see if you can bake something. You can’t just think about baking something IE, you can’t just keep listening to podcasts. You have to actually get in the kitchen and get to work. Alright my friends, I love you so much. Thanks for being here. Happy Thanksgiving and I will talk with you next week. Take care.
Thank you for being here and listening now, head on over to momonpurpose.com/coaching to learn more about Grow You. My membership for moms, where we take all of this work to the next level.