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Prioritizing the Mother is Vital to the Health of the Family

Are you a mother who prioritizes everyone and everything before yourself? If you’re feeling the effects of perfectionism, mom guilt, identity crisis, or burnout, this episode will help you learn why you want to begin putting yourself on the priority list. Putting yourself as a priority is NOT selfish, it is vital to the health of the family. You will be able to love better, serve more, and have more joy in your life when you are a priority in your own life.

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Full Transcript

SUMMARY KEYWORDS
child, mothers, family, life, relationships, mother, women, feel, prioritize, coach, mom, husband, focus,
pushing, parenting, problems, program, money, sacrificing, learn

SPEAKERS
Tina Gosney
Hey, welcome to Parenting Through the Detour, you’re listening to Episode 46. “Investing in the mother
is vital to the health of the family.”

Howard W Hunter said, “Your detours and disappointments are the
straight and narrow way back to him.”

Well, how are your detailers going? Does it feel like everything
has gone wrong and you don’t know what to do now. I’m Tina Gosney, a life and relationship coach,
and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I’m going to help you find your
footing again, through those detours and disappointments. And when you find your strength, and
your courage, to navigate your own detours, you’re going to begin helping your family through theirs
as well.

Welcome back to the podcast. Now, it’s the end of April, I’m just finishing up this beta
program that I’ve been testing, killing your family relationships. I’ve been testing this with a group of
amazing women. And I’m getting some feedback from them that I wanted to share with you. And I
got tell you, these women were so perfect for this program, we saw huge results in just one month.
All of them were struggling with something when they came in. And they all made progress through
the month that we work together.

And I asked them to rate on a scale of one to 10 how they would
rate their experience in this program. And this is just one of the responses. And this woman rated it at
a 10. And she said “I came into this program at a peak time in my relationship with my daughter,
where I felt that it was all falling apart, it was helpful to have it here to get me back on track to put
things into perspective, and stop making her behavior mean something about me, there was a lot of
reframing I was doing and it just really helped me to not feel alone. As I was letting go of expectations
and unproductive thinking, and learning to enjoy her more as she is. Tina is very good at holding
space for all the things asking good questions, and not judging anything, you bring up very calm and
loving and her approach.”

I loved this review of the program this feedback. And I feel so privileged to
be able to help people that I know are struggling in their most important relationships in their family
relationships, these relationships that mean the most to us, and are the most important ones yet
often, they’re the ones that we struggle the most in, right? Are you struggling in one of your family
relationships, you would be odd if you didn’t have at least one that you were struggling in right now. Maybe most of them feel pretty great.

And maybe you’ve got just one or two that you’re like, Oh, I
just don’t know how to get past this. It’s okay, that means you’re normal. It doesn’t mean anything’s
gone wrong, it just means that there’s some work there for you to do. And you’ll learn so much more
about yourself and do some of this healing that we’re talking about. As you work through the difficult
things in your family relationships.

For so long, I have just been so grateful to be able to come down
to this earth and be put into a family to have that be difficult sometimes to have the opportunity to be
a parent, and did just get a tiny little glimpse into what Heavenly Father goes through. When he loves
us. I can’t even imagine I love my kids so much. I love my family so much. Can’t even imagine how
much he loves us, and how he’s just given us this little, this little snippet of time right to experience
where he experiences with us. And it’s so wonderful. It’s such a blessing.

Even though sometimes it’s
the hardest thing that we do on this earth is to learn how to love each other and accept each other
and to be kind and loving in our families. But that’s really what this program this healing your family
relationships is all about. It’s learning to come to know yourself, and improve your family relationships
and heal those all at the same time.

Now, this episode is the first of two episodes where I will be
focusing on women on Mothers specifically because we have Mother’s Day coming up. And I know
there are many women I know I’m not alone. There are many women who struggle with Mother’s Day.
I have struggled big time in the past with Mother’s Day and I’ve talked to my sisters who have
struggled with mothers Day and I’ve talked to friends. And I know some people don’t. And that’s okay.

But there are many of you there out there that do. And I know so many women who just read this
day, and it’s coming pretty soon. So let’s get ready for it ladies. And, you know, a few years ago, and
really society, I just really appreciate it are really Society president. She’s quite a few years older than
me. In fact, she could probably be my mother. That’s how many years older than me she was. But she
sometimes had a really great perspective on mothers. And she said, I think it was the week before
Mother’s Day, actually, that she said this, because she got up in Relief Society. And she said, “Okay,
well, next week is mother’s day,” there was like a groan that went throughout the whole Relief
Society room.

And she kind of smiled, and she said, “You know, I’ve learned through the years that if
my child is doing well, I can’t really take the credit. And I’ve also learned that if my child is not doing
well, I really can’t take the credit.” And when she said that, that was so eye opening for me, because in
that time in my life, I was for sure, taking on everything that was going on as a personal failure, as a
failure of me and my mothering my parenting.

And I just really appreciated her saying that. So I hope,
if you need to hear that, right now, I hope you take that if your child is doing well, you can’t take the
credit, if your child is not doing well. Also, you can’t take the credit. But typically, this is how mothers
we view ourselves, right. And we tend to focus more on what we see our child failing at or what we
perceive our child failing out, than we do to focus on their successes.

And this is just human, this is
just being a human, our brains will focus more on negative things on purpose. If you notice more of
the things that you see your child doing that you don’t like that you don’t approve of, that you see as
a failure, there’s a reason your brain is doing that on purpose. Try to give equal airtime to the things
that your child is doing well, your brain is not going to go there on its own. So you have to direct it
there. Just let it go there and do it on purpose, set aside a few minutes to just celebrate all the things
that your child is doing.

It will be very eye opening to you, when you do that on purpose and allow
yourself to go into the positives rather than to focus on the negatives. You know, there’s a saying that
I’ve heard for so many years, and I think it’s actually a terrible thing. And it’s something like a mother
is only as happy as her status child. This is terrible. We do not automatically have to take our
children’s emotions on unless we choose to. And often taking their emotions on ourselves is not
helpful for us. And it’s not helpful especially for them.

We can’t help our families, if we’re constantly
living in a state of sadness, if we are never able to celebrate with our happiest child, because we’re
too busy being sad with our status child. Where do you find and take responsibility for your own
emotions, and not leave those up to your child? This is a super powerful thing to realize, and to
implement in your life, you do not need to be taking on your child’s emotions, and it is not helpful for
you to do that.

Now let’s focus a little bit on Mothers and why we should prioritize the mother in the
family. I remember years ago, when my kids were little, and I was the last one to sit down to dinner.
In fact, I think everyone else was almost done with dinner by the time I sat down and we started to
eat and my food was cold. And I said, You know what? I understand why in the story of Goldilocks,
that Mama Bear had the cold porridge because she’s so busy going around and doing everything for
everybody else, putting everyone else before herself that she didn’t have ever have time to eat a
warm meal.

Have you ever seen the movie the Christmas story? set back? I believe it’s in the 40s but
the Christmas story where the mom serves the husband and the two boys.

And even the narrator
says something in that movie like my mom had not had a hot meal and I don’t remember how many
years it was so many years. But yeah, it’s that and that’s just indicative of how we treat ourselves. We
put ourselves last If we go around to serving everyone else, doing everything for everyone else, and
we put ourselves last, think about it, we’re very culturally conditioned to do this. This is not just in the
church, This especially happens in the church. But it happens all over in our culture.

Now, I’ve had
many clients that told me that if they spent time or money, or energy on themselves, that they
thought they were being selfish, if they don’t spend all of their time in service of their family, or
others, that they’re being selfish. And I used to, I gotta tell you, I used to be one of those women. I
thought, if I spent any time or money on myself, that’s just that’s not okay. That’s not okay. Because
everybody else needs resources more than I do. And I need to give all of my resources that I have
available to me, to my husband and my family. And let me tell you what happened.

So, child, number
three, he was, I think he was maybe 15 or 16. At the time. And, you know, at the time where you start
talking to him about, maybe let’s talk about college, what kind of things do you want to do in your
life? Going after high school? What do you see yourself doing? What are your interests, and I was
pushing him and pushing him and, and it wasn’t one conversation. It was, I know, it was a series of
conversations. And I kept bringing up up again, and again and again. And I think one day, he just got
kind of felt maybe like, I pushed him a little too hard.

Or he got just a little bit exasperated with me.
And he said, “Mom, what do you want with your life?”

And I just stopped right there. And I was
stumped. And it wasn’t because he turned the tables around on me it was because I didn’t know how
to answer that question. I didn’t know what I wanted for my life, I had spent by this time, over 20
years, putting what anything that I wanted, and pushing it to the back of my mind. In fact, I couldn’t
even remember what I wanted for myself anymore. The only thing that I was focused on was my
husband and my children, and my church service. That was the only thing that I could see was the
only thing that I was focused on.

And where I gave all my time, all my resources, my money, my
brainpower, my energy, all my resources went to them, to where the I didn’t even know who I was
anymore. And what I wanted for myself, I lived for everyone else, but myself. And I see so many
women doing the exact same thing, living for everyone else, but themselves. They don’t even know
what they want for themselves. This is what happens. If you live your life this way. You are going to
base your value off of what your child or your spouse is doing.

And when they don’t live up to your
expectations, it threatens your value as a person. And so you try to control them, you need for them
to act a certain way and do certain things so that you can feel valuable in your life because you’ve
given your entire life to them. And if you go back to what my Relief Society president said, she
learned that you can’t take credit for what your child does, that’s good. And you can’t take credit for
what your child does that you don’t like, that you don’t think is good. But if you haven’t gotten to that
point, you will take credit for both.

And you will be trying to push those winds because if you don’t
have the winds in your child’s life, or in your spouse’s life, then you feel like a failure. And when you
have given your entire life and energy over to that child that feels like such a hard blow that it’s very
difficult to come back from. Another thing that happens is, you don’t let your child when they grow up
and want to leave your house. You don’t actually let them leave you the scripture say that the child
needs to leave and cleave to their new spouse. In a marriage, you need to leave your family.

You
need to leave your parents and cleave to your spouse. But you if you’ve tied as a mother, you tied all
of your time and energy up into this child. You don’t actually let that child leave and cling to their
spouse. Or if they’re not even married. You don’t let them do that to their new life. You insert yourself
into their life financially, emotionally, physically, many other ways so that they still need you.

And this
does not allow your child to become a full fledged adult and It can easily cause problems in their
marriage, if you have not allowed them to leave you, and to cleave to their spouse. And when your
child does leave, let’s say you do, let them leave, and you actually do let them leave and cleave, well,
you’re going to be left feeling really empty. And you’re probably going to have an identity crisis if you
haven’t figured out who you are, and put yourself on the priority list. Before that happens.

And I know
this, because I’ve talked to so many women who are in this situation, and they feel very useless and
discarded. And this doesn’t just happen when the last child leaves, it begins to happen when the first
child leaves, you might still have some children at home, that you’re taking care of, and that you’re
still very important in their life. But that child as they leave, when they don’t need you, that feels very
threatening. Because you can only see your value in how you’re giving service to others.

And when
that service isn’t needed anymore. You don’t know how to find yourself, you don’t know who you are,
and you don’t know how to find joy in your life again. So I’m going to ask you this question. Feel free
to pause this podcast, and think about it for a minute or just to listen to the rest of it and come back.
But I want to ask you, who are you? If you are going to answer that question, what would you say?
Who are you?

Now if you’re like most women, you’re going to define yourself by some type of role.
And women in the church when I asked them this question, they seem very confused. The first two
answers they always say is, well, I’m I’m a wife, and I’m a mother. And that it usually the third answer
is usually something that they identify by a hobby, or a job. But roles change over time. interests
change over time, jobs change over time. And when we identify ourselves with a role, with a hobby
with a job, there’s some danger there. Because what happens when it changes.

So younger mothers, mothers that still have children at home, they tend to very much put themselves last in the family.
Everybody else comes before them, just like the mother bet mama bear in the Goldilocks story or the
mom on a Christmas story. You know, you’re eating cold porridge, you’re eating cold dinner, because
you haven’t prioritized yourself and considered yourself to be an important person in your own life.
Younger mothers get caught into this trap very easily, older mothers start to start to figure this out
for themselves and start to make some changes.

Or they spiral downward into kind of a pit of despair.
I’ve seen that happen too. And let’s face that mothers get blamed for everything. Always mothers get
blamed for the things that their children are doing. But we also will turn that blame around. And we
will blame ourselves for things business taking responsibility for some of the things that we blame
ourselves for. So when society blames us for failures in a child, and we turn around and blame
ourselves for things that we did, or things that we didn’t do, and all the things that we should have
done or been better for.

We create a mother and a woman who can’t win. No matter what she does,
she can’t win. But we’ve also created a woman who keeps trying by doing more, trying to be better,
trying to be perfect. And looking for others, including her husband and children to validate her and
tell her that she’s doing a good job. But she very rarely gets that validation. It’s like she’s on a
treadmill that she can’t get off of. And the speed keeps going faster and faster and faster. And
sometimes she’s actually the one that’s pushing the speed button faster. But she doesn’t realize that
she’s the one doing it.

She’s so tired because she’s running so fast trying to prove her worth trying to
prove that she is worthy to be on this earth and that she is a person that deserves love. And she’s
picking up her pace, doing more trying harder trying to be perfect, and she can’t get off. She wasn’t
realized that she has the power to get off or at least to just slow it down. to a more manageable
speed. But you know what it feels dangerous to slow it down.

Because then she might do something
or not do something that would negatively affect her children. And then she’s messed them up for the
rest of their lives. Okay, women, how many times have you thought this, like, I have to do these
things, or my child’s life will be ruined. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought that, or how many
people I’ve talked to that have said that, let’s just take the example of a mother who still has children
at home, she might decide, she wants to go back to school, and finish her degree. Maybe she didn’t
finish it. Before she had children.

And she’s like, now is the time, I want to go back and take school.
And so she takes a night class at the local community college. What usually happens when she that
night that she’s gonna go to class? Well, I’ll tell you what usually happens. Before she leaves, she will
make dinner, she’ll make sure the kids have done their homework, she will clean up all the dinner
dishes, she will make sure all of the lunches are packed for the next day.

She does everything that
she is, usually does every night, but she’ll stuff it into earlier in the day, so that the kids and the
husband don’t have to do anything, because she is spending time on herself. Because she chose to go
and do a class and to focus on herself for a few minutes each week, in order to better herself and get
a degree. So what’s the problem with this? First of all, she’s not prioritizing herself. She’s looking at
her own decision to go back to school and focus on herself as an as something that will harm the
family. And she can’t let that family be harmed.

So she’s going to go overboard to make sure that no
one has any. No one suffers at all, to make sure that no one suffers by her being gone, that there’s no
imposition on the child or the husband, to be able to go back and focus on herself for a while. So pry
her priority is still not on herself. What’s the next thing that happens? Well, she doesn’t actually give
her children the opportunity to step up and learn to take care of themselves. She doesn’t give the
husband the opportunity to learn how to take care of things when the mom is gone. She is over
functioning in her role as a mother.

And in her role in the family. She’s also allowing the rest of her
family to under function, she is taking responsibility for things that they are perfectly capable of doing
themselves. And if they’re not capable of doing themselves, she’s not giving them a chance to learn
how to do those things for themselves. So by over functioning, she’s allowing other people in her life
to under function.

And women, we do this all the time. We take these things on us and we don’t
prioritize ourselves. But in the in the non prioritizing of ourselves, we also allow other people to in our
lives to under function. Now let’s be honest, women and mothers have a huge influence on the family,
emotional, physical, mental, spiritual, although overall well being of the family. And if mom doesn’t
know who she is, she doesn’t treat herself well. If she doesn’t put a priority on herself, if she doesn’t
have a strong sense of her own value as a person separate from her role, then that is going to affect
the family.

And I’ve already identified many of the ways that this is going to affect the family. But I’m
going to add another one. Because she is going to model this self sacrificing my I’m at the lowest
priority on my list kind of behavior for her children, and pass on this same way of being to her
daughter’s. And she’s going to teach her daughters that it’s not important to take care of yourself,
and that you should be last on the list. Well, this is not going to fly with young women today or young
women. This next generation is not really up for that. They have different things in mind for their life.
And generally they don’t resonate with the whole put yourself last thing, but more specifically, they
still won’t know how to take care of themselves in a healthy way.

Because they never had anyone
model that for them. And this type of self sacrificing perfectionism is driving so much of our mental
health crisis today. Our youth are in so much anxiety and depression crisis because we are not
modeling for them what it looks like to take care of yourself, and to have a healthy sense of yourself
and your own worth. Because we don’t even know what that looks like in our own lives. So what do
we do about this? We need to evaluate how we allocate resources in our families.

So many times I will
hear a woman say, Well, I don’t spend money on myself, Oh, I don’t, I can’t spend money on me. Or
it’s really my husband or my child that needs to help idle, I don’t need help. Or I don’t have time to do
that I have so many other things to do. There’s too many other things for me to do.

You spend your
resources, and your most precious resource is time. Another one that’s up there is money. And these
are the two biggest resources that we will spend, right? We spend time and we spend money, you will
spend your most precious resources on the things that you prioritize. And if you are not spending
time or money on yourself, what is that saying about you? Where are you on this priority list?
Because you should be if you don’t want to spend it with the money, you should spend it with the
time.

What are you doing to find out who you are, if your son asked you, Hey, Mom, what do you want
with your life? What would you answer? How would you answer that question? Which leads me to the
next thing. This is another thing that you can do if you don’t even know what you want for your life. If
you were like me a few years ago, and if somebody asked you that question, you would just be
stumped. And you would not know how to answer because you have put yourself on the backburner
for so many years. There’s something that you can do I want you to sit down and write out what you
really want for yourself.

If you had a dream for yourself, what would it be? What did you dream of
when you were a child? And what did you sacrifice and put push away? And put on the backburner?
When you became a mother, and you started putting all your focus on your children? And write out
what brings you joy? And what would you do if you didn’t feel guilty for doing it? When you start to
pay attention to who you are, what your wants and needs are, and you start to give that back to
yourself, you’re going to have a more healthy sense of who you are. And when you have a more
healthy sense of who you are, you can pass that on to your children, because you’ve modeled it to
them. You’ve helped them to have a healthy sense of who they are.

There’s one more resource that I
want you to be aware of. And that is coaching. Coaching is one of the best investments of your time
and your money. And not just any coach is going to do. Make sure you’re finding a coach that you
have a connection with. This is so important that you feel connected to your coach, I want you to find
a coach who knows how to help you work through your beliefs about sacrificing yourself, who can
help you process your emotions, who knows how to help you heal your own relationship with yourself.
So that you’re not relying on other people, also known as your family, to give you the love, the peace
and the worth, that you need to be giving to yourself.

And this alone will affect the relationships in
your family greater than anything else that you can do. When you heal that relationship that you
have with yourself, you will begin to heal the relationships that you have with your family. And they
will start to see what that’s like and they’ll begin to heal their relationships then, that they have with
themselves. If we could all heal the relationships that we have with ourselves, it would solve 90% of
the world’s problems. I’m not exaggerating when I say that. And I’m not telling you to seek out a
coach because I want you to hire me. You can come and hire me. But you can also hire someone else
who be careful in who you are hiring and do your homework on them.

And I say this because I’ve lived
it and I know how powerful coaching is and how powerful it can be. And I know what a huge difference
it can make in your life. And if you are saying to yourself, I can’t afford that. I want you to Maybe take
a look at that, and say, How can you not afford it, you’ll pay one way or the other. The alternative is
to pay through maybe an identity crisis, burnout, living vicariously through your children, modeling
for your daughter that she should not have an identity of her own, or consider her desires to be
valuable. That’s the flip side. Which way do you want to pay, because you get to choose.

Now
investing in mom is an investment in the family. And when mom feels whole and healthy, and she
knows who she is, and she doesn’t rely on everybody else to give her that sense of value and worth,
she can help the rest of the family learn how to do it too. She makes better decisions, she sees
problems more clearly. And she trusts her own decisions more. The relationships with her family with
her spouse and her children are more healthy, and they’re more genuine. So many family problems
can be improved or solved by spending time and money on the mother. It’s the equivalent of setting a
broken arm, versus taking Tylenol for a broken arm.

And mothers, if you are not prioritizing yourself,
you’re not giving your best self to your family. The best, most efficient way for you to help your family
is to first get help for yourself. If you are telling yourself that you’ll get help after you find help for that
child that’s in crisis. Consider yourself just as important as that child, you will help them to heal when
you are doing the same. When you are getting help for yourself, you’re going to find solutions to help
that child that’s in crisis. You can’t do that when you’re feeling in crisis yourself. Because you’re not
seeing things clearly. And for everyone else, that’s not a mom that’s listening to this. If you’re not
encouraging the wife or the mother in your life, to do something for herself, to work on herself and
prioritize herself. Why not? What’s the reason for that?

Maybe you’re just finding out through this
podcast that it’s important and you didn’t know it totally fine. But I want you to ask yourself, Why am I
not prioritizing this mother or wife in my life.

Now in my program, healing your family relationships, a
big part of that program is finding out how to do this for yourself, putting yourself on the priority list.
So then you can have your best self show up in your relationships with your family. It’s a high priority
in my program to focus on the healing the relationship with yourself first.

Now, right now, my
coaching schedule is full. I’m not actually taking new clients, but I will be in a few weeks. And if you’re
saying like, Oh, this sounds like something that I need to look into. Yes, this sounds like me, this
episode has really resonated with me that I want you to get on my email list. So you will be notified
when I have openings. And also if this episode is resonating with you.

Now, right now is the time to
begin working on this. And I can help you work on it. I can help you by putting yourself as a priority so
that you can begin to change and you can be the one that affects the change in your family. I do have
a new masterclass coming up called three vital shifts to begin repairing the relationship with your
adult child, even if it seems impossible right now.

And that masterclass is coming up in May, and it’s
going to be totally free. So you’re also going to want to get on my email list so that you’ll know when
that class is being held. You know what I also have another opportunity coming up for you soon. I’m
not quite ready to share that yet. But I will be soon. So stay tuned to this podcast, make sure you’re
listening. So I have another great opportunity for you that’s coming up.

Thank you so much for being
here with me today. I want you to remember that your detours and disappointments. Do not define
your family and they do not define you. Have a great day and I’ll see you next week.