We are excited to be kicking off a new season today because we missed you. Today, we are talking about our New Year’s plans for 2022, working from home, and we’re introducing a new funny segment.
You can stream the episode here, on the blog, or on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, TuneIn, Pocket Casts, and Stitcher. You can find the podcast posts archive here.
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-Elsie’s New Year’s goals: Enjoy more time in her home, wake up early, and live guilt-free.
-Emma’s New Year’s goals: Work on her novel, find remedies for her dry eyes, and to buy less junk food.
-We mention The Lady Gang Podcast
-We mention The 12 Week Year by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington and On Writing by Stephen King
What to expect from the podcast in 2022:
-The first book report episode will be Playing Big by Tara Mohr
-There will be 16 episodes in this season from January-May, and then we will be back at the end of August.
-No more mini-episodes
-Elsie’s unpopular opinion on motherhood: Not worrying about how quickly your kids achieve developmental or educational milestones
-Emma’s unpopular opinion about motherhood: Sleep training (recommends Babywise by Robert Bucknam M.D. and Gary Ezzo) and the Taking Cara Babies Course
Tips for working from home:
-Write three things you have to do that day on a post-it note
-Use a weekly calendar like the Get to Work Book from Elise Blaha Cripe
-Have a designated workspace
-Do your most important task first
-What Emma would be doing if she wasn’t doing her current career: Own a cleaning business
-What Elsie would be doing if she wasn’t doing her current career: House flipping
-Elsie’s fun jobs: bookmobile and bed and breakfast
-Emma’s fun job: owning a mini-golf course
See you next week! xo
Miss an episode? Get caught up!
- Episode #129: Favorite Things of 2021
- Episode #128: Christmas Traditions—Sharing Nostalgia
- Episode #127: (MINI) Elsie’s Life Map
Episode 130 Transcript
Emma: You’re listening to the A Beautiful Mess Podcast. We’re excited to kick off a new season today with a little catch-up time because we missed you, some New Year’s goals, and plans for 2022, and we have a work from home pep talk and a new funny segment for you. Oh, yeah.
Elsie: Yes, I’m so excited to be back.
Emma: Me too. It’s been kind of weird.
Elsie: I know. It’s our first sort of long break maybe that we’ve had since we started?
Emma: For you definitely because I had a break for maternity leave.
Emma: But that’s like the only real long break I’ve done from it since we started podcasting a couple of years ago.
Elsie: Yeah, well, we are excited. We have really spent some time talking about how we can make things better this year. We’ll share some of that with you in this episode but we are excited for the new year and kind of more inspired to podcast than ever, huh?
Emma: Yes. Oh, yeah.
Elsie: Okay, so I thought it would be fun to start off with a little storytime. So over the Christmas break, it’s kind of been a while since Christmas now so we won’t recap every detail of our Christmas for you because you’re like, wow, that was a long time ago. There was one really cute thing that happened when we were in Missouri visiting family and I wanted Emma to tell the story because it just warmed my heart, like a cup of hot chocolate.
Emma: Oh, me too. I have a Slack group with my book club, all the women in my book club and I immediately sent them a photo of this. I was just like, I have to tell someone but I don’t really want to put this on social media. Anyway, and now I’m telling you on the podcast, so Elsie’s girls Nova and Marigold both got me a Christmas present, which, you know, you don’t have to get your aunt a Christmas present. So I felt very special, just that. And I’ll say what Nova got me too, Nova got me a cookbook, which is about mooncakes and Chinese cooking, Chinese baking. So that’s really exciting and we’re definitely gonna make something from that and that’s really up my alley.
Elsie: I bought exactly what they said, exactly what they said. I just went on Amazon and bought it for their presence so that’s what Nova said a Chinese cookbook and then…
Emma: Yes. Then Marigold got me, in my size, Elsa princess dress.
Elsie: It’s so cute so she put it on immediately. Emma is coming to visit us actually next week for her birthday and we are going to have a princess tea party. We’re going to make those little layered sandwiches, like a tea house in London so we’re super excited.
Emma: Yes and if you don’t know Elsie’s daughter Marigold, Goldie, she wears her princess dresses, especially Elsa princess dresses all the time. So it’s like she gave me something that she herself would have wanted if she didn’t already have a bunch. So it just felt very thoughtful in a three-year-old way, almost four-year-old way now because it’s almost her birthday. It was awesome.
Elsie: It definitely means you’re special.
Emma: I felt it. I opened it up and I was like, oh my gosh, this is maybe the best gift she could have ever picked out for me and I love it so much. I was like, please fit me, please fit me and it did. So that was amazing.
Elsie: Yes. Yeah. Oh, I mean because usually when you unwrap a present from a kid, it’s like a drawing with googly eyes glued on it.
Emma: A candle. Yeah.
Elsie: So yeah, it was fun. I had a fun Christmas and I hope you did too.
Emma: I did. It was awesome. Oscar’s first Christmas so it was great. Just different and special. So it’s a new year though, moving on from Christmas. Let’s talk about New Year’s goals.
Elsie: I will say we called this episode New Year, Same Me because I love it when people say that because I actually love New Year’s goals. I have no problem with them. I relate with both sides of the debate. Like I have no problem with them and I love them but I also do feel like a lot of people make goals that they can’t and won’t keep like even for a whole week.
Emma: Then they’re sad.
Elsie: Yeah, it’s just kind of like a womp womp. I think that we’re on the verge of maybe we could call ourselves like goal experts, right? We’re really into goals. You wouldn’t call yourself that?
Emma: I mean, I guess so.
Elsie: I’m pretty loose with when I’ll call myself an expert so I’m just gonna keep the label.
Emma: It kind of dawned on me, as you said, I was like, I don’t know if I would call myself an expert on anything so maybe that’s a bit extreme. Anyway, we do love goals and so we’ve got them.
Elsie: I think that we know the art of making a goal that works so it’s like the right size and the right little contingencies where it’s like you don’t have to be perfect to just do it, I think is like a big part of it. So anyway, we thought we would share two goals. This is just for fun. I definitely think on mine, mine are guaranteed I will do them. It’s not like a maybe it’s like it’s happening. So my first one is poh, renovation stuff, well, yeah, I’m definitely gonna do that, that’s all I do. It says renovation wise, we’re about to turn a corner and I’m really hoping to spend 2022 enjoying more time in our home, movie nights, pool parties, pizza, whatever. That actually hits really good for me right now because the last few months, you know, having your space be a construction zone is pretty, it takes its emotional toll. I’m a pretty tough person and I’ve been through renovations before. I knew exactly what I was getting into. I signed up for it and I’m happy that we’re doing it and it’s moving pretty fast. It’s like going on schedule, but it’s still so hard, it just is no matter what. So I think that for the light at the end of the tunnel is to just think about all the memories that you’re going to make in the space and it makes it feel worth it. Like why am I doing all of this? It’s for the board games that we’re about to play in the dining room so yeah, that helps me a lot.
Emma: My first goal, oh, so I guess I’ll say too, I kind of think of my goals as like quarterly goals. I just do better thinking of the shorter term, even if it’s something that I do plan to do for the whole year. Somehow it just helps me. Last year, we were talking about the 12 week year, that book. I just like kind of a month long goal or a quarterly goal and then I can keep it going if I want or whatever. So anyway, the first one, though, is work on my novel. I keep going on walks anytime it’s not terribly cold. It’s cold all the time now but if it’s just decent enough to go on a walk, then I’m out there walking. Lately, I’m either listening to my audiobook for the A Beautiful Mess book club.
Elsie: Which one are you reading currently?
Emma: What’s the one? Tara Mohr? Playing Big, Tara Mohr. Yes, that’s the one. I just got yesterday to the part where she’s going to do the visualization. So I was like, oh, I can’t be walking while I do this because you’re supposed to close your eyes. So I had to pause it and I need to do that before I can listen to more of it. So anyway, if I’m not listening to a book though, I’m thinking about my novel. I’ve come up with a number of like, I kind of get hung up in spots. I generally know the outline, generally, like loosely. I always leave space for surprises, which is the tip that my friend Stephen King said in his book, On Writing. He’s not really my friend, but I think of him that way.
Elsie: I absolutely claim Stephen King as one of my friends. He is so wonderful.
Emma: Me too and it can be a one-way street.
Elsie: I love his book as well. We’ll link his book in our show notes. If anyone is trying to write a novel or kinda like anything, definitely read this because it’s so good.
Emma: It’s really good. Yeah, I know generally where the books going and I definitely know the ending, but I have a lot of space for surprises. Anyway, as I’m walking a lot of times, I’m kind of thinking through a little hang-up I have about the book like oh, how is this character going to figure this piece out? Because I know they have to figure it out but I don’t know how they’re going to do it. I’m just always thinking through things like that. Lately, I’ve had a number of like, oh, well, this could happen. I don’t know, something about walking and being outside just gets my brain juices going. It’s like that in the shower. I have an idea, which both times I can’t really write it down. If you ever see me out walking my neighborhood every now and again, I’m just standing there typing on my phone. It’s usually me making a note of something I don’t want to forget. I just like, oh, yeah, that would work, you know. So anyway, so working on my novel. I need to find more time in my week to do that. Especially like a dedicated hour or two where I could do a little bit of deep work. Having a really hard time finding space for deep work lately in my life. It feels like I work in like one-hour increments and then I have to do something else and then something interrupts me.
Elsie: What does deep work mean?
Emma: Just where you can focus for a long time. My work week gets broken up by meetings a lot, which is totally fine. It’s hard to be like I was just in a meeting and now I’m going to think deeply about this completely other thing for 30 minutes until my next meeting like it’s really hard to do that for me. I kind of need space to get into it and then come out of it. Then I can think about something else. So anyway, I’m working on that kind of like maybe I could work a little later at night but that’s kind of my time after Oscar goes to sleep to hang out with Trey. So I’m like, kind of hesitant on that. Then I’m also like, I could wake up earlier, but I’m like, I have a seven-month-old and he’s really just recently started sleeping through the night and I just kind of want to sleep. So I don’t know, I like trying to find the space in my day but it’s a little tricky.
Elsie: I definitely relate with that struggle and I think that a lot of people will. Yeah, just like finding your, even an hour or you know, like for me, I always think that I need more time than I really need. So that’s also one of my struggles is like if I want to clean my closet, I think that I need a whole afternoon and maybe I really only need an hour.
Emma: Yep, that’s true. That’s a good point.
Elsie: It’s like having the time blocked off a little bit more than I need is important to me too just like to help me feel like I’m not gonna be rushed the whole time or whatever. That is a good one and I am excited for you this year for your novel.
Emma: Yeah, I thought of like a tagline yesterday. Which doesn’t really need a tagline, I’m always just randomly thinking about things.
Elsie: Everything needs a tagline.
Emma: I think it’s just three words. If people are like, what’s the book about? I like trying to find a quick way. I think I’m just gonna start telling people it’s about motherhood, miscarriage, and murder. That’s it. I like that it’s 3 M’s. I like the alliteration.
Elsie: I know that a lot of people are excited for your novel so this is gonna be exciting.
Emma: What’s your second goal?
Elsie: Okay, so for the new year so I have been the person in my family who sleeps in the longest, which to be fair, is only like sleeping until 645ish usually. It’s not like I’m actually sleeping in. It’s just that everyone else wakes up earlier than me. Then all last year, it was something I was really struggling with. I was struggling with my night routine and my morning routine, actually but for the morning, it was like I would wake up and immediately feel like I was behind. Because my husband has already had his old man kick in where he wakes up really early, just like naturally. It’s just like every day, he is up so early and I am not as much like that. So anyway, I’m giving this a really fun setup. But another part of the setup, so I started rereading Playing Big for the book club because we’re going to talk about it next month in February, so I started rereading it. When I got to the future self visualization or the inner mentor visualization, I love that part and I got a couple of new things this time. It was like the same mentor, the same visualization, it felt very similar from my first experience, but I got a couple of new little bits from it. One of them, there’s a part which was to ask the future self, what do I need to do now to get where you are or whatever, something along those lines/ I asked that question, and the answer was to try waking up early. I was like, okay. So I started setting my clock for 5am on I think it was either on January 1st or January 2nd. Now at this time we’re recording it, it is like the 11th, is it today? So yeah, it’s like a week before the podcast comes out so the 11th. So anyway, I’ve been doing it, I guess 10 whole days now. I’ve been doing it just on the weekdays only and not Saturday and Sunday. Saturday and Sunday, kind of taken a chill. It has been giving me a full two hours of alone work time every morning, it is a huge difference. can already tell it’s totally worth it but yeah, just like taking that leap for some reason was really hard for me. What’s your next goal?
Emma: My second goal is maybe kind of stupid to some people but it’s important to me, is I’m trying to work more on my dry eyes.
Elsie: Oh, yes.
Emma: I’ve mentioned this before. I still just have these terribly dry eyes. It kind of affects my life a little bit. It makes it hard for me to like, in the middle of the night, if I do need to wake up Oscar related stuff, I feel like I can’t see sometimes or like, my eyes are so watery. Sometimes when I’m driving, especially if it’s getting dark, which it gets dark at like 430. So, you know, easy to be out driving after that at this point in the year. The lights from other cars and things., I don’t know. It just it’s really annoying and I just really want healthier eyes.
Elsie: If you’ve never met anyone like this, driving with Emma at night, it’s like scary. No, I’m serious. It is a real problem. I’m sure that it would give you a lot of relief if you didn’t have to worry because we’ve had a couple of times before where you felt almost panicked because you felt like you couldn’t see and you couldn’t drive at all. That’s not cool. No, yeah. I know last time, we talked about it, a lot of people sent you suggestions and ideas.
Emma: Yes and I’ve done a lot of those things. Here’s my problem is I’m not very consistent. So that’s basically the goal right now is I’m trying to consistently wear my glasses more like I’m wearing them right now while we’re recording. I don’t love wearing glasses, but I realized one of my hang-ups was I never go to the expense of buying prescription sunglasses. I like to go on walks and sometimes I need to run errands and stuff and I hate like oh I don’t have my glasses on, what do I do?
Elsie: How do you not have prescription sunglasses?
Emma: I know I always just like was like oh, it’s like you have to buy a whole another pair. You know what I mean? It’s a whole thing and I’m like oh do I want to spend the extra money?
Elsie: It’s like something you would use every day. I’m so mad at you. Did you order some?
Emma: So anyway, I bought so I have a couple of pairs of prescription sunglasses. I have a bunch of glasses that I like wearing like I think they’re cute. They’re lightweight because I hate heavy heavy glasses or glasses that pinch your nose or pinch the side of your head so I have a bunch that I like now. That’s been a few years in the going and then I’m also trying to be more consistent about putting my eye drops, I have special eye drops that come in like little vials, and I’m trying to be more consistent about putting those in before I go to sleep at night. So I’m just trying to be more consistent with all the things that I know I’m supposed to do and just keep trying to improve. I do think it has improved some the last couple of years, but I’m just trying to be a little more consistent because like anything in life, like exercise or skincare or anything, I feel like the main thing that is so boring, but it’s true, is just being consistent. That’s going to make the biggest difference, you know, so that’s what I’m trying to do with my dry eyes, in case anyone cares about that? There you go.
Elsie: I guarantee you someone cares. Okay, well, that’s a great goal. I’m glad that you’re gonna take care of that you should always take care of things that are going to make you a healthier person and be able to live a more accessible life.
Emma: Yeah, I think too, like I used to in the past, think of it as more like an oh, if I just do this, then there’ll be a finish line. Now I’m kind of like no, I don’t think there’s a finish line, I think this is like eating healthy. It’s something you have to get in the habit of and do your whole life basically. Okay. Then those are two goals. But do you have anything that you are cutting out or quitting this year?
Elsie: I’m going to quit eating sugar forever. Just kidding. I feel like that’s the kind of thing people usually say and it’s like, okay, like, maybe, maybe not. Here’s my mine for real, mine is I’ve been working on this for a few years and it is tough, but I am trying to live guilt-free. Guilt is like something that for whatever reason, I don’t think I can, like, explain why I’m like this, but for whatever reason, it’s something that is really ingrained in me and that I really struggle with. I feel guilty about things that I am not even trying to fix. I feel guilty about things that I don’t need to fix or that I didn’t do wrong. I feel guilty about or worried about what people think, you know, just that kind of stuff. Like I think people, you get it, right? So I’m really working on just sort of like living free of that, just like letting it be okay. Like when someone asked me to, like, I get a lot of emails that are asking me to do things I don’t want to do, right? That’s like a normal thing that anyone in our phase of career would have. For me to get to the point where I can just say like, no, thank you is such a big step, you know, to either not avoid it, or to say yes to something I don’t want to do, or to say maybe but to actually just say like no, is like so hard for some reason. So anyway, that’s my big one for this year. I feel like I’ve made some progress but I’d like to get into the mothership of that kind of lifestyle. What about you?
Emma: Yeah, I like that. I feel like my line, which actually said it to you the other day about something is like I don’t have the capacity to care about that this season.
Elsie: She says it about everything. Actually, you’re really good at like, maybe we could swap one little part of our brain. You could have the part of my brain that would have bought 85 pairs of sunglasses by now and I can have the part of your brain that’s able to just say no.
Emma: That would be a good swap. Actually, we would be unstoppable. Okay, mine is again, I kind of think of it as a quarterly thing, but it’s basically to buy less junk food from the grocery store. So this doesn’t mean I’m not eating sugar. I’m definitely eating sugar. It doesn’t mean that I’m not like baking stuff. That’s definitely baking stuff.
Elsie: Emma’s a pro sugar person.
Emma: Oh yeah. I let Oscar have tiny bits of sugar. Come at me, I’m fine with it. But around the holidays I tend to buy more junk food. I mean, like prepackaged, basically, Oreos start making it into my house. I’ve got to blame the Oreo truffles a little bit.
Elsie: Oreos are one of the keystones of junk food in my opinion. They’re definitely for me, they’re like the only grocery store cookie that turns my head.
Emma: Yeah, exactly. Yes. I love Oreos, but it is not something I have in my house all year round because I will eat them all year round and I don’t need to. So anyway, so it’s just like kind of getting back into the habit of I just don’t buy prepackaged junk food stuff. I can still bake cookies if I want to bake cookies or if I’m out, which I’m never out, but if I am can’t get something if I want. To me, all of that is easier to say no to or have moderation with but if I have a bunch of junk food I already bought and it’s in my house. I’m just going to eat it endlessly in the evenings and so that’s sort of my like, okay, that’s where I need to cool it.
Elsie: Nice. Yeah, I love buying healthy groceries. It’s such a miracle when you have little kids. My kids will eat whatever. It’s like confusing how one day depending on what we buy, they would just eat cookies the entire day or like the other night, they ate an entire package of strawberries and an entire package of blueberries in one night. Just because that’s what we bought. So I do think that that’s a good method just like buying what you want to eat. If it’s staring you in the face and it looked good to you at that moment, you know?
Emma: Yes and honestly I’m exactly the same. If I buy cookies, that’s what I’ll eat that night. If I buy a package of strawberries the Trey and I will eat the whole carton of strawberries. We’re the same as your children. I just have to only buy the strawberries or whatever, whatever it is.
Elsie: Nice, cool. Okay, so let’s talk about what to expect in 2022 from the podcast. So first of all, we had a lot of questions coming through about the book club schedule. So for those of you who would prefer that we tell you exactly when we’re going to do each book report, I’m sorry to tell you that we can’t commit to that level of a rigid schedule, it’s just not for us.
Emma: It’s called A Beautiful Mess.
Elsie: Yeah, we’re actually going on a less rigid schedule, you’ll see. So what I will tell you about the book club, here’s how you can get prepared. If you want to join in, we’re going to do the first book report, and I do think we’ll do Playing Big first, just because we’ve both said, we’re already reading in, it’s like, might as well. In February, we’re going to start and we’re going to break them up so there will be four different episodes that have a book report in them. So it’s not gonna be the entire episode just about the book, it’s going to be a part of the episode. We’ll do Playing Big first, but I can’t say what order we’ll do the other ones in because for us, just like reading these four books and doing these podcasts is enough of a to-do list. Putting it on a perfect schedule is not possible. So yeah, but it’s kind of an experiment. It’s like, see how well we can make this work, and then maybe we can improve it a little bit next season, whatever. Hopefully, it’ll work great. But I will say if you are nervous or worried about it, if you see it come up in an episode, just wait until you’re done reading it, it’s okay. I guess it depends on if it’s like a fiction book or a nonfiction book. I feel like on a fiction book, you would want to wait, if you’re planning on reading it because it’s like, there might be spoilers or whatever. But on the nonfiction books, maybe it would make you like, I always love hearing reviews of nonfiction books, and then reading them afterward.
Emma: I do too. Yeah. So yeah, everybody chill.
Elsie: We do not have a perfect schedule, but we are having a book club. And I think that’s a good step.
Emma: Yeah, maybe next year, we’ll have a perfect schedule, you know, maybe it’s like a gradual thing, we’ll see.
Elsie: Then the other news is, okay, so this is the first episode of our new season, we’re going to have 16 episodes in this season from now until May, and then we are going to take the summer off, which is new for us. So we’ll be off June, July, and part of August, and then we’ll be back at the end of August. Okay, so last year, I don’t think we talked about this, I don’t think we did or would but I got pretty burned out last year. I was really proud of the episodes we did but I also think that for one, we were doing lots of mini-episodes. I did a whole bunch of episodes with different people when Emma was on leave. Those on the back end are a lot more work and a lot harder to do. Like us sitting down chatting, we’re like, we kind of have our flow, it’s just much easier. That’s why we don’t have guests as much, just more sustainable for us. So anyway, the name of the game this year is just like, make it sustainable and make it fun. Because we feel like if it’s fun for us, then it’s like we’ll keep doing it longer. We don’t want to burn out and quit. It kind of got close last year where it was like, ooh, like, how many years are we gonna do this. With the new schedule that we’ve put in place, I feel we’re like, gonna go strong again and I’m feeling really motivated again.
Emma: So we make new content all the time. We come out with new podcasts every week. We have new blog posts that come out almost every single day and it’s been that way for like 14 years. We have an Instagram where we put original content all the time too. So we make a lot of content and it’s really fun. We love it. But sometimes it starts to feel like a little bit of a hamster wheel. I think when it starts to get to that place, that’s when Elsie and I are like, oh, we need to figure out some boundaries here. If all of the joy gets sucked out, it’s fine for it to be a job because it literally is, but if all the joy gets sucked out, I feel like people listening or reading or however they’re consuming the content can feel it and it’s not as enjoyable. It needs to be joy-filled and creative and even if it’s not always A+ content, it’s at least got to have the heart. It was starting to lose the heart but don’t worry, we fixed it.
Elsie: Yeah, so our new plan is it’s seriously just like built around health and sustainability because, in my heart, I would love to do this podcast for a lot more years. With our blog, we feel very confident that we’ll still be writing our blog in some way or form or maybe the same as we are now when we’re 50. It’s extremely sustainable because we set it up that way and did the little tweaks over time. So that’s what we’re doing here and it feels really good. Okay, so with that said, we are no longer doing mini-episodes. So mini-episodes were something that we first added in at the beginning of the quarantine. I think that we did it for a lot of reasons. We did it because The Lady Gang does it and I love The Lady Gang. It’s one of my favorite podcasts. I think that they’re so cute and I would love to be just like them. It was the beginning of quarantine, it felt like, we were gonna be like, at home forever and maybe this would be helpful for people. It felt like this is something I could do. It was kind of like a time when you were trying to find your new flow. Over time, it just became like a chore to think of more and more topics and then to divide. The topics that we’re doing in our mini-episodes could have been really good topics for the main episodes. So at this point, we’re feeling like we’d rather just do a more hardy, high quality, one episode a week, and maybe they’ll be able to be a little bit longer, and they’ll be able to have all of our ideas in them. So we think less is more in this case, for sure. Okay. That’s our little what to expect when you’re expecting 2022. Okay, so I got the best listener question on Instagram. The last couple of times, I asked I got so many good questions. I always say our podcast audience is our favorite audience and you guys are so funny and wonderful and full of hearts. So we decided to make this a whole segment, but unpopular opinion. So we’ve done an unpopular opinion, I think episode before, but a lot of people were requesting, like different variations on it. And like, do your unpopular opinions about this topic or this topic. So anyway, I thought it was funny and so this week, we’re going to start a segment on popular opinions and we’re gonna do our first topic, motherhood. If you’ve never been a mother on the internet, let me just tell you that people have so many opinions. Like at first it was stressful to me and kinda like nerve-racking and then over time, it’s actually just like, funny to me now. Do you have an unpopular opinion yet since you have been a mom for seven months?
Emma: Seven months plus pregnancy, whatever that’s worth. Yeah, I was trying to think of one. So it just means like, I think this and I know other people don’t agree kind of thing, right?
Elsie: Yeah. I’m trying to think of what mine is, too.
Emma: I think mine right now, like at the age my son’s at is probably that I really like sleep training. I know some people are kind of against it. The two that I’m familiar with, there’s probably other methods, is a book called Baby Wise, which I read and also I have had friends read and kind of like digestive for me, like my friend Katie Day. Also a course I took recently that’s called Taking Cara of Babies and the gals name is Cara. So it’s like c a r a, taking cara of babies. They’re slightly different, like slightly different methods. But the whole idea is helping your child learn to sleep through the night. I don’t know if they’re considered cry it out methods. I don’t really know what that means. But I see people like to ask things around that. But it definitely does involve a little bit of crying. I know some people are like, I don’t know, like some people think you should never let your kid cry basically. I think that if that is how you would like to parent, it is your choice but I don’t really feel that way. I think crying is just like a way that they’re learning to communicate. There’s different cries. I think most parents can feel this. When you hear your kid cry like you can tell when it’s like there’s something wrong or when it’s more of a like, oh where are you.
Elsie: There’s one that makes me run up the stairs really fast and there’s one that makes me walk really slow.
Emma: Yes, exactly. Yes. Like for me, I probably would have gotten to a place where I’m starting to hear those unless letting him cry a little bit at times. It’s really hard to so like I have to set a timer and like you know, go by whatever the method that I’m trying to learn because I can’t do it forever because you know. Really, I don’t know if you should do it forever. If your kids crying forever though, it’s a whole different thing, probably something’s wrong like they’re sick or something. But anyway, yeah, I like sleep training. At the moment, Oscar goes to sleep around between 7 and 730. He usually doesn’t get up until around 6. He sleeps most of that. He has nights sometimes where he wakes up in the night, but for the most part, not really. It’s great. That’s fairly new for us in the last couple of months, and I think it’s in part to Baby Wise and Taking Cara of Babies. So working for us, and I like it, but other people don’t. That’s cool, whatever.
Elsie: Okay, so, like, whenever I was about to adopt for the first time, one of my closest friends told me just follow your instincts on everything, and like they’re there for a reason. And so I’ve always parented by that advice, and I definitely, like, thumbs up to that advice. I think that that’s what most people need to hear. I guess my unpopular opinion, is, I don’t know if this is really unpopular, though it might be popular, I don’t know. But the thing that I think is different about me from a lot of other parents that I’m around, is I am not really tracking my kids, like speed on developmental milestones and educational milestones. That for me is like, I feel good about that. I’ve had one kid who potty trained super fast and one kid super slow. I truly am one of those people that’s like, my kids not going to be 10 years old and still wearing diapers. So I’m just like, not gonna worry about it. I’m just gonna let you know it happened faster sometimes and slower sometimes. I’m like that about reading. When we’re reading together, I’m super proud and excited when she’s getting words. But I’m not gonna push it. It’s not one of my goals to make her the fastest reader in her class, I guess is what I’m saying. So I think that’s my thing is I think that just like letting some things happen, like, I’m gonna nurture it, but I’m not gonna push it and that feels right to me. I think maybe like, I would die on the hill. That feels like a good parenting approach to me.
Emma: Yeah, plus your girls are so different, their personalities. I can’t imagine trying to fit them both into the same mold.
Elsie: For sure. You can’t compare. Because I mean, that is one of the tough things about getting into school and stuff is that you do have assessments and parent-teacher calls and things like that where they give you like black and white concrete information about if your kids ahead or behind. It’s hard not to feel there’s something wrong if your kids are not ahead in every single line item. But I don’t know, I really don’t believe that that’s what makes an intelligent adult. I think that making reading fun, like at this age, making reading fun is probably the most important thing over everything and potty training. I don’t know. I’m just like winging it. We’ll see.
Emma: I think that sounds good.
Elsie: Yeah, I don’t actually have a lot of controversial parenting opinions. I just like, zone out whenever people start talking about it. Sometimes I think some people like yes, you should take it seriously but I think some people take it too seriously. They’re trying to control it way where it’s something that can’t really be controlled.
Emma: I don’t think there is one right way to do it.
Elsie: For sure there’s not.
Emma: It’s definitely do what seems right to you and like you’re gonna know your kid best. No one else is so you and your partner and just do what do you think helps them.
Elsie: Honestly, the best thing you can probably do as a parent is just to keep your head down, parent your own kids your own way, and not worry about what anyone else is doing.
Emma: So on that note, I think like, you don’t necessarily need to give all your other friends advice or comment on the way they’re doing it either. It’s like, you know, do your thing. I mean if someone asks you your opinion, that’s fine. But I think otherwise, it’s like, Nah you’re good, maybe just stay in your lane.
Elsie: That’s definitely a good rule in life is to not send parenting advice unless you’re asked because whenever I receive parenting advice on Instagram, I have blocked people. I know it’s petty, but I’ve straight-up blocked people before because they sent me unsolicited advice, because I just think that that’s so rude. Even if they don’t mean it in a mean way. It just crosses a boundary that shouldn’t be crossed.
Emma: Yeah, I mean, it’s okay to have boundaries. I don’t think that’s petty. I don’t think it’s petty to have boundaries at all. I think it’s quite healthy.
Elsie: Mommy likes to block people. Okay. So we have a listener question.
Voicemail: Hi, Elsie, and Emma, this is Hillary calling from Virginia. My question is, in the new year, I am launching my own creative business. I’m really excited that I finally get to work for myself. But I’m also feeling fairly daunted by the idea of how to set up my days after working for other companies for many years. I’m wondering if you could share tips or advice on how you create a schedule, how you structure your workday, and how you stay focused week after week, especially with all the distractions of working from home. Thank you so much.
Elsie: Hey, Hillary. Okay, so we love a pep talk. We’re professional pep talk givers. It’s one of our strengths as humans and working from home, I will say that Emma and I have a natural love for working at home. Some people have to let it grow on them and some people have a longing to do it. We naturally love it. So I would never want to work outside of the home. I love working at home, it gives me the perfect introvert battery charging station while I’m getting things done. It’s just like so many upsides, so few downsides.
Emma: Yep. So maybe that’s a tip is if Hillary, if that isn’t the case for her, then thinking about how she is going to get that social battery recharge. For anyone who works in an office, that probably does it for them but she’s going to have to think of new ways of doing that. But Elsie and I have no advice on that because it’s not something we need. I don’t.
Elsie: No I don’t at this time. So here’s what works for me, I think I can actually, simplify this a lot. So whenever I’m working from home, I would say my biggest struggle is that it’s very easy to get distracted. Especially if you have a job that you love to do, that’s exciting. I like to plan ahead. I can spend a whole day planning podcasts and sometimes I do. I can spend a whole day planning blog posts and sometimes I do. I can spend hours just like talking to people on Instagram and I get wrapped up in conversations and things like that, emails, you know, it goes on and on. It’s very, very, very hard to stay on track. So what I do every day is I have kind of like an extra-large post-it note, think of like a tiny pad of paper that has a postage sticker. Every day I rip off the old one throw it in the trash and every day I make a new list on my little post it and I write, usually, three things that I have to do that day. One of them might be something urgent like I need to pay a bill or I need to have a meeting or I need something like that. Then maybe one of them is something like I want to work on this, like when Emma was saying deep work. Like I want to write a blog post or something that’s something that I have to get in a headspace for it, I can’t just do it in five different settings. I usually do them in one sitting. Then maybe one of them will be like something small but annoying. Just like you know, I need to make this call. I need to return this email. I need to talk to this person about this thing that happened. So I think just making your priorities for that day and really making like two or three and then you know staying up on your emails is great, finishing your work early, things like that, that’s all great, but there’s gonna be better and worse days. Working from home for me, it’s always like, I always feel like I’m on a roller coaster of being too busy and then having a lot of free time and it just goes back and forth. So I think just staying on those most important tasks is what helps me and then when I have that extra time then I do sort of dive into things that I have been wanting to do for a while usually.
Emma: Yep, Yep, I agree. Yeah, I use it, it’s like a weekly planner notepad. You can see your whole week and it’s from our third sister Elise. She’s not really our third sister, but we call her that. Her brand Get to Workbook. It’s her weekly planner. I’ve used it for years, I buy them for our staff, I love them so that’s what I use. Similar thing to what Elsie does. It just like has the things that’s like, just get these done today. Sometimes I’ll put some bonus things, but then they’ll get moved throughout the week. So it just depends on how long certain tasks take but other than that, two other things is, number one, have a designated place in your house, that’s like a workspace. You may not have an office. I do, I happen to have a room that’s like my office and I love that. But that may not be the case for you, if not just think of a designated space. I will say if you’re a laptop user, which I recently, I used to have a desktop computer now I’m just laptop. I will sometimes in my mind think okay, I’m gonna do a couple of emails in bed tonight and I will do that. So it’s okay to have a little bit of gray area but generally speaking, I have a designated like, this is my work spot. I’m now sitting there. I have brought my coffee. I have brought my snack. I am not going to move from the spot now for the next two hours while I complete these two things, or whatever. Then I can go to the bathroom but I gotta finish these things first. So designated spot. Then the second thing, it is so easy to get distracted when you work from home. For me, a lot of it is cleaning. I’m like, oh, if I could just throw a load of laundry in Oscar’s out of pajamas, I could just throw a load of laundry in. Then the next thing you know, I’m like folding that laundry, and then I’m like, oh, maybe I just need to clean out some of his clothes from his closet or clean out some clothes for my closet. It’s a slippery slope, the cleaning. So what I’ll do is I have to get certain tasks done before I will let myself throw a load of laundry in. So it’s not that it’s off-limits. It’s not that I’m not allowed to do any dishes during my workday.
Elsie: You kind of save it for the end of the day?
Emma: Yeah, or usually it’s like, I’ll start it on my lunch break, and I have to get whatever’s the most annoying task that I would probably put off, I have to get that done first. Then I can do the laundry or do some dishes or pick up something, you know, if the dining room tables are full of junk, pick that up or whatever. Sometimes I won’t get there because work just took up the whole day. I didn’t get to do it. That kind of annoys me because I’m like I was home all day I wish I could have started this laundry. But I needed to prioritize and that’s just how the cookie crumbles sometimes folks. That’s kind of what I would say is think of those distractions and don’t make them like red buttons, like you’re not allowed. But build them into your day and make sure that they come in a place where you’ve prioritized work first.
Elsie: Yeah, I think working from home is one of the best things in the world but if you’re new to it, just give yourself like a season, or maybe even two to get used to it and make improvements. Be like, how can I make my workspace better? I do these little things like plug-in certain things at the end of every day so that’s how I want it in the morning. Like little things like that can make a big difference. It’s whatever you need it to be right. So just modify it as you go. Okay, so to close this out, we got a funny business idea question. Well, it’s not funny, I think it’s a fun question. So we got this question on Instagram and it is, if you were starting a business today from scratch, what business would you start? I take this to mean, what business do you think could be a banger right now, not just like what do you think sounds fun, because I think starting a bookmobile sounds fun and that’s what I want to say. I think that what they really mean is like, an app idea or a website idea, or something that could make money. Like what do you think?
Emma: I guess so? Yeah. I mean, I wrote down two things. One’s like what I think I would be doing if I wasn’t doing my current career. If I really had is like, start over like you and I never worked together, like what would I want to be doing now. So ones like that and then ones like, kind of like my dream job that I do want to do one day, but it’s not as much about money, although I want it to make money but you know. So I’ll start with what I would be doing if it wasn’t doing this. I would love to own a cleaning business. I used to clean apartments and houses when I lived in Los Angeles right after college and I loved it. I thought it was really fun to go into a house and it’s so messy and then by the time you leave, it’s just that before and after feeling like I accomplished something. So I like that and then I also think I would probably be pretty good at growing that type of business. Like the logistics of it and sort of running it, and I think it could play into, you know, since short term rentals had been on the rise the last few years and just like different people working from home, I think that’s kind of changed the game a little bit, too. I could see myself doing a business like that, a house cleaning, small business cleaning type business, and I would probably really enjoy it.
Emma: So the other one is maybe not what they’re asking, but like, kind of a dream job thing I want to do one day, and I think I’ve mentioned it on the podcast before it was probably like maybe two years. Someday, I would love to own a mini-golf course.
Elsie: You have talked about this before.
Emma: yes, I want to make the sculptures where you have to hit the ball around them or like goes through it. I just think it could be so artistic and fun. Then also, I would love to flip it for the holidays so it’s very spooky for Halloween, and then it’s like very holiday for Christmas.
Elsie: Oh my gosh.
Emma: I love it.
Elsie: So what I would do if I were just like, I all of a sudden don’t have a job so I have a full day of free time, put that out there. Then also just like what can I use my talents to make money? I think I would do house flipping. That’s something that I think I would be really good at. I would enjoy it but I don’t at all want to do it like in this phase of life with little kids and having two businesses like it’s a hard no, it’s not something I think I could do. But I do think in another life that that would be something that would be a good career for me, even just like a way to make money for a couple of years or whatever. So yeah, I think maybe someday I could see myself doing that when I’m older. As far as my version of Emma’s mini-golf like my for fun things that it’s not necessarily for the money, but the joy is there and the nostalgia. So I said before I would love to a bookmobile and I think that would very seriously be fun. I would not do it for money though. It would be like for fun, for the love of kids books, for the magic of childhood with kids.
Emma: So what do you mean by a bookmobile because usually, that’s like a thing the library does? So is this just like you’re giving away books, you drive around and give away books?
Elsie: I mean, they could be for sale but like yeah. It’s a traveling bookstore in a van or a bus or a cool little camper or something like that. Then the other thing, I think I really will do this someday, I’ve always wanted to do this since I was about 17 or 18 years old, I’ve always had this dream and I will not have it is I would love to own a real bed and breakfast. A true bed and breakfast, not an Airbnb, a real bed and breakfast. That’s like a hotel, where sometimes they have wedding receptions. In our small town that you know they had like those and then ones where you spend the night and you actually like have breakfast together in the big fancy dining room. I’m into that kind of thing. I think I could see myself doing that, maybe as a retirement dream someday.
Emma: And you can hire my company to do the cleaning.
Elsie: Oh my gosh, that’s a fun question. I would answer that one every week and probably say something different because it’s fun to think of business ideas. Okay, so thank you so much for listening. We will be back next week with our reactions to the 2022 trend reports which are pretty surprising this year. You’re gonna love them, Emma. They’re really funny. If you’re enjoying the podcast, please take a moment to leave us a review wherever you listen to our podcast. If you know any friends who like podcasts, just please share our podcast, just share it around. We love seeing when you post our podcast on Instagram. That means a lot to us every week. So we’re happy to be back and we will be back next week.
Hi Emma, I’m a long time follower and fan but was so surprised that you did sleep training. I usually refeain from commenting on parenting approaches because it really is not my business, unless it’s something that really hurts the child…which sleep training does. I don’t know how much research on the impact on the child you’ve done before doing the training. Maybe you know this and still decided to go ahead, but maybe you don’t and it might change your mind and fix what still can be fixed. Or if not you then somebody else who os vonsidering it. The thing with ST is that it doesn’t teach children to sleep. It teaches them to stop signalizing their needs because they learned that nobody comes (or comes for brief moments) no matter how much they call for help. Crying for long periods of time is exhausting so them stopping is actually nature protecting them from complete exhaustion. But they don’t stop feeling scared and abandoned and it can be seriously traumatizing, with effect on their future mental health, relationships etc. etc. You said that some people think you can never let your kid cry but not doing ST doesn’t mean that. All children sometimes cry, regardless of parenting style. But it is very different to cry while somebody rocks you and softly talks to you or alone in a dark room.
I completely understand the appeal of ST. My little one is a month younger than yours and he is not a good sleeper. But waking up multiple times during the night is normal and natural for babies. Yes, supporting him to sleep is sometimes so frustrating and tiring and so is waking up at night to feed or soothe him. But I could never prioritize my convenience my kid like that. I want him to know, I’m here for him, if he ever needs me. Sleep trained children know, that their parents are not and it really breaks my heart. It’s not fair to them, they didn’t ask to be born, it was our conscious choice.
I’m sorry for such a long comment and for crossing some boundaries but if this changes mind of a single person, it was worth it.
So glad you all are back! I enjoyed this episode so much. Emma, when you talked about your dream to have a mini-golf course, it made me think of one of my favorite movies, “Overboard”.
Another yes to the unpopular opinions! I used to follow an online group of moms with kids the same age as mine, and it would stress me out whenever the other kids reached milestones like walking and potty training way before my kid. I’m honestly happier since I left the group. Sleep training worked well for us too, although I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that my daughter does not seem to need more than 10 hours of sleep per night (she’ll sleep 12 hours if she skips her nap, but it turns her into a gremlin, so not worth it). It’s good to know what the normal ranges are for these things, and then try to let it go.
I listened to this episode on my way down to meet my sister for a waterfront walk early in the morning while our spouses were home with the kids. It’s something we will do now every couple weeks to connect on a sister level as adults. Coffee in hand, uninterrupted, laughing and being honest and letting the f bombs fly. After becoming moms, we haven’t given much time for that and listening to your podcast made me miss those conversations with her even more. Thank you for all the work and fun you put into it! Inspiring me in 2022!
Haha! We’re SO sorry our editor missed that one- we normally beep them out.
Thanks so much for listening! XX
My mother also has very dry eyes. Her eyedoctor said she needs to use eyedrops everytime before she watches tv or does reading and before she goes to bed. She will need to do this for the rest of her life. Might be necessary for you to also use eyedrops for car rides? And for computertime?
Also once a day she needs to put on a heatpack (just a quick time in the microwave) on her eyes. Something about her tear glands.
Not a doctor myself ofcourse 🙂
Emma! I totally care about your dry eyes!!! Honestly, it wasn’t until you mentioned them last year that I realized….my painful night time eyes were a dry eye problem! I had never even considered that. Haha. So I brought it up with my optometrist and she helped me find solutions! Turns out I also have allergies, so I now have allergy eye drops as well as lubricating ones. Haha.
My favorite recommendation from my optometrist were eye drops you can use WHILE wearing contacts! Refresh Relieva For Contacts, if you want to look them up. They’re so helpful!!! I have a very high prescription, so I rely heavily on my contacts and love that those eye drops make it more comfortable.
I just want to say that you ladies do such a good job with this podcast. I feel like I’m having a conversation with old friends, even though I’m just listening. It’s probably thanks to your great chemistry. Awesome job.
Hi Emma! Loved the episode, as always. I suffered horribly from dry eyes a few years ago and finally saw an ophthalmologist who specialized in dry eye, and my specific form, MGD. According to the doc, dry eye left untreated can actually irreparably damage your eyes long-term, so it’s great that you’re taking steps now to correct it! What finally ended up working for me were two laser procedures: Lipiflow and IPL. I also take a twice daily eye drop called xiidra. There’s something similar called Restasis. Best of luck to you!!
LOVE the “new year, same me” episode! My favorite part was the very end when you guys answered the listener question and dove in about working from home. I instantly purchased the Get To Work Book when Emma mentioned it. I love it when you guys talk about work, workflow, and tips about it! Please share more!
YES TO SLEEP TRAINING! I was so tired, and now my baby sleeps. I’m with Emma. Great podcast 🙂
Loved this episode as always! Elsie, love your thoughts on not worrying about timing of milestones! That is my philosophy too, though I’m not always successful. 🙂 All kiddos have areas where they excel and that are challenges, and that is normal. We recently started OT for my son for some of his challenge areas and it’s making all the difference (and is fun for him!). He leaves there feeling like a rock star, not like something is “wrong with him” which is so wonderful!
Emma, I have dry eyes too. My eye doctor recently suggested using Systane or Bruder lid wipes (even on non makeup days) and to use the Bruder Moist Heat Eye compress. Both are available online. The eye compress is amazing! You heat it up in the microwave for 20 seconds and put it on your eyes for 10 minutes a day. It naturally clears your tear ducts (mine get partially clogged) and stimulates natural tear production. The best part is, it’s like my eye doctor is making me have a spa treatment and relax. Which is awesome. Sometimes I even use it in the bath and pretend like I am at a spa. 🙂 It’s like self care and eye care all in one.
Also, not sure if you use coconut oil to remove your eye makeup. But, I did that for a while and that is what started my problem, it was clogging my tear ducts. That’s where the lid wipes come in.
With whatever eye care regimen you do, you are right consistency is key. I’m working on that too!
Hello, long time reader and listener. I love your blog, podcast and shows. I just wanted to flag that Taking Cara Babies actively donated to the Trump 2020 campaign and does not uphold anti racist values. I did not know this what I purchased an e-book of hers but when I found out, I donated an equal amount to an anti racist cause. I’m not saying we shouldn’t use her services /products and all trump supporters are bad (my family are Trump supporters) but if I’m spending money and supporting someone with my money, I appreciate knowing whether their values align with mine. Wanted to share in case this resonates with you. Thank you for sharing so much of your loved with us 💓
I came to make the same comment.
@thejamiegrayson had posts about it with the details if you want to look further into it.
Long time reader, I’m so curious as a fellow mom Elsie…how early are you waking up now? 645 seems early enough to me, haha
Hi! I’ve been waking up at 5am. I know it’s extreme, but I’ve been getting a lot out of it. Even looking forward to it… I can’t even believe I’m saying that haha.
I came to say the same. If anyone is looking for an alternative to cara, i recommend looking up infant sleep consultants in your area and seeing if they have classes or how much a consultation with them will be. It’s a better resource AND you know your money isn’t going to a racist.
Yep, I almost purchased TCB in a moment of desperation, but was glad I didn’t after hearing that she was a Trump donor. People swear by her method, but my understanding is that she is just repackaging the Ferber method into a step-by-step plan and then charging hundreds of dollars for it. I can see the appeal, but parents should know that they can find the same information for free online and in books like Precious Little Sleep or (the original) Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems.
Well… now I want an adult sized Elsa princess dress! Glad to have you guys back, I always look forward to listening to your pod on my Monday commute, it makes Monday that much less of a Monday! You guys do a great job, I really enjoy all of ABM’s content. The pod is my favorite because your personalities shine through. Thank you!
Loved Taking Cara of Babies. I followed her method when my LO was 6 months, she’s been a champion sleeper since then. (Through the flu, through teething). I will say that I found it HARD! I definitely had to turn on the monitor and set a timer, but I’m so glad I did it early rather than wait until she could stand up and actually shout for me. I think it made it easier. Cara has such a calming voice that she was basically putting me to sleep!
Same! Oscar already sleeps so well. But it was (and still IS) hard at times. I sometimes stare at the monitor… and I def have to set a timer at times.
I almost commented the last time Emma mentioned her dry eyes and resisted offering advice, but since it came up again, here’s my tip: wear a sleep mask at night. My eye doctor gave me this tip and it has made a huge difference. Turns out my eyes don’t full close when I sleep and that’s one reason why my eyes are painful to open in the morning. I hope it’s helpful to you.
Huh! Interesting… maybe mine don’t fully close. I never thought of that.
Hi, my dry eye situation seems similar to Emma.. so an unsolicited suggestion for what I’m doing this year— have you tried zen lens? I used soft contacts but finally had to stop and was sad to only have glasses. I alternate bow but the zen lens don’t dry out my eyes! It’s an investment but wish I knew about them sooner.
Thank you for the podcast! I’m a faithful listener and look forward to it every Monday! I really appreciate your ending comments. Boundaries are important! So glad you are back and look forward to the next episodes this season!! 💛
Yes to both unpopular opinions about motherhood! Every child develops differently. My two year old has a sensitive gag reflex and still eats about 70% purées. She’s healthy and happy though! A friend encouraged me to not worry about it when I see other toddlers her age feeding themselves spaghetti and fruit. That really helped me, and now we just get excited over each new food instead of freaking out over the ones she still can’t hold down. I got insanely lucky with my sleep loving baby and didn’t do much training. She was sleeping/eating on a good schedule, on her own, at 6 weeks. But I love the babywise methods, and used them briefly. I plan to use them again with this next baby. I have narcolepsy and sleep deprivation is a serious hinderance to normal daily functions. A healthy sleep schedule is good for everyone.