In this episode of Healthy Family Project, we talk to Noelle Martin, RD and author of MotherhoodAndMeals.com. Noelle joined us to talk about the importance of self-care and how to make time for it when you have a busy schedule.
Noelle Martin is a Registered Dietitian with a Master of Science in Foods and Nutrition and a mom of three young boys. Noelle is founder and president Motherhood and Meals Inc. and co-founder of Nourished Beginnings. She has a passion for educating, inspiring, and empowering women to make healthy choices for themselves and their families and bring consistent habits to the chaos of life.
Noelle works with individuals, families and groups in person through one-on-one sessions and workshop settings as well as on-line through virtual courses. Noelle also enjoys teaching at Brescia University College. Noelle just released a cookbook for kids entitled “Superfoods and Super Kids Cookbook.” You can find Noelle at www.motherhoodandmeals.com and on Instagram.
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Want to skip straight to a hot topic? See time stamps below. But of course, we recommend listening all the way through!
- 2:55 Welcome, Noelle!
- 5:07 Self-care defined
- 10:17 How to make time for self-care
- 20:30 How to teach our kids about self-care
- 27:40 How can families disconnect from the to-do list?
- 36:17 How to ask for help? How to build your ‘village’?
- Follow MotherhoodandMeals and Nourished_Beginnings on Instagram
- Check out Noelle’s blog
- A Mama’s Heart
Other Podcast Episodes to Check Out:
- Ep. 40: Meditation Benefits for Kids
- Ep. 35: Helping Kids Make Good Choice
- Ep. 31: Balancing Career & Family
Healthy Family Project Podcast
Conversations covering hot topics in the world of health, food and family with a dose of fun. Helping families ease their way into a new fresh and healthy world. Brought to you by Produce for Kids.
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If you are interested in being a guest on the Healthy Family Project podcast, contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your topic idea for consideration.
Transcript for Episode 48
This transcript was produced by Otter.Ai. Please forgive any misspellings and grammatical errors.
Welcome to the healthy family project by produce for kids, covering the hot topics in the world of health,
food and family with a dose of fun. Welcome to today’s conversation on the healthy family project. I was
recently reminded by someone emailing in about the healthy family project and they said they had no
idea who what the name who was hosting the podcast. And so I realized that maybe we’ve had so many
episodes at this point that I have not mentioned my name at the beginning of the podcast. So let me start
out with I’m your host Amanda welcome. And today we are talking to Noel Martin of motherhood and
meals. You might have seen her recently on our produce for kids Instagram page, she likes to jump in
every now and then and share some awesome tips. But today we’re going to talk about self care and
really teaching our kids how important self care is. You can find Noelle online on her blog, motherhood
and meals and regularly on her Instagram where she is talking real life food, family, friends, you name it,
she sharing the realness. That’s why we love working with her so much. She really delivers the realness
so Noel is a registered dietitian with a Master of Science in food and nutrition. She’s also the mom of
three boys. So she’s busy. Noel is a university instructor and enjoys counseling and running workshops.
She also like I mentioned, has an active Instagram feed and blog dedicated to educating and inspiring
parents to make healthy choices for their families. She really has a passion for helping other parents
realize we are all in this boat. You know in sharing real solutions to our everyday struggles in this chaos
of life. I’m excited about this topic, I’m celebrating a big birthday this week, the Big Four Oh, and I think I
often forget that even just a few minutes to yourself goes a long way, giving ourselves grace and allowing
for moments to refresh. It’s just so important. And then before we jump in, I do want to mention, I don’t
want it to get lost at the end. We do have the healthy family Project Facebook group and continue the
conversation from the podcast over there. If you can find a link in the show notes, and we can approve
you to join that group. It’s just really a lot of fun to interact with listeners there and get some insight from
all of you and really discover new topics, topics that we can turn into a podcast episode. So without
further delay, let’s get started with Noel. Welcome, Noelle, we’re so excited to have you on the podcast.
Can you share a little bit about yourself in your background for our listeners who aren’t familiar with your
blog or your Instagram?
Absolutely, thank you so much for having me. And so my name is Nicole Martin. I’m a registered dietitian.
And I’m a mom of three boys. I have twins that will turn eight on the 23rd. And I have a little five and a
half year old as well. And I have a passion for chatting with moms and caregivers of young children and
just saying, you know I have been where you are or I am where you are. And I would love to work with
you from the standpoint of being both a mum and a dietitian in terms of making the healthiest choices
basically for ourselves and our families. So on Instagram I can be found at motherhood and meals as
well as at nourished beginnings. And nourished Beginnings is actually a partnership I have with another
dietitian and that is more the in clinic side of things. So we meet with moms and little ones in clinic and I
also teach at our local university in the nutrition program.
Wonderful or excited to have you today. I think this topic, especially I know we talked a little bit before we
started recording especially for me moving into a new decade of life. Yes, I think that I am going to
embrace this a little bit more. So I’m excited to learn from you today. We cover a lot of different topics on
our podcast. And after reading your a mama’s heart blog post I really felt like self care was an important
topic to discuss for everyone for me. You know, all of the above. Sometimes I’m like, Oh, I create these
topics because I need help you know, so if I need help, lots of people must also need help. So I have two
daughters, and I love that we’re busy. We have lots of activities, but some weeks the calendar really
stacks up and it’s overwhelming. Can you start At the very basic level, how do you define self care? And
what does self care mean for a busy family?
Absolutely. So it’s interesting, what you just said, is basically the exact reason why I started my
Instagram and Blog in the first place. As a dietitian, I felt like I kind of knew how to make sure that, you
know, vegetables were part of every meal, and we were eating easily throughout the day, and meal prep
was under control. And then I had three children and 27 months, and it all just kind of went out the
window. Yes. And when rat was, you know, around six or seven months old, I thought, okay, you know,
I’ve got to work to come back to a place where I know that I am nourishing my myself. Well, in addition to
nourishing the children, I had always stayed, you know, somewhat obviously, on that track. I mean, I was
breastfeeding, and I was, I had the knowledge of nutrition, but there was a lot of just be, you know, it gets
busy, right? Yeah. And I actually had this this one moment where I took the, the edges of my children’s
grilled cheese, and I use them as croutons on top of a salad. And I thought, this, this is delicious and fun,
I’d love to share this. And that was what was kind of like, you know, flip this switch for me to be like, I’m
going to start sharing ideas of how we can make healthy portions for our little ones and for ourselves,
and kind of fitting it all together. Because there’s a lot of focus on how can we nourish our children. But I
think sometimes we forget that number one, the children are learning from us, for example. And so in all
areas of self care, whether it be taking a minute to take a deep breath, or physical activity, or nourishing
ourselves, whatever it is, one of one of the great motivators is they’re watching us. And it’s great for them
to be able to learn. So when you say, you know, how do you define self care for me, it’s finding ways to
know that I’m able to be the best version of myself as a mother, a wife, a daughter, a friend, a dietician,
and more. And if I’m not taking time, or energy to do the things, that leads to the best version of myself,
then I’m not just letting myself down, I’m letting others down too. So that’s a big piece of why I have
made it a priority to ensure self care. And it doesn’t necessarily mean it is indulgent, it doesn’t mean I’m
sitting in a spa on a regular basis, it doesn’t mean that if I’d love an hour of physical activity, that
sometimes it has to be 20 minutes. It’s not a, an all or nothing, always. But I do find that I have to plan
ahead. And I have to think about it as not just serving myself, but actually serving all those around me as
Well, and I think that’s a good point. And, and hopefully, we hopefully didn’t have people turned off by our
self care, you know, title because I do think a lot of people think about self care and say, like, oh, I, you
know, a day at the spa, like you, you mentioned, and it’s not and I just, we have two new African tortoises
in in my house or in my zoo, as I like to call it, and they’re just adorable. And I haven’t we’ve, we, they
came into our world just last week, but I haven’t had a chance to just sit down and I just love I love
animals. But So yesterday, I sat outside and the sun. I was for 15 minutes in the grass, and just played
with my new turtles. Love it, which I sample right? Yeah. And I felt so much better. And I thought, wow,
you know, if I could just stop what I’m doing and take that time, just whether it be 15 minutes or whatever,
to just go out into the sunshine. You know, so Alright, so as a parent, I believe that my mental state and
stress levels can really affect the whole household. I recognize that when I’m feeling stressed, like you
said, you’re kind of an exam boy, you are an example to your children. I find that I’m more irritable, you
know, more prone to not express myself in the best way. And of course, it affects my kids that affects
their moods and, and I’ve seen this since they were, you know, babies when absolutely like that energy
that you give out. Right? And it’s yeah, oh my gosh, I am creating this not to like put blame or guilt. But
yes, like I’m stressed. So everybody’s stress.
True. And you know, even at naptime. Didn’t you find when your babies were younger, if you knew you
needed to get them like down for a nap to get out the door for somewhere. That’s when they stay awake.
Yeah, but on a day when you’re like, oh, you know, I’m just home. Whatever, it doesn’t matter asleep
instantly. I think they just they sense if there’s pressure if they’re stressed, right, even from those early
yeah, for sure. So with such a busy schedule, many parents think well, how do I even find Time for
myself, how do I create time in a schedule that already feels full? Can you share some time management
tips? And I think we, you know, touching on this a little bit with the like, it doesn’t have to be a full day or
an hour. But how can we, you know, figure out how to make self care possible?
Absolutely, I thought, what I would do is just walk through kind of different stages and phases of
motherhood because I have found that it really changes over time. So when we have like, you know,
young babies, they’re often his naptime. And during nap time you think, Okay, do I eat? Do I sleep? Do I
shower? What do I do? Um, and so I think thinking around kind of prioritizing during those times, what is
going to serve me best, right? I also strongly believe in the power of asking for help, and admitting that
it’s okay to have a village around us. And asking for help and the things you truly want help with, I can
remember when I had younger ones, there would be times when I think I just actually want to spend time
with my children. I’d love it if someone could come unload my dishwasher. And then there were other
times, I think, I’d love to get out of the playroom for a few minutes and unload my dishwasher. Break my
kit. Right, right. So it kind of just, you know, thinking through and depending on the moment, so I actually
had a young girl, but then I was in our late teens. And I asked her if she would come over for one hour a
week, and I would choose at the time what I was going to do. And sometimes I would take a shower, and
you know, rest my eyes because I’d been up all night. And sometimes I would unload the dishwasher
and do meal prep. And sometimes I go for a walk by myself, but it was something that I knew, Okay, I’ve I
have this hour that I know I can do something. And for some people, they would maybe want to ask that
of someone every day, it just depends on what you have available. Some people have family in town,
some people don’t, but setting yourself up for success. Another really big piece to me is was involving my
kids. So almost every day, I would put my kids in the stroller and do like a walk or a run or go to the
grocery store with them in there, I would give them a little toy or a book and I’d give them a snack. And I
would just know that this was a time when I was doing something that was really great. For me physical
activity is one thing that really helps me in terms of you know, mental health as well as physical health,
right. And I never really felt guilty because I knew that I was being an example to them, as well, I, I taught
them from a very young age, that creating time in your day, making time in your day to prioritize physical
activity is something that mommy does, and that is a good thing. And so now I have children who do
value activity and don’t complain when we’re going to go out, you know, and go for a hike in the forest
together, or if it’s their hockey practice, and I have parents day, you know, my kids complain all the time
when it’s time to do a physical activity they don’t want to do. And I think well, you know, never judgment,
never anything like that more just conversation have, the more we show an example, the more children
grew up with that. And so sometimes self care, like I said before, is even just like, knowing that the power
of the influence that we’re going to have on them. And then as kids get older, and you know, they’re off at
school, and sometimes our work lives can become busier. And then there’s their extracurriculars, I
started to change up my routine. So when the babies were young, and they were getting up in the middle
of the night, and I was exhausted, I wasn’t going to get up first thing in the morning and be physically
active because they, they were finally sleeping, I was sleeping, right. But now that you know everyone
sleeps through the night, and our days are very busy between work and school and extracurriculars, I get
up and get my activity done first thing in the morning, and if my kids are up, then they just do it alongside
of me, I actually bought them all yoga mats for Christmas. And they’ll they’ll sometimes do something,
they’ll do yoga or something in their room, sometimes they come out and do something with me. And as
Summer is approaching, I think we’ll probably get out for some, you know, more runs and bike rides and
that kind of thing together. So a lot of what I’m talking about is physical activity, because that for me is a
big piece of myself care for other people that may be carving out time to you know, read a book by
themselves or to go for a massage or the spars and like that. I mean it can be those things it just doesn’t
have to. And also sometimes self care is about cutting up enough vegetables and fruit to make your own
lunch not just your kids lunches. So there’s, you know, there’s little things and there’s larger things and I
think it’s being honest about what phase and stage you’re in and what is going to really help you feel
cared for. Even if it means that you’re taking time to wash your face before bed instead of just flopping in
the little things, little things or doing anything that is to know that you are nourishing kind of that that soul
of mental health.
Exactly. And you know, I feel fortunate because My daughter’s both do dance. And it’s not like intense,
you know, competition style, it’s really recreational, I’ve always danced, it’s been a great outlet for me
throughout my life. And so they really enjoy it. But I’m so fortunate at their dance studio, there are also
adult classes. And we’re in Orlando. So you know, you have a lot of the Disney and universal performers
that are looking for an outlet, but right, you know, to take a class, but also, it’s very interesting, because
they have like beginner ballet, beginner tap, you know, they have his entry level classes for someone
who, you know, I say, I’ve always danced, but there’s classes for people, and it’s wonderful. Because
you’re not just sitting in the waiting room, you know, you’re not just sitting in there. You know, I have a
tendency to, like, prove just work, work work. So I would take my computer, you know, and just continue
working into the evening. But that gives me the chance to, to dance. And then the other thing they do is
tennis. And while they’re doing their tennis, I started taking a tennis 101 class, which tennis is not
something I’ve done my whole life. And it’s not easy. It’s really hard, actually. But, but I started I thought,
You know what, I need to take advantage of that time. And you know, do something for myself. So I
started exploring, and I would encourage people, even if you know, you’re at an extra curricular and you
have another parent to say, like, hey, we have 45 minutes, do you want to just take a walk and talk? You
know, because you’re going to probably sit there and, and talk, regardless. So I know a couple moms
that are like, Oh, we’re not gonna take the dance class, but they just walk the block, you know, and they
talk and they’re like, Hey, I didn’t even realize I was walking during that time, because we were just
chatting away. Absolutely. So I feel like that’s, that’s a really good thing. And you mentioned something
about having someone come to the house, I think, sometimes especially, you know, money can be tight,
and it’s like, oh, I’m going to, like, get a babysitter. You know, I don’t want to spend money on that I’m at
home, I should be taking care of the kids. But I have to say my daughter who will be 14 In April, she did a
safe sitter class this summer. And I spread the word out with some moms and she’ll go to different
houses in the neighborhood for an hour, two hours, you know, and just go and while the mom goes to the
grocery store, or the mom and dad go take a run, you know, it’s like these little things. And I think
sometimes we feel like a babysitter, I can’t ask someone to come for just an hour, you know, or I can’t
like, the money or whatever. But I do think that even if you’re just at the house, there are some, you
know, teens who are in that zone who are like that perfect. You know, you’re not like this. You know, she
like fully experienced nanny of sorts that you’re bringing in and have to pay these high rates. So I would
encourage everybody to, to ask around, because I’m sure there’s in nature, other neighborhoods like my
daughter, you know, who can be there to help out even just for an hour, she’s happy to make money for
just running over somewhere for an hour.
Oh, absolutely. And an hour is just a really nice amount of time. Like, kids get excited, like you say, like
teenagers, like, it’s fun for them. Right? Like, they’re excited to come over and play with kids for a little
bit. And, you know, it’s good for all parties. And yeah, there’s value in just the hour, it doesn’t have to be a
half a day or a whole day or anything like that.
Yes, for sure. So stress is of course, relative, the things my 13 year old stresses over may seem silly to
me, but they’re very real in her mind. I this is something I continuously remind myself of, because when I
was a teen I can remember, and I have a lovely mother, but I can remember the the phrase, well, that
doesn’t really matter. That doesn’t matter. You know, like I’m thinking it does matter. It does matter. Like
right now this matter. So I try. It’s very hard, because in my mind, I am thinking oh my goodness, does
this really matter? Right? But so I try to keep that in mind. She has pressures of school, you know,
middle schools, tough friends after school activities. Her plate gets full for a 13 year old. You know,
Algebra has been a struggle for our whole family this year. I am I know everybody’s like, I’m not a math
person. sounds cliche to say, but it’s so hard. I mean, it’s hard to not be able to help. When you want to
help you know, it’s very stressful. You know, and I truly cannot go back and relearn earned all of these
equations and everything. So anyway, so on one hand, I, of course, want her to strive and do well and
work hard. But I really encourage her to take breaks and not beat herself up. How do we find that
balance? And how do we pass on these self care strategies to our kids? I know we talked a little bit
about leading by example, but how can we really pass this on? So they can learn to juggle everything?
That life throws their way? Because there’s a lot?
There is a lot and you know, it’s a great question. A couple of things that come to mind is, I find that
scheduling periods of time, I’ve dedicated time to things really works well for myself and for our family. So
I’ll share the strategy. And you know, perhaps that will resonate with some people. But if we think about,
oh, if we take the algebra, for example, right, or any kids homework, and we think, Oh, we got to get to
that, we got to get to that we got to get to that. But because they don’t necessarily feel like doing it right
after school, and they’ve got extracurriculars. So I always like to look at our week ahead and block times
for various things. So you know, my kids are at the stage where they’re bringing home readers and a little
bit of homework, and they’ve got piano. And we’re, during the winter, we’re up in Canada, we’re at the
rink eight times a week, because we have three kids in hockey, right. So I really like to block and
designate time, so that it doesn’t feel like all night long, we’re thinking about algebra, all night long, we’re
thinking about the readers, right? So here’s 45 minutes, or we’re gonna sit down, we’re going to spend it
together working on this. And when that timer goes off, we’re going to walk away. And if we know that we
have more to finish, we can talk at that point about when we’re going to come back to it because
sometimes you designate an amount of time, it’s not enough. But I think it teaches them the idea of, if
you have a start and a finish, then it seems more realistic. Rather than sitting down and going, I have no
idea how long this is going to take me. So we’re going to stop at this time, we’re going to nourish our
bodies, you know, with dinner, and then we’re going to go ahead and go off to whether it be you know,
dance, or gymnastics, or hockey, or baseball or soccer or whatever it is. And just knowing kind of where
things have their place. Some things need to happen every day, some things need to happen once a
week. And as soon as a child can kind of understand and the concept of needing to sit in a meal
preparation, I think it’s great to talk about it. Right. If a child is not coming to the grocery store with us, I
think it’s important for them to understand the amount of time that’s been designated to grocery shopping
and to preparing food, because the more that they are exposed to all the things that it takes to organize a
life not that they have to take that on. But if they’re just exposed and understand it, then as they go
through life, there is a better chance that they’re going to be able to set those times aside. So here’s my
time for physical activity. And here’s my time for work. And here’s my time for meal prep. And also, here’s
my time to relax and play. So at what point in time do we shut down. So for our twins are eight year olds
day, their technical, like, you know, lights out bedtime is eight o’clock, but unless they have, you know,
the the odd thing that might go a little bit later, but typically, they’re in their bed by about 20 After seven.
And it’s silent reading time, because we really want to ingrain in them the importance of winding down.
And so we thought, well, if we start that now, hopefully they’ll be able to do that throughout life. And that’s
really a form of self care for a child because their brains. I’ve heard this from other parents. So I don’t
think I’m alone in this. But quite often as their brains start to slow down, they start to be able to articulate
more. So then we go back in at like 10 to eight. And if there’s anything, you know, they want to finally talk
about, or we’ll have a retelling of the story or just something where there’s like this routine as part of it.
So I think no matter how busy our children are, there are things that we can put in place to help them
understand balance. If they’re nervous, and it’s coming out in you know, my tummy hurts, then maybe
talking through like, what, what what’s going on with your tummy? Do you feel like you might throw up?
Well, no, it just hurt. Oh, okay. What happened, you know, on the playground at school today, or what’s
happening tomorrow, and what might come out is they have math test tomorrow, and they feel nervous
about it. So it came out as my tummy hurt. But if we didn’t take the time to talk about it, we wouldn’t
know. And so I think just yeah, just having opportunities for those times to kind of slow down is really
important. And I think it’s our role as parents to to recognize our children’s limits. Some children can
handle two or three extracurriculars. And for some, that’s just creating more stress than ideal. So rather
than coming up with ways to help them handle the stress, maybe we need to realize that maybe they’re
more of an introvert and it’s better for them to just, you know, be in this particular extracurricular because
that challenges them enough and it’s enough on their plate and maybe we’ll add more and another time
as kids get older, we can involve them in those conversations, right? Some parents will say, Do you want
to try out for the competitive team again? Or would you rather go with, you know, how sweet or
something like that, and all his activity and all is great. So again, it does come down to age and to
conversation. And I think showing our kids that we’re trying to set ourselves up for success, and then
giving them coaching in terms of helping them set themselves up for success.
Yeah, I mean, I know over the holidays, we’re in our house, we were we got a little off track, with
schedules and parties and bedtimes and everything. And so when we moved into the new year, I really,
for all of us, I went back to saying, This is what time you’re going, you know, this is what time I want you
to be in bed, and then the, this is a time that you can read, and then I’ve been doing the same thing, got
like kind of going back into the room and having those conversations and you’re so right. I mean, it is so
much better to kind of talk through some things once everything else is like kind of pushed out of the way
and they’ve had a chance to unwind. Because when you’re trying to talk through certain things in the
heat of the day, and you’re running here running there and tell me why do you feel this way? And like,
you know, what, what’s going on here? And oh, my gosh, like this grade, and it’s kind of like, you know, I
just it’s I have found it’s just doesn’t really work. And no, in the craziness of the day, it’s better once
you’ve had that time to unwind. And you’re able to, like you said, articulate really what’s going on?
Yes. And I really do think that we can make a difference in this next generation coming up in terms of
mental health. If we give more space for that if we have more space for like, true calm conversations, if
we have more space for making time for healthy choices. And you know, if children learn early on the
value of sleep activity and nutrition, that in itself, it builds a better energy and immune system. And so
that’s just a positive cycle to move forward
in. For sure. Well, so I think we I think we’ve kind of touched on on my next question, we may have
covered it, but let’s see if you have anything else to add. So while we all have different needs, I definitely
think that as a family, we can all benefit from disconnecting and taking time to have fun together. Not
every moment needs to be filled with homework practice commitments. So what are some ways families
can build in that fun time to just relax and get away from the to do list?
Oh, I am such a big fan of family games, like such a big fan. And I know that this is because I’m kind of
entering into the stage. I know family games with a two year old are very different than like games with
eight year olds. But, um, you know, sitting down and playing any sort of game. So if it’s a two year old, it
might be Megabloks. And you’re like, sorting everything into colors, or you’re building a tower together.
Or maybe you’re playing trains. And then as kids get older, you’re playing cards, or monopoly or story or
whatever it might be. And there’s so much value in just laughing and having fun as a family. I agree.
Yep, I love it. Our family games,
it’s so hard. And so one thing that we have done is we have two nights a week now where it’s a
designated time for family game. Because and it doesn’t have to be long, right? It doesn’t have to be like,
Oh, it’s a two or three hour event. It’s a game and we have a rotation of who you know, chooses the
game and that kind of thing. The other thing is I have a rotation with my three boys where every Friday, I
take one of them out for lunch on a one on one date. And they get to choose where we go. And they
direct the conversation and that kind of thing. So it doesn’t necessarily have to be in the evenings. If
evenings are really busy. Sometimes we can carve out. Other times, I love to have my boys in the
kitchen. So dinner has to be made or breakfast has to be made. And not every single night. But most
nights I have at least one if not two or three of them in here doing a portion and we can chat about the
day while being productive at the same time. So I think it’s just finding kind of those spaces and what
works for your family. There’s really interesting research that says, you know, even if we give children 10
or 15 minutes of directed time, over the course of a 24 hour period, it can make a huge difference in
terms of like their demeanor and their sense of autonomy and just everything so like you know they
decide what game is played or how the Lego is going to be built or or whatever it might mean. And
there’s there’s true and valid research to back that up and say you know, just a small amount of time can
actually make a huge difference in your little Wednesday. So again, if it means setting a timer or putting
an appointment in the calendar, whatever it takes, because life is busy, it’s crazy busy. And it’s so easy to
have a week go by and go, Oh my goodness, like, I intended to do such and such, and it just didn’t
happen. And so I love putting alarms into my phone and putting, you know, time slots into the calendar
because it reminds me of the things that I wanted to do. And I intended to do it, it helps me follow
through on those goals.
That is a great idea. I think that I need to get back on that path because of scheduling in the family game
night or scheduling in and just knowing like, this is when this is going to happen. Because it because we
do it but it’s not really you know, it just ebbs and flows. And we’re big uno fans, and in this house. Yeah,
it’s simple. Like you don’t have a lot of setup. Although my kids do like the game of life, they they really
like to go through that. That whole thing. 17 kids in my car, you know, I’m like this is, you know, so funny.
We actually, you know, the girls getting a little bit older, and they’re both. They’re both pretty funny. And
so they both like acting. And so I said, and then in the new year, I wanted to do a family stand up. Night.
Yeah, I was like, where everybody only gets like three to five minutes, you know? Or maybe, you know, I
don’t know what the what we could put what the time but they’ve been on me because they’re like, We
never did family stand up night. You said we were gonna do it. And I’m like, mostly because I got to work
on my bit. I don’t have it together. Yeah, so I want to do that. So hopefully, after our conversation today,
I’ll be inspired to, to get that back on the schedule. And maybe I’m nervous, I’m not gonna get any laughs
I don’t know.
You know, and just to that point, I think it’s so important. You know, something that’s always really heavy
on my heart is just any mums don’t listen to anything like this, or read a book, or listen to other podcasts,
or even just look at people’s pictures on Instagram and Facebook, and get this feeling in the pit of their
stomach of like, I can’t do it that way. And so I feel less than like, It almost brings me to tears to think
about it because I was there for the first year of the twins life, we barely went anywhere because they
had been premiums. And I would look, I actually took myself off of Facebook at one point because I was
like I emotionally can’t handle seeing all the things that people are doing with their kids or hearing about
the milestones. And I’m not there. And so I just want to make sure that as we talk about all these things
that that people listening know, like, these are suggestions, these are ideas, these are part of a journey.
And like any one thing if you’re hearing oh my goodness, making time for something every day, are you
thinking 20 minutes a week would be all I could maybe do, then that’s your 20 minutes, right? Like, I just,
I think it’s so important to walk, to be inspired by others to get ideas by others, but also walk our own
journey and know that if if what we are doing is best for ourselves and our families, then that’s what you
need to be doing.
Exactly. I think that’s that’s great advice. And I do agree, I have myself fallen, you know, social medias is
great. And it can be, you know, as much as we all want to say, I don’t compare, I don’t look at that and
feel this way or it’s human nature. First of all, so let’s put that out there. Like it’s okay. But it is a it can be
really hard and you start comparing and you start feeling bad and what am I doing wrong? Why can’t I
get my act together? Why can’t you know, I know. It’s like, it’s all of those things. So I think that, again,
this conversation today is just so important for for everybody to take a step back and recognize like, you
know, we’re all different. We all have different situations. And and quite honestly, what you’re putting out
there on social media a lot of the time isn’t real life. Okay. So
glorified pieces. And because there is a balance of like, we don’t really everyone’s got already has their
own challenges and issues. You don’t want to come to social media and be like, here are my 10 things I
want to say like, here’s something that worked for me. Maybe it helps you. Yes. Right. And so you do
have to remember it is a highlight reel of sorts. Yeah,
exactly. Which is why also going back to your Instagram and working with you from a produce for kids
standpoint, why we gravitated to you and love working with you because you are so real on your
Instagram and your social media. So if anyone’s feeling that way, go follow Noel right now. Because she
is amazing. And you’ll you’ll feel much better so I’ll show you the dirty dishes. Yes, she well. I love it.
Alright, so this is this next question. Our last question I love we have so much to talk about. Today, so
you talked about using your village in the blog post, which I will link up to this, this awesome blog post in
the show notes. But for a lot of people, that’s family that lives close by and close friends. And, and that’s
not the case for everyone, I have to tell you, my, my family is spread out around the country. And when I
had my older daughter, I was relatively new to the area, I didn’t have a network, you know, how are some
what are some ways that parents can build their village when one isn’t readily available? You know, and
how do you ask for help, you know, I that this is something that I have finally, I think gotten to a place
where I’m like, okay, like, we help each other, like, you would do the same thing for this person, I just
have to let go of the guilt. Like I’ve always felt like, oh, my gosh, I’m burdening someone else. Like I
know, they’re, they have a full plate. And I’m asking for help, like, what am I doing? So I was I definitely
had, you know, didn’t have the grandparent network, like my parents in town. And so I don’t know, it was
just a challenge for me, I felt very alone. I didn’t want to ask anyone for help. And so what are your
suggestions on being able to ask for help and building your village and working around this village?
Great question. So a couple of things. One is, and so we’ll speak from the perspective if you don’t have
close friends and family in town. So what we’ll think about, okay, if you’ve just moved to a new place, or
they live outside of town, because obviously it’s easier when they do so for speaking into that
perspective, one of the things that I would recommend doing is looking up moms groups at like
community centers, libraries, and churches, even if you don’t belong to any of those, like, go out to them.
And see, if you click with anyone, if you do, great if you don’t, maybe try something else, even like a,
they’ll have, like books for babies right at local library, right, and you sit beside a mom, and maybe you
strike up a conversation, because your kids are similar age. So I wouldn’t suggest jumping in with this
next suggestion, like right away, but after maybe building a little bit of a friendship, um, perhaps you
could suggest that you would love to make that family dinner, you know, once or twice a month, and
wondered if maybe they might do the same. So, you know, two, Monday’s a month, I’m going to make
extra dinner. And I’m going to bring it over to you. So you have it for your Tuesday night dinner. So you
don’t have to make dinner on Tuesday. But maybe on the other two, Monday’s a month, you could do the
same for me. And so you’re you’re offering this like reciprocal. And same with childcare, you know, you
could say, Do you want to go for a walk or run together? Or you could say, Would you like me to look
after your kids for two hours, twice a month, and then all you know, we could do the same and you could
look after my mind for two hours twice a month. And then maybe it becomes so that it works out really
well for you. And it becomes more often I know several families that actually do this for childcare in the
evening to go out on dates. So they’ll have like one night and they go out on a date night and one family
has all of the kids and then the other family has all of the kids so that the parents can get out on a date,
but they don’t have to pay a babysitter. So there’s lots of different ways that we can use reciprocation, I
think with friends, once we have had the opportunity to get out to some community groups, and even if
you’re quiet and introverted, and not really interested in building like a huge network of friends. Usually
there’s other people like that, too. So I think, you know, it can take going to a few different places,
sometimes, maybe there’s like a stroller boot camp that you want to join, and you end up meeting
someone, or maybe there’s a prenatal yoga class that you went to, and you’re pregnant, and you think,
Oh, um, you know, I might get back in touch with one of those moms. So there’s lots of different places
that we can meet individuals, if we’re looking to build our network. And if you already have friends in
town, but you don’t have family, you can take those suggestions and just use them with, with, you know,
friends who already have, even if they’re not at the exact same life state, like I’ll gladly take. No, I have a
friend who has a baby and a toddler and I’ll gladly look after them for a few hours. And then my kids love
to go over and play with the little ones, right? So they don’t have to necessarily all be the same age.
Those are really great tips.
That’s an idea.
No, I love it. And I think sometimes, like especially new parents, where you see like, oh, the baby
breeding at the library and you’re like, my baby is like, do you really need to socialize my baby right now.
But to put it in perspective, it’s yes, you you need to go
like yes, you need
to meet people back and get out and do that. And build build your village that way.
Yeah, speaking to another adult is huge. When you spend your day like you can read your baby but it’s
not the same as going out and seeing another human adult. Going out to eat your baby. Yes, that’s
for sure. That’s another episode. Amber Amber on our team at produce her kids, she has a new baby. So
she’s been coming up with some good ideas. It’s been a while since I’ve had a baby here in the house,
but so she’d like, Alright, you got some topics, so it’s so so all you listeners, the baby topics are gonna be
coming. Yeah, so Well, thanks so much for joining us today. No, well, this has been awesome. Such a
wonderful topic, before we close out if you just want to let people know where they can find you on social
media and online.
Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me. It’s an honor. So you can find me on social media at
motherhood and meals, or at nourished underscore beginnings. And online My blog is motherhood and
Wonderful. Well, we will be linking up to all of those in the show notes. And just thank you so much, Noel,
we’ll be back. You’re coming back for another episode.
All right, that was great. That was perfect. Yeah,
no, I think totally. I mean, if you have other topics that you you know, down the road, I, I love, just the
best thing about what we do at produce for kids is all of us are so focused on getting people, you know,
to understand that like, it’s okay, like, this is okay. Yeah, this is okay. Like, this is this is normal, like, I can
do this. And so the more we can get that out there, the better that just makes me happy. So I think that
this was was a good episode, and yay, for grace for saying like, I think this is gonna be a good, good
Yeah, when she first asked me, I thought, Oh, could we do a whole episode on it, but we 100% it. So
yeah, well, and I tried to balance out, you know, talking about food, I feel like people listening are like,
okay, picky eaters. Okay, how to meal prep, okay. You know, and I’m like, All right, every once in a while,
we have to like, steer away from the food topics, so we can kind of make sure everybody, because
healthy. You know, it’s not just I mean, food is a huge part of it. But you have to be healthy mentally and
physically, you know, the other thing so.
Exactly. And that’s why I mentioned food a little bit, but I focused on some of those other areas, because
I thought exactly that, like people hear about the food piece all the time.
Another great conversation in the books. I really enjoyed talking with Noel today. I think there was some
great information shared, and I honestly didn’t know we would be able to fill 30 minutes on this topic. But
lo and behold, we certainly did. So let’s keep talking about this over on the Facebook group. You know,
good place for everyone to just continue the conversation and share your thoughts. And remember, if
you like the healthy family project, tell a friend and leave us a rating. It will only help our visibility so we
can continue to create a healthier generation. If you want to tweet with me direct. I’m at Amanda M Kiefer
on Twitter, and also Amanda and Kieffer on Instagram, and you can find produce for kids on Facebook,
Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube. Be sure to subscribe Talk soon