Aired March 30, 2018

I hope you tuned in to listen to the Finding Your Momtra Podcast Episode 1 on March 30th! Below is the transcript of my story in case you missed it! 

Hello! And thank you for tuning in to the Finding Your Momtra Podcast Episode 1! I’m an educator, mom, and lover of all things coconut, your host, Karen Liebner.

I wanted to take the opportunity in this first episode to introduce myself and tell you a little bit about why I’m here in your earbuds. But before I begin, I want to thank you for a few things. First, I know how precious little time you might have to yourself and so I cannot tell you how grateful I am that you’d spend some of that time listening to me. Second, I truly believe that the more moms we can get on this mindfulness train the better our entire world will be. So whether you’re commuting to work or on the treadmill or doing laundry while listening, I thank you, we all thank you because you are contributing to a massive, positive shift that is going on in this world!

So now that I’ve shared my gratitude, let me tell you a little bit about me and why I’m doing this.

As you might know from following my Instagram or blog, I like to call myself a new-ish mom. As of the recording of this episode, my son is a few days shy of 10 months old. So we definitely are not pros just yet but we’ve gotten our feet wet for sure.

I started my blog and then began this podcast because I felt called to serve and help you show up to your highest self in life but specifically in parenthood. I heard the saying, “be who you needed when you were younger” and thought yeah, this is what I needed and continue to need as I sat scrolling endlessly on my smartphone during 2 am nursing sessions looking for someone to say, Yes, girl, this is hard but you can do it. And here are some tools for getting it done and feeling good about it. That’s what I was in search of.

That’s the big thing for me, “feeling good about it” because we all know those first few days and weeks are just about survival. I don’t know about you but in the days following my son’s birth, I’m sure hormones contributed to this to some degree but, I was constantly watching the clock. Part of that was because I was nursing, and I’d start to get that overwhelming anxiety at like an hour and forty minutes knowing that any second he was going to be hungry again. But I was also giving myself these little pep talks every few hours. I have a daily routine of taking my dog out for an afternoon walk with one of my family members who lives nearby and so my husband would leave for work and I’d give myself a little pep talk about say, “ok, you only have to make it four hours until you’ll see another adult, or someone else can hold him, etc. etc.” whatever would make the time seem manageable. So I would chunk the day up into these pieces that felt doable and survivable.

And of course things got a little easier each day but I still had tons of anxiety, as many of us do as moms. Lots of worry. LOTS of guilt. (which by the way is DEFINITELY going to be the topic of an upcoming episode). Questioning every decision, big or small. Finally, I started to let myself off the hook a bit and brush some things off of my shoulders. I’d remember that I can’t possibly ruin him for life by choosing the wrong bottles. But… just as I started to feel like I wasn’t two seconds away from drowning, I went back to work. And a brand new set of worries, anxieties, and feelings of dread crept in. So I really felt like I’ve spent the first nine months of my son’s life wanting to FEEL better, emotionally, and sort of accepting that this must just be the way it is. And sadly, I’ve confirmed these feelings by commiserating with other moms. So I had this very strong feeling and desire to do and feel better and I had this intuition that there was a way but I could not figure out what this voice inside me wanted me to do. This is part one of three that led me to actually start Finding your momtra.

Part two goes something like this. Something you might not know about me is that I have been in education for over 10 years. I told my parents when I was 5 years old that I wanted to be a teacher. I loved to play school and my cousins and little brother would be my students. I got an undergraduate degree in elementary and special education and went off to start teaching in the local public district. The first was year tough, as they tend to be, and so the feelings that I had, I brushed aside. I felt like the anxiety I had was based on my fear of being a newbie and my type A personality that wanted me to be REALLY good at this right from the get go even though I knew that teaching was an art and a craft and I needed time to get better. I spent 6 years at the school and taught in a few different settings. Each time I thought ok, this will be the year and then when I continued to have those yucky feelings in my gut, I brushed it off as, OK, this is new again, give yourself time to get acclimated and you’ll feel more prepared or more qualified to do this. Then I got a master’s degree to teach English as a Second language in order to serve my students better and explore a different area of teaching. I was also very interested in possibly traveling and teaching abroad. However, when I finished my program, those teaching positions were shrinking in my district even though the number of students who needed it was growing. So I couldn’t find a position doing that so I kept doing what I had been doing. During that time, I hosted lots of student teachers and had many college students observe my teaching and I thought that maybe I’d actually like to get into teacher education. So I then started working on my doctorate in Education with the hopes of eventually working at a college of Education training teachers. Towards the end of my program I decided it was best to just adjunct part time at some local colleges so that I could focus on my dissertation and I spent four years doing that. I worked at four different colleges and every single time after the initial excitement faded, I had that feeling in my gut again. This is not it. This is not what you’re supposed to teach. Honestly, it was starting to be a little maddening because no matter how much I sat still and quiet to try to ask myself, deep inside, what do I want to do, what am I being called to do because every time I got quiet, I heard the voice say “teach”. You can imagine how crazy this made me feel. I have three degrees in education and not a small amount of loan debt to show for it.

This all leads to part three of why I started this journey. As I mentioned, since my son was born, I have really felt called to be still and meditate for several purposes. 1) to be a more present, less stressed mom and 2) to figure out what the hell to do as far as a job was concerned. I never really wanted to be a stay at home mom. Not that there’s anything wrong with that but it was and is definitely not my calling. And I also knew that being stressed at work was not serving my in any way. I was wishing away weeks and months just trying to get to the next holiday or school break and in turn, I was wishing away time with my son.

Meditation has always played a part on and off in my life. I grew up with a dad who was very interested in things like the law of attraction and mindfulness. We listened to Deepak Chopra, Dr. Wayne Dyer, guided meditation music all the time. I also always had an entrepreneurial spirit but my logical brain followed a very scripted progression of my career. Part of me thought that ultimately I’d open my own school and that’s where I’d scratch this itch of being my own boss and building my own business.

Finally, this all came together in my brain. I was out one afternoon walking the dog and pushing the stroller. I was smiling on the outside because it really is one of my favorite things to do but I had just gotten home from a particularly stressful day at work and I remember going through my affirmations and guided mantras in my head as I walked. One I often say is, “where will you have my go? What will you have me do? What will you have me say and to whom?” which I learned from reading and listening to Gabrielle Bernstein. As always the answer was “teach”. So there I am smile on my face and literally in my head arguing with myself. I AM teaching and it feels awful! I dread going in, I’m missing out on time with my son, I’m desperately trying to find this allusive work-life balance, I’m clawing my way out of debt. What am I supposed to do? “Teach” I hear. And I swear as I was about get angry, it hit me like a ton of bricks. All of a sudden my experiences and passions just starting flooding my brain. I practically raced home to start to figure out how to create a blog and what’s out there and all of these things I knew nothing about. But I finally knew that teach meant to take all of this time I had spent honing my craft of leading people through learning and apply it to a new audience, moms. And I also knew that in immersing myself in this topic of how do moms work on their mindset and become more present I’d also be working on myself which was another goal of mine. So that one word answer, ‘teach’, was right all along.

So that is the long winded story of how I came to start a blog and podcast aimed at helping moms. My favorite way to state what the goal of my business is is by saying I’m helping a mom to see herself. We all have strengths that if we can witness them and focus on them we can invite more of them into our lives. I hope that you’ll continue to listen to this podcast as I explore different topics such as mom guilt and relationships and mindfulness. If you enjoy this content and you are interested in accessing more of it, I would love for you to head on over to findingyourmomtra.com, subscribe to the email list. I let you know via email when I have new content to explore up on the blog or a new podcast posted. I also send out sweet freebies like my e-book, “Borrow my Momtra” which has been shared exclusively with my email subscribers. You can also get to know me and my family a little better by following us on Instagram as well.

I’ve really enjoyed sharing my story with you and I hope that you will continue to allow me to show up for you and give you the support and encouragement you need to realize how awesome you are and that you are doing an amazing job, Mom. Thanks for tuning in!