Heather Chauvin from Mom Is In Control shared her profound journey through being so disconnected and out of touch with herself. When diagnosed with cancer, she revealed that it actually gave her permission to care for herself. Feeling out of control with her sons and her own life, Heather decided she needed to save herself, inch by inch. For starters, getting out of bed. Taking a shower. Little yet huge acts of self-care. Heather created the program “Teach Your Kid to Meditate” and works with moms through in-person events and one-on-one and group coaching. Host of the Mom Is In Control podcast, Heather believes that in order to raise happy, calm and confident children, we must become to person we most desire them to be.
Here are the biggest three takeaways from our conversation:
WAKE UP AND CONNECT WITH YOUR BODY.
Heather was neglecting her own needs and felt out of control emotionally with her own life and trying to manage the behaviors of her then four-year-old son. Out of touch with herself, she experienced burnout. People were asking her ‘are you expecting again?’ Heather was so out of touch that she didn’t realize her stomach was distended. After getting work done, she was diagnosed with cancer. She felt like she knew she was sick but knew she was running away from it. This experience changed how she viewed the world. We are always trying to prove ourselves, but in the wrong ways. It is culturally accepted and even encourage to boast about feeling depleted, exhausted, tired. Although her diagnosis was the wakeup call for her, Heather believes and teaches that you don’t have to get a diagnosis in order to slow down. You are worthy of living an abundant life and you don’t need permission from others to find that for yourself. Heather is all about creating that abundance and worthiness now, wherever you are at now.
LITERALLY TOSS YOUR EXCUSES AWAY.
“How do I want to feel today?” A question that Heather began asking herself. She credits Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map to helping her gain clarity and just start. She felt out of control and didn’t know how to feel alive. Sometimes we have a fear of not knowing how to live or how to truly feel joy. Heather began asking herself that question with every action she did. Even when eating food, she asked herself if this food was bringing her closer to true joy or further away. This a great question to get yourself cultivating a life that YOU truly desire, a life full of expanding energy because yes, YOU deserve it. One step at a time, just become curious and ask yourself this question around the things that are painful in your life. If you’re getting serious FOMO about doing all the things but you’re lacking that deep connection with your kids or with your partner, how can you peel back all those layers of fluff and truly connect with that person? Another example- if you feel like you are failing at something, you are probably thinking “I want to be a success at this.” From there, what can you do to be a success right now? You’re not going to write a whole book right now, but you can write one page now. Find your joy in THIS moment.
“I am enough in this moment, but I deserve more.”- Heather Chauvin
KIDS USE BEHAVIORS AS A FORM OF COMMUNICATION.
Parenting is challenging is hard, but it doesn’t have to kill you. As parents and healthcare clinicians working in pediatrics, we want the best for our children. Sometimes parents can become so estranged from tuning in and instinctively knowing what their kids really need. Since we want the best for our kids, we put their weaknesses under a microscope and want to fix those weaknesses. We overbook, overschedule, overwork our kids and still feel out of control if they have difficult behaviors. Even as healthcare professionals, we went to school for a specific skill set. For example, a speech-language pathologist or occupational therapist may feel frustrated with a young patient that is demonstrating ‘defiant behaviors’ because the clinician is only focusing on the goals that need to be completed in the session. When kids are demonstrating behaviors, it’s their form of communication of what they need, even if they can’t verbalize it. They are showing you through their actions what they need. In Heather’s experience working with a frustrated mother at her wit’s end about her angry and aggressive six year old, Heather found that the child was demonstrating these behaviors because he felt out of control and that was his way of communicating that.
Heather refers to different color zones that reflect different behaviors (i.e. red zone for tantrums) and worked with this mother for her to identify when her child was approaching different zones and creating space and energy to support her child in each zone. Ultimately, we all need love, connection, and safety- and less pressure for kids. More pressure can shut a kid (or anyone!) down. The question to ask is, “What is it that I need or my child needs versus what the world is telling me what I need or what my kid needs?” We’re in a society that screams “do more to be more.” Enabling that hustle mentality in our kids is not sustainable and gets kids further away from knowing their self-worth and that they are enough.