Jody split this podcast into three different podcasts. It’s an important subject. I want to take a look at all three this week, not just MONDAY MOTHERHOOD MATTERS.

This first podcast talks about what we really really have been discussing for 316 days now. It’s coaching yourself first, right?

Take just a second. Imagine in your mind what motherhood looks like without having coached yourself first. Without having separated the circumstance from your thoughts about the circumstance. Without intentionally feeling and intentionally acting. Can you imagine that? That is a scary world, my friends! It’s a world of manipulation and temper tantrums – and I’m not just talking about the children’s. It’s “life just happening to you”, in Jody’s words. It’s getting results that you don’t want, and not knowing how to change those results. So frustrating. So disheartening. So damning, in the true sense on the word – for you, definitely, maybe for your spouse and for the children, and anyone else who is invested in your family.

Let’s not do that, my friends. There is another way – there is a better way.

This is the “tool” Jody shares, to get us into the space that we want to mother from – the space where we have coached ourselves first:


  1. Describe what’s going on with your child and how you feel about it.
  2. Take a look at what you wrote for step #1. Which statements are facts (or circumstances)? Circle them. Everything left over is your thinking, which is creating what you’re feeling.
  3. When you feel this way what do you do or not do?
  4. Is this going to help you show up in the best possible way for your child? If yes… you’re ready. If not move on to the next step.
  5. Pick one thought that you think is causing you the most pain (or summarize your thoughts into 1 sentence) and try to disprove it or find an alternative way to think about the situation. (See below for some possible new ways to think about it.)
  6. Make sure you “try on” this new thought and that it feels true to you. When your mind wants to go back to the old thoughts, redirect it to the new thought.

Jody, once she’s done this work herself, writes out that “new thought” and sticks it in her pocket.

That made me think of an experience I had, last year, that I shared before. But I want to share it again:

At the Nielsen family reunion, we took the children to Glacier National Park. The day after we returned, I was doing the laundry, and heard something jiggling in the boys’pockets. Can you guess what a 9 and a 10 year boy would have in their pocket, after traveling and hiking and biking and camping for a week?

Rocks. My boys love rocks. Candy wrappers. Loads of candy wrappers. Pokemon cards. Etc etc. These things are important to them!

Later, that same summer, in Primary, at church, one of the little boys was having a hard time keeping his hands (and his feet, and his elbows, and his knees) to himself. It got difficult enough for the other children that I called his mom and dad to see if there was anything we could do together to help this boy. The parents, wisely, asked the boy to help them come up with a solution. And the solution was this: Every Sunday this boy would carry a picture of Christ in his pocket. And when he was tempted to pinch a child or trip a child, or whatever, he would reach his little hand into his pocket and feel that picture of our Savior, and he would know how to better act. And this boy loved Jesus. And the pocket-idea worked. To this day, we have not had problems in Primary. That picture of Jesus was important to him!

What I carry in my pockets shows where I’ve have been, where I’m going, and what is important to me.

What Jody carries in her pocket shows where she has been and what she is working on, and thoughts that she chooses.

She gave us a list of thoughts she goes back to. Maybe they’d be helpful for you, for me:

  • Worry feels useful and necessary but it’s not.
  • My child is experiencing exactly what he or she is supposed to.
  • Nothing has gone wrong here.
  • I can do hard things (and so can my child).
  • All of this is part of his/her (or my) perfect journey.
  • I’m not supposed to talk him/her into feeling happy.
  • My only job is to love them and offer help, and hold them accountable.
  • I get to love him/her no matter what.
  • What I experienced is not supposed to be the same thing they experience.
  • Holding the space is sometimes all he/she needs.
  • My child is supposed to feel negative emotion. It will help him/her in the end.
  • We are in the process of figuring it out.

What can I keep in my pocket this week?

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