Motherhood can be a isolating experience, especially when you're trying to balance work, home life, and taking care of yourself. It can be hard to know where to turn for support.
Michelle DeKeyser is on a mission to change that. In our conversation on In the Rising Podcast, she shares the importance of building connection in motherhood. She highlights the importance of a Check-In and how it can help reduce isolation.
If you're looking for a way to connect with other moms and get the support you need, then this book is for you. With helpful tips and advice from Michelle DeKeyser, you'll be on your way to a more connected motherhood.
Interested in other podcast episodes similar to this:
Learn More about Connecting Mamas- by Michelle Dekeyser
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[00:00:00] Bettina M Brown, In the Rising Host: Hello and welcome to In The Rising Podcast. My name is Bettina Brown and I'm a physical therapist ,owner of Fit after breast cancer.com, and I'm a Christian life coach. And congratulations to you! You have made the courageous decision to rise up and create the life that you want to live. And each area of our lives, whether it's financial, emotional, our relationships and our health is a part of that journey.
And as a physical therapist, I primarily worked with those going through cancer for several years, and I heard the same statement over and over again. Not living the life that you want to live is exactly what regret feels, but you don't have to regret anything. You can create that change that you want today.
Make the changes you want, and live the life that you want to live. And it is my goal and hope that this podcast helps you in that direction. And my guest today is Michelle DeKeyser , and she has an amazing story. She is a mom who loves being a mom, enjoys all aspects of it, but does not want to forget that it is a huge role of her life, but there's still something else to being a person besides just being the role, and she wants to help others build that community.
And so I'm so excited for you to listen to our show today. So Michelle, thank you so much for being on in The Rising Podcast. I'm really excited to speak with you this evening.
[00:01:38] Michelle Deyser: I'm just so grateful to be here and join you today.
[00:01:41] Bettina M Brown, In the Rising Host: And you have a beautiful background connecting mamas. That is the, the entire premise check in and connecting mamas.
And you shared your own story that you felt like an awesome mom, awesome caregiver, but you struggled to. take care of the awesome mom. Yes. Can you go a little bit into that?
[00:02:05] Michelle Deyser: Well, I think it just, there comes a time like when you first start as a mom, you're in that survival mode and then you're just like, okay, I can breathe.
I just need to get through the days. And like you're enjoying it. But then all of a sudden though, they start to get a little bit independent and you start getting these pockets of time, here and there. I mean, not, not necessarily a lot, but there's pockets and then you're like, what do I do with this?
Where do I fill it? All of a sudden you're like, what do I wanna do? At least for me, like I was like, I don't know. I do it. And the next thing I know, I'm like an hour in on Candy Crush going, "why am I still playing this game?" I just wanted something more for those pockets of time and to feel fulfilled and not feel like I'm just a mom.
Because I love being a mom, but I wanted something for myself. I wanted take care of myself in something that I could strive for, and that's kind of what led me down this path. So it was actually September 1st, 2020 after the lockdown of Covid, but things are just still not really going. But that was a year when we weren't sure with school starting up and stuff.
At the time my father had cancer. And my brother-in-law had cancer, so we didn't know covid procedures and stuff, how it was gonna be. So we decided , we were gonna, keep the kids home. However, for us, for me being, I previously was a teacher and we, I had PR had almost, used this, our school did virtual summer school, and I used it kind of as a judge to see can I do this?
And for me it was like, Staying in the house and doing all that. I said, no, I can't. I can't do this. So I pulled them from school and we're gonna homeschool for the year. On the exact same day. I also decided to start a program called the 75 Hard. I don't know if you've heard of it before. But basically it's a tough regiment where you're like doing 2 -45 minute workouts a day.
One has to be outdoors. You're drinking your gallon of water, you're taking your picture, you're choosing a diet and sticking to it. Cuz if you don't do any one of these things, then you start back in day. So you gotta do this for 75 straight, including no alcohol and a couple things. But, so I decided that I wanted to try to break some of my bad habits, and so I thought this was the way to do it for me.
And so it was, all of a sudden my husband looks at me, goes, yeah, right. One of the bad things, they're gonna start again, right? I see how long this works. And, but they start tick off and he's like, Hmm. She might actually be doing. So I got through the 75 days and I felt better afterwards. And there's three phases go with it.
So I ended up doing the, the year long part of it while I was homeschooling. And in that process I thought that we would continue to homeschool. Mm-hmm. . And then when circumstances worked out, I didn't, I just felt like no one else but me really, and maybe my middle daughter want to do this. , I decided to send them back.
But all of a sudden like, okay, now what do I do? And I'd start down the self-development path with the heart 75. And so I was into these ideas of how can we as moms do something else? And that's kind of what led me to wanna work as a coach for moms to develop this framework of check-in and things that we can check in, not only with others, but mostly with ourselves.
And ask that question, what do I like doing again? And I think that's what it comes down to and what I want discover for myself.
[00:05:18] Bettina M Brown, In the Rising Host: You know, and that's something that a lot of moms kind of kind of do. There's a huge focus on kids and their success, and obviously we have a lot invested in them. We created them. We wanna create a good present.
We want them and help them create a positive future. But a lot of our habits are because of some sort of programming. Did you feel that you had a lot of. , did you feel like you had examples given where people are kind of selfless once they become moms? You know, in your family? Did you feel like you had that as an example?
[00:05:52] Michelle Deyser: Well, for me, my mom was much depressive, so for me, I like at a very young age kind of became the mom. And so I think I just, for me, always have that role. But I do see that everywhere I, like, where that mom takes the role. Like, okay, I'm, I'm no longer myself, I'm just in charge of these kids. However, the problem with that is you start to lose yourself.
And secondly, kids are there for only so long. I, I'm already like, my son's gonna be 12 this month, and I'm like, he's like six years away from probably leaving the nest. , It seems like it's not gonna happen, but that 12 years when the blink of an eye. Yeah. And so I see that, and so I feel like if we wait, if I wait until my youngest is outta the house to figure out what I want to do, then I wouldn't be setting an example for them and then I'd be completely lost when that time came.
[00:06:53] Bettina M Brown, In the Rising Host: And, and thanks for sharing that. You know, and being a mom is hard enough to transition from being in charge of you or you know, you and your partner or you alone and, and then suddenly, oh gosh, I'm responsible that, and then we, we learn so much about it that we are so into it that we don't realize we lost someone.
In that process? Yes. And, and you said you see and you chat with other moms with that. Do you feel that we have somehow an example in, in, in our culture or in our society where it's, well, you're a mom and you have to be the super mom, and that you lose your identity with that? I think we do. I
[00:07:35] Michelle Deyser: think just.
It just, when that happens, when you get that baby into your hand, like just everything changes for you. And so people handle it, handle it differently. But at the same time, I feel we want to give so much. I mean, you get this love and you, you want to give yourself the same, and then just from everywhere you see, it's like it's almost selfish to think of yourself now that you have someone else to care for.
Mm-hmm. . And then you put that, that pressure on yourself. Like, okay, well they always come first. However, what I never. Saw happening, like wine, go down the entrepreneur route. Cuz I honestly, I don't have any entrepreneurs to model from in my site. But the thing that I never saw was this modeling of going after what I wanted inspired my children.
Like my son now wants to either do his own podcast or his own YouTube station about cooking. Right. And he at times wants to help me with my videos and things that I would never have saw that connection. But I think the. We go towards our light and what lights us up. Then we kind of bring in those genuine connections with not only our kids, but then we find the people that we do connect with, legitimately.
And not just because we're trying so hard to be the people pleaser or something like that, or pleasing our kids or our families, but we're really having fun with them. Like I have fun making videos with 'em, which I would never. Two years ago making a YouTube video. I've been like, Nope, nope, not doing it.
[00:08:55] Bettina M Brown, In the Rising Host: And, and I love the, the image of myself in my, podcast where I'm smiling. My son took that picture, Exactly. Standing pictures and. He's like, I hope no one sees me . But he is like, turn, turn your head like this. And you know, but I, I think it's nice that they, they do see the work you put into it and you getting excited and you're, you're right.
It, it is a legacy that is not forgotten. And, going after the things and staying true to what's important to you. And so when, when you did all this, there is still, you know, there's the motivation to do something. But it's a whole different game of discipline to continue it through. Do you feel like you have just owned discipline or do you feel like that was part of, your, your goal to obtain while you were working on, on that process?
[00:09:48] Michelle Deyser: I would say yes And no to both. Only because like that was such a deep regiment, like that year long, like what I wanted at the time it took to like do all those habits and now, and that was before I decided that I wanted to be an entrepreneur at the same, I mean, I was kind of putting that in there, but now it.
now it's kinda like I am working full-time as well as mom and stuff, so, but it's still. , picking those pockets and knowing what to do with those pockets. So I still get up in the morning and I don't necessarily do the 45 minute exercise anymore, but I will spend 40 minutes, you know, between the meditation and different things that work for me now.
So I kind of create that routine so it's not as regiment as it was before. I would say my eating habits are better. They're not as good as they were. Like, I mean, I create habits, like I'll have a smoothie in the morning. I won't have as much snacks and things as I used to. as, for instance, I mean, in the program I lost 50 pounds and, um, I gained since, so it's been over a year since I finished the program.
So I've probably like petered out. I I gained probably about 10 back, but it's kinda like a stabilization, like, so I think I got to like where it's more of a stabilization and, and it's, choosing, making better choices. And again, it's those small choices that we make each day doesn't have to be that much, but when we're making those constant choices, we want to grow and make more in that direction.
[00:11:07] Bettina M Brown, In the Rising Host: You're right. And when you make a couple of good decisions, it's easy to continue on that route of really good decisions and powerful decisions. So you're doing all this and you decided, okay, I'm gonna be an entre. , but you are also in connecting mamas, so obviously this really means something to you.
Like we pick the things that mean a lot because how else would you want to learn how to make a YouTube video and what that all entails and what would you, and put yourself out there . So you know, oh, don't start with SEO.
It takes a lot of courage to walk into a path, of that while doing all the other things.
What was it about? Mom and connecting moms that you just felt drawn to, to focus on?
[00:11:54] Michelle Deyser: I think it's funny cuz I was talking to someone else about another podcast and she was saying that moms from her, she's still single. And she was saying that moms um, she's like, I get it, the moms are busy, but then they just cut themselves off.
And I think that is true. I think a lot of moms have done that and they did it for those first three, four years, for so long that it's now become a habit. Mm-hmm. . So they might not be in that baby mode anymore where they are sleep deprived or anything, but they don't even know how to make, to reach out or make those connections anymore.
Cause there's too anxiety, it's too anxious. And, and I know I felt that way a little bit too. It's like you want those connections, but you have absolutely know how I do how to. and so I wanted to kinda make those baby steps, like that bridge between that because when we've been in disconnect and we've been out of the practice, it really is practice and it's baby steps, and it's having that supportive community to practice in to give you the confidence to go out and say hi to a stranger.
It's not an easy thing to do, but we live almost like we're in our low boxes. We live in our low cars, and so we. Make those genuine connections easy. It's, it takes practice. And so for me, I want to create that environment to give them the support and practice and friends within that as well.
[00:13:13] Bettina M Brown, In the Rising Host: Absolutely. And it's so important to stay connected because especially women, especially moms, just evolutionarily, we were connecting with other women that was very important. And it was not just to, Look at what's in your cave or what's in your hut, or your gra you know, in, in, in, in every culture, women just had a bond because it's, it's, it's unique.
You have the opportunities, you have some of the same difficulties, uh, regardless of if you're in a developed world or industrial, womens tend to have some connections and when we lose that, we lose a big part of our foundation. So you now created connecting Mamas share what, what is about that program and how people can learn about.
[00:13:57] Michelle Deyser: So, I'm in the beta process of the program right now, but it's a six week, kind of like, I want almost like a bootcamp course where we go through the check-in process and each of the letters has. So c the first piece for curiosity where we explore being curious again cuz we forgot all about that.
And then H is about being honest to ourselves. and E is learning about expectations and we can't necessarily rid 'em, but how to work with them. And then C is that actual connection where in the zoom room and in the group, I want to actually pair people up into what I call their circle of graces, where they would get their group that when the six week course is over, they can take that group with them if they so choose to.
It's a choice for them. And then key. Key, Hey, would be keep listening. Um, learning how to listen to not only each other, which we've been practicing all along, but also listening to the pain and the joy within ourselves and how to follow our feelings and listening to ourselves. And then the I and n almost go together with intentionally now so that we work towards, once they get the group, how do we schedule that?
Because the problem with, being moms is we can schedule everyone else's day, but our. . And so we need to say, I'm going to put this in my calendar. I'm gonna make a commitment to myself and we need to practice that process. And so that's what they'd be getting in this six week course in connection with each other.
And so, they can come to connecting mamas.com where everything's listed, um, and. contact me through the website, is the easiest way to get all the information. And I know sometimes you wanna just go browse and look, cause it's hard to like jump in. You're like, oh, I think I wanna go out tonight. But you know, it'd just be easier to stay home.
Mm-hmm. , but then we don't get the connections. Yes. And once we start just taking that baby step out, that's when we really start to, to feel at home again. Because you're right, we weren't designed to be alone. We weren't designed to do motherhood. we're designed to do it together, support each other, listen to each other, validate each other, and rise each other up.
And that's what it's all about. And we, we can't do that alone. And like I'm offering the free mini course, which they can do by themselves. But really the key is to do it together. Mm-hmm. . And to get that support. Cuz you can say, I'm gonna go read this book and you'll get the knowledge. But knowledge means nothing if you don't put it into action.
Mm-hmm. . And so you need the other accountability. You need the other just to listen. technology, because a lot of times it's that thought process in our head that keeps going over and over. And once you tell another human being who listens to you, those thoughts stop. They're like, oh, it wasn't so bad.
I was reading, one book and they, it was actually Kaiser Permanente, which I used to live in California, but they had done a study in San Diego. and they had people who had taken the A A C E, talking about what trauma level you're at. Yeah. And anyone that had, taken it and registered on the trauma level, they just put a note in their file for the doctors to ask them, to just ask 'em if they wanted to talk about it.
Not everyone did, but the people who did had never shared with anyone, had never shared it before, and it was just lifted this burden off of them because someone. And so it's just acknowledging and being there for each other and witnessing each other's lives.
[00:17:18] Bettina M Brown, In the Rising Host: I think it's a, it's a huge thing to just have a conversation and realize that a lot of what you feel is not necessary alone. It was maybe your own experience. However, to just know you're not alone brings a huge sense of community and comfort. And, and I guess, and that vulnerability is, that connection is that openness.
And that, and so you also have YouTube obviously videos out. You're on Instagram. How can women connect with you and learn more about you? Right now the best,
[00:17:54] Michelle Deyser: The Way is through getting me YouTube videos and then coming to Connecting Mamas. There's chat options and stuff to come on. My email is Mama Connector gmail.
I just would love to chat and get to know everyone and um, send me an Instagram message. , I'm pretty open, right? and just really wanna, I just wanna be there for moms and really just, I love connecting people together. And so I wanna be that connector and that bridge for moms who struggle because it's not easy.
It's not, we've been so disconnected for too long. It's not like, oh, automatic. And that's the other thing you'd mentioned vulnerability. And that's another thing is we, it's another buzzword right now and, and it's, yes, we do need to be vulnerable, but we need to know who to be vulnerable. . Like, listen, like, oh, I have to tell my whole life story to everyone.
No, no, you don't. It's, it's like a little dance before you determine Yes, there were sharing too. Cause that's how we lose connection even more, is that we're not willing to share because someone just says something wrong. Well, you gotta work up to it. You don't start with vulnerability, you get there. You work together.
And that's part of what this group is, is to get that practice and support, to be able to identify who do I want to share that piece of information with? I need to share it with someone. , so I need to pick who I share
[00:19:09] Bettina M Brown, In the Rising Host: that with. Yes. And being picky and being wise and , you're just, discernment is still important.
What do you still see yourself rising up to? What is on your horizon, Michelle?
[00:19:23] Michelle Deyser: Um, right now I really just wanna get connecting mamas up and running and I've got the beta course running and I'm just, I'm really looking forward to getting a full class in there and starting this. And eventually my vision is to.
Let this is just the start and then lead into a membership or like retreats. My big goal is to get these moms in person together. Yeah. And, I think the more we do, in these elements to connect each other in safe environments such as the Zoom room, the retreats. That give you the space to open up and be more open to other people, and then they see your light and connect with you and you, you, once you start getting the right people on your surface in your spear, then that's when you start to light up and you feel that connection and you.
and that's what it's all about. I mean, honestly, ultimate goal in our journey is to enjoy each of our days in connecting with each other. I mean, and to, I mean, how much better do you feel when you've actually had some random conversation with someone you didn't expect? Mm-hmm. . Like just, just that small conversation or that smile you pass with someone like that can light you up for like the good hour, right.
Or that knowing smile from another parent Was your kid's like screaming right there, but it's not that mean look. Or they're just like, I'm with you. I'm here with you. Yeah. And that's the kind of connection we're talking. And just bringing that more so we can spread it.
[00:20:40] Bettina M Brown, In the Rising Host: I love what you shared, and thank you so very much for, for sharing that and also honoring yourself and having the courage to go out there and acknowledge and it's not easy.
Yeah, no, and it's,
[00:20:52] Michelle Deyser: for me, it's also baby steps. Like each video, each podcast I'm doing, like getting my message out, talking to women, you know, it's, it's a process that we all need to go through, so it's not that I am, you know, the best person at it, it's just I've. doing it for a little bit longer. So you always just want to model after someone who's, who's done it for a while and it's, we're, we're not perfect.
No one's perfect, but action leads to more actions. So you want to get with the proximity of the people who are taking those actions to help you make those actions, because when you are with people who are moving forward, you're gonna move forward with them.
[00:21:27] Bettina M Brown, In the Rising Host: Did any of today's conversation sound familiar to.
And it sure did sound familiar to me. I wanted to be the ultimate mom, the one that can do absolutely everything. And my son would always say, call it the hot pants, cuz I would always iron his pants before daycare. Daycare like, like really young daycare and have all of that. And I wanted that. Everything was perfect and I was running myself ragged, and I also didn't have a community.
I didn't get to hang out with my friends and I needed that support group and really a group of my friends. Now were just really connecting and realizing that we need each other tremendously. And so I encourage you to look in the show notes and find some additional information. But if you felt that this podcast was.
and it is my ass that you send it to someone, putting it in the hands of the ears of those that it can make a difference for. As always, we only have so much time and so I'm so grateful for your time today. Thank you for listening. Thank you for sharing your time, and I invite you to leave a five star review if you feel that this was a helpful and beneficial podcast.
And until next time, let's keep building one another up.