Moms of Tweens and Teens

Dealing With Stress, Burnout, and Being A Mom During COVID/Interview with Dr. Sheryl Ziegler

November 29, 2020 Season 1 Episode 1
Moms of Tweens and Teens
Dealing With Stress, Burnout, and Being A Mom During COVID/Interview with Dr. Sheryl Ziegler
Chapters
Moms of Tweens and Teens
Dealing With Stress, Burnout, and Being A Mom During COVID/Interview with Dr. Sheryl Ziegler
Nov 29, 2020 Season 1 Episode 1

I’m so excited Mamas to be launching the Moms of Tweens and Teens Podcast!

We are
kicking it off with a bang and I am interviewing Dr. Sheryl Ziegler, an expert on how to deal with stress and burnout and one of my favorite people who has so much wisdom to share with us - affectionately known as Dr. Z., she is an Author of Mommy Burnout™, TEDx Speaker, Podcast Host of The Dr. Sheryl Show, Media Contributor, Consultant, and Entrepreneur.  

If you’re feeling stressed and burned out dealing with remote learning, chaos, and uncertainty, you are for sure going to want to listen to this episode! 

In this episode you will learn:

  • The 6 hallmark Signs Of Mom Burnout (oh my gosh - yep, my hand is raised!)
  • What to do when you feel like your failing as a mom (been there!)
  • How to take care of yourself, especially when navigating remote learning and all that we are dealing with around COVID - what Dr. Z shares is soooooo helpful!
  • How to say “no” - Dr. Z shares with us a script we can use!
  • The choices we make that cause more stress and burnout for us as moms and what to do instead to restore peace and well-being.

Where to find Dr. Sheryl Ziegler:

Website: https://www.drsherylziegler.com/
Her Mother/Daughter Puberty Course: Start With The Talk
Her book: Mommy Burnout, How to Reclaim Your Life and Raise Healthier Children In The Process

*****
Mamas, if you enjoy the podcast, would you please consider sharing the love and leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts/iTunes? It really makes a difference and takes less than 60 seconds! 

Sign up for our Moms of Tweens and Teens newsletter HERE

 Find more encouragement, wisdom, and resources:

 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/momsoftweensandteens/

 Join our Community: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Momsoftweensandteens

 Find awesome resources on MOTTs University: https://www.mottsuniversity.com/

 Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/momsoftweensandteens/

 Sheryl also has an Inner Circle weekly Parenting Program with a community of like-minded moms, personal coaching, and tons of resources to equip and support you to love well, navigate the challenges and meet your tween and teen’s unique needs during these pivotal years. 

 Get on the waitlist to get all the details and to be the first to know when it opens!  https://momsoftweensandteens.lpages.co/waiting-list-for-membership/






Show Notes Transcript

I’m so excited Mamas to be launching the Moms of Tweens and Teens Podcast!

We are
kicking it off with a bang and I am interviewing Dr. Sheryl Ziegler, an expert on how to deal with stress and burnout and one of my favorite people who has so much wisdom to share with us - affectionately known as Dr. Z., she is an Author of Mommy Burnout™, TEDx Speaker, Podcast Host of The Dr. Sheryl Show, Media Contributor, Consultant, and Entrepreneur.  

If you’re feeling stressed and burned out dealing with remote learning, chaos, and uncertainty, you are for sure going to want to listen to this episode! 

In this episode you will learn:

  • The 6 hallmark Signs Of Mom Burnout (oh my gosh - yep, my hand is raised!)
  • What to do when you feel like your failing as a mom (been there!)
  • How to take care of yourself, especially when navigating remote learning and all that we are dealing with around COVID - what Dr. Z shares is soooooo helpful!
  • How to say “no” - Dr. Z shares with us a script we can use!
  • The choices we make that cause more stress and burnout for us as moms and what to do instead to restore peace and well-being.

Where to find Dr. Sheryl Ziegler:

Website: https://www.drsherylziegler.com/
Her Mother/Daughter Puberty Course: Start With The Talk
Her book: Mommy Burnout, How to Reclaim Your Life and Raise Healthier Children In The Process

*****
Mamas, if you enjoy the podcast, would you please consider sharing the love and leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts/iTunes? It really makes a difference and takes less than 60 seconds! 

Sign up for our Moms of Tweens and Teens newsletter HERE

 Find more encouragement, wisdom, and resources:

 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/momsoftweensandteens/

 Join our Community: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Momsoftweensandteens

 Find awesome resources on MOTTs University: https://www.mottsuniversity.com/

 Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/momsoftweensandteens/

 Sheryl also has an Inner Circle weekly Parenting Program with a community of like-minded moms, personal coaching, and tons of resources to equip and support you to love well, navigate the challenges and meet your tween and teen’s unique needs during these pivotal years. 

 Get on the waitlist to get all the details and to be the first to know when it opens!  https://momsoftweensandteens.lpages.co/waiting-list-for-membership/






Sheryl Ziegler:

Thanks so much for having me.

Sheryl Gould:

It's so great to have you. And you are the number one go to when it comes to talking about and dealing with stress, burnout and mental health. And I'm so happy to have you on here today, especially with what we have going on with COVID-19. And we're quarantined, we're overwhelmed. Moms are dealing with elearning. Everybody's home. There's messes everywhere. And then some moms are dealing with working from home and are stressed out. And today I want to talk about both your book with which I just want to say I am like a self care junkie, I have so many books about self care. And your book is one of the best that I have ever read. And honestly when I read "Mommy Burnout, I was thinking, "Oh, maybe this is for younger moms." And then I read it. And I'm like, "No, this is applicable to no matter what age your kid is." And you share so many great stories and research about all the common challenges that we navigate as moms. And I was saying "yes, yes. Oh my gosh, that's me. And that's what I go through." And what I really like, I just want to touch on this for our listeners is you raised my awareness and you shined the light on and you did a deeper dive into what really goes on with us. And I love the chapter. "I know my mom is just trying to help." I mean, you talked about that. I've never read that before, and how do we navigate that with our moms when we're parents. And you also talked about the pressures that we feel with social media, which I know so many moms are feeling, especially right now, and our kids performance and how that can actually create burnout and what we can do, and then marriage as well, and what happens with us. So thank you so much for your book. And I want to weave in your book and what you share also with the challenges that we're dealing with, with COVID 19. What led you to writing this book?

Sheryl Ziegler:

First, I wanna say thank you for the kind words I promise people listening. I didn't put her up to that. Truly the journey of writing this book, you know, for anybody who knows people's journeys, or have written books themselves, it is a very long process. So I have three children right now. And at the time, I had my first child and I write in the introduction, actually, I share with people that I went through infertility struggles. And so it took me a while to get pregnant with my first and then I had her so that was for me, just this really lovely, glorious, amazing time I had been waiting so long for and then I had a second. And throughout the process, I've run a private practice in Denver, and I had been hearing women say very similar things to me. So they would come in and they initial session would be you know, really for their child, but they just come in and I kept hearing the same things over and over. They were things like I am so exhausted all the time. They would say things like is this it? This is like the fairy tale. I got the husband, I got the kid and the house. Is this it? You know, they would cry. They would just say like a so many moms say I'm just not good at this. I'm not a good mom. I don't know what I'm doing. So I just noted it. And so I started working with a lot of moms at the time. And I didn't personally resonate with what they were saying until I had my second and then when I had my second child, I literally felt like I was underwater. drowning. And I was just like, come up for air. I remember, I don't know why I remember this. But I remember my son was maybe like 15 months old. And I was on the phone with one of my girlfriends. And I said, I can't even unload the dishwasher. Like, literally. And I just remember it was like, I was standing in the kitchen and the dishwashers and I was just trying to unload the dishwasher. And I couldn't it was like, he was over there taking things out of the dishwasher, crawling around the house, then my other daughters and my daughter was two and a half when I had one. So yeah, my daughter was two and a half when I had my son. So they were both pretty young. And so it just was like, Oh my gosh, and at the time, this was a long time ago, it was almost 10 years ago. I just felt like people need to know about this people. I cannot be the only one. I know I'm not because my clients are talking about it. But I don't see this anywhere else.

Sheryl Gould:

Well, and you share, you share six signs of mom burnout. And I certainly identified with all six, and I'm sure most moms will identify with them as well. And what are they?

Sheryl Ziegler:

So when we look at burnout, so I want to tell people that I agree the cover of the book and even saying mommy seems you know, like, if that was one thing I could change, it would be that the perception is I talked about people going with kids going to college. So it's not about young moms. First of all, it's about all moms. And I want people to know also that are listening that burnout. I mean, I mean it actually clinically, so not just as a term, like I'm so burned out, but really, and so that came from the 1970s. When they started looking at employee burnout, they were looking at ER, Doc's, nurses, I'm sure we're going through a burnout crisis right now, of course, in our medical system. And so what I did was essentially, like, basically, when my agent saw this book, she said, "This is great. We're going to publish this, but you need to define the problem. What is the problem?" So I was calling it kind of like, like the way Betty for Dan called it in the 1960s. The problem that has no name, so I had to then search for what am I talking about? She's like, "don't just describe it, name it, what is this?" And so the best thing I can come up with, which I think is really consistent is burnout. And so when you look at classic symptoms of burnout, you're looking at the physical, emotional, and sort of spiritual exhaustion from caregiving. So people say they're exhausted. That's the physical part. The emotional part is also I'm just, "I'm not good at this. I'm not doing a good job at this." And then yeah, is that lots of us feel that way, like, and especially right now, some days, we might feel like I did a pretty good job. And some days were like, that was a disaster. And then there's, it's interesting, one of the key things is a cynicism. So that like nothing's ever gonna change. And that is a hallmark symptom of burnout. So what happens in an obviously an employment setting, we get that we're like, oh, my boss sucks, or this place is never going to change I need to get out of here. When you're a parent, you can't just be like, I'm going to get out of here. So what happens is we create the story that it doesn't even matter what I do, it doesn't even matter what I say, these kids are just going to do whatever they want. And so there's this deflation, of not wanting to be invested anymore. So those are some of the Hallmark symptoms. There's also loss of motivation and passion, and prolonged exposure to stress. Those are the proper definitions. And I think right now is a perfect example, this prolonged exposure to this stress. I mean, even my daughter last night was just laying in bed in tears. And I said, You know, I mean, like, I know what's wrong. I'm like, "what's going on? What's wrong?" And she's like, "when is this gonna end? I can't do this anymore. I need to see my friends." And it's like, "I get it. I really get it. I get it for the kids and for all of us as well.

Sheryl Gould:

I, I love what you're saying. And, you know, especially thinking about how we're feeling now with a failing as a mom, and I'm hearing that my community, how moms just feel like they're failing. They're feeling unmotivated, they're feeling exhausted. Also, you talking about that - "When is this gonna end?" That cynicism. And that has really set in. What would you say to the mom right now that feels like she's failing.

Sheryl Ziegler:

So the very first thing I would say is you need to lower that bar. We have all set the bar so high for ourselves. And now we got a new title to add to the cape, which is home educator, whatever you want to call us. And so we have got to lower that bar. And by doing so, because I just did it myself for my seven year olds in first grade. And last week, I just, I just decided I'm not just lowering the bar. I am just totally shifting the bar. I'm moving it aside because what I was doing to myself in terms of trying to wrangle that's what it felt like every day wrangling a first grader to pay attention to these online things as he's rolling around the floor. And some days I just was like, "you know, did you do anything today? Did you learn anything today?" And I was like, Whoa, that's the thing. People always say, Oh, you must, you're so good at handling stress. I'm like, I'm just good at knowing when I'm hitting the tipping point. And then I rein myself in. So I would say to the mom right now who feels like she's doing a poor job, the best thing you can do is put everyone's mental and emotional health first, and put yourself first you have to come first. Today, this morning, I really practice that I came first. I said, Good morning to everybody. And then I was like, I've got a couple of things I have to do, because I knew, if I didn't, they would be on my mind. And then I'd probably be more irritable trying to sneak it in. And so we have to come first, we have to put our oxygen mask on, first refuel that tank, and then lower that bar. For like my case, for elementary age kids, the most important thing they can do is read. If my kid reads independently for 30 minutes a day home run, to me to check everything else is a bonus. Right? My middle schooler if they do most of their zoom calls, they're doing what they have to do, even if they have to spread it out. I mean, I always in the middle of the day, as soon as I'm off this call, we're all outside, we're just going outside, I don't care what's going on. That's more important. So to me prioritizing that my kids will remember this experience not as scary or overwhelming, but rather as this really unique time that and I'm not trying to fluff it up. Like it's also great. But what I'm trying to say is I don't put the academics first it is it's for us, it's going into week seven, this is so long. And I was way enthusiastic and zealous weeks one and two. And after that it's been like shifting every week. So just shift and lower the bar. That's what I would say to every mom.

Sheryl Gould:

I have moms calling it, you use wrangle, slogging, I feel like I'm slogging throughout the day. And that is how I can feel in the beginning is was like, "Oh, I don't have to do anything, I could just hang out and have fun and cook." And now it's like slogging, so lower the bar and shift your focus?

Sheryl Ziegler:

Absolutely.

Sheryl Gould:

And then in your book, you give a prescription you give, and there's you do a lot of research. And then you give this mom burnout prescription plan. And one of the things that really struck me in your prescription plan was where you talk about having boundaries? And I don't think as moms, we're very good at that. And so can you share? How do we do that? Where do we start, especially with what's going on now?

Sheryl Ziegler:

Yeah, I think, you know, it's so interesting setting boundaries for women in particular is such a challenge. And a perfect example of this, I wish they were listening was I had a family that I saw on telehealth last night, so I'm still doing all my sessions with my clients. And so there's a teenage daughter, and I was talking to her about setting some boundaries. And then all of a sudden, the mom, you know, came in and said, "I'm terrible at this, I am not a good model for this at all." And I have found that to be such a huge task to take on for so many people. And it's not just women, I think women more but even men have a hard time. So right now I can think of exactly where in the book I set up. I set boundaries for people, I talked to them about it. But what I would say around boundaries is that one of the first things that we have to we have to get really, really good at is first asking for help. And then accepting help. That's probably one of the biggest things that I see. Because it's hard to set a boundary. When you don't know what you need, you don't know where the limit is to what you need. And then when someone gives it to you, and then all of a sudden, you don't know you feel like guilty. I have so many women will say that, right? Like we're all in this but everybody's stressed out, how am I gonna ask you to do something, you have your own kids and your own stresses? I hear that all the time. And so I feel like the combination of there's so many things that I could say about this, but the combination of learning how to say no, learning that you are still a good parent, you're still a good neighbor or a good community member in your school. Right? How many women I know everybody listening can relate to this. Get stopped. You get stopped in car line, you stopped while you're walking in the hallway. And somebody's like, Hey, I was just wondering, do you want to co chair you know, the auction? Do you want to start a community garden like, all of these things and women are like standing there frozen, right? So we're, it's stressful. So fight flight or fear kicks in? And they're like, "Um, yeah, like, I guess I could do that. Maybe if I had some help." I feel like women who are proud themselves will say like, well, at least I said I would need some help. No. Um, and so I will tell you that one of the best tips that I got, I don't know if I wrote it in the book or not, but um, it was a was from Tiffany Dooku, who wrote drop the ball? And she talks about how she says no. And so that's part of setting boundaries is learning how to say no. And so she does one of these, like, "thank you so much for asking, I really appreciate that you thought of me, right now I'm directing all of my time, or you know, most of my time to blah, blah, blah, whatever, like I sit on to nonprofit boards. So I can't do that now. But once again, I really appreciate you thinking of me." It's just like, she basically says, No, she sandwiches it with how she's allocating her time, and thanks the person and closes that up. End of story. And I have been practicing that, like it took me to the whole a whole other level to just practicing it that way.

Sheryl Gould:

I love that. It's like you need a script. I mean, that's a great script. I also say if I'm thinking about saying yes, sometimes I say yes, if I feel my energy's high, and then I regret it later. Yep. But I say, you know what, let me think about that, that even having that having a response back is so helpful. Because you're right, we get caught in the moment the way Oh, sure. Or even somebody wants to make you feel so happy somebody wants you, but then totally stressed,

Sheryl Ziegler:

Totally stressed. And I will say that. The like, let me think about that. I have found that we women do that, again, more than men. And so it leaves that door cracked, you know, and given an assert, let's say an assertive person is asking you to do that we tend to cave. Yeah, yeah. You know, like, I like the I like that within three seconds. We know whether we want to do something or not. And I will tell you, for anybody listening, even though I've talked about this, I'm constantly practicing it. And I feel like so much more confident, the more and more I do it, the more natural it feels for me. And that way. Also, if I say yes to something, that I really want to do it, I think that the people that are receiving the yes, no, oh, she's really passionate about this really interested in this. So it also helps enhance the experiences that I do choose to get involved in

Sheryl Gould:

Being assertive. Well, and when you said that i thought you know what I usually if it's, you said, like three seconds, you know, if my guts telling me, huh, then I probably should say no and use that script that you're talking about.

Sheryl Ziegler:

Yeah, exactly.

Sheryl Gould:

I mean, you know if I want to do it or don't want to do it. But maybe in that moment, I'm not saying that I don't want to do it.

Sheryl Ziegler:

Right, because we talk we like women are are these processors. That's what I talk about a lot in the marriage chapter. Like we like to process and things and then we like to talk about it from five angles, like I could get off this call and then call you again and be like, so Sheryl, what do you think about this, right? And then I want to talk about it from all these angles. And we can talk ourselves in and out of things very easily. What I say to women, I just went through this last week with another woman who was she got asked to kind of do get more responsibility at work. And and I know she's in a great space in her life right now. I knew Oh, no, no, you're flattered. But don't take that job promotion right now. And so I just feel like we will often regret sure I'll do that like, but very, very, very little times do I ever hear? You know, I said no. And I kind of regret it that that's very unusual. And usually if you say no to something, especially if it's volunteering your time, they'll certainly take your Yes, down the road. But it's harder to reverse it to say yes, and then go Oh, you know what, actually, I really don't have time for that. That just leaves a sour feeling with people.

Sheryl Gould:

And it causes anxiety for us.

Sheryl Ziegler:

Yes.

Sheryl Gould:

Oh, no, now I gotta tell them I'm not going to do it. Oh, yeah, usually creates a lot of drama too. Um, well, and I like the guilt part that you're talking about. And maybe moms are really relating to that because I know I'm looking at this as an opportunity during this whole thing to strengthen my asking for help muscle and we have a new puppy too. So I'm really with work and everything going on. I really have to ask for a lot of help. But I always I noticing I have this little low grade guilt feeling. It's just there and I have to coach myself around that. No, everybody you know, I'm including my family. This is what I can do. I can help with the puppy. This is one I can't. Everybody has to step up. And it's working really well but I it's strengthening that muscle strengthening the no muscle. It's not listening to those guilt voices. It's being able to receive. Those are all really really good points.

Sheryl Ziegler:

They really are I mean we know we hear about it, we read about it mom guilt is so huge right now, and I still find it fascinating. I I'm open to other people's ideas. I'm trying to think of what the best word is that we could replace with help, because at the beginning of this pandemic lockdown, I essentially you know, of course, it's me who instantly is like, okay, I'll I will rearrange my schedule and figure things out so that I can be there for the kids, I really value education. I like this kind of stuff. And so it was like what I had to say was, okay, so these are the ways that you can help me, it's still the default, like, like, it's a help to me, it's not like, my husband wouldn't really say to me, I need you to help me out with the kids. Like, I would laugh. You know, it's like, it's like, still the default is all on me. And then I have to ask for help. Well, what I think about your puppy situation, I'm sure it's not literally your puppy. It's the family's puppy. Right?

Sheryl Gould:

Who is related to this? Oh, my gosh. But that's I think it's it's that belief, that core belief of like, it is my puppy. It is my responsibility to do this. It falls on mom, but we're creating that. It's like a co creation.

Sheryl Ziegler:

Yeah, I mean, this is this is a whole long talk. Right. But But systemically, that is the way families continue to operate, no matter how advanced we think we are. And it's 2020. And really, it's, it's there's still these gender roles that exist so much. And the reason why I'm even bringing this up, besides the fact that like, we're all trying to figure out how to, quote, ask for help, and receive the help. That's that's an issue. But the second thing that's really huge is just when we think about burnout in parenthood, let's say, I have had even last week I've had I always have men reaching out to me and saying, why not daddy burnout? Why did you just write a book about moms and women? And the truth is because my experience of them is different. And it doesn't mean that dads are not involved, and that they don't love their kids and all of that. But the stress that women feel in their role as mothers like, I don't think right now, if we were really serving, you know, every parent in the country that dads would weigh, they're concerned about academic failures, or like losing traction. I don't think that would be one of their top stressors. But I do think it is a top stressor for the majority of moms, they're worried, "Is my kid falling behind? Can I really teach the math? What's gonna happen next year?" And that's why we're feeling so much stress, because we feel we need to keep them up. And so the priorities in terms of stressors are just really different for men and women, is what I find and the research finds.

Sheryl Gould:

That's so interesting. And you talk about performance and our kids, you have a whole chapter on that, with how that can cause burnout for us. Can you touch on that? Because this is a time where we are feeling stressed around our kids getting their homework done, and what's going to happen next year, if we don't. And yet, what I find is, as moms, we can be caring that more than our kids. And we think it feels loving and it feels like caring, but then when we're caring more than they are we're carrying that weight. So what would you say to the mom right now, that's listening, that's feeling a lot of responsibility around their kids getting their work done?

Sheryl Ziegler:

Yeah, I actually, if this is the part you're talking about, I actually titled one of the chapters, "I Just Want What's Best For My Child." And it's this chapter that's all about all these choices, and how choices are actually making us feel more stressed. And so that that's the one thing like we I have found that people really are coming no matter what we're going to call this generation, which probably will be like kind of lawnmower snowplow parenting generation right now. But I know that these places come from love these, these positions come from love. However, they've really gone awry. And so what I would say right now is, if you're stressing out about your kid falling behind, and that's keeping you up at night and causing you anxiety, you have to remember, it's like you have to go back to the basics. What is my kid we are in a pandemic? What is my kid need right now? And am I providing it? Number one, they need physical safety. That's number one. We're in a pandemic, right? We're all trying to avoid spreading and getting COVID-19 So are you doing that job? You know, I mean, it's not foolproof and perfect, but are you basically sheltering in place and doing all of that so you can I'd say for majority of parents, they are doing that their kids aren't going to school their kids aren't playing with other people, they're staying home for the most part check. Number 2am I providing a loving, calm home environment, right because we have to manage their anxiety. I think a lot of parents are sometimes to the to the detriment of themselves, because we give this whole like I want what's best for my child because become the martyr syndrome, where we're like, oh my gosh, I'll give you my last, you know, my last waking breath. Like, I'll do everything for you. I'll work till three in the morning. But, you know, and I'm really not exaggerating in a lot of cases like, we feel this overwhelming sense of like, I will do everything like the amount of flashcards like the sales and flashcards, academic workbooks, all of those things is through the roof. Now, I even noticed that target. There's a section now in the book section. That's all workbooks. And that's because they're flying off the shelves, right? Because we want what's best for our children. But I would say if we, if we really evaluated right now what's best for our children, their academics would fall somewhere, maybe four or five, even six, you know, it's not a top priority. But yet mentally, that's what we're focused on.

Sheryl Gould:

And we're all in the same boat. Every kid. And it's going to be, there's going to be like you said in the beginning, good days and bad days. And it's also going to be such a mix of good stuff that's happening, but also challenges around all this and to normalize that.

Sheryl Ziegler:

Absolutely. I think it's much more important that in the day, you spend some time talking to your kid about how they're doing and if they're connecting with friends. Rather than, you know, maybe saying, did you do it? Did you do your math? Did you do that math packet. I agree. It's every kid's in the same boat. And even the ones that started off strong, they're losing steam, the ones who started off slower, maybe they're getting a little bit better. I think in the end, we're all human, it all about balances out there's different peaks, where again, for some people, there are days, or weeks, five, six or seven into this. And I find the trajectory I talked to people all over the country is the same week by week helping you know, some weeks people are angry, some weeks, people are depressed. Some weeks people are like, forget this, I can't do this anymore. In the beginning, lots of us had great intentions, you know, it's all gonna wash, it's all going to be even in the wash. I really believe that.

Sheryl Gould:

And it can change hour to hour.

Sheryl Ziegler:

Totally, totally, I mean, to me, it's like the halfway point of my day. I'm like, I've had a good morning so far. Like, I don't know what's gonna happen this afternoon. But

Sheryl Gould:

And it can be the same with our kids. So I want to get to questions. But I want to ask you, before we move to questions, what is one thing that you would say right now? I mean, that's so encouraging what you just shared. But do we have any other encouragement for moms right now?

Sheryl Ziegler:

Yeah, I think one other thing that I would add right now is that we are all in this grief cycle stage. And I really want people having that terminology. Because I think it's so helpful. So if you've got four or five people under one roof, and when we talk about the grief cycle, we're talking about at first denial, and denial still comes and goes. So we're talking about denial, then anger, then bargaining than depression, and acceptance. And then they've recently added finding meaning which I think comes next year 2021 2022, we'll find some meaning we'll make meaning of this. But I want people and moms in particular, to just remember that. I really believe we're grieving the lives and all the experiences. Every time I look at my calendar, I get that sinking feeling. You know, it was supposed to be regionals in gymnastics, oh, it was supposed to be the talent show the other day. Oh, you know, and there's that feeling of what we're missing. And so I think if people can, first and foremost, think of it as grief, it allows you to be a lot more empathetic with yourself and with other people. And number two, know that we can go in and out of grief cycles. And again, like you said, Our to our day to day and under one roof, people can be in different stages. So if you've got a senior in high school, they're they're all over the place with you know, they're your bargaining, oh, gosh, please, please, I promise I'll stay home if we can just have a problem this summer. Or if I can get to graduate across the stage. And so just knowing that even though you're we're all experiencing the same things, we might be in different stages, and like just slowing down to pause and think about what stages are my kids in? What stage Am I in today? What stage is my partner in today can be really helpful with like reducing tension and increasing empathy.

Sheryl Gould:

That is so helpful, because even yesterday, my husband, he's not a yeller at all. And he raised his voice I went in there and I'm, I said, "I can't take the puppy. I, I'm, I'm working on going to a call right now." And he was like, "I'm working too!" We were both in that anger and that frustration and big we're all packed. It wasn't just a puppy. It's like, we're all packed in together. I just can feel that and then my daughter when she's feeling sad, and it's, yeah, that is so helpful to look at it that way. Rather than "gosh, she's so grumpy. And I can't believe he just yelled at me", you know, right. Yeah, I mean, we can't get away. We're all we're all stuck together.

Sheryl Ziegler:

Absolutely and even though you're both like you couldn't you can on a light leve like on a surface level say, " h well you were stressed in th t moment and your husband w stressed in that moment and ju t move on. But really what y u were both grieving in th t moment was your freedom. Mm hm . The freedom to simply work. Li e I'm just cannot simply work. A d I think everybody can relate o this, that's listening. f you're a mom, remember, when y u brought your newborn hom , you're so excited. But th n there is that I can't even ta e a shower. I cannot even y u know, finish a meal or my bo y is not mine anymore. So there s anytime there's change a d transition, we just have o mourn what we're leaving behin . And we eventually accept what s coming, whether that's positi e or negative. And that's whe e we're at right now. We're jus , we really are just getting o like, we're not really in fu l acceptance, but for some peop e they're trying to accept, oka , this is my new normal, okay. A d then things happen. And you' e reminded of like, I can't ev n work. I cannot even type off n email without some ki s screaming somebody walking in o my office, whatever it might b . So it's not just stressi g irritability. It's also ju t grief.

Sheryl Gould:

Yeah. Thank you, Sheryl. That's, that's so helpful when you talk about that, for us to be more aware of that, and how that's showing up with our kids and with us. Well, let me move to questions right now. This is a mom that reached out when she knew I was interviewing you. And she wrote at one o'clock in the morning, because her daughter, who is almost 16, she's doing well, but her daughter's sleep is getting out of control. It is getting out of control when she's not on a decent sleep schedule. She disrupts all of them. She says she can't be the sleep police for a 16 year old because she's asleep by 10. And she refuses to battle with her during the day about naps, etc. What do you think she should do? Sleeps a huge one right now.

Sheryl Ziegler:

I think it's huge right now, just an overall sense of like monitoring teenagers is huge right now. So, I want to say a couple things. I will say that, for anybody listening, I have probably heard more stress around having a teenager in quarantine even more than having like toddlers. And so I think there's a couple things with these teens. Number one, and I know this goes into touches probably a little on another question. But number one, I think teenagers need to be told pretty much straight up what's going on. So because what I'm doing is building a case. So we are in a pandemic. pandemic means that in order to not continue to spread it, we have to stay home. I know this is really difficult. It's difficult on all of us. And so number one, this is the week that I'm finding teenagers are wanting to either leave the house or sneak out of the house because they cannot take not being with their friends or boyfriend girlfriends and all that anymore. So that's number one. Number two. Yeah, they feel like I mean, last night, I had to negotiate with a with a kid. Last last week alone, he was on a gaming one particular game 24 hours last week. Uh huh. And I bet that's pretty average. I don't know what the average is. But it sounds outrageous. But so they kind of feel like this whole, like, whoo, all the rules have gone out the window. We're just surviving. And so I'm going to just do whatever I want. I'm going to stay up as late as I want. I'm going to sleep in as late as I want. And so what I would say to parents of teenagers right now is I think it's really important to set Those are all the things so I would tackle it not just from a those limits and say, "Yes, we are in unusual times, let's revisit everything. Let's revisit your technology contracts if you've got them. And if you don't ever have one great, great time to just make a new one." I think it's a great time to say, "Here's why I can't have you up in the middle of the night. Here's why sleep is important to all of us. If we are exposed to this, we our immune system needs to be as strong as it can be. Sleep is important. Eating healthy is important." I'm your parent, let's set the rules, but also from a really logical place. This is we're in a pandemic. It's not just our jobs to sit at home and binge on Netflix all day and play video games. That's not part of it. Also, a part of it is to keep ourselves as healthy as we can be. Should we be exposed that we are in the healthiest position we are, you know, we can be in to fight it. So I would position it that way. I've said that to a couple of kids who stared at me through the camera and been like, Oh, I never thought of it that way. So that's my angle on it. Just teach them from a public health perspective. Why the rules are there. You're not just being cruel and You know, you don't understand? Nope, I do. I really do understand. But here's the limits. And here's why.

Sheryl Gould:

And and you started out when you were saying that validating, first validating that this is hard.

Sheryl Ziegler:

Yes.

Sheryl Gould:

And then they are apt to hear the why. And then to set those guidelines with them,

Sheryl Ziegler:

Absolutely, absolutely, stick, and you got to stick to your guns. I mean, I've had lots of examples of parents saying, what should I do? What should I do? They did sneak out what, you know, what am I going to do this is punishment already as it is, what could I possibly do? And so I said, You're right, I mean, you're probably not going to take away their technology, you could limit it, but you're not going to take it away fully. And also, you can, you can't say, Well, now you're missing out on a party, there's no parties, you know, whatever. But I think what I the way I would present it in case anyone's in the situation with kids pushing boundaries, is I would just say, let me explain to you what would happen if daddy or I in particular, were to get COVID-19, let me explain to you what that would look like. And either scenario, one where it's so bad that you'd have to go to a hospital and the impact that it would have on the family or scenario two, you might not be in the hospital, but you'd have maybe 10 to 14 days to feel it being so sick and then being quarantined in your room. So what would life be like, without maybe a parent who can't generate income or a parent who can literally not take care of the family? Teenagers will get that we sometimes don't give them enough credit, I they will get it but talk to them that way straight up, let me tell you how devastating it would be to our family. I'm not talking about necessarily death. But if I got COVID-19. And when had symptoms, this is what our lives would look like. Are you willing to take that risk? Because you cannot resist the temptation hang out with a friend for an hour? You know, and so that's the way I would put it to them.

Sheryl Gould:

I love that, Sheryl, thank you. Because I know moms are reaching out to me and saying my kids snuck out, what do I do? So it's very helpful. Thank you for talking about what to do about that. Here's another one, how much should we be telling the kids about how dangerous it is? She touched a little bit on this. I want them to be scared enough to follow all the protocols, but not scared enough that they lose sleep at night. So that kind of goes with you. What you're saying? So how much do you tell them?

Sheryl Ziegler:

Yeah, I'm pretty comfortable with this. Because I've had since the week of like March 4, I've been practicing with not just my own kids, but lots of other kids. And I've been doing a lot of segments on this. And I actually haven't wavered from where I started, which is, first and foremost, if a kid is asking you more questions, right? Like, even if today, they just say, Well, how many more people are infected? Or what's the death toll? The first thing I would say is, so what have you been reading? What do you know? What do you know about it? Always start with that, ask turn that question right back around on them. Because a lot of times, kids, you know, adults might ask big picture questions. But kids generally have some sort of agenda, like they actually want to know one particular thing. So I would first say, you know, it's a really good question. What have you been reading? What did you hear? Did you hear something? Because they're likely to say, Well, I was on a zoom call last night, and someone said that a million people have died in our country. Is that true? Well, let's talk about you know, so now, you know, so you don't have to go rambling about every aspect of everything. Like, they basically heard X, Y, and Z. And you're going to clarify that I would stick to the facts. I would stick to what they want to know do not overshare that is where most parents go awry. They overtalk they overshare. So answer their specific questions pretty factually, I think it's really important right now to find sources that are comfortable for you, that you can even share with your kid, whatever it is, you're comfortable with the New York Times, or the Washington Post, or CNN or MSNBC, whatever, wherever you're comfortable getting your information. Maybe it's just universities, Johns Hopkins were to follow Johns Hopkins and Stanford, or we're only going to listen to Dr. Fauci whatever it is. But I would do that, because not to, I would just say to them, we're going to get our sources from these public health experts. This is what they say. And if kids shouldn't be scared, because if you're doing what you're saying what they're telling us to do, your probability of getting infected is very, very low. So what I would say to them is, you know, if we do it's kind of simple, it's hard, but simple. If we do these five things that they're telling us to do, the probability of us getting this is extremely, no low to not to not even possible. If we start strain. Like I go to the grocery store, and I don't want to wear a mask or gloves anymore, I'll sanitize. You know, I mean, like those little concessions we make, I'll see and I'll be good. I'll stand on my hands. So I would I would give them real life examples. If daddy goes to work, and he starts allowing more employees to come in and they don't take these precautions, all of a sudden our probability goes up. Hmm. So I think at any age have kid from probably five and up can hear some version of this. And it actually is good because it gets them bought into why it's important to listen to this and not have to go through a second wave. And I've already started talking to my kids about where we're sticking to this. And we're doing this because I don't want to be a part of the problem with this second wave that they're predicting, could come at the end of this year, I want to do this once and hopefully not have to do it again. They they're pretty on board with that.

Sheryl Gould:

That's exactly we wanted it. That's another one you could say to your kid, if they're sneaking out. Like, let's just be done with this. And if we're sneaking out, we're not taking precautions, we're just making this gone on and on and on. Hmm. So that's a good motivation to thank you. I love that Cheryl. Tell them Cheryl, where to find you.

Sheryl Ziegler:

So you can find me just at my website, which is Dr. Sheryl Ziegler, https://www.drsherylziegler.com/ , And there you can find I have a podcast called Dr. Sheryl's pod couch. And I have a newsletter that only comes out like twice a month. And I will say people really love it because they're just called notes from the couch. And they're my session notes essentially made into, you know, a story that we can all relate to. So it's great, because I only pick, you know, they're usually kind of a mix of a bunch of people, but they're really what's happening in my therapy sessions week to week, so a lot of people relate to them. So you can sign up for that newsletter. And throughout this time, which a lot of people have, maybe hopefully completed some things they wanted to do, I've always wanted to take this class that I teach called start with a talk, which is a mother daughter, puberty class on the social, emotional and physical changes that happened in middle school, essentially are leading up to it. And I finally record it. So that's going to be an online class that I'm going to be offering. It should be on my website, probably by the end of the month. So by the end of May. So I'm really excited about that. So all the things I do can all be found on https://www.drsherylziegler.com/ .

Sheryl Gould:

Wonderful. Thank you for for sharing that. And I love your podcast. And I get your newsletters and you talked about the last one is all about the stages of grief, which was very helpful.

Sheryl Ziegler:

Todays is about regression.

Sheryl Gould:

Oh, I haven't checked my inbox. I'm gonna check it.

Sheryl Ziegler:

Yes, yes. And for people listening my today my podcast was released and Sheryl is my guest. And so she and I had a great conversation about social media, you know, managing that even during a pandemic. So for anybody who wants some really good ideas around what to do, you can check out my podcast today because Sheryl's my guest,

Sheryl Gould:

Yes, thank you for sharing that it was so fun. And I'll share that and I'll share all the information, also your book, I'll share the link for that as well. And thank you that you're going to be doing that for moms and daughters around puberty because that is so needed. And especially at that time and to be able to bond, we don't know how to talk to our daughter's going through that whole...

Sheryl Ziegler:

And your daughter's are not asking you the questions that are on their minds. So that's why this class is so special to me, I truly been doing it for seven years, almost seven years. And the girls questions are actually the sweetest part of it all. And I have kept and gathered every question that the girls have asked me. And so that's going to be like a little bonus Q&A. But the I love this class, I just can't go on and on about it. But I what the greatest thing is that now that it's something you could have at home, they're they're there by segments. So it'll it could be like hygiene. So you could just watch hygiene with your kid, it's maybe 20 minutes, and then you could be done. And then there's you know, female genitalia, menstruation, and then like bullying and friendship issues. So I try to take all those things that I've gathered from all this, all these years of doing this, and then they're just 20-30 minutes segments. So I feel like it's gonna be great. And it's called "Start With The Talk." Because I always tell people, it's just the beginning. You got to keep these conversations going and going, you know,

Sheryl Gould:

I know, and giving the tools to how we have them providing all that so we can, because if we didn't have our moms or parents talking about it, we don't know, even if we did, it's so uncomfortable. So that's great. So you'll have to provide me with that. So I can share it. I will thank you. Thank you so much for being on here and sharing all your wisdom. And I love all that you're doing to help help us navigate through parenting.

Sheryl Ziegler:

Absolutely. Well, thank you. I love being on and I hope everybody stays healthy and sane. And we all get through this. We will all get through this.

Sheryl Gould:

We will get through this together. So thank you Sheryl.

Sheryl Ziegler:

Thank you

Sheryl Gould:

Have a great rest of the day. Thanks you too. Bye. Goodbye, everybody. Thanks for joining us. Bye bye