Episode #81: Dying to Be a Good Mother with Heather Chauvin
The Fast-Track Woman Podcast: Episode #81
Dying to Be a Good Mother with Heather Chauvin
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Meet Podcast Guest, Heather Chauvin
Heather Chauvin is a leadership coach and strategic parenting expert who helps ambitious women become leaders at work and home.
Drawing from her professional experience as a social worker and her life experience raising three boys, Heather created a signature approach to focus her clients on sustainability, profitability and ease in business and life.
She is the host of the Mom Is In Control Podcast where she reveals her most vulnerable truths about womanhood, marriage, parenting, living through stage 4 cancer and running a successful business—without burning out.
Heather has been featured as a TEDx speaker and on The OWN Network, CTV, and The Jenny McCarthy Show. She has also appeared in Entrepreneur and Real Simple.
When Heather isn’t being a classic Canadian by driving her boys to hockey practice, you’ll find her curled up on the couch with her husband surfing the internet, researching their next family adventure.
About this Podcast Episode.
In this episode, Terra Bohlmann interviews Heather Chauvin, a leadership coach and strategic parenting expert who helps ambitious women become leaders at work and home. Heather shares her tips and strategies to put yourself first. Your life depends on it. You do not need to be diagnosed with cancer, like Heather Chauvin did, to realize motherhood doesn't need to suck the life out of you. Heather shares how to feel more alive and less exhausted on the journey to build your business.
Resources, Tools, and Links Mentioned in this Episode.
- Apply for your complimentary Fast-Track Session with Terra HERE.
Read and Download the Transcript for this Episode.
When you give smart women a five-year plan, simple business strategies and a positive mindset. It's amazing how fast your business can grow. Welcome to the fast track woman podcast with your host and business strategist, Terra Bohlmann. She helps women business owners stop winging it and board the fast track to success. When she's not making high flying dreams, the reality you can find her traveling to random destinations, desperately tracking down Chanel, broaches, or sipping overpriced coffee drinks. Her purpose in life is to help you build a profitable first-class business, smooth out the bumpy ride, and finally have more time, energy and freedom. So buckle your seatbelt because this episode of the fast track woman takes off right now.
Terra Bohlmann (00:55):
Welcome back to the fast track woman podcast. I am your host, Terra Bohlmann. And today I have a special treat for you because she's not only a good friend of mine. We've been in a mastermind together, and she's just a total rock star, but she's also just released like an awesome book that you will not be able to put down. So let me introduce to you Heather Chauvin. So Heather, so let me get, read her formal bio because I want to, I want you to understand like what a rock star this woman is. So Heather is a leadership coach and strategic parenting expert who helps ambitious women become leaders at work and home drawing from her professional experience as a social worker and her life experience. Raising three boys, Heather created a signature approach to focus her clients on sustainability, profitability and ease in both business and life.
Terra Bohlmann (01:50):
She's the host of a podcast called mom is in control where she reveals her most vulnerable truth about womanhood, marriage, parenting, and living through stage four cancer while running a successful business. All without burning out. Heather has been featured as a TEDx speaker and on the own network CTV and the Jenny McCarthy show. She has also appeared in the entrepreneur and real simple. When Heather isn't being a classic Canadian by driving her boys to hockey practice, you'll find her curled up on the couch with her husband, surfing the internet, re researching their next family adventure. So please join me in welcoming Heather Chauvin. Hi Heather, thank you for doing this today.
Heather Chauvin (02:33):
I'm so I love these conversations and it's always extra special when you have a relationship with the person already. So thank you. I totally
Terra Bohlmann (02:41):
Agree. It just makes it feel like, you know, I want everyone listening to be like, they're just listening to their other two friends, totally dishing about parenthood being a mom and all the good stuff. So tell us, tell us about your book. That's out.
Heather Chauvin (02:57):
What's the name of it dying to be a good mother. And the book came out in March and this was a very interesting evolution and process and kind of encompasses the message inside of the book. But it's based off of the TEDx that I did, which was called dying to be a good mother. And I always knew there was a book inside of me, but I wasn't that like really excited. Person's like, I want to write a book. I want to write a book. It was almost like a nuisance to me. Like I was angry at this book that was coming to me and then I needed to find a way to write a book in alignment with how I wanted to feel, because I'm, I'm all about feeling good, whether it's in parenting, whether it's in your business your relationships and like, who do you want to be in?
Heather Chauvin (03:51):
How do you want to show up in your life? So dying to be a good mother is, is part memoir. It's a good, they call it a teachable memoir. I did not want a woman to read the book and feel like she had homework to do, but I wanted her to know that there was another way to be in the world. And I wanted her to feel like, you know, she's real like watching or listening, listening, reading if you're listening to the book. But reading a really good story and then kind of like putting it away and just, you know, stepping into her day, going like, ah, I'm seeing this differently. I'm looking at this differently. So it's my story. And lots of stories in there. I really pulled back the curtains and had to have some really uncomfortable conversations with my family as well.
Terra Bohlmann (04:36):
Oh, I bet. And I think a lot of people struggle with that when they want to write the book. Right. It's like having to have those hard conversations because you know, you know, you want to, you need to share that with other, in your case, other, other moms, right. That need to know this and that they're not alone. And so how was that conversation? How did it, was it easy afterwards? Like, do you feel really supported or honestly, are you, do you still get a little nervous at the thought of the book being out there and people reading it who, you know, they, it's not that you necessarily call them out, but that they're going to feel like, oh, she's writing that about me.
Heather Chauvin (05:14):
Yeah. And like, yeah. And, but you know, it's always I think it, you know, it, it just goes back to our own fears, right? We have a lot of fear as women and, and humans in general, but I think there's a lot that holds us back from becoming our best self and the whole concept of dying to be good. Was, you know, cancer for me, which was seven years ago was a huge slap in the face. Previous to that, I was already on this personal development journey and, you know, I became a mother when I was 18. And I looked at my son and said, I, not this, like, I don't this life for you. I don't want you to, I don't want you to remember me as you know, this mom who had you at 18 and we struggled through life.
Heather Chauvin (06:06):
So I hustled and I hustled to just overcome. But what I didn't realize was I was running away from fear, like from all the things that I didn't want my son to become, or that I didn't want to become. And I did it from approving energy. And so I was started to invest in personal development. I had the mentors, I had it all, but I wasn't embodying it. And I didn't see a lot of female role models in the business space that could do both very successfully. They were either very masculine and saying, yeah, I have a nanny who's taking care of my children and then crying themselves to sleep because they felt guilty about it or the other way where it was like, I'm, you know, I'm immersed in my children's world. And I, you know, you can't, I can't go after my dreams.
Heather Chauvin (06:58):
I can't do this. And I mean, there is no blueprint here. There is no template. And I just tell people who do you want to be in the world? And different seasons will carry you different places. But for me, there was something inside of me that wanted to be burst to make a bigger impact in the world. And I wanted to be a really good mom. And what I mean by really good does not mean dying, right? Like killing off parts of myself and this whole concept of self-sabotage that I can't take care of myself and build a business, but I'll tell you right now, the most uncomfortable thing is to be open, to receiving support because you can't do both quote unquote successfully. If you are bottle-necking yourself and your business, like you need a team, like an amazing team, you have to have really high standards.
Heather Chauvin (07:49):
You know, you have to respect yourself a lot. You have to respect this, you know, who do you want to be? And that needs to be solid. And then in parenting, it's the exact same way. It's like, I expect you to show up, but I'm also going to be here to hold you when you are having a really, really tough time. And that is, you know, when people are like leadership, what does this have to do with leadership? Like parenting is one of the most under rated leadership roles in our culture. And yet every single time we're looking at someone and we're going, I wonder what their childhood was like, like if you are not showing up as an adult, like your children are directly affected by that. And that's a really big pill to swallow.
Terra Bohlmann (08:39):
Absolutely. I mean, I think in terms of when, you know, I was that mom, I was the COO, but I was in the corporate world, climbing the ladder, working really hard. And I had the, you know, the opere and the, you know just doing it right. I had that very, I came into entrepreneurship with more of a masculine energy because that's what I did in the consulting world. Right. But the, because of the guilt. So I love that we're talking about this, cause this was exactly me too. The guilt of you know, not being there for my kids. And I had this pivotal moment that it was at that time. It wasn't like my very best friend and she was the other side, so she didn't work outside of the house, but she was very involved in her kids, like helicopter parent type of thing, and just very, very involved.
Terra Bohlmann (09:30):
And you know, here I am on the other side is kind of amazing that we were friends because we were very, very different, but we're not friends anymore. And I think you'll understand why when I tell you this, but like her big thing. So I went and, you know, I was like, you know, project management, you know, consulting this and that. And once I got locked in on something, it was like, you know, do not, you know, people call me the bulldog. Like, do you know, I'm going to figure it out. And at that time we only had grant our older son and I knew I wanted to have more kids. And I couldn't, you know, I was going to a specialist doing the whatever. And so then I had in vitro and then they put two embryos in and I had twin boys.
Terra Bohlmann (10:11):
Yes. And it, and it worked successfully for me the first time my heart goes out. I know so many women suffer with and fertility and stuff like that. So, you know, I was very grateful that it worked the first time had the twins. I was still working full time and I didn't really think through the whole like maternity leave and then what was going to happen and who was going to watch the twins afterwards, which is why I S we had moved in the opere opere Reyna. And I remember my friend at the time going, why did you go through so much effort to get pregnant if you're not even going to raise your own kids? And it was like,
Heather Chauvin (10:45):
I wouldn't be talking to her either. No.
Terra Bohlmann (10:47):
Yeah. And it was very much a stab in the heart, but it was also very like enlightening of like, you know, yeah. I've got, my priorities were getting out of whack and, you know, granted we're not friends for many other reasons anymore, but like it was, it wasn't, it was a knife in the heart, but I was, I'm also grateful for that because I was able to see something from a different perspective. So then when I started my own business, it was like a lot or large part of that was I wanted the freedom. I wanted this, but I never completely moved to the other side, which was to be like a hundred percent helicopter parent. Like that is just not who I was, but my husband and I made an agreement ahead of time of when we raise our kids, we want to instill leadership in them.
Terra Bohlmann (11:31):
So I love that you had said from a leadership perspective, because that was something, you know, growing up, I wasn't, you know, it's not like, you know, I was always like vice president of the class or like, you know, I would never wanted to be the top leader, even in the corporate world. I wanted to be vice president or CIO never wanted to be CEO. And it was just, and I don't know why, but, well, now I know I've done enough personal development work like you. So it's like, but it's one of those things that I just wanted to make sure that my kids understood, like leadership is a good thing. No matter how you are a leader. And we wanted to instill that confidence. Well, I think I've went completely. Like my son is the most confident boy in the entire world where now you're just kind of like, oh, did I overdo it on that side? Right. but I'd rather have him be overly competent than not confident enough. So yeah, it's just, it's I think every woman who's listening if you are a mom or thinking about being a mom, it's going to resonate with this conversation because we all fit in on that spectrum. Right. And we're all second guessing what we're doing. So
Heather Chauvin (12:37):
Go ahead. I was going to say, I want to jump in and around like this whole conversation, because I remember when I, so my background is in social work. And if anyone has seen this video, like, what is on your hand? I have like, what do they call it? It's like, anyways, it's like trigger finger or something. But like from writing the book, my finger won't move. Now my hand is frozen. It's ridiculous. And probably from scrolling and being, this is online business problems. Anyways, when I, so I come from the social work world where it's like, give, give, give, give, give frontlines, like you're working with the most vulnerable populations. And I talk about this in my book a lot regarding like seeing and understanding your children's behavior, but also understanding our own and how to in general, put your own oxygen mask on first.
Heather Chauvin (13:27):
Like, what do you really need? But I remember a moment kind of like what you're talking about, where I had this desire. Cause I'm always asking women, like, what is your desire like in your work or your relationships or yourself? Like, who are you beyond motherhood? Who are you beyond business owner? Who are you beyond all of these roles? And nine out of 10 times, she can not answer that question. Wow. And we're, we're shooting on ourselves and we're actually leading from, I should do this. Or, you know, who am I, if I don't do that, or a fear of judgment. And I remember I had this moment where I got the job that everybody wanted in, in the social work world. And I was set. Right. Of course I knew I would be maxed at a salary. And then I just have to sink myself into more debt to get educated.
Heather Chauvin (14:20):
So I can go to the next level and climb that ladder. But there was a huge part of me that was looking around going, why does everybody want this? Like, this feels awful. Why, why does, and then, but I had to listen to that voice that was like, not this, not this, not this. And I started like leaning into that breadcrumb. I didn't understand that I wanted to make more money. Like I did, you know, I'm like, why is everyone okay, making $50,000 a year and barely being able to pay their bills? Like, that's okay. Like I could have still done that, but learn how to passively, you know, invest in something else. Like there's so many different ways, but I, so I started listening and I remember I had multiple friends, multiple friends who just left me like ghosted, me and I had to choose, am I choosing myself?
Heather Chauvin (15:13):
Or am I choosing this relationship? And for whatever reason, I kept choosing myself choosing myself because I had the foresight of, of seeing the train wreck that was going to happen five years, 10 years down the road. And I remember the first time I invested in an online coaching program and I looked at my husband, we had no money. Everything was maxed out. And I said, this is cheaper than a divorce. Like I can feel it coming. I'm like, it literally has nothing to do with you. I need, I I'm lost. I'm sinking. And I don't know what it was, but there was many, I talk about this many moments in the book, in the story, especially when I was going through treatment where the fear is there, the guilt is there. The overwhelm is there. And it's like, you have to pull back these layers and get really, really quiet and say, who do I want to be?
Heather Chauvin (16:07):
And the second I called it, the brave zone, the second you are stepping outside of the comfort zone into this territory where you're just naked and afraid. And people are now going to judge you and say, who do you think you are? And women were put on this pedestal of like, you know, you can't be that you can't be this. And I just, every day I just come back and I was like, you're here to change the culture of motherhood. You're here to change this dynamic and anyone who wants to you know, tell me why I can't do something. That's based on my own value system. You know, they can, they're, it's just a mere reflection of their own insecurities. Absolutely. So you can be the stay-at-home mom, you can be the CEO. You can be whatever you want in the middle, but if you are the stay at home mom, because you think that's what you should be and your soul is screaming at you saying not this, listen to that. And vice versa. Yup.
Terra Bohlmann (17:06):
Oh, so good. So good. I mean, you're going to be judged no matter where you are in the spectrum. So it's like, do you might as well follow your, well first a you gotta figure out your desire, like you said, and then follow it
Heather Chauvin (17:17):
Because that's what we're here for, for sure.
Terra Bohlmann (17:21):
Yeah. I mean, so thinking in terms of, you had mentioned a lot around women and this feeling guilty, right? When, when they consider their needs, like, I actually have a desire. I know for me it was one of these things that I, you know, I'm, I'm a data person. So like I had seen a statistic when Darren and I first got married and it was like, because I lived it. So it was like, you know, most couples will get divorced after like, it's like a few years. And then there's like the seven year thing. And then 20 years or 18 or 20 years was like the next level of statistic. And I was, you know, my parents got divorced when I was 18. So they were married like 20 years. So that was perfectly them. And what happens is it's like the kid grows up and then it's like, oh, I'm not connected to my husband anymore. So we need to move on. Right. And so to me, I was like, okay, I'm going to be really aware of this. And like, you know, we had tons of conversations about it. I mean, I'm married to an engineer. We like over analyze everything.
Heather Chauvin (18:19):
Like here's, here's the data here. Here's how we're going to
Terra Bohlmann (18:24):
Not be a statistic. Right. And it was one of these things that was like, okay. So, you know, I'm looking at when I even transitioned from corporate and to kind of doing my own business because I feel called, so any woman listening to this, it's like, you know, when you're feeling called, it starts as like this knock. And then it's just like gets louder and louder and you can't let it go. And that, I'm sure it has happened to you Heather too. And it's just like, you finally, you can't suppress it anymore. Why do women, in your opinion, when these knocks start happening or these clues or whatever, you know, breadcrumbs as you called it, when they're considering their own needs and what they feel they were meant to do, why do they feel so guilty about taking care of their needs?
Heather Chauvin (19:12):
So self care, selfish, we all have heard that it's wrong, it's bad. And I'm using air quotes because I don't believe any of this. I tell a story in the book about it was a family member, but I remember when I became a mom and she said, now you have to buy the cheap shampoo. And I don't, you know, I, I barely made it through school. So I was not perceived as a smart person. Now, in hindsight, I realize I have a lot of street-smarts and intellectual, like, you know, people skills, I can read people, but book smarts data, like I would hire somebody like you, not my thing. Okay. You're like, oh man I'm the creative, I'm the visionary. And I was like, what was the question again? So why do they feel guilty? Guilty. So when she asked, when she said this thing about the shampoo, I connected the dots, I was like, listen, one, the person who was telling me, I didn't respect because I could tell that that person was buying the cheap shampoo, you know, metaphorically.
Heather Chauvin (20:14):
And I was like, but that doesn't make sense because my hair was something I always invested in, even as a teenager at like, you know, I worked my part-time job. I paid for my hair to get highlighted or whatever. I didn't even do all the other stuff who cares what I'm like. It makes me feel good. So why are you telling me that feeling good is not helpful when parenting, like, I couldn't fathom the idea. I'm like, if anything, I had to feel better as a parent because I have to take care of this child. And so I started questioning like, I'm a rebel. So I started questioning that thought and I was like, that doesn't make sense. Like, and I don't respect you. And you're not really a nice and warm person. So I'm not taking any of your advice. And then I just realized, oh wow, this is the story that women are told.
Heather Chauvin (21:05):
Right? And not even realizing how we're brought up with small children, what do you buy a girl typically adult, right? You buy her a doll, you buy her pretty dresses. You buy her, all these things. You make her cook, you teach her how to cook. Like typically you're not buying male gender, like things which I used to buy. My boy style was all the time. And people would get annoyed with that. And I was like, why, why can't he have adult? Here's my point. We are taught and conditioned that self-care is selfish. It's ingrained in us. And if just, you know, sit down with a pen and paper and reflect on how your mother showed up. As in that realm. Self-Care was it self care, self selfish? Did she give, give, give, give, give, and then what are the passive aggressive comments that you receive?
Heather Chauvin (21:54):
If you are a mother and you do anything for yourself, right? So I remember one time, I don't know where I was. I was on a business trip and it was probably a retreat. Cause I try to like mix pleasure with business. And it was a, it was a nice experience. And I went to go pick up my boys from school one day and the teacher was like, must be nice. The only vacation I ever had was when I was in the hospital and I thought to myself, like, why are you projecting your anger onto me? Because you won't give yourself permission to be. And it's a direct reflection of the energy of who we are becoming in the world. And hearing you are leading the next generation here, you are teaching my children. What an empowered woman looks like here, you are showing my kids that it's not just about getting or, or it is all about getting, you know, the straight A's on the test and that mental health has nothing to do with it.
Heather Chauvin (22:53):
And so I'm over here, you know, we're in a pandemic, I'm over here looking at my kids who are freaking out about education or online education, because they're feeling this pressure. And I literally say to them, are you alive? Are you loved? Are you safe? That's all I care about. And you know what, today you get a mental health day. Let's go out in nature. Let's go out and be because if you have the skills to self regulate and become aware, Ooh, guilt doesn't feel good. You know, let's take care of ourselves. That to me is more important than getting a straight a, on a math test and going back to guilt. I think guilt is a mask because I don't, I very rarely hear men saying I feel guilty. And I know that they do. I know men feel guilty because I've had conversation with my husband.
Heather Chauvin (23:47):
But we, we hear fear false evidence appearing real, but we don't hear guilt, false evidence appearing real. And I think guilt is a mask to fear because when we pull it back or judgment, like fear of judgment, because really we feel guilty because we've been taught to not do something. And now we're doing that thing and we're just swimming right against the current. And in order to change how we think and how we feel, we literally have to get uncomfortable and being a trailblazer when someone's like, you can't do that. And I'm like, why can't I this can be, it can take a little bit,
Terra Bohlmann (24:28):
Okay. So much good stuff to unpack there, Heather. It was like you know, even, you know, I love that the story around the, the cheap shampoo. Right. And it was like, you know, for me, it was, you know, I married a guy like the guy who I always said was like, kind of opposite of my dad, like very stable. You know, when I was in my therapy appointment, they're like, oh, we always marry a version of your, of our dads. And I was like, oh no, no. So check and check. I'm married the opposite. She's like, see what? I mean? You married a version of him, just the opposite. I was like, oh, snap. You know
Heather Chauvin (25:02):
I made sure to do the opposite.
Terra Bohlmann (25:07):
And I mean, my dad's amazing and he's super creative. And he was like the lead singer of rock band, but like was on the road all the time. And you know, so I just needed like this grounding source that I got. And then my mom was like, you are so lucky. Cause granted she had been married to this guy on the road all the time, whatever we had no health insurance, all that stuff. And she's like, you and I was pregnant with grant at the time, 18 years ago. And she was like tear out, this is such a gift, by
Heather Chauvin (25:32):
The way, Terra, you can be a grandma right now. You're the same age that I was. Oh my gosh. I know. Oh, I know I was thinking about that this morning, actually, Terra, I had
Terra Bohlmann (25:46):
Grant at 23. Cause like I was thinking of my own five-year plan. I'm like, Grant's going to be 23. Darren and I were married. Like, you know, totally different. Yeah. Crazy.
Heather Chauvin (25:57):
Terra Bohlmann (25:58):
No insurance and you know, and so my mom's like, you're going to have this baby and Darren and I had just moved from Chicago to central Illinois. And she's like, you need to stay at home. Like I would have died to be able to have that opportunity. And you can just, oh, you could stay home and love this baby for. So I was like, okay, you're right. So I did, I quit my corporate job and I was going to do a stay at home mom thing. And I did it for three months. And for me personally, I was bored out of my gourd. I was literally vacuuming twice a day. I made my husband come home from work. So I could just for lunch so I could have something to do to like make, I have to be, I had to be busy. Like now we know busy as a whole other thing.
Terra Bohlmann (26:35):
And I've done tons of stuff on if we have to be busy, we're like suppressing our emotions, which now I know that, but I am so grateful for that because I literally stayed home for three months. I could say I did it. I tried it. I gave it the best effort I could. And then I opened a business. So it was just like, you know, but it was funny how much, even as an adult, I still wanted to appease my mom, like and try to live the experience that she didn't get. And I'm like, that was my first moment where it was like, maybe she isn't always right. You know? So I was older at the time. And so it's one of these things that I think we all go on our own journey. But if we have trailblazers like you that says, Hey, question us, right.
Terra Bohlmann (27:19):
It doesn't have to be, this are, why are you doing this? Or do you, what are your desires? Figure it out now versus later. Right? Why not? So you had also mentioned around, you know, taking your kids out and giving them the mental health day. I love that. You know? Cause I feel like a lot of us really, really pushed like good grades and you know, that whole thing that our parents probably pushed on us get good grades so you can get into a good college so you can, you know, work a great job. Right. And you know, to change that and just be like, those check-ins that you do with your kids. Right. How are you feeling? Do you feel safe? Do you feel, I always ask my kids, do you feel loved? You know that kind of stuff, but I liked the safe, the whatever. Will you talk about how your children's behavior can actually teach us about
Heather Chauvin (28:07):
Ourselves? Yes. Okay. So this is my favorite thing. I, I could teach it all day every day. I want to go back to something that you said though. I think a lot of times as women and moms, we are trying to undo like our childhood trauma and make sure that we're not giving that to our kids. And we have to realize that the human experience is imperfect and it like our children are going to talk about us and therapy, regardless if we were perfect or not. And I've seen this pendulum swing where perfection is on the other, like everything needs to be organic and everything needs to be perfect and they need to, and, or the, you know, you hear about it, the helicopter parenting, the lawnmower parenting and blazing this path and this trail and understand like, there is such a thing as like risk and resiliency.
Heather Chauvin (29:01):
Like there's a lot of research behind this and I would much rather my children's fail when I, you know, when they're still in my home and they can learn those big, big lessons. And when I got sick and I literally almost died, one of my thoughts was I'm, I've screwed up. My kids. Like all my children now are going to have this PTSD around like their mother dying. And my oldest was nine. The youngest was a year old and the middle one was in the middle there. But I knew the oldest, he was also my my first child. It was him and I, when we started his father actually died of a drug overdose is all in the book too. And I had an aha moment where I was like, if I die, like he's an orphan. Like both of his biological parents will be gone and like, oh my gosh, I'm going to screw him up.
Heather Chauvin (29:53):
And he had a lot of like anxiety from that after, but I had to come to terms with that within myself to know that I didn't screw him up. How is this actually an opportunity to teach him empathy and compassion and almost like a one-up emotional intelligence skill that he has in his back pocket. And so every time I would catch a cold after he was like, are you okay? Are you okay? Are you okay? And I'm like, oh dang, he's going to attract this woman that he needs to save and take care of. And I'm like, or we can have these conversations and I can get him the support that he needs. And he's allowed to have anxiety. He's allowed to have these thoughts and stories and he can learn because I have learned these tools and strategies so we can co-create together. So this plays off of the question you just asked me about our children's behavior. Right? What was the, I always like, what was the question?
Terra Bohlmann (30:50):
Yeah. So how can our children's behavior, can that teach us something about ourselves?
Heather Chauvin (30:56):
So I'm going to back up a little bit. So here I am, as a social worker, helping parents understand their children, you know, gain connection, all of that. And then I come home and I scream and yell at my son and he's throwing toys at me across the room. And I'm wondering to myself, is this normal? Is this normal behavior? Is, is there something else going on here? So I, I did all the normal mainstream things. Let's go to the doctor, let's go to therapeutic. And this was the response I was getting. It's normal. It's just a phase, blah, blah, blah. And I thought this can be normal and this can be a phase. But when my guts are screaming at me that I need other coping strategies, I need a different way to communicate with my son. I need to understand him. So again, I questioned, I, you know, the little rebel, the little curious, like that doesn't make sense to me.
Heather Chauvin (31:47):
So I jumped outside the box and I started meditating. But again, I didn't meditate for myself. I met, I was like, you need to learn how to meditate. And his behavior, his anxiety was teaching me marrying to me that I did not know how to feel in control of my own anxiety. And because if somebody comes to you, Terra, for business help and you're like, I got this, oh my gosh, I ignore exactly. You can see it. You're, you're confident you've practiced this enough. But if someone comes to you and says, can you teach me how to do something that you've never done? You were like, no, not at all. But if you have kind of walked the path, right, a few steps ahead of somebody, you're like, I got this, I know exactly what's going on. And so my son taught me that he taught me that I had no idea how to emotionally regulate myself with my own anxiety, because I grew up as a sensitive child and was told there's something wrong with you.
Heather Chauvin (32:54):
I didn't understand my own big emotions. And so his big emotions were mirroring. And instead of judging him and doing what parents do, which is punishing and taking away and timeouts and doing all of that. And I'm not saying you can't have boundaries with your children and punishments and consequences. What I'm saying is look a little bit deeper. His behavior was saying, I don't know how to control my own anxiety. So instead of me saying, you're bad, you're bad. You're bad. There's something wrong with you. I said, okay, no, you can't throw, you know, trucks at my face and let's give you some skills to teach you how to emotionally regulate. And while I was doing that, that is actually when I started my business, because parents were like, what are you doing? Has behaviors changing. So I started to see, so when he would do that, I'm like, oh, he's in his red zone.
Heather Chauvin (33:53):
What's going on here. And then I responded differently. And I talk about the red, green, and yellow zones in the book and what that means and how we can, I, you know, self identify in ourselves and in our children. But then as he kept growing and you know, growing up and we say to our kids, I want you to be happy and I want you to be brave. And I want you to do what scares you. And I want you to go, go do your dreams. And then yet here you are in your corporate job, hating your life, miserable body and mind slowly deteriorating. I'm like, if I want my kids to take big, bold, brave leaps, I got to do it. And I will tell you, parenting feels easy to me now. And my boys are 16, 11, and eight. And when I say it feels easy, that does not mean it's not challenging.
Heather Chauvin (34:45):
It is really challenging, especially when you've raised a self-conscious independent teenager who calls you out on your all the time. And I respond with, thank you. I respond with, thank you. But I also say thank you. And because he's using it to his benefit right now, cause he's trying to emotionally manipulate me. But I was like, ah, I see what you're doing here. Thank you for calling me out. And we still have boundaries and boundaries, but I'm telling you right now, these boys it's like, it's challenging. But when it's a challenge, I'm like, this is an opportunity I've slipped up. I've put down a boundary. I'm not practicing something within myself. And I can say, yeah, you can fall. You can be frustrated. I don't need to come and rescue you. How can you solve your own problem? There you go. And then it's yeah, it's a game changer. It's a different way of showing up in the world. We're overcompensating as women for so many people, so many people and not allowing them to wipe their own.
Terra Bohlmann (35:54):
So very true. So very true. So last question I want to ask you you know, what do you tell the woman who is listening to this going, oh yeah, I've got the 16, 17, 18, 20 year old. I wish I would've known this when they were three years old. Right? What do you say to
Heather Chauvin (36:12):
Her? Well, I'm telling you right now, it's never too late. One of my favorite clients is in her sixties and she is raising well, not raising her grandchildren, but she has grandchildren. And she has actually said to me, my relationship with my own children has evolved because I've been doing this work. It is never too late. And as ambitious women, we have this all or nothing. You know, women, humans in general, this all or nothing, perfectionist tendency around like, oh, screwed up. Need to start again. And it's like, it's, you're never too late. If you still have breath inside of you and life to live, I'm telling you right now, you can greatly improve your relationships, your quality of life. And the next generation like, think about it. Just be your kids are always going to need you. We always need our children. So if you're not improving that now when they are physically out of your control out of your house somewhere else, your strategy has got to change. And I just, again, you're never, it's never too late. Right? I love
Terra Bohlmann (37:19):
That. I love it. It reminds me of, so my husband, I don't know if you even noticed, like my husband's 64, he's like super tall. I'm five foot, one with heels on like on a good day. Right. And I remember very vividly when our son grant was little and he was starting the tantrums, like everyone said terrible twos. We had the terrible threes. Right. And him looking at me going, Terra, if you can't control him at three. And I mean, I use control, not in like, whatever, but like, if you can't get a grip on how to handle this, when he's three, how are you going to do it? And not too long when he's going to be tolerant bigger than you. And I remember my whole like short girl syndrome, like, oh no. You know? So it was like, it was a good thing that it always stayed in my head of like, you know, it was always like, I'm not going to quit the battle.
Terra Bohlmann (38:06):
Right. I'm going to win, not the, the war and the war being. I want my kids to be happy. I want them to be, you know, like enjoy what they do in life and see the world and all the things that they want. And we have to parent each one of our boys differently because they're totally different people. And you know, and like really being in tune with that as much as possible. So, oh, I love it. This was such a good conversation, Heather. So before we wrap up with a final question, what how can people find out more about
Heather Chauvin (38:34):
Your book? Yeah, so it is, well, everywhere you can buy books online, but if you go to my website, just my name, Heather Chauvin, last name, spelled C H a U V I N. You'll see a book tab there. That's the easiest way to go, but it's on Amazon. And a whole bunch of other places that you would go online. And it will be on audible eventually as well too. So I love it. I like listening to books.
Terra Bohlmann (39:00):
Yeah, I, yeah, same. I just found out about the audible. I'm like so late in the game on that, but dying to be a good mother, you've got to read it. It's fantastic. And I love it. So before we wrap up, what is the one thing you want, every woman listening to this podcast to know
Heather Chauvin (39:19):
It's never too late and every challenge in your life is an opportunity for growth. And I always say building a business and parenting is personal growth on steroids. And if you're not going to, if you're not doing the inner work, you're not going to see the outer success. So the inner game is where it's at and that's what the book is all about. But it, I just see the parallels of parenting and business as well. So yeah, it's so fun when you see it as an opportunity for,
Terra Bohlmann (39:49):
I love it. I love it. And we'll on the, on Terra Bohlmann.com/podcast. On this episode, we're going to have a link to Heather's book as well. So you could go there too. So dying to be a good mother. Thank you so much, Heather. This was so fantastic. And I appreciate you so so much. And congratulations on the amazing book launch. Thank you, Terra.
And there you have it. Another jam packed episode of the fast track woman podcast. Don't forget to visit Terra Bohlmann.com where you can get more business tips and strategies learn how we can work together to accelerate your business success or access this podcast. Episode show notes with a full transcript and links to resources mentioned today. And if you enjoyed this podcast, I invite you to leave a review so that we can help serve more women business owners to like you until next time here's to owning your time and valuing your word.
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