Myths of Motherhood – MBFLP 235

Hal is out of town with the children and Melanie is helping her mother after major surgery, so this episode Melanie tackles some common ideas about motherhood that may not be quite so. Join this mother of eight (five all grown now) as she looks at “Myths of Motherhood”!

“Motherhood” is one of the almost-mystical concepts of our culture. It’s symbolic of so many things, though to be sure, just what it represents has changed as the culture has changed.

But like many “big ideas,” there are some mythical things that cluster around, too. Can we talk frankly about what we see as the myths of modern motherhood?

Here’s a big one to start with:

Myth No. 1 – “It’s hard now and it’s always going to be this way.”

When we had four kids eight and under, Hal accepted a new job in a different town. We couldn’t sell the house before he had to start, so we conceived the not-so-brilliant idea of Melanie and the kids staying in the present home to try and sell it, while Hal moved two hours away to begin the new job.

It was horrible.

One mom and four littles, eight and under. Every time the agent wanted to show the house, Melanie would dash upstairs and down, furiously throwing things in laundry baskets and stuffing them in the car. One of our children couldn’t fall asleep at night; Melanie would get the older two settled, nurse the baby down, and then find the toddler wide wake, feet flailing, talking to himself. She would sit by his toddler bed, crying her heart out to God, “Father! Please – let this child sleep,” unable to leave him because the bedrooms were upstairs.

It was tough and it was discouraging too. And it was easy to think, “This is my normal. It will always be the way it is this minute. And I can’t do this.”

Eventually we decided to just clean the house really well, close it up, and go live with relatives for a month or two until it sold. And eventually, it all worked out.

That little guy who wouldn’t get to sleep? He’s a father now with his own restless toddler. All four of those kids we had then are grown and gone now. We still have children at home, the younger siblings who weren’t even alive back then, but our life is drastically different. When the younger few were born, we had teenagers to help. The older kids can handle most of their schoolwork on their own. They’re helping more than they’re taking time.

Your life as a mother of a demanding young family is tough – no question. But that three-year-old who’s running around like a maniac — in a few years, he’ll be able to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and he’ll help get the toddler out of the toilet while you’re nursing the baby. When he’s 9 he’ll be able to finish fixing dinner when the baby needs Mama (as they do!). When he’s 12 he’ll be able to cook the whole meal, and when he’s 16 you can send him out for burgers when you’re sick with the flu. Your life hasn’t reached a standstill –

Don’t give up!

(There’s a lot more coming up – listen in below!)

3 Peaceful Parenting Phrases (For Better Communication!)

Do you struggle with a child who won't listen or who pushes back on anything you say? Here are 3 powerful, peaceful parenting phrases you can use to improve communication and help your child feel more understood and more valued. #Peacefulparenting #ChristianparentingIf you struggle with your child pushing back, or if you ever feel like your child just doesn’t listen, this episode is for you!

Today we’re going to talk about three powerful phrases to help us communicate better and more peacefully with our children.

These three phrases are tools that you’ll be able to put into practice right away to help your child feel more understood and more valued.

Not only that, but you’ll also be able to diffuse power struggles before they even begin! These three phrases are ones that counselors like myself use every single day in their practice. So once you learn them, you can use them not only in your parenting…but also with your spouse, your friends, your boss…anyone!

Peaceful Parenting Phrase 1

The first phrase we are going to talk about  goes like this, “So what I hear you saying is…”

This phrase is a type of reflective listening, or restating what your child has just told you. When we paraphrase something that’s just been told to us, we’re doing two things.

1- We are showing the child that we actually hear their primary concern.

2- We are giving them the chance to clarify if we misunderstood them.

Let me give you an example of how this technique is used. Imagine you and your family have just come home from church one Sunday.

You ask your son, “How was Sunday school?” He responds, “First we had circle time and our teacher had on a new blue dress. Then we had Bible story time but during the story Sam kept trying to talk to me and I told him to shush but the teacher only saw me talking and she moved me to the other side of the class so I couldn’t hear the story anymore and it’s not fair! Then we had a snack and music time.”

Whew! That’s a lot of information! How do you process all that?

Using reflective listening, you might say back to your child, “What I hear you saying is, Sam kept talking to you and you got the blame for interrupting story time.”

See, you just summarized alllll those words with just a few. Now your child feels heard. He feels like you truly care about what he’s saying. (It also gives him the chance to clarify if you misunderstood!)

Peaceful Parenting Phrase 2

The second phrase I want to teach you is, “It sounds like…”

By using this phrase, you are offering empathy and validating your child’s feelings.

In the case of the Sunday school example we just talked about, you might say to your child, “It sounds like you felt frustrated.”

Again, now your child has the opportunity to say, “Yeah! I did!” Or, “No I didn’t feel frustrated, I felt mad!”

Now that your child has identified his feelings, he’ll be able to regulate them better.

Peaceful Parenting Phrase 3

The third phrase I want to teach you is, “So where do we go from here?”

As parents, we very much want to solve our children’s problems. We’re busy and we need to fix this situation so we can keep moving to the next item on our to-do list.

However, when we jump in and intervene on their behalf, we are missing out on an opportunity to teach our kids how to be problem-solvers.

Not only that, but we could also be setting ourselves up for another power struggle.

In the Sunday School example we talked about earlier, we might be tempted to tell our child what to do. Instead, you might say, “So where do we go from here?” This will allow your child to come up with his own solution.

You are empowering your child to feel more in control. (And you’re also teaching him a valuable skill!) If a child has had all of his problems solved for him his whole childhood, once he enters adulthood, he’s not going to have the skills he needs to solve his own day-to-day struggles.

Now you may be thinking, “But I’m not a counselor and that kind of language doesn’t come naturally to me!” That’s okay! It didn’t come naturally to me at first either. Like anything, this takes practice.

The more you do it, the more you practice, the more natural it will feel and the easier it will come.

To summarize, here are three key phrases to use with your kids to improve your communication:

  • So what I hear you saying is…. (This is reflective listening.)
  • It sounds like…. (This is validating your child’s feelings.)
  • So where do we go from here? (This is empowering your child to problem-solve.)

Join Marianna Chambers as she talks about practical ways to become a more peaceful parent. Having children is a wonderful blessing, but it can also be quite stressful. Every day we hear from moms just like you who are struggling to be the gentle parent they want to be. Moms desperately want to raise their children on a firm foundation of love, but those sweet kids sure know how to push our buttons. (And boy, do they push them!)

Marianna Chambers is a counselor, parenting coach, blogger, homeschool mom, and best-selling author. She’s passionate about supporting and encouraging moms. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram, or read her blog here. You can also join her private Facebook group for Christian moms on a peaceful parenting mission.

Are You An Unaware Mommy Shamer?

Are You an Unaware Mommy Shamer?Have you ever been guilty of mommy shaming? I sure have. I honestly did not realize I was doing it until years later, but unfortunately that doesn’t change the fact that I did it in the first place. I hope this episode will encourage you to look at yourself and make sure you aren’t guilty of the same thing.

Lesli often tells the story of me mommy shaming her shortly after we first met. She offered me a pair of shoes similar to the ones in the picture below and I refused them because “my daughter was not allowed to wear heels.” Yep, I said that. Nope, I am not proud. Yep, it was mommy shaming.

Once I looked back, I realized that I often mommy shamed in those early years. I would proudly state my opinion about holistic medicine, homeschooling, etc… not realizing that just my tone about the subject could be harming another mom.

Mothering is a mystery. Mothering is challenging. At times mothering is flat out overwhelming. Most of us are insecure of our decisions, especially early on. I think many of us “yell” out our opinion as a cry for affirmation. Unfortunately, our opinions are often seen as mommy shaming.

If you think you might be guilty of mommy shaming, here are my suggestions:

  1. Recognize why you mommy shame.
  2. Recognize when you mommy shame.
  3. Strive to be quietly confident, only sharing STRONG opinions among your inner circle.

Mommy shaming divides. We need each other. Let’s spend our time respecting each other, encouraging each other, and loving each other.

You’ve got this!

Find a way to #sayyes today.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my podcast and leave a review on iTunes!!!

Thank you to The Homegrown Preschooler for sponsoring this Podcast! Check out the blog post Kathy mentioned, Farmhouse Schoolhouse, to read more about A Year of Playing Skillfully.

Also, to thank you for listening, you can receive a 10% discount on any purchase at

The Homegrown Preschooler by using the code, THEREALKATHYLEE.


Mother’s Day Q&A with Ashley Smoot

Mother's Day Q&A with Ashley Smooth and The Real Kathy Lee!Recently, I went on Social Media asking moms what questions they would like me to answer on this mother’s day edition of The Real Kathy Lee. I couldn’t believe sooooo many questions were submitted. Although we didn’t get to them all, we did cover some really good ones. Ashley sorted through the questions and chose the following to ask me today.

  1. What’s your perspective on discipline for a toddler/preschooler that is godly, but also developmentally appropriate?
  • Offer real choices
  • Be lighthearted
  • Re-direct
  1. How do you make the decision to homeschool?
  • Do what is best for your family.
  • Not every family is meant to homeschool.
  • Review your decision yearly.
  1. What are your thoughts on time management? How do you have time to take care of everyone and take time for yourself?
  • Know yourself
  • Be willing to work outside a traditional schedule.
  • Be flexible.
  • Find time for yourself.
  • Make time for one on one dates with each child. Learn their love language.
  1. What is your advice on homeschooling beyond preschool?
  • Know your child’s interests and learning styles.
  • Don’t be scared to ask for help.
  • Consider a hybrid if you can’t do it all.
  1. What are my plans for mother’s day???

You will just have to listen to find out. 🙂


Happy Happy Mother’s Day!!!!


Don’t forget to subscribe to my podcast and leave a review on iTunes!!!

Thank you to The Homegrown Preschooler for sponsoring this Podcast! Check out the blog post Kathy mentioned, Farmhouse Schoolhouse, to read more about A Year of Playing Skillfully.

Also, to thank you for listening, you can receive a 10% discount on any purchase at

The Homegrown Preschooler by using the code, THEREALKATHYLEE.

Confessions of a Fake Supermom – Part 2

Confessions of a Fake Supermom Part 2 from The Real Kathy Lee I hope you enjoyed part 1 of my Confessions of a Fake Supermom podcast and are ready for some more confessions! Last week I showed a real picture from my laundry room and talked about five of the not so perfect ways I have mothered my kiddos. If you missed them, here is a recap:

  1. I don’t cook meals for my family everyday.
  2. Sometimes I yell at my kids and freak out over stupid stuff.
  3. My house can get REALLY messy.
  4. Sometimes I wear work out clothes all day (even to the store) when I ZERO intentions of working out.
  5. I rely on a steady stream of coffee to answer the 1 + million questions I answer daily.


This week I share five more reasons I should NEVER be referred to as a “supermom.”

  1. My kids have worn different shoes to church, restaurants, etc… more than once.
  2. I have worn workout clothes ALL day with zero plans of actually working out.
  3. I have had my phone taken away from me by my kids.
  4. Sometimes I tell my kids I have to go to the bathroom just so I can get a few moments alone.
  5. I have had to apologize many times to my kids.


THANK YOU, SONY pictures and for sponsoring us this month!!

Sony Pictures: and the latest movie with great values and message – Smurfs: The Lost Village.

smurfs movie the lost village

Click here for the FREE Faith-based Movie Guide!

Confessions of a Fake Supermom – Part 1

Confessions of a Fake Supermom with The Real Kathy LeeSooooo, how did you like that cover photo this week? Well, since we are confessing… that picture was taken when I was putting my house on the market. See the picture below… this is how my laundry room often looked! Yep, I am a fake. I can pretend I have it together by hosting a podcast, writing books, and traveling the country speaking to parents and educators.

However, I don’t have it together at all. In this episode I share the following five reasons that I deserve to be called a FAKE supermom:

1.  I don’t cook meals for my family everyday.

2.  Sometimes I yell at my kids and freak out over stupid stuff.

3. My house can get REALLY messy.

4. Sometimes I wear work out clothes all day (even to the store) when I ZERO intentions of working out.

5.  I rely on a steady stream of coffee to answer the 1 + million questions I answer daily.


No one is a perfect mom. We all have areas of mothering that we do very well (it is easy for me to say yes) and areas we struggle with (keeping up with the laundry). This is a journey that we are meant to enjoy, not lie about on social media. Let’s encourage one another and stop comparing!! NO ONE has it all together… NO ONE!

In episode 10, I share five more reasons to know I am a hot mess FAKER!!!




THANK YOU for Sponsoring Us this Month!

Sony Pictures: and the latest movie with great values and message – Smurfs: The Lost Village.

Smurfs the Lost Village


Click here for the FREE Faith-based Movie Guide!

Unrealistic Expectations

Unrealistic Expectations - in this podcast, Kathy Lee talks with Keri Vasek about the unrealistic expectations we as moms put on ourselves.

Unrealistic Expecations with The Real Kathy Lee

Episode #5

I had a great time talking with Keri Vasek about the unrealistic expectations we as moms put on ourselves. You might remember Keri from Episode 2 where we talked about Losing Your Joy in Motherhood. Keri is the mother of three “muddlings” and enjoys encouraging other moms to let their children PLAY.

On this episode, Keri and I get real about the expectations that haunt mothers. As mothers, we often feel the need to keep a spotless house, present perfect children, and always be dressed and ready to host an event. Well, this is UNREALISTIC. Moms with little ones often have chaos, unruly children, and can be found in yoga pants and a messy bun. Keri and I share some of the unrealistic expectations we had early on as moms and agree that keeping it simple is best.


I loved Keri’s 3 REALISTIC expectations for each day.

1.  Find time to read aloud.

2.  Invite your children to play.

3.  Be intentional about loving one another.

Let’s EXPECT good things from our kids and from ourselves. My goal is that my children grow up to know they are loved, so that they feel free to give love to others.

You’ve got this,


ps- if you are enjoying this podcast, please take a moment to submit a review on iTunes!


Childbirth, Motherhood and More

Redeeming Childbirth Angie TolpinThis isn’t a topic you will normally see me blog about. I don’t have any horror pregnancy stories to share. I’m one of “those” people. I don’t get “those” days during the month, never had — and now it is a thing of the past. I didn’t suffer during pregnancy. I had five children naturally and they were all fast deliveries. One was almost delivered in the elevator in the hospital — the doctor told me, with my first, I’d be unable to speak when I was truly in labor. Obviously he didn’t know me! Please don’t hate me. I know there are some of you who are bedridden, or are sick all nine-months. Sisters, I feel for you, truly I do!

I did experience morning sickness with my third, but it was nothing that a cracker or french-fries from the drive through window couldn’t cure. My teens loved it! Mom was eating the junk-foods she normally, very strongly objected to. During this pregnancy I considered myself in my “Elizabethan years” … I was pregnant at 38 with two teens, a time when most moms are once-again taking up hobbies. I on the other hand was being taxed at remembering higher level algebra and to bring both the baby and the diaper bag on excursions. Well, the Lord does have a sense of humor and believing I was “old” at 38 – I had to think I was “ancient” when I had the next baby at 41 and my fifth at 44. Yes, people came up to me at church asking me how old I was, or asking me if I knew “how” that happens? Ha-ha. Not funny.

So, why am I talking to you about this topic today? Because I’ve invited Angie Tolpin to Mommy Jammies Night. Her ministry begins where my leaves off. Mine is a testimony of turning my heart back to the Lord – as a couple, and seeking HIS will for MY family. I am not condemning, pointing a finger, just stating a fact. The Lord blessed Jeff and I with three more additions to our family after a life-changing decision was reversed. The Lord took hold of our hearts and we took a leap of faith, a very expensive one and my husband underwent a reversal.

Now with five children, two adults and three growing up in a home full of laughter, teasing and of course fighting they understand they are very special in the true sense of the word. If the Lord had not taken our hearts and turned them back to Him, they in plain language would not exist. In our case our decision was formed due to fear, a fear that we would have another special needs child after our first was born with Trisomy-21 (Downs Syndrome).MJN Listen Live  Well, none of the others “have it” and the younger three are pretty brilliant children in all ways!

Tonight (and if you are reading this in the archives – no need to worry, the audio is still available) Angie will discuss Redeeming Childbirth and so much more. Her talk will touch hearts I know, because she feels that the Lord has sent her on this mission – to speak out about childbirth in a good way!

I know that childbirth is a taboo topic and cause for dissension even in Christian circles … but, I’m brave. I want to know if you had it easy or hard?

Are you one of “those” people or one of THOSE people we should pray for who does have difficult pregnancies? Either way I’m sending you a hug and looking forward to connecting!

If you can put on a pair of jammies tonight and join us at 8pm est for our facebook party where we’ll talk about childbirth, small families, large families and so much more and then later — at the live event tonight at 9pm est. on our Listen Live page.

And – if you’d like to enter our giveaway you’ll find it here: Giveaway

~ Hugs, Felice Gerwitz