In today’s world, the term “busy mom” seems almost redundant. It’s as if busyness is an inherent part of motherhood, a badge of honor worn proudly by many.
But what if I told you that the idea of being a perpetually busy mom is a myth?
What if we revealed that it’s not only possible but crucial to bust this myth and embrace a more balanced, fulfilling, and joyful motherhood experience?
In this episode, my friend, Alicia, will debunk the misconceptions surrounding busy moms and their lives.
She’ll unveil the hidden costs of excessive busyness and its impact on both mothers and their families.
More importantly, She’ll offer practical strategies, real-life stories, and expert insights to help you break free from the shackles of busyness and create a more balanced and meaningful life as a mom.
Alicia Cohen is a wife and homeschooling mom of 3. She is also a business owner and blogger. Through her business, Alicia Cohen Designs, she teaches busy moms intentional planning, effective productivity, and essential mindset shifts to increase peace, calm, and confidence while focusing on what matters most. Alicia built her business based on her own journey of overcoming her overwhelmed and frazzled life — what she calls the “hamster wheel marathon” — and now teaches other women the methods she discovered (and uses personally).
Connect with Alicia
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/aliciacohendesigns
Links Mentioned in This Episode
Alicia’s free workshop — The Only To-Do List System You Need to Get Your Busy Life Under Control TODAY!: bit.ly/realhappymomshow
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Transcript of This Episode
In today’s fast paced world, the role of a mother often feels like a never ending juggling act for managing the household to chauffeuring the kids to various activities, and trying to maintain a career or personal interests. It’s no wonder that we find ourselves overwhelmed and constantly busy. But what if I told you that being busy is having you feeling stuck and overwhelmed, but there is a way out? Hey there, my name is Tony. And I’m the podcast host of the real half mom Podcast, the podcast for busy working moms who need help with time management, and achieving their big goals without pulling their hair out. And fun fact about me, I enjoy the beach and just learn how to swim about 10 years ago. In this episode, my friend Alicia is going to help us debunk the misconceptions around being busy. She’s going to unveil some of the hidden costs of being excessively busy and how it’s impacting us as moms. And more importantly, she’s offering some practical strategies to help us break free from the shackles of busyness and create a more freeing life. So let’s go ahead and jump on into this episode. Alrighty, so we are back again with Alicia on the podcast, Alicia, welcome to the podcast.
Hey, Toni-Ann. Thanks for having me back again. As always, so excited to be here to get to chat with you today.
Yes, yes, super excited, because today, we have one of my favorite topics. But before we jump into what we’re going to talk about today, I just wanted you to share a little bit about you what you do and who you help.
Yeah, sure. So I’m Alicia Cohen. And my business is Alicia Cohen designs, where I teach busy moms how to do intentional planning, effective productivity and important mindset shifts so that you can create more peace, calm and confidence in your life focused on what matters most. So that’s what I do and just a smidge about me is I’m married. And we have two kids one on the way we have a five year old, a three year old, and a baby that’s growing bigger and bigger. My belly is getting bigger.
Nice, nice now, as a mom with too soon to be three little ones. It can get pretty busy in the house. Yeah, anyone can imagine. I think if you have like one kid, like you’re already like, you’re already there. I think a lot of times as moms like we think like, oh, like, if we’re so busy. Then we get this like badge of honor. And we’re like, you know, the mom, that’s super busy. We get this super mom trophy or something. And really, it’s not that and I know like for me, like I hate when it’s just like, whenever you talk to a mom, you’ll be like, Hey, how’s it going? And I’m like, Oh, my goodness, I’m just so busy. I’m just so busy. And I’m like, Okay, well, what, what all do you have? And so I know you’ve been there where you’ve talked to him, and they’re just like going on and on about how they’re so busy. And they have so much going on in their life. But I know you and I both agree like that. It’s not the life that we need to be living. And I know. I think I think it’s more so like some moms just don’t even know how to like get unstuck out of this like they just think like you have busy but I just wanted to hear what your thoughts were on this like being super busy and kind of glorifying the busyness.
So first of all, just to your point that you were just saying when you talk to that mom, and you’re like how you doing? So busy, right? Well, what does that even? What does that even mean? Right? And does endo she even sometimes she can’t even say what she just it’s almost like how are you? You know, when you talk to someone you’re like, Hey, how are you? Good. How are you? Fine, you know, and you move on? Right? Hey, how are you busy? How are you? I’m good, you know, but it’s like busy. Like what is that? Even like? Did something happen? Isn’t that because we all have stuff? Right? We all have stuff going on in our lives, but just I don’t know. So just busy. I just love like, here I go. Here I go. I’m gonna dive right in. Busy. I feel like when we use that word, it leaves us like do you feel like when someone says, like, you know, hey, you’re you’re talking to someone and you’re like, Hey, how’s it going? And they’re like, I’m so busy. Does that feel free? Does that feel light? Like to me that feels heavy and stuck and suffocating. Like I just when someone says oh, I’m so busy. That doesn’t feel good to me. I imagine you’re the same tone. Yeah, right. Yeah. Right. And then when someone starts talking about being busy. Well, I feel like and this is kind of what we were saying already. It kind of puts this This wedge or this? There’s kind of like this thing this, I don’t know, you could call it maybe the elephant in the room. I don’t know, or it’s not the elephant in the room, but it just kind of plops itself down. You’re like, oh, busy. Now there’s this kind of this element of, oh, well, are you okay? Why are you so busy that something happened? Wait, you’re busy? Am I busy? Am I as busy as you? Should I be as busy as you? Is there something wrong with me? Is there something wrong with you? Right? Like, it’s just what what is going on with this whole busy thing, this glorifying busy is not some sort of competition. But I think it becomes that or it can very easily become that because in our society, everyone’s just so busy, busy, busy, and everyone is glorifying, busy, kind of like we were saying, like, the more you talk about being busy, somehow it makes you better than other people, but doesn’t. And I think it’s so important for us as moms as women to get super aware of this busy word, and this busy mindset and make a switch. Because when we’re in the busy, it doesn’t leave us free. And then when we talk about the busy to others, it doesn’t leave them feeling free. I mean, maybe, maybe you all are different, but I can’t imagine you’re that much different than I am or it then Toni-Ann It’s like it just, it doesn’t feel good. It doesn’t feel good for me to say, I’m so busy. And it doesn’t leave the other person feeling free to hear me talk about that. It’s just like, oh, I kind of feel bad for you. Or, like, why are you so busy? Do you want to be that busy? So it just I don’t know, I feel like the whole word Bizzy is just a whole bag of problems and heaviness, and comparison and competition, and putting a wedge in relationships. And at least that’s not something I want to be about. And so I work really hard, and not as hard anymore, just because I’m kind of used to it. But I have worked to reframe how I think about busyness and how I use that word. And when I use that word, or if I use that word, so that I’m left freer. And the people who I interact with are as well.
Yeah, because while you’re talking, I was just thinking about how a lot of times, moms or even me they when I’m like, Oh, I’m just like so busy, like busy doing what like half the time it’s stuff that’s not even important. Right? So definitely, like looking around and like kind of seeing like, What are you so busy doing? Like what is really going on? Because I think a lot of times we get caught up in a lot of things, but it’s not really, like you said, it’s not freeing, and I love that word. It’s not freeing, hating. And, yeah, definitely want to kind of bridge out of that. And I know that you’re really good at coming up with some of the solutions to getting out of this busyness and in stop glorifying it. Because, yeah, again, being busy is I don’t know what you’re busy doing. But being busy is not exactly the goal, like ultimately, like we want to live, happy, fulfilling lives, and we want to make an impact in difference. And if you’re super busy, I don’t know how effective you’re gonna be at doing that. So what are some ways that we can start to get out of this busyness and start to be more free and not feel so suffocated? Like you’re talking about earlier?
Yeah, and just to be clear, too, it’s not even that I who, who prefers to not use the word busy, that I don’t have a lot going on, right? Someone who says she’s busy, and someone who adopts this mindset. And this way of approaching things that we’re talking about here today. It’s not like one person has any more or less fullness, or busyness or whatever to their life. It’s just that one person calls it full, or a lot on your plate or whatever, and another person calls it busy. And I think the problem with calling it busy is like you’re saying Toni-Ann You don’t even know like busy doing what? Right? And it’s not like, well, you’re busy doing what and the other person is just like sitting around twiddling their thumbs and eating bonbons or something like that. Right? Like that’s, that’s not what we’re talking about. Right? We’re not talking about that. We’re talking about two people with two very full lives. I mean, come on. We’ve got we’ve got our personal life. We’ve got our You know, maybe our spouse or partner or significant other whatever we’ve got our kids, we’ve got our, our work or vocation, you know, whatever it is for you. We’ve all got lots of stuff in our lives. So the cool thing is when we can take that same life and apply a different mindset to it, which we’re talking about here, and what we’re suggesting here, now, apply this different mindset so that you have your same life. But it just occurs to you and shows up to you so differently and you feel free that word freeing, again, right and not suffocating, not stuck, not heavy, let’s have it feel free and light, while we still have a bunch going on. So solutions, this is the first thing I’m talking about here, this some the semantics matter. Right? So instead of talking about, I’m so busy, talk about what actually is when someone says like, Hey, how’s it going? Hey, what’s up? What’s going on? How are you? You know, don’t just say, don’t just do the default. Alright, catch yourself? Don’t? I’m so busy, right? Gotta catch that. We gotta nip that default, stop the default. Talk about what actually is stop yourself and say, Oh, how am I doing? What’s going on? Um, well, child one. I don’t know. It has horseback riding. And that’s really interesting, because she’s really thriving at it child to is, you know, doing doing well in school or whatever not doing well. It’s got your whatever it is. And don’t forget yourself, include yourself in there, you know, and me, hmm, well, I am some days feeling like I got it together. And other days feeling like um, you know, barely treading water, whatever it is for you. Right? Like, just say what actually, is kind of go out on a limb just a little bit. And you don’t have to get like super vulnerable or super honest. But talk about what is for you, oh, you know, I’ve got, I’ve got like, you know, meal prepping after work. And sometimes it’s just like, how do I get that meal done? I’m so tired, or whatever it is, you know, talk about something more surface level, something deeper, whatever, but talk about what is. So that’s the place to start, right? Like I said, the semantics matter. So instead of using the word busy, pick a different word or pick a different approach. So my first suggestion is talk about what is just just name it just don’t have how are you? Good? How are you busy? How are you? Whatever, don’t have a default, just talk about what is. The other thing you can do is talk about having a full plate. Instead of being busy, at least a full plate is a little more digest. digestible. I was gonna say I did not plan that that just kind of came out that point. There you go. There’s your little pun for the day. But talk about having a full plate. Because when we say at least for me, if someone’s if I say, how are you? And someone says busy? Or I say, how are you? And someone says, I’ve got a full plate? Well, that’s kind of like leaves me curious, like, oh, well, what’s on your plate? Like what’s got your plate so full? As opposed to busy? Where I’m just like, Oh, what happened to you? That you’re so busy? Right, but a full plate? Well, then we can talk about that. Oh, what’s on your plate? What do you do you have too much on your plate? Gee, are you trying to get things off your plate? Are you happy with what’s on your plate? Like, tell me about your plate? Right, then then there’s a conversation. And then you’re just really also back to that stating what is when you say you have a full plate, you’re just kind of labeling what is as opposed to busy. Which is really a judgment. I feel when we say busy. It’s it’s a judgment. And it’s not actually informative. And it doesn’t really tell us anything. And I like to use the example of a glass of water. So think of a glass of water, right? You have a glass, put some water in it. And there it is, right? Your glass of water, it’s full, to a certain point. Now when you look at the glass, you don’t say the glass is busy. You say the glass is full, it contains water, it contains a certain amount of stuff, right? If we add more water to the glass, the glass didn’t just get busier. It just got Fuller, right? So think of the glass of water. When you think of your own life. Right? The glass isn’t busy. It just is and it’s just full, it has a certain level of fullness and so do you in your life. So be aware of busy as a judgment and kind of reject that notion and just think of your life instead as a certain level of fullness or emptiness and just kind of go go there instead. So Yeah, so those are some of the, those are some of the big ones. And I’ve got a couple more for us. But I’m going to pause myself, because I want to hear what Toni-Ann has to say so far. I know you’ve got all sorts of thoughts and opinions, because we both care so much about this topic. We both are like, yes, let’s dive in. And let’s dig in. You know, yeah, no
way. So this has been good. This isn’t good. Everything that you’re sharing is so so good. And I love the part when you’re talking about semantics. So just a quick note that Alicia has a background. It’s a speech and language pathologist, correct? Yes. It was so funny when he said semantics manner. I’m like, of course it does. I can’t help. I just love that part. Because I think a lot of times like we forget about, like, what we’re actually saying, and we don’t remember, like the words that we’re saying, like our brains are keeping track of that even our bodies too. So definitely changing the way that we’re, we’re talking about things is, I think is key because that kind of just like everything else follows after that. But I love how you were talking to about it being busy being a judgment, because I didn’t really think about it that way. And once you gave the example about the water, I was like, Okay, I see where you’re going with this one. So I’m definitely loving everything. And I do want to hear your other bonus ones that you got here too. All right,
cool. Cool. Yeah. So my next solution for us when it comes to the whole busy thing, and to stop glorifying busy is I want us to be aware of the comparison trap that’s going on here. Right, like so let’s think about that. It kind of using this word busy. It’s kind of a competitive thing, a comparison thing. And I know, okay, so like, as a former, I did competitive dance. I did sports, right? I like I know, competition. I like competition. It’s been fun. But competition has a place. And the place isn’t here. So like, remember, there’s not some trophy that we are trying to win. I can’t remember if I said this earlier in the episode already, right? We’re not trying to win the busy trophy. I think I think I did say that, right? We’re not trying to win the trophy of busyness and have the most, the most, the busiest lives or whatever it is, right. So it’s not a competition. So if you are a person who is especially competitive, or even if you’re not especially competitive, but you just can very easily fall into the comparison trap. I present this as a solution because it’s just something to really be aware of, and just try to catch yourself. And to make the conscious decision that to make the conscious decision that you are going to be different, that you are not going to be the woman who is just doing the busy thing for the sake of competition. And for the sake of comparison, and trying to be better than the mom next door or whatever. Let’s just Let’s just not right let’s just move on and not and, and choose seek to be different seek to be the woman who is not trying to win that trophy, pursue a different trophy. Whatever trophy matters to you, but not the comparison about busyness trophy, like let’s just reject that one. Okay? That whatever matters to you, the the the mom who I don’t know, is calm the mom who is enjoying the simple things, the mom who is spending extra time with her family, because that’s what really matters or spending extra time doing a hobby or your whatever that is for you. But not busy, right? So let’s just let’s just make an active conscious choice to be different. And to be pursuing a trophy that really matters as opposed to just a trophy of comparison and competition. And then my last one is, and this this can be a hard one. So this is like a little, a little hard moment, but hang in there with me for a second. Busyness sometimes can be a crutch, or a convenient way to hide from something. So you got to take an honest look. Is there something that maybe you’re avoiding? Is there something uncomfortable or unpleasant in your life that you just don’t want to deal with? And so by being busy, you get to kind of skip over it a little bit. That’s up that’s a hard one. Like I said, this is hard right? This is something where you got to take an honest look. And you might not be ready to make that shift, the busyness might be protecting you. If it is, just be aware that that is what you’re doing. And you don’t have to admit it to anyone. But admit it to yourself, be aware that that’s what you’re doing. And when you’re ready, then make a hard shift, if that’s what’s needed. And if you need to get the help of a therapist, or a counselor or whomever at some sort of health practitioner, get get that help. Because like we’ve been talking about this whole episode, the busyness is heavy and suffocating. And especially if you’re using it to avoid something hard. When you can make that hard shift and take that hard step and be brave in that way. It’s going to be better in the out, it’s going to be better in the long term. But in the short term, it can be really hard. So make sure you’re ready. And when you are, then take that step, but try to be aware that you’re using busyness to hide, and then as soon as you can take that step to be different, because it’s so freeing, and when you get there, then it’s going to be it’s going to be so much better. But I can understand that for someone who’s using it as, as an avoidance strategy that can be really hard. And I don’t want to minimize that at all. Right. But that’s that’s something that only each individual person can take a good honest look at in their own lives and make that decision. So that’s my fourth one. It’s kind of like a little heavy hitter. But I do want to put that in there. Because it is part of what can be the I mean, I think a lot of people actually might be using busyness to hide, and probably, that’s why it makes such a mix up such a large component of our culture and why people glorify it, because it’s way easier to glorify it and to put on this busy front than it is to do the hard work. Especially if the hard work involves something we’re avoiding. So that’s my fourth one. important, important, a little bit of a heavy one. But I think important to put it out there in case you are the person listening who really needed to hear that today. And I don’t want to gloss over you, I don’t want to forget you and and, and neglect, neglect, the pain, neglect the difficulty neglect what can be going on there. I think it’s important to say it even though it can be hard to swallow. So those are, those are my my solutions. But for people who are not using it to avoid, you know, remember those semantics, they matter the way we talk to ourselves the way we talk to others matters. Remember that busy as a judgment, remember my glass of water example, and then be that woman who is going to not pursue the trophy of competition and comparison.
Yes, love all of that. Now, Alicia, and I really feel like this is a great transition to talk about your workshop. Because if we want to get out of the busyness and we want to actually start getting things done actually matter so that we can have a trophy for something else. Versus being super busy. I know that your workshop can help moms with that. So talk to us about what the workshop is and how we can actually get the information that we need so that we can start to get out of the busyness that we’re in right now.
Yeah, yeah, for sure. For sure. So I’ve got a free workshop that everyone can take advantage of. It’s called the only to do list system, you need to get your busy life under control to day. So in this workshop, we cover what are some things with to do lists that are commonly done that don’t work so well. What to do instead, that does work well. And you get two modules, straight out of my results producing program power up your productivity, which is my, my big program where I teach my whole entire method, but you get two modules straight out of my program, where I teach you how to set up a to do list management system that keeps you clear and focused on what you’ve got going on in your life, what needs to be done next. And be able to really just see what there is, and do what needs to be done and do it in a way where you’re feeling calm and confident. And like you’re able to focus on what matters most. And you’re able to not do the whole busyness game and you’re just really able to live life in a way that is effective and feels great. So that workshop is again the only to do list system you need to get your busy life under control today. I really hope you’ll come join me because that’s where if you really want to get into rejecting this busy stuff and and just get into a better way that’s effective. In that workshop, I’ll get you started on that path. So come join me. It’s free, available for whenever you are wanting it and just yeah, go sign up, I’d be happy to have you.
Awesome, awesome. And I’ll be sure to include that link as well is a link to Alicia’s website in the show notes so that you can connect with her learn more about her because this is one of my favorite things to hear Alicia talk about and I know that a lot of other great things that you can really devour and learn a lot more from her. So all those links will be in the show notes. Alicia, thank you again for coming on the podcast as always, you’re amazing and I really appreciate you.
Oh, thanks again for having me. Toni-Ann I appreciate you too.