0:00:03 – Speaker 1
Hey, this is Mandy and Kim with nextTalk, where we are passionate about keeping kids safe in the digital world.
0:00:09 – Speaker 2
Did you know? we have tens of thousands of listeners in 60 countries. It’s truly amazing, crazy.
0:00:15 – Speaker 1
0:00:16 – Speaker 2
And, as a non-profit, everything we do at nextTalk is supported by people just like you.
0:00:21 – Speaker 1
Be a part of changing the culture of conversation in your home and around the globe by making a donation today. Go to nextTalk.org and click on Give and check out our resources while you’re there. More than cyber parenting conversations to connect. Today we’re doing a show on parenting through pain. This can mean a lot of different things physical, mental, struggles. We want to kind of define that for you and talk about some pain that we’ve walked through.
0:00:51 – Speaker 2
Well, recently I had a physical injury and I’m telling you it put me down for months. I couldn’t sleep or sit or really do much at all. It was awful, and trying to parent through that was literally a nightmare one of the hardest things that I’ve done, and the physical pain of that was tough to deal with. But we also want to talk about other types of pain that we’ve experienced and seen other people we care about go through, and maybe you’re experiencing some pain that comes with loss right now. We want to touch on that. Maybe emotional pain like depression or rejection, or pain that’s brought on by stress. I mean, the situation right now in our country and across the world is stressful and that can cause pain too. So we’re going to kind of touch on all of that.
0:01:31 – Speaker 1
Well, and I think too, as nextTalk Families, we want to be transparent with our kids and kind of talk about it when we’re having an issue. I mean, Kim, I know for you. I’ve watched you go through this season. I remember one day in particular that you were like I cannot do anything other than pace back and forth, Like I’ve been pacing back and forth for 12 hours And my kids need me and nextTalk needs me and I can’t do anything And I’m feeling so overwhelmed by it And I really think we need to talk about what that looks like, because your kids see you struggling and how do we process that? How do we walk through it but then not scare them or give them too much information where it’s overwhelming for their age?
0:02:21 – Speaker 2
Well, we wanted to also really hone in on that parenting aspect of pain, because we could talk about it in all different regards. But everything changes when you become a mom or a dad. I was thinking about this show how, before having kids, if I was in pain, i could curl up in a ball and just lock myself away from the world for a few days, and it was no big deal. Charles could go through the drive-in at McDonald’s and take care of himself.
0:02:46 – Speaker 1
Done, And you could nap them for like three days straight. I could, yes.
0:02:50 – Speaker 2
No consequences really, exactly, and maybe the hardest thing as I got older was having to call off from work, which, yes, that is stressful, but when you add in that parenting side of it, it really does change everything, and so that’s something that we wanted to hone in on, as far as the pain goes and how to walk through that when you have kids at home, no matter what their age is. So a couple of caveats here that we want to talk about, because you can go to a few places with kids that we’re not talking about. Your kid, first of all, is not your buddy, so we’re not talking about sharing the load with them the same way you would with your girlfriend or your guy buddy at work. It’s a different relationship. So that’s not what we’re saying here. They’re not your shoulder to cry on or your punching bag when you’re overwhelmed. We’re talking about how to walk through pain in a healthy way as a parent.
Couple of other things we want to bring up to. We’re not talking about pain brought on by physical or sexual abuse. You know we actually have a series on sexual abuse. It’s really fantastic and informative. One of our team members shares her own journey through healing and what that was like. So definitely listen to those shows if you’ve been abused. That’s not the kind of pain that we’re talking about.
0:04:06 – Speaker 1
Yeah, And we also on that series, we had a licensed professional counselor come in. You know, not only did our nextTalk team members share her story towards healing, but we had a licensed professional counselor come in and talk about how that affects you or parenting, you know, and how to walk through that with your kids, And so there’s lots of great resources out there if your pain includes something like sexual abuse. But for this show, you’re right, I think we want to talk from a general perspective of you know, like what you did. You just went through this injury or depression or a loss, something that is a life struggle that we’re all going to have at one time or another. But how do we get through that without you know having a breakdown in our family structure?
I know, for me, when I’m out, you know, and I need to be quarantined or whatever. I remember last year I had the flu, really bad, And I was like quarantined in my bedroom for like five days. It was the first time I’d ever canceled a nextTalk event. I mean, it was bad. You had it at the same time.
0:05:08 – Speaker 2
We were sexed and it was real bad.
0:05:12 – Speaker 1
And I remember being so nervous about how much my kids were on screens because I was like, oh my gosh, like I’m totally checked out. Like even if they see something right now, they can only text me about it. They can’t even come have a conversation if porn pops up right. And so for me I was like completely stressed. And then that created like I’m losing control And you know we’re all, we’re all a mess over here and we’re not a good family And you know family’s breaking down So you can just spirals, that feeling of helplessness.
0:05:45 – Speaker 2
Yeah, absolutely. I can always tell when I’ve been sick or out of it for more than a day or so, because my husband starts to look homeless. I don’t know if that happens at your house, but he, you know the circles and the crazy hair because he’s not used to playing both those roles. I’m like, oh, i got to get better, like now, now, but you know, I did, on the verge of a breakdown.
0:06:06 – Speaker 1
We got to go.
0:06:07 – Speaker 2
We got to get better. I did want to say one more thing that came to mind when you were talking. I have a kiddo that gets anxious with things like storms and in different things like that he gets. He’s more fearful in his nature And that’s something we’re working through, and so I have to be really careful when I talk to him about certain things that involve pain or injury or sickness, and so you know your kids. So, as we’re going through these talking points and these stories, keep that in mind, like you know your kid and what they can handle, and so filter everything through that relationship.
0:06:41 – Speaker 1
But at the same time we can’t hide them from our kids. You know, hide our struggles and hide our pain from our kids. So I do think it’s important to you know, let your kids see the pain and help in their own little way.
0:06:57 – Speaker 2
It’s not easy, though. I mean, let’s just be real here. I think our first reaction at least mine is is to be like it’s fine, you know everything’s okay, you know I’m mommy’s gonna be all right And just be with it.
0:07:09 – Speaker 1
That We have been conditioned to feel like we have to be superwoman, right Like we. We feel like we have to be superwoman and we cannot be weak, we cannot show a sign of weakness, and I think this is bad.
0:07:21 – Speaker 2
Well, it tells our kids and our family. I can handle all of this on my own, but I expect you to operate differently, and that’s not the example that we want to set. And obviously we’re not superwoman. We can’t complain about having so much on our shoulders and being stressed and feeling like we’re carrying the weight of the world If we’re telling everyone that we’re superwoman by our actions and our words. And so I’m 100% in agreeance with you. We’ve got to let our kids see our pain and help us out, and I know some of you might be thinking like that’s for me to share with my spouse or my friend, but I think that kind of goes back to that old way of parenting that we were raised up with or our parents of kind of sweeping things under the rug. You know, only let them see a little bit of mom and dad’s life, don’t really share what’s going on, and I’m not sure that that’s healthy for either of us. We need to let our kids know what’s going on in an age appropriate way.
0:08:14 – Speaker 1
And I think also it sets up a tone in your home where your kids look at you like you’re perfect And so when they are less than perfect or they can’t handle everything or they’re not superchild, then they feel like, well, mom or dad doesn’t get it because they never have this issue.
They never feel 100%, they never dropped the ball Right, and so I think we don’t want that kind of tone in our home. And so how do we find that balance of letting them see our struggle but again not putting too much on them?
0:08:45 – Speaker 2
They see your struggle, whether you want them to or not, and as hard as that is sometimes. Even my six year old knows when I’m struggling. I mean she has since she was probably three or four. If I’m in pain or I’m stressed or I’m overwhelmed or whatever, she knows on some level that something’s not right with mom. So if I’m saying everything’s okay, what a confusing message that I’m sending her. I mean I can give you a real personal and specific example of that.
You, mandy, have walked through a lot of medical issues with me over the years and my family has. I’ve had everything from emergencies to some long term struggles like this past one. It was really, really hard And you know, with my oldest, who’s now 10, almost 11, i can be more open and specific with him and say here’s what’s going on, here is what mommy has to do to get better. I can encourage him by saying I’m going to be okay, but in the meantime I really need your help And I can give him some specific ways he can help me With my littlest, you know my youngest, who just turned six. I can tell her mom got hurt doing this And this is what I have to do to get healthy And I would love it if you just snuggle with me or I would love it if you make a picture for me Whatever she can do in her own capacity makes her feel like she’s not helpless and makes her feel like she’s let into my world of what’s actually going on without scaring her.
And I think that is just so important because, like you said, we’re not sweeping it under the rug. We’re having this open communication about everything in our house in an age-appropriate way that’s not scary. So some of the things that I’ve told my kids are like can you pray for me? Can you help dad with things around the house? Can you help each other? Can you come and talk to me if you’re worried or if you have questions about what’s going on? Like, i say that probably every day because a lot of times I think their minds get to go in and especially one of my kiddos, he’ll just think like everything is catastrophic. So every day I’m asking how are you and what are you thinking about all this and how can I help you? And that just changes everything, changes the entire environment of our home.
0:10:50 – Speaker 1
Well, and I love how you described at different ages, how it looks different with your six-year-old than your almost 11-year-old and how you brought them into the faith part of it. You’re saying pray with me and help each other. You know you’re creating a little team environment where we’re all in this together And what it says to your kids, i think, is when I struggle, i can go to mom and dad and everybody’s gonna chip in to help me get over whatever I’m struggling with. You know it sets up that team environment. What I love about this, too, is when you bring your kids into the faith element. You know, yes, you share the struggle, but also they get to share in the victory. And I love this because I’ve walked through that.
When I was pregnant with my son my daughter was about three or four and I was deathly sick with my son. It was horrendous Almost had to have a feeding tube, could not keep anything down, like it was awful. I got severely depressed And I mean depressed, in suicidal thoughts. I mean it was something that I had never in my life struggled with. I remember one time driving in the car and I just remember feeling like I was looking down on myself and saying who is this person? Like this is not who you are. But I had no idea how to break out of the cycle. Like why were my thoughts so dark? Why did they hurt so much, you know? like why did I cry all the time Like I loved my life? Why couldn’t I get out of bed in the morning? You know all those red flags that I kind of pay. I honestly didn’t pay attention to them because I wanted to be superwoman And because I didn’t pay attention to the early dark thoughts, it spiraled really fast. I mean to the point where I literally almost thought I was going to get committed. It was really bad. My husband had to take off work one day and literally carry me into my OB office and be like you have got to help her right now. And there were times when I would be just crying on the bathroom floor and I have vivid memories of looking up and seeing my three year old want to play and crying with me. I remember thinking in that moment like she’s never going to get over this. This is going to scar her for life. I’m messing her up but I can’t do anything about it. I honestly, i cannot get out of bed or I cannot get up off this bathroom floor Like I can’t. Yeah, you know.
Eventually my OB put me on antidepressants. I started seeing two counselors. Things turned around Once I had my son. Within six weeks I was off of the antidepressants. I’ve never needed them before. If I did need them, i would take them in a heartbeat, you know. But it was just one of those things where I feel like God, let me see a glimpse of what depression is really like, and it gave me a whole new perspective.
But the cool thing is my daughter, you know, was so young at the time and she prayed with me and cried with me and she would bring me wet towels to put on my head when I was throwing up. I mean, i remember that, this little precious three year old taking care of me. And just recently we were like talking about that. Oh my gosh, that was like one of the darkest times. You remember it And it was so interesting what she said to me.
She said I remember all of that, but she said what I remember most is that God healed you. He heard our prayers. Oh my goodness, he heard our prayers. And I feel like that is so important because, you know, kim, you’re in this space now where you’re starting to be healed, you’re starting to come out of this and you can bring your kids into that process of look what God has done, bring that faith component to see like God never left us, even when it was hard. Even on that day when I had to pace for 12 hours I could not do anything for anyone. Look at us. We pulled together as a team and we survived. Like God didn’t leave us. It just empowers that team environment we want in our home.
0:14:55 – Speaker 2
And I think that’s sometimes some of the best times to do. It is when you’re going through a struggle and they see you crying out to God and you include them in that process.
0:15:04 – Speaker 1
Well, we are the model And Psalm 3418, you know, if we hold close to that, the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saved those who are crushed in spirit. He walks with us through any sort of pain that we’re going to experience as a parent. And if we bring our kids back into that process and let them go through it with us, pray with us, help each other, you know we’re going to get through this together. And then they see that victory Man. It just creates such a foundation for their little faith.
0:15:34 – Speaker 2
Absolutely. And if we’re really, really honest, i think a lot of times we don’t share that and we don’t give them that experience Because of pride we struggle with wanting, like we said in the beginning of the show, to be able to handle it ourselves and to be super mom or super dad. And when we can let that wall down and let them in, the benefit for our families and for faith building in our kids far outweighs that pride that we need to overcome. So in thinking about all of this, you know whatever kind of pain that you’re going through, whether it’s emotional or physical or whatnot, letting your kids be a part of that process, it really is a gift to them and to your family.
0:16:13 – Speaker 1
So, to wrap up, let your kids see your pain and help in their own way. When you share the struggle, you also get to share the victory. We are the model for our kids. How do we want them to navigate through pain in their own lives?
Transcribed by https://podium.page