Truth bomb incoming – being the hustler mom is toxic!
In this episode, Caitlynn and Carolina really dismantle the hustler motherhood mindset and how that mentality affects your family. If you are looking to see how you and your family can live on your own terms, this is the episode for you!
What you’ll learn:
1:26 Who is Caitlynn Eldrige and what she does in this world
4:30 How to handle the pressure given by society to our children
8:50 Children’s schedules
12:30 Children developing their hobbies and talents
17:25 How can a person handle comparison when it comes to motherhood
19:26 Human design
21:40 The concept of sharing with other kids
25:45 Caitlynn’s advice to first time moms
Take a listen to this episode and tag Caitlynn and me on your social media!
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The Carolina Sotomayor Podcast is brought to you by Carolina Sotomayor and the Fertility Foundation.
Carolina Sotomayor is an Expert Womb Healer who helps women conceive by removing physiological blockages with Reiki. She is the host of the Carolina Sotomayor Podcast, a show that covers everything from fertility to postpartum to motherhood, and the creator of Fertility Foundation Collective, an online membership that helps women heal at their own pace to boost their fertility.
Carolina has served over 500 women from around the world to heal. She is passionate about helping women create their families. As a result, there are over 60 reiki babies in the world.
Fertility Foundation Collective: https://carolinasotomayor.com/membership
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Hi, I’m Caroline, you’re podcast host, an expert wound healer. Today we are here with a special guest, Caitlin Eldridge. She was on season one of the podcast, and today we’re talking about unlearning the hustler motherhood mentality. Hi, Caitlin. Good morning.
How are you? Good. How are you? I am excited to be here with you. I love everything that you do, but mostly I’m so excited to talk to you today because I feel like this topic, Is life changing and you seem to be in the thick of this movement, and I love everything that you have to say. So , can you tell people a little bit about yourself, just because maybe some listeners may not have caught season one.
Of course. So my name is Caitlin. I’m a mother of four, soon to be five. My husband’s in the military doing some transition work, and then I run a small fractional C F O company, which is really founded to help balance the mom in working life in a way that would suit our family. I love that. You also happen to be my cpa, so I’m partial to think that you are one of the greatest humans alive.
Okay, so. The hustler motherhood mentality. What is that? That can mean a lot of different things, but what do you think it means in broader terms or general terms? Yeah. When I think about it, I think back to like if you were to go back to Caitlin eight, 10 years ago, I didn’t want kids because it looked exhausting from the outside.
Like the parents were working full-time drops and then they were running their kids to a bazillion activities. All of their weekends were. With like kid times and then a few chores here and there, and there was never, from what I could tell, downtime to like just be humans and a family together and enjoy each other.
And so that terrified me and it was one of the big reasons. And I was like, we’re just not gonna have kids. We don’t have time for this. It’s gonna be exhausting and I don’t wanna do any of this. . So yeah, to me that’s the hustler. And I think, I mean, you could go back to generations looking at what possibly has caused this, whether it’s guilt from the fact that both parents are working or it’s a desire or culture telling us that our kids have to do all of these things in order to be well-rounded human beings who can secure like the best paying job and the best colleges when that time comes.
But we’ve got four kids and so we’ve really worked on electing. Out of all of that. I’m in the thick of this with you because we have one, he’s five, he’s gonna be six in December, and we have never done T-ball. We’ve never done any of the things, and I see my other. Acquaintances and people in my circle, and they’re like multiple days a week at soccer practice and things like that.
But my kid is such a home buddy that it is a fight to get him to go. We’re in swim in TaeKwonDo. Once he’s there, it’s fine. And he’s excelling at those two things. Mm-hmm. . And at the end of October, we’re gonna pull him and he’s not gonna begin anything just based upon the repeated conversations he’s having with us.
And I can’t play anymore. I, and I always have to go somewhere. And that’s not true. Like literally this weekend, the kid didn’t leave the house or the neighborhood like he played outside with his. And I think that’s what he just needs more of. Like so swim will be there, TaeKwonDo will be there, and we’ll pause till the spring.
Luckily both will let us do that. But the feeling of like you have to go and do all of the things is such a societal curse. Like, but why? What’s the benefit like. Sure there’s something to gain, but what if they like what happened to just letting them be little, little babies, right? And it’s this pressure almost that you could have the next football star or baseball star or swimming, and those Olympians and those professional sports players, they all got started at the age of four and five.
So you have to not only do all these, do the activities, but expose them to all these different things. Cuz what if you’re hiding some remarkable human being who’s supposed to do this? We’re just not all gonna be Olympians. And I think at least in our house, we very much embraced that the kids will inevitably show their interests, but we’ve pulled them when we get like practice schedules and I think we got one for tee-ball and it was gonna be like two nights a week plus a game on Saturday.
And we immediately pulled the kids like, we’re not doing that. It’s too late. They’re not gonna sleep enough. It’s gonna be too much on their little bodies. Oh yes. Bedtime is so important. . Yes, it is. We live and die by bedtime. And that’s the other piece. When you start doing the hustle of, we have to, I mean, they go to school for eight hours a day and then some have to go to aftercare and then they do their sports, and then we have to sneak dinner in there, and then at some point we have to put them to bed and do this the next day.
Bedtime keeps getting pushed, and I think as adults we’re sleep deprived and by default we’re doing that to our kids right now too. We’re not teaching them to prioritize taking care of themselves. A huge part of that is sleep. They’re little bodies who are growing who need sleep, and so as our family prioritizes a family dinner, creating much every night except maybe weekends and that their bedtimes really don’t get messed with, I feel the same that.
I didn’t learn this until I was married, but my husband, he’s like, you need to sleep more. You need to sleep more. You need so much happens when you sleep, and a hundred percent I never regret sleeping, ever, never. I also feel like a key component, and this might be cutting straight to the core of the issue.
The reason why unlearning the hustler motherhood mentality is so critical. , I think is that it’s because you’re not living your life or your family’s life is not living true to what you want and what they want. Mm-hmm. , you’re living towards to keeping up with the Joneses. Right? So if you actively choose and a kid wants to go to T-ball, then great, but that there’s no shame in actually participating in those things at all.
Then just make sure you’re checking in the activities that you’re doing with your family, essentially is what’s best serving them. In our case, with our little. He doesn’t want to like, so it’s more than he doesn’t wanna go and he’s just putting up a little bit of a bus. It’s more of like this true need of like, we’ve had these deep conversations and we’ve had them more than once, and we’ve had it over a long period of time.
Since the start of school. He went from a free playing daycare environment where there was less than eight kids in his class to one teacher. So he had a lot of. Freedom and this kid now is being told, even at recess, you know, they’re told like what they can and cannot do for a full school day and then they come home.
I asked him this question that really surprised my husband, but he goes, I like it. It’s like, what can we do to make your life happi? He’s like, of course he said the first thing he goes, more toys, more Target, . And he said, . I said, okay. No, but really, what do you need more of? And he said, I wanna play with my friends more.
Mm-hmm. , there you go. It wasn’t that he could swim more in the pool at the swimming school. It wasn’t that, you know? Kick some more boards at TaeKwonDo. It was, I wanna play with my friends more. I checked in, we have a parenting coach, and I checked in and I said, developmentally, what does he need right now?
She goes, play. Hmm. She goes, he will do better and be happier and rest better when he can do pretend play and imagine gym play. And that’s what he needs at this time. She goes, he could always be swimming. We had personal goals for swimming so that he would be safe in the pool. Right? We have a, a community pool in our hoa and that was the goal.
And the goal was met, so we’ll just pick it up next. Exactly. That was mainland too. My oldest, so she’s in first grade and her biggest complaint the school year has been, I don’t get to play with my sisters enough. I don’t get to play with my brother enough. I don’t want to do this. And that’s in regards to school too.
So the girls are the older ones, they’re in ice skating and they go ice skating once a week. They’re all at the same time. It’s the one night a week we push bedtime and they’ve enjoyed the activity, but we’re by no means ready to like overschedule them and any pediatricians, the studies, they’re all showing that the play for the kid is so much more important.
And being eighties babies ourselves, I mean, that’s what we grew up with. If we were, it’s true people to be, but I wasn’t being run around to a ton of activities and so maybe my parenting is just kind of mimicking what I grew up with. Gosh. I remember times in the summer especially that my mom would kind of just lock us out of the house and be like, go play.
I’m not here to entertain you. That’s your job as children, so go play with your friends. And this was probably middle school that she would really be a little more forceful with it. But that was the community we had and that’s what we thrived in. And that’s. I think when you start even having the larger families, when you start thinking, oh my gosh, I have to run four or five kids to all these activities and do all of these things, I can’t imagine.
I can’t imagine like you lose that family. I have a neighbor, and she has three kids. And one’s in high school, one’s in junior, uh, middle school, they call it middle school here, and one in elementary. And her little girl who’s in first grade is best friends with Ollie. Like they’re really close. And I was like, how do you do all the pickups?
She goes, I don’t anymore. I make the high schooler use car. Right. And he picks up the middle schooler. and then she goes, I can’t, I can imagine having three, three pickups or multiple drop-offs, and I sometimes wish we had a second. Sometimes when OIE is an only child, so he’s like, I’m really like, if there’s no kids out in the neighborhood or he’s knocked on a couple doors, he’s a little lonely.
I do kinda. I’m like, but you have a dog. Go play with them . But as default as him being an only child, I have had to learn, and I don’t think this is a bad thing, uh, is adults are not very good at pretend play anymore. Oh, we lost that. I lost that, but I’ve had to regain it because my little. Want two pizzas a playmate sometimes, and there’s only so many times in a day you could say, go play by yourself.
They get lonely. Okay. Our parenting coach said, she goes, I give you permission to quit all the things that you’re doing. We’re only doing two, but it’s three nights a week at a seven. And she’s like, she had this brilliant idea of pick a park, like a public park in your town. And she goes, bring snacks and juice boxes and then send a.
To all the parents in your kids’ class and just say, we’re gonna, just having a standing invitation for the month of October where we’ll be at X Park from this time to this time. Here’s my phone number. Whoever comes, great. We’d love to see you. . And that’s my plan for October . Oh, I like that. So whoever comes will come and, and if they don’t, then we’re still being active and we’re still doing something, he might fuss to go to the park.
But the intention is that we’re building community. Mm-hmm. and attempting to have play dates because that’s actually the recipe that he needs. Yes. And they. We only get them for 18 years. Like that’s the other part of it that I look at the kids have from 18 and beyond to develop all the hobbies and activities in the world that they want.
But I only get 18 years to make them a tight-knit family that will wanna come back again. And that’s done more being together than. Not running around, right. The knot that’s done at the family table, that’s done when they go outside and play. That’s done when we are involved as parents and not just sitting in the stands continually.
And again, those are great things, but for our family and our family values, they just don’t align. I noticed a shift. I intentionally, in the past two weeks have slowed down a lot and I made a point to have dinner. Like dinner, dinner on the table as soon as they come home or a meal on the table and all he gets home, he gets picked up about like three 10 or some.
He gets out at 3 0 6. Such a random number. Uh, time 3 0 6, but there’s food waiting for is about to be ready, like for three 30 eating. So you technically eat like really big dinner at that time. Ryan comes down, my husband works from. And we all eat and my husband asks these very intentional questions and we never really ate around the dinner table prior to this, and randomly maybe holidays at Mimi’s house.
And it’s really important to my husband. He wants to sit down, all we understands the importance of it. TV’s off, or we have like soft nature music in the background. Mm-hmm. and I’ll, Ryan will say, what was the best part of your day? And then he’ll ask, what was the worst part of your day? and then just the stories , like what did he, he tell you?
Oh, it’s amazing. Live where it Ali’s favorite thing now is I don’t know where he picks up random stuff. I have to have his serious talk with so and so and I was like, what was the talk about? He goes, . Her shoes were too fast. I need new shoes. Her shoes are faster than mine. I was like, I don’t think shoes have anything to do with it.
she doesn’t even exercise and I have to exercise to be faster than her. I was like, like he goes, yeah, but you get one partner for Jim the whole year. I’m stuck with her really . I died and he’s like, can you get me new shoes? I was like, no. Those shoes were $60 at D S W. Are you kidding me? No. Got them. Oh my.
You just got them and they light up. No, those things are fast. So those are the fastest shoes I’ve ever seen in my life. So like no kids stories or something else? Oh, it was the end of summer. It was before school started and he was holding our neighbor’s hand. He was holding the neighbor’s hand, who’s in first grade, and he, and he whispered in her ear, and then when he got in the car, he goes, I asked her to marry me.
And I was like, so what? So what? And he goes, yeah, I asked her to marry me, but she told me that she has a boyfriend already. and he goes, I’m not gonna give up. And I was like, whoa. Like . And then he, the other time last week, I picked him up, he goes, I saw her in the hallway. And I said, oh really? And he goes, yeah, I told her we have to have a serious talk about her boyfriend.
And I was like, don’t tell girls that that’s not nice. It’s not how you talk to women. He goes, oh, I told her I was gonna give her flowers some chocolates. Can we go to the store now? Like literally I was. . If you’re gonna romance a lady, sure, but don’t tell her you’re gonna have a serious talk that’s not polite to have with the lady.
That’s not how you speak to women. And he goes, he goes, I just, I just told her that I would love her forever. And then I held her hand and I was like, you said all of that in the hallway. And he’s like, he goes, mom, I got it. Without even batting an eye verbatim kid is, Casa Nova over here, but only for this one girl.
I admit. She’s the sweetest one at the pool. Kids are so funny. They are. Through all of this, I had an epiphany. So we’re talking about unlearning hustler, motherhood mentality, and that goes back to deciding and discerning what’s important to your family. What is your family daily life look like? Mm-hmm. in honoring your energy and what is important to you and what your values are.
So that takes a level of self-awareness. and that may look different than everyone else’s. Obviously, like you’re saying. We don’t do multiple sports. We do bedtime and we do one day a week we doing ice skating. Mm-hmm. . So that will look very, you might get feedback from other people that might be negative.
Yeah. And how does a person handle that? It’s hard cuz you look, I mean it’s, this is one area that you’ll either find it on social or just in your community. It’s so easy to compare yourself and see that, but it’s that self-discovery of sorts that I would be a really bad mom if we were doing all of this because I would be exhausted and I wouldn’t be showing up and present for my kids.
And at the end of the day, that’s what is going. Stay with them and either create trauma that they have to heal from later or create a life that they can grow in. Because I can’t imagine like, oh, mom just yelled at us all the time because she was exhausted. Like, that sucks. , it helps to have a partner who’s on the same page.
I mean, my husband and I are very similar in how we wanna do this. It would be a lot harder if he was like, oh no, the kids need to be in 20 different activities and we need to be running around. And I’m sitting there waving a white flag saying, I can’t do this. All we need to stop. And then we’re, I’m always open to change.
I’m always learning. And at some point I know things will shift. They’ll be driving, they’ll be able to go do a few more things and that’s fine too. But for now it is, it’s, it’s what our family wants and needs and it’s knowing my kids too. I’ve done a lot of work in like the human design and stuff to understand who they are.
I spend love that. Me too, a lot of time watching them. And that’s a natural ability that I have because of my human design is to observe and watch and guide. And so if. They were at any point not happy with it, we would make adjustments, but I’ve got two kids who are low energy like me, and it would be cruel to them.
The other two are high energy, but we have tried the organized stuff and they won’t participate, so I’m not gonna go drag them like they’ll go. , but they won’t do anything. Like, they’ll happily go to the activity. Then they’ll, my favorite, your favorite story, I don’t know if you remember this, is that you took the twins, which are, are the twins, Manny gens.
Yes. So, so people who don’t know in human design, there’s five different types and manifesting generators are. They’re one of the high energy types. So they’re like the energizer buddies of the world that they can get forever amount of lists of things done, but they also need breaks in between. Mm-hmm. . So the story was that you said was you took them to ballet and they didn’t wanna participate, so they just sat down.
Yep. For recital. Watch everyone else. The favorite thing about your children and every single one of. They have this independent, I give no F’s. Look, each of them looks totally different, like. I don’t give, and I think that is like a direct reflection of the way that you’re like, we’re unlearning the hustler motherhood mentality.
It’s really been effective. Kailyn is that these kids, so like that’s one thing is that your kids won’t get bullied is like They’re strong. Yeah, they’re strong in like they’re convicted in their decision making. I don’t wanna do this. I’m sitting here. Whereas my kid would be like, I need to follow the rules.
We’re still breaking that people pleaser, . Mm-hmm. unlearning the people pleaser. And my kid’s like, oh, I’ll do this because everyone else is like, he hasn’t gotten there yet, so, My oldest will more participate. But the twins, there was no amount of bribery. None. And we tried, but if you were to look at, and I talked to my human design, um, guide of sorts, and we talked about it.
I was like, I couldn’t bribe, like there was no bribe I could come up with that would get them to participate. She goes, you never will. That’s who they’re, I was like, well, cri, how am I supposed to do this then? But that’s just listening. And so that’s why ice skating is a really good one for them because there’s no like big performance, there’s no show.
It is simply, there’s no teamwork. Which apparently they’re not ready for it. I don’t know or have no desire to do. They’re simply just learning a skill and so that they were happy with. But yeah, if I was to like put them in ice dancing or something with a recital, I would get the same behavior. I have no doubt.
I wonder I developmentally, and again, I don’t have a child development degree or, or any background in that all, I wonder if some part of their brain that controls that develop. Is not there yet because I learned they don’t understand the concept of sharing until age seven. That’s crazy. But that makes sense.
I mean, the seven, Meyer seven, it’s a lot more. Right. So until eight, seven, so at our house, like if we do have a playmate, I don’t do the sharing thing anymore. We try to, yeah. To be like turn taking or something like that. But I really, I don’t like just taking something from hands and passing it off. No.
We’ll do turns later if he’s done with it and. But we actually, we’ve had a couple play dates with, so you mentioned something that I think is a key takeaway, which is knowing your kid. So like knowing your kid and honoring what they need and what they want and getting to know what their interests are.
In and out is such a cool in need thing that instead of necessarily. Just because my dad played baseball, I played baseball when I was a kid. You need to play baseball where the kid is probably more into books and board games or something like that. Don’t push your kid to do something that they’re not ready to do or not want to do.
So honoring not just like what your family’s values are, but also what’s really important to the kid, like what is gonna make them thrive. And be seen. Oh, without a doubt. And that comes back to us like, how often are we as adults doing things we don’t wanna do because we feel the pressure to do it. So we have to unlearn it so we can teach our kids to unlearn it.
So we create this generation that’s like, no, like I don’t wanna keep up with the Joneses because I wanna go backpack through the world. And so that means that I don’t need as much, I don’t need as many things. I don’t need as much money. I just need to do this. And so I think as adults, we’re really getting.
You can see the movements, you can see the anti hussle movements as workers, we’ve got the quiet quitting going on. So now we need to apply that to our kids and our motherhood. And as moms, just be like, I am tired. It is a lot of work to raise little human beings. It’s okay that they go to bed at six 30 and I get some time for myself, and I get to do these things because I’m not running them around at 20 different places that they don’t wanna be.
Potentially, yes. Because so much in our planning call, you said we devalue the role of parents and moms and often say we should just outsource it. That’s a society we, but like at this point, . This is where like the quiet quitting affects, like, okay. The value of us as human beings, as parents, where we say enough’s enough during the pandemic.
A lot of moms, especially if you wanna see a lot of these connect of videos, go to the TikTok, is that they’re not going back to the office because they have enjoyed being able to make dinner. They have enjoyed being able to go and part. at school pick up or even do like a volunteer in the classroom.
They’re more productive working from home and able to actually see their children versus like, I watch this lady’s TikTok. She said that she lived in New York and across the borough she would spend three hours commuting back and forth. She’s like, I don’t need to, I’ll just find another job. So she quit her job and she’s doing something else, but all remotely.
And she’s like, why do I have to leave my house? I take my kid down the street to his school and I walk and pick him up and then bring him home, and dinner’s already ready in the crockpot, and she goes, and my house is clean. I’ve been able to do this all, and she’s a single. So like she goes, but before I would’ve been after school care, been late, tired, exhausted, like a lot more money because she’s having to pay for all those additional care.
Oh yeah, and it’s, we’re so quick. We’re so quick to say like, take the higher paying job so you can pay for more care. We’re, what if we took the lower paying job? Our kids weren’t in all the activities that we needed to pay for, and we just gotta spend more time with them. And it’s just something you can’t get back.
We can’t get back this time with our kids. Like I said, 18 years and they’re off to college or some independent job somewhere. That’s all we get guaranteed to get at least. So if you were to give advice to a first time mom that was either pregnant or newly postpartum and they’re embarking. On motherhood, what is the best advice that you can give them about being a parent under that gut, that feeling those emotions that you’re having and to not just dismiss them in order to keep up with everybody I know I suffer, suffered, suffer.
I might this time too, I dunno if suffers the right word, but I get postpartum anxiety from leaving my kids, and that was amplified by everyone telling me. , it was normal. I’m supposed to that in order to be a good human being and a healthy human being, I need, I need to leave them where I wish I had just honored that at that point in time, that wasn’t what I needed as a mom.
And eventually you get there, but it’s learning to drown out all of the experts, all of the other voices, that at the end of the day, you were gifted given this child because you were the one who was supposed to raise. I love that. So just to recap our episode, unlearning the hustler mother mentality in mainstream America, you’re meant to do it all.
They’re saying that you have to put ’em in all the sports, do all the activities, and have the white picket fence, and clean the house and work full-time and never sleep. We’re here to tell you. That’s bullshit. So go ahead and decide what’s important to you, what’s important to your child, what’s important to your partner or spouse, and understand that the havoc, that mentality is gonna wreak on your life will happen, but it is possible to change it.
It’s all up to you. And that little one to decide again, what do you want in your. What do you want your family life to look like? And only you get to decide what that looks like. It’s okay to go against the norm. Some people will B at what you’re doing. But the whole important is, is you only get the 18 years with them and they’re yours.
So what do you want to spend the time doing? What do you want your child to know and remember when they come back and look on. So if a slower life is for you, great. If you wanna do the tee-ball, great, but my whole point in Caitlin’s point too, You get to decide what do you wanna do with your family? How do you wanna spend your family’s time together?
So we wish you the best on your motherhood journey, and we hope that you know that. Again, we empower you to just decide what’s best for you, Caitlin, if people wanna get in touch with you. And learn about, more about unlearning this mentality and living slower life with intention and motherhood. How can they find you?
Yeah, I’ve got a new Instagram life underscore with underscore Caitlin. Um, and that’s where more of these thoughts that I have get posted because they’re just separate from my business life. I wanted to. To start fresh there, . I love that. So thank you so much for being here. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and always a amen.
Deep gratitude for you back at you.