Episode 1: The Leadership Journey


Welcome to the very first episode of the Leadership Parenting Podcast!

Being a mom is unique calling- one that demands so much it can exhaust us and even threaten our individuality. It takes us to the deepest of lows and the height of joy.

I know this because I am a mom of 5 amazing children and for 30 years, I’ve worked with thousands of moms who are all trying to do the same thing- take good care of their kids and somehow find a way to survive themselves.  

Over these years, I’ve helped moms learn how to take radically good care of themselves so they can become resilient and confident. 

You see, I have this theoretical therapy bag that contains decades of my studying, researching and practicing skills and ideas to help the women I have worked with. In the past, I’ve reached into the bag and pulled out just what I think the woman in front of me needs in that moment to help her. 

But in this podcast- I’ll be opening up the bag and sharing the knowledge with moms everywhere, because you shouldn’t have to go to therapy to know the basics of emotional and physical wellness. Everyone should know them!

Each podcast episode will take on one of the key components to being resilient. We will also talk about the challenges of parenting and how to create a vision for your family that you can follow during the good times and the hard times.

In this episode- you will learn more about how I help women learn resilience and why it is so important to take care of the mom.

If a mom can care for herself, manage her own emotions, show compassion and kindness to herself and take charge of her own wellness, she will show her kids how to do it to. She will lead her children to the same resilience skills. 

This is a Leadership Parenting™ Journey. You are invited to come on this journey to learn new skills and lead yourself to feeling safe, strong and confident, and then lead your family to do the same!

Everything you want your kids to know and do in their lives- we want for you as their mom.

Moms and Dads need these, kids need these, we all need them.

You are invited to come on this journey with me and learn new skills and deepen your understanding and commitment to connecting with and taking care of yourself. 

Lead yourself to feeling safe, strong and confident, and then lead your family to do the same.

What You’ll Learn on this Episode:

  • Who I am and how I’m qualified to be your guide to more confidence and resilience
  • The power of resilience- what it is and how it can help you live a more balanced and happy life
  • Why you have to add yourself to your busy mom to-do list if you’re going to stay afloat.
  • How learning resilience needs to be practiced in your life so you can lead your kids to use it in their lives.

Mentioned on the Show:

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*This transcription below was provided for your convenience; please excuse any mistakes that the automated service made in translation. *

Welcome to our very first episode of leadership parenting. It’s a thrill to be here with you. And I’m so excited to share in this episode a little bit about who I am and what it is that I’m bringing to you in this podcast.

00:01:03 So, let’s start a little bit with my background. First, I’ve got training in two ways. First in the therapy office, I’ve been a licensed clinical social worker for over 30 years. That means that I am trained in clinical social work, which is the study of the brain and body understanding how moods and feelings, emotions, and thoughts work, and really trained in advanced treatment for anxiety and depression, for trauma and relationship issues. So I, I see pretty much everything in my office and have seen everything in my office over the years, I’ve worked with depression and anxiety, trauma, and really hard life situations that don’t even fit a formal diagnosis. I’ve found through my work that life is bumpy and sometimes very painful. And this isn’t true for some of us.I really believe it’s true for all of us at one time or another. So this is my job as a therapist to handle all the hard stuff with people, the things that are challenging, the things that cause them pain and my original goal was to work with children and to really help kids. But it kind of turned into learning how to help adults know how to help their kids.

00:02:25 Because what I learned was that I would start to meet with a family and start to meet with the child. And we would get strategies and ways of looking at that child’s behavior or the trauma or hard things that they were experiencing. And, and I put together a plan that made sense when I was in the office and I would even bring the parents in and we would get them started on a plan for their kids, and then they would go home. And oftentimes it would all fall apart under the daily stresses that moms are facing. And something I realized even before I was a mom, myself, that moms were facing a lot of stress. It’s not just parenting stress, but as women we’re dealing with our own challenges. So I began to realize that all of the kids I was working with were in a family where they had moms that were dealing with their own levels of stress. And that moms are really just little kids, all grown up and still struggling to deal with the painful feelings and sort out all the hard things that life brings them. So I learned early on that it’s not just kids that need to learn how to manage their emotions and behaviors. It’s something that grownups need as well. So over the past many years, I’ve really specialized in working with women through the lifespan, with teenagers, through a woman’s pregnancy and postpartum through parenting and empty nesting and helping to manage all of those complex and kind of tough things that go with all of those stages. My foremost goal has always been to take care of mom, because if we take care of the mom and the family, we really hold the power to take great care of the whole family.

00:04:08 And if we can teach a mom to take care of herself, well, we really unlock a power that just self sustains. I found that being a mom is a really unique calling. One that demands so much, it can just exhaust us, wear us out sometimes, even kind of absorb our individuality, but I’ve also realized it’s such a sacred calling and there’s just nothing that demands as much as being a mom and nothing that brings us as much joy. And this leads me to the second area of training that I have that I’m bringing to you with this podcast. And that’s from the home because I am a mom too. I really feel qualified to talk with moms because I’ve got five kids and I have been in the trenches. I understand what it’s like to be a mom, maybe not every single mom’s unique, certain circumstance or situation, but the general things that go with being a mom and the challenges I found at the end of the day of working with clients that I came home and faced the exact same challenges in my life. As I worked with my family, I’ve been overwhelmed and exhausted. I’ve felt alone. I’ve experienced trauma as an adult, but also trauma as a kid.

00:05:29 And I’ve dealt with anxiety for most of my life and even experienced several periods of postpartum depression after the birth of my children. So, and I hope to share some more of my experiences as, as well as how I dealt with those challenges as time goes on. But I wanted to share that with you because I really feel like I’ve had a cool window, a really unique window into both sides of being a mother, the, just the hard down to earth challenges that we face. And also the clinical understanding of why we face these challenges and what happens in our brains and our bodies when we face these challenges and what to do with it, like how to handle it. So I feel like a great side benefit of all of my therapy training has been that I’ve been able to use it, to help myself through the hard things in life. And maybe I would say that that probably hands down was the best part of my training. And even the study and experience still today, the best part of it is that I’ve been able to use it for myself and I’ve been able to teach it to my kids. I often joke about how crazy it is to have a therapist for mom.

00:06:51 And at the end of the day, I think my kids might agree with me sometimes, but mostly they’ve all said how grateful they are, that they got exposed to the skills that a therapist brings. They got exposed to those at an early age. Sometimes whether they liked it or not. I really believe that if a mom can care for herself and manage her own emotions, show compassion and kindness to herself and take charge of her own wellness, she’s going to show her kids how to do that. She will literally lead her children to the same resilience skills. So in this podcast, we’re going to talk a lot about leadership here, and that’s the name, hence the name of our podcast Leadership Parenting. We want to be really focused on leading yourself in a mature, compassionate, and wise direction, and then turning around and leading your children in the same way. What we’re going to talk about here together is resilience. It’s the skillset that we’re going to learn. You know, whenever I meet with a client, I have this theoretical therapy bag that contains like decades of my studying and researching. And one thing that is probably my greatest, maybe my, my greatest strength and also one of my kind of little things that get in my way is that I love to research. I study and research and in this theoretical therapy bag that I’ve got, I’ve got literally years of studying and researching and practicing skills to help the women that I’ve worked with. Normally, what I do is I reach into the bag and pull out just what I think the woman in front of me needs in that moment to help her, it might be that she’s dealing with depression or anxiety or some self-criticism or shame. And for a long time, what I did was just of, out of my own knowing would offer to her what I thought might be the key to help unlock the stuck place. She was in a few years ago, I joked that I wanted to create a small series of books called therapy in a box that contained the steps to feeling better, kind of like putting into writing the things that are in my therapy bag, that every woman should know these things, right? That I’ve had a privilege to learn them and other therapists have learned them. I think they should be teaching this stuff in schools. So instead of a book, my sons were encouraging me at, at some point to create more of an online system that maps the way and with some help of some friends and just continually studying what I’m doing with my clients,

00:09:46 I’ve put together the core steps or this core skills that help people feel better. And I call it the resiliency system. And it consists of many of the core things that each of us need to be emotionally and even physically, well, you can find that system on my website, take care of mom.com. It’s laid out there, kind of summarized. It’s a great visual, and I encourage you to go look at it. I’ll put the link in the show notes, but in this podcast, we’re going to address the core skills and talk about them because most of us don’t know what those resilience skills are. We’ve never really had the chance to formally learn them. And I just think that’s not fair. So I really want us to be able to talk about that. And I, I really believe that this is important. I had a friend that asked me, you know, Lee, why, why is this so important? Why do you think everybody should know these, my answers? Because we’re drowning. The kinds of things that we’re dealing with as individuals, as women in our lives are significant. I can’t even tell you how much depression and anxiety is out there.

00:11:07 I’m sure, you know, you’ve watched the news. You listened to your friends, you, you experienced it yourself, but there’s a lot. There’s a lot. And it’s not just us. It’s our kids, our marriages are struggling. Our families deal with a lot of stress and it doesn’t mean that everybody’s falling apart, but it means that everybody’s dealing with hard things. And I really believe that there’s a way to prepare ourselves and our family for how to deal with hard things. For years, I’ve sat with women as they’ve come seeking help, and no matter what the, their unique challenges are, I tend to go back to the same basic skills and see how great of a help they really are. There are essential things to success and happiness that I’ve found in researching. And a lot of them fall under the name of resilience. So resilience helps us bounce back from difficult challenges. That’s kind of the formal definition of it. Resilience is to kind of come back to a bed, a level of functioning, but I I’ve really expanded our definition of resilience to be a little more comprehensive, that it’s a set of skills that give us a sense of confidence.

00:12:31 When we face new challenges, maybe confidence, more confidence than we had before. So more than just bouncing back, I believe resilience lays a foundation so that we understand what’s going on in our brains and our bodies. And we know how to work with ourselves. It’s been really deeply studied and resilience. Isn’t, hasn’t been found to be a trait that just some people possess.

00:12:57 I really do think we all have a core well of resilience. We have a foundational kind of resilience about us as human beings, but when we’re talking about resilience in this podcast, we’re really talking about a set of skills that can be learned. Most of us don’t come with these skills automatically. I, you know, a few of them are intuitive, but most of them are things that we can learn to help us make the challenges that we face so much easier to deal with. And once you can see the vision of what is happening in your brain and your body and identify the skills you need and practice them, anyone is able to increase their resilience. I know this because I’ve walked with many, many women, hundreds of women in increasing their ability to be stronger, more aware, and more resilient. And I think every one of us needs to know and learn these skills. I absolutely love teaching them to moms because there’s a really good chance that moms are going to turn around and teach these to their kids and starting out in life as a kid with these skills on board is such an exciting idea. And that’s what we’re going to do for our kids when we do this for ourselves. But it’s important to note that even if we’re coming to these resilience skills later in life, like we didn’t learn it from our parents. We can learn them. Now, it’s never too late to learn more about how to work with ourselves and to learn skills, to take care of ourselves. So I really see this as a journey of self discovery, and it starts with being open to learning about yourself and how your brain and your body work. For example, how you think creates your reality. And I know sometimes it feels like our minds and our bodies are working against us. And in fact, I truly believe they are in how we’re designed and how we’re so designed for survival many times without awareness, our minds and our bodies do feel like they’re working against us. But when you understand why your mind and your body do it, they do, you actually can be an active part of that process. Instead of feeling powerless. Our thinking creates these stories and our stories in our mind create our feelings and our feelings inspire our behaviors. And all of this together really ends up creating our life.

00:15:40 What I just said describes cognitive behavioral therapy and therapists like me use CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy to help people who are depressed or anxious, recover and not be depressed in as anxious. But years ago, I realized that this was a powerful tool that was truly being underused. Why is it sitting in a medicine cabinet to be used only in therapy when it should be like in our food each day, it should be a staple of our diet, not a prescription when something is wrong. I think it’s vital that each and every one of us understand the power of our mind, the power of belief, because it’s the super power that lies dormant. We need to wake it up. You know, there’s this huge percentage of people. And sometimes me I’m in it. And maybe you you’re in this percentage of people who over eat or, or shop or spend money or into gaming, or look at Facebook and social media or work too much or clean too much, or do any of a million things to avoid our feelings. Why do we do this? It’s because feelings are big and uncomfortable and they scare us. But here’s the thing they’re important to feel so important to feel. They’re what make us human. And we have to learn how to work with them. We have to learn how to teach our kids to work with them, all of this stuff, the thoughts, the feelings, the things we do, or the hard things we deal with, it’s all life. And we need to know how to handle it all. How many of you struggle with being harsh to yourself?

00:17:35 Like, do you have a little self critic in your mind? Cause I certainly do. Sometimes we’re harder and meaner to ourselves than we are to anyone else. Do we really realize the impact that that has on our world? Not just ourselves, but our whole world. Most of us struggle with taking good care of ourselves. We find it tough to navigate the continuum between selfishness and selflessness, but the secret is that taking good care of ourselves has nothing to do really with either one of those extremes. It’s about being accountable and responsible for ourselves and that’s not really being selfish and it’s not necessarily being selfless when we’re accountable and responsible. The by-product is that we treat ourselves with respect and honor, and that is what feels really good. That’s kind of the key to unlocking all of those problems that hit us so hard.

00:18:39 Even the big wins, depression and anxiety and responding to trauma, those big wins. All of it really comes down to treating ourselves with respect and honor and learning to understand ourselves and know what to do. It’s hard work and it’s showing up and it’s taking responsibility, but really it’s the only thing we can do if we want to stop the madness of all the depression and anxiety and addiction and the statistics for ourselves and for our kids. I really believe that we need to learn to lead ourselves. And it starts with our thinking. You have to know how to take care of you. And resilience is a way to learn that resilience can be learned. I know because I teach the skills every day and I use them every day, myself. So on this resilience journey, there are two main steps.

00:19:39 Step one is to learn the skills and this knowledge I can definitely give you step two is to learn how to work with yourself in your own unique way. Most of us don’t know automatically how to do that, but with time and the skills and a little practice, you’re going to get really good at knowing how to work with yourself. So, my goal is to teach you the things I’ve learned after 30 years of practice, practicing on myself and practicing with my clients and help you figure out how you can work with yourself. We’re going to talk about identity. Like here’s a preview. Most moms get their identity from, and here’s the list, right? Our kids, our house, our family, our job, our roles, external sources. 

00:20:31 And this is a rough formula for being the cause of how we feel about ourselves. External sources are always shifting and changing. Kids don’t sleep. They don’t behave. Like we want some times they leave home. Like our identity needs to be solidly separate, and just our own. We’re going to talk about feelings and how to deal with them and where they come from and thoughts and what they mean and how we can work with them and talk about real and deep connection to yourself and how to be on your own side, how to love your body and take good care of it and how to manually reach inside that body when you’re feeling out of control or upset and turn down your nervous system. So you can get yourself out of all of that stress. I want you to know yourself and how you work as a human being, because there is a scientific basis for how your brain and body work, and you should know it. Well, this is the, this is my goal. You’ve kind of heard my vision for this podcast. And I, I think it’s truly a leadership journey. Everything you want your kids to know and do in their lives, we want to be able to do for you, their mom, our goal is going to be to lead yourself, to feeling safe, strong, and confident, and then lead your family to do the same. I’m really excited that we have this journey to go on and I’m looking forward to being with you every week. I thank you so much for joining me on this very first episode, and I will see you next week. Take care.


This podcast is not intended to provide mental health treatment.  Leigh Germann is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and not a doctor, psychiatrist or psychologist.  She does not provide diagnosis nor offer therapy through the LeighGermann.com or TakeCareofMom.com website or in the information offered on the website. It is important that you do not disregard professional medical or mental health advice or delay seeking professional medical or mental health treatment because of any information on the LeighGermann.com or TakeCareofMom.com website including but not limited to blogs, newsletter, videos, podcasts, e-books, programs, webinars, courses and other services. TakeCareofMom and Leigh Germann are not providing legal or financial advice, business advice, psychotherapy, supervision, religious advice, or medical advice. The information contained on this Website has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

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