Eps 337: Creating Community for Moms of Bigs With Esther Goetz

Episode 337

Today I am interviewing Esther Goetz. Esther is the mama behind the wildly popular instagram account, Moms of Bigs. We spent time in this interview talking about the power of community during this season of parenting, and how authenticity and transparency about our experiences creates deeper connections with each other, and supports us in moving through the hard times.

Community is everything!

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Takeaways from the show



  • Running the Moms of Bigs page on IG
  • The power of community for moms during the teen years
  • The desire for connection and lack of control
  • Challenges are a part of the territory – connecting with others who are real
  • “We want our kids to thrive as their complete selves.”
  • Growing through the tough stuff
  • Adversity can be an opportunity to grow and evolve
  • The gift of being ourselves
  • Untangling the physical and emotional space as our kids get older
  • Interdependence
  • Navigating mental health, substance use, and more…
  • Get help when you need it!

What does Joyful Courage mean to you?

For me, it means there are going to be very hard things that are going to require bravery. It also is a reminder to me that we can have hope because we have done very hard things looking back. Joy is my middle name, I have thought about that word my whole life, when we intermix “Joyful Courage” it does make me feel joy when I look at how courageous I’ve been.



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Casey O'Roarty 00:05
Hello, hello my friends. Welcome back to Joyful Courage, a conscious parenting podcast where we tease apart the challenges and nuances of parenting through the adolescent years. I am your host, Casey O'Roarty positive discipline trainer, parent coach and adolescent lead at Sproutable, where we celebrate not only the growth of children, but also the journey and evolution that we all get to go through as parents. This is a place where we keep it real, real stories real parenting, the teen years are real messy, and there aren't many right answers. But the more we trust ourselves, and trust our teens, the better the outcomes can be. The Parenting we talked about over here is relationship centered, you won't find a lot of talk about punishment, consequences or rewards. What you will hear is a lot of encouragement about connection, curiosity and life skill development. Our teens are on their own journey. And while we get to walk next to them for a bit, we don't get to walk for them. Their work is to learn from the tension of their life our work is to support them and love them along the way. I'm so glad you're here. Enjoy the show.

Casey O'Roarty 01:28
Hi, listeners you are in for a treat. today. My guest is Esther Goetz. She is an author, a space holder, a mom and a wife. Esther writes to restore hope for the sacred space where hearts and homes meet. Her latest endeavor has been to help moms of bigs give their kids the roots of unconditional love and the wings of freedom to be completely themselves. I'm so excited to welcome you to the podcast, Esther. Hi,

Esther Goetz 01:57
I'm so excited to be here. This is so fun.

Casey O'Roarty 02:00
So fun. And I'm just so honored to share you with my listeners. You run the moms of bigs page on Instagram. And that's where I first interacted with you because I just started seeing the things you were posting. And I was like, Oh my gosh, this lady in my head, what's happening here, this is also relatable, you post things and write things that speak directly to my heart and my experience of parenting teenagers, and I really appreciate that. You're

Esther Goetz 02:32
welcome. It's so great. I had somebody yesterday said that to me, they DM me and they're like, are you in my head? No, we're just we all have the same heads. That's

Casey O'Roarty 02:42
three. Yeah. We're gonna share an experience. We're in a shared experiences, right? Will you tell me a little bit about what moved you to create that space? And I mean, it's a big space, you've got a large audience and a lot of people, you tell the story, it seems like what you had to say really resonated in a big way?

Esther Goetz 03:01
Well, I think back to why did I create the space and really the reality is, is I need the space. I need it. And I especially needed it when my kids were teenagers, I had two women that were a little bit older than me that really helped me through that process. But I call them the underground ears when we all go underground, because we're concerned about our kids privacy, we have bigger issues now they can't be solved at the bus stop, and all that stuff. And I really needed I needed people to come alongside of me. And when I looked around out there, there really wasn't there's things. There's plenty of stuff like how to get your kid into college, all that practical stuff. But when it comes to the emotional stuff for moms, and how do we navigate our emotions through it, I wasn't finding much at all. So that's really where Eileen, I wanted to create a space for other people. And everybody needs a mom. Like I say, everyone needs a mom to cheer them on sit in their yuck in a safe space for them to be themselves. And so in one way, I'm a mom to the moms of bigs.

Casey O'Roarty 04:08
I love that and you are so spot on and it's funny how what you said, like, how to get your kids into college or, you know, safety around driving. Like there's practical things. And those people show up in my inbox, right? Like, hey, my client is this person, they'd love to come talk about this thing on your podcast. And I'm like, You know what, I know my community, when they show up in our Facebook group or in my social media spaces. They're not asking those questions. They are like I'm struggling with the choices my kids are making. I'm scared for what's happening or you know, I'm having a hard time letting go of control knowing that they need room and there's so much information for parents of littles and like school aged kids and parents of teenagers. I feel like in a lot of ways get left behind and I'm wondering, speaking to somebody else who kind of is in the work of the mess of the teen years. I feel like I you know, now that I'm really niched into parents of teens, I do see my people like there are a few more other people that are having these conversations for sure. But I think it's a hard sell. Like it's way easier to say, you know, three tricks for getting your toddler to finish their dinner. You know, that's like really cut and dry. Whether or not those tricks actually are useful is another podcast. But you know, you can be pretty cut and dry and formulaic in your pitch, I think when they're younger, and when they become teenagers. It's just so messy. It's so messy.

Esther Goetz 05:39
Right? And so incredibly complicated. Like,

Casey O'Roarty 05:42
yeah, there's no perfect answer, right? There's no 123 Magic. No, and

Esther Goetz 05:46
I think a lot of that is that your own emotions are in the middle of it, you are having a lot going on inside of you, as they're doing the normal, pulling away and fighting for independence, and they're not as dependent on you. And I find that like when my people DM me and the people that are really struggling, like you said, I see that they want so much to have a healthy connection with their kids as they grow. And then you get to like that, oh, they want to be independent. They don't want to be with me anymore. And all those mom feelings that stir like guilt, what did I do wrong? What have I done wrong? And then worry, because they're making choices that you think you could have control, but you actually don't unless you're tying them. You know, y'all have the same level of control anymore. And also, I think the grief that comes that no one talks about, there's a lot of crying, just over being hurt by what they've said, or just the normal, letting go, Oh, my goodness, the years are coming to an end, they're going to be moving away. They're not going to be sleeping in their childhood bed anymore. And then I think one of the biggest things that I see is this, like I said, the idea of the underground, you feel like you're the only one everyone else, especially because of social media, it looks like their kid is super successful. They're the captain of the lacrosse team, they're, you know, getting an award of the Honor Society and your kid is in their bedroom and isn't hasn't come out for weeks or is stuck in the basement playing video games, or they don't have a friendship. But you know, friends or they've been you know, bullied, whatever, you don't have that kid. And to be honest, everyone has that. I mean, everyone has that because no kid just like no mom is always up into the right. That just is not humanity.

Casey O'Roarty 07:37
Right. Right. Right. And really, we're seeing highlight reels right course. Right. And it's funny, you know, even as a parent educator, I was talking to another parent educator just this morning about this, you know, who has kids that are struggling through the teen years, as you know, my oldest had a nice solid three year, just Whoo. I mean, she's been on my podcast to talk about it. So her story is out there. And I could list off like three or four authors, parent, educators, personalities that I know and follow who it would be very easy to say, well look at them. Clearly, they are perfect at practicing what they preach because their children are getting all the accolades and the family photo, everybody's smiling and poised and looks clean. Like even as a parent educator, it's easy to forget and to start to compare. And what I was talking about with this other mom was, I think that the audience, meaning other parents of teens are really hungry to hear the real story and to hear that even the people that they're looking up to, or following or putting in these boxes of like, oh, you know what you're doing, right to hear that? It's hard. Yeah. And we make mistakes. And it's like, we got to make it right. And I think it's actually super empowering to people.

Esther Goetz 09:08
Yeah. And I would say, too, I think that those are the people I want to be close to other ones who are struggling. I can't be close to people who seem to have it all going on. I'm like, Well, I can't relate to you. Because what if I share something that's awful. So I know, in my space, and probably why most of us can relate is because I have gotten major permission for my kids. They've just sort of given me blanket permission. They're a little bit out of the teen years now, which is helpful on that front, but they're like you can share your struggles mom and you can share ours and that's what reality is. That is what people most people are living through. They're not living through, you know, perfect kids doing perfect stuff. I wouldn't even to be honest, I don't even think I would want that. I would wonder what's really going on underneath. Right? Like are your kids able to be themselves? If they're showing perfection to the world? I actually get more sense Fisher's have the perfect people than I do have the messy I just want to be with the messy people. Why not? I mean, it's so much more vulnerable and so much more connecting our hearts connect over the hard. They connect over the good stuff. Sure, but most of the time they connect and shared pain and struggle, which is so great. I'm so happy for your space that's asking these questions. And yes, do we want our kids to grow and thrive AB so loosely, but we want them and as my little mantra says, we want them to thrive as their complete selves, which means their whole selves, which is their strengths and their struggles. Yeah, and their good stuff and their bad stuff. Like what all makes them humans because that is how we thrive as humanity, your strengths are my struggles, my you know, then we're much more community minded.

Casey O'Roarty 10:50
Yeah. And I feel like those struggles, like, I look at my 19 year old, and I am in awe of the level of self awareness that she has, because of what she's been through, like the way that she sees the world, the depth of her thought process. And I think about myself as a 19 year old, I'm like, Oh, my God, no, I was not stretching or flexing those muscles at all. I was like the opposite of self aware, you know, I mean, doing my own thing, and growing in the directions that I was growing. But, you know, there's something that you said, like, yeah, we want our kids to grow and thrive and actually growing and thriving, requires like, some tension like to grow. And Thrive means that we're moving through something and flexing those muscles and practicing those tools and skills. And when everything's, you know, easy peasy. It's, you know, I could lift two pound weights all day long and not getting any stronger. Right, right.

Esther Goetz 11:49
That's brilliant. I love that. I love that idea. In fact, my daughter, who's visiting, she lives away, and she's visiting, she said that to me yesterday, she's like, Mom, we're just not going to grow unless we have some tough stuff. And she was talking about how, through the pandemic, that people have become isolated. And she's like, I can have everything delivered to my apartment, I don't even need to go and like bump up against somebody in a store anymore and be like, oh, so she goes in one way. Yeah, it's great that I can have everything delivered to my apartment. But in another way, I'm not getting that constant, like pushback from other people. And so maybe I'm spotting. And so I was so amazed, like you said, her self awareness at 22. I'm like, what a 20 TI was.

Casey O'Roarty 12:36
I know what I was doing. Self awareness,

Esther Goetz 12:39
not self awareness, for sure.

Casey O'Roarty 12:41
Well, I think too, like I really like to hold that the human experience is that growth and thriving, there's no threshold, right? Like, it's just continuous. And I feel like, even as our kids need that tension to continue to grow and thrive, as do we, you know, and raising teenagers and everything that we have to let go of, or that we're invited to let go of not everybody, lets go of it. But there's an invitation there to let go and to grow and to be willing to learn new things and to see the world in a different way. And it's, it's such a potent opportunity for us as parents if we choose to see it that way. Yeah. And some days, I'm better at remembering that than others, for sure. But it's an opportunity for us to grow too. And I think the harder the teen years are for on our end, you know, the more opportunity there is for us to continue to evolve. Yeah, and then we can be ever better for our grandkids, right? The goal

Esther Goetz 13:42
ever. Yeah. And it's so interesting that you're talking about the letting go thing, because I think for me, even moving from the team, the heavy duty teen years until the young adult space, that has been sort of the biggest surprise for me was actually, the shifting was mostly done inside of me, and not necessarily inside of them. And all the expectations that I had for them. And the letting go of those expectations has been huge. I know in my life, and it's like a constant letting go of what I thought their lives would look like, versus what their lives actually look like. And that actually been entering into what their lives actually look like, and not the expectation of Oh, I thought it was gonna be like this, or I thought it was going to be like this. And then embracing all the diversity that comes with that. It's like, oh, you're not doing what I thought you would do when you were 15. And actually, your sister is doing something completely different than what you're doing. And to give them Roman that sort of again, my thing of like, our long term goal is that they would be completely themselves. And I say that to my kids all the time. The only gift you really have to give to the world is yourself. That's the gift that you have to give to the world. So we're gonna fight with all our might for you to become that because what a beautiful gift that is no one else, you know, and that's back to that old saying of like doctors, no one else can be you, there's no one you are than you. And I used to just sort of chant that at them when they were younger. But this is really where the rubber meets the road. We really want them to be themselves because then they give that as a gift to us. And then we can be ourselves. And then we can give that as a gift to them. And it does end up as a beautiful process. It's a messy, horrible process, especially during the teen years, when they're trying on a million half. And you're like, Dude, you're just a chameleon. You're becoming like all your friends with the jocks. You're such a jock, and with the nerves. You're a nerd, and you're such a chameleon, who are you really, that's them just trying to figure it out? And that's okay, and just be like, Oh, well, maybe you're trying all those things out, in order to figure out what's not you,

Casey O'Roarty 15:52
as I was listening to you talking about that, I was thinking to myself about some of the various looks, that have come through the door at our house. And like, remembering I wanted to be like, Well, don't be too attached to that, because that's probably going to change but laughing because I should have been directing that to myself, not to them, like don't get too attached to this because everything's going to change. And I'm noticing in conversations lately, that's been a big piece of a place for with, for me with parents to really roll around and is like, everything is always in flux, you know, and it's so easy, especially when things get hard to feel like, it's hard and it's going to be hard forever, or they don't want to spend time with me, they're never going to want to spend time with me or they hate me. And they're always going to hate me. Like it's, you know, the head and the heart, right? Like the head can remember like, oh, wait, there's teen brain development happening right now, like things are gonna change. But the heart is just, ah, aching for relationship and validation and evidence and feedback that everybody and everything's gonna be okay. And sometimes that isn't available in the moment.

Esther Goetz 17:03
No, especially when they've just slammed the door, or they've gotten really quiet and thrown on their headphones or whatever they're doing to sort of go into a space where maybe they're just trying to regulate themselves, and they don't, or they just need that long time, or they are disconnecting appropriately from you. But man, so hard, I do have a really funny story about Vice felt like, you know, all the weird things that kids try on my son, of course, during the college application process was when he decided to get a mohawk. Because he was like the leader of the school spirit. Like he was the person that was the emcee at the pep rallies, but he got the ball off. And then were like at his scholarship interview, and I was like, Oh my gosh, he's not getting even into this college. Much

Casey O'Roarty 17:50
was, was it spiked, like I needed.

Esther Goetz 17:52
So I mean, it wasn't that long, but it was a mohawk. And they really didn't like color it when we went in and I was like, Okay, I gotta let it go. Let it go. This might not be the culture, if they don't want him in his Mohawk. Whatever, dude, but it was like the battle inside of me. He was fine. But it was the battle inside of me. Like, hey, and of course I I was like, Okay, go get him wondering what the heck was going to happen in his interview. And that school he went to, at the end of the day, love it. That is the college he went to, and I guess they seen everything. So they didn't really care about his Mohawk.

Casey O'Roarty 18:29
Right? Hey, hi, I know you're enjoying this interview, but I wanted to pop in to be sure that you knew that the back to school checklist is still available for you to get your hands on back to school checklist. Remember, that came out in late August. This resource is designed to be the springboard you need to jump into the conversations that are useful to be having. With your teens right now, as they roll into a new school year, your teens, your tweens, we would all like to be more hands off, right? We want our kids to be self driven and motivated. Listen, this is about creating systems with your kids that support them in their follow through and support you in letting go and trusting them to learn through their mistakes. I know. I know. It's hard and it can feel like you're trapped in a cycle of frustration and disappointment. But there is another way so I want you to go to B spreadable.com/checklist and download this resource to start having different conversations with your adolescents today. Okay, B spreadable.com/checklist. It's free. It's there. It's for you go check it out. Back to the show. When they're watching kids walking in the door at 18 and then walking out The door at 21 or whatever close around that range. I think it's so interesting too. I think we're pretty close in age. And so I remember the first time my daughter was like, Well, I want to color my hair like blue. And I was thinking back to being her, I think she was like 10 or 11 at the time, and I'm like, Oh, my God, there's no way this would have been well, it wasn't a thing. I mean, it's more of a thing now than it's ever been. But it's just so interesting, what has become normalized for 2022. And yet, I'm still stuck in what was normal in 1983. Right, and like holding that up as my filter, and it's just, it's amazing. And probably that school was like, blown away by your kid, like, look at him. What fun, you know, because he also brought his personality, which sounds like you there was plenty of that to go around as well is fun isn't fun? How old are your kids? Esther?

Esther Goetz 20:59
They're all young adults. So like 20s now, so my youngest is 22. So looks so weird. I mean, it's just so weird. Do you have four? Yeah, or two girls and two boys and the girls are on either end, and the boys are in the middle.

Casey O'Roarty 21:12
I bet it's fun.

Esther Goetz 21:13
I mean, it's a lot of fun. Now, I am like surprised at the process I happen to have my two youngest are with me. Now we're in a little mini vacation. And it's just fun. Of course, there's all like the memories and the crazy stuff, and they just mock me still. And they're also very self aware. And I can just be myself. It's been really great. And they kind of have embraced the fact that I'm a human being, and not just their mom, but I'm still their mom 100% It's great when you can talk to people who are listening and not slamming doors, and then they can kind of call you out and your heart is much softer. And not in such a take. Like that is one of the things I've learned is don't take anything personally. You know, and so my heart isn't in that space anymore. It's a little bit emotionally more. Where Yeah, it's okay. They can kind of say anything that they want to me. But I can also say what I want back, but it's done with mutual respect, you know, and joking. At the same time, you know, kind of like that. Were you really so close that you can kind of joke and not joke, but yeah, I'm very grateful for them. They're all fantastic people. They are fantastic and so crazy, different from each other. My brother's like what are you My Big Fat Greek Wedding? Everyone is like the exact opposite, like the extreme of whoever they are. And I'm like, Okay, look. Good. Good. fullest expression.

Casey O'Roarty 22:37
So great. So

Esther Goetz 22:39

Casey O'Roarty 22:40
What's been the most surprising because, you know, I'm thinking about my listeners that range anywhere from parents of tweens all the way to parents of older teens, and maybe even some with young adults in their early 20s. But what have you noticed continues to be challenging.

Esther Goetz 22:55
The most surprising thing for me has been how long and sort of arduous the processes of untangling the physical space and the emotional space of your kids like just how to untangle your finances like my kids. We all have bank accounts that are still tied in every time I have my bank kind of like, there they are. Now I know I still can see it. I don't want to look at it. I don't want to know it. So the constant untangling physically like a lot of crap. It's still in my house, you know, from Louisiana, those kinds of things, but also the bigger one where I always kind of land is the emotional entangling, right? You think you have these teeny little babies who can't do anything apart from you. And that's a long, slow process to independence. And it's different for every child. So what might be okay, for one kid is not okay for another kid. You know, my youngest son, we talked about this in the car from the airport yesterday. Why was she so fiercely independent? Like, I don't need your help. I'm good. I'm 12. I got it. I can run a whole household without you. And she was fourth. I mean, I don't know what her issue was, except that she's a little bit like her mom. But we kind of walked through what that was yesterday. Like, she just still struggles now today, her personality is one that struggles with getting help. She wants to be the helper, but she doesn't want to get help. And so she sort of resisted any help I ever wanted to give her were my one son, the one with the Mohawk. He welcomes help all the time. But he's just really good at that. He's always been really good at that. And he didn't need more help because he had severe ADHD. So because he had sort of a disability or special needs or I'm not quite sure even what the proper term is because I'm so old wired differently wired. Thank you for the neuro diverse diversity. You know, all the stuff. I'm so old now what was that? Okay, like five years ago? Is that okay? Which is fine. I'm learning and I need to continue to learn which is great, but I think like wow, and he's able to get help everywhere. Like that's not his issue. And so it is this like weird dance that you do, of leaning into who they are as people. And then knowing that it's going to be this long, slow process, and I say, from going from dependent to completely dependent, and really what's healthy, is interdependence. And we all know this from slack, where I depend on you at times, and you depend on me at times, and sometimes you're helping me. And sometimes I'm helping you. And that's really the space we want to move into. But I will say I had one other shocking thing, the amount of like grief, I'm very surprised at the amount of grieving that you go through all of the short like all the tiny goodbyes along the way. Yeah, sure. There's hollows and I love that, and I leaning into all the hollows, but it is this lifelong grief process. It just this,

Casey O'Roarty 25:51
that makes sense. I'm thinking about. So my son is just wrapping up his sophomore year. So he's got two more years, and he's on a mission to go to college, not in the Pacific Northwest. So he'll choose somewhere that's at least probably a plane ride away. And then I don't know if he'll come back here to make his life and then my daughter, who's 19, in still at home and making her way she has sworn that well, I'm not going to still live here When Ian moves out. And we were like, you know, great looking forward to you stepping out into the world. And when I sit quietly, and I think about them not being my constant, it is heartbreaking. This heartbreaking. It is exciting to think about life in chapter three, you know, or whatever chapter it is post kids at home. But yeah, I imagine that there is quite the transition, like a really long transition of just getting used to that new normal of just not having them there. Because I'm feeling like, we had some really hard years. And we've come out of those. And so now it's really good. Mostly, it's really good. And it's almost like damn, it would have been easier to say goodbye when you were a huge pain in my ass. Now I'm really enjoying you. Because it's gonna be hard.

Esther Goetz 27:15
Yeah, my oldest wrote a poem called when tears are a good thing. And I love it. And I refer to it, she read it at her college Baccalaureate, which was the night before graduation, and it was about the college years, you know that we're gonna all be crying tomorrow, because it's been so good, right. And I think that that helps me I just always remember her, which I love that learning from your own kids, right? That's my favorite. My favorite part is how much I've learned from them. But I go back to that. I'm like, Oh, I'm crying because I love so much. I love them so much. And that's an appropriate it's tears are really a good thing. So the grief process a lot of times a net for heavy duty grief and little griefs, little teeny ones. Like when your kid takes its first step, you're like, oh my gosh, look at them. They're walking. And when they wave goodbye on the bus stop, you're like, you know, in kindergarten, and they're waving and you're like, oh, there goes my heart, you know? And that's a good thing. Yeah, good. Well,

Casey O'Roarty 28:08
I will say I was not a mom who got sad when my kids started school. I was like, thank God. I think two and a half hours is gonna give you so much time and you quickly realized like, Oh, my God, no, I didn't I sign up for whole day. Yeah. Well, I know as well that you do some work with your husband supporting couples. And I wondering if I can ask you a little bit. You know, one of the things that couples therapists told my husband and I, when we went just as my oldest was starting high school and things were getting a little dicey. She said, The most important thing you can do during the teen years is to nurture the relationship that the two of you have. And it's been really hard. We've had a variety of well, pandemic, my husband and I cancer diagnosis, like, there has been plenty the last four years. And I'm wondering, like, what can you share around just how to continue to nurture and grow relationships with our partners, when things with the kids feel so heavy and hard? Yeah. Do you have any thoughts on that?

Esther Goetz 29:14
navigated some really, and probably will, again, in the future, some really, really rough seasons. And like you alluded to my husband and I have done marriage mentoring for about 20 years and have engaged couples, so they're like on the new part, but oh, god bless. I know, God bless them were 25 years or so. Yeah, no. And I think one of the things that I remember my four kids, they were young, sitting around the table, they were little, and I think we were like going out on a date. And they were like, What are you doing? And we're like, Well, you know, you guys are not gonna be here forever. So sorry, you're not long term. And I want this person that's sitting across from me to be long term and So sorry, dudes, you guys are coming and going, and I don't want this person to come and go, I want them to be here for the long haul. That was my dream and my vision. I know, everybody doesn't have that same one. But that was our particular dream when we got married, that we did really want to be those old people sitting next to each other, looking back at our lives being like, Oh, we did it. And we did it together. When you asked the question, I was like, Oh, my goodness, that's the first thing that popped in my mind was telling that we would outlast our kids, we better stay connected. So I think we definitely have made a very, very strong point of cultivating our relationship apart from them. But here's a weird case, we also have gone to counseling, when it got really difficult, like our center is ADHD and because of ADHD had some subsequent substance abuse issues in high school, and especially not to scare a buddy in college when all of the parental quote unquote, controls which I don't even like that word were gone. And he was trying to regulate his own anxiety. You know, he ended up with some substance abuse stuff. And man, that takes a toll. It's very scary. And then our daughter, our oldest daughter, I mean, she had it since she was a little kid. She had severe anxiety and OCD and all that stuff from when she was little. She has shared his story with me on my podcast at times. And so I'm not saying anything that I'm permission to say. But wow, yeah, navigating those things. And then just the regular busyness, where you're just always out doing stuff, doing stuff. And I know, I think the pandemic showed that a lot is when everything, all the distractions are taken away, and you're just left with this person in your house, you're like, I don't know, if I don't want to be with you. I mean, that was kind of a weird, revealing. But it did reveal the stuff that was like maybe pushed down by distraction. So we would say one big thing. And this came from my husband, which I'm a little bit of a control freak. And I worked really hard on that, knowing that it's my own fear. And one time I was like, trying to coach him on how to be Oh,

Casey O'Roarty 32:06
yeah, better my husband. So I'm always like, You're so lucky, you're married to a life coach, oh, my goodness,

Esther Goetz 32:11
I love coaching him on how to connect with our teams and cultivate in our relationship with our kids, he literally sat me down was like, I'm gonna have my own relationship with them good or bad. Let me have my own relationships with these people. And if I suck, I suck. And what we have found out and I was like, Whoa, you're right. Whoa, all right. You're right, because you don't do that to me, even though I'm such an expert. And I just really was struck by his wisdom there for good or bad. And when we look back, I'm like, Oh, my gosh, I struggled so much with my fear and subsequent controlling. And he was like, Well, I struggled with connection. And we're like, well, that's where we are. Just in our lives in general. He's an introvert, I'm an extrovert, I'm more fearful. He's like the freedom guy. And we both had to navigate those things by ourselves. So I think realizing, and we have four kids, realizing that six times six is 36 relationships in the house. And all of those are going to be they're going to last or they're not going to last, I cannot make my son and my daughter be close. They're either going to be closed because they have a relationship. Or they're not saying what he and I sang with he and them. Same with me. And then so yeah, it was actually letting everybody sort of be themselves good and bad, really helped us and we did learn that we didn't get a lot of help in counseling, but I think that's the very wise thing to do is get help when you need it.

Casey O'Roarty 33:42
Yeah, I'm all for it. I'm all for the counseling for all the people. I love that. And something that I keep hearing you say, throughout our conversation Esther is, and I'm recognizing as a deep value of yours is space for everyone to be themselves. And I think that that's just so beautiful, and such a gift. I mean, you talked about it as the gift that we get to give each other but really having a space where that's centered and valued. It definitely wasn't in my household. No me growing up, and it for sure, I would say it's a value of mine as well. And I can also see little things, especially lately with a few things that have come up where I'm definitely, like squishing that space. And so it's a really powerful reminder. It's a really powerful reminder. And I love what you said about this is who I'm with for the long term. Something that I'll say to my kids is like, well, I picked your dad, like, I picked him, you guys. We just had to deal with whatever came, you know, like he's the one I picked. And they just roll their eyes and think that's so funny.

Esther Goetz 34:50
That's so funny. A friend of mine is a mom of just a newborn. She was so nervous when she was like a week before her due date. She called me first of all, she said I'm really nervous that I'm not gonna get leave for a couple of weeks, and I just kept my mouth shut. But then she said, like, I don't know this person, like, I got to pick my partner. And I made him. And now like, I don't get to. It's so true. But I think the more that we are allowed, I think maybe because it was so missing for me, the more we are allowed to be ourselves and our kids are allowed to be themselves, the healthier the relationship, because everyone feels safe. Yeah, I mean, it just is a safe space, and what do we really, really want to be known. And we do this in our marriage mentoring, we want to be known, and we want to be loved. That's what we want. That's the core of who we are. And my job is not to make my kids into somebody, my job is to get to know who they actually are. And it's a lot easier to love somebody when you know them. And all their quirks. It's just true. As we know, people, it's hard to judge people when you get proximate to their struggles when you hear their dreams, even if they're like a jerk. A lot of times like people are jerks, and then you like have a conversation you really lean in, you're like, Oh my gosh. Oh, okay. This is really who you are on the inside, because maybe they haven't had a safe space to not be.

Casey O'Roarty 36:19
Yeah, yeah, definitely. Oh, my gosh, Esther, I could talk to you this happened last time we talked, I feel like how much time do we book. It's so lovely to get to connect again, and to get to connect for my audience. So thank you so much for that. I ask all of my guests at the end of every show the same question, which is what does joyful courage mean to you? Hmm,

Esther Goetz 36:47
I love this. And I love the name of your podcast. That was probably what attracted me to you.

Casey O'Roarty 36:55
It wasn't my really cute video and your direct messages.

Esther Goetz 37:00
You are very, very cute. But I'm the extrovert

Casey O'Roarty 37:03
in my marriage. Clearly, I think we're living parallel lives when you were describing I was like, oh, yeah, that tracks.

Esther Goetz 37:11
But I love the name of your podcast. And I think it just for me, it means that there is going to be very hard things in our lives and in our parenting that require our bravery. Right? We are going to need courage, we are going to need bravery. But it also is a reminder to me that we can have hope because we have done really hard things all along. When we look back, we can go oh my goodness. I had bravery here. And I had courage here and all that. And actually, that's a question I asked myself every Sunday, I have like 10 questions I asked myself and one of them is where did I show courage this week? And it kind of is like this, I'm sorry about it. But it's kind of this beautiful place where you do look at your own life and yourself. And you say, Wow, things have been really hard. And I have been really courageous. And then I say the joy part. It's my middle name. So I have thought about that word my whole entire life because I do you really think that when we this kind of intermix of joyful courage, that does bring me joy. When I look about how courageous I have been kind of going through the tough years and the tough times. And it brings great joy to me. And there is so much just natural joy in parenting, as we all know. And in life. There's so much beauty. So I think those two words together do speak to like that intermingling weird, kind of all encompassing space of life. And especially parenting, because we need both of those big time. Yeah, and we have both of those almost simultaneously. Just take people who are watching their kids walk down the graduation stage, that you have so much pride and so much joy. And you're like whoa, I am going to need bravery to get through this day, through this summer or whatever it means as they kind of exit our lives, whatever that means. We moved our son out this last weekend and I'd say those very same words. How great is it but finally after the pandemic, he's finally moving out onto his own making his own way. But man, I needed so much bravery to rent that truck. No and to like, hug him goodbye in his own little cute new apartment. So yeah, it's so telling of the mixed mixed up feelings that we all have.

Casey O'Roarty 39:46
Yeah. Esther, you're so lovely. I'm so glad that I get to chat with you. Where can people find you and follow your work

Esther Goetz 39:55
so mostly where you found me is on moms of bigs I am on face spoke and I am on Instagram under the exact same moniker of moms of bigs. And that's really a space that's designed for you. Not me, this isn't the Astro show. This is a space where you get to come I like sharing pictures of your kids. I like sharing pictures of our struggles. I talked about my own other moms come on and write my space. Obviously, this podcast will be in that space too. But it is a place for people to feel completely safe. I want to know you. I want you to know me. And I want you to be completely yourself there. So yeah,

Casey O'Roarty 40:31
yes. Beautiful. Well, thank you so much for spending time with me today. This is great. Oh,

Esther Goetz 40:36
I love that. You're so fun. We're like, determined to meet in real life.

Casey O'Roarty 40:41
i It's happening. It's happening. Maybe your kid will go to

Esther Goetz 40:45
college and the north east and then you'll be him and then I will come and like help you. Maybe not like tears away. Maybe you'll be doing a little happy dance. Yeah,

Casey O'Roarty 40:55
yeah, who knows? But we'll be getting coffee and hanging out for sure. Thank you so much, Esther. Okay, thank you

Casey O'Roarty 41:10
Yay. All right. Thank you again for listening in to another show. Please check the show notes for any links mentioned in this episode. If you liked what you heard today, will you do me a favor and share it? Screenshot the show plastered all over your socials so that other parents know that we are creating value over here for them. If you really want to earn a gold star, head to Apple podcasts and leave us a review this does so much for the show for he exposure. It's a great way to give back. Thank you to my team at Sproutable for all your support. Alanna Julietta, I love you so much. Thank you to Chris Mann and the team at pod shaper for keeping the show sounding so good. And you listener, thank you for continuing to show up. This is hard work that we're doing. I encourage you in this moment, in this moment together. Let's take a deep breath in. And follow that into your body. Hold it for a moment, exhale. And with that exhale, release the tension. And I invite you to trust, trust that everything is going to be okay. I'm so happy to support you. So glad to have spent time with you today. I'll see you next week.

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