Time To Simplify | Leverage Your Time, 90-Day Sprints, Startup Christian Entrepreneurs

Feeling Pushed Around, Stepmom? How People Pleasing Compromises Your Well Being | Featuring Mikki Gardner #216

March 07, 2024 Episode 216
Feeling Pushed Around, Stepmom? How People Pleasing Compromises Your Well Being | Featuring Mikki Gardner #216
Time To Simplify | Leverage Your Time, 90-Day Sprints, Startup Christian Entrepreneurs
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Time To Simplify | Leverage Your Time, 90-Day Sprints, Startup Christian Entrepreneurs
Feeling Pushed Around, Stepmom? How People Pleasing Compromises Your Well Being | Featuring Mikki Gardner #216
Mar 07, 2024 Episode 216

What's your biggest challenge in conquering the clock? Message me!

Know the most common symptoms of People-pleasing behavior?

  1. Difficulty Saying No
  2. Constant Need for Approval
  3. Avoiding Conflict at All Costs
  4. Overcommitment
  5. Neglecting Personal Needs

We get into how to move past compromising what’s important to you and still respecting others with guest expert, Mikki Gardner.

Stop being the peacekeeper and start parenting peacefully even when your ex doesn’t reciprocate.  Find out how with Mikki’s bestseller, The People Pleasers Guide to Co-Parenting Well

Take Your Power Back & Reclaim Your Joy, FAST! www.stepfamilypodcast.com/WorkWithJen
📞Get Featured on the show! Ask Jen Anything

Next steps:
Step 1: Join the Empowered Community bit.ly/joyfulwithjen
Step 2:
BUILD BETTER BOUNDARIES! Powerful Free Handbook + Bonuses!
Step 3:
De-Stress Planning - Celebrations Guide! bit.ly/CelebrateWithJen
Step 4:
Top 10 tips to Regain Your Power & Prevent Burnout Free Download!
Step 5:
Peaceful Co-Parenting Strategies that Work-Mini Workshop $97

Be strong, and let your heart be courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord.
Psalm 31:24

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

What's your biggest challenge in conquering the clock? Message me!

Know the most common symptoms of People-pleasing behavior?

  1. Difficulty Saying No
  2. Constant Need for Approval
  3. Avoiding Conflict at All Costs
  4. Overcommitment
  5. Neglecting Personal Needs

We get into how to move past compromising what’s important to you and still respecting others with guest expert, Mikki Gardner.

Stop being the peacekeeper and start parenting peacefully even when your ex doesn’t reciprocate.  Find out how with Mikki’s bestseller, The People Pleasers Guide to Co-Parenting Well

Take Your Power Back & Reclaim Your Joy, FAST! www.stepfamilypodcast.com/WorkWithJen
📞Get Featured on the show! Ask Jen Anything

Next steps:
Step 1: Join the Empowered Community bit.ly/joyfulwithjen
Step 2:
BUILD BETTER BOUNDARIES! Powerful Free Handbook + Bonuses!
Step 3:
De-Stress Planning - Celebrations Guide! bit.ly/CelebrateWithJen
Step 4:
Top 10 tips to Regain Your Power & Prevent Burnout Free Download!
Step 5:
Peaceful Co-Parenting Strategies that Work-Mini Workshop $97

Be strong, and let your heart be courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord.
Psalm 31:24

The Empowered Stepmom™| Biblical Boundaries, Habits, Mindset

My mission is to help you conquer second-wife syndrome for good.....So you can stop wrestling and start investing your time, money and energy into your dreams.

Feeling Pushed Around, Stepmom?
How People Pleasing Compromises Your Well Being | Featuring Mikki Gardner #216

 Jen Rogers

Have you ever suppressed your own feelings to keep others happy? You know, you want to keep the peace, so you ignore or avoid confrontation. 


Maybe you know someone who has a constant need for approval. They seek validation from others. They need that approval to feel worthy or accepted. 


Or you might notice an overwhelmed friend who doesn't say no because she fears disappointing someone or, worse, fears coming across as selfish. 


What is that balance, truly, between selfishness and taking care of yourself, suppressing our own feelings, avoiding confrontation, an inability to say no in sacrificing our well-being? All have something in common Like, say an noun, it's actually two words strung together. Do you know the one I'm thinking of? It's being a people pleaser


Hey, the other day Bill and I snagged our swanky new paddles, hopped in the car and headed to the Y to play pickleball. The other week I stepped a little too far to the left and felt an extra pull on my hamstring. I'm working through that tenderness, and I am determined to keep playing to get better. Listen, I'm not great at this game yet and my speed to get the ball is slower due to my hamstring, but I am competitive, and I do enjoy winning a few games, especially when playing couples who are 10 years or older than I am, I feel like I ought to be able to put a few balls in there. 


Listen, I get schooled at pickleball. All the time I am working to get better, and that's the key. Wherever we are on our stepmom journey, the key is to work to get better, and that's exactly what we're going to talk about today on episode number 216 of the Empowered Stepmom podcast. We'll work together to eliminate, or at least significantly reduce those people-pleasing tendencies as we learn how to become aware, available, and aligned. My next guest is oh so familiar with those people-pleasing tendencies. In fact, here's what she said,

Mikki GardnerGuest02:07

 “Yes, I am 100% a card-carrying now recovering people-pleaser.”  

Jen RogersHost02:15

Meet Mikki Gardner; she gets it. She knows that co-parenting with the difficult ex is stressful and exhausting, no matter that we want to be calm and confident as a co-parent, it feels like in order to do that, you need to make your ex more cooperative. 


The problem is, most moms work so hard to keep the peace that they end up just reacting and feeling like they're out of control. Mikki is a firm believer that post-divorce can mark the start of an even better chapter for you. 


After navigating her own divorce hurdles, she came out stronger and she's now made it her mission to help other moms co-parent with calm and confidence, even if their ex isn't on board. She teaches a simple, doable and repeatable process to take 100% responsibility over those areas that you are indeed responsible for. 


Mikki teaches ways to create and sustain lasting vision, and the reason why Mikki and I got together is because we both believe that you must create a vision and plan for your family, and it all starts with what's important to you. 


It starts with understanding your values and knowing them and getting committed to keeping them, regardless of what's going on around you. 


Hi there, I'm Jen Rogers, host of the Empowered Stepmom podcast. Wife to my hunka-hunka Bill. Let's see…a continuing-to-improve pickleball player, and a woman who is passionate about inspiring you to use your voice to create the change that you crave. 


Listen, there are things I wish I would have known in the beginning, and that's why I'm here: to give you a heads up of the challenges of blending and, more importantly, to show you how you can overcome and, at times, outright avoid common stepfamily pitfalls. 


My mission is to help you truly enjoy your blended marriage, to claim God's best for your marriage, to more fully understand God's redemptive power and to help you create boundaries that work for you. 


If you find yourself a bit out of sorts or completely thrown for a loop as a stepmom, it's really totally normal, especially in the beginning. You're not just blending a family. 


You're scrunching different personalities, dreams, values and hopes for the future under one roof. 


And if you're like me, you started this journey without formal training. Now I know you've got transferable skills. 


If you'd like some help on how to scrunch all those differences into a new dynamic that works for you, it all starts with applying your honed skills in new ways. Learn exactly what I mean by heading on over to buildbetterboundaries.com to get started. I promise you it's good stuff. All right, let's get episode number 216 started with not one, but two coaches who are committed to leading women well, to not just talking the talk but walking the walk alongside you. All right, let's do it. So what do you do for fun? 

Mikki GardnerGuest05:23

I love walking my dog, I love being outside, so walking anything outdoors and anything with my little son. He's not little anymore, he's ginormous and he towers over me, but he's a hockey player and golfer. He plays golf. I do neither, but I love going and supporting him and watching and our golf date, I think, are actually some of my favorite clients. I just dragged the cart and he tried to teach me every once in a while how to swing a club. It usually goes badly, but we have a lot of fun. I'm committed to taking lessons this spring so that I can be a little more competitive out there, okay fun. 

Jen RogersHost05:58

I wish you all the humility and growth. Thank you, you're welcome. Thank you, it is fun when you make progress. My first birdie was a chip in on the 16th hole and it wasn't. I could not duplicate that even now, four years later, but it was pretty darn fabulous. So chip in for my first birdie, absolutely. Oh, that's fun. So how do we do that as stepmoms? How do we get a chip in birdie? 

Mikki GardnerGuest06:26

I think stepmoms, moms, co-parents, I think it's celebrating the win when it happens. I think so much of the time, we're so tied to making sure that everything's done perfectly and that we're doing it the right way, and I think that's when those unexpected moments of celebration and victory it's all that much more sweet. 

Jen RogersHost06:45

So are you a recovering people pleasers, since that seems to be a topic you're passionate about? 

Mikki GardnerGuest06:51

I wrote a book about people pleasing, and I don't want to knock the people pleasers, because we're awesome people. We are the ones who are loving and helpful and accommodating, and we get everything done and we make things more fun and easy. 

People pleasing has that shadow side, though, and that's where, almost on the shadow, the shadow side of it starts to come out more, and that is really when we're prioritizing pleasing others at our own expense. 


This is where I think people pleasing can become a problem, because a lot of times, my clients will say sure, a people pleaser who doesn't want to please the people they love most, it's counterintuitive, like why wouldn't you want to do that? 


But it's really when people pleasing comes in and you get shortchanged because you're not showing up. People pleasing it's essentially a version of lying, because it's not showing up and asking for what we need. 

When we're not asking for what we need or letting ourselves matter or creating the boundaries that are necessary for a healthy relationship, this is when people pleasing can become a problem. I see so much in co-parenting, certainly with step-parents. This is when you want so much for everything to go well and for everyone to love you and for you to love them. It's a really slippery slope and something we can find ourselves doing at our own expense. 

Jen RogersHost08:19

If I were to follow you around being a people-pleaser? What would I see? If I were taping you on the video camera on the replay, what would I see? 

Mikki GardnerGuest08:27

Oh my gosh, that's a particular question, you know. I hope these days that I'm doing a better job noticing it, but there are it's like the automatic yes, when we just the answer is always yes instead of no. 


I really don't want to do that or no, I can't do that. Or when we are quick to agree with somebody simply to avoid the conflict, not because we agree with them, we just don't want the conflict. And I was just telling you. But I had the most awkward interaction because I'm trying to be more mindful of not apologizing unless I really mean it. And I walked into someone, walked in and opened the door and she shut it in my face and somebody else came by and I said, oh, I'm sorry. 


And then I noticed that I was apologizing for this other thing. I said I'm not sorry, oh, I'm sorry. And I started just doing this downward spiral. I was like, oh my gosh, I'm having a neurotic moment Out in public. I gotta stop. 


And I think when we apologize, often that's a symptom here of when people pleasing comes in. Also, when we do things that we really don't want to do, simply to not disappoint the other person. 


And this is where you can look at it and say, Mikki, that's just being a good mom or a good stepmom or a good partner, but it's the energy that we bring to it. I can very easily say to my son or ex, I really don't want to do that, but for you I'm going to. That's very different than oh sure, I'll do it for you.


And then resenting and blaming them in the back of my mind, sometimes not saying no when I need to, is definitely one of those things that I think we all find. There's a couple ends of the spectrum of people pleasing that comes out. 


There's the really be very pleasing, accommodating all of those things, but then on the other end of it is passive aggressiveness, is resentful, feeling all of frustrated or resentful towards others. That's the other end when we've gone from one extreme to the other. So those are some of the patterns in the people pleasing moment. 

Jen RogersHost10:36

So you said a few things. You said I am sorry, so we are saying I am, we are declaring I am fill in the blank on this show, because we focus on what God is calling us to be and how he's calling us to respond. When we say I am sorry, think about what. 


You're speaking over yourself and you're making it all about you, which is really easy to do, especially as a step on. When you're challenged with everything, it feels like the platelets are always shifting. And you also mentioned a keyword, patterns, which makes me so excited, because patterns are like habits and I'm love, love habits, because if you can recognize a habit, if you can understand wait, what's the trigger that's making me say I am sorry before I say it? 


Then I can arrest a pattern and I can do a pattern, interrupt and I can say okay. So the next time somebody slams the door in my face, I will not apologize for their slamming, I'll do something else. 

Mikki GardnerGuest11:34

Yeah, and I'm sorry, is one that many of us do, and I love that you're pointing out that anything that follows, I am, is almost what we're calling in. Once we start to see and name these patterns and notice them, we start to see them as trends everywhere, and that's when we can start to hold them out of the tapestry a little bit so that we can interject something new that we like better. 

Jen RogersHost11:58

So we need to take the I am a people pleaser and we set with maybe what I am a people nurturer. 

Mikki GardnerGuest12:08

I have people pleasing tendencies. There's the thing about people pleaser it's not who we are, it's not a diagnosis, it's not a definition, it's not a genetic condition. It's simply a learned coping mechanism. We learn it in childhood because when we're children, we don't have the ability to keep ourselves safe and so we're really at the mercy of the people around us. And so oftentimes, when there is maybe a lot of conflict or there's very strong personalities or maybe withholding of love or requirements to receive love, this is when people placing can be a coping strategy for a small child, and a really useful one. They learn how to be pleasing to get a better result. 


So, as a small child who doesn't have these sort of wiser abilities and experience of life, it works Simply amass that we continue to wear too long into life, and that's where I want to help, especially moms, but there's a lot of dads that are people pleasers too. 


It really helped moms notice it's not a bad thing and it's again, it's a learned skill, but there's a different skill to learn. It's actually going to serve you so much better, because when we want to show up, using all the gifts that God gave us, using all of the love and generosity that we want to pour into the world. 


We can only do that when we are really able to do it from a clean place, and what I teach is really just a simple framework of becoming more aware of what's going on, so that we can see the patterns that are holding us back, so that we can see these things that aren't helping us move forward, so that we can step into the other direction of actually creating the life we want and showing up the way that we really want to. 

Jen RogersHost14:01

One of the things that I find is women don't know the life that they want. That they haven't taken the time to be visionary, to give themselves permission to be visionary, to think about okay, five years from now, what's really important to me because sometimes we are in survival mode, but other times we just don't even realize that's important for us to do. 


To take the time to think about how do I want to show up, who is the woman that I am becoming, who is the person I'm becoming, who is God calling us to be? And how do we get from where we are to where we're being called to go? And that really starts with acceptance that the first hurdle to get over is to say, okay, this is my tendency. 


I appreciate that you said this is my tendency to people, please, because that is different than I am. So I am becoming more aware of my tendency to undercut my own well-being and I don't want to do that anymore. 

Mikki GardnerGuest15:00

Yeah, there hasn't been, for many of us, a messaging around what do you want, who do you want to be and how do you do that? 


The first step is really creating, I call it the lighthouse, or the GPS. You would never get in your car to go on a road trip on vacation and not have a destination in mind, and then you certainly wouldn't get mad at your car when it runs out of gas or you hit a dead-end road. You wouldn't stand on the side of the road yelling at your car, kicking the tires. But that's what we do with ourselves because, again, we don't have that vision. We don't have that understanding of what is it that I want? What have I been called for? Who do I want to be? 


So a lot of people are like, ah Mikki, I don't really do all that visioning stuff or whatever. But it's actually setting the destination in your GPS so that you know where you're headed. Once you know that, now we've got to reverse engineer everything. We've got to create the path to get there, we've got to know what roads we're traveling so that we can navigate whatever comes up our way. And so that's actually one of the first things that a client does is decide, based on their values, what is most important to them, the situation they're in, where they want to go. 


We start to set that destination because she's actually going to be the one that guides us today on how we show up, and so I love that that you brought that up because it's so important. A lot of us just don't even know. 


We haven't been taught to want or to ask for or to receive all that much. But when we can learn how to pause and to hear the voice of God, when we can learn to pause and listen to that, you already have everything you need, and so that will continue you on. But we have to really learn how to do that, how to hear that, and all of the complexities and all the things in life make it really hard to hear. 

Jen RogersHost16:56

For sure. So, as you were sharing that, I was recalling what I'm going to call a cupcake moment, and it's literal cupcake moment that my client had in a victory she had with her stepson. So I'm always curious to know for coaches, when you think about a client's success, what's one of your cupcake moments of victories for one of your clients? Oh gosh, I love this. 

Mikki GardnerGuest17:20

When I started working with one of my clients and I work with co-parenting moms her husband had come to her two days before Christmas and said I'm done, I have no interest in this marriage, I'm out. And by New Year's he had moved out. By February he was in a relationship. By June he was married. Up until two days before Christmas she had no idea that anything was happening. 


She had this sort of like rapid fire, having to learn all of this stuff. When we started working together, she couldn't be in the same room with him, couldn't look at him, couldn't talk to him and don't even think about the other woman who is now the stepmom who, by all accounts, was trying really hard with her children. You may not like it, but stepmoms are in your children's life. 


So you get a choice on how to look at it. They either get to be your mortal enemy or they get to be one more person in your child's life to love and support and care for them, and it's based on that choice that everything else falls. And so, as she and I started to work together, we had a lot of healing to do, we had a lot of unpacking to do, we had a lot of work around. How do we communicate with someone? Because it was very triggering for her and I understood that. I understood with a lot of compassion. Her side and her children are there, so we don't have the luxury of drawing this out. 


For years we got a move. She sent me a note. I think we'd been working together for about six months. She sent me a note and she said he can't because he would bring the kids when he had them. The bus stop was in front of her house and she would sit in her house and watch them be out there. And she said it was raining this morning and I saw him standing there and she walked out and she said would you like to come inside and wait and have a cup of coffee? And she invited them in and they talked about strange things. 


It was very uncomfortable, but she said it wasn't even a full year. And she said I couldn't even imagine being willing and stable and grounded enough to open the door and say do you want to come in and have a cup of coffee? And I think that was one of those moments where it's a small thing but it's a massive thing because she had done her work to feel safe enough to start to enter into a new relationship which is going to encompass the entire new family. They went on to really learn to co-parent well and now they're all doing it as a blended family. 

Jen RogersHost19:55

That's a great success story and what it points to is this that it wasn't anything to do with her ex and it was everything to do with what she was choosing to do with everything that she had. I'm going to so appreciate you sharing the answers are inside of us and it's okay if you don't know them right now. 


What's not okay is if you stay stuck there, and that's why people like me and Mikki are having podcast interviews about this stuff to share. You don't need to stay stuck. You don't need to keep repeating the patterns and speaking I am, statements over that make you feel less than that's big death over yourself instead of this great opportunity that you have to grow from this experience. 


And, as we know, I think about a mountain climber which I'm not one, by the way. I don't even dream of wanting to be one. If I'm just straight up honest about that, I'll just admire them from a distance. But if you think about a mountain climber, they don't start climbing the mountain before they grab all their gear, get their gear first, and they don't just climb Mount Everest on day one. I don't know what mountain they climb. Maybe they go to the YMCA and do the climbing wall first. 


I don't know what they do, but they practice, and this is the thing that's scriptural In fact, it's in Philippians 4, but you actually practice. You practice focusing on whatever is pure and lovely and holy and admirable and right, because when your mind is focused on those things, you're looking for the good. Whether you're looking for the good in a very difficult X, or whether you're looking for the good in yourself or your step kids or your children, you're going to focus on those things and you're going to feel better about that. God knows that about us, that we're going to feel better when we focus on those kinds of things. 


So back to the mountain climber. They're not climbing Mount Everest on day one. So, regardless of how many marriages you've had, how many families you've had, the family that you're in right now you've never been in it before and you don't have all of the skills practiced, you do have the ability to practice them and there's a difference is reaching out and getting help inside communities where we're focused on or climbing the mountain. I'm going to have to come up with something else that I could actually do besides climb a mountain. But you know, step mom off of you. It's like climbing a mountain. 

Mikki GardnerGuest22:13

Yeah, and I think one of the one of the analogies that I use often is understanding that cult parenting is a team sport. 


So, yes, you might be on the same team with the last person you want to be on a team with, but yet there you are. Right, you've been drafted, you've been brought into this team and this is the team that you're on. And so when we can take it from a team approach to understand okay, we're not looking at each other from opposite sides of the field, but instead we're standing on the same side of the field looking out together, you start to share the same perspective, you start to find commonality and I think to your point, no good team would ever go out without so much practice, without a playbook, without running all those drills a million times, without seeing every different strategy that could be out there, having all the trainers doing all the stretching, eating. 


Well, it's not just about the game, it's about everything leading up to it. When we learn how to come at it from that team approach, even when the other people might not have the same feeling, we can still really start to play the game in a different way, in a more positive way. 

Jen RogersHost23:26

One of the things that you and I were talking about before we started recording was we want women to walk away feeling as though they can do the next thing, that they can uplevel their game, that they'll walk away with more confidence. 


So what would you say to the woman who's struggling for six years and she's parenting, she's co-parenting a very difficult team and she doesn't know what to do because her husband's not really on board and there aren't very many boundaries. What would you share with her to help her begin to build that confidence? 

Mikki GardnerGuest24:03

First, my heart goes out to her because it's challenging and children show up without a user manual. They should come out with some sort of instruction book. They don't, and so really getting. 


You don't know the answers because you're not supposed to. And the answers are going to reveal themselves when we start to show up in a more conscious perspective, and that just simply is being more aware, really just learning how to be more aware of what is reality versus all the story that we're telling or all the drama or everything around us. It's being able to separate the fact from the fiction when we're able to start to see okay, what are the facts that I'm dealing with, and we can start to remove a little bit of the emotion, because the stories are where all of the emotion lies. 

All of the childhood issues, our own wounding, other relational problems that have happened, all of that layers in, not because there's anything wrong with us, but because that's the way our experience goes, so the more aware that we can become about what's actually happening. This is where we start to have more power, which is agency, which is simply a fancy word for choice. 


There is so often, and I'm sure you hear it all the time, but I have no choice. I had no choice but to do this. I had no choice but to react. One of the things that I'm seeing and I think we all are seeing it just on display right now is a high level of reactivity that people are displaying in the world, and reactivity is just literally reacting unconsciously to things that are happening. The opposite side of that, what we want to do, instead of reacting or getting triggered or activated, is really learning how to take responsibility. 


I define responsibility as your ability to respond to what is happening. You want to be able to respond, and we do that by understanding what are the choices that I have available to me, and there is always a choice. You may not like them, but there is always a choice. 


And so, then, that leads to aligned action. Simply meaning, again based on how we were talking before. What is it that I want? How do I want to show up? Who do I want to be? Okay, if that's who I want to be in this moment, what is the action that's going to get me at least shifted in that direction, versus reacting and just going the opposite, when we can start to put it on, rinse and repeat over and over walking through, becoming more aware, understanding the choices that we have available and then taking aligned action based on those choices. 


This is what, over time, leads you in a completely different direction, and I truly, wholeheartedly believe, like deep in my bones, that every mom, every stepmom, has the power to create a harmonious environment for herself and her children, regardless of anyone else's behavior. 


We do this by learning how to really take ownership over on life, protect our own well-being, which is about learning how to speak up with conviction, hold boundaries that protect your peace, cultivating more calmness for yourself, creating that inner sense of calm so that you can find the clarity of your inner voice and decisions, and learning how to reclaim your freedom by managing your energy, managing your actions, and so each of these things really take to one to the other. So I didn't answer what to do with the teen. That's like not complying or causing problems, quote unquote. But it really is. 


We can't control other people. We can control our “ours” part, and I always joke that everyone wants to be an influencer these days, that's, we hear all about it. I say be an influencer in your own home, because the ripple effect is bigger than you would ever know. And so when we really focus on how am I showing up in a way that feels aligned and true? There is a positive ripple effect on that, and sometimes we have to wait to see it, but that is within your power and that's your only responsibility. 

Jen RogersHost28:09

There's certainly models the opportunity to choose for our children even if they are living a very different home life when they go over to their other parents. We only have control over what goes on in our own home and I think that's something to remember I've really been chewing on. Take dominion that God said. 


Go and take dominion in your own home. Stop blaming everyone else for what's happening in your home and start being a woman of influence. Start deciding. This is who I am becoming. These are the choices that I'm going to make, and I really appreciated that you had a literation there. I love the alliteration. 


So you had the three as as far as be aware, available and action. Sometimes massive action is not a flurry of activity. Sometimes it's as simple as keeping your mouth shut because you wanna be a woman who listens well and you wanna wait for the opportunity to speak something meaningful into the situation or into someone else's lives. 

Mikki GardnerGuest29:08

You asked about confidence, and confidence isn't a feeling. Confidence is built from taking action and it's from capability. We only become more and more capable as we actually take action. And, again, that doesn't mean these huge leaps and bounds, these huge decisions, but it's each and every step along the way, taking action, figuring out what works, what doesn't work, really taking ownership, like you said, and dominion and that's what creates confidence is just the willingness to take action and to try. 

Jen RogersHost29:42

You asked this on your show every time, so I'm going to flip it around and I'm going to ask you the question that you ask your guests. So co-parenting with confidence. How do you find confidence and how do you cultivate it in your life? 

Mikki GardnerGuest29:55

Mikki, it is a commitment to a belief that I am a confident, capable mom that I can co-parent in the way that I want. It's a feeling, but it comes from us taking action and when I first got divorced it's been almost 10 years, maybe it was a very difficult, very emotional, very. There was betrayal, there was a lot going on and it took years and years for me to be able to heal, and I did it on my own very much, feeling alienated on an island. I didn't know anyone who had gone through this. It was a very shameful experience for me. That's why I do. What I do now is because I don't want women to feel the way that I felt, really all alone after that process. 


But what I did find out again through action and trial and error, is I just believed. I had a knowing. I had a voice inside of me saying you can do this and you can do this. However, you want to do it, and I really believed that my family could still be a family, even though we were in two houses, even though other people were involved. I showed that belief, that vision, that beliefs drove my actions. That's how I learned to. Maybe some battles aren't worth fighting. 


Maybe not everyone agrees with me Maybe I don't have to control everybody in the situation and I think the confidence gets built when we really stay true and we are willing to listen to what it is that we want, and by doing that we become more and more confident. Just last week my new book came out and I had a book party, which was very fun. 

Jen RogersHost31:43


Mikki GardnerGuest31:44

Thank you. It was really very exciting. It's a best seller, so that was even more exciting. But my ex and his wife and their three-year-old brought my son to the party. It was just one of those moments where we were all there, we were all enjoying and they were very helpful. Many people commented it's so beautiful to watch you guys especially it was all my family and friends, so they know everything that went on and they said, to be here and to watch you be with one another and supporting each other. It's such a beautiful gift, and as I was driving home, I was reflecting on it. 


I don't always feel confident, and especially when there is conflict, which is totally normal, but it doesn't feel normal when you're in the middle of it or when I have to have the awkward conversation with my son's stepmom or his dad. 


But my confidence comes from proving to myself that I can show up even when it's hard, even when it's difficult, because I trust my gut and I trust my intuition and I trust that I'm being led in a way that is lobby-eater, it is true, and so that was a very long answer. I'm sorry, but I'm not apologizing. 

Jen RogersHost32:58

I was going to wait just one hot second. 

Mikki GardnerGuest33:01

I will not have the kind of analogy I call myself Great job. 

Jen RogersHost33:03

I call myself who doesn't. 

Mikki GardnerGuest33:05

And here's the work in progress. 

Jen RogersHost33:07

It is a work in process and I really appreciate you modeling that in that working, because you're sitting across from me and, as we're having this conversation and I'm looking at your book behind you, I'm thinking, yes, this is a woman who is confident, because she understands that you're going to make mistakes and that it's not going to be perfect, and that's okay, that we're not aiming for perfection here. That's already been done. 


Jesus has handled that and that's how we know that we don't need to do that, that we instead are on a journey to draw closer to Him through our co-parenting, through loving ourselves. Jesus tells us to love one another as we love ourselves. Think about that for a minute. 


Have you loved yourself today? 


Have you taken care of yourself today? 


Did you buy yourself your favorite ridiculous coffee beverage that costs ten bucks a cup for the first time in three months?


 If you haven't done that, maybe it's time to go out and treat yourself to something that you enjoy, so you can process what you're learning right now, so that you can understand that, yes, I can move forward from wherever I am right now. 


It just it. It's one small step. It's a massive step, but it's a small step and it is action to say, okay, I'm going to draw a line in the sand and I'm not going to live like this anymore. I'm not going to live afraid. I'm not going to live people pleasing, I'm not going to live compromising my values. Heck, I'm not going to live not even knowing what my values are anymore, because I'm so lost that I haven't even taken time to think about what's important to me and you mentioned that the values. 


We're going to make those choices Aligned with our values, but if we don't know what our values are. That's why I think there's this disconnect where we're like, wait a minute, why did I do that thing? Because we're out of touch with who we are and who God created us to be, and we need to take some time to savor that and to know who we are so that we can project and grow and develop in who we are. I appreciate that you took that apology back absolutely. 

Mikki GardnerGuest35:10

But I am convinced that we are in a period of this time and this world that we are in, that it is time for women, if things are going to shift, it is time for us to step into the feminine, to step into the role of Using our intuition, which is the gift that we are given. It's really important to create the vision and to be willing to stand for that vision to move forward. 

Jen RogersHost35:35

And two more things before we go. So the first one is what is your favorite flavor of ice cream? 

Mikki GardnerGuest35:39

Oh, my goodness Jenny's dark chocolate. 

Jen RogersHost35:43

Jenny's dark chocolate. Yum! Yum! Sounds Wonderful!


Mikki GardnerGuest35:47

I don't know if you've had Jenny's ice cream, but it is Wow. She has the darkest chocolate and it is YUM! You only need two tablespoons and it is fantastic. 

Jen RogersHost35:57

Oh, wonderful, okay, all right. The last question is I know you are passionate about Helping people co-parent. Well, of course, your book has been released and again, congratulations on it being a bestseller. That you think, and that is definitely evidence of perseverance and Practicing a pattern of discipline to put a book together like that. So, yeah, where can people find you? 

Mikki GardnerGuest36:20

Oh, the book. It's the people pleasers guide to co-parenting. Um, I do have a podcast myself, co-parenting with confidence. I spend a lot of time there, really pouring in, trying to give value, tools, ideas. I just want every mom to know that she is not alone. You are not alone on this journey. We were never wired to be alone in parenting or co-parenting. They can reshape their world and offer their children a harmonious environment, and they do that by create, creating more harmony within themselves, being that ripple effect in the world people can find you all of your stuff. 

Jen RogersHost36:55

They can go to Mikki Gardner, M I K K I  G-a-r-d-n-e-r Dot com and if you are like my husband, you are going to be clickety-McClickster and type all that in manually, and if you are like me, you're going to just scroll down to the show notes and you're going to click the button so you can find more about Mikki. Thanks so much for being on the empowered stepmom today. 

Mikki GardnerGuest37:15

Oh, thank you, Jen. It was great. I'm so grateful for you having me here today. 

Jen RogersHost37:20

It was really nice to meet you and again, congratulations on your boat. Hey there, thanks for tuning in to the empowered stepmom podcast today. If you are new to the empowered stepmom community, welcome, welcome. Be sure to check out all the links in the show notes on how you can move forward from where you are to where you want to be.


P.S. If you need a place to get started, remember what I shared at the beginning? Head on over to buildbetterboundaries.com to begin building better boundaries today. All right, I'll catch you next week. God Bless You! 


Suppressing What's Important to You to Avoid Confrontation?
Navigating People-Pleasing in Relationships
Healing and Growth After Divorce
Cultivating Confidence in Co-Parenting
Unique Collaborations with an Ex