Live Q&A with Lindsay McGuire on her fears as a first-time mom

The conversation they have explores a myriad of questions, how much space do you let your kids take up in your own life? How do you find the right balance? What does it mean to be more than just a mom? Who is going to help take care of my new baby when I go back to work?

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"This is a process of becoming selfless, of understanding that for a period of time, my own physical needs are not the most primary ones that I have to meet.” Tiffany

It all started with an email from Lindsay McGuire, Content Marketing Manager at Formstack, ShowRunner for Ripple Effect, and VP of Grants for the Junior League. Tiffany sits down with Lindsay to talk through questions she sent in a Live Q&A-style episode.

The conversation they have explores a myriad of questions, how much space do you let your kids take up in your own life? How do you find the right balance? What does it mean to be more than just a mom? Who is going to help take care of my new baby when I go back to work?

Live Q&A with Lindsay McGuire on her fears as a first-time mom


Lindsay: How have you been able to transition to being a mom, but don't let it encompass your entire life.

Tiffany: I'm your host, Tiffany Sauder. And this is Scared Confident. So a couple of weeks ago I got an email from Lindsay McGuire. I'm sitting with her right now. I'd been on their podcast. And she, from that heard that I had a wagon full of kids and, and she reached out with an email and it said, this says, I'd love to chat with you sometime about transitioning into the phase of being a working mother.

So I thought what a really awesome opportunity and Lindsay's agreed to sit down with me and kind of have coffee over microphones here because I think. So many of us have questions at any life transition, but in particular, when we feel so much in our environment and our body's changing when we're pregnant.

And so this is really going to be just coffee with Lindsay. Um, I'm going to be asking her some questions about her life and we're going to just kind of see where it takes us. So what are the questions you find yourself most kind of mulling through in your mind?

Lindsay: There are all the things. I mean, pregnancy in and of itself is just so bizarre because no one has the same experience.

You can read all the books, but none of them are going to tell you what you're going to experience. So just. Being okay. With all the changes you're going through is hard and like wanting to have control, wanting to know, wanting to like see your map and your plan. And so many things can just go awry. So I think trying to find.

The comfort in the unknown, which I think every human struggles with, but just during pregnancy, it's so hard, especially because I'm very athletic. I'm very fit. I'm very much like the owner of my body mindset and you have no ownership of your body anymore. So I think adjusting to that is, is really difficult.

But I think in general, one of the biggest things I've been struggling with, and probably if you talk to most of my friends or my junior league ladies, or things like that, Well, there are conversations I keep going back to is there's this idea, the idea that when you become a mom, you lose your identity.

And that is my biggest fear. Probably. I don't want to just become a mom. I think mom is going to be part of my trifecta of who I am and who I am as a person. And it's not the only definition of myself. But, you know, as you read articles and blogs and stories and talk to moms, it's an easy thing to fall into.

So I've been trying to talk to my friends who do have kids or, or my, you know, further employees or people that I know that have kids of like, how have you been able to transition to being a mom, but don't let it. Kind of encompasses your entire life. And I don't mean that in like, I mean, I'm going to love my children and they are going to be my life, but they're still going to be portion of that life.

Tiffany: No, I think that's a really, and I'll share a perspective and I think it's really important that you do just ask different women in different places and kind of what they've chosen. And my whole thing about life is like, Just have peace with what you've chosen. I think too often we leave it. We live in this place where I wish I would have, or maybe I should have, or I could have, or when people ask me, like, are you busy?

I'm like, it's my choice to be, I have. Such exceptional opportunities in both being a mom and being a wife and all like, it's my choice to be, I'm not going to talk about it. Like at some cross to bear, you know, like I've put myself in that situation. And I think that we need to be comfortable with what we're choosing.

I want to respond first. You talked about like, just your body and I can, I joke and it's easy to joke about it that I'm like to vain for pregnancy a bit. Some of it is I, I lose. I lose a sense of myself and it's not just because with every single one I've gained 50 pounds and it's not that I let myself go crazy.

It's just what my body does. And you do feel a sense of losing control in a way that you do have to find yourself in a different way. And I, every single time I have a baby, it's like, I feel like it's God's way of reminding me, it's like selflessness that it takes in particular to be the mom of an infant.

Because their needs are not on a timetable that sort of our, you know, is relevant to the rest of society. And it's, to me, that's the thing to pay attention to. And I, when I start to realize I just, the more I fight it, and that doesn't mean someday, there's going to be a day where you do get to sort of reclaiming your body and put it back together.

But when there's that stress. Tension all the way down the Hill. And I'm going to say to me, it's like from week one to week 40 of sort of gestation that to me, the down the Hill, and then like climbing the Hill back up of like, okay, how long is it going to take me to get back to where I started and giving yourself?

Is like, this is a process of becoming selfless of understanding that for a period of time, my own physical needs are not the most primary one that I have to meet for a period of time. I think, again, my story, I think it gets. Out of hand when women don't reclaim their space and their bodies and the things that they need to sort of put together whole days.

But the reality is the three-week-old baby, you are going to feel like a dirty dish rag that hasn't been washed in 140 years. And that somebody just decided to put underneath the dryer. Cause you're just going to feel like crap. And you're gonna think life's never going to be the same, but it is. It will it, you will, I believe recognize yourself again, but at the other piece that you talked about, which is how much space you let your kids take up in your own life.

To me. It was also a very conscious decision. And you said the words like my kids are part of my world, but they aren't my world. And I say that I love my kids so much, but I could make it such that only their meet needs were met every single day. I wake up in a year and I have to fight them to say like, you guys can't come downstairs.

Cause I need 40 minutes to work out. Like nobody can come downstairs. I don't want to see anybody's face. And that is claiming space for myself because that's what I need. But as a mom, your kids will take every resource every hour, every dollar they just will. And it does feel. Mean, or like, you love them a little less, but you kind of have to get clear about what you need from your day.

And the same thing as I think about work, and there is an opportunity cost to our time and you have to figure out what works inside your house, in your household, and the vision you and your husband have for what it's going to look like for your kids. But I also know that there are totally different opportunities.

I can give them in choosing. Uh, two-career household and choosing the things that I'm growing and learning as a leader in the way that I can parent them, that creates a different household for them too. I think in a weighted positive way versus negative. Does that make sense? It's not like one is net terrible and one is a net positive. It's about finding the right balance. So I don't know any reactions or things that, that brings up for you.

Lindsay: No, I think you're right. I think one of my favorite books I've read so far because I'm trying to prepare myself. And sometimes my husband sits me down. I was like, are you getting too prepared? Like, I think you're psyching yourself out a bit, but you know, I want to go into it knowing as much as I can to be mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually prepared, because this is a lot to take on.

But my favorite book is crypt sheet. I don't know if you've read it. I'm expecting better is another one. That's the pregnancy version of it. But. I think the best thing she does is she says point-blank and she says it in the beginning, she says it throughout. She says, at the end, I'm going to tell you what the data says, and that is meant to help you make the decision that's right for your family because no one parents.

The same, even if you follow the same kind of parenting style or parenting themes like you are not going to be the same as anyone else. And the important thing to keep in your mind is to do what is right for your family. So I think I've been trying to keep that in my head of like, I can talk to people and I can figure out what their advice is, but no, like it's never going to translate.

A million percent for me and being okay that you create your own story in this realm. And like, people are going to judge you. I mean, like go out on social media and it is horrific, like the service sometimes I'm just like, Whoa, man, why are you guys so uptight about like this rattle? You know, it's crazy.

But I think just having the confidence to know that you are doing the right thing for your family, and as long as you are keeping. The health of your family and the happiness of your family in mind, and you're doing what works for you. Like that's the right answer. And it can be hard because like, you have to create that right answer.

No, one's going to tell you, and you can read a million books and they're all going to say different things. Like that's the hardest part, you know? And so trying to take in all this information, figure out what the facts and the data are. Cause there are still facts. Like we live in a really weird world where people don't think there are facts anymore, but there are actual facts that you can develop off of and build off of.

But it's taking that data, processing it and figuring out how does it fit into your capacity and to your lifestyle and feeling okay with that. And don't let anyone. Gosh you for it, you know, of course, like if you're doing something, that's endangering your child, that's another story. But I would hope that most parents aren't doing things like that.

Tiffany: Yeah. You mentioned early on that you're really into fitness and this kind of thing. And if you think about charting out your ideal fitness year, you know, you'd have this many calories on the weekdays. You have this many on the weekends, you'd have this many workouts per month. And S you know, the reality of executing against that is that you win some days.

And you lose some. And I found parenting to be a very similar exercise of like the macro is like, I feel like my husband and I are a net win, but when you look at the micro, sometimes we like, we lost that day. Um, and sometimes by choice, you know, like sometimes like you, you are like, I'm going to have three donuts today.

That's my plan. And you just lose on purpose and it's kind of the same. It's like sometimes like, no, we're both going to be gone traveling. We try really to minimize that, but sometimes we choose it. We're both going to be gone. That means some rant in October, not totally random. Is that going to stay with them?

You know, and they're probably going to have kind of some, yeah. Rough starts today. And that might happen a couple of times a year and it's not going to be their favorite, but they're not going to die. And so sometimes you pick that and that's fine. But I think knowing that it's just, it's going to be imperfect.

And I think too often when we talk about work-life balance and we talk about  parents and the environment we need to take, create for our kids. It's okay for them also to feel a sense of sacrifice and like needing to contribute to what we're doing as a family. And especially as our kids have gotten older, I mean, you're going to have a baby giving them context for what the bigger picture looks like.

Helps them to understand why are we doing this? And they feel like they can participate in it.

Lindsay: And I think you said something that kind of leads into a question that we've been considering. I don't know if you and your husband have family in town or close by, but we're in a situation where my parents are 500 miles away.

His family is almost a thousand miles away. We don't have anyone here. Um, that is that family union. Of course we have close friends and we have, you know, our, our coworkers and things like that, but we don't have that. Built and family, you know, I don't have that built-in grandma, grandpa around. And so we've been trying to figure out like, you know, they talk about, it takes a village to raise a child, but like, I don't have that built-in village.

So what do I do? And of course, you know, there are nannies and there are ways that you can hire people to help in those situations. But I mean, just thinking outside that scope, it's just so. Overwhelming at times, I think because I've been desperately trying to get my parents to move here, but I just don't think it's feasible or possible for them. And so coming to terms with like, okay, mom's not going to be here.

Tiffany: What do I do? Yeah. I, I that's exactly right. It does take a village. I'll answer that in two ways. I have the advantage of family close men. So I can't give firsthand examples, but here's what I can tell you on the giving side because you're talking about the receiving side.

I would say, pay close attention to the people around you that you want to have influence over your kids. And in your life, we have friends who live close to us that don't have family near, or they're only children and they don't have siblings. And I have stepped into that space and said, Hey, I want to be.

An aunt, like figure to your kids. I want to go to their games. I want my front doorstep to be a place that you feel like you can drop them any time. I can run them to a doctor's appointment. Now I have older kids. So I recognize that. But I think the thing that happens is when you're adult self-sufficiency is part of the thing that we get a lot of.

We, we get very proud pride full of that. Like, look, I'm doing all the things. Look at me. I don't need a bunch of people around me. I've got some friends that I hang with, but it's a sort of balanced relationship. We give a little, take little nuts, no problem. But when you have kids, the truth is you need people and getting comfortable.

Relying on those people who want to be there for you. Like it's their pleasure to get to know your baby. It's their pleasure to be able to help you. And some of those people might not have kids yet. It might be a neighbor who's a little bit older, but like, look for those people who want to come alongside that journey.

And it can be weird because you're like, well, I've never watched their kid before. I never helped them in this way. And it might start imbalanced, but you'll find people when you get to a place where. You're more experienced with your kids, where you see, you know, your version of you 10 years from now move into the street and you recognize what it was like to live in a city where you didn't have community, and that they're going to need somebody to come alongside or to take a meal or to like just let the mom sleep in the afternoon for a couple of hours.

And so I think that's where our own. Vulnerability and I'll say pain because to some degree it's, you know, it would, you would love to have your family just in the block. I think can really make us just more aware of where we can really serve others. So my encouragement, cause I have. Uh, close friends that live by.

I have to albeit rip her kids out of her arms because she's just like, not because she taught, maybe she's afraid to let me watch them, but she just wants to be able to do it herself. I'm like, you have like, let me help you. It's my joy to do so. And so, you know, letting people step into that space and being.

Courageous and asking them to, you know, like, Hey, we really want to form a village. Would you be willing to invest in my kid this way? Um, they're asking you for help is hard and it comes from a place so pride. Like we just have to be honest about that with ourselves of like, no, I've always been able to do it and I can pull this off too.

And it's just so cool. You know, I had a straggler baby, and so it's hilarious, you know, like we go to things and it's, the, my friends are like dusting off their pack and plays like, you know, like little crusty, seven years ago when we last had it out. But to see my friends invest in my baby, it's the coolest thing.

Cause they're so glad to have the baby around again. And I'm sure super happy to share her, but for awhile it was like, Oh, Oh, you know, I kind of feel bad. Your kids are older, it's inconvenient. And they just love it. And so I think letting people step into that space, Is really hard. And I think in our, especially coming out of COVID, we're so used to lock doors and you know, like literally not touching each other.

Um, I think it's, I think society only gets better when we sort of act as a community in that way.

Lindsay: And I guess another question, and this is a very generic question that every person who has their first baby probably asked people who have babies, but what do you wish you had known?

Tiffany: Um, I think, I wish I had known, I don't know if you plan to breastfeed, but that was like a part of the process that I just, like, I felt like, Oh great.

I delivered the kid who handed it to me. We have a great picture, like whoo. You know, like we're back. And I think I just underestimated that, that part was really hard for me. I, I have never enjoyed it. And. Just the, like, I don't know, just the emotional stamina of like, okay, every three hours, you also need me, like, you just fed off of me literally for 40 weeks.

It was just kind of a lot. And I wasn't, I think the first one I was really thrown off I'm naturally just wildly independent. And so I think also it was just like, really hard on some of my self-identity. The fact that this baby was really dependent on me. Um, It was just hard. And my dad says something that hard is not the end.

It's just hard. And I now know to just be like, it's just going to be hard. I only breastfeed for three to four months. It's for me, it's just all I can do. And I'm okay with that. Other women have just much more success with it. And I just know now I've got 12 to 16 weeks. I just kind of put my head down and get through each week.

And that's just fine. The other advice that I give women is to remember that doctors and nurses are there to help them get this baby out safely. This whole birthing plan madness to me is just a little bit like we're somehow trying to be bougie with this. I mean, I think you just wanted out just birth my baby safely.

Yeah. So I like my, my tendency is like, you're the boss here. That's what I tell the doctor. You're the boss here, you do this, like all day on the reg. I'm going to do this a couple of times in my life. And they all come out a little different. So what are we going to do here? And I literally tell them, so that would be the other thing is I just, I personally don't connect to that.

Another part of the process that you really don't have control over. I think it's sort of an illusion and it creates a lot of disappointment for women. And so I literally tell the doctor you're in charge here. The goal is to get this out as quickly and safely as possible and let's do that. So that would be, those would be the two things that I think can be hard.

Lindsay: Yeah. I'm, I mean, I'm glad you brought up breastfeeding because I can't tell you what, I'm more terrified of birth or breastfeeding. And that like seems really wild to say, and I would never have expected that until I got to this point of like, actually like. Flipping the pages and like looking underneath the covers because you just think automatically, like, this is a natural thing you do, and it should be easy and simple and there's not going to be any challenges and, you know, the baby's just going to be there and suck on you. And that's just what it is. And then you're just like, Oh no, that's not at all.

Tiffany: What I always, like, I kind of just want a sandwich. I don't want the nurses, baby. Right. I'm kind of hungry and it's been a minute and you just don't expect it to be challenging.

Lindsay: You just expect it to be easy and simple. And yeah, it's going to be a pain in the butt because you have to wake up every three hours in the beginning, but you know that there's, there's a time where that will end and it'll be all right.

And you'll get back to kind of a, more of a cycle to some extent, but I mean, Oh my God, like, it has been horrifying to just dig into it and realize that. It is probably not going to be easy. And I think that's why I have gone into it with a mindset of I'm going to try because I know that is, is from the data again, that is what's best.

Of course, there's not a huge gap between formula and breastfeeding and breast milk, but there is some places where it just, just outweigh, um, in the benefits. But you know, you just have to be open that, like you said, like. Things just don't work out how you think they will and you have to be open to it.

And there are all sorts of the show so much mom-shaming out there. It's like, Oh, I think we're finally seeing the pendulum swing of people. Understanding, like it's not a cut and dry black and white issue, but it's still out there. And, and yeah, I think that has been the most surprising thing of just like. Oh, this isn't gonna be easy.

I don't just put the baby there and he just knows what to do. And you're like, okay.

Tiffany: Or it can be, I think that the biggest thing is just knowing it's another part of the process. You don't have control over. And as it relates to like going back to work and that piece of it, all my advice to young moms is to say like, just don't make any major decisions in the first six to 12 months because of that existence.

Does not perpetuate for the next 18 years. Like it is a very unique point in time. And I think in particular, your first one, it's very overwhelming. I was, my, my youngest is I think seven or eight months now. And I just told my husband, I feel like I'm, re-experiencing my mind for the first time. And after every kid.

It takes a while. I don't know people would probably study it and hormones or whatever the thing is, but it takes a minute where I'm like, Oh my word, I'm just totally back. I have my energy, my brain works. I can remember people's names like, Oh, wow, we're really going to do some things with our lives.

Can't wait for it. Um, and so, but it takes a minute and I think. I, and again, this is not a like cry for people to stay in their careers if they don't feel called to that. But I do really give, encourage young women to say, like, just give yourself a little time. It's a really big decision in those first six to 12 months, or just kind of a free for all. It's very hard.

Lindsay: All your four children are girls. Is that correct girls? Yeah. So one thing I've been thinking about is because I know the perspective of a woman and I know the things that I would want to teach my daughter and things that I know my daughter would go through, but we're having a boy.

So that's a whole new realm because, you know, I have close guy friends, but that only gets you so far and understanding, and I don't have any brothers. Uh, you know, I don't really, I'm not even close to any like boy cousins or things like that. And so one thing I've been thinking about is, you know, all these girl moms, and especially you as a mother of four girls, like, what do you wish boy moms would teach their sons?

Um, there are just so many things out there that I think that we gloss over. With boys and that we put the responsibility on the girls and I hope that would change. And I'm just interesting, like when you're seeing your kids grow up and you have a wide range now, you know, what are the things you're thinking in your head that like, why didn't your mom teach you this little boy?

Tiffany: This is what I found parenting is about instilling values. And I don't teach them how to be a girl. You don't teach them how to be a boy. That's like, that's what they are, you know, but it is about. Just teaching values. And so my suspicion is that whether you had a girl or a boy or a lots of girls, or lots of boys, your intentionality about even asking that question of like, what do I want to teach them?

I think too often as parents, the shortcut can be to play and to entertain our kids. And while there is a place for that, my kids are wonderfully fun. Our job is all at the end of the day to make sure that they have. Clear set of understanding about how decisions impact outcomes and decisions represent the values of what you are practicing.

And I tell my kids all the time you are practicing what you are becoming, and if you are gonna. You know, fib to me, or you're going to tell me like, then that's what you're practicing and I'm mad at you. And yes, there's going to be consequences, but the bigger picture is that's not what you don't want to grow up and be a liar.

You don't want to grow up and, you know, be a bully. You don't want to grow. And so we're not going to practice those things. And so I think as you think about your son, And the young man that you want him to be. You'll see those things, those tendencies that are in his heart. And, you know, I have, I have kids who are natural have that is naturally compliant.

And I have to teach her to stand up for herself. And I have one that is, you know, right at the jump. On all the things. And I have to teach her to sort of let other people go first. And so you don't know what their individual spirits are going to need, but as you think about what you want your son to be and what you want him to be as a man, I just think parents have to understand even what we're teaching them at three, four or five, eight, 12, that is building the layers, the tissue paper layers of who they're going to become as adults.

And I think we don't always get clear on that when in. As fast as we should, because you can't teach him at 16 to be something that they're not already. Oh, no.

Lindsay: Yeah. I mean, my tip is play mom's teacher poised how to cook. Oh my gosh, please, please. Yeah. Like Vicki, I love you, but why did you not teach your son that whole jar salt?

Doesn't go into this salted pasta. What's your mother-in-law. I joke with him all the time about that. So, cause there's just, you, you just see simple things that, and of course it goes both ways with girls and boys, but just these things that you're like, why aren't you talking?

Tiffany: Yeah. So that's another interesting way to ask the question because the things I've had to teach my husband to beat in my daughters is verbal.

Um, and so maybe that is like, I'm like, if you can verbalize how you see them or how you think of them, that means a lot to them. And. That would be something that if my sisters-in-law or anybody listens to this, they will laugh. They're not verbal in that. And so it's something he's had to learn as an adult. DeWalt to dad, as a dad of girls that maybe your son can practice giving you verbal compliments, telling you how much he loves you as a mom.

Lindsay: Yeah. I joke with my husband all the time. Like you better start cooking now because our son is going to know how to wine and dine his partner, and it's going to be fantastic.

Tiffany: Lamb chops and whatever.

Lindsay: Um, and I guess more of a fun question because we've asked a lot of serious things, but what is one or two must-haves for a diaper bag? And what are things that you're like you don't ever need invest in this? You don't need to buy this.

Tiffany: I guess. Well, I can tell you like my top three things that I love to gift moms. Boudreau's buck cream, so funny, but they get rashy at some point. And it's amazing. Boudreau's

Lindsay: bachelor, right? I've heard the butts bachelors

Tiffany: to put it upon spatula. I dunno. We old-fashioned moms use our fingers and some real good soap afterward or not.

If you're in a hurry now using the second one is the Bumbo with the tray. Those things are. Amazing. She spends her whole life in that thing. Quincy does. And then figuring diaper bag. I would put like God, like mints and chapstick for myself. Those would be my three things. I also really like diaper trash bags.

Those would be another like kind of luxury item that my very efficient self. I'm surprised I buy them, but they're very helpful.

Lindsay: We have two very big dogs, so we already have the .

Tiffany: Yes. It's. Yeah, you are all set. That's right.

Lindsay: And I think probably one other thing that I've been thinking about, and I kind of mentioned this with my husband.

And like I said, my husband's a doctor, so he knows all the things. And I think that's been a blessing for me because he knows how much to tell me how much not to tell me, which is helpful. Like for our first ultrasound, he didn't tell me what to expect, which was very smart because I would have freaked out about every little aspect of it.

I would have worked myself up and said I got there. And I was like, Oh, that's what you are doing, be like. Okay. Um, but I think one thing I've struggled with, and I think I've talked about a little bit, is. Being prepared, but not too prepared. And so how do you draw the line between knowing what to expect and knowing kind of somewhat in the realm of what's going to happen, but without just like absolutely overwhelming yourself and a lot of women are overthinkers and we all get in those zones of just like spiraling out of control, you know, how do you limit yourself on that data intake and.

Being okay. I guess like I said, in the beginning. Okay. With the unknown and when to know when it's okay to leave it, the unknown,

Tiffany: the way I think about this is like, this is the most natural thing that our body will ever do. And so we have to not, I think override the instinct in us, we were made from our creation.

To be moms,, our bodies were made for this baby to come out. Our breasts were made to feed a baby. Like all of these things were made to that doesn't mean it's not going to be hard, but we were made for this. And so whenever I start to get kind of confused, I'm like, I just kind of go back to my instincts.

Because the rest of it is sort of rationalization of R and what people study many times, these are instincts, right. And they turn it into, so I think just trust that you were made for this and this baby who is in you, it was specifically made for you as her mom. And I think you just have to trust that.

So, um, you know, it's, I think it is instinctual. You will love this little baby in a way that you never. Even imagined. And if there are some days that you don't love the baby, as much as you imagined, that's totally normal too, you know? And so I just think resting in the fact that you are, you have anything else that you've wanted to do in your life.

You have accomplished, you want to be good at this. And so, okay. You'll figure it out. It'd be a way to create it and just rest in that.

So what else is on your mind? Text me at (317) 350-8921. And be sure to follow along on your favorite podcast app. Thanks for listening today.


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