SMM 100: How to Be at Peace With Your Personal Motherhood Journey|| Sarah Allred

Episode 100!!! I can’t believe I just typed that. I am thrilled to share with you my interview with Sarah Allred for this episode. Sarah is a wife, a mom to four kids under 10 and an entrepreneur. In the interview, Sarah shares three things you can do to get over mom guilt and be at peace with your personal motherhood journey. Sarah also shares how she has sought to find her Heavenly Parents in every stage of motherhood and why she believes they want us to be richly and abundantly happy.

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Related Episodes

SMM 006: Growing into Motherhood + Learning How God Speaks to You || Monica Packer

SMM 041: Only You Can Receive Revelation for Your Motherhood || Michelle Gifford

SMM 053: How to Use Agency + Love to Point Children to the Savior || Becky Proudfit

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Darla: [00:05:50] Welcome to the Spiritually Minded Mom podcast you might have on podcast. I am so happy to have you here today. Once again for another interview. Today, my guest is Sarah Allred, and you might recognize her. She was part of The Women with Fire podcast, but she also has her own 

podcast. Now, Latter-day Ladypreneur. And she’s also a mom to four kids 10 and under, right? 

Sarah: [00:06:10] Yes. 

Darla: [00:06:11] Her husband is a doctor. She’s survived medical school, years of training and medical school and has built several businesses along with being a mom.

And she is someone that I greatly look up to as my own business coach and someone who has helped me so much. So, I am really excited to interview her today, to share her with you and to help you hear more about her motherhood stories. So, I was winging it on that. Sarah. 

Sarah: [00:06:34] I am so happy to be here. 

Darla: [00:06:36] Thank you so much for being here.

This is going to be great. 

Sarah: [00:06:39] I think you highlighted like my greatest accomplishments–four kids. I survived the medical school. I have built a couple of businesses in between. Very cool. 

Darla: [00:06:47] Yeah, lots of good stuff there.  What would you add to that? Anything else that you want to share about yourself? 

Sarah: [00:06:53] Oh, I’m just super, super passionate about the idea of women finding their way through life.  I am kind of on board with, with other fellow people who just feel like everyone’s journey is different. And I want to be a champion of your journey. That is what I want to help with. I happen to work specifically with people who feel like growing a business and entrepreneurship is part of their journey but find someone that cheers you on in yours and cheer everybody else on. That is my mission.

Darla: [00:07:21] Yeah, and you’re a very good cheerleader.  Okay. So, let’s talk about motherhood. tell me about kind of the expectations you had of motherhood and then the reality of motherhood. What does that look like in your 10 years as a mother?

Sarah: [00:07:35] Motherhood is sheer wildness in so many ways, like you said, I’ve got four kids. And I had my first kid before we even started the medical journey. And I mean, our medical journey was 13 years long, just barely finished about a year ago. And. So motherhood, that little girl became my dearest friend through those experiences, but I grew up in such a unique circumstance.

My mother is Susan Arrington Madsen, and she is a Desert Book author. In fact, her newest book just released like last week with Desert Book called fathers of the prophets. So I grew up with a mother who was quote unquote in the home each and every day, but who was accomplishing things within the world and the community and within the church.

And we kind of didn’t know when she did it. I mean, literally brand-new books would show up on our doorstep of her newest book. And we were like, when are you doing this? And the reality is she was doing at night at nap time and at school time. She was nurturing herself that way. And I always saw my mom push herself and try and contribute in small ways within her quote unquote visiting teaching of the days. But then in bigger ways, when, I mean her book, I Walked to Zion, was a number one bestseller for a long time at Desert Book. So, I saw a mother that was constantly grabbing for those opportunities to learn and grow.

And I tell you what, all four of us, she has four daughters, all four of us have carried that on in our own way. We’re all working in some form within the home. And so, I think I had an awesome example set in front of you and I’m forever grateful. I know that’s rare. 

Darla: [00:09:17] Yeah, I think that’s really rare in the, in the generation that you grew up to have a mom that was, that was doing that  and then you followed in her footsteps and so have your sisters and, and doing that. So, what have been the challenges of doing it though? Like, you know, things aren’t exactly the same as they were when your mom was doing it. What have been the challenges of trying to be an entrepreneur and raise kids and, you know, support your husband through medical school.

Sarah: [00:09:40] Sure. I think in general, for me personally, it has been a very lonely journey. Medical school was very lonely. We joke about how my husband’s last year of medical school, he got four weekends off total weekends were not a thing for us together as a family. And so, I found myself sometimes creeping into that mode of seeing family’s together at church, which just wasn’t our thing for like the first eight years of our marriage.

It just has not been our thing. And I constantly got into this period of like, Why me? Woe is me. You know, why, why am I always alone? No church. Isn’t great for me right now because I’m always alone, kind of a thing. And entrepreneurship became my saving grace in which I found myself and I found a community of people and I, I found results and wonderful friendships through that process.

I think I can probably echo with a lot of women that find what does a really righteous, committed woman of God look like as a mother? What does that look like? Does that include a business, a profitable business on the side? Does it? Does that include trips away to conferences? Does it? And asking that question over and over and over has brought a lot of guilt initially that this is not what I think in the handbook it should appear to be. And then, as I’ve surrounded myself with people who have made huge impacts in the world and in the home, I have found patterns that, like I said earlier, everyone has their journey and I feel totally peaceful right now that my journey is entrepreneurship and motherhood.

And I sit fully strongly to committed to that journey right now. The guilt was real, but now the peace and the drive are as unstoppable as they’ve ever been. 

Darla: [00:11:35] Okay. I love that. I had an experience with my own daughter where she was in a BYU religion class and she called me one day. So excited and she’s like, mom the family proclamation says you have to nurture your children, but it doesn’t say how. And I said, I said, yeah. And she was like grappling with this as a 19-year-old, you know, I have all these dreams and things I want to do, but I want to be a mom too. And how do I do that? And she, I’m so grateful that she learned, yeah, it’s, it’s my own journey. And I can figure that out. And it sounds like that’s what, that’s, where you’ve come. Like you’ve, you’ve figured out that I can be a mother and I can be an entrepreneur. And that’s okay. 

Sarah: [00:12:12] True. And I think we get into this whole idea of what are best practices, right?

What are best practices of a mother who is a committed, Latter-day Saint as well. And that those best practices are what can sometimes constrain us because we’re not looking at the whole and most importantly in Russell in President Nelson’s own words, are we hearing Him according to what our journey is? Your daughter will change the world. 

Darla: [00:12:38] Yes. I would never have realized that at her age, never. I wasn’t raised that way. It just was a different time. 

Sarah: [00:12:45] And the idea for nurturing, the idea of nurturing is so fascinating. I have studied this to the end of the earth. This has been the word I have studied since the beginning of 2020.

And something that always comes to mind is when we nurture, we are in some way comforting those that are in hunger or in lack. Right? And when we look back at the pioneer days, there was a lack of food. And resources and homes and, you know, those kinds of communities. There was a lack. And so, they nurtured through gardening and through serving and through sewing for each other and building and sacrificing for the temple.

And I look at my day and I look around at my kids and my communities. And what, what are people hungry for? What are kids hungry for or what are they lacking? And often that can be motivation or creativity or, you know, drive or a friendship or what, what are they lacking and can you as a mother nurture them in that way.

And I feel like my mother was ahead of the mold in so many ways because watching her do signings at Desert Book lit a fire in me. It fed me. It nurtured me. Watching her be able to pay off our car and take us to London for a month because of the sales of this incredible book. It nurtured me; it lit a fire in me because my mom was on fire that way.

And so, find what brings you to your very, very best and nurture with it. And it may not be what you originally thought it was. Go after it. 

Darla: [00:14:23] I love that. What do you say to the mom? Who’s starting to fill these little nudges. Like I need to do something that maybe is not as traditional or maybe not what I thought or what my mom did or whatever. And have something outside of motherhood, but they’re feeling the guilt like how you get from that guilt to where you feel now you have peace and, you know, you can do both side by side.

Sarah: Oh, my word, Darla first, the most important thing is I feel for you. That’s the most important thing I can tell them is I have felt it. And every mom that is not an entrepreneur has felt that. And every mom that is an entrepreneur is feeling it because it always feels like it is not enough. And so, I would recommend three things.

Number one, find patterns of extraordinary women. What are the patterns of extraordinary women? What do they look like? What do their days look like? What do their spiritual habits look like? Find patterns of women who are accomplishing the things in whatever arena you hope to do and find the pattern.

That’s the first thing I would do. Find those people. The second thing that I would do is I would ask yourself simple questions when the guilt comes in. For example, whenever I do my webinar weeks. I call them my hustle weeks. I hire a nanny for my kids to be here so that I can be totally present and not worry.

And the minute that you are a Latter-day Saint, and the word nanny comes into your world, there’s an obvious reaction of guilt, right? Because we shouldn’t have nannies. Right. That’s written somewhere in the scriptures, Darla. Sure. Right? Right. Okay. I know I make it a huge, dramatic deal of this, but the minute that that happens, I literally journal this. I’m a huge journaler.

Okay. In my business. And I write down, “Does having a nanny during my hustle weeks make me a bad mom?” And then the question you ask yourself is, is it true? Is it true? Are my kids lacking? Well, I could hook them up to the TV for three hours instead, while I webinar. I guess I could do that. Or they can go swimming with the nanny or go to the museum.

Right? You really have to go through this process of learning why you’re feeling what you’re feeling. So, go in, say the statement. I am a bad mom because I hire a nanny and ask yourself, is that true? And does God think it’s true? And more importantly, do my heavenly parents bring that home and think that is true.

Is that something that I can hold as doctrine? And I think that you will actually find that, especially in the most recent conference addresses and as we are studying the incredible heroes of the Book of Mormon that the core of people is where the doctrine is held, not in the, nanny’s not in the dynamic of what kind of mom and what they loved and what they didn’t love and what they wore.

It came down to the core of who they were and knowing who they were. So, I would ask that question, is it true? And the third one I’m going to steal from David Butler is just get in a pattern of assessment. If you have got the spirit with you and you are hiring a nanny right now, I’m just going to use that as the example, constantly assess. Write it on your calendar.

The first of every month, I’m going to assess my kids physically, spiritually, emotionally, mentally. I’m going to look at them and see, is there a way that I am not nurturing them that needs to be adjusted. And I think with those three things, you can be at peace with your journey. 

Darla: Okay. I love, I love all of those things.

So, the first one is to find women who are doing this well, and that you can emulate. So, where do you find those women? How does that work? Where are they? 

Sarah: [00:18:15] Yeah. Great question. Great question. As you know, in my business, I fully stand behind the idea that you don’t have to be the first to do something to be important at doing something or great or impactful. I guess I should say impactful instead of important at doing something. And so, I call it the ripple. You want to be part of the ripple. And that’s where this stems from. Like find the people that have started the ripple, right, hat have worked professionally or are, you know, in entrepreneurship and establish those things and be part of that ripple.

And my goal actually with my podcast is to provide people. Like get people in the spotlight that are part of this ripple because there are not many. That was my initial feeling. And I do feel like we’re not super visible. And so that is kind of my goal right there, but we’ve had major, major accomplishments done by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who happen to be women that we just are not seeing on a consistent basis.

So, I would look through our old podcasts of The Women with Fire. Look at all those people that are in the middle of entrepreneurship that were guests there. That’s a list for you to start with, but even more importantly, let’s say you really, really love the general Relief Society presidency. I think you will find as you dig into that presidency, and as you dig into the young women’s presidency or the apostles wives, you’re going to find very, very diverse journeys, but a lot of patterns on what their home lives look like and what their spiritual lives look like, that you can emulate to make your journey happen.

Darla: [00:19:51] Okay. I love that to find those women who are doing it and look for the patterns that they’re using, look for the ways that they’re using their time and all of that. So, I want to go back to this thing that you said about assessing. So how do you do that? What, what does that look like for you when you assess your children?

Sarah: [00:20:07] Yeah. So, this has been actually a long-term part of my life. I actually got the idea originally from Shawni Pothier. So how you say her last name? I know she’s a friend of yours. Okay. She’s part of your amazing class that is coming up. So, she has a blog called 71 toes that I’ve followed for forever. And she talked about having actual formal, like date nights, where you go out with your husband and you assess all of the areas of each of your kids. And we have practiced that even through medical school. It was typically like our only date night, right, was our assessment date night. And that’s fine. We would go through and we would look at our oldest who is about to turn 11, Macy, and we would say, okay, how is she doing spiritually? And we would like bring a notepad to the table at Texas Roadhouse.

Glamorous. And then we would look at her physically, what things can we do to help her explore what her body is capable of? How is she doing emotionally? How is she doing mentally? And we literally did this last night before this podcast. We are moving. We are about to move. We are about to move Macy for the seventh time in her 11 years on earth.

And man, hers was the longest one for sure on how we can help nurture her in assessment. But as part of that assessment, it always pulls into play what impact my business and his work schedule are having on our kids. And sometimes that means. Hey, I think that we can have a little bit more freedom in hiring someone to help, so that I can accomplish the things that I want to and so, that they can be nurtured in those settings. And sometimes when we feel like something is lacking, I have pulled back. I have pulled back and I have said, I’m not going to launch when I thought I was going to launch, and we try to nurture that. It’s not perfect, but it has been consistent.

And I think that that’s, it’s not that I’ve lived for 10 years without mother guilt. Right? But I have lived for a long time of assessment and adjusting. And man, it looks very, very different now than it did when I started. 

Darla: [00:22:03] What a great practice to start when your kids are young and to be able to really recognize with your partner, what are their needs? How can I help them? What do we need to adjust? And just always looking for those ways that we can do better and meet the needs of our kids. 

Sarah: [00:22:18] Well, think of the bonus of a, of the partner, whatever partner is not home as much for the ability for them to have a glimpse on what you are observing. I just think it’s a good practice. 

Darla: [00:22:28] Yes. I think that is really valuable. Great advice. So, what do you think have been the blessings that your kids have have received? Because you are this mom who is pursuing her dreams and trying to help other people. How have you seen that help your kids? 

Sarah: [00:22:44] Oh, man, I hope in the next life maybe I get to see a full picture in, in, in what the impacts have been.

I guess the best way to explain it is I’ve seen the impacts in my kids when I have not tried to push myself and to learn and grow. I just am not the most fun person to be around when I am not nurturing myself as well. And I nurture myself mainly through entrepreneurship right now. That’s kinda my thing.

So that, that stark difference between who I am when I’m not pushing myself and who I am when I am, has been probably the greatest thing for me. But I’ve got a daughter like we’ve talked about earlier, that is in the middle of building her own website right now. She has caught the bug of entrepreneurship.

Darla: [00:23:36] And she’s 10, right?

Sarah: [00:23:37] She’s 10 and she wants to start a business around helping moms become awesome roadtrippers. Can you believe it? 

Darla: [00:23:47] I love it. 

Sarah: [00:23:48] She’s going to do road trip hacker. And that is in the works right now. And she wants to be able to sell kits, and she wants to be able to have downloads about the best road trip games and, you know, be an affiliate for Target and Amazon.

I mean, she’s kind of seeing this impact. So, I think initially, it’s just really fun for them to see that their interests are being sparked because mom’s interest is sparked in something. So, if they can find something too, that that’s a really fun thing that our family does. Second there have been financial blessings, as you know, during medical school and residency, the pay is really low for insane amounts of hours like I wish he would have worked at KFC those hours. We definitely would’ve made more at that period of time if he had been there during those hours, but what it provided and I’m always pretty open about this. My efforts in entrepreneurship is what provided Christmas and travel and any kind of vacations and birthdays and date nights and piano lessons and anything else that had to be provided for through my, my efforts there.

And I loved that, and my kids knew that. My husband, Greg was very honest about that Christmas put on by Santa and Mom. You know, he was just very honest about that. So, they saw the impact financially that way. But most importantly, I think what it does is it shows that our family dynamic is a forever learning family.

I hope that they have learned that that dad was in school for 30 years. Great. Okay. He’s going to school for forever, but they see mom when she’s learning from a webinar, she’s in the middle of a book, they just see that pattern. And I hope that that can be part of our family dynamic. 

Darla: [00:25:21] So, have you ever had a time where your kids are like, “Mom, do you have to work right now? Do you have to go get on that webinar?” How do you handle those situations? 

Sarah: [00:25:29] Totally. For the first time, I dare say ever because the ability to leave, my we’ve never lived by family. So, the ability for, for me to leave my kids, for anything was pretty impossible as far as travel because the vacation schedule was very limited during his training. And just in January of 2020, I went on a six day. I went to a conference in Nashville, Tennessee, and I was gone for a long time. My husband took off work. First time he’s ever been able to do that and stayed with them while I was gone.

And my kids were sobbing. Sobbing the new last night before because I was going to leave school and it was the worst, the absolute worst. And the reality is, is it absolutely busts my heart. I sit on that plane and I know my kids are balling and that it’s hard for my sweet husband to do that long term.

And it just I’ve totally had those kinds of feelings and those are real. And I try to snuggle them and read to them and call them and show them what I’m learning as much as I can. But there is  no way that a mom can’t feel bad when that that’s happening. And I will say when Macy was in first grade, when we were in Louisiana for Greg’s residency, they were supposed to draw a picture of their mother and she drew a picture, this was an assessment time, of her mother sitting at the computer with her playing blocks behind me and it just about killed me. Okay. This has not been perfect for me. And so, I felt horrible and that’s when we started the assessment period. But they, they struggle, but they also struggle when Greg’s on call and when he’s gone to conferences. It’s just plain hard. So, you gotta, you gotta roll with the punches, I guess. 

Darla: [00:27:15] Yeah. Just know that that comes so with the territory, but that you’re not ruining your kids by being away from them. I think if anything, you go away to this conference, you come back. You’re excited. You’re rejuvenated. You’re ready to get back into your business and get back to being a mom.

I mean, you miss them and it’s a good, it’s good to have those times away. I love that. So, what part has the gospel and your relationship with God played in your business and in your motherhood. 

Sarah: [00:27:44] Oh, love this question so much. And boy, I feel like I’ve changed a lot just in the past year or year and a half with this. I have always really, really struggled with how to maximize time.

 I knew that I could probably squeak out a couple hours a day and do something impactful, but I didn’t want to squeak out the nine to five or t10 hour day or something like that to learn and grow in my big dreams. And so, I really, really struggled with not being able to be consistent in business that things would peak and then they would dive and then they would peak and then they would dive because I just couldn’t be consistent because a kid would get sick. And then I have kind of some resentment of like, Oh, I had this thing planned. I couldn’t show up and I wasn’t able to keep commitments. And it was a really tough spot to be in that I just felt like I knew consistency mattered and I couldn’t show up how I wanted to show up.

Right? And it’s always Nephi that has the answer, right? It is always Nephi, and I knew without a doubt. I have had some incredibly sacred experiences regarding entrepreneurship that I know God is pleased with where I’m at. Okay. With that desire. Okay. He wasn’t pleased with where I was at this exact moment of not being consistent, but I have had very sacred spiritual experiences in that realm.

And so, sitting in that realm, knowing that the calling came from God and that he wanted it to succeed as much as I wanted it to succeed. I had to go with Him and be like, but there’s no time. And, and I can’t be consistent. And I’m, I’m not able to show up how I’m supposed to show up and I can’t keep commitments and all this kind of stuff. How is this supposed to happen? And so, I, I took Nephi at his word when he says, when the Lord asks you to do something, it’s going to be provided. And so I went on a journey for about a year and discovered systems, literally specific systems that you can put within a business that when you put in a whole bunch of hustle and you get the system implemented that it can roll behind the scenes.

And I’m literally at a point right now where I work a maximum of three hours a day. Maximum. When I have a hustle week, it’s longer. And I’m able to have to hire a nanny, but right now I work between two and three hours a day and I don’t work on Fridays. So, I’m able to push through that now because of learning these systems. I call them funnels.

Everybody calls them different things, but with my combination of something I call the content machine and funnels, that was the path for me to be able to be at home, work limited hours, be as profitable a business as I’ve ever been because I feel like the Lord was able to provide those systems for where I sit and quite literally, five years ago, this was not possible.

These systems were not possible. This kind of reach was not possible. And so I think as we open our eyes to the systems that are available, that can allow us to get that impact out there to tens of thousands, if not millions of people that, that has been the eye-opening spot for me to say this is possible because of the systems that I’ve been led to.

Darla: [00:30:59] How did He lead you in that direction? 

Sarah: [00:31:03] Good question. So, I was really kind of at a breaking point. I was trying to sell a business and I was trying to determine whether to keep doing business. Right? And it was very much like a why moment for me. You and I love talking about why moments, right?

I believe that Satan dwells very firmly at the Y at these decision points. And so, I was saying, look, I can’t do this. Okay. I can’t do this. I can’t be inconsistent. I’m letting my kids down because I’m mad when they get sick of school and I have to go pick them up. That’s not who I want to be. And then I’m not able to show up for clients the way I want to be.

Like, it’s gotta be, I kind of felt like it was an all or nothing moment. And so, I kind of threw out that hail Mary to Heavenly Father and just said, what am I supposed to do? What am I supposed to do? And then I had a dear friend of mine who called me, and she said, Hey, I’ve got a buddy pass for a class.

Would you be willing to take a class with me? And it was a really expensive class. Like it was thousands of dollars. Okay. And, and I was like, well, okay. And it was quite literally the very end of my bank account, my business bank account. So, we went in and, and it was a $5,000 class and we learned the foundations of funnels.

And as I was seeing it, all I could see was what was possible. Like taking that class was a spiritual experience for me. I’m sure the instructor did not intend for it to be, but all of the sudden I was seeing possibility of how I could help more people in a better way than I had never been able to help before and how I could help people who had no money.

And I could help people who had lots of money be able to build their businesses. And I was like, this is possible. And it absolutely lit me up in that moment. And as I started to look at the principles behind funneling, which my goodness, you’re never going to hear a podcast where I talked about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and funnels as much as yours right now, Darla.

But what I’ve discovered is that it’s actually the best way that we can do missionary work. It’s the best way that we can build friendships. And it’s also the best way that we can build business. It’s all framed around this amazing work of funnels because it helps people be able to progress wherever they are in their lives.

Darla: [00:33:12] I love how He’s guided you and helped you, you know, gave you a mom starting clear back, you know, to how you grew up, gave you a mom that could model that for you and guided you on your path. And now you’re able to go out and help so many other women have that same experience.  And personally, I’m really grateful. But I have loved talking to you and I do have one final question for you, and that is how have you seen him felt you’re Heavenly Parents as your partners in motherhood? 

Sarah: [00:33:39] Hmm. I love this question so much. And it’s so it’s so tender in so many ways. Being able to sit in the victories of motherhood has been richly rewarding for most. Sitting in the darkness of motherhood I think calls into question. Who am I? Who’s am I? Why do I feel this way? is something that is not talked about enough, I think. And I have felt so deeply that our Heavenly Parents want our lives to be richly abundant. And that is going to mean something different for you than it may for me, but they, they want our lives to be rich with friendships. They want our lives to be rich in meaning with our spouses and with our kids. They also want us as moms to feel that richness in every stage of life. I don’t believe in the idea that there are seasons that have to be totally unhappy and thin. I believe that they want us to feel their presence and their abundance in every single stage of motherhood.

And so, my journey has been how can I find them? How can I find them when I have littles? How can I find them when I’m alone a lot? And now how can I find them when I’m starting anew, in a new place, in a new phase of life? But that has been a really, really sacred experience to realize that while they see us suffer, I really believe they want us to be richly and abundantly happy and to seek for that connection with them, even when you’re suffering.

That is the God I know that is the Heavenly Mother that I know, that they are cheering us on and that they want us to feel that richness. And so that has been, the way that I have felt most lifted is that that’s what they want for life. 

Darla: [00:36:05] So beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing that and for being my guest today. I am really grateful.

Sarah: [00:36:11] Thanks, Darla.

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