You are listening to Episode 197 of the Peaceful Mind Podcast.
Welcome to the Peaceful Mind Podcast, a place for creating the peace of mind you need to be the best mom you were created by God to be. If you want to bring more balance, more joy, and more peace to your motherhood, this is the place for you. I'm your host, Certified Life Coach at Catholic Mom, Danielle Thienel
in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, let's get started. Hello friends. Welcome back to the podcast. I'm so excited that you are here with me this week. And I'm also excited to have another guest interview. So today I have Dr. Julie Cappel she is a veterinarian and a veterinarian life coach, but she's also a very good friend of mine.
And we met during certification. Welcome Julie. Thank you so much. We go way back. Right? That's right. So it's been a few years now and I'm so glad that we've stayed in touch and I want to just introduce everyone to you and then jump in to why I thought you would be the perfect person to have on for this topic.
For my listeners. Okay. Excellent. Right. So everybody, Julie is a certified life coach. She's a certified compassion fatigue professional. I want to talk to you more about that. She's an author and a small animal and exotic. pet veterinarian. She recently published her first book. Yay. We did that kind of together.
Yes. Danielle helped me a lot, get over a lot of my self doubt and that's what we're talking about today. Right. And it's called love your veterinary life. She also authors a monthly blog and has a weekly podcast. So again, welcome. Thank you so much. Yeah. So as everyone could see the title of this episode, this week is self doubt and the working mom.
So Julie, I wanted you on because as we can see, you are definitely have had a career. You're also a mom. So do you want to just tell us a little bit about your family your kids, and then also just how long You know, you've been just a little bit about your story as far as becoming a veterinarian and a coach.
Yep. I'm married to my husband, Scott, for 35 years last weekend. So it's been a long time. Yeah. I have two adult children Bridgette, who's 31 and Tristan, who's 27. And they're both artists. My daughter's an opera singer and my son is a musician out in LA. And I had them before I owned my own practice, but I bought my business, I was a full time working mom when I had my kids and then I bought my practice when Tristan was about, quite about a year old, he was, he was pretty young.
So I owned my own practice and did that for 22 years. And a few years ago, I decided I wanted to get a new career going as I eased into a little bit of retirement. And I became a life coach and I love it and I coach mostly veterinarians, but sometimes other people and and I have a real passion for working mothers.
So I'm glad we're talking about this today because, you know, there's a lot of mental stuff to that, especially when you're working full time and running a business. There's a lot of that working mom guilt and self doubt, so I'm glad we're talking about that today. Yeah, for sure. That's why. Because I have, I have lots of working mom clients myself and I hear what their struggles and their challenges are.
And there is just kind of this, like you said, there is self doubt that they are spending their time doing the right things. There's guilt about not being present enough and, and really, I wanted to have you. I want to speak to this part so that we can have, you know, some, we know that it's an internal job, right?
As life coaches that it's not the external things, including working or how many hours you are actually with or without your children that really create for you that life that you want or don't want. And so I want you to shed some light and help us on that, that mental part so we can give some more peace and.
Add some more joy to any working moms out there who are struggling with this, this aspect of life. So I wanted to ask you about this self doubt and speak to it a little bit more where I know that in our world, we hear this term imposter syndrome. Yes. And how that and, and self doubt plays in, in just your experience about maybe what you were thinking or how you've changed or what you can offer to current moms who are working, who are currently feeling this imposter syndrome.
Well, I think imposter syndrome is kind of a fancy word for self doubt it, it, a lot of it is, you know, it's kind of more of a clinical term. So we tend to say imposter syndrome, but what it basically means is those of us that are high achievers and hard workers and people that have some perfectionism in their personality, which a lot of veterinarians do.
That's why that all of us veterinarians need life coaches. Cause we have this perfectionist brain, but I think that, that, that imposter syndrome and self doubt kind of goes hand in hand and in my life. It was hard, right? Because I, I always wanted to be a veterinarian since the time I was like a kid.
And then when I got to be an adult, I also wanted to have children. And so the two big priorities in my life were my children and my job. And in, in my mind, had I had to give one of those up? I wouldn't have had the life I wanted to live. So, in order to have the veterinary career and the business that I wanted to own in the hospital, and then also have the children and spend as much time and energy as I could with them and raise them to be strong humans, I really had to struggle with that, that internal fight that you have that is, is this the right thing to do?
And I decided way back that I would be a better mother as a working veterinarian than I would as a stay at home mom. I would have been so miserable staying home with my kids. I would have not felt fulfilled. There's so many things in my mind that I know would have been difficult if I had to give up being a vet.
And so what I ended up doing was buying my own practice so I could have more flexibility. So if I did want to do something with my kids, I could take a day off. Or if they had a... You know, my kids had a lot of performances because they're artists. And so if they had a play or a concert, I would just leave early because I could, because it was my practice or I would close the practice if I didn't have any bets there.
So that was kind of how I balanced it, but the guilt. Is really the mental exercise, and with that self doubt. Yeah, so what I hear you saying, and so it's very interesting, because my question that came up to me as I heard you speaking that was, Okay, so one day you were thinking that I feel like it's hard to balance both, and I'm struggling, and I'm kind of pulled in one direction or not, and then all of a sudden you said like, I just then.
I decided that no, I wanted to be, you know, a working mom and I was like, Ooh, what, what was that transition to that decision? But it sounded like you focused on the question, how can I make both of these work? And that is that what was born that idea of, Oh, if I had my own practice, then I would be able to more control.
Yes, yeah, because I always wanted to build my own practice like from the ground up, but when I started having my children, I, I thought, well, that's not going to be ideal because then I'm going to be the only vet working there. And I don't want to be that tied down. So I ended up buying a practice from some other people that had already had it going.
And I. I think the hard part was is reconciling all those, you know, the pressure that society puts on us to be the good mom and the stay at home mom or whatever. My neighbor was a stay at home mom and I was a working mom. And she would say things like, I'm not going to let my children be doctors because I want them to be able to have children and raise them well.
And she'd say that to me. And here I am a doctor raising children. Yeah, she would say things like that to me. And I thought, well, you know, I. I'm doing what I can. I, I really do think, and this is like from the future now, right? Cause my kids are adults. I really do think that they're very strong because of the way they were raised.
And they might, they sometimes will get together and diss on me, you know, like they had to go to summer daycare and it was hot out in the sun and they didn't get, you know, they, it was hot and we had to stay outside all day. You know, my kids will whine about that, but they're very independent. My kids can cook, they, they both live out of state.
They're, they, I think they gleaned a lot from watching me. I really think that working moms forget that these kids are watching you, and they're watching how you live your life. And I want my kids to attain all their dreams. And my dream was to be a vet and have children. And so that's what I did. And that was my example to them.
And I, I think that that helps with some of that self doubt and working mom guilt that we, that we deal with, even though we feel it. And this was even before coaching, right? Before you understood that really it was a, it was a different perspective about it, like that you shifted to, like you made a, you saw what you didn't like, or you weren't feeling good about it, and then you, you went to work to figure out a solution.
But it took you thinking, I'm gonna figure out how to make this work. So, Well, I just think a lot of it comes from self awareness because I know that I'm not a stay at home er. Like, I'm a very busy person. And so, if I was staying at home watching kids all day, I really just don't think I would, I would have been as good to them as I was.
And in my case, the, the, the opposite at at a part of my motherhood was true in that I knew, especially when I had the news that it was twins, even if it wasn't twins, my focus a little, but even if it was, it wasn't twins, this was still something that I wanted to do. I, and I didn't know what, how I was going to feel as a stay at home mom until I was there.
Right. Right. But it was, I did have a, a big desire for those early years, knowing in my mind that of course I had a different career than you did and everybody has their own circumstances and beliefs in mind that I I was able to like eradicate the self doubt that at least now, these, I think for me it was five years.
When, with all three of my children until I had a different desire, a desire to do something else. And then I figured out how to add that, how to add that in, but yeah, I really think that's part of it. The part of it is just, okay, what do you want for your life? And then how are you going to make it work?
Oh, and I love that when you're saying, what do you want for your life? Because this is one thing that I see moms do, is they're not staying in their own lane, focusing on their own family, their own goals and wants and desires. When you look to society or other moms, like, thank goodness you didn't look to your neighbor.
Right. She tried to get me. She tried to get me to quit work. She really did. But her kids are, her kids are great. And my kids are great. Yeah. Like they're, they're all great kids. And they grew up together just in a little different circumstances. And that's right. They all turned out okay. But we want to focus on what works and what do we want for our own family and kind of like own that.
But there are moms out there who are working and listening right now and I want to like, what are some of, how does it show up? Like if you can take yourself back to the non, the non working mom that felt good about it. The one that did struggle with self doubt. So that other Moms listening can, can relate to and say, yeah, like that's me to bring awareness.
That it's not actually factual or true that they should be doing something else than they currently are. So how does it show up for working mothers, professional women when they are in self doubt? Well, I think a lot of times it's just questioning, are your kids going to turn out okay? Am I doing the right thing?
Am I damaging them in some way? You know, I, I would think, are my kids going to end up in therapy? And you know, it happens and a lot of people do, but I don't really, you know, my mom raised me as a stay at home mom and I had that as an example. And then she went back to work when I was like in 6th grade.
So I kind of had the both. And I saw the upsides and the downsides. And I really think my biggest advice to working moms that are feeling uncertain or guilty is to just really examine those stories about why you think it's damaging to your kids to not stay home or vice versa. If you're a stay at home mom, why do you feel guilty about that?
Because stay at home moms have the same thing, right? They feel guilty. You know, maybe their kids don't have as much money to do lessons or like, I don't know what the problems might be, but I think it's working on those stories in your head. And what about me and the way I'm raising my children is good for them, not what's damaging to them.
Like maybe my, I missed some, you know, milestones, or maybe I missed a few things, but I also was. very much able to participate in a huge chunk of their lives. You know, I always was home to take them to their lessons. I was the Lego robotics coach when my son was in elementary school, because no one else would do it.
And I'm like, I'll do it. I know nothing about that. And I went to band camp every year. Like I, I made sure that I, I had the balance that I wanted because I didn't want to miss out on the special times, but I also didn't want to give up my job. So I think it. You know, it's just dealing with those feelings as they come up and realizing that it's all okay to think that way.
But then what are the advantages to my kids from seeing the way I'm living? How are they getting something out of that? I love that. And when I asked you the question about how to self doubt like reveal itself in moms, what was, what I found so interesting that I want to like point out to the listeners is that what you replied with was a lot of questions.
Am I being good enough? That's self doubt, right? That's right. That's your, I call it the Chihuahua brain. That's your brain hijacking you and asking you all those questions about what you're doing wrong. I love that. How fitting for a veterinarian to have it, to call it the, the Chihuahua brain. I love it.
Yeah. It, it, but that rings true to me. Yeah. So any moms out there who are struggling or relating to this, and I can say like that in there could be the help that you take away today is notice how your Chihuahua brain is offering you lots of questions. And when I work with my clients, what I want to show them is that.
If you keep those questions open ended without answering them, they will spin and you will always be stuck in confusion. So what I urge listeners to do is if you are, have all those questions, like, should I be working? Would it be better if I'm not, am I spending enough time with my kids? Is this hurting them?
You need to stop and answer those questions for yourself, not according to society, not according to your friends or neighbors. Are you like, is it enough? And then if you do answer those questions, know that, that that's the awareness that you want because you have a choice to answer them any way you want to.
Right. And, and there's no, like, there's no finish of how your kids. Like, there's no proof that if you're a stay at home mom or you're a working mom that your kids are going to turn out one way or another. It's just they're, they're people and they're going to turn out to be who they, who they are with the help of their mom.
And so I was just always focused on if I love them enough and I'm there when they need me and I drop work in order to, you know, and have my priorities straight, that it's all going to turn out okay. Yeah. I love that thought. Now you've probably addressed this a little bit, but I'm just going to ask this again.
What can moms do to begin to quote recover from recover their self worth instead of having self doubt? Well, I think I always tell my coaching clients that you have to be willing to work on self development. And so whatever that means, if you're a stay at home mom or you're a working mom and you're having self doubt or imposter syndrome, you have to start with doing some work.
So whether that means doing, you know, thought, looking at your thoughts and doing those thought downloads or those thought, you know, dumps or mind vomit, as I sometimes call it for the veterinarians, because we, we don't mind gross terms. I guess moms are used to that too, so they probably don't care, but just kind of getting it all out of your head and then questioning it and looking at it and seeing if it's really true and what's true for you, what, what do you find is, is helpful and not helpful.
And so I, I think just being willing to do the work, maybe get some coaching or, you know, talk to friends or whatever that are, are in similar boats as you are if you have working mom, friends or stay at home mom, friends, and if the stay at home mom, Mom's throw shade at you like my neighbor would do you kind of have to just let it go in one ear and out that other it's like she, she did a beautiful job raising your kids and I did a beautiful job raising my kids and there's no comparison.
It's not, it's not a contest. And so I think it's just the mind work and thinking about how you want, how you want to show up for your children. Oh, good. I love it. Okay, what I like to do in these interviews Julie, is to ask you and your expertise for the moms who are listening today and totally resonate.
And they're like, yes, like I see a little bit of myself in there, but I want to make some changes or I want to, you know, feel better about whether I'm staying home or I'm a working mom. And. Kind of turn some of this self doubt on its head. So what is one action that moms can start to do today to move from those questions of self doubt into more of, of certainty?
Yeah. Well, with the, with the idea of retraining your negative brain, what I think is really powerful is if you can sit down, you know, at your computer or with a piece of paper and really start to write down reasons. that your children are benefiting from what you're doing, whether it's staying at home or working.
So for me, it was like, okay, my kids are benefiting financially because I'm making more money than I would if I stayed home. My kids are benefiting because I have a flexible schedule so I can take time off to be with them. My kids are observing me working hard and seeing what's possible. Seeing that moms can be An owner of a big business and run a big veterinary hospital for in my case.
So just writing down reasons why it's good that you're doing what you're doing, why this is what you want to do, because I think you really have to challenge your brain to think of the positive things because it's really good at making up negatives. It's not as good at as making up positives. So it would be like at the top of the page why I'm an awesome, fabulous mom.
But just You know, that's at the top of the page. And then all the reasons why challenging your brain to come up with those reasons. I love it. And then if I have veterinarian listeners out there, right, or I know that the work that we both do, right is helping shift perspectives, have new ways of thinking about your life.
And so how would you like people to, to get more familiar with you and your work? Probably the easiest way would be to either go to my website and all my, all my stuff is there. I have a. Transcribed Weekly words that I put out every Wednesday and just kind of like words of encouragement. That's for free.
I have a podcast every week just like you and you were a guest on it a few weeks ago. So you can listen to us again there. So you can find that anywhere on any of the podcasts. It's called the, the, the veterinary life coach podcast. Right. Cause I'm the veterinary life coach and my new book you can find on Amazon.
Okay. Yeah. Tell us the title. Tell us the full title of that book. Oh, it's called love your veterinary life. And it is. The Veterinary Life Coach Guide to harnessing your Mind and Building an Incredible Life. That's a subtitle. It's kind of a mouthful. So I usually just like the title. Oh my book's. A my, my subtitle's a mouthful too, but that's okay.
I think it kind of has to be, I think that's by design. But anyway, love your veterinary life and it, it has stories from, you know, my working and then stories about my kids and mm-hmm some of the shade my kids threw at me at times, you know, 'cause they will, when they get to be adults, they'll tell you everything you did wrong when they were kids.
Or maybe before they get to adults too. Right. Right. With, with love, of course. Yeah. They'll, they'll tell you with love where you messed up. So but yeah, it's just juliekoppel. com or veterinarylifecoach. com and that's where I am. And I will have all of those linked up in the show notes. Yes. And so, Julie, thank you so much for coming on the podcast.
It was so fun. Thank you so much. It was so fun to have you. All right. Awesome. All right, listeners. Thanks so much for being here. I will talk to you again next week and until then, peace be with you always. Thank you so much for tuning in to today's episode of the Peaceful Mind Podcast. If you found value in today's episode, I'd be so grateful if you could subscribe and leave a review.
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