Mom Fog - Part 1 (Transcript)

Dr. James Dobson: Well, hello everyone. I'm James Dobson and you're listening to Family Talk, a listener supported ministry. In fact, thank you so much for being part of that support for James Dobson Family Institute.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Well greetings everyone, and welcome to Family Talk, a division of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute. I'm Dr. Tim Clinton, and thank you for making us a part of your day. If there is one thing Dr. Dobson's been known for throughout his career, it's encouraging and defending the American family. Well today, we have a very enlightening and beneficial interview for all the moms out there and dads too. If you love kids and want to strengthen your family, then lean in. My special guest is Hannah Keeley, a highly regarded and sought after mom coach in America. Her work is founded on God's word and has been featured on The 700 Club, Rachael Ray and PBS.

Hannah has a degree in psychology from Furman University, and has worked as a behavioral therapist. She's a parenting expert and a board certified life coach who combines her faith and psychology to help moms create radical transformation in their lives. Hannah is married to Blair, and together they have seven children. Here now is part one.

Hannah, a lot of things that you've accomplished we tip the hat to you and especially the influence you're having in the lives of moms all over the nation around the world really. But Hannah if you go all the way back, I guess you would say this there's broke and then there's broke, broke. Take us back to how all this got started and what you were going through, mac and cheese days and the whole bit.

Hannah Keeley: Wow. Do you have to take me back there Tim? Oh my goodness do I have to revisit that? But no seriously I mean, we don't want to experience pain in life, but sometimes when we allow God to work through that pain, I won't even say sometimes all the time. When we allow God to work through that pain, He takes us to places more abundant, more powerful than we would ever be otherwise. Yeah you're right there's broke, and then there's really broke. Like so broke you can't pay attention. That's where I was. I remember there was one time I couldn't even feed my kids, we literally had nothing. Some people say like "Oh, there's nothing to eat in the house." No, there's nothing you want to eat in the house. But literally there was nothing in the house to eat. I remember I was like what am I going to do? I have kids. I'll go through the ringer, but I don't want my kids to go through this.

There was a knock on the door, I'll never forget I went there and it was my pastor, and he had a bag of Einstein Bagels. He said, "My daughter just got a job at Einstein Bagels. This may sound crazy, but I have all these bagels and the Holy Spirit just told me to come by here and bless you with it." I was like "Well, thank you so much." Thank you so much because we had something to eat. But I'm telling you there were times those mac and cheese. Mac and cheese days are great, but when you're boiling macaroni and the lights turn out and you have no electricity to cook the noodles, so you have crunchy macaroni and cheese no, those are not great days. But those days also helped me understand the struggles that a lot of moms have, and also help me dig in and start researching the mom brain, anxiety, depression, all the things that we think are normal but they don't have to be, and lead me to a place where I can now help other moms do that.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Hannah, when I read that story about the lights going off and you trying to talk to your kids I had to laugh. I grew up in a farm in the middle of Central Pennsylvania, and I understand a little bit of that journey you're talking about. Hannah in it and your writing style too, the way you communicate it's fascinating to me, I loved it. As I was going through Mom Fog it was amazing to me. But you talk openly about weight gain, depression, headaches, clutter, you name it, everything was there. Part of going there is to identify with everyday moms who absolutely are going through the ringer, I mean it's exhausting. My daughter Megan, Megan's got a little two and a half year old and she just looks at me like "Dad, I'm absolutely exhausted. But I can't imagine times seven." Now I will tell you this, I grew up in a home where I have seven siblings, there are eight of us. I have five sisters and two other brothers so I know a little bit about what it's like to grow up in a big family.

Hannah Keeley: It was always fun, but it was also a lot of struggle. You're right, your daughter talking about feeling so tired and sometimes that tired leads to overwhelm. Sometimes that overwhelm leads to depression. Before you know it you feel like well, is this the life I'm going to live? Is this it? I remember the day it really hit for me Tim, I was walking in my bedroom and I had a load of dirty, I mean a load of clean laundry it was actually clean, thank you Jesus. With the full intent to fold it but I knew I wasn't going to fold it. I was going to dump it on top of the five loads that were already there waiting to be folded. I remember walking in my bedroom and catching a glimpse of myself and here I was so broke, so broken. I was so deep in debt, I was out of shape, and I just lacked life. I just saw a reflection of myself and it was just like what has happened? I had such big dreams for myself. I believe God has called me to do so many wonderful things, as He says, Jesus says, "I came that you would have life in abundance to the full," and I didn't have that.

I was like wait, if Jesus wants me to live an abundant life, why am I struggling so bad? I just crashed on the floor right there and started crying ugly tears. Not like the pretty cry that you see in movies, like the nice little delicate cry, it was ugly. It was snot tears you couldn't discriminate. At that point things changed dramatically in my life, because I remember hearing God. I was crying out to Him; God, please help me do something. I remember hearing that voice of God say so clearly one thing to me, and He said, "Get up and fold your laundry." It was at that point I realized you know what, my strategies are not working so I'm going to try His. I dug into God's word like never before, and that changed my life, it really did. It set me on a path to have extraordinary results in my life.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Hannah we're going to talk about the Mom Mastery Method, but before we go there, I want to talk about some terms up front. The name of your book is Mom Fog. Along with that, you talk about mom fatigue syndrome. Can you tell us a little bit about that? What are some of the symptoms? I want everybody to identify with what you're talking about. Not just hey moms are tired. There's something under the roof here that's really amazing, I loved it.

Hannah Keeley: You're right Tim. There's this phenomenon, psychological phenomenon called learned helplessness. It's this condition where no matter what you try to do, nothing changes so you become helpless and stop doing it. A lot of moms struggle with this. They'll clean up the dishes and then they're dirty again. They clean up the living room and it's dirty. They try to work on their budget and they're in debt. All of these things that they're trying to do, they don't see themselves making headway, and that is a place a lot of moms find themselves in. But here's the deal, they don't have to stay there. Things can change dramatically.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Hannah you can actually get to a place where trying equals failing, so then why try? The result of that is a lot of negative emotion. In your book you wrote passivity, low self-esteem depression, hostility, anxiety, insomnia, lack of interest in things and more, the list goes on and on. Hannah it's ease to go there, I don't think people realize how easy it is to fall into that snare of learned helplessness.

Hannah Keeley: Oh, that's so true. I remember talking with this mom one time and she reached out to me and what we do here. She said, "I don't think my life will ever change." I was like, "Well, tell me about what's going on." She weighed 480 pounds at the time. Her words were this Tim, she said, "I know I'm just going to die like this." She had tried everything. She had tried every diet, every strategy, nothing was working. I said, "Can you just please allow us to work with you for just, give us six months." She went on to lose over 250 pounds when she started working with the way her mind worked instead of working with her circumstances. Dramatic changes like that.

Women who have been in a cluttered home that would look like they were hoarders, and they thought I can't do anything about it no matter what I do, no matter what I try, no matter what strategy, it always goes back to this. It's because as a man thinketh so is he. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks, and we speak and then we create it and all of a sudden we're living in that, and then we think nothing's going to ever change. It can change. If there's a mom listening, watching, thinking this is just how my life is going to be, that's not true. God is no respecter of persons, if He can do it for one, He'll do it for you, He'll do it for every mom out there who knows there's something greater inside her than she's currently accessing.

Dr. Tim Clinton: When you get to that place where it's like there's something wrong, something's got to change. I have a lot of respect for people who understand that. It's the people who live in denial who want to just bury it all and pretend like it doesn't exist. But if you've got some of that stuff inside of you that's screaming and saying no, it's got to change. What was interesting too in the journey that you set us up on, as you look at this Mom Mastery Method, is you talk about the difference between trying versus learning how to do it. In other words, a lot of people know what they need to do, the problem is the process of getting from A to B, right Hannah?

Hannah Keeley: Right, that's the problem. You get to this place, and moms understand this, it's that moment where you're like no things are going to shift today. It's that moment when the "should" becomes the "must." When I should lose weight, or I should get my house decluttered, or I should have a better marriage, or I should spend more time with my kids. Is that moment we're like no, I ain't playing no more, it is a must now, things must change. But here's the deal, that can be a miraculous moment that can lead to amazing transformation if you know what to do after that decision. But here's a problem, a lot of times all the programming is so deeply entrenched in our brain, especially for moms like mom brain is real, we can talk about that. But it's so deeply entrenched in the mom brain that we think oh, that was just a moment. My life's back to how it's supposed to be, this is just what I'm designed to live.

But if we can take that beautiful moment and say this is when the rubber hits the road, this is when things change and then we act on it. In Isaiah 43 it says, "Behold, I am doing a new thing, can you not now perceive it? When you give heed to it, I will make a way in the wilderness, I'll make streams in the deserts." Right in there lies a secret. First we have to perceive it. Can I see the transformation? Can I see what I want for my life? Can I see it as if it's already real? Now you give heed to it. Can I speak life into it? Can I start using my words to now create my life? Now can I walk in it? That way in the wilderness, that stream in the desert. It's not there just to look pretty, it's there to make a way for us so we can take the next step. So, if you've ever found yourself, whether you're a mom or not, in that place where you're like I can't do this for another day, harness that energy, use it.

Dr. Tim Clinton: That's a good place to be.

Hannah Keeley: It's a good place to be.

Dr. Tim Clinton: I wrote down the word discontent. If you have discontent in you that's a good thing.

Hannah Keeley: It's a good thing.

Dr. Tim Clinton: It's the mother of invention, it changes something. Something's got to change, I like that.

Hannah Keeley: Something's got to change, and it's changing now. People don't want to be in pain, but here's the deal Tim you know this, pain is so powerful. We don't do anything unless we feel like doing it. Either things get too painful or the pleasure drives us forward. Well, for a mom, we don't have time for pleasure. We're just barely hanging on. If we can take that pain and say no, no, no, this is when it changes, and now we take the next step and we start moving in the way that God has said I will make a way for you just take the next step.

Dr. Tim Clinton: So, all the moms are saying get after it, get with it, tell us what to do. Let's go to that mom brain piece that you were talking about just for a moment. Because in the book you talk about spaghetti and meatballs, I think chapter two. I found it fascinating, you talk about SCP people and MV people. You're talking about moms being MVP, multi-variable professionals versus the singular focused people, and the guys who usually tell us what to do versus what in the world we're living in right?

Hannah Keeley: Right, that's so true. If you're a mom, most likely you're an MVP, which is the multi-variable professional. Which means with our career we have got so many things going on all the times, multiple variables. So for a lot of people who develop programs and diets and decluttering things like all that, a lot of times they are singular professionals. So they're able to deal with one thing at one time. This is my lunch hour. Tell me what mom has their designated lunch hour? This is when I have my board meeting, this is when I have my client call. Moms it's like it is all over the place, multiple variables pulling at us at one time. Then we take this program or this book or this strategy, fortunately Dr. Dobson understands this so he makes it very applicable, but there's a lot of things out there that moms will try to do and it's like why can't I succeed? There's so many great testimonials, why isn't it working for me? Because it wasn't designed to work with your brain, the multiple variable professional because we have different programming in our brain.

I don't know if you've ever seen the MRIs that were done with women before and after they've had children, before and after they have actually given birth to children. But the MRI of their brain it actually changes after they've given birth to a child and there's a decrease of grey matter. Here's the deal Tim you're like why would God in all His love and compassion and goodness now make me literally lose my mind when I have a baby? But it's so strategic because I think of our brain as like this beautiful luxury handbag. Well, it can only fit so much in it. So when we become a mom, we develop this different level of cognitive ability where we're able to really open up and see more variables in our environment.

It's like our focus is purposefully more expansive so that we can see potential risks for our children. Now that's like this like extra sensory perception, this new level of cognitive ability. But moms don't credit themselves with it, all of a sudden they're like why can't I focus anymore? Why is it I leave my coffee on the roof of my car? Why is it I walk in a room and I don't remember what I was going for? Why is my kid talking to me and I have no idea what he just said?

Dr. Tim Clinton: You called that momnesia or something didn't you?

Hannah Keeley: Yes, it is it's momnesia you're like what? Like you think okay, I didn't know I had ADD until after I had kids. No, you don't. Your brain has changed, but now you need to work with the way your brain is wired.

Dr. Tim Clinton: You're listening to Family Talk, a division of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute. I'm Dr. Tim Clinton, your host. Our special guest today is Hannah Keeley. She's America's mom coach, and the founder of the Mom Mastery University. We're going to talk about that in just a moment. She's the bestselling author, speaker, host of the public broadcasting series Hannah Help Me, and she's the mom of seven. Her goal in life is to equip and inspire moms for the greatest career on the earth, motherhood. Hannah again, what a delight to have this conversation with you. In this journey, okay so what we've done we've set up the fact that we've got some insanity going on in this whole journey of motherhood. This is a wild ride.

Hannah Keeley: It is the wildest.

Dr. Tim Clinton: In it you have put together a program really focused on mom, it's called the Mom Mastery Method. You talk about eight Ms in this process. Let's step in that direction. What's it mean first of all to have massive action?

Hannah Keeley: Oh my goodness Tim.

Dr. Tim Clinton: How do we get started? You have a lot of intenders and you got a lot of pretenders but there are people who start. You talk about there's no dabbling here, If you want to see real change you've got to do something radical right?

Hannah Keeley: Yeah. You said it. You have the intenders and you have the pretenders, but you also have the contenders. There are those people who are like I'm going to take action, but it's not your everyday action. It is the burn the boat people. It's like I am not leaving any options on the table. Things are going to change like we talked about, you get to that moment where it's like no, the should became the must and things must change. They're going to change today, and they're going to change radically. It's harnessing that energy and cutting off all options. Because here's the deal, if you're not sold on yourself you're always going to be sold on the lesser version. You're always going to go back to the passivity. You're going to be like well, I can deal with it one more day.

But here's the deal, sometimes I work with clients and I say okay, get a good picture because God did this for His people. He said, "Behold, I put before you life and death." Then He gave them the answer, hey dude choose life that you and your descendants may prosper. He told them the answer. But I think we really have to look at life and death, we really have to look at those two options. If I don't do anything about my money, here's where my path is leading. If I don't do anything about my health, here's where it's leading. My home, my children, my family. We have to look down the road and we have to get a clear picture.

This is where I'm headed, and if I don't want that I got to change today. And we cut off options. If we don't, we're always going to be negotiating with life. I say well, maybe I can today. No, no, no, the should became the must, we're on this road, the life road. We are going to do what we need to do to create a change. But I'm telling you it's hard Tim, especially for a mom. It's hard when you're like things are going to change-

Dr. Tim Clinton: It's hard to get unstuck.

Hannah Keeley: Oh, man it's those patterns in our mindset. It's hard to get it unstuck, but I think what we need to do is we have to scramble it up a little bit and start to do something radically different with our life.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Now Hannah, you talk about altering your interstate as you "learn to be you start feeling and doing accordingly." You get real specific you say listen, if we're going to have massive action, we're going to do three things. We're going to change your body, we're going to change your language and we're going to change your focus. You go into detail in the book Mom Fog. You say listen, we've got to do work and you better get after it right now. Why did you hone in on body language and focus real quick?

Hannah Keeley: Because that is the way to change your state, because we are our state. Every single moment, we are the energy that we are holding at that moment. God understands this all through. We can see in Genesis 1, He showed us exactly how we create. In the beginning we have to understand the first place is we have to start seeing it, we have to change how we're holding our bodies. We have to change what we're thinking. We have to change what we're speaking. How did God create? He spoke it into existence. He showed us exactly how to create this new life, is first the Spirit of God was hovering. Nothing was changing until God spoke. Sometimes I think that potential, that amazing potential for that extraordinary life is just hovering over us. At that point of decision, when we start speaking it into existence, that's when it changes, but we have to harness that power. It's hard for a mom to understand this a lot of times because we live such crazy lives. So we make it really simple. One thing I like to do with moms is give them a snap.

This is what I mean, every hour when I first started doing this, I would actually set an alarm on my watch to go off every single... I didn't even know what time it was, I didn't use my watch for the time I used it for my hour snap. Because you know how people will say snap out of it, right? Every hour I would hear a chime and it would remind me "Okay, roll your shoulders back, stand up straight and tall, hold that power pose. Speak who you know you are in God's word. Speak I am powerful, I am strong, I am mighty, I operate with clarity, I make great decisions, I am an extraordinary mom." You speak it and all of a sudden everything shifts and you're able to do the thing because we have to think the thoughts so that we can feel different so now we start having different behavior.

Roger Marsh: Well, this concludes part one of Dr. Tim Clinton's special interview with one of America's most popular mom coaches, Hannah Keeley. Find out more about Hannah or access the entire interview when you go to Friends, one final note for you, the national March for Life day is coming up on Friday, January 21st. Make plans to get out and let your voices be heard. Remember, this is Sanctity of Human Life Month here at Family Talk, your gift at any amount supporting our ministry will go a long way towards saving the lives of the pre-born. Find out how you can support this cause at Here's a suggestion, how about a resource for you and your family, or maybe one for a friend or to pass along to your pastor?

This month, we are offering the Standing Strong for Life three track CD. It's yours as our way of thanking you for your gift of amount in support of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute. So go to Again, that's Or call us at (877) 732-6825. That's (877) 732-6825. Well, that's all the time we have for today, please keep standing up for every precious human life and be sure to join us again tomorrow as we continue our conversation part two on the topic of "Mom Fog" with our special guest Hannah Keeley. That's coming up right here on Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk.

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