Fed & Fit

Ep. 142: Lifting Others Up with Madison Hofmeyer

On today's episode, I'm chatting with my friend Madison Hofmeyer, of Espresso and Cream, about lifting others up and life as a working mom!

We're back with our 142nd episode of the Fed+Fit Podcast! Remember to check back every Monday for a new episode and be sure to subscribe on iTunes!

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Episode 142 Sponsors

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Episode 142 Links

  • Find Madison's blog, Espresso and Cream, HERE

Episode 142 Transcription

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Cassy Joy: Welcome back to another episode of the Fed and Fit podcast. I am your host, Cassy Joy Garcia, welcoming you back to another week. Kicking it off on this lovely Monday with a quick 30 minutes. These shows, if you’re a new listener, welcome. We try to keep things really fun, casual, and focus more on, I guess the real life around what our healthy lifestyles look like. And today’s show is very much in line with that.

I’m thrilled to introduce you guys to Madison Mayberry Hofmeyer. She is a freelance writer, recipe developer, and managing director; so bigwig, at Beautycounter. She lives in a small town in Iowa with her husband, Joe, and their two adorable little girls, Ainsley, who is 2.5, and Collins, who is 7 months old. The cutest darn names.

She is passionate about encouraging other women and sharing honestly about the wonderful, challenging, joyful mess that is motherhood. I love it. You can find her over at Espresso and Cream is the name of her blog. Just EspressoandCream.com. Follow along with her musings on motherhood over on Instagram. Welcome to the show, Madison!

Madison Mayberry Hofmeyer: Well thanks so much for having me! I’m excited to talk.

Cassy Joy: I am too! So I have to say, Madison and I are on the same larger Beautycounter team page, which is how the two of us connected. And I just always; you know, online, you don’t really know-know people. You kind of get a sense. But I always loved the things that you’ve said. You are always very well poised and encouraging. Especially in these large groups.

And then, you and I got to spend some time together in person. I got to meet you in person at a Beautycounter incentive trip. I walked away from that trip, and I think I remember calling my husband. He was asking how it was going, and I had known several of the girls there who had been friends for years. I was like, “oh, it’s great. And there’s this girl Madison, and I just think she is the sweetest thing. And I want to be her real friend.” {laughing}

Madison Mayberry Hofmeyer: Oh my gosh! I think I said something similar when I left. I said, “Cassy is even more likable, if it’s possible, in person than she is on her very likable Instagram stories.” {laughs}

Cassy Joy: {laughs} That’s so funny! I love it. It was so great to spend some time with you. You are just such a wonderful soul. And I couldn’t wait to introduce you to everybody here. I highly encourage you guys to look up Madison. She’s always sharing wonderful, uplifting things. I know that’s what everybody’s in search of here. And you are in good hands with her. So thank you for coming on the show!

I would love it if we could kind of share a little bit about what it’s like to be a working mom. I know that that’s something that I will be doing very soon. {laughs} With a little girl due in about a month. I’m going to take some time off for a little bit, but that’s going to be a whole new world. So I would love it if you could share a little bit on your perspective there. Maybe tell us also a little bit about your blog and what you do for work at large.

Madison Mayberry Hofmeyer: Absolutely. Well, your about to enter into a wonderful, crazy, life-altering season. And it is better and crazier than I could have even imagined, now having two. I thought; I’ve got one under my belt. What can two be? And two is a whole new world too. So I’m learning and growing along the way. But; goodness.

My career path is sort of like a roundabout; I started in magazine publishing right out of college. I was a food editor. I worked in Des Moines, Iowa, with Meredith Publishing, and did a lot of food editing and writing for them. And then when my husband and I decided to move about; gosh, that was 5 years ago. We moved to Minneapolis and I worked in the real-life Betty Crocker kitchens. And I was doing recipe development and food writing and editing for them while we lived there.

Then, we had a baby. And life changed. And we said; we want to move closer to grandparents. So I had this stirring in my heart for the longest time of wanting to do freelance work, and have a little more schedule flexibility. But, you know, when you have a job you love and security, it’s really hard to make that leap. And this was the perfect time.

So we moved for my husband’s job, and to be closer to family in small town northwest Iowa, where we’re both from. And I decided to make that scary leap into freelancing. And it’s been awesome. Really, interesting to kind of learn what balance looks like when you have a little one and you have work that’s; you know, it’s flexible but it’s not optional. And that you also feel really passionate about. So kind of finding a balance. But yes.

I now have a lot of great freelance clients where I edit and write recipes for them. I do some blogging. I’d say blogging is a fun side project for me, and it has been for about 8 years now. But it’s definitely not my fulltime gig. And then I love to just write and encourage moms and kind of share honestly and authentically about the joys and the challenges of being a working mom. Trying to find balance and joy in the everyday.

And I also should mention; you mentioned that I work for Beautycounter. I’ve found a really great community of women who are like-minded and love to talk about healthy living and making healthier choices. So, I think I wear a lot of hats, like you do. And I thrive, and sometimes sink, under all of them. But it’s a joy to be able to have some schedule flexibility and creativity and manage a lot of different things at once.

Cassy Joy: That’s wonderful. You know, a friend of mine in college. You always remember the first time you hear something that applies to you so well. And I’ve heard it a bunch since. But a friend of mine from college mentioned something about his personality; and I remember thinking, “That’s it! That’s me in a nutshell!” He said the more richly scheduled he is, the more productive and at ease he feels.

Madison Mayberry Hofmeyer: I love that.

Cassy Joy: Right? And that is exactly it in a nutshell. Now granted, it doesn’t look that pretty, as I currently sit in what is soon to be my home office moved from what is going to be the nursery to an upstairs kind of studio place. And it is an absolute mess. So it doesn’t look like it’s a very peaceful process right now. But I’m with you. I think that the more hats that I’m able to wear and the more that I’m able to schedule. And add in layers of flexibility. You learn that over time when to say; well, Tuesdays I don’t schedule anything, and stuff just pops up. And it kind of helps. Or whatever the method is. But I love that. I think we’re birds of a feather in that regard.

What have been some of your biggest lessons learned, entering motherhood and working. I love what you said; with a flexible but not optional career.

Madison Mayberry Hofmeyer: Right. Because I think, especially childcare, I think for any working mom that is the largest pain point. And I wish there was a better solution. We’ve had any matter of situations, whether it’s had our girls at a close friend’s at her house, or had college girls at our house. We have an amazing baby sitter situation at our house right now with a mom whose kids are a little bit older. But that is just probably the hardest part. People understanding that just because your work is flexible doesn’t mean that you don’t have to do it, and that it’s not important work.

So trying to find that balance of, like you said; I do well when I have my schedule running like a little bit with my hair on fire. And I do well with that. But I also need to make sure that I’m scheduling in time for balance and rest and disconnecting. I was just having a conversation with a mentor and friend this morning about it, saying, what does that look like? As business grows, of wanting to achieve and move my business forward. But my little girls are in a stage where they need their mom very intensely, too. So trying to find what works for our family.

Like you said; having some margin in there for; these nights are sacred. These nights don’t get touched if we can help it. And then realizing that we’re always having that conversation. My husband and I are always talking; is this schedule working for us? Are we feeling balanced? Are we having enough time together? Are the girls; your kids, you’ll find as they get older. My toddler is just getting to this point. If we’re running on all cylinders, she starts to be the first one who shows the signs.

She starts to melt down about little things, and kind of cries about missing daddy, or whatever. So it’s a good sign to me to say; ok. Are we needing to reevaluate? Do we need to make some more time for family to just be quiet and connect and be together? Am I using the time that I do have for work. Am I using it to the best of my ability. It makes me a more efficient worker, because I realized that the time that I have away from work is really important. Because I’m investing in those little lives, too.

It’s an ever-changing thing. And I think; don’t get too set in any one schedule, because you’ll realize three months from now, we might need to reevaluate and say what was working three months ago is not working now. How can we tweak our schedule, and my work schedule, to make it work for our family?

Cassy Joy: I love that so much.

Madison Mayberry Hofmeyer: I find that we’re just always adapting and always changing.

Cassy Joy: I love that. But you know what that speaks to, is a really great, I would say, attitude and approach in general. There’s a difference. You know when you talk about folks, let’s say job person match, right? You're constantly negotiating attitude versus aptitude. Right? Are they coming in ready, let’s say a physicist. They need to have a certain amount of aptitude, right? They need to know the material and be able to hit the ground running.

And then in other positions, motherhood being a position, right? Being a business owner in general is another position. You have to have; it’s more about attitude, necessarily, than aptitude. Because we don’t enter into these roles knowing exactly what to do.

I was thinking about that last night, as I was looking at my content calendar for my blog. I’ve had a lot of folks ask for a registry post, which I’m going to share. {laughs} I’m going to share it humbly, because you get to this point where I’m thinking; what do I know? {laughing} I haven’t taken care of a baby yet! By the time this episode airs, she’ll be with us and you guys will already have met her. But at this point, I’m thinking; this is my best guess. {laughing}

Madison Mayberry Hofmeyer: Right. {laughs}

Cassy Joy: You know? I’ve done some research, and this is my best guess. And at the end of the day, similar to what Madison is describing, it’s your attitude. It’s how you approach. It’s about staying nimble and being willing to adapt. And I love that you and your husband constantly; it sounds like you revisit, and you say, is this working for us? I think that’s so crucial.

And it’s important, not just in motherhood, which I know nothing about at this point. But in business in general. And also in healthy lifestyle design, right? There are so many times where we just want a solution out of a box, and we want that to work forever.

Madison Mayberry Hofmeyer: And to your point about healthy living; I mean, for us, it’s easy when kids get in the picture and work gets in the picture, to let those things slide of working out. Or being active. Or eating healthy. We have to just prioritize it. And we found a schedule that works for us. But, you know, making sure that I’m committed to Joe getting his exercise and what he needs to feel healthy. And making that work in our schedule. And vice-versa. And finding something that works. And then both of us being committed to making sure one another gets what we need.

Cassy Joy: I love it. That’s so wonderful, and so important. Austin, when we first got married, we started having. My husband is kind of a quiet guy. He is a very strategic thinker. He’s a very hard worker. But he married somebody who is this {laughs} I don’t feel like Pocahontas on Sundays. I’m like; where’s the wind moving {laughing}. And I like to talk about where the wind’s blowing me. Those kinds of things. And it’s just so interesting.

We have adapted, in our marriage, even getting better about sitting down and having those conversations and reassessing, what can I do to better support you. And I have to say that that; I get asked a lot about, “How do you handle the stressors of everything? How do you always seem to be having a good day?” And at the end of the day, I think it’s because those really important things are on lockdown. Those sacred nights, like you described.

Right now, it’s kind of a different season, but normally, as soon as dinner is served, I don’t open my computer. And that’s just…

Madison Mayberry Hofmeyer: And that’s so healthy.

Cassy Joy: It is. And not to say that it’s wrong to do that; that’s just what works for us.

Madison Mayberry Hofmeyer: Right.

Cassy Joy: Anyway, sorry. I could blabber about that all day long. I love it.

Madison Mayberry Hofmeyer: Well, and to that point, I have found everybody; especially you’ll find as you have a baby. And people thought I was crazy; two months in with a toddler and a baby, and I was getting up at 4:30 in the morning to work. Not because I felt like I had to, but because those were my; I heard somebody talk. I think it was Erin Loechner talking about the concept of golden hours. And she said she realized she had to evaluate where, and how, and what time she was spending on work versus child care.

And I realized my power hours are the early, early mornings. The house is quiet, my mind is clear. And I had to make sure that; I do better work at 4, 4:30 in the morning than I do at 3 in the afternoon. Regardless of if the girls are napping and I have some free time. I’d rather spend that cleaning the house or doing laundry or getting my workout in or whatever it is. So kind of figuring out; I don’t work great at night.

So for me, making sure I was using my best hours, my most productive hours, for the work I needed to do. And then I could use my physical energy with the girls later in the afternoon, when my brain was like, ready to shut off and check out.

Cassy Joy: Mm-hmm. I love that. I think that; again, we’re very similar people. I just want to attach myself to you, Madison. I just adore you so much.

Madison Mayberry Hofmeyer: I’ll move down to Texas.

Cassy Joy: Oh, do it! Let’s do it. I keep talking; San Antonio is such a well-kept secret as far as what a fun town it is. But I identify with that so much. Something that I came across really; you guys. I wanted to have a phone call with Madison and I turned it into a podcast episode. {laughing} That’s what happened.

But, I came across something years ago that made so much sense to me. And it was all about decision fatigue. Are you familiar with the concept?

Madison Mayberry Hofmeyer: I am. Absolutely.

Cassy Joy: And I really subscribe to it. I think it’s a real thing. I, like you, I do my best work when I’m the most fresh. I will wake up an hour early just the same. If I’ve got something to do, and I’m so much more efficient in that time. Early in the morning. And I think a part of that has to do with the fact that I haven’t made any decisions yet for the day.

Madison Mayberry Hofmeyer: Right!

Cassy Joy: You know? You know, at the end of those really long days when you get home, let’s say you went to the office or you’ve been running around all day juggling work and kids. And your husband says; what do you work for dinner. And you're like; truly, I have no idea.

Madison Mayberry Hofmeyer: I don’t know!

Cassy Joy: I couldn’t decide even if you asked me to! {laughing} So I’m with you. I love the idea of frontloading your day for that way.

Cassy Joy: I think this is a great spot to stop and hear from one of our sponsors.

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Cassy Joy: I would love to transition. There’s such an interesting concept; and I know that you speak to this so well, and so gracefully. You live and breathe it, I guess is a really good way to put it. In work in general, we can kind of think about the business world at large, or the blogging world at large, as one of abundance or one of scarcity. It really comes down to that simple of an outlook. Is there a place for me and can I contribute? Are you worried about taking away from other people? Are you worried about other people taking away from you? Or do you see it as, we’re all just going to contribute and contribute and contribute?

And I think that leads into something that I’d love to pick your brain on; community versus competition. And women really supporting each other in business. I think it’s so important. And I’d love to hear your thoughts. If somebody is listening that maybe is struggling with a little bit of that scarcity mindset. Because it’s such a human thing to feel, right? To worry or think; A) is there room for me; or B) is someone going to take what little space I’ve carved out for myself. Do you have any tips for somebody who may want to break through those feelings into more of an abundant mindset where they can really support other women. And eventually; spoiler alert, it really does come back to support them.

Madison Mayberry Hofmeyer: Right. And, I mean, this is one area I will have to say I think we all struggle with; we all have our own issues to deal with. And this is not one area that I’ve particularly felt a struggle with. There have been plenty of other issues that I have. But I’ve always been so encouraged by seeing how people are using their gifts. And I think that quote that says, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” I love that mentality. To be thinking; I see all my friends, and they’re makers, and creators. And they’re doing amazing things. And I’ve just been so encouraged to see how they’re using their talents.

We’re on the same Beautycounter team. Or we’re both in the blogging sphere. And I’ve realized; people don’t, they don’t have to choose. They don’t have to choose; I only read this blog. I only listen to this podcast. I think when we’re really supportive of people, especially in our sphere, of doing great work it really lifts everybody else in that area up, and makes it better.

And so, you’ve seen the rise of podcasting. I don’t podcast, but I love listening to podcasts. I’m like an avid listener; I have them on all the time. And I don’t have to choose. I can support my friends who do one podcast, and the friends who do another.

I think we really, as women, we do tend to struggle with this. Of like; I’m doing this. Or I did this first. Or I’m doing this best. But the women I admire most are those that are just supporting and encouraging one another. And that speaks so much to you, when you're supporting other people and you're not taking your little bit and trying to protect it. I do think we’re all better off. We’re just happier and more joyful when we can share the love. Spread the word about what our friends are doing.

So I just try to always be thinking; how can I support my friends in business? Using whatever little influence I have with friends, family online, and just share the love and share authentically about people doing great work. Because I have not yet seen it, where doing that takes away from what I’m doing. Rather, it just encourages and supports women. You know, we’re all trying to do our best. We’re all trying to find our path and use the gifts we’ve been given. I love when we are able to bring out the best in one another rather than the competition. Because really, this is not a competition.

Cassy Joy: Mm-hmm. Absolutely. Amen sister!

Madison Mayberry Hofmeyer: {laughs} I know. We tend to get in that mentality, and it’s just a really unhealthy place to be. So I think if we’re always checking ourselves. Saying; I’m so appreciative of those who supported me. So I think, how can I share that love? How can I pass it on? Really, you do go away feeling really good about when you're able to speak highly of other people and share their gifts and endeavors as well.

Cassy Joy: Absolutely. I find myself; as you're speaking, I’m trying to think about what are some practical ways that I apply this. And I do find myself; I'm a Labrador, in a lot of a ways. I’m a very loyal human being. You know, if you open the door for me once, I’ll always remember that door. And how kind that was. {laughs}

But I find myself making a point of giving credit where credit is due as often as I can.

Madison Mayberry Hofmeyer: Absolutely.

Cassy Joy: To the point where I feel like I fall over myself to mention; well, if somebody. I mean, how silly is this. I’m sitting in my studio right now so I can see my light kit. And if somebody says, “I love your lights.” I’ll be like, “Oh, thanks! So-and-so told me about them!” {laughing}

Madison Mayberry Hofmeyer: Right! {laughs} We are kindred spirits, because people compliment my living room or my design at my house, and I’m like; it’s not me, it’s my friend Laura who told me to do this.

Cassy Joy: Yeah! Exactly. And it gives you that sense of community, to your point. I think that’s a really great way to put it. It really ties you in. Because no man is an island. I’m a part of all I have met. And paying, in certain ways, respect to those people who have poured into us. Because it’s happened.

And maybe, if finding that kind of thankful, grateful attitude, is a little bit of a challenge. It depends on the season, right? Because we all go through times where we think; why not me? Or why this? I think a way around that is to think about the people who have poured into you, and then call them up and give them thanks. It’s kind of like the fake it till you make it mindset. Right?

Madison Mayberry Hofmeyer: Absolutely.

Cassy Joy: So maybe if you're struggling with feeling thankful, the first thing to do is to thank somebody. Even if it feels like you're going through the motions. Think about something that somebody has done, and then publicly thank them. Or thank them privately. But it really does help kind of instill that essence of community. And that may be what your heart is missing.

Madison Mayberry Hofmeyer: Yeah. And there’s something to be said; there are difficult seasons. There are seasons where you might be going through something incredibly difficult, or heart breaking. And it is harder to feel. I’ve been in those seasons, and it’s harder to feel excited for people or happy for their success when you're going through a deep amount of personal pain. So not to diminish those seasons.

Sometimes it is just going through the motions, like you said. Doing the action, even though you don’t feel it. And eventually, the feelings come along with it. But sometimes it’s just doing the right thing. Or doing the encouraging thing. And getting into that habit really can start to yield. The feelings can come later, even if the feelings aren’t there to begin with.

Cassy Joy: Absolutely. That’s so, so well put. And a very, very trivial sense of what you said. {laughs} The analogy that just popped up is when I had; this is nowhere near as important as profound as what Madison just said. But for example, when I have headaches. In the first trimester of this pregnancy, I would get these headaches. And of course, I would take some days off. But at the end of the day, I was like; I just can’t not do certain things. So on those days, I had zero desire to work or to go through the motions to do stuff. But I went through the motions to do them. I felt very little joy {laughing} while I was doing them. But at the end of the day, or the next day, when the headache finally subsided. Or two days later. I could look back and be thankful for the effort that I put forth, when I really wasn’t feeling it.

Madison Mayberry Hofmeyer: Absolutely. And there are seasons where I’ve looked back, and I’ve said; you know, I used to feel snarky about this. Or I felt a little resentful towards that. And I had to do a good heart look at; why am I feeling that way? And a lot of times, the person I’m directing it at isn’t actually the problem. The problem is inside me. And that’s hard to look at a little bit. It’s hard to do reflection like that and realize that maybe it’s my jealousy. Or maybe it’s something that’s going on in my heart, and I need to look at what’s going on there before.

Sometimes, the answer is to take a step away from social media. If something is causing you to get into that competition or comparison trap; maybe take a little step away. You can follow those people later on. Reintroduce them when you're at a healthier place. But a lot of times it’s me that’s the issue, not the other person that I might direct something at that’s the issue.

Cassy Joy: Absolutely. I love that. I really love that; that’s great advice. Comparison really is the thief of joy. That’s said a lot. But in a lot of ways, it really is. And social media is a breeding ground for that.

So, yeah. I think that’s solid advice. If you do find yourself in that mindset, you can unfollow. And sometimes it’s a very empowering thing. And it also doesn’t have to be a forever thing. You can unfollow for now, like Madison said. I love that.

Well that’s wonderful. Madison, thank you so much! I mean, this is just; it’s been a true joy to chat with you and reconnect. Do you have anything else you’d like to mention about your work or where folks can find you?

Madison Mayberry Hofmeyer: No. I mean, if you want more polished content you can come to my blog. If you want to see pictures of cute babies and dirty messes and a little bit of encouragement along the way, Instagram is a more realistic look at my life. I just so appreciate you having me on today, and being able to talk. Your podcast is always such an encouragement to me. So I am excited to be able to talk with others.

Cassy Joy: Yeah! Well I’m excited to introduce you to everybody. If you are sitting at a computer, head on over to www. EspressoandCream.com right now. You can see all of Madison’s “polished” content. She puts out really wonderful stuff. And then of course you can find her also on Instagram. And I will link to everything on the show notes. So if you're not at your computer, and you're driving, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered there.

Madison Mayberry Hofmeyer: Don’t start going somewhere on your phone while you're driving.

Cassy Joy: No, don’t do that. I started seeing bumper stickers that are telling people to put their phones down. I was like; oh, I guess that was a matter of time. This is a new age, isn’t it? {laughs}

Madison Mayberry Hofmeyer: Oh, goodness.

Cassy Joy: Oh my goodness. Thank you again for coming on the show today. It’s really been a pleasure chatting with you and introducing you to everybody here. Everybody else, thanks so much for dialing in. We’ll be back again next week.

   

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