Nov. 12, 2021

Fresh Take: Tiffany Jenkins on Mom Anxiety and Keeping It Real

Tiffany Jenkins is as hilarious as she is honest. She’s a comedian, blogger, author, podcaster, and mom who uses her platforms to help and inspire others struggling with motherhood, mental health, and addiction, and those who just need a good laugh.


Tiffany Jenkins writes honestly about motherhood, her experience with opioid addiction, recovery, marriage, and life in her blog Juggling the Jenkins. Her memoir High Achiever: The Incredible True Story of One Addict’s Double Life, Jenkins provides an up-close portrait of the mind of an addict and the devastating effects of narcotics. Jenkins uses her platform to help and inspire others who are struggling with motherhood, mental health, addiction, and those who just need a good laugh.

In this episode, we talk about whether being “real” always equates being a hot mess express, Tiffany’s approaches to dealing with anxiety, and how the all-mom audiences Tiffany meets on her “My Name is Not Mom” tour are bringing rock-star levels of enthusiasm. 

Find Tiffany Jenkins on Facebook and YouTube

Hear us as guests on Tiffany’s podcast Take it Or Leave It: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/what-fresh-hell-special-guest-amy-and-margaret/id1434126027?i=1000495262427

And catch Tiffany on tour: https://mynameisnotmom.com/

 

Special thanks to our sponsors for this month:

Betterhelp Start taking charge of your mental health– no matter where you live. Go to betterhelp.com/fresh to get 10% off your first month of counseling. 

Brooklinen's luxurious, high-quality sheets are the ultimate bedding upgrade! Go to brooklinen.com and use the promo code FRESH for $20 off your minimum purchase of $100.

Dermafacs cream rejuvenates your skin's texture and fades the appearance of damage or scars in just a few weeks. Go to dermafacs.com/whatfreshhell and use the code whatfreshhell for 15% off.

Green Chef’s expert chefs design flavorful recipes that go way beyond the ordinary. Go to greenchef.com/laughing125 and use code laughing125 to get $125 off including free shipping.

Jane.com is a boutique marketplace featuring the latest in women’s fashion, accessories, home decor, children’s clothing, and more. By shopping at jane.com, you support small businesses, 1500 of which are women-owned. And you will not believe the prices! Visit jane.com/laughing.

KiwiCo projects make science, technology, engineering, art, and math super fun– and best of all, kids of all ages can work on them independently! Get 50% off your first month at kiwico.com with the code MOTHERHOOD.

Magic Spoon gives you great tasting breakfast cereal that also has the protein your kids need to get through their busy days. Go to magicspoon.com/FRESH and use the code FRESH to get $5 off.

MamaZen is an app that provides a revolutionary solution for motherhood burnout, anxiety, impatience, and more. Download MamaZen today from your app store, and use the code "FRESH" to unlock a free trial.

Membrasin is the totally natural, estrogen-free, clinically-proven feminine moisture formula. Go to membrasinlife.com and use the code FRESH10 to get 10% off.

Prose now makes supplements personally tailored to address your specific cause of hair shedding. Get your free in-depth consultation and 15% off your custom hair supplements at prose.com/laughing

Somfy powered motorized window coverings are a great way to keep your home cool- and they connect to your smart home systems! Get a customized quote for your home by visiting http://somfysystems.com/podcast

StoryWorth is an online service that helps your loved ones share stories through thought-provoking questions about their memories and personal thoughts. Get started with $10 off your first purchase at storyworth.com/whatfreshhell

SuperBeets heart chews are a tasty treat that give you caffeine-free, heart-healthy energy. Get a free 30-day supply and free shipping and returns with your first purchase at superbeets.com/fresh.

Xocolatti's high quality, delicious chocolates are delivered straight to your door. Go to Xocolatti.com and use the code "MOTHERHOOD" for 15% off. 

 

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcript

FT 52: Tiffany Jenkins

Margaret Ables: [00:00:00] Hello, everyone. And welcome to fresh take from what fresh hell, laughing in the face of motherhood, Margaret. And this 

Amy Wilson: is Amy. And today we're talking to Tiffany Jenkins. She's the creator of Juggling the Jenkins, a blog with a huge social media following. and in her memoir HIGH ACHIEVER: the incredible, true story of one addict's double life Jenkins provides an up-close portrait of the mind of an addict and the devastating effects of narcotics. Tiffany's YouTube channel and Facebook page have almost 4 million. Combined. And she is also the co-host of take it or leave it a parenting podcast that tackles marriage, motherhood and everything in between. Tiffany lives with her husband and three kids in Sarasota, Florida. 

Tiffany Jenkins: Welcome, Tiffany. Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it. Hi, Tiffany. 

Margaret Ables: Hello. It's a very serious. Bio intro, but we know you're laid back and 

Tiffany Jenkins: cool like that. Listen, it sounds like they're describing someone that isn't me. I was like, I need you to jazz that 

Margaret Ables: up a little bit. We're like now [00:01:00] Tiffany, tell us how to raise our children and make it all turn out. Okay. Exactly. What's happening. Yeah. We were on your podcast.

Take it or leave it. I remember so much fun. And we talked a lot about kind of being yourself while being a mom. And I feel like. Our audience knows you. But if I was describing you to someone who didn't know you, I would say that you are like the world's leading expert in being a real person and also being a mom at the same time.

And I like the way that you integrate, like, this is what it's like to be a human, but then also have like a loving and fun and fraught and difficult relationship. With your children. Yes. And so what brought you to this life of being a YouTube sensation? A Facebook sensation. Thank you. Overall, social media 

Tiffany Jenkins: goddess.

Just yes. Supermodel Oscar winner. It's not easy and yes. 

Margaret Ables: I mean, listen, we couldn't get it to at all in the Bible. Okay. People, 

Tiffany Jenkins: I think I started the same reason. [00:02:00] And that is, you know, that there's some realness lacking on social media and you want to put some real out into the world. I was comparing my life to what I was seeing online.

And I was like, okay, I'm failing because people are getting dressed every day and going places. And I have not gotten off the couch once. And I. Figure out what is wrong with me. And then I realized nothing was wrong with me and that everybody was just showing like their best parts. And I found that the more honest I was, the more people loved it.

And it was so weird to me. Cause I was like, wait, you like that? I don't brush my hair. This is 

perfect 

Margaret Ables: because I'm already doing that. Not brushing my hair. 

Tiffany Jenkins: Exactly. You have the rare ability 

Amy Wilson: though, Tiffany, like a lot of us, if we just show the less curated sides of ourselves, it's just kind of sad or depressing, or at least we feared that it would be right.

That nobody would like us if we show that. And I feel [00:03:00] like what, you're funny. So you can beat your real self and it's still hilarious even. A little bleak sometimes too. You're not afraid to show us that, but it's because you can somehow, I don't know. Like we look at you and it's like, if 

Tiffany Jenkins: she can do it, I can do it too.

That's awesome to hear. And it's very confusing to me. Cause I don't understand the heightened surrounding me because I all day on social media, I'm like, oh my gosh, that lady's just like me. She reminds me of me. You know, you showed me, I don't want to put you on blast, but you showed me what's behind the curtain.

And I'm like, yeah, I get. And it's the same thing. Do you know what bugs me? This is off topic. There is no 

Margaret Ables: topic. So there's no such thing as off topic. 

Tiffany Jenkins: So since this whole be yourself thing has taken a hold. I've noticed that some people are trying really hard to give the appearance of being a mess when they aren't because, 

Margaret Ables: oh, I'm so glad you're talking about this.

I'm so glad you're talking about this. Cause you are preach. 

Tiffany Jenkins: It [00:04:00] drives me crazy because I'm like, I feel like they're doing it only because they see that the rise in popularity and it bugs me because I'm like, don't pretend to be something you're not, if you are good at keeping your house clean and you enjoy waking up and putting makeup on and getting dressed, be that person.

Don't pretend to be a mess just to relate to the masses because we can see through your bowl. 

Margaret Ables: Right. And it's that authenticity, I will say before we got on, we just get on three minutes beforehand and kind of talk through stuff. And Tiffany said, we see each other on video. You guys don't see us, but shadow the room behind me is a little bit of a mess.

I have a screen that I bought from Amazon because I am in my bedroom. That is like, Absolutely a hoarder's nightmare of laundry and unmade newness. And so we were laughing and I was telling her where to go by your screen. So you can just hide the disaster that is behind you, because there are elements and arenas of our [00:05:00] life, where we don't want everybody to see what's really going on, which is also fine.

And then Amy is in a very clean and lovely room. 

Amy Wilson: Yeah. We talked about this. Um, when we were on Tiffany's podcasts, like this is genuinely. Who I am. Right. And for me to try to like, act more messy, to be more relatable than, yeah. That's not genuine for me, but the room I'm in is neat because it's, my kids' room is away at college and nobody's in here right now, except me.

It's 

Tiffany Jenkins: my new office. The reason I even bring it up is because I think that people think in order to be successful, You have to be super relatable to people, right? And a lot of people don't realize that just like me not knowing what I'm doing and being a little bit of a mess was relatable to some people being tidy and taking care of your things is also super relatable to a group of people.

And. I guess my message is just be who you are, dude. No matter what it is and the right people will find you, [00:06:00] but if you try to live a life that isn't yours and it's miserable, and that's why it's so freeing to me to just put myself out there because I don't have to ever pretend to be something that I'm not.

So easily, 

Margaret Ables: I think that's right. And I think for other moms, we sometimes think there's a lot that goes on with like mom categories and cliches and you fit into one and some are good and some are bad. And right now we're kind of on like hot mess mom rising, where we're all supposed to be. Like, we don't care about our houses.

We're so relatable. Yeah. I have friends who are like in the PTA and love their clipboards and their super powers organization. And maybe they left a corporate job and now they're like running the school and thank God because they're keeping it running and they don't also have to fall into the cliche of like, they're the annoying suburban loser mom who thinks that kid's education is important.

Like 

Tiffany Jenkins: that's not a thing. I agree and I feel bad because when I first started making videos, I would make fun of PTA [00:07:00] moms and stuff like that because I thought it was hilarious. But the longer that I've done this, it's weird how my content has changed because I try not to isolate those certain groups anymore.

And. Say that, but I feel like I also still kind of do it and maybe we should work on it a little bit, but I don't think 

Margaret Ables: so though. I think it's part of the universe of like, I have a mom friend who's really just a hilarious, like into her linens and like really into her kids. And, you know, at some point she was like, oh, it's so hard.

When they go on the trip to Washington, we have one overnight trip for the eighth graders. And I was like, why is it hard? She's like, they leave. And I'm like, no, I'm still not understanding, like, what's the problem here. And so. I mean, we always get together and I'm always like, are you still into your kids?

You know, like you're, and it's fine to acknowledge that. Like we're all annoying and we're all. Okay. And I think that both of those things are, I like that. I mean, Amy and I have a lot of that between the two of us, like, okay, Amy, like you're really [00:08:00] into, you know, cooking food for your children, fire. 

Amy Wilson: You know what I'm seeing this play out right now.

So I keep talking about this, but my oldest left for college this fall, and the people who sort of are on the internet still, like talking about like empty chairs at empty tables and like really mourning it. There's part of me, that's like, oh, like 

Tiffany Jenkins: pop lays, like at a 

Amy Wilson: light, but that's their experience.

That's real to them. Right. And I'm not going to pretend to be somebody who's still like organizing the baby photos into albums and, you know, and remember. But I shouldn't judge them for that because I don't think it is an act just like my, like, you know, room. Isn't an act it's deeply who we are, but that must be something about us in ourselves that we are sort of irritated by people who show us another possibility of another way of doing things maybe because, well, maybe I should be neat.

Well, maybe I should be crying more that he left. You know what I'm 

Tiffany Jenkins: saying? Yeah, absolutely. I feel like I'm going to be one of those people. When my kids leave, I've been saving all their baby clothes so that I can have a made into a [00:09:00] pillow. So I could just snuggle it and cry when they leave, but my kids are still young and cute.

We haven't gone through the nightmare stages yet of how old are your kids? Five and just turned seven. And I have a bonus daughter also who's 10 and getting ready to burn the house down with her idea. 

Margaret Ables: I will say I have nine, 11 and 13, and Amy's kids are 13. What is it? 

Amy Wilson: She's 14 today. 14, 17 

Tiffany Jenkins: happy birthday.

Happy birth giving 

Margaret Ables: day, but I feel like so much of what we talk about on the podcast is like, it gets better. It really does. Like, it keeps getting better and yes, they kind of turn on you. And I mean, I am shocked. I had a, one of my kids, my daughter was like, mommy, I just wanted to tell you how pretty it looked today.

She was that little girl, you know, just that angel child. And she is starting to roll her eyes at me. And it is shocking. Like, I can't believe that. The changeling has been taken by the fairies. And like, they gave me an eye roller, [00:10:00] but even that we're able to now sit and have long conversations about weird stuff and it's a dream come true.

You know? I mean, I think it changes, but I don't know. I haven't, I don't think either of us has had the experience where like your kids suddenly like turn on you because. Different. They just evolve 

Tiffany Jenkins: really that's reassuring because it's that thought that keeps me going on days when I'm overwhelmed, because my kids are at the age where they're like, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, watch this.

Mommy, mommy, hold my hand. Mommy can tell me a bedtime story. And so I'm like, okay, Tiffany, one day they're going to slam doors and have attitudes and not want to even talk to you. So just embrace this moment while you can. And they 

Margaret Ables: will, but I think on the flip side, you'll be sitting down with them and having like a conversation about something really deep and it'll blow your mind and make you so happy.

So it's like the good comes and the bad goes and the bad goes on. The good comes that's to me, what kind of happens? That's awesome. That gives me, [00:11:00] Amy's got teenagers this, so maybe I'm just 

Tiffany Jenkins: delusional. Her face is very scrunched up right now. And 

Margaret Ables: she's a little bit like, okay, cut it up, make it, get so much worse resting scrunch 

Amy Wilson: face.

But I think that's it when you're. Around all the time. You can't like enjoy every moment of them being mommy and mommy and mommy, just like, you're not going to hate every moment when they don't need to as much anymore. 

Tiffany Jenkins: Sometimes it's awesome. Listen, this is making me feel so much better and it makes so much sense.

What's you're saying just like you can't enjoy every moment while they're all over you. You won't hate every moment when they're not. No, that's amazing. You will really 

Margaret Ables: hate some for sure. Let's be clear pupil. You will really hate some. In your videos. I think our audience is familiar with a lot of the stuff you do.

I love the sort of inside Tiffany's mind videos, where you are sort of processing and the different characters that show up. Talk to tell our audience who might not have seen them, what these videos look like and like what they're [00:12:00] about. 

Tiffany Jenkins: So when I put these videos out, I was like, this is going to seal the deal that I'm crazy.

And everybody's going to know that I'm not, and it's either going to be a make or break moment. And I was completely overwhelmed with the amount of people who related to it. And it makes me sad and happy at the same time, because I know I'm not alone, but basically I felt for a long time, like my brain was conspiring with all my mental.

Illnesses and all my little corks to kind of destroy my day and I lay awake at night and I'm like, how can I make this something that people will understand without just telling them? Cause that's boring to me. Right. And so then I realized I'll give each of my courses. And my mental illnesses, their own character.

And I will show the morning meeting in which they conspire to destroy my day 

Margaret Ables: and we'll link to a bunch of them. They show us, they are so funny. I want to take a break and talk a little bit more about [00:13:00] this serious topic with a funny take. Okay. We're back. We're talking to Tiffany Jenkins and how is it? I mean, you.

In your book, you talk a lot about addiction, recovery, mental illness. Really difficult topics. Was it a conscious choice to be like, but I'm going to really crack people up talking about those things. Like, because that can be a really fine line to walk. Like people don't always want to mix humor with such serious and heavy topics.

Yeah. 

Tiffany Jenkins: I can't help it. If you are like a funny, silly goose, then you know that it's nearly impossible to keep humor out of. No matter what it is. And I don't know if it's a coping mechanism, like, oh my gosh, I got to break this tension with a little weird joke or what it is. But I knew that by just telling people it would just like scare and jar and [00:14:00] traumatize them.

And. 

Margaret Ables: I was like, you mean talking seriously? I'm being like a hidden addiction and I have these issues and this is what happened to me. Right. I started 

Tiffany Jenkins: by talking about my time in jail. And so I knew that if I just told them about jail, it would come off as a lecture. But if I could find a way to make it entertaining and make them see that all these serious subjects.

Don't have to be so serious all the time, then maybe people would listen. And that's exactly what ended up happening is they listened and I, people would come to my page because they saw my funny videos and then they would find out I was an addict and just be like, wait a minute, you don't look like an addict.

You don't talk like. 

Margaret Ables: You don't act like an addict because you seem to have a fun life, I think is that's how I came to you. I saw the like funny, hilarious videos. And then in staying with you realized for people who maybe don't know you, you ended up in jail as a result of like a decade long. [00:15:00] Addiction to alcohol and opioids, correct?

Correct. And so, yeah, it's a very interesting poll in, I think that you have that's right. People meet you as like a very silly person. And then there's kind of a very serious story underneath all that, a very 

Amy Wilson: relatable person, right. This mom was just like me and then, okay, well maybe this part of. Isn't just like meat.

Where is 

Tiffany Jenkins: it? And that's I think the whole thing, my goal is to make people who at one point thought all addicts were lost causes and that there was no hope and that they're all bad. People make them realize that they're human and a life after addiction is possible and that it doesn't have to be how their story ends.

And so if somebody finds me relatable and then finds out about my super dark history, I think there's a little. Lesson in there somewhere about empathy and understanding that everybody's been through something and you don't know what it is, and we're all the same running around on a planet. Having no clue what we're doing here, what we're supposed to be doing.

And [00:16:00] I'm just honored that people are able to shift their perspective after meeting me. 

Margaret Ables: Yeah. It's an incredible gift to people. And then you are offering that to other people through your recovering beautifully serious, which is just awesome. Tell us about that. 

Tiffany Jenkins: Thanks. People were so amazed about my story and they, you know, were praising me all the time and I'm like, you do know that I'm not the only one, you know, this 

Margaret Ables: is a macrocosm thing, right?

There's a lot of people out there doing this. 

Tiffany Jenkins: Yeah. And I thought to myself, man, if they're impressed with me, I got to show them, you know, what else is out there? Because there are millions of people everyday doing the exact same thing that I'm doing kicking off. And taking names and recovering, and I just I'm in front of the camera.

That's the only difference. So I started asking my community to send me their stories of recovering and they sent, you know, I accept submissions, not just about addiction, but about everything, any kind of adversity where somebody might think this is how the, my story [00:17:00] has to end. But then they keep going and create an awesome life.

That's 

Amy Wilson: how I first found out that this was something that you covered because I have a close friend who's in recovery and she said, oh, Tiffany Jenkins, she does this incredible material. And I said, Tiffany Jenkins, who does like funny mom videos, but I don't think that's the same person. And this person was like, no, it is the same person.

And this person. That's why they came to you, right? They weren't like what, there's a story of addiction to here. This person came for that content. So what are you offering? The people who come to you for that reason through this memoir and honesty, and it's a whole other set of 

Tiffany Jenkins: things, I suppose, very tricky because when you get into what we do, it's like, you kind of know who your audience is and what they're there for.

But with me, I never know if they're here because they're in recovery and they want help. Or if it's because they're a parent and they want to laugh. And so. It's so intertwined recovery and parenthood in my own personal life that weave in and out. And I just sprinkle a little bit of each on [00:18:00] whatever topic I'm covering.

And it is definitely challenging. There were some people when I headlined my own tour, who thought they were coming to a comedy parenting show, and then I was like, and then just like telling my dark story. People are like, 

Margaret Ables: where 

Tiffany Jenkins: are the mom? Lawls yeah, but they're, they're too dark. Yeah, there was both for sure.

But I feel so grateful because with the material that I talk about, the emails that I received from people are so deep and so heavy and people come to me when they're at. You know, and the email subject lines are, you're my last hope, please help me. And I'm like, oh my gosh, I couldn't even get out of bed yesterday.

I can't help you. I can't even help myself. And so I just had to let them know, like, there's, I'm not a doctor. I can't save you. But if you're ready to change, here are some places and information that you may find helpful and I'm sending you love. And if I can do it, you can do it. At first. I tried to save every single person.

Yeah. And then it sucked the [00:19:00] life out of me. I 

Margaret Ables: have a question about that. Like, how is it like you, I think there's an intimacy in podcasting and in being on Facebook and doing videos out of your home with your family, with yourself 

Amy Wilson: and presenting this as my real real life. Right. 

Margaret Ables: True. Yeah. Yeah. That people identify with you as a friend, it's very different than being a celebrity.

It's like people see you as someone who is part of their life, but that's a big responsibility for you. And the, I mean, you're talking about millions of followers. You can't reach into other people's lives and offer them a handout of anything you have. How do you balance that? 

Tiffany Jenkins: Good answer. I'm a people pleaser by nature.

And so I just want everyone to be happy and I want everyone to like me and I know this about myself. And so it's very challenging because when I see someone struggling, I know that there's a light at the end of the tunnel, and I want them to find it. [00:20:00] But me and my. Are working on the saying, you know, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink.

And if you spend all your energy trying to pull the horse to the water and they don't drink, it's going to destroy you. And so just use your messages, an example, and make sure you're taking care of you because your family is most important. And so. Hard there's I don't have a team. I want so badly to get someone to help me kind of navigate these emails and sort them and stuff.

Yeah. But they're so personal. And so deep that I feel like I would be betraying the trust of those who are sending them by having someone else look at them. So I'm just every day, I'm like, I'm going to hire an assistant and then I don't. And you know, yeah. I have no clue, but I get that it's so deeply personal.

Amy Wilson: And then there's a whole. I mean, from what I know about the recovery process from the outside, there's often things that you're covering up you're self-medicating right. And then once you get rid of that problem, then you [00:21:00] have the other problems, which are the things you've been sort of sublimating the whole time, all of a sudden your anxiety is there and you're dealing with it in a very naked way.

Right. That's a whole other set of things 

Tiffany Jenkins: you have to face. Yeah. And it's nothing that I. I can fix. I think people see me just being happy and living a life after addiction and think I want what she has. I'm just gonna send her a message and have her give it to 

Margaret Ables: me. She has a map to the secret door that leads to goodness.

Tiffany Jenkins: Yeah. I lived in a rehab facility for six months and then I lived in a halfway house for six months. And then before that I lived in a jail for four months. You have to go through your own journey, whatever it takes to learn how to live life differently. And you're not going to get it from me. I can plant a seed, but you have to water it and take care of it and make it 

Margaret Ables: happen.

I think the anxiety piece, you talk a lot about anxiety. And I think after five years of doing a podcast, talking to moms, you know, those word clouds that they do, that's like, you know, people [00:22:00] say a bunch of words and it pops up in a cloud. And then the words that people say the most come up, the biggest. I think if I made a mom word cloud anxiety would be like the big center word.

I feel like when however long we've been talking to moms, it's like moms, no matter where they come from, no matter what. Story of origin. Is that being a mom is kind of like a wormhole through a rotten floorboard to your own childhood. Then you're trying to keep other human beings that are very vulnerable alive.

Then you're kind of questioning like how and why you are, where you are. And it's just Amy. And I talk a lot about like, how do we talk more about anxiety and offer some sort of solutions. But I think the problem is we have. Thing at the end of our podcast, we always say we solved it, whatever the problem is we're trying to solve.

And the problem with anxiety is it's so permanent. 

Tiffany Jenkins: Yeah. It feels that way. For sure. I had somebody on my live the other day [00:23:00] say I am three years free from depression and anxiety. And I had never heard anybody say that before. I've heard them say three years free from drugs and alcohol, but never from depression and anxiety.

And I. Like it took me back a second because it always feels like something that is going to be there forever. And that thought makes me sad. And I kind of tell myself that, like, maybe there's no solution where you're going to wake up and everything's going to be fine. But I definitely think that with the right kind of therapy, your life can vastly improve and they have so many different kinds of therapy out there.

Now me and my therapist are getting ready to start cognitive behavioral therapy. 

Margaret Ables: So good. Have you done it CBT? Oh yeah. I have family members 

Amy Wilson: who have I've helped people I live with with it. Yes. 

Tiffany Jenkins: So it has helped. It definitely 

Amy Wilson: does. I can explain a little bit. It's just CBT is it's not like let's spend a year and a half talking about your childhood home.

Let's talk about your fear. You it's goal [00:24:00] oriented and through exposure therapy and different things like that. Let's solve your problem and get you out the door 

Tiffany Jenkins: in 10 sec. Yes. Okay. That's much better than what I thought it was. I heard it was going to be a combination of exposure therapy and something called EMDR.

This is what my therapist said to me. It's like a light therapy that you follow with your eyes to go and tapping, right? Yeah. I'm at the point where I feel like my anxiety is robbing me every time I try to have an outing with my kids, it's just miserable and I make it miserable for them. And they're not having a childhood because.

Actively ruining it. And it's the truth. And I know that's very dramatic, but they can't enjoy themselves because I'm following them around and yelling at them to be careful, constantly and keeping them off of fun slash dangerous things, dangerous in my eyes, normal in most people's eyes. And so I'm very much looking forward to reprogramming my brain and changing my thoughts before they have a chance.

To [00:25:00] manifest into a full blown panic. And I, I think it's possible. 

Margaret Ables: Yeah. And it's also cha I saw you on your life. You were looking at your hotel room at the little family and being like, oh my God, I would be worried that the alligator was gonna eat my child. Cause it was near water. And yes, I bet there's not even alligators in there, but I think a lot of it is changing your behavior and your ability to see that thought and be like, okay, There's no alley.

I'm going to take my minute rather than going right into, like, I'm going to fix the alligator attack that is never going to happen. And so exactly what I do. You're absolutely right. To voice that and push back a little bit. I do not think that you should live with crushing anxiety and that it is normal.

I think that anxiety is kind of a chronic condition. I probably don't believe that you're going to be free from anxiety from it, but I do think it's something worth dialing in on, and it's something that. If it is controlling your life as it has in my own life, it is something that is worth working and putting a tremendous amount of work towards, because life is [00:26:00] better with less anxiety.

I will also put in your path that I think my anxiety has gotten a lot better as my kids have gotten over. 

Tiffany Jenkins: That's really great to 

Margaret Ables: hear. Yeah. Because it's just, they're not quite so like they're going to go lick the light posts. Like they're not going to do that. You know, they're a little more functional.

I know when they start driving and stuff, people tell me then they're out and again, out of your control and it gets scary. 

Tiffany Jenkins: Yeah, that's very reassuring. And just so many of my followers are saying, you know, my anxiety is destroying my relationship and my husband doesn't understand. And I ask them just like, okay, what are you doing about it?

Like, because for me for a long time, and I've used this analogy so much that it's probably going to make people who know me throw up in their mouth, but I was using my anxiety, like a sword and I was just cutting everybody around me. And then. Expecting them to just be okay with the bleeding and it wasn't fair.

Yes. And I would use it as a crutch. I have anxiety. I don't know what you want for me. I can't help it. This is just how my brain works. And if you [00:27:00] love me, then you'll accept me and my anxiety and. I realize that nobody's going to want to help me unless I'm willing to help myself. And as soon as I started putting the work in and my husband saw me putting the work in, he was more understanding and empathetic towards me.

And again, it's just me and my husband. So not there, but in my life, once he saw me trying to go to therapy and listening to YouTube videos about it around the house. And trying to find ways to improve it. He was much more like, what can I do to make you feel better in this moment? Because he knew that I was 

Margaret Ables: trying.

Yeah, it's great. And also, I think you're using it as a sword. And also I think for a lot of us, it becomes like I'm the one keeping them safe. You don't know that I'm the one, keeping them safe from the alligators. And that becomes sort of a. Form of gatekeeping. And like, you know, if you're keeping them safe from stuff that's not going to happen, you know, when I'm just like driving into my husband and be like, be careful around this bend, there could be a Turkey in the road.

Like, whatever, like that's not a thing, but if I'm busy, like I'm making up 400 imaginary, scary things and [00:28:00] then yelling at you because you're not worried enough about them guys. I'm just going to put this in your path. It doesn't lead to marital bliss. As it turns out, I 

Amy Wilson: have seen this really helped. I had a family.

Chronic pain, like very bad chronic pain and had to go to CBT for that. I mean, talk about like something you just have to make peace with and changing your story around pain, that when you have a bad migraine or something that it's like, this will never get better. I will always be like this. This will get worse and worse.

And I won't know what to do. Addressing those stories. You tell yourself. And coming up with your CBT with, and when I feel that way, I'm going to say no. Now I think this, I saw it change this person's relationship with their chronic pain. It really can 

Tiffany Jenkins: help. That's amazing. A therapist suggested giving the voices in my head, silly voices.

It was the stupidest thing I've ever heard. But then when I started doing it, I was like, oh, cause I'd be like, oh my gosh, the kid's going to fall off the edge of the pool and hit their head. And then they're going to be paralyzed. And that I said it again in my kids. [00:29:00] And I was like, it does sound silly when I say it in that voice.

And it really helped in the moment. Silly. It was for me to worry about something that wasn't really in front of me. And so I've been practicing that for like a week and it's been hilarious and ridiculous. And I haven't told anyone that yet 

Margaret Ables: I have an observation for you about that. We're going to take a break.

I'll be right back. We're back with Tiffany Jenkins. We were talking before the break. It seems to me that this voice is in your head and silly voices is what you've been doing. Like this is what you've been doing. Yeah. That's a good point. Are you are already working through this stuff in your head by putting it literally in video form and watching it 

Tiffany Jenkins: interest to, yeah.

So I already have all the answers 

Margaret Ables: you're done. So done. Just take a nap, take a nap, have a snack. You're all set. Nothing else to be concerned about at 

Tiffany Jenkins: this point. Perfect. Thank you. I feel so much 

Margaret Ables: better. I'm glad we could do this for you today. [00:30:00] Whatever money you were going to send your therapist, right to the what?

Fresh hell podcast account, please. You got it? Yeah, we'll be sending you a bill. Tiffany. Tell us 

Amy Wilson: about your tour. Tiffany's on a tour right now called my 

Tiffany Jenkins: name is not mom. I am on a tour with two other. Awesome, funny ladies, Meredith Mason and Dena blizzard. Meredith had the idea to get us together because much like the three of us here on this podcast, the three of us women have children in different states.

Um, so I've got young kids, Meredith's got middle kids and Dana has older kids and we thought, how crazy would it be to put on a show for moms? No matter what age their kids are, no matter what phase they're in that they can come to and laugh and have it be relatable. And so we're getting people out of that house.

And making them laugh and making them forget about the craziness of the world. And it's been so much fun. I didn't know, Dina that well before we started and we've gotten really [00:31:00] close and she's very wise and I find myself looking to her. For advice on almost everything. Like, I can't explain it to you reminds me very much of my mother.

Not that she's old, but the way she has an answer, that's so logical for everything. And the way she says it is very calm and she's the opposite of me. So I'm like, oh no, this chicken is not cooked all the way through. It's okay. Just won't eat. And she'll be like, um, no, excuse me. Ma'am this chicken is raw and we're not trying to get salmonella today.

So can you please take it back? Thank you. And she just shows me how. Ask for what you want. It's very inspiring. And Meredith and I were, we've always been friends. So me and her room together, even though we have a choice to room separately, the 

Margaret Ables: kids, Amy and I are like that, we travel and we could remove apart, but we're bunkies too 

Tiffany Jenkins: much to discuss junkies. 

Amy Wilson: are you finding the women who come to my name is not mom or they like, I haven't been outside in 18 months and I am like I'm out at night and I have a baby.

Tiffany Jenkins: Like, are they 

Amy Wilson: frantic for connection [00:32:00] and laughter in a special way? 

Tiffany Jenkins: Some of them are some of them left reviews and say things like I haven't been out and I can't even tell you how long. And it was so nice to have a night out with my girlfriends. They get like six friends together and come out and it's very cool, but you know, it's also, we're not a hundred percent done in the world.

Different theaters are requiring different things from people. Some theaters are requiring masks. We're being very cautious ourselves on the tour and we're trying to do it as safely as possible because the last thing we want is to be responsible for anybody getting sick, but we realized that there's a need for a moment, just a night. 

Margaret Ables: We were doing live shows before COVID, haven't gotten back to it.

But even before COVID there was an energy in the room. I had two close, gay male friends of mine come to one of the shows and they were like, yeah, I've never seen anything [00:33:00] like that. It was like just the energy in the room is like, so female. So mom based. So nutty, so out of control, I mean, you can literally just mentioned.

You know, I don't know, fortnight or something. And the place erupts with this energy that is just like my friend said, it's like what they used in the sixties. They would call it a happening, like people would get together and just have these communal like purges of emotions. And there is something so magical about that energy.

And I would just moms in 

Tiffany Jenkins: communion, I would try to warn the ushers. Like I just want to make sure that you guys are ready. For tonight because it gets to be a little intense and they're like, we have rock stars here. We're ready. 

Margaret Ables: Relaxed ladies. Yeah. No, not ready. 

Tiffany Jenkins: No. Yeah. Moms when they're free, you don't know what happens when you get us out 

Margaret Ables: of the house.

There's a soccer hula good energy to it. It's not like you [00:34:00] think like moms they'll come out. They'll sip wine. No, they'll like, they go nuts in the best possible 

Tiffany Jenkins: way. I love this. 

Amy Wilson: And it's the shared experience. Right. And it's in your show and on podcasts like ours and on Facebook pages like yours and YouTube channels, like yours, where we're talking about something that doesn't get talked about really in other places.

So I think it's right. When you say Fortnite and 300 women are like, it's because like, yes, it's real me too. We don't usually get it reflected back at us. 

Tiffany Jenkins: Yeah. It's very, very 

Margaret Ables: cool. One other thing. That I don't see, talked about as much. And it's something I love about you is that you have a great relationship with your sister and Amy and I both have sisters and there's something so.

Lovely about seeing you and your sister together. And like, just talk a little bit about that. Like, what is that relationship in that energy? Like, what is it about sisters? So it's 

Tiffany Jenkins: so damn [00:35:00] magical. People are always like, I'm so jealous of your relationship. I'm like, Don't be no, like, I don't think people understand my sister and I, growing up, we would get into like WWF, smacked down, throwing each other over our shoulders, body slamming into lamps.

It was course like we couldn't stand the sound of the other person breathing. And then we got a little bit older and we distanced, and then I got into my. Issues and we distanced. And when I got sober, we slowly started reconnecting and then it was like, we were both mature by then. Well, more mature. I was 

Margaret Ables: going to say I've seen the videos.

I don't think mature Shea first word that comes to mind when you start 

Tiffany Jenkins: at a certain place. I mean, we both matured, so 

Margaret Ables: I know what you're trying to say, but let's. 

Tiffany Jenkins: Okay. And we're ridiculous together. And I don't know if it's because we've lost our parents and all of our grandparents and all we have is each other, [00:36:00] but we just really feed off of each other.

We're 17 or 18 months apart and she'll make a face and I'm like ill mom. And she knows that cause her. Looked like a face our mom used to make, and she's the only person in the world who will get it. And I'm the only person who gets it. And we have inside jokes from childhood and we're both very weird.

And so it works out well and people love our game night videos and it's so fun. I keep inviting her over. There's a lot that goes into those game night videos that people don't see though, like we'll play for three hours and there's lots of me being like, oh, this isn't funny. We got to play another game and there's lots of her talking me off the ledge.

And then I just clip in the funniest parts, but it's not all what it seems. Mm 

Margaret Ables: that's a good insight. Well, it's like anything it's like people with their kids, people would, I'm sure you guys still fight get on each other's nerves. Want to kill each other sometimes, but I mean, the [00:37:00] joyfulness that's at the center of what you do.

And it's lovely to see as we talked about as somebody who has. Gone through addiction and recovery, jail, all these difficult things. And I think the joyfulness of sisterhood is something you guys capture really well. And it's not all great either. It's like being a mom. It's like all these things. It's not all great.

Yeah. 

Tiffany Jenkins: A sister, it's a bond. You can't really put into words, you know? 

Margaret Ables: Yeah, there's nothing like it. Amy and I both have two boys and a girl and I woke up like three years after having my daughter in a cold sweat. I was 44 years old at the time. I gosh. And I was like, I woke my husband up at three o'clock in the morning.

I'm like, she's never gonna have a sister. She doesn't have a sister, but I was so upset because I have two sisters and we just are like, I don't know, weirdo, triplets. And it is, there's something about sisters. It's great. She is very. Lovely girl, cousins it'll all work out, but I do love a sister. 

Amy Wilson: Very special announcement right here on the [00:38:00] podcast.

Tiffany Jenkins: Well, it's time to start having another baby. 

Margaret Ables: Sure. No, that's a great plan for me right now. Special announcement from the science magic vault from the science 

Tiffany Jenkins: magic ball. 

Margaret Ables: I'm happy. Yeah, I will not be having a baby. We will just have to mourn the non systemness and move on with our 

Tiffany Jenkins: lives. I'm afraid. Yes.

Well, sometimes it doesn't always work out great 

Margaret Ables: with sisters. I was going to say that's the other thing that I always think is like, be careful what you wish for. Like, it's not all magic. It's not all game night. Yeah, 

Tiffany Jenkins: exactly. Tiffany, tell us 

Amy Wilson: about all the different places that we can find you. Cause I feel like 

Tiffany Jenkins: you were 

Margaret Ables: you're everywhere.

Tiffany is in your living room right now. 

Tiffany Jenkins: Friends like firing on all cylinders. You're here. You're there. You're. Everywhere the mugshots.com. So I'm mostly on Facebook. That's my main thing. I go live there almost every day. I also have an Instagram, which is popping [00:39:00] somehow and I have a YouTube. And if you just Google juggling the Jenkins all pop up, 

Margaret Ables: hopefully, and your tour's off it's live.

It's coming to cities near you. Where can people find out if they want to see. 

Tiffany Jenkins: Yes, please. My name is not mom dot COSAM. 

Margaret Ables: I think you're coming in New York, right? We are fresh outing. We're going to come Sue. You that'd be really 

Tiffany Jenkins: fun. That would be great. Let us know. We'll get you tickets. 

Margaret Ables: Um, we'll do it.

You're awesome. We love talking to you. Thanks so much for coming on. Thanks, Tiffany. Thank you. And don't forget to get a screen to hide your real life for people on video. 

Tiffany Jenkins: Absolutely. I'm going as soon as we get off here. Awesome. Thanks Tiffany. 

Margaret Ables: Thank you. .