Mom Squad Challenges

A key part of the weekly Family Looking Up podcast is the challenge issued at the end of each episode.  We firmly believe that making these do-able is essential.  Moms are overwhelmed to begin with and don’t need more pie-in-the-sky expectations that lead to “mom guilt”.  What moms do need is a laugh, a dose of reality, some great education and a d0-able goal to take small steps along their path of purposeful motherhood.  That is the goal of the Family Looking Up podcast.  We have compiled a quick view list here, for your ease, of all of the Mom Squad Challenges that have been issued.  Enjoy!  And remember…you’re doing better than you think!

Episode 1:  Creating Resilience in Kids – Guest Niki Olsen

        Challenge:  Practice reflective listening with your kids.  Instead of responding or reacting, just listen and repeat back to them what they are telling you.  By doing this, Niki teaches that the child is more likely to talk to you and tell you more than if you react.

Episode 2:  Literature And Its Impact On Children And Families – Guest Author Josi Russell

      Challenge:  Let your kids see you reading this week.

Episode 3:  Food And Kids – Guest Cheyna Palmer

     Challenge:  REALLY think when you are about to eat something: if you are really hungry? If you are, think about what you really want to eat. Plan your meals.  Sit with your family and plan together what you are eating.

Episode 4:  Happiness in Motherhood – Guest Molly Claire

     Challenge:  Remember to recognize your choices.  Think today about where you are succeeding.  It is easy to recoznize our failures, but today ask yourself where am I succeeding and focus on that.

Episode 5:  Family And Finance – Guest Gretchen Smoot

     Challenge:  Physically sit down and write down a goal for your financial life.

Episode 6:  How to Have the Most Stressful Christmas Ever! – Beth, Andrea, and Camille

     Challenge:  Take some time off of social media to enjoy the holidays.

Episode 7:  Dream Killers…Listen Up! – Guest Michael Whiteley

     Challenge:  Ask your kids where they see themselves in 5 years and whatever they say, completely support them in it until they change their mind.

Episode 8:  5 Strategies For Dealing With Hot Topic Conversations With Your Spouse – Guest Sloane Fife

     Challenge:  Look for every small thing and big thing your partner is doing right.  Recognize it in your head and say it out loud to them.

Episode 9:  Miracle Mornings – Guest Lindsay McCarthy

     Challenge:  Try to have a “Miracle Morning.”  It counts even if we just start with just one of the S.A.V.E.R.S each day, or do each one for one minute.

Episode 10:  Coach Carl Mattei Weighs In On Parenting and Sports

     Challenge:  Prepare your athlete! Have your children properly fed, well rested and make sure their homework is done.  Coaches want their athletes ready to go when they are in the gym.  So many things affect the team when the kid is exhausted or hasn’t eaten properly.

Episode 11:  Finding Fitness – Guest Megan Smith

     Challenge:  Cut back on sugar this week. That doesn’t mean to cut it out completely, but to be more aware of how much sugar we are eating and to reduce that amount.

Episode 12:  The Food Nanny, Family Dinner, and Great Change in America

  Challenge:  Cook dinner 5 nights a week.  As you do this, you will find that it will give you the best quality of life that you’ve ever enjoyed within the wall of your own home.

Episode 13:  Do Good.  Be Kind. – Guest Chris Kurtz

     Challenge:  Dedicate 5 minutes of your day for positive affirmations.  Give yourself credit for the things you do.

Episode 14:  Teaching Your Teen:  The Two Crucial Concepts of Esteem and Control – Guest Dr. Laura Padilla Walker

 Challenge:  Try to find something positive in each of your family members, including yourself, and express it.  

Remember, you’re doing better than you think!

Episode 15:  Fun and Creative Ways to Date Your Spouse – Guest Melissa Hunt from the Dating Divas

     Challenge:  Put three date nights on your calendar!

Episode 16:  Living a Creative Life – Guest Angela Ferrari

     Challenge:  Carve out 40 minutes for yourself and give yourself permission to start something new.

Episode 17:  # Social Media with Guest Collin Kartchner

    Challenge:  Take an honest look at how the things and people you are following are making you feel and have that same conversation with your children.  If something does not uplift and bring you joy, delete it from your feed.  

Episode 18:  Getting Your Kids to Sleep – Guest Melisa Moore

     Challenge:  No electronics in the bedroom!  If moms can’t do that, put your electronics on the other side of the room.  For children: No electronics in the bedroom!

Episode 19:  Porn Proofing Our Kids – Guest Kristen Jenson

     Challenge:   1.Talk to your kids and name their private parts using the anatomical names. Teach them that those parts are good parts, not shameful.  However, they are private and need to be kept private.  2. A. Give them a definition of what pornography is.  B. Help them understand that it’s dangerous and why. and C. Give them a plan.

Episode 20:  Championship Fathering – Guest Carey Casey


  1. Find a person who looks different than you and has a different background and culture from you and learn from them.
  2. Fathers: find an accountability partner in your quest for better fathering, someone you can check in with to accomplish your goals for better fathering.  Two are better than one.

Episode 21:  It’s Time for “The Talk” – Guest Brad Wilcox

    Challenge:  Stand in the shower and practice saying all of the anatomically correct terms.  He feels that we should be able to say them without hesitation or embarrassment to our children.  All by yourself in the shower is a perfect place to practice!

Episode 22:  Stress Management Interactive Episode – Guest Niki Olsen

         Challenge:  This week take time to notice how you feel.  Identify body tension. 

           Nikki asked, “How do we know if we need to do something if you aren’t aware if you are tense?”   

           Take time to notice!!!

Episode 23:  How to Help Siblings Get Along – Guest Dr.  James Crist


  1. Listen More.  Talk Less. When we listen more we are teaching them they matter and their opinions count.  
  2. Avoid the impulse to tell your children how to solve their problems. Ask open-ended questions and let them come up with the solution.

Episode 24:  Life is NOT FAIR! But We Can Love It Anyway – Guest Melanie Dale

     Challenge:  One of the best ways to help you feel more grateful is to serve others.  This week Melanie challenges us all to be intentional, look around your community, and take your family out and serve.

Episode 25:  Creating Highlights With Our Kids – Guest Rachel Nielson

     Challenge:  Seize a Highlight moment.  Look for a time when you can jump in and make a memory with your kids.

Episode 26:  Preventing Entitlement – Guest Saren Loosli

     Challenge:  Take 30 minutes this week to sit down with your kids and talk about the things they need to be responsible for in your home.  Include in the discussion, what you do in the home so they can understand how much you help them. If you don’t already have a simple chore system in place, this would be an ideal time to start one.

Episode 27:  Helping Our Family and Friends Deal With Grief – Guest Carrie Moore

     Challenge:  Call someone you haven’t talked to in a long time and invite them to lunch.

Episode 28:  Special Mothers Day Episode With Musical Guests Calee Reed, Hilary Weeks and Shawna Edwards.

     Challenge:  Just listen to this episode and plan to laugh, cry, and feel better.

Episode 29:  Do You Accept the Challenge? – Beth, Andrea, and Camille

     Challenge:  In this episode Andrea, Beth, and Camille talk about some of our favorite “Mom squad Challenges” from past episodes and what we have done to apply them to our own lives.  We share the challenges that have made positive impacts in our lives and the ones that we completely failed at.  Listen to find new challenges!

Episode 30:  How to Organize Your Home and Life – Guest Angie Calderwood

      Challenge:  Take a few minutes and sit down in your home. Close your eyes and imagine what you want your home to look like, feel like, and even smell like.  You can envision what your ideal is. Think about who lives in your home and why you want to make living an organized life something that benefits your entire family.

Episode 31:  Traveling With the Family – Guests Kam and Shani of “Our Family Passport”

     Challenge:  1. Plan a family activity, could be going on a picnic in the park, where everyone is involved in the planning process. 2. Start planning a trip you want to take in a year.

Episode 32:  How To Have the Best Summer With Our Kids – Guest Jenny Layton

     Challenge:  Choose something from the areas we discussed and implement it in your life. Take some time to think about what we talked about. The thing that seems to be nagging at you..start there.

Episode 33:  A Happier Life – Guest Hank Smith


Episode 34:  Looking On The Bright Side of Fatherhood – Guest Kirby Heyborne

     Challenge:  Laugh with your husband.  Make him feel like he is the funniest man alive.

Episode 35:  Finding Hope in the Journey – Guest Heidi Tucker

     Challenge:   Better your communication with God.  Find a space that you can dedicate to opening yourself up to two-way communication with Him.

Episode 36:  Six Ways to Make the 4th of July Mean Something to Your Kids – Guests “The American Moms” 

        Challenge:  Keep a running list of the freedoms you are grateful for.   Put it somewhere that you and your kids 

can see it and add to it daily.

Episode 37:  From Messy to Manageable – Guest Samantha Passey

     Challenge:  Write down a cleaning schedule that you would like to achieve. Include what you want to clean and when you are going to clean it.

Episode 38:  Parenting With Love and Logic – Guest Holly Thurgood

    Challenge:  Instead of arguing with your kids or trying to solve their problems when they come to you,  just come up with a phrase you say that disengages you from the situation and lets them work on solving their own problems. For example, when they are upset about a situation at school, just listen and say, “That’s too bad.”  You don’t need to say anything else.

Episode 39:  Recognizing Gifts in Yourself and Others – Guest Eric Richards

     Challenge:  Write a list of 10 gifts that each of your children have.   

Episode 40:  Stress Management Interactive Episode Part 2 – Guest Niki Olsen

     Challenge:  Become aware of these “depressor” “fixer” thoughts that you are having throughout the week.  Become aware of that argument that you are having.  Call them what they are…just thoughts.  They do not define who we are.  They are not our identity.   Then interrupt them by using your senses.  The more that you do that, the less powerful they will become.

Episode 41:  Raising Kids to be Independent Adults – Guest Merrilee Boyack

   Challenge:  Come up with your top three goals for ALL your children. Write them down and post them somewhere.  Figure out the first steps necessary to reach those goals.

Episode 42: Lookin’ Out For Mama! (Why Self Care For Moms Is SO Important) – Guest Chanelle Neilson 

Challenge:  Chanelle is issuing a challenge to all of her podcast listeners and would like to include our listeners in it!

The Fill Your Own Cup Self Care Challenge!  August 20-25.  Spend 5 days focusing on a different aspect of self care for you!

To participate go to

Episode 43:  Mom Squad Questions Answered – Guest Beth, Andrea and Camille

Challenge: Don’t kill the children!

Episode 44:  Helping Our Kids and Community to Keep Hope Alive – Guest Dr. Greg Hudnall



Episode 45:  How To Communicate Your Needs – Guest Dr. Julie Hanks


Practice Self Compassion.  If you’re suffering, treat yourself kindly instead of beating yourself up.  We all have times where we’re feeling something we don’t want to feel. Give yourself a break and tell yourself it is ok.

Episode 46: Keeping Your Cool When You Feel TRIGGERED!- Guest Ralphi Jacobs of ‘Simply on Purpose’


Look for the good in your child.  Change the ratio of positive to negative interactions with your child to an 8:1 ratio.  (Eight positive interactions for every 1 negative interaction). The most effective way to get rid of the “junk” in your child’s behavior is to pay attention to the good.  If you pay attention to the good, statistics say that 80% of the junk will go away.

Episode 47: Doing Less To Have More- Guest Jillian Johnsrud


Try to opt out of all your family activities for two weeks and see what really is adding value and enriching your life.  Add those enriching things back in and hopefully have more confidence to cancel all the other stuff.

Episode 49: How To Manage Screen Time In Your Home- Guest Andrea Davis


Schedule a time on the calendar when you can have your first Family Tech Think Tank.

Episode 50: Living With Purpose – Guest Laura Hintze


Take 10 minutes and look at your schedule.  Think about what you would like to fit in that isn’t making it into your day.  What things could go?  Take some time to schedule things like a to-do list time and kid time.  It will bring you peace and relief to know that those things are built into your life.

Episode 51:  More Than Just The Blues – Guest Erin Shepard and Kate Jones


Erin’s Challenge:  Take the negative self talk: like what you are doing isn’t good enough or how your struggle makes you look weak, and step back and challenge that belief. It’s just a belief not a fact!

Kate’s Challenge:  Recognize way  we can support each other as women and mothers.


Episode 52:  Loving Your Kids Just The Way They Are – Guest Jill Savage


When you see someone on social media or in person and you start the comparison trap, just say to yourself “she has a backstory I don’t know.”  This will help you to keep proper perspective and to pursue conversations you might not have had otherwise.


Episode 53:  Loving Your Body Now, Not After You Lose That 40 Pounds! – Guest Amber Brueseke


Choose ONE health or fitness goal to work on for the next four weeks. Write it down. Practice it.


Episode 54:  Herding Cats: Routine ideas that can help a mom’s craziest time of the day – Guest Whitney Archibald


Pinpoint which of these three times is the hardest for your family and then pick a specific problem you can solve.  It may take 3 or 4 experiments to try to make that pain go away,  but persist until you resolve that problem.


Episode 56:  The Family That Gives Together:  Creating a family culture of service – Guest Merrilee Boyack



  1. If you have young children: Have a family meeting and pick one service you can do within your family
  2. If you have children 8 and older: Have YOUR CHILDREN PICK one thing you can do in the community
  3. If you have adult children and extended family: Pick one thing your extended family can do to change the world


Episode 57:  The Survival Guide for Grandparenting:  How to love it! – Guests Richard and Linda Eyre


RICHARD:  The best way to become a better grandparent is to become a better marriage partner.  Find a way to be a better partner this week and see how that skill translates into becoming a better grandparent.

LINDA :  If you don’t know how to text, learn how this week.  This is the best way to contact grandkids (especially teens).  They’ll answer right away! This week text your grandkids (who have cell phones).  Tell them you love them, joke with them, or invite them to lunch!


Episode 58:  How to Get Organized for Christmas – Guest Kathi Lipp


Get all your important holiday dates on the calendar!


Episode 59:  “I’m not anything special.”  Why the world needs EVERY mom and EVERY child – Guest Sherrine Hayward


When you see someone with a disability- or even if they look different- just smile at them and say “Hi”.