Pascale Brady is a life coach and parenting education teacher.
Pascale calls herself the challenge coach because she helps people with really serious life challenges.
The challenges we face in life can be insurmountable. Especially when hardships and setbacks seem to happen all at once. Some people work through issues in different ways. Some find it too much and can end up in really bad places.
"...when we're slammed by life over and over again, we don't do very well in life." Pascale Brady
Pascale helps these individuals better manage their overwhelming challenges so they can better tackle life.
06:11 - How Pascale became a widow and how she survived the loss
10:40 - What brought Pascale to tears
16:45 - What is democratic parenting
18:14 - Redistributing household chores after the death of a spouse
19:40 - Expressing gratitude
Connect with Pascale: www.thechallengecoach.com
I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor.. ~ Psalm 140:12
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Pascale is another awesome guest from Matchmaker.fm
This podcast was recorded on Riverside.fm
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[00:00:00] Pascale Brady: Seriously, who needs parents education classes? I had never heard such a concept, so I thought it was so strange. And I don't know if you know anything about French people, but French people are usually not very naturally enthusiastic. And they're kind of like usually more pessimistic and more kind of negative.[00:00:15] So for my French friends to tell me this was a great place and it was going to change things. I thought I really have to go check it out. So anyway, that's how I went to take parents education classes there, and it did change my life because it made me a better parent than it may be a coach. [00:00:29] J. Rosemarie: SoloMoms! Talk was designed to curate the stories of solo moms globally. As a facilitator of this platform, I aim to create a peaceful environment where you can share your heart feel loved and get the advice you need. So if this sounds like you, why not RSVP for next virtual meetup? The link is below it's where you can retreat from the chaos of your life.[00:00:55] So you can recharge, connect with other moms and get answers [00:01:00] to your burning questions. Remember, you're not alone and you don't have the parents in silence.[00:01:06] My guest today is Pascale Brady. Welcome Pascale. [00:01:11] Pascale Brady: Nice [00:01:11] to meet you, Jen. It's nice to be here. Thank you. [00:01:13] J. Rosemarie: Thank you. Thank you for coming and talking to me today and to open up would you mind telling us who you are and what [00:01:21] you do? [00:01:22] Pascale Brady: Sure. So I am Pascal Brady. And as you can tell from my name, I'm actually from France, I was born and raised in Paris, France a few decades ago.[00:01:32] And I, my dad was actually French and my mom was German. So I'm half French, half German, and I became an American a couple of decades ago. So I'm now in the U S outside of Washington, DC. And I'm a life coach, a life of business coach. I have my own practice for 16 plus years now. And I became a life coach because I had babies some 20 years ago and took parent education classes to become a better parent.[00:01:56] And the philosophy that was behind these parents education [00:02:00] classes was the philosophy of a certain Alfred Adler who was recognized as the grandfather of modern psychotherapy and coaching. And that's why I became a coach, but also became a parent educator. And so I teach parents education classes there as well.[00:02:15] In addition to. [00:02:17] J. Rosemarie: Okay. [00:02:18] All right. Thank you. And is there a reason why you needed to take parent parenting classes? I mean, we probably all need it. Right.[00:02:29] Pascale Brady: Do we do, did I ever, yes. So, I was, uh, I was a late mom, so I was 34 when I had my first kid and I had wanted kids since I was. Not even 10 years old, I loved babies and, good parents. And I had a decent childhood and because I had wanted them for so long and I had the babysitting a lot and I wanted to become a daycare provider when I was little.[00:02:50] I thought for sure that once I was finally gonna meet a father to my kids and have babies, everything was going to be great. And it wasn't, [00:03:00] uh, anything, everything from, procreation. To being pregnant, to actually delivering the babies to then having the babies and being a mom, uh, did not go as I had planned in my head and envisioned.[00:03:13] And so I'm here in the Washington DC area with this three months old baby. And I go to a moms group, which is a French moms group because I'm French and they all say, you've got to go to this place. They teach, it's a nonprofit. They teach parents education classes. We don't have this in France. You will love it.[00:03:30] It will change your life. Seriously, who needs parents education classes? I had never heard such a concept, so I thought it was so strange. And I don't know if you know anything about French people, but French people are usually not very naturally enthusiastic. And they're kind of like usually more pessimistic and more kind of negative.[00:03:48] So for my French friends to tell me this was a great place and it was going to change things. I thought I really have to go check it out. So anyway, that's how I went to take parents education classes there, and it did change my life because [00:04:00] it made me a better parent than it may be a coach. [00:04:03] J. Rosemarie: Okay, cool.[00:04:04] All right. Thank you for sharing that. And so tell us about who you coach and what you do for. the people you coach. [00:04:14] Pascale Brady: Sure. So I call myself the challenge coach because I help people with pretty serious life challenges. So people that come to me are from all walks of life, any age, any country, you name it.[00:04:29] And the one thing that they all have in common is that their their problems are pretty big to them. they are all different problems. And to you maybe solve these problems might look little, uh, and to use some of these problems might look like insurmountable, but for every person, whatever problem they have that they come to me with is feels really big and they can't deal with it on their own.[00:04:50] So it can be parenting, but it can also be relationship problems. It can be career problems, it can be illness, it can be death. It can be. Just recently I had to, [00:05:00] I can just give you an example. Somebody used just, lost a spouse and is dealing with illness issues and cannot find a job anymore, but is running out of money and is being, shunned by, uh, by their family.[00:05:13] And so this, these kinds of really big life issues and what, I'm the challenge coach, because I help people overcome their challenges and really get through them. And become stronger in the process, help tap them into their resources, find their resources, again, tap into them and then get on the other side of them stronger, hopefully, and better able to tackle life and also be the best people that they can be.[00:05:37] Because [00:05:37] it's really difficult to be good at your job, what your parenting or what your relationships, when you don't feel good. And when things are really hard. So by working through that and becoming better and overcoming, then you become better at life and all these areas of life.[00:05:53] J. Rosemarie: Yeah. [00:05:54] Yeah. Okay. Thank you. And I guess if you. If you've been true through [00:06:00] challenges it gives you more power, I'd say to help someone else through their challenges. [00:06:09] Pascale Brady: Right. [00:06:10] J. Rosemarie: We talked briefly before, and I think I saw in your bio that you you lost your husband died. You became a widow.[00:06:17] So I'm guessing that's one of your strengths. In coaching. So can you share your challenges with, having kids and where you thought that you were going to have a partner to help you through rearing children, can you share with us some of the challenges that came because you lost, their dad and anything else you want to share about [00:06:40] that?[00:06:41] Pascale Brady: So, how interesting that we're doing this podcast today on Valentine's day, right? Anyway. So he died of cancer and he died after a three year battle with cancer. So my kids were seven and nine when he started getting cancer and then they were 10 and 12 when he died. And it [00:07:00] was a pretty brutal battle with cancer.[00:07:03] Tons of treatments that didn't go well, surgeries, almost death, a number of times throughout. So there was that entire traumatic situation for the kids and trying to protect them without lying to them because I'm a fervent proponent of telling kids the truth and not lying to them, while at the same time doing it in the way that they can actually take it and not crumble under it.[00:07:27] So there was that. And then he died and, uh, So then there's the initial period right afterwards, where you are dealing with your own grief and just trying to get up in the morning and having to make sure your kids are okay through that. Right. So that's very hard because you can barely make it through the day yourself and you have to take, but it's also your saving grace.[00:07:47] For me, it was, I don't know that it's always for everybody, but for me, I don't know that I would be here talking with you if If I hadn't had my kids, cause you, I felt like I didn't have a choice. I felt like I had to get up in the morning and I felt like I had to take them to school. I felt like I had [00:08:00] to put the mask on.[00:08:01] So they would be okay. And because when you see the problem is with, for a child that loses a parent now they know the truth. They know that sometimes when you lose a parent, you only have two of them. So when you lose one and you find out that's a possibility. Then you get pretty scared about the other one, then you get pretty protective and worried about the other ones.[00:08:24] So it's really important. I think for the surviving parents, at least that's what I decided for myself to show that I was strong and that, I was going to do everything I could so that nothing would happen to me. So there's this initial phase that's pretty rough. And then of course, you can imagine when somebody, I don't know, I hope you haven't had that experience, but you have to deal with all the paperwork.[00:08:43] And if you, depending on how their roles were organized in the house, depending how much your spouse was doing in my, I had to, I'm embarrassed to admit that my husband, who was much older than me was. A lot of the things he was doing, a lot of physical things around the house, manly things that I [00:09:00] didn't have to do, and that therefore, I didn't know how to do, but also, the whole, finances and things.[00:09:04] And so there's that hardship of, the stress of the fear of dealing with that and having to also overcome that and figure it out for the future of your kids and your family. And then you talked about parenting itself. So. I think I was telling you just before we started, because my husband was much older.[00:09:20] He wasn't really, he already had kids from a previous marriage and he wasn't super excited about, and my kids know that, so I can say it live on the air. He wasn't, if I had, if I'd given him a choice, he would have probably not done that. Because he was older, and he felt it was maybe not the best thing for kids, but he was also working very hard and he was, uh, executive pretty high level in a company.[00:09:42] And he was traveling all the time. And so we kind of had this deal. It was not unspoken. It was actually spoken. He said, okay. But you have to know, you'll be. Main parent at home, because I'll be gone a lot and you'll have to be the main parents. So that was already kind of, thankfully, maybe in a way, it was [00:10:00] already kind of the way we were organized, but still, when there were issues with.[00:10:05] When there were, should we choose this school, that school, should I go talk to the teacher about this problem? Or, yeah. And even just the day-to-day like how to raise them day to day. What kind of philosophy, what kind of values, you have somebody to speak with. And then the thing that happens when you become a solo parent is now you don't have.[00:10:25] Anyone that cares about them, the way you do, you might have friends, you might have grandparents, but who cares as much as you do about your kids, your parents, and. And so now and when you kids, when do you need your co-parent most, you need them, when you have issues with your kids, when your kids are in power struggle with you, when they're not listening to you, when they're not doing what you need them to do who, which neighbor wants to hear those stories, which neighbor wants to have the time and the patients and the bandwidth to help you with this.[00:10:53] Right? So this is when you kind of. And if you're like me, maybe sometimes you're a little ashamed that you don't know how to [00:11:00] do it. You don't know the answer. You're not dealing with that. You don't deal with it. So maybe then you don't want to go tell someone else about this cause you feel embarrassed.[00:11:10] So that was the thing that I found the hardest really is to, and I, I'm going to cry the very good friend of ours. My husband's name was Steve and a very good friend of ours. We were couples, friends, we didn't really get along. And her husband was Steve and he had cancer for many years.[00:11:31] They were a little bit younger than my husband. They were between me and my husband and age. So they had kids about the same age as us and years before my husband got sick. This guy, Steve, got sick with cancer. And so we were supportive of them the whole time they were going through this, and then he died and on the day.[00:11:49] That we buried him. My husband found out he had cancer. And one thing that this woman told me I can name him, but I don't, I'm not going to say her name, just so the pharmacy purposes. But [00:12:00] one thing that she told me, she said, when she found out my Steve had cancer, she said, the worst thing nobody ever tells you is that when your partner dies, you never again have somebody that always knows where you are.[00:12:17] And that was such, I wish she hadn't told me ahead of time because it was painful enough to realize that once my husband had passed away, but it really is true. If you think about it once when you were in a couple, the other person, if you were in a decent normal relationship, right? You are a couple, always, your partner always knows where you are.[00:12:35] So if you go to the gym, they know you're at the gym and if you're not coming back by a certain time, they're going to want to where you are, et cetera. Right. So you don't have that anymore. And It's the same thing with you. It's that same feeling that you don't have that partner. About your kids anymore, yeah. [00:12:50] J. Rosemarie: Because not knowing where you are, it's not just a physical where it's right here. [00:12:56] Pascale Brady: Yeah. I mean the hearts in the head. Yes, [00:13:00] absolutely. And so, yeah, and then of course there's the cliche things that are not cliche, but they're the things that everybody kind of talks about and that movies are made of is of course, I'm getting goosebumps, the graduation.[00:13:11] Cause my daughters, one of them graduated last year. One of them is about graduation, weddings, the, all these things. They're not there for that. And so you feel alone. I remember when my kid was still in high school and she was playing volleyball and at senior night she was recognized and then you walked down by yourself, It's 50% of the adult population and 50% of people are divorced.[00:13:34] So it's not a unique thing that it's painful. Nonetheless. It doesn't matter if it does to [00:13:38] others, yeah. So. [00:13:41] J. Rosemarie: Yeah, thank you for sharing that. And I didn't hear anything in your conversation that said that you needed to be embarrassed about anything. I mean, I had a conversation with another guest the other day, and she was saying that, one of the things that a lot of couples don't do is they don't talk about money [00:14:00] and they don't talk about.[00:14:01] The things that matter so that when one spouse leave, however, they leave that the remaining spouse can handle. Their fears with the children. But I didn't hear you say anything that I heard you use the word embarrassed a couple of times. I'm not mean I don't see it. So, even at this stage in the game and you still, should.[00:14:20] Give yourself credit because you lost someone to, uh, whether or not he was there fully or not. You I'm sure the relationship, you had an awareness that he was your man and you know that your kid's dad. And so you lost someone too. I mean, it takes, I've never been in that position and.[00:14:41] Out of respect for you, I won't say anymore on that. But I think that you did the best you could in your situation and nothing you said sound embarrassing. [00:14:53] Pascale Brady: So I really appreciate you saying that, but I, and, uh, I am really. [00:15:00] Grateful and proud that my kids turn out the way they did.[00:15:02] One thing I want to say is my husband was there with, he, if he had a choice, he wouldn't have chosen this, but once he did and he was in with all his heart, he just wasn't there for all of the diapers is what I meant. He was the daily feeding them at that time and things like that.[00:15:18] But other than that, he was definitely very much a present dad. And he was there for. Intellectual development, et cetera. But no, in the embarrassment I was talking about is just how I remember clearly when I was taking these parenting classes and I was realizing all the mistakes and how imperfect that was.[00:15:36] And I think a lot of parents, I know this because I'm now parenting, parents feel terrible and don't dare speak about this. So when I talk about embarrassment that, talk about that in particular about the shame of, for example, the reason why I went to the parenting education classes, because.[00:15:54] I grew up in France in, okay. I'm going to tell you my age. I grew up in France in the sixties, French dad, [00:16:00] German mom. post-World war two, very still authoritarian style. You don't listen. I don't say that this necessarily happened in my family though. It might, but you know, you don't listen, you get the belt, you.[00:16:12] And do those talking down and you're, you are meant to be seen, not heard, et cetera, et cetera. And I didn't like it and I didn't want to raise my kids like that. And I made the decision. I wasn't going to do that, but then I didn't know how to do it. How else do you do it? If you can't hit them, how do you make them listen to you?[00:16:31] Right. And so, thank goodness I was in these parenting class. Oh, and what I meant to say, I'm sorry. I finished my thought is that Now that I'm a teacher in these causes and a leader, what parents find that they come to learn solutions and to find solutions to their problems. And they find that in fact, what they find is a support group of parents who are struggling just the way they are with the same kind of issues.[00:16:54] And there's no shame, but but about what you said at the end, I did do the best I could. And I'm just so [00:17:00] incredibly grateful that I was doing the job that I was doing, that I was a coach. I was, had become a parent educator, myself, that I was able to apply all of this. And I really think it saved us.[00:17:10] And I can give you an example if you want. [00:17:13] J. Rosemarie: Sure. Yeah. [00:17:15] Pascale Brady: So one of the things that we talk about in our classes is we talk about. Democratic parenting. And that means that kids also get a voice in the family. And so how does it look practically speaking is we propose that families do family meetings on a regular basis.[00:17:31] So they meet with their kids on Sunday mornings after breakfast for 15 minutes and they share appreciations and they also solve problems that the family has. So. The hallway is a mess every day after school. What should we do about this kids? Can you guys help us solve this problem? Right. So it's really involving the children.[00:17:51] So we will do family meetings since my kids were very little, because I had learned it at pep. Right. And so when Steve died, No. He was part of these [00:18:00] family meetings. He hated it. By the way, in the beginning, when I told him we're going to do family meetings, he said, what do you mean? I already do family .[00:18:06] I do meetings all day long at work. You want me to come home and have another meeting? No, I'm not doing this and that. And then. How impactful it was because we were, you really, those meetings are about sharing appreciations and gratitude. And so he saw, I impactful. That was, and so then he started joining the meetings and really loving them.[00:18:28] I mean, that's when I saw him crying for the first time is one of those meetings when one of his kids appreciated him. And so when he died, I said to the kids, we used to share the work. Amongst four people, and now we've got this one, they contributed to the family who is no longer there.[00:18:44] We have to redistribute the work amongst three people now who wants to take what tasks, so that was one of the ways that those and my, you know, my youngest said, oh, I'll do all the technology in the house. I'm really good with technology. She was 10 years old, but she was really good with computers and.[00:19:00] [00:19:01] And my kids, my little one said, I will fix things. I will be the one who changes the light bulbs and fix things [00:19:07] you about a [00:19:07] half. And my older one said I'm really good at organizing and cleaning. So I'll keep the house organized and I'll help you with the tasks, with a meals in the cooking and stuff.[00:19:17] But anyway, it saved us. It saved us to have done this ahead of time. Because it puts some order and substructure to the chaos, and my kids were already speaking that language. And so it was a little easier with the transition. Yeah. [00:19:32] Yes. I like that teamwork. They feel a part of the team and it's not like you mommy and daddy telling them what to do it on par with this.[00:19:43] And I'm important. So absolutely. [00:19:46] Love it. Yeah, you have kids. [00:19:49] I have three sons. They're all adults and two granddaughters. Good for you. [00:19:56] J. Rosemarie: So you told me one thing you were grateful for. I heard it [00:20:00] in your conversation, but this is one of my questions, actually. What is Pascal grateful for today? [00:20:06] Pascale Brady: Today, you mean literally today, right now? [00:20:08] J. Rosemarie: What comes pop? [00:20:10] Pascale Brady: Oh, this was a very good day. So this is a long list, but right, this moment, I'm really grateful to be speaking with you because we had a hiccup and it almost didn't happen.[00:20:18] So I'm very grateful that you were interested in speaking with me and that you made the time. So I'm grateful for that. And today I'm grateful because after all these years, of pain. I found a new man and I have a new partner and he's on the other side of this wall. And he made me for Valentine's day yesterday.[00:20:36] He spent the whole day cooking and he gets into these very he's from Italy, originally from Sicily. And so he has Sicilian cookbooks and makes those very. Meals. And so I just had to quickly before I spoke with you, I just went and had a bite to eat with them. And, uh, just really grateful for acts of love, for being [00:21:00] supported again and taken care of.[00:21:02] And, uh, it's really nothing replaces. [00:21:06] J. Rosemarie: That's awesome. Happy Valentine's day to you. [00:21:09] Pascale Brady: You went to you as well. [00:21:12] J. Rosemarie: Yes, for sure. All right. So I'm going to let you go enjoy your meal in a bit. I really appreciate you coming and talking to me on, I always enjoy these conversations. I love podcasting because I get to meet so many wonderful people and hear about their beautiful life.[00:21:28] So thank you very much for coming and sharing. Could you give me one piece of advice? a solo mom one piece of advice anything that comes to mind. [00:21:34] Pascale Brady: I created, I actually am going to cheat because I created the single parenting class at pep as a result of my situation.[00:21:41] So we didn't have the same founding class, so I created it. And so this is, there's a lot that we talk about, but I think the most important part is to make self-care your number one priority the reason why I say this as the first thing is, we all hear this all the time, but it really is important to [00:22:00] remind, especially solo parent.[00:22:01] When you get on the plane, what they say, put your oxygen mask on first, because if you don't do that, then you're dead and you can't put it on your child. Right. And so you, it needs to be your priority and it is not selfish. It is mandatory. You cannot. Take care of others, you can not do your work.[00:22:21] Do good if you don't feel good. And that's why you've got to take care of yourself first and that doesn't have to mean. And so, you know what they say in the classes, the single parents, they say yeah, but everybody tells us that it's so easy to say, and it's like impossible to do. And the truth is that is not true.[00:22:38] If you make it a priority, if you put it in your calendar, it doesn't have to be huge. It can be three times, five minutes a day, five minutes before you get out of bed or out of your bedroom, five minutes at launch five minutes before bedtime at night. And it doesn't have to be anything like you don't have to go on a date.[00:22:56] It can be just. Savoring a piece of chocolate or a cup of coffee [00:23:00] savoring. I just, because I didn't have time today, I just walked up the street and that 10 minutes, giving myself those 10 minutes, that was the gift. Right. And cleared my head and it gave me energy. Yeah, it's mandatory.[00:23:12] It's the number one priority. And it does not mean that you're going to abandon your children. It's an, you have to think of it as an investment. If you invest in yourself, then you're going to, everything else is going to go so much better. You're going to be more energetic, motivated. You're going to feel good.[00:23:28] And because of that, you're going to do good. Yes. [00:23:32] J. Rosemarie: Exactly. Thank you very much. Uh, you can't give anything if you're an empty cup, right. So yeah. Thank you very much. Breast scholar really appreciate you coming and talking to me today. [00:23:42] Pascale Brady: It was a great gift to me on Valentines Day. So thank you so much for having me.[00:23:47]Thank you.[00:23:47] J. Rosemarie: I'm excited to share that SoloMoms! Talk is now on YouTube. Check out these interviews on our new channel SoloMoms! Talk TV. There, you will actually see the interaction between myself and my [00:24:00] guests. Find bite-size clips of daily inspiration to help you manage the struggles of everyday life. So click Solomon's talk TV below to watch now.