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The Amazon Files, hosted by Kristin Ostrander, Amazon business strategist and one of the founders of Mommy Income, hits the airwaves every Tuesday with the real truth about selling on Amazon. This show isn’t about sugar-coated reality. It’s real truth - the good, the bad and the ugly - shared with practical action steps and strategies to help both new and experienced sellers tackle the world’s largest retail sales platform.

Jun 13, 2022

On today’s episode, I’m talking to the amazing Cyndi Thomason, a speaker and thought leader in the e-commerce community, to talk about her brand new book Motherhood, Apple Pie, and All That Happy Horseshit and discuss the choice moms often face between continuing their career or starting their family and working from home. I start the episode by asking Cyndi where the amazing title for her book came from, and she shares a story from her corporate days when a board member used that phrase in response to a passionate speech she’d just made. She explains that the phrase stuck with her, and she eventually decided to transform its flippant negativity into something positive by using it as the title of the book. This leads her to discuss how the book originated from her desire to empower women faced with the choice between a corporate job and motherhood. Around twenty years ago, Cyndi herself left the corporate world to raise her daughter, and while it was the right choice for her, she shares that she didn’t expect how much she would miss the achievement mentality of her job and how lost she would feel without it. Her book, she explains, is about how to integrate motherhood, business, and time for oneself to avoid losing your identity to just one element.

Next, Cyndi and I get a bit deeper into her book as she introduces the concept of the sacred space. This involves finding an activity that lets you lose track of time and get into the flow without thinking about the stresses in your life, and then carving out time to stay in touch with it. Cyndi explains that finding and maintaining this sacred space will improve your ability to make decisions and feel fulfilled. We then move on to discuss Cyndi’s idea of rubber balls and glass balls (i.e. those tasks we can let bounce and the ones we can’t allow to smash) and how differentiating between the two and scheduling accordingly can be a major help in finding balance in your life. I then ask Cyndi about avoiding guilt for scheduling time for yourself, and we discuss the importance of setting boundaries, including between you and your kids. We both share stories about setting boundaries as parents to demonstrate that while it might be emotionally tricky, modeling boundaries will benefit both you and your children in the long run. And finally, we close the episode by discussing the framework Cyndi introduces in her book, especially the importance of true self-care, including real rest from stress and distractions, and of figuring out who you want on your team for your business and personal life, and reaching out to them for support and understanding.

You can come talk about motherhood, apple pie, and happy horseshit in the Amazon Files and Mommy Income community. You can join our Facebook group with today’s codeword APPLEPIE to learn more about bundling, ask questions, and participate in the conversation with other sellers. And if you’re ready to take your business to a whole new level, visit to schedule your one-on-one coaching call today.


This week on the Amazon Files:

  • The origin of Cyndi’s book and its title
  • Parenthood vs. the corporate world
  • Finding your sacred space
  • Glass balls, rubber balls, and time-blocking
  • Modeling boundaries
  • Cyndi’s framework for integrating motherhood, apple pie, and happy horseshit
  • Defining and applying self-care
  • Developing your personal and business support teams

We’re not built to always serve and always work and always consume. We are built for rest in some ways. And that includes not just sleep but rest from decisions, rest from bombardment and confusion, rest from the damn phone that’s literally an attachment to our hands.”

- Kristin Ostrander



I’m like, well, what’s wrong with motherhood? And what’s wrong with apple pie? I mean, to me, it kind of symbolizes, you know, small business, and growth, and the effort and hard work. I mean, to me, it was always a good thing.”

It’s very American to think about living our dreams, right? And when someone says something so flippantly like that, you almost want to put your hands on your hips and ‘Wait just a darn minute, let me tell you about the horseshit you’re talking about.’”

We can have it all on our own terms, it’s just gonna be about organization, and having a certain set of boundaries, and maybe reframing our expectations.”

Does anyone really enjoy changing diapers or cleaning up spit up? Or, you know, the piles and piles of laundry? Well, some maybe do, but there was that piece of you that ends up being missing, and then we feel guilty for longing for those achievements, for those work-related type of motivations that we have that complete us as a person.”

Whether you’re staying at home and focusing on child-raising, or whether you’re working and trying to, you know, use a daycare scenario or trying to do a business, it’s always going to be a juggling act. What I like about the idea of being a small business owner in the mix is that you get to control all the balls, and you get to say for yourself, this is important right now, and this is where I’m gonna put my time.”

I think that’s the key for people, in general, to stay in that place of wholeness and to be able to make good decisions. Whether it’s child-rearing decisions, or whether it’s, you know, business decisions, if you’re feeling totally depleted, you’re not in a good place to make decisions.”

If you can just carve out a little bit of time for yourself and stay in touch with what’s really important to you, then everything else gets easier.”

We’re required to make decisions and make money decisions and make parenting decisions and relational decisions. Going into the garden and working with horseshit really sounds like bliss because it’s one place where no one’s demanding anything from you.”

I think, in hindsight, I wish I had felt better, more empowered, around boundaries. That’s, you know, where I wish I had done some things a little differently. Love my daughter, love to spend time with her. But at the same time, I didn’t make the time for sacred space that I should have.”

I think that’s one of the things that we lose sight of when we get caught in that mom guilt is that our kids are watching. And, you know, if we want to be a strong, whole person for them, we have to take strong positions, and boundaries help with that. And so, if you’re finding it hard to do it for yourself, then do it for your child because they’re paying attention. And you can set a good example for them that also benefits you too.”

I want people to understand that self-care is really not sacred space. Yes, it’s nice to get a shower, but you should have the time to take care of yourself. That shouldn’t be a bonus.”

To achieve your goals, you have to take care of you. Much as flight attendants instruct you to put your own oxygen mask on before assisting others, you need to make self-care and rest a priority. Without it, all your other activities will be harder and feel less meaningful.”

At the end of the day, I need to get up and exit from here and have something else to do. And instead of going and sitting in another chair and scrolling mindlessly, I’m like, 'What do I need?'”

That’s the one thing that I think everybody can do is spend, you know, fifteen minutes right now, write down who are you going to call if you need somebody. And it can’t be your spouse. Because I mean, you’re asking them for stuff all the time, right? So who else can you call if something happens? Who are you going to call? And then reach out to that person and say, ‘Hey, you know, I’ve been thinking about this, and I just want you on my team.’”

This is self-care, people. Reading books and consuming things that are going to make you a better person is worth your time. The reason that I am the way I am is because of the books that I read, and the people that I meet, and the conversations I have. They all contribute to helping us make a better person.”

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Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of The Amazon Files, the show to help Amazon sellers along their business journey one step at a time with Amazon expert and your host, Kristin Ostrander. If you enjoyed this episode, head over to Apple Podcasts, subscribe to the show, and leave us your honest review. Don’t forget to share your favorite episodes with your friends on social media! Use the codeword APPLEPIE to join us on Facebook. Each week, Kristin hosts a live discussion on how to grow your Amazon business. Don’t forget to check out our website and subscribe to our mailing list for even more resources.