Permission to Heal

Permission to Heal Episode #58 - A Conversation with Dr. Bethany Cook about Coming Out and Parenting.

February 09, 2022 Marci Brockmann Season 2 Episode 58
Permission to Heal
Permission to Heal Episode #58 - A Conversation with Dr. Bethany Cook about Coming Out and Parenting.
Show Notes Transcript

Dr. Bethany Cook – Author of For What It’s Worth – A Perspective on How to Thrive and Survive Parenting Ages 0 – 2

She is an expert, a full-time parent of two, a licensed Clinical Psychologist, Health Service Psychologist, and a Board-Certified Music Therapist with over 20 years of clinical experience working in the mental health field. At present, Dr. Cook lives in Chicago with her life partner (married in 2008), two children, and two dogs. 

Shares her tips on what your kids want you to know about coming out:

1.    This isn’t about you.

2.    It’s very scary.

3.    Please don’t ask if it’s a phase.

4.    Go gently with the personal questions.

5.    Don’t ask “Are you the boy or the girl in the relationship

6.    We don’t want to lose your love, but we can’t deny who we are.  

7.    This isn’t a choice.

Connect with Dr. Bethany Cook

Her Website, IG, Blog, Poem/ video, Facebook Group, Twitter, TikTok 

LinkedIn, Pinterest

 Connect with Marci

·       Website, Patreon, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Facebook Group.

·       Permission to Heal on YouTube.

·       Permission to Land  (memoir) - Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, audiobook 

·       Permission to Land: Personal Transformation Through Writing

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PTH 59 Bethany cook intro 

[00:00:00] Hello, everyone. And welcome to permission to heal. I am Marci Brockman, and I am thrilled that you were here. And really, I say that every time, but I honestly am thrilled that you are here, that you are choosing to spend your time with my guests and me 

[00:00:21] Today I have the most wonderful conversation with such a real authentic. Beautiful person, Dr. Bethany cook, you are just going to love her. She's the author of a book called "for what it's worth a perspective on how to thrive and survive parenting ages zero to two." And she wrote this book after having two small children seemingly back to back and surviving zero to two for both of them and realizing that. 

[00:01:00] We needed that parents, mothers, parents need help need resources. They need to know that they're not crazy. They need to have some real in the trenches. I just did this and know it works kind of advice. Plus she has the added benefit of being a Ph.D. in psychology and being a therapist. So, you know, that's helpful. 

[00:01:25] She has been called an expert for parade magazine. No. She has been called in as an expert for parade magazine today. WGN morning news, pure. Wow. And more C's she is officially a full-time parent of two. I think she said that. Five and nine I could be wrong. She's a licensed clinical psychologist, a health service psychologist, and a board-certified music therapist. 

[00:01:54] Currently she's working on developing and producing TV shows centered on families and mental health among other things. The goal of these endeavors is to help others build strong family systems and encourage them to live their truth in order to strengthen their human connections through self-awareness. 

[00:02:11] And positive communication. Dr. Bethany is also a freelance writer and provides parenting articles on her own blog at Dr. Bethany The links are in the show notes posts and interact daily with followers on her Facebook group. A perspective on parenting, which I am a member of and enjoy making fun and engaging content on her Tik TOK account at Dr. 

[00:02:34] Cook. Very cool. so she and her wife and their two children live in psych in Chicago and she is just a delight and we had a really wonderful conversation and Yeah, I hope that you enjoy it as much as we did. It runs a little longer cause we chatted a lot and we found that we had so much in common and fed off each other's energy and it was just really wonderful. 

[00:03:02] Here's the episode and if you like it and I'm sure you will please subscribe, please, like please leave us a wonderful review because I know that you're just gonna like it. And share it with your friends and your family. And especially with people, you know, who are parents or who know kids or who have kids, or who are grandparents or who potentially might want to have kids at some point, it's helpful or preschool teachers, daycare workers. 

[00:03:31] Anyway, I hope you enjoy the episode. Thank you so much for being here. I love you all.

[00:00:00] Welcome Bethany, Dr. Bethany, Dr. Bethany cook. Let's do that better. Welcome Dr. Bethany cook. How are you today? I'm doing very well. I'm really happy to be here. I'm glad to be invited. So thanks for having my pleasure. My pleasure. 

[00:00:13] There's a lot to talk about. I think you have a, a lot for us to unpack here together. So, um, so you're in Chicago. Yes. You are from Indiana. Yes. Nice. Nice, interesting, interesting story. I can't wait to have you get into that, but let's um, let's start with our six quick questions and we'll see where it goes. 

[00:00:38] I don't know. It just feels like we should do them now. Let's do it. Let's do it. You feel it? Let's do it. Let's just do it. Okay. So what six words would you use to describe yourself? Uh, I would say raw, real relatable, energetic, caring, and fun. Wow. That's cool. I did have too many. No, no. That was sick. That was sick. 

[00:00:59] Excellent. You had three RS in the beginning and I was wondering, Ooh, she's going for alliteration. They all going to be, I know, I couldn't think of the other ones unruly. I know. I'm just joking. That's funny, raw. Interesting. I like that. Um, what is your favorite way to spend a day? You know, after kids, I try to think what would my ideal day be? 

[00:01:21] And even before kids, my ideal. It's sitting in a room being in my bedroom, the sunshine coming in just enough to warm you up. I want some snacks beside me, maybe some, you know, Doritos or whatever, and some water. And I want to just read, I want to get lost in a book for the entire day in my bed with the sunshine, like a cat. 

[00:01:43] Like I miss those days because I didn't realize just how much I did that and loved it. And now I can't because I've kids as often. Yeah, I, yeah. I agree with you. I agree with you. And I, and I might come up with some other random answer to that question, but to me, reading something I'm enjoying in bed. Um, is it to me is I know this is going to sound sacrilegious and my husband's gonna roll his eyes when he listens to this, but it's gonna, it's better than sitting on the beach in Aruba. 

[00:02:18] You know, I agree. There's, there's, it's safe, it's cozy. Ain't nothing gonna happen to you that you don't want to happen to you. That's right. And you can go wherever you want in the story, without all the book to travel without moving an inch. Yeah, that's right. Yeah. Heaven. Favorite. I think I'm going to do that later. 

[00:02:40] Although I'm reading so much, I'm an English teacher by day and it's the end of the first marking periods. There's been a ton of reading and a ton of grading and a ton of like scrutinizing little numbers in a column and getting them to match where they're scrutinized numbers in columns, on computers. 

[00:02:55] And, and I'm, you know, uh, you know, trying to keep up with the research for the podcast guests and I'm like reading books and like all of this stuff and, oh my God, I literally feel. My eye muscles are yelling at me, you know? And then I'm doing marketing for the podcast and what is one of, uh, you know, and I love to read. 

[00:03:15] So that's the thing I do to relax. I write to relax. I draw or paint to relax all vision, or I play at this one video game that I like, and I play that, but it's all vision. Like I need to do something. You need to listen to music. That's my bastard, my master's. And bachelor's our music therapy. So you need to get some headphones, close your eyes, get some music going. 

[00:03:36] That's the thing, isn't it. I was sitting in the car yesterday with my husband. He was driving what we were going to his brother-in-law's house, whatever he was drunk, I was driving and whoever's the driver gets to determine what we're, what everyone listens to. That's our DNA. And so I'm in the middle of listening to an audio book. 

[00:03:54] And to me, when I'm driving it's audio books, it's podcasts, it's all sorts of things, mental health and enjoyment and stuff like that. I F it sounds. Horrible, but I forgot about music. Yeah. It's not horrible. I forgot. It was a thing, you know, like I was so into the talk stuff while I was listening that I forgot. 

[00:04:19] So he was driving on the way home and I, and he said, I can't listen to that book that you're listening to. It's I just can't. I'm like, that's fine. You wasn't, you know, he listened to a random half hour in the middle of it. So he said, put on that playlist, you made me that we hadn't played on in a long time. 

[00:04:36] And I found I was like singing and bopping along and I was in a better mood and I wasn't yawning as much. And I was like, my God, music's awesome. There's so much we can, we can have a whole nother podcast about music. Okay. Like there's so much benefit to it and things too. Learn about it, but yes, that's why that music is like, your head was bobbing. 

[00:05:00] And I'll just one little thing. I'll tell you about music. So when you listen to music, what it does is it syncs your internal rhythms and vibration. So you're bobbing to the music, right? Your whole body's in focus and it releases stress and it allows your physical energy to match an external energy, which then allows for a physical validation, if you will, at an energy level, which con, which is calming. 

[00:05:21] So it's, music's amazing. That's all awesome. That's very cool. I was listening to you. Explain something similar to that on another podcast. Um, and you were talking about music matching the energy you gave the example. Of somebody who was really angry getting in the car and putting on loud music. Yes. Is it more beneficial if you're in an angry mood or an, uh, you know, high energy mood to put high energy music on versus putting something calming on it is the point of it. 

[00:05:54] And I'll tell you why. So there's a principle called the ISO principle, and it's a law of physics that states that if you put two grandfather clocks in a room and the pendulums are swinging at different speeds and different times that over time, the kinesthetic energy will sync those two pendulums. So there'll be in sync when we are, when our body is feeling a certain way. 

[00:06:15] If we want, like, let's say an adolescent, like we often remember it. Teenage years, your, your puberty, there's a lot of energy happening within the body. And you're maybe vibrating that this speed and then your mom's putting on Yani and you're vibrating at this speed. These energy levels. Don't miss you more than anything else. 

[00:06:33] Boom. That's it, it winds you up. So imagine being really mad, you get in the car, you slam the door and you turn on, I don't know, Yani, Kenny or Kenny G, if you put on the opposite, what it does is it actually irritates you even more. You're just like, wow. It's like telling somebody, you had a really crappy. 

[00:06:50] Yeah. And then the person, the crappy day, they go, oh, well that's let me tell you about my day. They just totally invalidate your experience. So the point is to match the energy and then slowly bring it down. So you match it with ACDC. The next song maybe is meatloaf. The next song is maybe, I don't know some yeah. 

[00:07:08] Journey and then eventually Aerosmith down. So it's matching and then slowly taking it to the next level. And you can do that easily in five or six songs because the music syncs with your internal rhythm, you can't fight it. And if you are consciously thinking, listening to the music and allowing the music to do the heavy lifting, it is so easy to go from one mood state to another, and then the opposite. 

[00:07:34] Can you start in a, like a low mood, low energy and bring yourself up? Totally. Yup. Absolutely. It works always for any type of emotional shift and, and the, the real, um, I guess the more difficult aspect of this is why, you know, we can't just go and make a CD that says be happy to mad. You're happy to mad music is going to be different than mine, and it's going to be different from somebody else's. 

[00:07:58] So it has to be individualized. So you have to make your own playlist. Yes. But you do it when you're not in that mental state. You think about what music really do. I really love when I'm mad and maybe listen to a few and go, yes, that's going to be it. And then you build your playlist from there. So you have to do. 

[00:08:14] Before it's that preventative medicine. I'm all about preventative. So let's think let's have five or six playlist that you need when you're in that mood, click, boom, go. And you're set. And you even have music that you like, and that's a big, that's a really big factor that you enjoy the music that you're listening to. 

[00:08:29] If you want it to shift your mood. Excellent. That's very cool. Yeah. I was, I had kids, all my students today were writing essays. It was quiet work period. Everyone has stuff to do tonight. I mean, stuff due tonight. Let's, let's just take a class period to do that. And I put on, um, some low-fi like new age-y hip hop, kinda no words. 

[00:08:51] And I think we all got into a nice flow. Yeah. But that does help. And it also, when you have music and you're in a group you want, what you can evoke is a group think or a group sensation, you know, you're at a basketball game. You don't care about basketball, let's say. And then suddenly everybody's on their feet. 

[00:09:08] You're on your feet before, you know, it's group, think you no longer think on your own. You're part of the bigger mass. And so music has that ability to change the energy as well within a contained room. You know, I mean, of course, if you're at a Dell concert, you're going to feel that whether the room or not. 

[00:09:23] She's amazing, but, um, that's the concept behind it. Interesting. Well, okay. We had a little deviation, but I love that. That's awesome. Okay, cool. Okay. Question number three. What is your favorite childhood memory? You know, my dad and I used to walk in the woods behind our house for hours and I, you know, he let me I'd pretend I was a native American. 

[00:09:44] I pretend I was, you know, a pirate I'd pretend I was whatever. And we would just go for long walks in the woods and. I'd lose myself in imagination and imaginative play. And he just kind of, you know, made sure I was safe, got home wasn't necessarily directly involved in it and just really let me be myself. 

[00:10:03] And that. I think that I felt a lot of freedom in that when I looked back. So he didn't pretend to be the native American with you. He just, sometimes he would bring his God. He was so funny. I love my dad. He sends his past, but, um, he would just hold life undiagnosed Asperger's and um, so he didn't really pick up a lot on sometimes social cues. 

[00:10:22] What, you know, people are supposed to do dads do this and kids do this. He didn't pick up on all of that, which was great for me because I was such a, not in box kind of kid. And sometimes he'd take his machete and we'd pretend we're, you know, going, tracking something or, you know, so he did play with me in that way. 

[00:10:39] Um, and we would just have fun. We just really have a nice time. Sounds fabulous. That's great. Um, what is your favorite meal? I love. It's so cliche. I love tacos. I love tacos out of tacos, any kind of top hard shell trough, soft shell. Doesn't matter. You know, it doesn't matter. It honestly doesn't, um, it, it, anything Mexican, you know, just give it to me. 

[00:11:05] I love it. Okay. There you go. That's my meal. That's your meal. Okay. Um, what is one piece of advice you would like to give your younger self? Ah, you know, when I was little, I thought that because somebody was older than me or they were in a quilt, an adult that they knew everything. I think we all have that. 

[00:11:26] Right. So I'm going back to telling my younger self I'm saying, listen, they should not know. They know shit about shit, about shit. Okay. Don't you guys, anything, they say tall kids with bills to pay. Right. And I didn't even realize that for such a long time. And then, you know, when you have that, you're working in like an office setting or you're working and you're just like, oh my God, this is like, that kid could have been that kid in high school. 

[00:11:50] And that person fits that role. And we all have roles. We fit into whatever. Sometimes we can shift from those, but I'm just like, oh, they're just grown-ups. It's just growing up like a school. So, but I used to put a lot of, um, because I wasn't a typical child. I was unruly and I had lots of dreams and passion and energy. 

[00:12:09] Um, it would have been nice. And you being energetic. I know, I know. Close your eyes and try really hard. They need a rest anyways. Right. They're tired. So, um, but I think that just telling yourself, and it's not about you, it's about them. Those are the two things. Number one, adults are just grown-up kids. 

[00:12:26] Most of the time. Trying to undo their childhood trauma, which is what we're all trying to do. And then be able to lift some somewhat of adult life in a healthy mental state. Right. And, um, then the other one is, is not about you. Like when, and it took me a long time to realize that. And I believe that the only reason that I really can say that was such, it is not about you is because I feel sometimes I'm the wizard behind the screen. 

[00:12:53] So on social media, I see what everybody puts out there. And I love that people feel safe with me to PM me behind that shield and say, Hey, by the way, do you have a good book on divorce for my kid? When they just posted a family? Right. So it's curated lives of social media. Right? Right. But even if it's not social media, like a lot of times when people are having a bad day or something's going on and they overreact to you or them, you feel like, wow, that was a strong response it's because that individual was more than likely triggered and it's not about you. 

[00:13:27] So don't take it personally and just keep moving on. And so those are the two things that I'd probably say that's excellent. That's excellent. I keep coming back to lately that I don't know if you've watched the television show, Ted lasso on. Oh, my God. I heard Bernay brown gushing and she injected half the cast and everywhere I turned seemed to be Ted lasso, Ted lasso total. 

[00:13:51] So anyway, I watched both seasons three times. Oh my gosh. I got to watch this Lord. It was so good. It was so good. But the one thing that he says, I sent it to my class today and it totally made sense. He said the animal with the shortest memory is a goldfish. And so I had a kid squabbling, you know, she's touching me. 

[00:14:16] And I was like, they acted like five olds and they're 16, you know? And I said, just be a goldfish. Ah, they got it. You know, like, yeah. It's not about you. It's not an overnight thing. The world's going to keep spinning or it's not going to swallow you up in five minutes. It's not going to matter so big goldfish. 

[00:14:39] Forget it. That's great. Well, I just love those fish be goldfish. Okay. Last question. Um, what is one thing you would most like to change about the world? Well, I kind of hinted at it a little bit ago when I mentioned something about undoing our childhood trauma. What I would love to do for the world is to teach everyone. 

[00:15:00] And I'm not even parents, because the thing is kids don't grow up with just parents. They go out into the world and they have teachers and they have aunts and uncles, and they have people at the grocery store. You don't have to have kids. Two parents help parent a generation. So it is my village, you know? 

[00:15:15] Yes, absolutely. It is my goal that, um, I inspire a generation of humans to look at children in a different way, to be able to see them and to provide, um, a structure. And a foundation that is going to build their neurocognitive pathways in positive ways. That's going to validate their lived experiences that stops all this gas lighting, bullshit. 

[00:15:41] The parents do, oh, you're fine. Get up. How do you know? They're fine. How about, are you okay to get up? Don't just assume that, because that teaches children, that we can't trust ourselves, that what we feel isn't real. And then we spend their entire life on doing all of it. And I want people to break that I'm a, I am a trauma toxic pattern breaker. 

[00:16:00] It stops with me and my kids and you know, and I that's me too. I worked on your whole entire life to get rid of all of the toxic template. Bullshit that I inherited from my mother who was an undiagnosed self medicated, bipolar, and wound up and wound up dead in an opiate addiction that she used to numb out all the shit that she couldn't deal with. 

[00:16:23] Oh, I'm so sorry. Nothing she ever tried to do for herself worked and eventually about 18 months before she died, I had to excommunicate her from my life because I couldn't, I couldn't, I probably would have suffered through the toxicity of her bullshit forever, but it started to affect my kids. That's where it stops. 

[00:16:49] We're afraid of her. And she came into my house and spewed all of this venomous bullshit in my living room. And I threw her and my stepfather out. My kids went crying into another, into my daughter's bedroom, and lock the door in terror. And I thought that. And, um, I never had another conversation with my mother ever again. 

[00:17:08] I wrote her a very long letter explaining what was going on and you have two choices either go with me to an inpatient addiction treatment counseling center and go through the entire program and get yourself clean and learn about your shit. And I will be there with you every single step of the way. 

[00:17:27] If you choose not to do that, you will never see us again. Right. And she said so hard and she's like, what are you a fucking doctor? You don't know how to do anything. You're a stupid English teacher. You can't tell me what to do. Oh, that's what she said on my answering machine. Cause I wouldn't pick up the phone because I knew that that's what was going to happen. 

[00:17:43] But I had to say what I needed to say. So I, to her this long letter, so she couldn't say she didn't get it. Right. Yeah. Make sure she's fine for it. Yeah. Right. Exactly. So I've spent pretty much every single day since then. And then since her death, trying to figure out how. To heal me and how to keep that negative bullshit from I'm cursing a lot. 

[00:18:08] Sorry, listeners. Yeah. To protect my kids and me. It's you. I like to cuss. I love to cuss and you drop the S word verse. That's like, okay, well we got New York and Chicago here, you know, you know, we talk big, we're big people, the big truck is what are we going to say? What are you gonna say? I am really sorry about that experience, but what a warrior you are to do that for yourself, for your children. 

[00:18:30] And it wasn't just for your children. You did that for your inner child. Yeah. Oh yeah. Yeah. And then, uh, you know, I, I do a lot of meditation. I do a lot of journal writing. I, I wrote a memoir and I do a lot of art therapy or therapy is huge for me. And I joined, go ahead. I'm so sorry to interrupt you. I just got excited. 

[00:18:50] When you said you did all this creative stuff, creativity actually heals trauma on a molecular level. I love that. So you're, you've been doing the work. It's amazing. Yeah. Yeah. And I've been in therapy for like 20 some odd years, but yeah. Um, but, but the most significant strides have come through the creation of artwork for me. 

[00:19:12] Yes. Somewhat writing. Yes. Obviously, you know, change, figuring out patterns and so on and reading books from notable psychologists. And so on that, that have been through this shit and have seen their, their, their patients do all of this. That helps a lot. But, but my own, my own internal reprogramming, the reparenting of little Marcy all came through. 

[00:19:41] Yeah, and I wasn't, I didn't do it for that reason. I've just, I've always been a creator. And, and so after my mom died, I was trying to figure out, like, I gotta do something. Yeah. I don't know what to do. I'm like, I'm going to start painting again. Cause it had been a, quite a few years since I had allowed myself the time to do that. 

[00:20:03] And, as I was sitting there focusing on color and brush strokes, I was really figuring everything else out. And, um, yeah, it was amazing. And I had a moment and I don't know if it was during meditation or if it was during a painting session, but I had like an image almost like I was watching a video of me entering my childhood bedroom. 

[00:20:33] And sitting on the floor next to like six-year-old Marcy and putting my arm around her and hugging her and telling her it's all going to be okay. That she doesn't have to be afraid. No, one's, you know, she's, she's got, she's not crazy, you know, like the mismatch between what was going on inside and going on outside, she shouldn't trust the mismatch because what she had going on inside was what was really happening. 

[00:20:56] And, and I felt like liberated, like, like tons of earth just lifted off of me. It was beautiful. Quite amazing. Yeah. Um, but I don't think, you know, even with all that, and I went to a psychic, which was uncharacteristic of me, but helped a ton, um, I still don't think that I'm done. I don't think anybody's ever done. 

[00:21:20] I've never really done. I think that you know, you get to a certain point where you're like, all right, okay. With that for now, let's, let's work on this over here. This pile, this pile that's been collecting, dust needs a little attention. Right, right. And just sort of move around your world. But yeah, we see like, you know, everybody talks about life as linear. 

[00:21:38] Like we're on this path and I've always seen life as a spiral staircase going, well, there you go. That's why you revisit shit. You might have liked the mothers right here. But as you go around, you'll revisit it. And every time you get it, he looks like a da. That's how I always described it. And I can tell you every year of my life around here, where January is and where July is, and it just ties to it as well. 

[00:22:04] Yeah. I never met another person who saw it that way. Wow, soul sisters, man. 

[00:22:14] I know. I know, but isn't that such a better way to look at it because then you don't go shit. I thought I already dealt with this. I thought that was way back behind me. And here it is, again, what's wrong with me. It's not about, you know, it's a cycle it's going up, you're going to revisit stuff. And each time you revisit it, you deal with it a little bit more and you get better and you heal from it. 

[00:22:36] Yeah. But that's my goal to help families so that kids don't have to do what we're talking about or other things, you know, let them have some other things. Not the same intergenerational shit that's been handed down for four generations, right. Actually. Yes, exactly. Yeah. That's right. Yeah. Oh, woo. I'm so energized. 

[00:23:00] It's so exciting. Okay. So let's go. Let's go more. I, you know, to Bethany, where am I? Okay. Here are my questions. Where are your questions? What are your questions? I, I dunno. I am like all the jumbled now. I'm like, oh, she's like, I feel like I'm like, my brain is like so excited. Okay. So you're from Indiana. Um, you're from a religious family. 

[00:23:25] They were Mormons, I believe. And I read somewhere that you call yourself an ex-communicated Mormon. I got to know more about this. What? Oh, gosh. Yes. Well, I call myself that because I am officially an excommunicated Mormon, so I answered here's the irony. I was raised at, from seven in the Mormon church in Indiana. 

[00:23:51] So it wasn't like in Utah where everybody's Mormon. So I was in a small rural town. Of course there were like three families who had most of the kids. They all nine kids, eight kids. So they was maybe three or four families, but there was maybe 30 of us and the high school, 2000. Okay. So there's not oodles, but, um, I don't know. 

[00:24:10] I always just like heard the stories about Christ being kind and about being kind to others and don't judge. And I always really embraced that stuff. So I was like the perfect idyllic Mormon, right. In that sense of reflecting the principles and teachings of the, of the church. And so I re I had a lot of respect for the church. 

[00:24:28] And then, and here's the funny thing is the church tells you lots of things. Don't don't have sex. Don't do this. Don't do. They never told me. And this is how like, sometimes I think black and white thinking I am, but they never specifically said, if you're a girl, you should not kiss another girl. Nobody told me that. 

[00:24:48] So I'm thinking, okay, it wasn't ingrained. Right. So I go off to a private women's college and it did, it could have been a straight, you know, um, not just a women's college, it just happened to be a women's college. And I met him at Koa. That's the word I was looking for. Thank you. Um, and this girl, like my body just was like, whoa, what is this? 

[00:25:08] Oh my gosh. She is, it's it. And I kissed her and, um, she kissed me back and that began at age 18. I, I secretly sought out therapy because I thought, oh my God, what am I going to do? You know, I'm a Mormon, I'm going to hell. Like I had all this. So I had from 18 until about 28, I was in and out of therapy, um, working on myself in the sense of. 

[00:25:31] How does, how does this work? Why am I feeling this? Why would God want me to be this way? I went to, I went to one Mormon therapist and it was a man. And I'll tell you the advice he gave me. It was really, really good wink, wink laced in sarcasm. So I say to him, I go, that's okay. I go to these Mormon dances. 

[00:25:48] And I said, the boys just don't like me. I don't have blonde hair. I don't have blue eyes. I'm not petite. I'm a woman. I'm like five, seven, a hundred eighty pounds of muscle and proportion. But like, I'm not. And I said, and I don't laugh at their stupid jokes. Like sometimes they're funny. Sometimes they're not. 

[00:26:03] I'm like, I was always one of the guys. Do you know what I mean? That was the other thing my friends know. So I told the guy, I told the therapist that, and he goes, well, how about this? And the church has tons of social things, right? They want you to meet other Mormons. So I was at like 23 or something and he was like, well, why don't you go to the social? 

[00:26:22] And this time, if a boy makes a joke, laugh, And maybe you fake the laugh to get the dance. Yeah, that's it. My grandma's dating advice. That's that's my grandma's dating advice. A qualified therapists advice like BS. So I left that this is a lot, I'm going to cut to the chase because I've talked forever about that. 

[00:26:44] So anyways, a lot of therapy gave me the self-awareness self-esteem to finally go, yeah, this is me. I had one girlfriend that I thought long-term was a potential for longterm, because up until then it was like, great. I can have sex with chicks and not get pregnant. Yay. You know, and I identify as bisexual. 

[00:27:01] So it wasn't like a one or the other kind of thing to make sure. And whoever says it makes the cut, it makes the cut. Right. You make the cut. And, um, I didn't think I needed to tell anything. I was bisexual until I, you know, what, if I ended up with a dude, then why would I make everything? You know, Bob bring that up so that I meet my wife when I'm 28, who I'm still married to 14 years later, happily, happily. 

[00:27:25] Thank you. And, um, I respected the church enough to say, you know what, I need to let them know what's going on. So I went to my Bishop in Chicago and I told him, and he was like, well, we're going to have to have a hearing. I'm like, that's fine. Do what you need to do. They sent me a letter in the mail formal letter. 

[00:27:42] I had to go to the church. My wife drove me cause she thought I was going to be upset. That's I'm not gonna be upset. It's fine. But she drove me, sat in the parking lot and I went into the church off hours some evening and it was the Bishop has two counselors, the secretary, and one of the counselors was my friend's husband. 

[00:27:56] Okay. So I'm looking at these people getting ready to judge me and then the secretary. I'd never met. He was the biggest queen I had ever seen. I'm like, is there a camera somewhere? Like what is going on here? I kept looking at him going, what are you doing? But the church has a policy that you can be gay. 

[00:28:17] You can even live with somebody. So as long as you don't have sex, right. I know of course you're going to have sex with somebody here, what, going to lie to the Bishop. And anyways, that guy was there too. So then there's the sin of the lie and all of that. Exactly. Yeah, it's totally ridiculous. So the, the Bishop kept asking me about my testimony to Christ. 

[00:28:41] We're insulting Mormons. If you're a more, we love, yes. I'm not insulting. Like I did all this out of respect to the church and I still have great respect for the church and the principals. I do think that there are some flaws that I can now see now that I'm out of that cultish mentality. And I will say that there are some things that need to be reevaluated within the church. 

[00:29:00] Hardcore. That's another story, right? I'm in the Bishop's office. He's telling me I can't, you know, he's, he's questioning my testimony and I'm just like, dude, I'm not going to change what I'm saying. I love this woman. I'm gonna marry her, do what you need to do. Right. I go sit in that, sit in the hallway for 30 minutes while they deliberate. 

[00:29:17] Like, what are you doing in there? I go back in, I sit down and they go, okay, well, we're going to have to excommunicate you. You can come to church still though, but you can't have a calling. You can't say prayers openly. You can't take the sacrament, but you can still come. You can call it just like. Yeah. 

[00:29:33] And I was like, no, I don't think so. And then he's like, we'd like to keep your name on our mailing list. And I said, absolutely not. And, um, and then at the end he goes, um, would you like to say closing prayer? And I'm like, you just ex-communicated me. I couldn't pray. Right. So I was, but I, it was like divine intervention from God. 

[00:29:54] I'm not even kidding you. I said, yes. And I folded my arms. I even did a tick talk about this. You'll have to scroll back and all my tick talks, but I actually did this whole thing, like a quick one. And I, it was like somebody was putting words in my mouth. Dear heavenly father, please be with these men who feel that they have to judge women and other people in this life league earthly life that they have to bear this responsibility of knowing it was brilliant. 

[00:30:18] And then goodbye, Austin will wake up, go with the door, hit your ass on the way out. And then I like left, walked down the stairs and it was a similar experience to what you just described about your childhood. When you went into your inner, every step I took down, it was at a cinder blocks, were being thrown off my shoulders. 

[00:30:36] Wow. And I felt so close to God. I felt so spiritual and it, I never thought that would happen. You were finally authentically Bethany and I finally had come clean with the, with the institution that made me who I am, the kind loving giving person, the nonjudgmental person sat and was judged and kicked out of the very place that created her in some ways. 

[00:31:01] See ya. That's a lot of Mormons bullshit right there. I know that's a, that's a semi long, short version of it. Wow. Okay. Yeah. So when you finally did tell your, your family, I mean, obviously the church didn't so, so much like it, but when you finally did tell your family, were they accepting comfortable? It was a mixed. 

[00:31:26] So my, my mom, dad, and my sister are the only Mormons in my family, essentially. They converted. So the rest of my extended family are not Mormons, so they don't really care. Um, when I told my dad, he was lovely. I mean, he's, you remember Asperger's? And he was just like, well, my parents were divorced when I was 19. 

[00:31:41] So they'd been separated for quite some time. And I, and he's like, you've always supported me with my life choices and you've always been there for me. So of course I'm going to love you no matter what. And, um, yeah, that was really nice to hear. And then my sister, I told her she's older than me. She's adopted as well. 

[00:31:58] We're both adopted and, um, Not that that's relevant. I just think it's interesting, right. Genetic families, they hear stories. So anyways, but she goes, she goes, well, because I called her, I said, I'm engaged. And she just goes, well, what does that mean? And I'm like, well, the same thing it would mean if, if I wasn't engaged to a dude. 

[00:32:17] Okay. Um, congratulations. I just, she goes, I just, I don't want to hear anything about the sex. I just don't talk to me about the sex. And it was just why, like, if you wouldn't be married to the guy, would you tell your relationship with your sister to talk about the sex? Maybe our relationship. Right. So, so it was funny because we joke about that. 

[00:32:42] Like, I'm a curious, I don't want to hear about your sex with your husband either. Like it's mutual. Okay. Don't you worry? And my mom was a bit harder. Yeah. So it was, it was a crying on the bed. Fear of my loss of my eternal. Um, fear that our family wouldn't be totally together because Mormons, you know, how they feel. 

[00:33:02] And so I'm no longer a Mormon. Um, and I think there was some acceptance to my face, but not necessarily full acceptance to peers and some of it, you know, I'm not blaming my mom for how she responded. Everybody responds how they respond, but I think it's also, um, you know, I was 16 when she told me her worst nightmare was to have a daughter who was a lesbian. 

[00:33:24] I didn't even know what lesbian was at the time. Wow. She would've rather had a daughter get pregnant. And she shares now that, you know, she just didn't know much about it and she felt ignorant to it. And I, I don't know. But then when your daughter starts to show signs of liking chicks, maybe do some research, you know, so you don't not. 

[00:33:40] So she was probably, well in denial at that point. Oh, seriously. Well, in denial reading, they like snooped in my room and found love letters. I've written to my first girlfriend, my mom and my sister. So that did not go over well either. Um, but it was so eventually I think she, you know, she's come around, she's accepting. 

[00:33:57] I think she sees my wife as, I mean, the funny thing is, is my wife was a man. I have married the idyllic, like person, you know? I mean, like, right. So I have the picket fence, I got the two kids, the two dogs, the supportive spouse, you know, like I've got it all, man. Yeah. And I wouldn't have had it if I had, if I had married, I had a couple other proposals, um, and two men and it just didn't feel right. 

[00:34:21] I just felt deep down. Maybe I'm going to cheat on you with a chick because I just don't love you enough in this moment. I don't know. Anyways. Yeah. I don't have a very good friend of mine who, uh, um, got married to a man because her Irish Catholic family mandated that that's how she be. And she had had girlfriends in high school and hid them from her parents and dated and married this guy that she had met in college. 

[00:34:52] And, um, it just wasn't right. I mean, he was a little shit besides the fact that it, us, the gender or the sex did not work for her. And so she got divorced, dated a couple of girls. My parents did not like that at all. And then she, but you know, but it was just dating. So what am I going to get that upset about it? 

[00:35:15] You know, who knows if it's going to stick or not. And then she met the woman of her. And she proposed, I don't know. I think she proposed show Anna. I'm not sure. Anyway. Um, and then there's this big wedding and there was his wedding and this in New York city and her parents went and everything was good. 

[00:35:35] And, but there was a percentage of their love approval judgment, something that was reserved. Oh, you know? Oh yeah. It is. You feel it until a point. And they were here for a few years, the first few years of their marriage. And I think being so close to her family was difficult and her wife's family's from Australia and they were like, let's celebrate every freaking second of our lives. 

[00:36:10] We're both fabulous. So they're like, stay well, we're not accepted or go where we're fully accepted. So they were like, we're gone. Yeah. Yeah. So now they built themselves a house, have two wonderful daughters, big extended family that they adore and they're happy that happier than they ever thought they would be. 

[00:36:28] It's beautiful. It's because they're living their truth. And that goes back to the whole, my whole life, life, vision, life goal. I want people to learn from my example of my mistakes. I want people to learn from other people's examples of mistakes, and I want everybody to come together so we can live in harmony with differences and tolerate differences and not take that shit personally. 

[00:36:49] Non-judgment yes, that's my goal. I think it's a great goal. How, how do you help your patients, clients? What do you call them? Clients, clients, um, figure out how to find their authenticity. If they've been running from it or chasing it down to no avail for years. Like, how do you, what do you, what advice do you give them? 

[00:37:15] Where do they start? Um, the first thing that I do that I don't think is advice that the first thing that popped into my head is that I validate their live. I'm usually the very first person in somebody's life that whatever they say, I validate, I accept it's okay. You're not crazy. Like, let's look at this. 

[00:37:36] And so I, I allow, um, a level of safety and I think it's really hard for individuals to feel safe with somebody, to, to stop long enough, to really open up and explore who they are. Because during our adolescents, many times, it's do I want to put this hat on or do I want to put this head on? Am I a theater geek? 

[00:37:54] Am I a drama nerd? Am I a job? Sure. What is, what is it that I am? And so when we label things, yes. Well, all of us like labels. I mean, there's a whole thing. I can talk about why our brain works that way. But, um, to answer the question, it is finding somebody that you can, you would say to them, listen, I want to really kind of figure out who I am. 

[00:38:15] Can you be the person to help me navigate that? Because when you're trying to figure that out, You need somebody to just say stuff to that may sound crazy, right? Like clients will tell me something that they're really hesitant to say, wow, I cheated on my boyfriend or just something like an arch or, or, or, or I cheated on my boyfriend and I didn't feel guilty about it. 

[00:38:37] That's the thing they don't want to share that I didn't feel guilty. You don't always have to feel guilty if you cheat, let's talk about it. Why did you not feel guilty? There's no judgment. And so to have somebody that you can be your whole self with, it's like the BFF, you know, the bestie. And then if you get a therapist, they actually, that has some, hopefully some knowledge, some theory theory, and this works, this doesn't work that they can then help guide you to identify who it is that you are. 

[00:39:05] But the first thing that you w I would say to you is you have to stop worrying about other people. Okay. You will never find your authentic self or your authentic voice when you're worried about what everybody else thinks. And many of us come from homes where we have been people pleasers. And so I know me too. 

[00:39:21] And so when we people please, we have, we were uncomfortable. If somebody doesn't like us, I was, I was 18 years old before I realized people didn't like me because I had ADHD. And I'm just all over the place that I wasn't slowing down enough to see the, maybe the eye rolls or whatever. But like, in some ways I was really lucky because it didn't impact my self esteem. 

[00:39:42] Right. I thought everybody loved how crazy I was. And, um, yeah. And people didn't like me or, you know, I mean, obviously I had some friends, uh, you know, but there, when you, when you find somebody who doesn't like you, it was a long time before I was able to say, I don't care if I'm not everyone's cup of tea. 

[00:40:03] In fact, I'm glad I'm not everyone's cup of tea, you know? Yeah. And it took me. Before I had to say, it's okay if people don't like you, you don't have to please everybody like everyone, so, right. Exactly. And that, I think that's the thing. And so one of the first steps to becoming your authentic self is to like, say, I have to stop caring about what other people think. 

[00:40:26] And I really have to figure out what it is that I like. So often we become friends with other people and yes, there needs to be some often shared, shared hobbies or shared passions. Right. But many times I see a lot in couple relationships where the girl will often just give up everything and do whatever the boy wants. 

[00:40:47] They're all about karate now, or they're all about the cars. Or, and so if you have a few dating experiences like that, and then you have a few friends that you have adapted and shifted yourself, so you can fit in and be accepted. We all want to be accepted. So to somebody who says they don't want to be that's bullshit. 

[00:41:04] I want to be accepted. I don't have to be accepted though. I'm happy to be single. Like, you know, so, um, so I think being able to come to a place where you can just go, I don't give a shit enough that you can at least be your true self. And so then you have to figure out who you are. Right. You've been with all these people and you've shaped, shifted so much that, what do I fucking like, and many times I'll say to somebody, I want you to think back to when you were a child, like tween before, even the tween years. 

[00:41:33] And sometimes that's where you reconnect to those. What did I like about life? But if those first 10 years of your life were all trauma, avoiding mom or dad or abuse of any kind, it's really hard to know, like, yeah. Yeah. I went back when I was reading my book, I went back to the journals that I've been keeping since 1983 and I read. 

[00:41:55] Um, and there was a whole shit ton of stuff that I had no recollection of. I was getting all the Twitter about these things and who the hell is Carla? I don't even know who Karla is. You know, like I grabbed my best friend from high school and I'm like, we were really mad about this girl named Carla in 1985. 

[00:42:09] Do you remember what this was? And she's like, no, no clue. It's so funny, but wherever you are, Carla, we're over it. Yeah. We're done with you, Carla. Um, I forgot what I was gonna say. You're talking about people, not caring, not care. What other people think? Oh yeah. I was reading my journals and I was starting to figure out like when, when I was in my early twenties and I was single and I was looking for someone's significantly important and good and kind to date, my stepmother had me create a list of all the qualities that I was looking for in, in a, in a man. 

[00:42:51] And. Uh, subset list of deal breakers, things that I would not compromise on. Right. And wouldn't, you know, young, 20 something Marcy compromised on all the things she wouldn't compromise. Right? So long story short, I get married. I have two kids, I get divorced. And then between that divorce and getting remarried to my current amazing, wonderful husband, Michael, I was single for 10 years and I dated like, it was my job. 

[00:43:32] I was on every dating site and, and I went through that same. I was using that same list from when I was in my early twenties as a list to judge or evaluate potential dates and. What I realized was a, in my forties, my priorities are not the same as they were when I was 20. Right. Um, but that, what I was doing in my forties was the same as what I was doing in my twenties. 

[00:44:07] So as I was chatting online or sitting across the dinner table from some new prospective bachelor, I was simultaneously trying to carry on a conversation and predict what this stranger wanted me to be. So he would like, right. Yes. Right. Oh, so less interested in whether I liked him or whether I liked myself with him, which is the most important question. 

[00:44:42] And I was more interested in trying to figure out what this total stranger wanted from. From the date. Right. And it took me years of repeating this pattern, you know, wind up like dating in a semi monogamous or committed relationship with the guy for a few months or a year or whatever. And, and I'm not me. 

[00:45:06] I'm compromising on things. My boundaries are shot. I don't know what the hell I'm doing. I don't feel like myself. I'm drowning. And I'm like, eventually I just said, you know what, forget it. I'm done. I'm going to date myself. Fuck all these men screaming. And I went back to the art. I went back to the writing. 

[00:45:24] I went and I, if I wanted to go see abandoned a bar, I went by myself. If I wanted to go to a movie, I did it by myself. If I, you know, whatever. And then, and then I created a new list of the things that counted, that mattered to me as a 45 year old, single mom, two kids, three jobs and a mortgage, like what is important to me and am I looking for, and then I started dating guys that only fit those categories. 

[00:45:55] And I got rid of all the other things like height and skin color and religion and ethnicity and all that other bullshit. That means nothing. And I, my therapist said that I was dating the UN, but they were all well-educated, um, you know, responsible adults, but yes, the UN, oh my God. I did pause you because I always have told people that I used to date the Benetton magazine. 

[00:46:20] Oh, there you go. Same thing, girls colors, whatever. Yeah, exactly. Gosh girl. Um, and then, and then I had the epiphany. Which was, it doesn't matter if they like me. I walked in empty handed. If I walk out empty handed airs, no loss there. Right. What matters is whether I like them and I want to waste another meal or another hour or another drink, another cup of coffee on them. 

[00:46:47] And if the answer is no, I leave, that's it. Yup. You know, I, mine was, if I would rather be home reading by myself, that was my well, I'm on a date. I'm like what? I'd rather be reading. We're not going out again. Yeah, no, absolutely. Absolutely. But, but it was that whole process that really helped me figure out who I was and what my priorities were as a grownup, as someone who was nearing life and was starting to try to figure shit out, you know? 

[00:47:18] And at the same time, dealing with childhood unresolved childhood trauma from my mom and all that other, oh my gosh. Right? Jeez. So you wrote a book let's, let's move this along a little. You wrote a book called for what? It's worth a perspective on how to thrive and survive parenting ages zero to two. Yes. 

[00:47:42] I think that we needed this book. I think that there's a lot of parenting advice out there for teenagers and a lot of stuff about like elementary school aged kids. But I think when both my babies were born, the entirety of the advice that I got from the pediatrician was your job is to feed them and keep them from killing themselves. 

[00:48:03] Yeah. That's about it. Go home. Right. Or it's advice from white men. Who've never been a mother and stayed home and like what the, what the fuck do they know about it? You know, nothing. So, yeah. Right. When, when you feel like everything that you wear is covered in urine and poop, that you haven't showered in days had an intelligent conversation with a human being and you feel like if you read one more. 

[00:48:28] Picture book or have one more temper tantrum that you have to, you're going to frickin go ballistic. Yeah. Yeah. Oh yeah. So tell us about the book. Tell us where it came from. You know, tell us, tell us, tell us, tell you, tell you to tell you. Okay. So my son was probably two months old and I was just having a day going, what is this parenting bullshit? 

[00:48:52] Right? Because you see the, I saw the two or the youngest. He is he's the oldest. Yeah. The kids are 19 months apart. And you know, I, I thought I had the, the, the gold resume for parenting. I was raised Mormon. I was labeled the baby whisperer at church because babies would just fall asleep on me because my energy is chill. 

[00:49:11] That's why, um, and like, I need nappies. I need kids. I just like, I have a doctorate in behavior, you know, psychology. Like I, this should be a slam dunk. And, um, I decided to stay home. And quit my job. This is my full-time gig. And I started to just go, what is going on with like, when people would say, oh, so what are you going back to work? 

[00:49:34] Or are you just a stay at home mom? And I'm just like, just as such bullshit, that word just removed out of the dictionary. Right? Are you a stay at home mom? So judgmental it's so judgy and it made me reflect on everything. And like I was feeling as I sat with my newborn, I'm feeling that the world is passing me by that. 

[00:49:57] I'm not going to be valid whenever time I come back to the workforce, that I should be getting my baby to a daycare to take care of. So I can still be a productive citizen. Chill the fuck out Bethany. Here's the question. Puritan work ethic that is still rotting our souls. Yes, yes, yes. And, um, and then I reflected on a client of mine who was, I think she was 15, had a baby was court ordered to come to therapy because she held her a two month old by her feet upside down out of a two-story window, threatening to drop the baby. 

[00:50:31] When the baby's daddy said, I want to break up with, you know, so the child was taking, obviously custody was given to this, uh, my client's mother. Um, and she was ordered to come to therapy. This is a 15 year old teenage girl who's been raised in a system of abuse. Who's in the west side, ghetto of Chicago who like, and I, I thought of her in these early stages with my child. 

[00:51:01] How is she supposed to know what to do? When every book she reads says, you're supposed to do this and you're supposed to do that. And there, even if, even if she could, there's no way she's gonna be able to get out of that where no, I have to her. Yeah. Right. I had to write a book that was relatable to everybody. 

[00:51:20] And it was for this girl I had, she was always in the back of my mind as I wrote this book because I wanted her to be able to pick it up, read it and understand it. And so I took out probably 150 cuss words. So it was cathartic, but I wrote the book as well because my youngest, my daughter was two. And I was like, I gotta get this book out because I wanted to live at zero to two. 

[00:51:41] I lived it. And then I wrote about it. And my long-term plan was to have a series. Yeah. I lived at twice, but they were 19 months apart. So I got no. So I was, I got pregnant and how lesbians oops. Into a pregnancy that closes it is of its own story, but it happened, what was it? That's true. I wasn't even thinking of that. 

[00:52:00] It's not that your wife's loose sperm running around. Right, right, right. That shit's expensive. Damn. Um, and so it was, um, so that was kind of what spurred it. And plus I was saying to myself, what that whole justice stay at home mom was in my head the whole time and I couldn't get it out. And I thought, well, if I write a book while I'm home with two kids under the age of two, that should prove to the world that I'm valuable, that should prove to everybody that I can do this. 

[00:52:27] I'll show them. I'm not just a stay at home. Mom. When that in and of itself is the ideal job. If we want to change the way we raise our children, somebody has to stay home. Yeah, I don't give a shit. If it's you or your husband, there needs to be our wife or whatever, right? The person you choose to pair with, you have to grandparents, whoever their adult. 

[00:52:53] Yes. We need a team. And then, um, so I, so the book was kind of inspired by that, uh, the very first chapters, why do you want to be a parent? Because I've heard so many times from people I never even want to be a mom. I still don't like my kids they're 25. Like I don't, I didn't like being a mom. I did it because society said to do it. 

[00:53:10] I did it because my church said you had to do it. I did it because my husband expected it. I did, it was an accident, right? Yeah. I didn't even know it was a choice of so many women are like, I didn't know it was a choice. And if you do choose to not have children as a woman, you're judged. Holy shit. Are you judged? 

[00:53:29] Oh, it's getting better. But you, you are judged negatively 20 year old daughter does not want to have children. And she may change her mind. She might not change her mind, but it's her uterus do what you want with it. That's exactly right. And, and my father just doesn't understand that, you know, like she wants kids, she'll meet a guy, eventually she'll want kids. 

[00:53:47] And I'm like, oh, I don't know what she's gone through from her perspective to make her not want to have kids. That's right. That's right. And what she wants from her future that she might not want to fit kids in, or she could, she could fucking do a whole career and then become a foster parent and then adopt a kid, a teenager. 

[00:54:10] There's so many teenagers out there who stay at home, man. You know, I'm adopted. So I'm all about that too, but it's, um, it's, it's about, I don't know. Finding the book is about. I was hoping to let people also find their own strengths and, and see that this expert, this, this person who should have it all together. 

[00:54:33] I have, I have a chapter on sex drive. The tank is on empty, but I appreciate the wax job, like right. You know, guess what guys. And ladies, we're not horny when we're fucking tired of all day of doing whatever we are just we're done actually, when you're breastfeeding. Oh my God. They're sensitive. Yes. And the you're just being ha hung on hanged on all the time. 

[00:55:00] Little sneaky jelly hands. No. Yes. Yeah. And, and so the chapter is a birth control. I know, right? I know. Um, so like the first, the book is kind of in three chunks and the first, the first of it is literally focused on zero to two. Like, this is my opinion on food naps. I have like four chapters on sleep, babies, sleep, nighttime, sleep, parents, lack of sleep. 

[00:55:24] Um, and then bedroom routine. It's all important. Every chapter's about five. I have the book on audible as well. So it's about five to 15 minutes per chapter to listen to. You know, nobody has time for luck. So I didn't want to bog people down with a lot of like theory. And so it's funny. I share my own experiences. 

[00:55:43] I talk about sleep, training my approach, my view on it. Um, uh, I'm adopted, as I've said several times in here, but my daughter, it's interesting. Cause she's very much, um, temperament plays a lot into who we are and we picked a donor who has the same exact same temperament as my wife and my son is a mini her, like they have the same temperament. 

[00:56:03] Wow. Awesome. To see. And then my daughter is a mini me with blonde hair and blue eyes. Cause I guess donor dad had some seriously strong recessive traits. Um, so, um, but my daughter does things that I'm just like, is that encoded on your DNA? Is that some trauma that I haven't undone yet as? Why are you responding that way? 

[00:56:21] Because I was abused the first nine months of my life. I lived with bio mom, bio debt of bio mom, bio grandma, bio. Seven foster homes. I was adopted returned. Whoa. And then, and then my parents got me when I was nine months old. All of that in nine months, nine months. Holy shit, Bethany. Right. So when my child was doing similar things that I was told that I did, I'm thinking, why are we in doing the DNA? 

[00:56:50] Are we, what is going on here? So the book I do do a little bit of, um, because my wife, she wouldn't let anybody hold her, but me, she came out, she had pooped. So she had that miracle in her. So they had a section or so that's one thing we're like, well, maybe she didn't get me right away. But like, she wouldn't let my wife really hold her love on her for a year. 

[00:57:09] She was a parasite hanging on me for a year, my child, because I also believe that you'd give a baby what they need now, what you need now, what you think they need, what they need. Yeah. And you wouldn't, none of it was done making them sleep in another room or don't be no, because you're going to spoil them. 

[00:57:26] I boil a baby. Oh my God. Wore my daughter in one of those papoose things for like a year and a half killed my back, but she didn't want to be anywhere, but yep. Yeah. Mine to sacrifice. What is it like right now? She's twist she go back there. I know. No, but she's knows that she's loved. The thing is the first year you are laying a foundation of trust of love, of responding to every little need that they, that they, every whim, every need, you have to be there. 

[00:57:59] And if they believe that somebody is going to be there, then they feel safe enough that when they become toddlers, the next book would be three to five. If I ever write that book, but that's about exploring that's about, they're not going to do that. If they don't have, if they'd been left in the room to cry, they need to feel. 

[00:58:14] And in order to, to risk the thing that they want to try. Yeah, right? Yeah. So the first chunk of the book is about that. The second chunk of the book is talking about just, you know, um, don't like that comparing, um, I think the sex drive chapters in there, but the Duchess of Cambridge does it. And I, I was mentally, I was talking about how we all have cognitive distortions and when we parent and we compare ourselves to other people that just doesn't work as parents. 

[00:58:41] And so I have a whole chapter on that. I have a whole chapter on diversity in parenting. I have a whole chapter on privilege and parenting and just it's just to make people think it's to make people open their hearts to other parents, because sometimes we're so judgy and we're so pigeonholed and boxed in and, and the book writing, it was cathartic as well. 

[00:58:59] You know, I took out 150 cuss words, so it wouldn't offend certain people. I did leave with UN um, Yeah, right. And real life. I mean, come on. Who's not going to have custody of babies around. Of course, of course. Of course. I remember years ago I had, um, I had a friend who we had our kids, like almost exactly the same time, same ages. 

[00:59:24] And, um, my youngest, my daughter was crying a lot. And her oldest who was three years older, she looked at me and she's just like, well, you wanted that baby. I did, I don't hope I signed up, but you know, she's just crying. It was just, it was funny. She'd like read the look on my face. Yeah. He wanted it. But you know, like even those of us, and I know based on what I've read about you, that you're exactly like me in. 

[00:59:59] From a very, very young age. You pictured yourself a mother before you pictured yourself being anything else. And even if you have, it's still freaking hard. Oh, for sure. I love being a mom. And it's the hardest job I remember. Yeah. Totally. Totally. And I, I, I was probably in my early twenties. My mom's just, you know, when are we going to have grand babies and this and this. 

[01:00:24] And I'm like, I'll give you a kid in nine months. I'm not raising it if that's what you want, but like stop asking me. But it was this idea that, and I said to her, I am too selfish right now. I need me time. And when I'm a little bit less selfish, I will get married if I find somebody. And then when I'm ready to just put, I've done what I need to do for a minute and put all my other stuff on hold. 

[01:00:42] Not that you, we put it on hold. Cause that's also the wrong thing as mothers to think that our life is only our children, but young kids need that level of you don't have a life when they're little. And if you give it, then you, you will get a life much earlier as they grow, because you're gonna lay that foundation. 

[01:00:58] But, um, but it was about it's about I'm I'm able to, I'm going to be selfish now. And so I had my kids, I said, I'm ready to be less selfish. And then I said, we can have kids, but it's. Yeah. Yeah. And once they're out of that, you know, newborn, infant stage, and they don't need you as vigilantly, then you can start to remember who you were and what you like, and what's going on. 

[01:01:24] And eventually, you know, what does that, I forget the psychologist who said the, this quote that I'm thinking of, that I'm totally going to ruin, but something like the worst thing that could happen to a child is for their parents' life to be unlived, something like that. Yeah. They live, they live through their child instead of the parent actually living their own life. 

[01:01:48] Right. And then it gets a whole host of problems, you know? Oh my God, you're living to your kids. No, no, no. That's not good either. And there is a balance, but there has to be some honest recognition that when you have a very young child. It's going to take a lot of work and a lot of sacrifice if you do it. 

[01:02:04] I mean, right. What's right. Everybody has a little bit different. Right. That's fine. But I just, I just mean that you're willing to just go, I want to watch a show, but I'm going to go attend to my kids. So I don't put them in front of the TV. Like my kids didn't get TV when they're little, like you just, you sacrifice things. 

[01:02:18] And that's just, that's just it. My sister has a F uh, my nephews are five, five and seven. And just like this past summer, they started to let them watch television. They'd never seen a TV show like that. They knew it was there, but they thought it was just for news. Right. And nobody will know when they are 15 that they didn't get TD until they were seven. 

[01:02:40] Like my. Oh, yeah, go ahead. Yeah, no, no, it's not. There's occasional Disney movie and some Sesame street type stuff. And now there's like snippets of like star Trek episodes that my mother-in-law loves. So they're like all about like star Trek and space. You know, they're two little boys. It's very cute, but, uh, but you know, but they're, they're grown up with all of the attention that they needed. 

[01:03:07] Instruction, teachable moments, lots of hands-on love reading, crafts, creativity. These, these boys can entertain themselves because their creativity and their imaginations and their curiosities have been nurtured. Right. That's right. That's exactly right. You have to put the time in early, you have to see the benefits later. 

[01:03:30] Absolutely. I think I'm going to buy this book for everyone. I know who just had a baby and there are quite a few of them. And, um, down in the show notes, if you're not driving, scroll down in the show notes and their links there to by Bethany's book, Dr. Bethany Cook's book, and you should give it to everybody that you know, who has little children or, or get on audible children. 

[01:03:52] Yeah. It is on audible as well. So if you want to listen to it, it's just even easier when you're doing dishes and bouncing the baby or whatever. Exactly. Now do you, and this is sort of ridiculous question, cause I kind of already know the answer. Um, do you use music therapy with your children at home? 

[01:04:16] Like the, the power of music and energy? Do you use that with yes, 100%. It sets the tone of the house. We have music playing a lot, um, music therapies and just listening. So I'm also teaching my kids piano and it's not about, there'll be great musicians someday. It's about finger dexterity. It's about discipline. 

[01:04:35] It's about sitting there and I'm not a tiger mom in that way where I'm like, you all play this chord or you will not get up kind of thing. It's okay. Let's come back to it. So it's a, it's a very, uh, genuine flow when the kids want to learn in play, we learn a song and when they don't, they just practice stuff that they already knew. 

[01:04:51] But, um, I thought I would actually be doing a lot more music with my kids than I do do. Um, and when I think about music therapy, A lot more therapeutic interventions and things, but I'm like, I'm a mom with my kids, you know what I mean? So I, once in a while, I'll bring up my bag of instruments and let them play with the different instruments and the tones. 

[01:05:11] And we talk about stuff and potluck spoons. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And, um, and I love it. You know, I have this really cool ocean drum. It's called an ocean drum and it's really big and it's clear on one side you can Google ocean drum and see it. But essentially it has a bunch of BDS, like metal beebees in one side. 

[01:05:28] So if you just turn the drum, it makes a nice, like one of those rain sticks. Yes. But then when you shake it, it's a lot of thunder and you can do it over their heads. And there's that vibrational feeling that they get from drumming that I think is really fun. So I do use music a lot, but it's primarily. 

[01:05:44] And what we talked about, the ISO principle. If I see that they're wild, I'll crank them down that way. Instead of saying we got to go, but again, I have to be in tune as well. I gotta be knowing what my kids are dealing and thinking. And I have to be two steps ahead to think, what are, where are we going to next? 

[01:05:58] Is it bedtime? Is it this? I need to change the music, change the set scene and change the mood. But I do, I use it an awful lot and be aware of your own yes. Energy and mood and, and vibrational change and, and all that stuff. Absolutely. You know, that whole conscious parenting thing, you know, you gotta be aware of your own stuff and how that's affecting. 

[01:06:20] Yeah. And sometimes I'll tell him, I'll be like, my kids are eight and six and I'll just be like, listen, I'm in a mood today, but ask him to do something, please just do it. Cause I don't want to overreact to something. And it would be really helpful if you could just. But I'm not taking it out on you. So often of the kids, I'll always say, you can be mad. 

[01:06:36] Of course you can be mad, but what you don't have a right to do is to take it on everybody else in the house. So you can sit there and be mad. If you're going to like shout and throw and hit, you can do that elsewhere. We don't, we don't need to be a part of that, but I was validated their experiences and their lived experience. 

[01:06:51] And I always apologize when I mess up. And I always model, you know, remorse and re tear, tear, and repair and relationships and stuff. Cause we all make mistakes. Absolutely. With, with the best of intentions, you know, I, if I'm in a crappy mood and I could very easily snap at someone, you know, and then, and then I'm like, oh God, I'm sorry. 

[01:07:10] How that sounded. I feel really bad. You know, I, I'm sorry. I hurt your feelings. Can we, can we please erase that? You know? Yeah, yeah. Let's do we, do we call them redos? Let's try it again. Let's try it again. So if they come at me and they're in a mood and they say something. I need you to go figure out how to say that in a better way, because how you just asked me, you have, I'm like, oh, that sounded really ugly. 

[01:07:31] So go try again. And we'll see, because that's the other thing that I think parents, I know we're probably out of time, this last thing I'll say the other thing parents do is that they will, they think that it's authentic. I say, do this, do this. And if the kid doesn't obey, but like you don't, we don't a bay like that as adults. 

[01:07:47] Why, why are we teaching it? We're not going to put them on our kids in the military. Why are we doing that to our kids? It's about if, if you ask your kid to do X and they say, well, I want to do Y then how do you make it so that both, both situations can be met. Maybe they can do X and Y at the same time, or maybe experts. 

[01:08:03] And then Y or maybe the parent even says, do Y, but make sure you do X. And I will often times give, give my children that little leeway and I'll say, listen, I'm, I'm trusting. When I say, you're going to do this, you're going to turn around and do it. And then if there's been several times that they don't, I'll just say we can't do that anymore. 

[01:08:19] Do you remember two times ago or last time? So we have to rebuild that trust again. That's just giving people a chance. That's all, we're deadly. We have to just chill and be understanding with ourselves, with our kids. Absolutely. Yeah. When, when you're done with this activity, whatever that is, when you're done with that video, when you're done with that game, I would like you to X, Y, and Z, you know, write whatever the task is. 

[01:08:42] Um, I used to do that with my kids when they were teenagers all the time. Like, all right, I know you're in the middle of six things now, but by seven 30, I want things done. And how you do that is up to you. I just want it done by then. That's perfect. That's the way to do it. They need autonomy. If they don't do it, then obviously as parents, we come in, we help teach them the skills to be able to do that. 

[01:09:04] But giving children autonomy like that, but just empowers them. It doesn't entitle them. I'm so sick. Oh, that kid's entitled. Then they can put their dishes in the sink themselves, or they can do this or that, or they no laundry. Yeah. Yeah. Talk to a teacher respectfully about something they don't understand. 

[01:09:22] Yeah. You know? Yeah. Fabulous. Well, thank you so much for your time and for this amazing conversation I enjoyed every second of it. Oh, I did too. We're obviously your soul sisters. Somehow. We've got a lot of power. We got a lot of stuff. Awesome. So I'm in the show notes. There'll be all different ways that you can contact and keep in touch with Dr. 

[01:09:42] Bethany cook, all sorts of social media links and where to buy her book and, and so on. So please like, and share and rate the podcast and all that happy stuff. Thank you so much, Dr. Bethany. It has been my pleasure. Thank you. Don't hang up. I'm just going to end.