Failing Motherhood

Uniting Partners + Bettering the Mental Health of ALL Parents with Kevin Seldon

June 13, 2023 Danielle Bettmann | Parenting Coach for Strong-Willed Kids Episode 110
Uniting Partners + Bettering the Mental Health of ALL Parents with Kevin Seldon
Failing Motherhood
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Failing Motherhood
Uniting Partners + Bettering the Mental Health of ALL Parents with Kevin Seldon
Jun 13, 2023 Episode 110
Danielle Bettmann | Parenting Coach for Strong-Willed Kids

In this Father's Day-inspired episode, Kevin Seldon, host of the DILF (Dad I'd Like to Friend) Podcast, is here to share his journey of navigating infertility, bonding with his baby, staying at home for a year, and working on himself.

He shares insight into creating more equal parenting partnerships by prioritizing opportunities for each partner to establish their own way, holding weekly business meetings, and also having time to reset.

Tune in for a breakdown on how he became a maternal gatekeeper, what he's realized after countless interviews on his own platform, and how we can shift the dynamic of mom VS. dad to everyone getting the support they need and deserve so our kids thrive too.


IN THIS EPISODE, WE COVERED...

  • Why it's so important to support BOTH parents postpartum
  • Updating the idea of co-parenting to being "co-pilots" utilizing principles, trust, and empowering your partner
  • How to identify and stop maternal gatekeeping in its tracks

DON'T MISS-

  • How to implement the concept of a "Freedom Shift"
  • Ways to "pick your battles" in your relationship


// MENTIONED IN THE EPISODE //
Blog Post: Surviving Infertility (a father's journey)

// CONNECT WITH KEVIN SELDON //
Podcast - Dad I'd Like to Friend
Survey - survey.dadidliketofriend.com
Merch - https://shop.dadidliketofriend.com 
promo code: MOMLOVE 

I believe in you + I'm cheering you on.
Come say hi!  I'm @parent_wholeheartedly on Insta.
Schedule your FREE Consultation: wholeheartedly.as.me/call

Send us Fan Mail over Text.

Support the Show.

START HERE:
CALM + CONFIDENT: THE MASTERCLASS
Master the KIND + FIRM Approach your Strong-Willed Child Needs WITHOUT Crushing their Spirit OR Walking on Eggshells
*FREE* -
www.parentingwholeheartedly.com/confident

Show Notes Transcript

In this Father's Day-inspired episode, Kevin Seldon, host of the DILF (Dad I'd Like to Friend) Podcast, is here to share his journey of navigating infertility, bonding with his baby, staying at home for a year, and working on himself.

He shares insight into creating more equal parenting partnerships by prioritizing opportunities for each partner to establish their own way, holding weekly business meetings, and also having time to reset.

Tune in for a breakdown on how he became a maternal gatekeeper, what he's realized after countless interviews on his own platform, and how we can shift the dynamic of mom VS. dad to everyone getting the support they need and deserve so our kids thrive too.


IN THIS EPISODE, WE COVERED...

  • Why it's so important to support BOTH parents postpartum
  • Updating the idea of co-parenting to being "co-pilots" utilizing principles, trust, and empowering your partner
  • How to identify and stop maternal gatekeeping in its tracks

DON'T MISS-

  • How to implement the concept of a "Freedom Shift"
  • Ways to "pick your battles" in your relationship


// MENTIONED IN THE EPISODE //
Blog Post: Surviving Infertility (a father's journey)

// CONNECT WITH KEVIN SELDON //
Podcast - Dad I'd Like to Friend
Survey - survey.dadidliketofriend.com
Merch - https://shop.dadidliketofriend.com 
promo code: MOMLOVE 

I believe in you + I'm cheering you on.
Come say hi!  I'm @parent_wholeheartedly on Insta.
Schedule your FREE Consultation: wholeheartedly.as.me/call

Send us Fan Mail over Text.

Support the Show.

START HERE:
CALM + CONFIDENT: THE MASTERCLASS
Master the KIND + FIRM Approach your Strong-Willed Child Needs WITHOUT Crushing their Spirit OR Walking on Eggshells
*FREE* -
www.parentingwholeheartedly.com/confident

Kevin Seldon  0:00  
I decided to take the first year of my son's life. And when my wife went back to work after three months, I stayed home for the rest of the year, I turned off my phone for the entire year. And I just focused on reconnecting with myself and connecting with my son, and refining my way with my wife. We had lost our way and our connection. And it was invigorating. And it was exhausting. And it was excessively lonely.

Danielle Bettmann  0:30  
Ever feel like you suck at this job, motherhood. I mean? Have too much anxiety, and not enough patience. Too much yelling, not enough play. There's no manual, no village, no guarantees. The stakes are high. We want so badly to get it right. But this is survival mode. We're just trying to make it to bedtime. So if you're full of mom guilt, your temper scares you. You feel like you're screwing everything up, and you're afraid to admit any of those things out loud. This podcast is for you. This is Failing Motherhood. I'm Danielle Bettmann. And each week we'll chat with a mom ready to be real. Sharing her insecurities or fears or failures and her wins. We do not have it all figured out. That's not the goal. The goal is to remind you, you are the mom your kids need. They need what you have. You are good enough and you're not alone. I hope you pop in earbuds somehow sneak away and get ready to hear some hope from the trenches. You belong here, friend. We're so glad you're here.

Hey, it's Danielle. Here at Failing Motherhood, we don't just talk motherhood. We talk parenting, and I work with both parents. So it makes sense that around Father's Day, we bring on a guest that can speak to not only the fatherhood experience, but bring insight and perspective into the work that it takes to create a balanced partnership while parenting. In today's episode I interview Kevin Seldon, an unapologetic, hopeless romantic with a lifelong obsession of creating positive change in the world. In his early 20s, he founded a social impact consultancy, which went on to great success with clients from Fortune 500 companies, and award winning artists to world renowned nonprofits. He's created impact driven content for companies from NBC Universal to MGM, and has been published by publications from the Huffington Post to Fast Company. However, in his 30s, his life took a turn. 

After years of building a career focused on inspiring passion in others., five years of struggling to fulfill a lifelong dream of starting a family left him devoid of any passion within himself. So when he and his wife finally found themselves pregnant, he took an extended leave from all of his business endeavors and turned off his phone for a year to focus his attention on his family, as well as reconnecting with himself. The experience was as exhilarating as it was exhausting and lonely. He was shocked at the lack of support available to dads who seemed to be completely excluded from parenting culture. 

So he launched DILF, as in "Dad, I'd like to Friend" a parenting podcast from a fresh perspective, which has since broken into Apple's top 50 Parenting podcast charts around the world, while recently hitting number six on the US charts. What began as a simple forum to seek support from some dads Kevin would want to friend has evolved into a global community where all parents are welcome, regardless of cultural background, sexual orientation or gender, moving the conversation beyond life with kids to focus more on the life of a human who happens to be a parent, and how to thrive while attempting to be the best version of ourselves. 

Kevin currently resides in Los Angeles, California, with his beautiful wife and young son, who taught him that the best things in life are worth the wait. In this episode, he shares insight into the non-birthing partners' journey through infertility. We talk at length about postpartum depression, and the importance of perinatal mental health for all parents. After sharing his experience with being a maternal gatekeeper, I asked him to share tangible advice around finding balance and how to be a team with simple boundaries and weekly family business meetings. Ultimately, the message he helps listeners hear is that supporting the non birthing partners' mental health doesn't take from the birthing partner. It benefits everyone, especially their kids. We hope you feel more united to your parenting partner than ever after you both get to tune into this episode. Definitely check out the Father's Day episode over on DILF and sit back and enjoy my interview with Kevin. 

Welcome to Failing Motherhood. My name is Danielle Bettmann. And on today's Father's Day inspired episode I am joined by Kevin Seldon. Welcome Kevin! Thanks so much for being here. 

Kevin Seldon  5:01  
Thank you for having me. 

Danielle Bettmann  5:02  
Of course, this is like our third attempt, I think. And I have a bit of a cold still, but we are pushing on and making it worth because our platforms can't not be aligned somehow. And we are just moving forward.

Kevin Seldon  5:15  
I could not agree more. Yeah, I'm very happy to have us sit down. I know, both our schedules have been a little crazy. But it's a pleasure to be here. Yes,

Danielle Bettmann  5:22  
yes, I'm so glad we could talk for like hours. So I'm gonna have to be really good at maximizing our time. But we met back, like in January, this is now May. And I knew I wanted to feature your work and your story, because it is a unique lens, being a stay at home dad. And you've also learned from a ton of parents and have a wealth of wisdom and insight from your own platform and podcast to share. But I want to start by getting into your story first. But I always have to prequalify for every one of my guests. Even if you're a dad and not a mom, have you ever felt like you were failing parenting?

Kevin Seldon  5:58  
I would say who hasn't? Right? way. If you're doing it right, and you're taking the chances that are needed and you're putting yourself out there, I feel like that goes par for the course. In fact, one of my favorite quotes ever is ever tried ever failed, fail again, fail better. Oh, I like that. And I feel the first story that comes to mind is a great introduction to my story. I have always wanted to be a dad for as long as I can remember, I've always felt like it was one of the reasons I was put on this earth. I am very maternal in that way, and very empathetic. And I've always been someone who enjoyed caring for others and taking care of others. That being said, when my wife and I met and fell in love and decided to start a family, we could not get pregnant, one year, two year, three years, four years, it was tumultuous, it was extremely difficult on our relationship. But never once through that whole time period. Did anyone asked me how I was feeling not even me. 

And it was a very dark period for me, I actually just wrote an article on it. I don't know if you saw that article just got picked up by a few publications. But we could put it in the in the Episode Notes. And it's just a new don't hear non-birthing partner stories when it comes to infertility. And ours was a unique story in that it was not an IVF situation it was there was some past trauma in my wife's life that was just literally stopped her period cold. And it was doing a lot of the emotional work. But a lot of the doctors didn't believe that that was true. They believed that, you know, just push hormones, and my wife is very strong mentally. And that just had the opposite effect. But so it's a lot of us doing kind of the therapeutic work and working through various things. But so much of the focus was on my wife, and women have gotten with the raw end of the deal for so many centuries. And we all know it. 

But at the end of the day, it's absurd to think that if you only focus on one partner in a relationship, that it's going to be a healthy relationship. I don't even think I was aware of that back then I just focused all my attention on my wife, and I wanted to help her and I wanted to help her to heal and be there for her. But I never thought about my own depression and the pain that I was going through and the struggles that I was dealing with, from feeling constant, you know, every pregnancy test, and when people stop asking you about it anymore, because they're like, I don't think that's gonna happen. It's not in the cards for them. Ah, sad. So it was heart wrenching. And when we finally got pregnant after five years, my wife is diabetic. And it was a very tumultuous pregnancy. And she could have killed me with the fact that I insisted she get a monitor, which she did not want. But I knew that it's very bad for the baby with we had some trauma in the past. And it was, you know, the baby's organs won't fully form if you go too low with your blood sugar. And if you go too high, it could cause issues. So she had to stay in the middle of where she's sleeping. That's a difficult thing to do. So the monitor would beep. But I am a light sleeper and she's a very deep sleeper. So I would be waking her up off of the night. And she'd be like, you know, can I get you orange juice your low and she would. I mean, we have a very healthy little boy. So I know I'm proud of what I did. But during that time period, God she couldn't have hated me more. 

And then after that it was a very tumultuous birth. My wife as she was crowning the epidural wore off. And my son was blue when he came out and they rushed him to the NICU and I went with him. And then when I came back, my wife was gone. She had been rushed to surgery because there was a bleed and no one told me no and then I went back and my son was crying hysterically. And I took off my like I basically it was like skin to skin and they laughed at me in the NICU and I was like I just took off my shirt anyway and I was like, I don't really care what you think that's what we're doing. Yeah. And you know, they unplugged it didn't they stop crying immediately and I thought okay, we're gonna get through And then I got home. And I just had my baby rejected me, you know, you're you feel like there's gonna be this instant bond. And I felt like oh, he laid on my chest and he and he held my finger and, and that that was my proof that we were going to have this instant bond. But when we got home, it was like mom or dad? Mom. And it was just a constant rejection. And there was a part of me that was like, well, she has boobs, she's breastfeeding. 

But at the end of the day, I think it really came down to the fact that the baby grew in my wife's belly, the baby, you know, smelt my wife and, and knew my wife's the sound of her voice, it was with her 24 hours a day and developed in her belly. And there was this bond that it wasn't that I couldn't compete with it, I just felt I had no confidence or support system. And most importantly, I was not in the greatest emotional place. 

And I had a short fuse, which is not me. And when I realized that I said, this is not the life that I want. This is not the type of dad I want to be. And so I for the past, you know, 10 plus years, I've run my own social impact firm. And we have some, you know, large clients. And I also because we couldn't get pregnant, I started doing a lot of writing. And one of my scripts got to William Morris, and I got signed by them. And I was developing TV. And so I had so many things going on. But after you know, a month, I was like I need to focus on my family. And so the hardest calls I made were like calling William Morris and dropping this agent that I was so happy to have and telling NBC Universal was one of my clients. And I was like telling these people, these major Fortune 500 companies and I work in social impact. So pairing top nonprofits with top brands with top talent, and just telling these power players Sorry, I'm gonna disappear for a year. They're like, Excuse me? What, and I literally turned off my phone for the year. 

And I just remember that feeling back to your question of I am just failing this child I am I have a short fuse. I am not there for my wife, because I'm not there for myself, because I haven't been there for myself. For five years, I've been focused on the goal of getting pregnant and focused on my wife. And it's yes, no one asked me how I was doing. And my wife didn't think about that, because she was focused on the same mission. But it was also on me to ask myself how I was doing. And that is not our world. We don't train men to do that. We don't train anyone to do that. But we specifically don't train men to think about their feelings and talk about their feelings. 

So and just to be clear, I'm not presently a stay at home dad. But I am a very actively involved and, and I decided to take the first year of my son's life. And when my wife went back to work after three months, I stayed home for the rest of the year, I turned off my phone for the entire year. And I just focused on reconnecting with myself and connecting with my son and refining my way with my wife we had lost our way and our connection, understandably. And it was invigorating. And it was exhausting. And it was excessively lonely. And I would try to make friends with other moms who would the people that were around me and no one wanted me in their circle. I was rejected by mom groups. I tried to make friends with other moms, they thought it was picking up on them. It was a very weird atmosphere. 

And I That's why I decided that... I had never listened to a podcast before. But I decided to launch a podcast called DILF. Dad, I'd like to friend, it was merely It was truly to find other people that I could be friends with. You know, I just wanted to find other dad friends. But the type of person I am as I started to talk, got people to reveal their stories. You get a few men in tears on a podcast. And you know, we within a very short period of time, we have more mom listeners than dads we got featured by People magazine, we broke into the top 50 Parenting podcasts all around the world and hit number six on the US parenting podcast charts. And it was just kind of a space that was needed. And I think what was different for us was, as opposed to a lot of mom podcasts that talk to moms and dad podcast, which had been more prevalent since we launched, who talked to dads, and they're honestly sometimes a little douchey. You know, they're either complaining about their partner or complaining about their kids, or it's all the comedy of parenting. And we don't do that. Yes, we're called DILF. But we have real conversations. We oftentimes are called a dad podcast for moms. Because our job is uniting moms and dads. 

And a lot of times moms listen to interviews with dads and they say hey, I didn't know that they were feeling the same thing as I'm feeling. I didn't realize that they were having the same thoughts and a lot of people say how do you get dads to open up I asked them how they're doing because no one does. Yeah, and I really I create a safe space for them to talk. And I also we launched a co parenting series Whenever my wife are in the middle of a fight, we turn on the mic. And it's not her favorite thing. But it's very therapeutic for us. And also, it's been very successful for a lot of couples listening to hear how we find our way through it. And a lot of times, the women connect with me and the men connect with my wife. And it's just one of those things where, you know, we have an episode on acknowledgment, I just didn't feel acknowledged as the primary parent for all of the mental load that I was carrying. And we episode on connection and reconnection after COVID. And, and intimacy. I just feel like there's so many topics that we don't really address, and we don't talk about with regards to our partner, and slowly but surely, we focus so much attention on parenting. And then we fail our kids because we're not focused on the mental health of parents. You know, how many times that we talked about, I don't want my kids on social media, as we scroll, tik tok and Instagram, and I don't want people bullying my kid as we shame other parents. And it's just, if we don't deal with ourselves and our own mental health issues, we're gonna fuck our kids up. Yeah. So it's like, we have to turn the lens on us. And so that's where our work has been focused.

Danielle Bettmann  16:09  
Okay, amazing. Episode over, you know, one question.

Kevin Seldon  16:12  
That was a long, long introduction for the ways that I was failing parenthood.

Danielle Bettmann  16:17  
You can tell that you're comfortable in the mic. I love it. You're making the job very easy. But I would love to dive in even more to your relationship with mental health prior to becoming a parent. How comfortable were you in that space? And when did you have? Did you have any type of like, moment of awakening when you realized, oh, wow, I need to address my mental health. And I haven't yet to a point where it's necessary and critical and inevitable, you know, early on in your son's life, where did that kind of switch over for you?

Kevin Seldon  16:50  
So I would say a decade ago, I started doing a lot of writing. And I mean, I've always worked in social impact. And I've always been someone who people come to to talk to about problems or what they're feeling. I think one of the reasons I didn't become a therapist is because I tend to take on that Empath part of me tends to take on what other people are going through. And that would be a lot to do professionally. Yeah. But I've been studying people, you know, back to my days at Northwestern, I have through the social impact work, part of my job is to understand human nature and understand what other people are going through throughout the world. And I started to see, through my work that there's this bigger pandemic of a lack of joy throughout the world, specifically targeting parents, and a lot of people just trying to get through the day. And I really wanted to combat that. 

As we were struggling to get pregnant, I would say, I like anyone would go into my head at times, I wrote an article years back for Huffington Post, about three ways to get out of your head and into the moment. And I remember feeling like whenever I felt this void in my life, and this emptiness, it was always because I was deep in my head. And the second I got present, the void disappeared. And so it was really, it wasn't anything about my life, or changes that needed to be made, I would torture myself about the changes I needed to make. But I would always come back to the fact that I was making the right decisions. I just wasn't fully present, I was too critical of myself, and therefore critical of those around me. And the the biggest step was just getting present. 

Now that being said, I don't really feel like I struggled with intense mental health issues, as much as as much as anyone else on the planet, which, you know, going in our heads is a mental health concern, because so much of society pushes us in that direction to internalize our feelings. But when we couldn't get pregnant, I was very low, and no one knew it. I didn't talk about it with anyone. I hid it so deep that I didn't know it. And I don't think I ever thought to seek out help. You know, I had spoken to therapists before about anxiety or, or different things that all of us deal with as humans. But this was a point where I was when I when I was faced with the prospect of a child who would be looking to me and someone I wanted to connect with. And I felt so empty inside. I said, No, this is not the person that I want to be for my son. So that's what woke me up. But you know, I was having issues that a lot of men have. 

But as controversial as this is, I had postpartum depression. And a lot of people will say, that's not possible. You're a guy. But the thing is postpartum by definition means post birth. And I did not give birth but it was post the birth of my baby. And one in seven women. Maybe even more get postpartum depression, one in 10. Dads get postpartum depression. And a lot of people think it's just hormones. Well, aside from the fact that there have been many studies that show a drop in testosterone for men when the baby is born, take hormones out To the picture, there are a number of other pre existing factors that people do not know, are a huge part of postpartum depression and postpartum mental health issues. 

One is changing identity, who doesn't have a flip and changing identity when their child is born, you're no longer just yourself with your own mission, you know, and your own agenda in life, you are now a parent responsible for this other person, right? Their sleep deprivation. Are you kidding me? You know, if you're doing it, right, who doesn't have that? I don't want to say if you do it, right, because I know a lot of the work I've been doing is trying to help people with that. And we could get into that later. But aside from that, another major factor is change in relationship dynamics. And it's like, wives who feel like their husband was their best friend, but now their focus is their baby. And vice versa. 

Men who many, many, many men see their wife and partner as their support, because they're so not used to opening up to the outside world. And they don't have a lot of friends that they can really open up to, which is a shame. And I think that a lot of people are breaking those trends. That's a lot of the work we're doing through deals, aside from being a voice that moms can hear, trying to open dads up to the fact that it's okay to have feelings. And a lot of the men we talk to our proof that many men know that already. And many men are already starting to open these circles, we just society hasn't caught up. 

When we talk about postpartum depression. For men, we're not taking anything away from women, or the very seriousness of that condition that can affect so many aspects of mothering. A lot of our work is in perinatal mental health. And a lot of my work is focused on educating dads that that could be happening with their wives. But the two other risk factors that I did mention are when a woman is dealing with postpartum depression, that raises the chances that their partner could then get postpartum depression. And secondarily pre existing factors. If you already have dealt with depression in the past, or for us five years of infertility. Those were factors that were very big in adding to my depression. We don't call like some people call it PPMD paternal postnatal depression simply to differentiate it from postpartum depression. But the fact is, they manifest in different ways than men and women. But when we ignore that, that could be happening for non birthing partners, we create bigger problems, because no one's saying that a it's not happening. And it's a very serious issue for many moms around the world. No one is saying that moms don't deserve a lot more attention and focus and praise than they've gotten in the past. What I'm trying to say is when you ignore the non birthing partners, you get many more problems, because at the end of the day, that depression will eventually boil up, and suicidal thoughts from a man is not going to help a family, and depression and short tempered irritations, and outbursts are not going to help the family dynamic, or the relationship with the partner, everything will end up hurting your child and hurting your home. So ignoring any issues going on, is detrimental to everyone. And that's why I think just saying mental health issues during the first year of your child's life can occur, no matter your gender. And it's important that we're all aware that we all need to focus attention on ourselves and on taking care of ourselves. And that myth that good parents put their kids needs first is a myth. It doesn't mean that you don't sometimes put your kids needs first. Many times your kid is not feeling well your kid has an issue. Of course you put your kid needs first. Sometimes though, you put your partner and your relationship with your partner first summons you put your own self first, because all of these things factor into a happy and healthy home, which is what our children need. And I think that anything that's done so stringently and ignores the other factors, is dangerous. All of parenting is about balance. And if you focus only on parenting, and not on parents, and our relationships with ourselves and each other, you've got some troubled territory coming atcha, that's going to come back and bite you in the tush when it comes to your kids.

Danielle Bettmann  24:08  
Yes, I'm so glad you added that. And that's so well said, and a lot of why I do the work I do as well, because I started off, you know, wanting the well-being of children to be prioritized. And then as I was working in classrooms realized, oh, it's all happening at home. And once I was doing home visits and being able to empower parents with more developmental screenings, and books and resources, they're the ones doing all the heavy labor, all the heavy lifting, and that is what really impacts their child downloading all their software, they're going to run on autopilot, it affects the whole culture of the home. The well-being of everybody in a family is very closely tied together with all the rest and so you can't you have to look at it as an ecosystem, not just like, you know, singular people and factors. And so that's why now I work with Parents and both parents ideally, together at the same time to do the work of kind of working on themselves and creating this new foundation for how they parent together, because they each have their own individual take on how their the way that they were raised and the the way that they have seen the world and the way that they're kind of interpreting their child's behavior is definitely different. But both of them need to have a container to kind of work through that with value and with a safe space to kind of hear that out and be able to vent and commiserate and feel validated and not alone in the things that they're thinking or the ways that they're suffering. It's so huge.

Kevin Seldon  25:41  
Absolutely, yeah, I feel like so much of the time, it becomes an us against them with moms and dads, and our society really pushes that. But also, I think that so much times in our society, it becomes a you, you, you and I know therapeutically, it's something that people are sick of hearing, like use if statements instead of you statements. But the concept behind it, I think a lot of people miss, and a lot of what it all comes down to is the fact of taking ownership for your own actions. And not just thinking this person is out to get me or this person is doing something that pissed me off.

 A lot of times, you know, there's this video that I saw when I was I was teaching elementary school when I graduated from Northwestern. And as I was starting up my company, one of the most interesting things that ever occurred was I watched this video on puberty for the kids that were in like third grade. And all these kids were sitting in the outdoor bleachers. And this little boy gets this, I don't know how to say this in a proper way, gets a hard on, I don't know how to say that. And he's a little kid. And he this is what the fifth graders. And he's thinking to himself, oh my god, everyone is staring at me, everyone is looking, this is horrific. This is the end of the world. And then they go into the head of the girl sitting next to them. And the girl is thinking, Oh, my God, are people looking at my boobs, like I'm wearing a bra today. And this is the weirdest thing. And it's like what these fifth graders are thinking. And it's a microcosm of the entire world, like everyone is going through their own crap. And we all assume that everyone else is looking at us and judging us and thinking things about us when it's all coming from the scope of their own experience and what they're dealing with. And I think that happens a lot in our homes. And we don't take the time to ask our partners how they're doing. think one of the biggest things we could do is stop using the term mom and dad and start using the term parent and start allowing each other to space to see that there's other things factoring into the way we act. And we can't just look at others. We also have to look internally and see how we're contributing to that. Both negatively and positively. 

Danielle Bettmann  27:46  
Yes, yes. 

Kevin Seldon  27:48  
And we still have these dad memes and these jokes. And these, you know, Parents Magazine I got very mad at and spoke to not that long ago because they did this meme of a dad who had the baby and waved goodbye to the wife. And then they said five minutes later, he was calling the wife and he's like, What do I do? How do I do this? What and I was like, Parents Magazine? Are you kidding me? Like, first of all, it's just for straight white women. But aside from that, it's like, the joke of that meme is that that is just not the case from what I found with dads. And the fact that if moms are answering the call, and giving all of those answers, you were doing a disservice to your husband. Because just like everyone needs to find their own way as a mom, dads need to find their own way. And it's important to allow the space, you know, for a dad to say I don't know where the things are. Let me find them. Let me figure this out. And the meme just made it seem like dads were, you know, buffoons. And it's just not the case. And it it's just spreading this narrative that is already total bullshit. And I think that a lot of your listeners, some of them might say, No, I'm having problems in my relationship. And some might say my husband's awesome, but I'm struggling. And I think that they go hand in hand in many ways, because a lot of society has told us that moms have to do it all and that dads are idiots and I think that it's just created a problem in our society that is systemic and very problematic.

Danielle Bettmann  29:30  
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Yeah, that is definitely so true. And I remember my first maternity leave, there was a week that my husband took paternity leave, right after I had went back to work. And so he was home with my first daughter for a full week. And that was I feel like a big paradigm shift in him being able to truly embody the new identity of being her dad in a way that he wasn't able to, when I was the one taking on kind of the default primary role in a lot of that caretaking. And he had to, you know, establish that for the first time. And that leads into, you know, one of the topics that we were going to discuss, which is when you shared, you felt like you were the definition of a maternal gatekeeper. Yes. So define that and talk to us about what you have experienced with

Kevin Seldon  32:48  
that. So, for me, I feel like I did not bond with my baby and truly feel a connection until I started doing co feeds. And that is something that a lot of people, there's been a lot of research on it. And in essence, a lot of moms who breastfeed say I mean, that's not an option for us. But it is, because there are studies that show if you go, you know, three weeks or longer, sometimes the baby will no longer go for a bottle. And it doesn't work for everyone. Because some mums there's issues with supply. And there's many different factors. And it's individual to each individual family to decide. But I asked my wife to pump and she was okay with it. She didn't like it, because she didn't like the process of pumping. But she was breastfeeding. But she did pump for me. And I decided to take overnight feeds. And early on within the first few weeks, I was handling all of the night shift. And that's a term that we coined through DILF is called I allowed my wife a freedom shift. 

So my wife had a freedom shift from 7pm to 6am, every day, and I did nighttime, and that was when I first started to get my sea legs. And when I first started to realize, oh, I can do this. Now. My baby was asleep a lot of the time. So there wasn't much room for rejection, which was nice. But it allowed for this one moment, one time where I was rocking my baby. This is in the book that I'm working on. And it was about an hour as he screamed in my face. And it was basically you know, saying in baby language, "get me mom". And I was like, nope, she's on a freedom shift. She is resting, and I will not do it. And I am here and I repeated you are safe as I was almost crying, bouncing on the exercise ball and just attempting to calm him down. And I would say about at when we hit the hour point all of a sudden, he just looked at me. I'll never forget it and he just stopped and it was almost like he said to himself. Oh, so you're not going anywhere. Okay. And I remember still to this day years later, you're safe is still a key word for him. and calms him. But our relationship changed after that moment, it was like he knew mom carried him. Mom was breastfeeding him, when even if not breastfeeding mom was there. And he knew the sound of her voice, like we said earlier, and all the different aspects, he knew mom wasn't going anywhere. But he needed that time to be able to go, Oh, you're not going anywhere, either. Okay. 

And I think that once I decided that I needed more of that bond, to reconnect with myself, that's when I decided to take the extended paternity leave and be there for the first year, that's when I really started to have this connection with my son, I'm already a bit more maternal than my wife in certain areas. So I really started to take ownership over the home. And what happens the definition of maternal gatekeeping. It's a term that was coined in the 80s. And it's when one parent starts to kind of claim the home as their domain. And some of you moms who are listening out there might kind of recognize this, a lot of times, it stems from not fully trusting your partner, but you start to hear tropes, like you're doing it wrong. That's not how I do it. But they don't say it like that. They say that's not how it's done. What they're really saying is, you're doing it wrong, because you're not doing it the way that I would do it. And maternal gatekeeping is problematic, because it creates an atmosphere where you then take away all the power from your partner, and then you take more weight on your own shoulders. And then oftentimes, that maternal gatekeeper starts to feel overburdened. And then as they feel overburdened, they get more resentful of their partner, because of the situation they created by not allowing them any of the space to find their own way, and participate in the home. And there's been many studies that show the more you gay keep, the less involved your partner is, and I became a maternal gatekeeper. 

And that's where a lot of these terms get effed up, because it's like, I know that there's majorities, but calling it maternal gatekeeping already puts this on moms. And it's like, I am a man and I was the maternal gatekeeper. You know, there's so many times that we pin moms against dads, and that's a problem from the get go. A lot of our work is about uniting moms and dads, and not making it about primary parent or secondary, but just co parents and redefining that term. And, you know, because CO parent traditionally means to parents living in separate spaces. Yeah, who equally parent their child. I think that's BS, I think it's a dated term, I don't know why you have to be living in two different homes that each share equal responsibility. So we use the term co parent as two parents who are co pilots on this journey, co parents. And that's what I intended to do once I realized that I was maternal gatekeeping with my wife, and really not allowing her the space to find her own way. And some of it was the stay at home dad and me, who was not working at the time, and not getting any validity or regular, big paycheck during that time period and feeling like I have no value. 

And so therefore, if she could come home from work, and do what I was doing, then what did that say about me, so I had to prove that I had value. But in doing that I was effing up our relationship. I was destroying her confidence as a parent in creating her relationship with her own child. And I was really creating a dynamic that built even more of a lack of trust between us. And I talked about a lot of that in episode called dad truth. And it was just my dad truth was that I was blaming my wife for things where I was the core of the problem. And, and when I realized that it was like, it's so easy to just say your partner is flippin annoying, and they're not doing things the right way. But maybe it's just, there's not only one right way to do things. And oftentimes we think that because we haven't found another way. And I don't know any parent that hasn't failed, like who is primary who hasn't failed, and then found a different way. So why shouldn't their partner be allowed that same freedom, and I think until I was allowed that space? 

Well, my wife went back to work. And my son didn't have a choice between us. Because usually remember, during those first two months, two to three months, when I was feeling a bond, and I was doing the CO feeding, he was practically asleep. So it was fake. Like it for me, it was very real. And that was giving my wife rest and supporting. But my son didn't know who was feeding him. You know, there were moments like the story I told, but this was when my wife went to work. It was very much us laying on the floor and bonding, and we created an excessively strong bond. But that's because we were allowed the space and time to do so. Yeah. And a lot of times if a primary parent isn't allowing the space, they're not only making themselves overburdened, but they're taking away that opportunity from their partner to build that bond, which only happens with time put in. Some people it will feel instant, but if it's instant, it's honestly a one sided instant and And for that bond to form from two sides, it's about time spent. And so you need to allow that individual time spent. And that joke of will both do everything together. One person will always bear the full weight. One person will always be the backup plan. And it's important that you split up responsibilities. You know, I agree with some things with Eve Rodsky's Fair Play and I disagree with others. 

I love the concept of ownership. And we talk about that a lot. You know, we call it scope of work. Because a freelancer, when you start a gig with a client, you create a scope of work, this is what I'm responsible for. I'm not doing more, I'm not doing less. That's what I'm paid for. If you want more, we have to renegotiate. Yep. So we suggest that parents early on create a scope of work with each other. And they do a business meeting one night a week, where every day of their lives is not business. This is not a business to parenting. So it's just one day a week, you just have this meeting where you discuss the weekend, you assign some responsibilities, but whoever owns that task has to own it completely. When my wife was on her freedom shift, I didn't sit there from seven to six. And like if the baby woke up three be like you go, it's I it's my job, my wife was on at 6am. And like she did the morning shift, and I was able to sleep in that was great while I was doing stay at home, but it really allowed for her to have her own space. And there were times where I was biting my tongue because I heard them fighting. And I knew I could come in. And I knew I could help but that would take away all her power. And that would not allow her the space to find a way it was hard to bite my tongue. I know a lot of moms feel that way. It's like, but I could just go in and fix it. But you're doing both of you a disservice. And that's maternal gatekeeping. At its heart, you're doing everyone a disservice by coming in and saving the day and doing it that way that you feel is right.

Danielle Bettmann  41:47  
Yeah. And how does that shift when? Because your son is what five years old? Now?

Kevin Seldon  41:52  
The day after he turned four. He was almost five, according to him. But yeah.

Danielle Bettmann  41:55  
Yeah. So how does how do you feel like that shifts tangibly from you know, going from breastfeeding, and, you know, Night Shift and the infant roles and trying to co parent through that stage to when it really becomes all about behavior and discipline, and carpooling. And the older preschool side into school age, how do you take the same principles and you know, make them logically available to co parent through that older phase?

Kevin Seldon  42:26  
So that's a lot of where our work lies is all of the principles that we attempt to set up within that early phase, they don't go away. Once you build that partnership, and teamwork, it extends. And for those of you that are like, Well, my kids already five, and we're having problems, so we can't go backwards. At the end of the day, my wife still has a freedom shift that starts at 7pm, we do dinner together. And sometimes I'm like, I have drinks. So my wife will do that time that night. But 90% of the time, I do bath, I put my kid to bed, he runs and kisses mommy, she's maybe she's having a drink, or she's reading a book or she's watching something or she went for a walk. But he knows that bedtime is my time. And we bond and we have our you know, I do stories and I put him to bed. And if he wakes up in the middle of the night that's on me, that made sense for us. Because I'm a light sleeper I could I had that maternal thing where I could hear where he moved. Yeah, she's a very deep sleeper. 

But the mornings, she's up, they don't bother me, I don't have to deal with any of those responsibilities or making lunch or anything. That's something that my wife owns. And that is now the same situation as he's gotten older. And we know that with birthday parties, a lot of times she gets the invitation as the mom, even though I handle all that stuff. But I'm responsible to figure out what the gifts is, you know what kind of gift we're giving and, and get it on the calendar. But we kind of work as a team. And we've set down these principles. And I like to say that there's there's got to be a small steadfast list of rules that you have with your partner. If you have 7000 rules, you're never going to keep to them. And you're always going to be bitching at your partner about something. And it creates a very undesirable dynamic. So I like to say choose your battles. And so what battles do you choose? For me, it's once we brush teeth, there's no more food. I asked my wife not to break that rule. And it's a very simple, you know, we for a long time we dealt with, but I want more like now it's bedtime. But now I want something else. We brushed, so sorry, you know.

Our son does not come in the room before 7am. If my wife breaks it, you know, then then the whole week we're screwed. But if we're a team, and that's how it always works with parenting. The kids are so smart, they look for the weakest link, and they always look for the way it breaks. But if you're a team, then it's a rule in the home. So it's getting on the same page. So for us, that was a rule that we have that if something's wrong at 6am because that's when I fall into kind of deeper sleep. Then my wife will go if he's crying Seeing if he wet the bed. She'll go, it's not like we're torturing our kid. But if he's just awake, he knows where the fridge is. It's very smart kid, he can go and grab a snack, he can play. But he has a clock in his room. And he doesn't come in until seven. And oftentimes, the more we do that, if we do that for a few days, he starts sleeping later. Yeah. Because it's like, well, there's nothing to do until then. 

And it's worked for us, it won't work for everyone, every situation is different, right? A lot of times I give the caveat with everything that we do in our family, that that is an example of something that works for us, you have to find what works for you. I believe that no one knows your family better than you. And you have to figure out your own dynamic and what works. But those are steadfast rules that help us because I put my kid to sleep, and I have time with my wife. I'm not saying that if you co sleep that you're bad, I don't give a crap what you do, I care that you make sure that you still have time, for intimacy with your partner. 

That doesn't just mean sex. That means time to just talk with your partner, time to sit in laugh time to connect. And it's not just the kids go to bed, we go to bed, and we never talk. It's never time to connect. If you put your relationship on the back burner for too long, there's gonna be problems, it's gonna go bad. Just like if you put your own mental health on the backburner. That's why we try and implement freedom shifts to make sure that my wife has time for herself and I have time for myself. And in that time, when my wife is taking time for herself, I have the ownership over whatever I'm doing, which gives me confidence, and gives me the ability to find my own way. But also know that I can handle it. And my son knows that I'm a go to person, and not someone who is just waiting for mommy to tell me what to do. Yeah, you know, yeah, so we're very much a team. And whereas we struggled in year two, because I didn't feel very much I was the primary coming off that first year. And I felt like my wife carried no mental load, the more work we did, she knows which tasks she owns. And I don't believe it has to be 50-50. I just believe it needs to be fair, which is the concept of Fair Play. 

But there's also something about not just plopping this list down in front of my wife and saying, you're failing. You're a dick and a douche. And you don't do anything and I hate you. Like, I think there's a better way to work as a team to say a lot of things come naturally to me. But food doesn't. Yep. So if you're doing mornings, can you make sure that the fridge is stocked and that you make the lunches? Yeah. And that I know, I never have to worry about that. Yeah. And can you make sure that he's dressed appropriately in the morning, because I found like, it was cold outside, and she didn't look at the weather, and he didn't have a jacket. And I was like that you're morning, so you need to own that. And the more I kind of stepped off and didn't double check her and didn't bother her with it. Because when you double check someone, they tend to just go screw it, I'll wait to be double check. They're going to check on me anyway, you know, and that's hard for us maternal gatekeepers. But the way I stopped doing it was by a working to build that trust and say, These are the small list of parameters that we agreed to. And you know, transparency and honesty between the two of us, like once we have these parameters set that are just steadfast rules in our home. The other things I'm not really allowed to argue about, because I have to choose my battles. And I feel like the more we've done that, the more we found this balance between us, where I trust her, and she trusts me, and we no longer feel like primary or secondary. We're just co parents.

Danielle Bettmann  48:34  
So what does one of those weekly family meetings looks like? Is your son involved? Or is it just between you?

Kevin Seldon  48:41  
No, no, no, no, we have we put my son to bed. I mean, we have a very open relationship with my son. So the most adorable thing he does is if my wife and I, like get into an argument in the car, my wife will literally turn it he'll go mommy, daddy, take a deep breath. And he did this since three, because his brain goes very fast. And, and I know, you know, my brain goes very fast. And I knew that early on. I wish someone had slowed me down and taught me to take a deep breath. So I've been working on that since he was little. And so he throws it back at us a lot adorably Yep. 

And so he is involved in our home and has power and making decisions. You know, he's not powered. I feel like a lot of times kids act out because they feel so powerless. So giving them a little power is a wonderful thing within the parameters of when we say safety, that means stop what you're doing. I called out safety, don't do anything else. Stop. And we're not arguing I'm picking you up. There's a car coming. 

But with regards to those business meetings, that's I put my son to bed, I come out, my wife is you know, waiting at the dining room table. And the two of us just get into the business of the week. And any issues that have come up and we're able to talk about things we attempt to make it so it's not a bit faster the first time we thought about it like we journal or talk with someone else prior so it's not just throwing our crap onto each other when we finally sit down, and the anger are built up resentment is kind of spewed a little through a workout or a journal or a talk with someone, but attempting to kind of get all that energy out prior to the meeting. So it can truly be like you wouldn't talk to your co CEO, or your your CFO and scream at them about something you're mad about. Right? So it's a professional meeting, where we say, Okay, we have these birthday parties, how are we going to schedule this, I would love to do a date night, maybe we get a babysitter that night. And we discuss meal planning and logistics. And then once we get through the business, maybe we discuss areas where we feel like if we're not feeling connected, or you know, we want to How was your week, you know, and it's just a it's a time for us to connect. But it means that Tuesday night, we don't have to talk about that. It's not little business split throughout the week, which I know with most parents, I hear constantly, it's like our whole life is business. But we denote Monday nights for that. And sometimes Sunday nights, we have the energy instead of Monday. And it's like there's fluctuation with it. But it's about getting that business done, so that it doesn't seep into every other aspect of our life.

Danielle Bettmann  51:10  
Yeah, you're so right to be able to say, usually, then it's spread out through the little chunks all throughout the week. And then it just feels like death by paper cuts, because it's just relentless. And you can't feel like you get ahead of it. Because it's constantly just coming in waves and waves and waves and you're trying to, you know, handle it by a reaction rather than being proactive and being preventative about it, and getting ahead of things for the week. That's a big change in how you perceive it based on how it feels, you know, and within your control. So I can see how that would ripple effects would be huge, not only for your relationship, but just for your overall experience of parenting I'm sure. 

Kevin Seldon  51:46  
Absolutely.

Danielle Bettmann  51:48  
The last thing I want to ask you about is DILF and your work there because you created this podcast as a platform to tear down walls that typically keep men from engaging in honest and vulnerable conversations, especially around parenting, and featuring relatable stories. And you know, the perspective of a dad, what through those interviews has been your most eye opening insight that you've kind of realized through that work?

Kevin Seldon  52:16  
That it's a joke to just focus on dads. And it's that the best thing that I can do, which is where quickly after starting the podcast and launching this forum, realizing that my work had to be uniting moms and dads, and that we have some really cool and exciting things coming up that we'll be announcing soon. But we also just launched a global survey with some really cool partners. And basically, the survey is trying to get a gauge on co-parenting in the modern age, which there's not a lot of stats on and a lot of people haven't done a lot of research on. And so we're trying to get people to fill out the survey to really get a gist of what it's like for parents with young kids. And even if you have older kids, what was it like when you had young kids and starting to see where responsibility is being held and how many people actually consider themselves primary versus shared and where resentments are formed starting at the beginning. 

And really, you can't fix problems, if you don't know where presently at. That's where market research comes in. You know, a lot of what we've done is always identity development, and a lot of working on change within the marketplace and social impact. But until you know what's actually happening in the world, it's hard to make any change. And so that's where the survey comes in. So we can put a link. And a lot of the focus that has shifted for us has been, we interview a lot of dads to show moms the other side to wake everyone up that there's there's more than one parent in the home. And I think that's why we've touched on the LGBT community and non-birthing partners and birthing partners alike, because I think everyone can hear that your story can be represented by an array of different people that you never knew shared your same story. And once we open up to that mentality, the world opens up. Yeah, and we all become a part of the same team. And we can all move the needle together. We don't just need more paid leave for moms, which we desperately need. We need paid leave for all so the dads can be home, not just bonding with the baby, but supporting their their wife's health and wife is also healing from giving birth to a baby. You know, it's not just survival, the baby, it's survival of your relationship with your partner and all starts in the beginning. Perinatal mental health is all about, you know, creating awareness and letting people know that it's okay to not be okay during that time period. And the more you push it down, the more it's going to bubble up bigger than ever before. So I think what I've learned is through a lot of the forums, we're launching and a lot of the stuff that we're prepping and the partnerships we're doing is the end game here has to be You're bringing moms and dads together as united force as CO parents.

Danielle Bettmann  55:04  
And what do you feel like overall, at least in the United States? What is working? And what is not working? As in maybe like structures or mentalities or resources? Do you feel like there's anything where you're like, hey, this is, you know, on the cusp, and it's working great. This is not serving families, and we need to change it.

Kevin Seldon  55:26  
This is such a, you have me on a tough day for answering this, because there's amazing work being done by a lot of moms out there. But there's also consequences to branding. What I mean by that is a lot of organizations that are focused on perinatal mental health, but they're called maternal mental health. And by the way, I work with maternal mental health now, and I love them as an organization. But it doesn't allow the space for men to feel like they can't have mental health issues if they're not included, even in the name of the organization. Yeah. And I think that there is a lot of issues that occur with, you know, moms against drunk driving, because dads want drunk drivers out. Of course, it's like, of course not. You know, it's like, I love that moms are uniting and doing amazing work. But it doesn't have to be mom VS. dad. 

It's about inclusivity in our world, and in this world, where we're all about inclusivity. And we want moms to get their fair share. And moms are so justified in wanting moms are very capable and ready to be working moms and be the CEOs, and they already been doing it for years, and they deserve all the credit and recognition in the world. My mom is incredible. My wife is spectacular. But it doesn't work if you don't also give men space and respect on the homefront. There's a balancing act that needs to happen. And it's like it did this amazing interview called when mom becomes dad. And it's an interview with a woman who gave birth to four children, and then realize that she, you know, was not happy in her marriage, she had felt it for some time, decided to part with her partner, who it turns out was gay. And she started spending a lot of time with her best friend, and realized she was in love with her best friend, declared herself as a lesbian, adopted her child and then realized that she didn't really identify as a woman. And she transitioned. And as a man, he told me that the main issue with transitioning was, he did not want to give up the title of mom, because in many ways moms are not respected. Or I should say women are not often respected as they shouldn't be in the world. But moms own the home. And a lot of times moms don't want to give up that title. And I understand that. But if you're not willing to share the responsibility, and that weight, then it becomes hard to ask your partner to share the responsibility 50-50 You know, a lot of our work is explaining what the term mental load means to dads, so that you can't get mad at someone if they don't know what it is. But then it's also on their partners, to allow the space for them to actually have the growing pains and learn to carry that mental load. It took my wife time to start carrying that mental load and learn how to take full ownership. And I think that that is an important thing. So what is right in the world, we're starting to create these little groups that are segmented and allowing attention and focus to be placed on people and areas that we're not getting the attention and recognition that they deserved. Simultaneously with that pendulum, we are also making a very us against them mentality in our world. And what we need to do is retain that attention and keep those groups celebrated while simultaneously welcoming everyone into the fold. And working as a team to make change.

Danielle Bettmann  58:51  
Yeah, yeah, I feel like I'm so close to that in my own work myself, because I meet with a lot of moms that listen to my podcast and moms that find my work. And they really struggle of how do I convince my partner to do this work with me? Or how do I convince them to, you know, do it together? And, to me, it's so simple. I have like a 12 page guide of like, how to have a conversation with him about it. And really, it's just like, bring them in, ask them. You know, ask them how they're feeling as a parent.

Kevin Seldon  59:24  
Yeah, we talked about that. Ask them how they're feeling. Yeah, we we've had a lot of couples who listen to the podcast together. And it's just like, you know, the dads feel like it's a dad podcast. The moms feel like getting an inside scoop. But together, there's an intimacy to just listening to something together that's not TV. Yeah. You know, that's laying together on the couch and just turning on audio. Yeah. And there's a vulnerability that happens. It's a conversation starter. Yeah. And it's like a therapy session without you going to a therapist because you feel a connection to what you're hearing. And by feeling that your vulnerability, your walls get dropped, the shrapnel that's built up over the years that has covered a lot of, of your vulnerabilities and honest self gets revealed a little more, and you feel a little safer. And that's the only way to build connection and build teamwork and build trust.

Danielle Bettmann  1:00:13  
Yeah, there's something so powerful to hearing the same thing at the same time. That's not one partner relaying it to the other as in like taking on the role of learning at all, doing all the research, and then turning around and then teaching it and then criticizing the student. 

Kevin Seldon  1:00:29  
Yes.

Danielle Bettmann  1:00:29  
And, you know, nagging them and having this like an unequal dynamic between you, especially with discipline, and these, like really important things that you both care very much about, about your child's well being and their trajectory in life. It's not healthy, for that to be unequal. And for just one parent to take the brunt of it, and then offer some crumbs, and bits and pieces and tips, see, you know, offhand in the moment, a moment of emotion and a lot of going on, and not give them a lot more benefit out of taking ownership of their own learning and growth and development in that journey to the same level that you are. And I really know, through the clients that I've worked with dads and partners are ready and waiting for that space to do that alongside their partner. They either don't know it exists.

Kevin Seldon  1:01:22  
Yes, that's the key word that you just said is space, is that a lot of moms might be listening to what we're talking about and say, Yeah, well, my partner is not interested in that. Yeah. How much space have you actually allowed them? Right? I mean, not saying, Can you do this task? And this is exactly how I want you to do it. And do it exact This is how we do it exactly. Is that really fun? Does anyone really want to take a task and do it exactly as you want them to do it and find out they did it wrong? Yeah, people have to find their own way to do it. And a lot of times that opens you up, my wife has found ways that I'm like, Oh, I like that so much better than the way I was doing it. And I allow her to allow her the space to find her own way to do it, not just dictate how I would like to have her do it. Right. And I think that that is something that you have to think about when you when you feel the rotation internally, and you're saying to yourself, my partner doesn't want to be involved, you know, how much space if they had been allowed to be involved?

Danielle Bettmann  1:02:15  
Yeah, because we just shut down if we know that we're not giving enough information, or we know that we're doing it wrong, and we care about it. There's nothing else to do other than just kind of give up a little bit.

Kevin Seldon  1:02:28  
Yes. And that's that's also a big part of the business meeting is like, how much time if you give if you are someone who's listening and is very frustrated, in your home, and in your dynamic with your co parent, how much space have you given yourself to reset? Because that's there, the concept of freedom shifts comes in, like, I know, so many moms who I'm friends with, you know, get into mom's circles, who say, like, I was supposed to have a massage, but then, you know, something came up and I wasn't able to, but then they never rebook it. Yeah. And it's almost like this thing they hold against their partner. And it's like, you need to make yourself a priority, you need to schedule that drinks with your friends, you need to go to a movie alone or go with a friend, you need time alone to reset to drop some of the resentment. So you have a fighting chance of creating a new dynamic, you can't hold on to years of resentment, you know, and then think it's going to change, right, you have to reset, you have to feel acknowledged by your partner, let go of that stuff. That was the big thing with our acknowledgement episode, I had to get my wife to hear me truly and openly, so that I felt acknowledged so I could drop it. So we could clean the slate and start again, in a way that we each had space for ourselves. And we had space for each other. But we also trusted each other enough to say, hey, we're partners in this.

Danielle Bettmann  1:03:47  
And I feel like I really learned that when my husband was going through his like bout of alcoholism in the first couple of years of my daughter's life. And I wanted to go to Al Anon the family support group for alcoholics. And I was telling my best friend like, you know, would love to go but like, there's nobody watched the girls who don't have family in town. And she basically when we were going to a couple's counselor at the time, and one of them basically said, well, figure it out, like, you have to go anyway. And you know, I went from being like, in this victim mentality of like, oh, it's all you know, I don't have any control over it. I'm stuck here because I can't trust him to watch them. And they were like, well figure it out. How are you gonna go anyway? And you know, I found care and I got myself there. And that was really empowering for me in a time of life that everything felt out of my control. I had to take ownership of Yeah, it's this is on me too. And there are things that I can do about it. And that obviously, circumstantially doesn't apply to everyone. But even in drastic circumstances, there is an element of truth to that where you have to step back and ask yourself like, I'm more empowered in this that I'm probably giving myself credit for what else? What other options are Are there what other tools am I not taking advantage of?

Kevin Seldon  1:05:02  
I couldn't agree more. And I think that What's lovely about that is this concept there's it's easy to make excuses. Yeah, it's the easiest thing in the world to do to play victim and to make excuses. And it's very easy to hold it over your partner's head. Yeah. You know, and martyr, and at the end of the day, I don't regret you for it. I've done it. Who hasn't? Who else? But at the end of the day, it doesn't benefit anyone? No, especially your kids. And the first thing that goes out the window is always our own self care. Yes. And guess what, if you don't do the self care, you're easily frustrated. You're short fuse. And guess who gets the brunt of it? Yes, your partner, but more so, your kid? Yeah, they feel the tension between you and your partner, you're shorter tempered with them, you don't create a safe space for them to open up if they're feeling something, right, you know, and it's just you're creating a dynamic that I know no one wants to create. You're not showing the example of them taking the space for themselves either. And there's just so many aspects that are important with not just focusing on parenting, but focusing on our own mental health as parents.

Danielle Bettmann  1:06:08  
Yes. So that's a good, good tie in from like beginning to end, you know, wrapping up what we're trying to say here with this episode. So I have two more questions for you. One is how can listeners connect with your work?

Kevin Seldon  1:06:20  
Go to dad, I'd like to friend.com. And there'll be a link, I'm sure in the notes. That's our hub. And you could find more information on us. We are on all the major podcasting platforms, our content is all evergreen. And the reason we did that is because I didn't want to date anything. I think that emotions are eternal. We don't give advice, we share stories. And I think that when you hear some of these stories, and you hear some of the journeys, my personal, my wife and my, the interviews we've done, you will hear pieces of yourself in different aspects. And I think that that is very cathartic with acknowledgement. So we encourage people to listen to the podcast, we encourage people to go, I haven't been on Instagram or social as active. But we are having some things building up. So you can check us out on at DILFpodcast, also take the survey, because we would love to hear from you. We would love to hear your feedback and your story, and contribute to this new data that shows the true modern version of the family and CO parents.

Danielle Bettmann  1:07:29  
Yes, awesome. And the last question I asked every guest that comes on, is how are you the parent your kid needs.

Kevin Seldon  1:07:37  
I don't think I can say I always am. But I'm very proud of the creativity and independence and strength that I have nurtured. I have worked very hard with my child, to not baby him. I love my parents, but many things were done for me. And I was very spoiled. And a lot of things in our home. Were watch me do it. And I've tried from a very early age to watch my son do it and find his way and not help and kind of stand back. And recently, it wasn't recently it was a year ago, we were playing I spy. And my son said something yellow. And it turned out it was on the map on the car. And you know how much yellow there is on a map on a car with all the signs and everything. And I was like, I don't know, kid. I don't know which one why his name is why and why. And I said I give up where? And he goes, Oh, no, daddy, we don't give up in this family. And I was like, Oh, I'm definitely doing something right. You know, it's just we work really hard to practice what we preach and not just tell him things, but show him that we're doing it too and empowering him to very much live the life that be the change he wants to see in the world. Yeah. And so I think that's an answer to your question.

Danielle Bettmann  1:08:55  
Yes, yes. There's no wrong answer. And clearly, you're doing something right, just by that example alone. But thank you so much for doing the work that you're doing and creating the platform you have and just being so passionate about your experience in promoting the mental health appearance everywhere. Your family is lucky to have you and we're lucky to have you here on failing motherhood. So thank you so much for your time. Thank you.

Thank you so much for tuning into this episode of Failing Motherhood. Your kids are so lucky to have you. If you loved this episode, take a screenshot right now and share it in your Instagram stories and tag me. If you're loving the podcast, be sure that you've subscribed and leave a review so we can help more moms know they are not alone if they feel like they're failing motherhood on a daily basis. And if you're ready to transform your relationship with your strong-willed child and invest in the support you need to make it happen. schedule your free consultation using the link in the show notes. I can't wait to meet you. Thanks for coming on this journey with me. I believe in you, and I'm cheering you on.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai