Failing Motherhood

ENOUGH: Overcome Self-Doubt and Find Self-Compassion with Relationship Expert, Dr. Tracy Dalgleish

February 14, 2024 Danielle Bettmann | Parenting Coach for Strong-Willed Kids Episode 142
Failing Motherhood
ENOUGH: Overcome Self-Doubt and Find Self-Compassion with Relationship Expert, Dr. Tracy Dalgleish
Show Notes Transcript

Happy Valentine's Day!   This episode is guaranteed to help you tap into more self-love.

I'm talking to Dr. Tracy Dalgleish, psychologist, couples therapist, and relationship expert. She's the host of the podcast, "I'm not your Shrink", and author of "I Didn't Sign Up For This".

Tracy starts by sharing her frustration with a family ski event not going according to plan.  As we dove into our conversation, a theme quickly emerged around feeling not enough, and how our core beliefs about self-worth influence how we parent and interact with partners.

Tracy breaks down tangible ways we can level up our communication style in our partnerships, as well as how to become more of a friend to ourselves.

IN THIS EPISODE, WE COVERED...

  • The 4 negative communication styles + how to ask for feedback
  • 3 Questions to ask yourself to become more self-aware
  • How meeting our own needs models healthy behavior for our kids

DON'T MISS-

  • The 2 C's required to access self-compassion
  • How Tracy has reframed how she sees her strong-willed child


// CONNECT WITH DR. TRACY DALGLEISH //
Instagram:  @drtracyd
Book:  I Didn't Sign Up for This
Podcast: I’m not your Shrink
Website, Be Connected Course: DrTracyD.com

I believe in you + I'm cheering you on.
Come say hi!  I'm @parent_wholeheartedly on Insta.
Apply to work together: parentingwholeheartedly.com/Apply

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*FREE* MASTERCLASS: Learn how to CONFIDENTLY parent your strong-willed child WITHOUT threats, bribes or giving in altogether so you can BREAK FREE of power struggles + guilt
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Dr. Tracy Dalgleish  0:00  
When we feel like we're failing, it taps into these core beliefs about ourselves about how we believe the family system should run, how we even hold beliefs into what makes us enough. And a lot of this all comes down to those core needs that we have, which is, do I matter? Am I important? Am I enough? And am I worthy? And we often don't hang out in those pieces and start from this place of saying, Hey, I am good enough. I am lovable just the way I am. I don't have to have a perfect ski event. I don't need to do all of these things in order to show that we're a happy connected family. I'm enough just where I'm starting.

Danielle Bettmann 0:48
Ever feel like you suck at this job? Motherhood I mean? Have too much anxiety, 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, her fears, your 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 your buds. Somehow sneak away and get ready to hear some hope from 
the trenches. You belong here, friend, we're so glad you're here. 

Danielle Bettmann 2:00
Hey, it's Danielle. As unique as all of our parent, child and partner relationships may be, I feel like today's conversation is pretty universal. In this episode, I'm talking to Dr. Tracy Dalgleish, psychologist and couples therapist in Ottawa, Canada. For nearly two decades, Dr. Tracy has provided direct clinical services as well as researching, writing and speaking about relationships. She provides psychotherapy, coaching for individuals and couples and corporate wellness seminars. She's also the host of the podcast, I'm not your Shrink, and author of her debut book, I Didn't Sign Up For This: A couples therapist shares real life stories of breaking patterns and finding joy in relationships including her own. She offers online seminars and trainings to people all over the world as a mom of two young children, including one with big feelings. The owner of Ottawa's mental health clinic, Integrated Wellness, she knows what it means to balance the full load. 
As we dove into our conversation, a theme quickly emerged around feeling not enough, and the ripple effects of that can have as it shows up in both of our parenting and our marriages. Tracy suggests tangible ways that we can level up our communication style in our partnerships, as well as how to become more of a friend to ourselves. I asked her if it's true, if you can only love someone to the extent that you love yourself, and she shares a really important distinction. Ultimately, we urge you to find compassion for yourself and know you are not alone in the struggle to do just that day in and day out. So here's my conversation with Tracy.

Danielle Bettmann  3:36  
Welcome to Failing Motherhood. My name is Danielle Bettmann. And on today's episode, I'm joined by Dr. Tracy Dalgleish. Did I say it right?

Dr. Tracy Dalgleish  3:42  
You got it? It's a tricky one.

Danielle Bettmann  3:47  
It is welcome, Tracy. I'm so glad you're here. Thanks for coming on the show.

Dr. Tracy Dalgleish  3:51  
Thank you, Danielle, for inviting me to your space, I know that your community is such an important one to you. And I also know how you are supporting other mothers. And it's such a gift to be able to sit here with you. So thank you.

Danielle Bettmann  4:04  
Oh, thank you, I have followed you for a long time on Instagram and you are like one of the OG's that has just been known for putting out such great content. So we're gonna break down a lot today. I know you are an expert in, you know, a lot of women's women's health, women's development and therapy, moving into marriage and early parenting. So you're doing that yourself. So we have a lot to talk about. One of the things that I saw that was really cool on your site is you say even though I'm a psychologist, no one is immune to struggling. So I always like to open every episode with a relatable question of Have you ever felt like you were failing motherhood?

Dr. Tracy Dalgleish  4:43  
Yes, absolutely. And I can immediately think of that time recently. But I want to pause just to reflect on that because I think it's really interesting what the landscape looks like in terms of social media, the media at large of hearing from experts. And then seeing them struggle with different parts of their life. And one of the things I say in the introduction in my book is, I've been a human a lot longer than I've been a therapist. And yes, this removal of putting therapists or this kind of like a quotation experts, right, putting them on pedestals and looking at them and saying, You don't struggle was the whole basis of my book of being able to open up that curtain and say, hey, you know, when I became a parent, it rocked our marriage. Even though I had all the tools and strategies, I was not ready for the weight of the mental load for the resentment that would come with that. 

Dr. Tracy Dalgleish  5:42  
Okay, so my failing motherhood moments that recently came up, my daughter is more of my barnacle, baby. And he has a big physical connection cup. And I love that about her. And she feels deeply and she's learned so early on, to express herself. And she actually reminds me a lot of me when I was younger. And recently, she said, I don't like that you work so much. And I miss you. And I missed time with you. And I need more time, I need you not to work so much. And it's those moments where our children tell us something, whether it's the, I don't want to go do that, or I want chocolate chips at 8pm. Or you work too much. And I wish we had more time together. It is my immediate desire to want to take away their pain, and comes from my own enoughness and shame that can really quickly stir up of, Am I a good mom? Am I enough of a mum for my children? Am I around enough? And oftentimes, I don't feel like it. Yeah. And my response to her was, wasn't to say, you're right, sweetie, I should work less, I will be home more. Because the reality is, that's not what our family looks like. And I don't get to just, you know, take away all that time, it does speak to me what her need is, and that needs, there is connection. She's looking for connection. And so I can validate her that and I think the thing I've learned through my journey as a mom, gosh, it's such a journey, right? Like it, it really is tricky. And one of the biggest things I've learned is really not to personalize this stuff. It is not me personally, I'm not doing something wrong. Instead, my daughter is telling me what she needs. And I needed to find that need behind what she's saying there. And we ended up having a magical day going to an arcade here in the city and doing a it's a paint pottery place as well. And you know, that filled up per bucket. But it didn't mean that I am bad and not enough as a mom.

Danielle Bettmann  7:47  
Yes, that distinction is important. And we've definitely all had reasons to feel that way and believed that at some point, and our kids definitely are some of the especially the outspoken ones that are so sure of themselves and know exactly what they want. Let us know. And that's tricky.

Dr. Tracy Dalgleish  8:08  
They're really good at doing it. And it's a strength, right that it is we can see it as this guy.

Danielle Bettmann  8:14  
We love that for them.

Dr. Tracy Dalgleish  8:15  
Yeah, you know, it's interesting, because I grew up with words like bossy, stubborn, sensitive, and when I look at my daughter, I think "you are determined, you know what you want and what you need". And how cool is that to be a child in the world to be able to do that. But it's really interesting when it bumps up against our own stuff, right? Because here I am, I've done a lot of work around this where it's often been, like, just be the good girl and say yes, go to bed. Because now it's 8pm. And yeah, I'm going to turn into a monster at 8:10 and I need you to be in bed. So just be the good girl. And she you know, because our children's have their own needs and wishes and but that's not their job. And so for me, it's like, okay, you know, I, this is not about my enoughness as a parent, this is that she's a separate person for me, which also relates to how we view ourselves in relationships, but the ability to just really stepped out of that and to repair it myself in this journey of also supporting her to learn the skills and tools that she needs. 

Danielle Bettmann  9:21  
Exactly. And that is the perfect segue into my next question which in your work, I'm sure that you hear just as often as I do a failing from your clients of I feel like I'm failing in some way. So is there patterns that you have started to see of things that come up a lot or things that are really common in that early motherhood experience that relates to that feeling of just failing, failing relationships, feeling parenting failing themselves?

Dr. Tracy Dalgleish  9:49  
Yeah, I you know, I think the first thing that comes to mind there, Danielle is this sense of comparison with others, especially in this visual world that we live in and in This information technology boom that we are parenting in, which is very different from what you and I would have grown up with with our parents. And so there's so much information available that then you're following the five parenting experts, and then the relationship that right all of these accounts, and it's it floods your nervous system. So your nervous system is taking in all this information. And then you have to do something with that. And one of the things people do is they compare, and that comparison directly then can say, am I enough? Or am I not? Am I failing? Or am I getting this right? That's one piece. But then also to I find, there's this sense of desire for perfectionism, the perfect bedtime experience, the perfect family event of, I don't know what we're in the wintertime, like going out skiing. We we've been skiing with our kids, it's become a family activity. I also learned how to ski in 2019. So my kids are doing ski lessons that year as well. So did I because I believed my husband should not teach me how to ski doesn't work. Yeah, but you know, it would just be this, like catastrophe of a day of someone's crying and someone doesn't want to when someone's cold and, and it felt really like this sense of failing, because it didn't go the way my perfectionism or expectations or my desire to control wanted it to go. And so I think when we feel like we're failing, it taps into these core beliefs about ourselves about how we believe the family system should run, how we even hold beliefs into what makes us enough. And a lot of this all comes down to those core needs that we have, which is, do I matter? Am I important? Am I enough? And am I worthy. And we often don't hang out in those pieces and start from this place of saying, Hey, I am good enough. I am lovable just the way I am. I don't have to have a perfect ski event. I don't need to do all of these things in order to show that we're a happy connected family. I am enough just where I'm starting. And then we are able to much easy easily depersonalized what's happening around us? What themes do you think show up for for mothers around that?

Danielle Bettmann  12:19  
I see a lot of correlation between a child's behavior, meaning something about me as a parent, and that being my report card, having a really hard time kind of differentiating between the two entities and knowing that that's not a reflection of who I am as a parent. And just the feeling of the eyes, in public watching me being mortified or embarrassed by my child's behavior. And having a really hard time dealing with the judgment that comes from extended family members, or even friends who are having a, quote unquote easier time, and just not being able to relate and just feeling really isolated, and alone in their experience of the challenges that they have with their toughest kiddo. And then they just begin to internalize that about you know, how they're doing and who they are and making that mean, so much as the story they tell themselves to explain that behavior. 

Dr. Tracy Dalgleish  13:14  
You don't get to choose who your children are. And I like to remind people to look at the gifts that your child is trying to give you. My daughter refuse was so much different than my first my son, she refused the bottle. And for me, that was like, what this was supposed to be a different experience. You were supposed to be flexible and adaptable. And I spent so many weeks swallowing into this. I did this wrong. I'm not a good mom, this is all my fault. And instead, I think looking at it in a way of saying What is she trying to teach me? And that's that gift. So she taught me this acceptance and letting go and that's a hard thing. But yeah, I remember with my son actually, I think he was maybe just two, not even, and we were in IKEA and he had a meltdown. It was one of his first big full on the floor melting down. And it was almost like my periphery went black. And all I could feel was I have to make this stop. I am a bad mom. I have to make this stop. People are looking at me. Oh no. And it's really interesting dialogue so curious about your experience as well. But I find even in parenthood all of these things are if we can look at them as lessons as trials as attempts to do differently each time instead of personalizing it, meaning it something about us. It doesn't become easier over time but it becomes more familiar and more workable and you become more resilient. So for the parent who's up in the middle of night thinking this is never going to end I will never sleep again. I'm here to do remind yourself, this is a moment, this moment is going to change just like the good moments that fade, the bad moments fade as well. My job here is to breathe through this moment. This is not about me. I am this means nothing about me as a parent or my love ability. We are a team working through this together.

Danielle Bettmann  15:20  
Yeah. So if a parent, especially a mom has some wounds, or some some deep core struggles to believe that about herself that she is worthy, and she is good enough as she is, that can create a big dynamic in how much how quickly she might take on that personalization or quickly, she might, you know, really fall into those patterns in parenting. But how does that show up then in her relationship with her partner?

Dr. Tracy Dalgleish  15:51  
So I think about what we tend to do in relationships. So we tend, we could ask ourselves these three questions. Who did I see do this behavior? Who did this behavior to me, or who treated me this way? And then who allowed me to take on this behavior? So for example, let's do the the externalization and blaming. And so in a parent relationship that would look like you're such a bad kid, or you aren't listening, you're making me mad? Those kinds of things, right? So we're blaming, we're externalizing in a partnership, then we can ask ourselves, if we tend to blame or criticize, and that is one of those negative communication patterns. We know there's four: criticism, defensiveness, contempt, stonewalling. And we know from the research that engaging in these four negative communication patterns leads to a higher rate of divorce, we want to try to get out of those patterns. And so asking ourselves, who did I see criticize each other in the family? Was that mom? Was it dad? Who was in the family, who did that to me, and then who allowed me to do it as well. And that can offer us this sense of awareness of what's the pattern that I'm bringing into our relationship. And can I recognize first that maybe it didn't start with me, that I learned this, we have to remember that when it comes to our relationships, we are constantly having experiences with other people, with the world and ourselves. And they're building these internalized models of what it means to love and to be loved. And so if our parents interact with us saying, Just get your shoes on, you never listen, that we internalize in a moment, or then we see them saying to, you know, let's take mom, for example, mom says to Dad, you never do the dishes, I always have to do this. That's a modeling for you, of what it looks like to communicate your needs, and emotions. And we repeat what we don't repair. That's true in our relationship and our current relationship. But it's also true, looking at our history of relationships,

Danielle Bettmann  18:00  
There's so much to communication that I don't feel like we give credit to or really realize enough because we just kind of take it for granted. I know how to talk and talk to people, you know, I might not be the best at it. But like it works, and it gets the job done.

Dr. Tracy Dalgleish  18:17  
We all tend to be decent communicators, we are speaking English. But what people forget is that when your nervous system goes offline, we lose the ability to access those tools and resources that we have inside of us.

Danielle Bettmann  18:48  
So big emotions from little people are running the show at your house, is that right? Do they fall apart when something doesn't go their way? Just once? Why can't they accept the fact that the answer is no. Am I right? The struggle is real. You're not alone, and you're in the right place. When your days are filled with relentless push back, it is so hard to feel like a good parent, especially when you're in laws aren't shy and sharing how they think your kids just need a good spanking. Every time you lose it when they lose it, you feel like a failure. The worst part is without addressing the root of your child's behavior, you're doomed to play a fruitless game of Whack a Mole reacting rather than preventing the next conflict. And next time, nothing's gonna go differently. The good news is when you have a handful of effective discipline tools in your pocket, you're able to step into full confidence as their parent parenting actually becomes a whole lot easier. I promise. You're not failing them. You just need more tools. So if You have a tiny human who's full of love and yet so, so difficult. If you can only be so nice for so long. If you've tried everything and still feel defeated on the daily, my free class, Authentic and Unapologetic is for you. In this free training, I share five huge misconceptions in parenting strong-willed kids that inadvertently invite defiance, four mistaken goals they're using their behavior to meet and what to do about it, how to let judgment roll off your back and truly feel like the parent your kids need, and why what you're currently doing just isn't working and isn't going to anytime soon. So go to parentingwholeheartedly.com/unapologetic To access this exclusive free training immediately. That's parenting wholeheartedly.com/unapologetic, the link will be in the show notes.

Danielle Bettmann  21:17  
Talk to me more about what it looks like to level up your communication skills.

Dr. Tracy Dalgleish  21:22  
First, I think there needs to be a sense of insight and awareness. So going back and revisiting a difficult moment or conflict you had with your partner. And one of the biggest things I really do in my community is I teach people to go inside of themselves, it's really easy to look outwards. And actually, that outward focus is a way of protecting ourselves, it's our ego that shows up and says it's them if they did something different. And if they weren't so and if you change, then we would be different. I ask people to go inside themselves and to get real, honest with how do you express things for yourself? How do you go to your partner and let them know that you're upset, or that you need something. So that would be the first piece is to bring a little bit of insight and awareness about that. And if people listening are willing to ask their partners. And when you ask, just take the feedback in. So I know if I go to my husband and I say give me feedback about how I communicate to you. He will say to me, you can be sometimes a bit sharp, you can sometimes be a little like ooo, zing. And it's like, yeah, okay, thank you for telling me that. It sucks to hear that. And it's hard. But I have to understand that that feedback is going to help me to realize what is it that I want to do different, because then we recognize how we contribute to the dynamic. In a relationship, we see that there's always two individuals and you are bringing in your own stuff, you are bringing in your own suitcases that have experiences with early caregivers, with friends. You know how many stories I've heard from women, especially of the grade five bully who excluded you in the playground, that one day that stuff sticks and helps like it contributes to your model of our people safe, do I trust others? Am I lovable, the first boyfriend, all those things are their first partner all of those pieces in them. And so recognizing that you are functioning within your own individual belief system, how you show up to the world, your own attachment style, your own way of connecting. And then you've got this dynamic that happens between you two. So for people listening, I'm moving my hands back and forth, like and I view it as a figure eight, because the key piece here is one partner says, I blame you and get angry with you because you're so defensive. And the other person says, I get so defensive because you're so sharp and angry with me. So is it the chicken or the egg is often what people ask me that's like, it's both. It's both. So could you then in your interaction, start slowing things down? Before you go to communicate something? You never do the dishes and I tap into the critical side clips of what I tend to take, right? You never do the dishes. Okay, wait, hang on, right here in this moment. I am feeling overwhelmed. What is overwhelmed tells me I've got too much information coming in. What do I need, you know, I actually I need to go for a walk. And then I need to come back and regroup. And then I can say to my partner, I am overwhelmed. I need something to be different with how we're managing the after bedtime tasks. Sounds much different. Right. So that's, I think that's a great place for people to start. Yeah,

Danielle Bettmann  24:34  
Yeah. Just being able to find that awareness and catch themselves in the moment. Sometimes they feel like we have this expectation where, you know, I'm gonna communicate one way one day and then tomorrow, I'm going to be a completely different person. And, you know, I'm gonna be doing all my strategies and it's gonna be perfect. 

Dr. Tracy Dalgleish  24:53  
Like New Year's day, every day, right? It's like, Yes, right. That doesn't set us up for success. So it really is the slow weighing things down. And, and if that even sounds like today, you saying, right when I went to my partner last week, I was defensive, that is enough awareness to start changing the pattern. And I always remind people remove the self-criticism, we are so hard on ourselves. And the more critical we are in ourselves, the harder it is to actually make change. Yeah, I can't tell you how many clients show up in my office saying, they tell me this piece that they're struggling with. And the very sentence that comes out after is "I know, this is so silly, I shouldn't be struggling with this. It's stupid." And it's this when you and I hear it, like I can see your facial expression. It's like, what? And yet we we all do it, or we even say it to a friend, oh, this is happening. I know. It's really silly. It's not because you know, you would not say that to your friend, that you need to become your dearest friend. And by doing that, it's like saying, I honor that this is something I'm struggling with. And I'm going to learn to be more compassionate to myself that this is a hard experience for myself.

Danielle Bettmann  26:07  
Yeah, that comparative suffering, we know that someone else has it harder. It's very hard to then be able to be kind to ourselves and be able to really, truly validate. Yeah, I only have one kid and someone else has three kids. So I don't even have it hard. And I just need to suck it up. You know, that's not helpful. It's not going to get you to that place of truly making change possible. Yes. But it's so common. You're so right. And I love the way that you worded that of being a friend to yourself. What else does that look like? If that's an important kind of quality, to be working towards?

Dr. Tracy Dalgleish  26:41  
That compassion, being curious about your own emotions and thoughts and learning to listen to them? There are a lot of people who come to me saying I don't know what my needs are. And needs are as small as, as I sit here in this moment listening to this podcast. Where are my shoulders? Where's my jaw? Is there am I holding tension? Can I release that? Or am I hungry? Am I thirsty? Do I need to go use the washroom? Those are needs and yet so many of us ignore them. And we run on the hamster wheel and we go, go go go ignoring our basic needs. And then they come and say, I don't know what my emotional needs are. Right? Well, we because we haven't listened to what's happening internally inside our bodies. First, let's start there. So honoring yourself in listening to even the smallest need, I need water. Wow, this moment with my kids is so overwhelming. I'm gonna put my body up against the wall, as I sit here with them. I'm gonna take deep breath are saying to the children, I need to take a minute. Because I'm feeling overwhelmed. I will be right back. I need one minute. I know that's hard. I know you want me to play with the dolls. Right? Now I'm going to take this one minute, I'll be right back, then that really, you identifying your needs, not only shows your children, what it means to identify that for themselves, but also then means you can go and get it. Mom goes and gets it. And I love this question. This was from Alison on my podcast when we talked about motherhood. And she had said, it's a question that's always stayed with me. She's a psychologist over in the UK. She said, Did you ever see your mom sit down? And do you let your kids see you sit down? And so compassion isn't just about curiosity about your experience, but it's also about the courage to make the hard choice to look after yourself.

Danielle Bettmann  28:36  
Yeah. And I know with parenting, it helps to know that you're doing it for your kids, too, if it's not enough to do it for yourself. And there is a dynamic that comes true when you're not able to verbalize your needs, then your kids automatically assume that their needs are the most important. And that can create a sense of entitlement. So it's important to hold space for your own, just so that they can balance that and realize other people do have needs. And they are also important. And that's a hard thing to do. If you didn't have that modeled for you growing up, and you don't know the words to do that. Well, and you know, you become so dysregulated that, you know, having just those words are really hard in that moment, but you're not alone. And we're all working on it in real time.

Dr. Tracy Dalgleish  29:23  
I have a memory growing up where we would all be in the car, and we're waiting for my mom. And my dad says, Where's your mother? We're always waiting for her. And then mum gets in into the car. And we're like, Mom, we're waiting for you What's taking you so long? And it did become a joke. So it wasn't something that was like, How dare you you know you're worthless, that kind of thing. So became a family joke. And then as I'm a mother, and I'm the last one out of the house, and my husband gets the kids in the car and I often say go get the kids to the car. And then I'm the last one in I finally understand why I'm the last one in which is because I am checking the thermostat To say that if we're away from the home for X number of hours, I'm grabbing the water bottles, I'm packing the snack, I am making sure the stove or the oven is turned off, I'm doing all of these things. And these are really invisible tasks, because everybody else in the car doesn't see what I'm doing. And so I had highlighted this two children one day, and I had said to my kids, hey, you know, one of the reasons why I'm the last to get in the car is because I'm doing data data data. And I've maybe said it once or twice, the it's not a running joke in our family, like, why are you the last to get in the car, but my husband also appreciates what I'm doing. And the other day, as we're starting to get out, to get ready to get out the house, my daughter says, Hey, Mom, I did this, so that you don't have to, so that we're all part of this as a team working together. And as our children get older, they can start to see that and participate and be the team mentality in the family, instead of this idea of helping right, which then leads into the whole mental load conversation. But it is this idea of helping our children to see, this doesn't just happen, or, you know, Dad doesn't just do this thing. But actually what else is the other parent doing to be able to support the whole family? And how can we all do this together? And that I think, as well as teaching children that we have needs, there's a need to care for the household. There's the need to pick the food and snacks for us while we're in the home and all of those things, so I can completely derail us to a mental load, come back and focus here. Another day.

Danielle Bettmann  31:30  
Another day? Yes. We're all with you on that, and are following right along. But for today, the last the last thing that came up for me that I would love to bring just to this conversation to have you put your your spin on it is I see on a lot of you know, memes or social media, the idea that you can only love someone else. To the extent you have self love. Do you feel like that's true? And is that a big dynamic in marriages?

Dr. Tracy Dalgleish  32:00  
Yeah, and I also know that's true in the compassion literature, as well as that in order to know true compassion for others, it has to start by knowing true compassion for yourself. Because it does bleed into the judgments that would come out for other people, or the difficulties of giving other people permission. Gosh, it's such an interesting concept, right? In the sense that, well, I'm, I'm with another person that says, outpouring of love. But I talk to people about, well, first intimacy, to know true intimacy with another person, you need to know true intimacy with yourself. Do you have time by yourself where you like yourself, where you do things that fill you up, that, you know, bring you joy, and then when you have that within yourself, you then bring that to your partnership. But I also remind people that loving ourselves, is built on being able to be connected with other people. So some people will say, I need to heal all this stuff before I'm ready for a relationship, I need to do all this re-parenting work before I'm ready to have children. And my frame of that is actually, we heal in relationship. So one of the examples, I think, is a client who really struggled with perfectionism, you know, that led to a lot of shame and self worth struggles. If I'm not perfect, then I'm not lovable. And in the relationship, her partner was able to say, you're allowed to make mistakes, you don't need to be perfect, right. So it was that outpouring of love that that allowed her to have more of that internalized sense of self-worth her own identity, to ditch the perfectionism in times when it wasn't helpful, because it can also be a tool that's helpful, but then really honoring that piece. And then that then went into their connection of deepening their connection. So then she wasn't necessarily holding him to high perfectionistic standards as well. She was able to have more permission for her partner, instead of holding them to a high standard. 

Danielle Bettmann  34:07  
Yes, yes. Oh, my gosh, I, I see that in my own relationship. And I love that you've added a layer of complexity to that where it doesn't mean that it is then keeping you from, you know, not being able to love someone adequately, you can use the relationship to heal, and work on that in real time and be able to continually grow and that way, both your love for that person and for yourself, and that we don't have to show up with that homework done.

Dr. Tracy Dalgleish  34:40  
You don't have to show up perfect, and healed and lovable and all those things already.

Danielle Bettmann  34:44  
Yes, yes. There's so many reasons for the way that we felt that way. And I think there's so much more that we could dive into about this, but I know that you do that in your work as well. So please share with my listeners, how they can connect with your book, your podcast and your course.

Dr. Tracy Dalgleish  35:00  
Yeah, in 20 Oh, gosh, I guess it was back in 2018, I started had this desire to reach more people outside of my therapy room acknowledging that therapy is not accessible for everybody, either due to cost time or partner involvement. And so I have several online resources for people to engage with me in some way. My podcast is called "I'm not your shrink". So I show up as myself not in the therapist role, but also bringing in my clinical and research experience within the conversations. My book is called, "I didn't sign up for this". And it is five case studies or stories of couples who show up in my office, of course, the fifth one is actually my own. And it reads more like a fiction book, so that it's one of those self-help books where you want to get to the end, because of the self help part memoir, in the sense of what most people tell me as they become invested in the stories and they want to know how it adds for them. And so I love that people are going along this journey of me in the therapy room as a couples therapist, working with couples who all ended up saying the same thing in front of me, I didn't sign up for this and me crying in the shower, saying the same thing after having my second child. So all the information and resources is on my website. So Dr. Tracyd.com. But Danielle, my favorite thing is for listeners to come into my DMs, I mostly hang out on Instagram, and say hello, let me know what stood out from today's session. That's always the most meaningful thing for me is when I get to connect with people who are on the other end, and then on Instagram, you can check out all my links and resources there. Perfect.

Danielle Bettmann  36:38  
The last question I can't let you go without asking that I asked every guest that I have on is how are you the mom your kids need? 

Dr. Tracy Dalgleish  36:46  
Gosh, it's such a cool question. And I think it is that

Dr. Tracy Dalgleish  36:51  
I am showing them, well I know my highly sensitive child, I am showing this child how to express their needs, and to meet them where they're at. And I think I'd do that with both children. And it's so interesting because as a therapist, I want to often show up as my warm empathic therapist self. And of course, what we know with our deep feelers is that that often isn't what they need. So the mom that they need is for me to be attuned to them for me to not be perfect, perfectly imperfect. I don't know if I like the expression because kind of says that perfectionism is not a good thing. But you know, just this sense of like, presence, and awareness and connectivity, and I'm not always gonna get it right. But I am owning my mistakes and teaching them that they are allowed to make mistakes too. 

Danielle Bettmann  37:47  
So important. They are lucky to have you.

Dr. Tracy Dalgleish  37:50  
Thank you, Danielle. 

Danielle Bettmann  37:51  
And we are lucky to have you today.

Dr. Tracy Dalgleish  37:53  
Thank you so much for inviting me into your space into your community.

Danielle Bettmann  37:57  
No thanks again, of course, and I will make sure to share all those links in the show notes and have listeners connect with you after this. Thanks again for all your time and expertise today.

Danielle Bettmann  38:12  
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