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~ Motherhood …

00:52

Hi, everybody, welcome to the 21st episode of Don’t lose your balance. My name is Mallory Durrick. I hope you’ve been enjoying all of the episodes up till now. And if you haven’t been listening, feel free to drop in from episode one all the way up to 20. Today, I am thinking about this topic based on a clubhouse room for Gratitude Journal 365 that we run every day. And I’ve been thinking about this topic. And it was actually included in my outline of 52 episodes that I had titled before I even started this podcast. And that title is motherhood and motherhood is a hard topic for me to talk about. Because in the in the way I look back on my own life as a mother, I don’t actually think that I was great as a mother. And I think that what has prompted this particular episode today was based on the fact that when we talked about how we could be more compassionate towards ourselves. And this was the prompt in gratitude about not being so harsh. And you could maybe get to the other side of something, if you were maybe a little bit more compassionate towards yourself. And and I get that I’ve probably been the most hard on myself for many of the choices that I’ve made. But I cannot speak more highly of how harsh I was on myself over motherhood. And this is a hard episode for me to just start talking without even scripting it. And much of why this podcast had even been started in the first place had to had a lot to do with my relationship with my children. And how I could figure out how to continue to move forward without being so hard on myself about the decisions I made in the past that impacted them. And when I look back on my life, I think, Oh, my God, how in the world did I even get through all these years? And how did I somehow managed to get to the other side of it. And it wasn’t easy. And I’m going to say that straight off straight out. It was not easy. I probably did more damage to myself than anybody. But of course, there are going to be people that experienced the fallout of it all. And those are my kids. And I can’t speak for them. And I’ve spoken about that. In other episodes, I cannot speak for my children about what their experience was having me as a mother and I remember being really happy mother in the earlier days. I loved when I had my first daughter, my first child, my daughter, I loved being a mom and I loved having her with me. She was literally by my side every single day, for an entire year. I was a nursing mother. And I nursed her up until about 13 months and nobody put a bottle in her mouth. And I was really proud of that accomplishment not only from a health benefit, I think I thought less of the health benefits as much as I thought about the convenience how convenient it was to just nurse my baby and it was over and then I could either go back to sleep or we could get on with our day and I could travel with her and it was so simple.

04:31

However, after five years, I had my second child who was a boy, I was so happy to have a baby boy I remember praying for my daughter. I of course you know healthy babies but I’ve said Oh Gosh Please let me have the girl I wanted to dress her up and make clothes and and then when I had my daughter I said oh please let me have a boy I want to have a son and I got one of these and nobody could believe that I would have a baby boy because we come from such a big family of girls. But I did. And I knew that my husband was thrilled, who you know, who also just wanted healthy children. But to have one of each is kind of a nice thing. But so was having, you know, two daughters who have sisters or two boys who have brothers. So I had one of each. And I would say they were significantly far apart in age. And as a result of having children five years apart, you know, they didn’t have a whole lot in common, but my daughter was very happy to have his sibling. And I remember at his bris, which is a circumcision for people who are Jewish. At eight days, the moil comes in circumcised as the baby and there’s all these people around from your family, your friends, or whatever, it’s a little bit like a party. And I just remember feeling not okay. And I remember staring at him and thinking, I’m not okay. But I didn’t say anything to anybody. And I had had Vicodin in my system, I remember that. But I remember not being okay. And I just had this horrible sinking, feeling not about anything that had anything to do with him. I was hormonally imbalanced. And I didn’t know that. And nobody really ever talked about postpartum depression, it was something that, you know, you would see these women who would, and this is going to sound horrible, but they would kill their children. And these were the mothers that were suffering from postpartum, which we now know is more like a postpartum psychosis. But what about just the feelings of being not okay, hormonally down? And that’s what I went through. And you didn’t go to your doctor to talk about that. I’m sure I could have said, Hey, listen, I don’t feel great. And then of course, they’re gonna say, Well, you just had a baby. And don’t be so hard on yourself. And I don’t think anybody was talking about that in 1995, not to the extent we were starting to pay attention to the psychosis. And maybe we were looking a little bit at the feelings and maybe there were some books that were written. In any event, I wasn’t okay. And that not okay, feeling lasted the better part, I would say of, I don’t know, three years. And I pretended a lot that everything was okay, but I just knew that I was very heavily pressured of being a mom and have these two children. And my husband, who was working so hard at the time was really never home. And I found myself often alone with the kids, which was equally difficult because I didn’t have anybody to offload that to. I may have hired babysitters. And, of course, my husband was generous of, you know, spending money to find me some help and even getting help for maybe cleaning the house, but I just wasn’t right. I was really in great physical shape when it came to exercise which helped and maybe that’s what threw me a little bit.

08:25

Because I was exercising, I exercise the day I delivered my son, and the day, I got home from the hospital, it was much more milder, but I was in terrific you know, physical shape my physique was good, but my mind wasn’t so here I was for you know, the better part of three years four years five years not feeling quite like myself and so much of what happened with the drugs and alcohol and the infidelity that took its toll on my family especially you know, of course my husband but then again my children and we found ourselves moving from home to home to home to home finding myself either incredibly guilty feeling guilty and just disconnecting and you know, when you are drug you know dependent and drug addicted and you are not present for anybody, especially yourself so there was no way I could be present for them. And so what was the fallout? Well, I I just didn’t know how to get back to it. I I needed to get recovery for myself, I needed to find recovery, I needed to find a way when you know, we talk about that back to balance because I was completely imbalanced on so many levels. And there’s just no way that I was well suited to to mother, my children. As my daughter got older and my son got older. They seemed to have been doing better without me or Maybe that’s what I thought. I’m sure. That was a terrible assumption that I’ve made for these years. And whatever lies I may have clung to thinking they were better off. Without me. That isn’t true. My children were not better off without me. I’m not sure they were better with me being sick. In the perfect world, they would have been better if I just was, Okay mom, healthy mom, and I was present and I was there. But after so much time had passed, unfortunately, I was no longer able to reach them. Because of course, you know, my daughter at that time was off to college, and my son had moved away with his father. And I was here a home in, you know, in this area, and they were on the West Coast. And that was it.

10:53

He remarried and my kids moved on in a different direction without me. And during the clubhouse room today, everybody was talking about motherhood. And I look at my own mother, and I think she’s an amazing mother, she was always there for me, and she still is living to this day, and still here for me, and really happy that I’m doing so well. But I can’t disqualify the fact that, you know, I do have a lot of regret. And the regret doesn’t really get you anywhere, because it can’t really do anything for you. However, if my children ever were to listen to this podcast, I just, I guess, I just want them to know how proud of them I am and the adults that they’re becoming. And my daughter is a mother and what a wonderful mother, I believe she is turning into, I mean, she’s the baby’s very young, and my son is on his own and doing his own thing. And, you know, I like to believe that somewhere along the line, I didn’t really eff them up too badly. And that they have figured out a way to go on in their own lives. And maybe just maybe, somewhere along the line, they’ll say, you know, my mother did the best she could, she wasn’t well, she went through what she went through no fault of her own, but then took a lot into her own hands and made some terrible decisions about, you know, drugs and and then eventually alcohol. And I, you know, I didn’t abuse my kids, I didn’t, to the best of my knowledge, I don’t believe I put them in in a lot of harm’s way. Of course, if I was drinking, and I wasn’t completely obliterated, let me just make that picture clear. But you know, you have one or two drinks, you shouldn’t be driving, and you certainly shouldn’t be driving with children in the car. And I’m pretty confident knowing the people that I know that a lot of people did that. I’m not the only person who has ever done that.

13:01

But I wasn’t so intoxicated or inebriated that I didn’t think that I had my you know, full capacity with, you know, full capacity to drive. But in hindsight, when I look back on it, I should never have gotten behind the wheel of a car if I even had one drink. So that is a that is a regret, I can’t change. And of course, I got lucky because nothing ever bad happened to either one of them. But I do want to recognize some of the balance in all of it, and that I was a good mother for a long time. You know, it’s not like I had a baby. And then I was gone. I was present I was I fed both of my children from my body and never a bottle, never a bottle and never formula. And they were had clothing and they had school and private tutoring and music lessons and baseball and all of those things I was responsible for. And I made sure that they had the best of everything. Private schools and I, I didn’t do that messed up, I was completely present, and, and ready for being the best parent I could possibly be. Somewhere along the line, I look back and say, Well, I wasn’t really aligned with my husband. And I do not want to hold them accountable. But I do want to recognize that if anybody here is listening, please look at your own life and say what part of this unit are you responsible for? What is somebody else responsible for and how are you coming together? If you’re not aligned and you’re not coming together, there’s no balance there. Then that’s where the scale gets skewed. And if it gets so skewed that I’m not saying I was worse or I was better or he was worse or he was better.

15:04

What I’m saying is, as parents, we did not come to the table all the time. As a unit, we didn’t talk about certain things that people who were married talk about when it comes to their kids, if I said, Listen, our, our daughter needs or our son needs, I got what I needed for them. And it was never well, can we? Can we talk about this? And what’s the goal here, I mean, we just he just said, okay to everything. And that was a wonderful thing, but I’m not so sure every decision that I made was the best one for them. But I that was my job, I was the CEO of this family and making sure that they had what they needed when they needed it. And I guess if they were to look back on the younger, younger years, I don’t think they were miserable kids, but I can’t speak for them. But I can say that I was really happy for many, many years until I wasn’t. And if I have any regret, it’s that I didn’t get help. When I needed it, that I believe that I could, I don’t know, manage it on my own, I couldn’t. And I should never have taken any of that into my own hands, I found certain medications that made me feel better, temporarily, of course, but made me feel better. And when I went to doctors, they just wanted to put me in all kinds of medication, which made me even worse as a mother. And that is a regret, I can say on categorically that I should have. I should have even gone to my own mother and said, Hey, listen, I’m not okay, and something’s wrong.

16:39

But you know, you get scared. You see mothers who say I’m not okay. And they’re, they’re put in, you know, psych wards and doped up on meds and like I’ve told you about the bike it in, that empowered me, it didn’t zone me out. So I do want to say motherhood is probably the most challenging thing I had ever been through. And when I look back, on my own time, raising young children, teenage children, and you know, now they’re adults, and I’m not raising them. But I am here for them. And I want to say that while I may have made many, many, many mistakes, I also made some really good decisions and really good choices that helped form them into the young adults that they are today. And I don’t have one regret about that. Not one. In all of this. I think the greatest lesson and what we were talking about in gratitude today is not to be so harsh on yourself. And the common thread in the conversation was all about motherhood. You know, did you have a good mother? Were you a good mother? And, yes, yes, I was. And I love my children very much. I love my, my family. And I want my kids to know that. I regret the pain that I’ve caused them. But I’m still here, and able to help make things right, if they were to give me the opportunity to do so it’s not like my children, don’t talk to me. So I don’t want to paint that picture. They do talk to me. And they’re really great young adults. And I’m thrilled to be able to say that. So think about how you can do better. Or you could have done worse. And don’t be so hard on yourself, especially as it comes to being a mom, if that is what you’re struggling with.

18:39

And maybe if your parents are still alive and your mother’s still alive. It wouldn’t hurt to say Hey, Mom, thank you for doing what you’ve done for me. Because I say that a lot. I hope I say that to myself a lot. So my mother is listening. Mom, you did great. And I love you very much. Okay, so if you found value in this or any other episode of Don’t lose your balance, you can leave me a review, download it, share it with somebody you know, I also have a Facebook page as well as to Instagram handles Mallory underscore Duric. And don’t lose your balance. M S D That’s Mary, Sam and David, I have a website. Don’t lose your balance calm and you’re more than welcome to reach out to me if you’d like to throw some resources up on the site. If maybe you even have a blog or a story you’d like to share. I’m actually looking for some content. So if you’d like to get in touch with me, feel free to do so on the website. Okay, everybody, I’ll see you next time. Thanks for listening.

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Transcribed by https://otter.ai

About The Author

Mallory Durrick

Mallory Durrick

Hi, I am Mallory Durrick. I am a creative. A Marketing Strategist and Web Designer with a small and modest boutique Marketing Agency living in the suburbs of Philadelphia. I am the creator and narrator of this podcast, Don’t Lose Your Balance. This is a culmination of decades of self-help books, countless doctors, numerous hospitals, including rehabs. Once a wife, now divorced, a mother, a grandmother and an addict in recovery. These are things that I am and have experienced.

I’m sharing it all. Baring it all. Hoping to help others; not lose their balance.

Email Mallory